All posts by admin

Premier: Life with Harry Smith

Harry Smith is an average man bored with life and seeking comfort from his television.  Living on the edge of habitual boredom, his life is forever transformed when he decides to develop a friendship with his last french fry.

A metaphorical jaunt into the constant cliches students face every day in which they have been chillingly desensitized.

Return to Planet Earth by… Leah Roth


Our video production editor, Leah Roth, created a futuristic, science fiction, micro-documentary about the repercussions of a nuclear winter for Mr. Bigley’s Science Fiction in Literature class at Forrest Bird Charter School.

Enjoy.
Inexorable by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1200097 Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Solar Roadways Fact or Fiction?

Our Reporter explores the Solar Roadways project in Sandpoint, Idaho after many errors on their install.  The day the student journalism class went to test the panels, it led to a city police investigation. Unfortunately, the panels were not working on the day of Bird Eye News’ test. To this day, as of March 21, 2017, the panels are not producing any power that can be used by the city’s power grid.

Are the Solar Roadways fact or fiction?

A Series of Unfortunate Events: How Uber Story By Mack Jastle

Controversy….Uber is once again in the public crosshairs after a recent account describes rampant favoritism and sexism within the management structure. Photo-by: Telhelka
Controversy….Uber is once again in the public crosshairs after a recent account describes rampant favoritism and sexism within the management structure. Photo-by: Telhelka

It’s been a rough few months for Uber.  From the #DeleteUber that went trending January in response to a perceived strike break, to mounting concerns over invasive privacy settings and user tracking, to perceived support for President Trump’s travel ban forcing CEO Travis Kalanick to resign from the President’s security council, the company has faced near constant anger and outrage from both users of the app and the media itself.

Recent allegations of sexism and sexual harassment within the company’s upper echelons have revitalized the growing discontent with Uber and its business practices, and prompted several other former software engineers from Uber to speak out.  Suddenly, just as #DeleteUber was on death’s door, it was given new life.0o

The genesis for these new accusations is an account by a former software engineer for the company, Susan Fowler, who worked in Uber’s software engineering department as a software reliability engineer from November 2015 to December 2016.  Titled: “Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber,” and written on Fowler’s personal blog, the post describes widespread sexism and chaos within the organization, and outlines a meritocracy where managers and supervisors routinely undermined their superiors in an attempt to take their job and curry favor with the organization.

Rough Year…Uber’s 2017 has been very tough, with the hashtag #DeleteUber permeating the company for the last several weeks. Photo-by: Cato Institute
Rough Year…Uber’s 2017 has been very tough, with the hashtag #DeleteUber permeating the company for the last several weeks. Photo-by: Cato Institute

Fowler writes that on her first official day working for the company, she was propositioned by her manager for sex over the company chat.  When she screen-shotted the messages and reported him to the human resources department, she was told that he was a “high performer” on his performance reviews, and they didn’t ‘feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part.’  Fowler was told that since it was the manager’s first offense, they didn’t want to ruin his career by putting it on his record.    HR then gave Fowler an ultimatum; either she transfer teams and never see the manager again, or stay on the team and likely receive a poor performance review from the manager.  When Fowler tried to talk with HR or escalate the situation, she was given the same decision, and was told that it would not be retaliation if she received a negative review because she had been given a choice.

Fowler then transferred to a different team, where she came into contact with other women engineers, some of whom had also encountered the same manager propositioning them, well before Fowler was part of the company.  In short, the HR department had lied to Fowler and the other women, and had allowed this harassment to continue.  Meetings with HR were scheduled by Fowler and a few other women in an attempt to do something about the situation.

In the meeting, the HR representative maintained that the only offense on record was Fowler’s, and that none of the other women had any complaints about him, and thus nothing would change.

Fowler was berated for keeping a record of all the sexist emails and remarks she had received, and was told that sending emails to HR about these issues was unprofessional.

At the time of Fowler joining the company, about 25% of the company’s engineers were female.  Re-calculating the numbers on the day she left reveals that only 3% of the engineers in the company were female.

Uber and its CEO Travis Kalanick have denounced the behavior described in the account, and have launched investigations into the matter.

However, these investigations may be too little, too late.  Uber is still recovering from losing 200,000 users over the perceived strike break, and just when the effects of that calamity have started to fade, these recent allegations make #DeleteUber trend again.

If Uber wants to stay #1 in the rideshare business, it’s going to have a make a real and concentrated effort to distance itself from this kind of behavior, and it has to make it fast.

Otherwise, people will have no trouble catching a Lyft instead.

 

 

 

Uber is Going Automatic Story by Travis Tuttle

Want a ride?.. Uber’s driver-less car prototype. Photo by Business Insider
Want a ride?.. Uber’s driver-less car prototype. Photo by Business Insider

Uber is a successful and well known transportation company that has thousands of drivers that are ready to drive you to wherever you would like to go with a simple app. Although this system is wildly used and generally appreciated, Uber is making transportation more efficient with automatic cars. Because Uber does not know how to build cars, they are starting to design equipment that is compatible with Volvo cars. This equipment includes laser detecting systems, and cameras among other technologies processed by a powerful computer in the trunk. Uber has a small test fleet of driverless cars that are operating as normal Uber cars and driving passengers to their destinations, but they have safety drivers that take notes of the car’s performance as well as being able to take control of the care in an emergency as well as conditions in which the car has trouble processing.

Uber does have competition for the best driverless cars. Google has also been designing automatic cars, although they are still a work in progress as well as all of the other driverless car prototypes. Googles prototypes are limited to 25 miles per hour to avoid serious crashes (they have had minor incidents), and their detecting system can be off by somewhat wide margins. Uber has hired many engineers to design software and technology to guide their cars safely, and efficiently, eventually possibly to the point of a manual car. They map all of the obstacles in their test area including buildings, potholes, and other obstacles, then when the car is driving it uses GPS location to find its location and compare the location view to the corresponding maps to find differences such as pedestrians and other cars to stop for or avoid.

Although this system works fairly well, it has difficulty rendering terrain in some situations. At the moment, with technology being at the level that it is, cars with drivers are probably safer and more efficient, but technology is catching up quickly, and soon driverless cars may replace manual cars altogether. Despite the current technology, Uber wants to get an early start with this promising adaptation, and likely be a major driverless car company perhaps not so far in the future. Driverless cars are probably not quite as safe as normal cars. There have been multiple accidents from all of the driverless car companies except for Uber, likely because they just released their first cars. The most notable incident killed one person.

Even if Driverless cars have lots of glitches and problems, they will likely soon be a new reality despite skepticism from many people. Technology is advancing at a fast rate, and driverless cars may come before people might think.

Super Bowl LI Predictions by Bill Morton

Super Bowl 51 was this last Sunday, February 5th and was televised at 3:30pm of FOX. Lady Gaga performed at this year’s halftime show. The question everyone was thinking about was who will be the MVP? Who will get the 2k17 crown? Well, looking back at several websites and their predictions, here were their odds.

Quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Tom Brady. Photo by Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
Quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Tom Brady. Photo by Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Looking at the Super Bowl Nation’s NFL Experts, they predicted that the Atlanta Falcons will win the game. With a 5-4 pick, the Falcons were considered by the experts to win their first Super Bowl. Those same experts also didn’t predict the Patriots to get that far in the season, let alone go to the Super Bowl. Looking at their past, the Falcons and Patriots had a hauntingly disappointing score for the Falcons, with a loss of 0-4, but what really made them the most considered was both Matt Ryan and their new Defense Coordinator they got for the season, alongside their somewhat new head coach, Dan Quinn. Matt Ryan had a very good run the past season, having considered an MVP of the season, with his highest of a 750-yard toss and five non-intercepted touchdowns.

USA Today asked 6 of their NFL Sports’ Staff what their predictions were for the game, and four of them chose Patriots while the other two chose Falcons. All the people that chose Patriots unanimously chose #12 Quarterback Tom Brady as the MVP, while #2 Quarterback, Matt Ryan, was only chosen as the MVP for one of the two votes for who’d win, with the other being #24 running back Devonta Freeman. Everyone’s main argument for the Patriots was by the numbers, and their wins. The Patriots has appeared in 7 times (not including 2017) and has won four times. The Falcons (again, 2017 not included) only went to the Super Bowl one time in January 17th, 1999, and lost to the Denver Broncos 34-19.

Well, the National NFL Experts’ “Predictions” didn’t turn out as well as they originally predicted. The New England Patriots won the 51st Super Bowl, with one of the most outstanding comebacks in Super Bowl History, even NFL History, that it’s crazy. The game in general made history, as this’s now the New England Patriot’s 5th Super Bowl win, and Tom Brady’s Fifth win as Quarterback and Coach Belichick’s 5th win as well, making them the ultimate Quarterback-Coach combo.

New England Patriots vs. the Atlanta Falcons, a defining picture of the 51st Super Bowl as a whole. Photo by Ed King, NFL.
New England Patriots vs. the Atlanta Falcons, a defining picture of the 51st Super Bowl as a whole. Photo by Ed King, NFL.

By the end of the first half, the Falcons were in the lead with a prominent 21-3, looking as if the Patriots were not in the lead, but whatever sentient being Tom Brady was praying to sure must’ve been the support, as the second half, the Patriots gained all the way up to the Falcons, having been tied right at the end of the 4th quarter. After that, the game went into its very first overtime in Super Bowl history. Many fans on both teams were shocked by the outcome, almost accepting the fact that the Atlanta Falcons had this one in the bag. Matt Ryan was made the MVP of the season, while Tom Brady was made MVP of the game, though being sacked 4 times.

Rogue One Success and Failures; FBCHS Students Call It with Harrison Hertzberg

FBCHS Students Leah Roth & Ty Olsen discuss Rogue One with Harrison
Rebels… FBCHS Students Leah Roth & Ty Olsen discuss Rogue One with Harrison Photo by

The Bird Eye News with Harrison Hertzberg allows students to share their views of the last Star Wars movie Rogue One.

Here is a bonus comedy sketch, concerning the conspiracy theory that Jar Jar Binks is actually a Sith lord.

 

 

A Look Into the Insulator Collecting Hobby-Should the CD 112 California Be Designated CD 114? Story by Logan Tuttle

This is my collection of glass insulators. I have gathered around 600 them in my three years of collecting. Although this image shows many colors and styles of glass insulators, it is only a small fraction of all the colors and varieties. Photo by Travis Tuttle
Wall of glass… This is my collection of glass insulators. I have gathered around 600 them in my three years of collecting. Although this image shows many colors and styles of glass insulators, it is only a small fraction of all the colors and varieties. Photo by Travis Tuttle

Insulators, aren’t those the glass things that went on the telegraph poles? Yes, they are. But there is a lot more to them than that. There are hundreds of different styles, glass and porcelain, and several thousand collectors. What are all the collectors supposed to do with so many styles to know which ones are one-of-a-kind, and which were made by the thousands? The CD or Consolidate Design system was invented for the purpose of identifying, cataloging, pricing, and comparing insulator designs.

tuttlelogan_1055_126465_a picture 31CD112or114insulator-1Even though this system was invented in the 1960s when people had only just started collecting insulators, new designs are being added, switched, or merged with other styles. Recently, there has been a debate whether or not to change the small California CD 112 variant to CD 114. These two styles are transposition styles that have a second wire groove (the dip on the side of the insulator) to reduce “crosstalk” of two parallel wires. Crosstalk is when one phone call or telegraph message leaks a tiny bit into the line that it is paralleled to. It helps reduce this when the wires are crossed at intervals along the line.

The CD 112 style was produced in large amounts by many different companies until around the 1920s when it was replaced by the CD 113 which used less glass therefore being less costly. The CD 114, until now, was considered to only be produced by Hemingray Glass Company; one of the main producers of glass insulators in America until 1967 when there was too much competition from porcelain insulator manufacturers. Hemingray also replaced the CD 114 with the CD 113.

The CD 114 is not very much unlike the CD 112. The only major differences are that the CD 114 lacks a lower wire ridge (the protruding ridge below the lower wire groove on the CD 112 insulator) and the dome of the CD 114 can be somewhat of a prism shape in some variants. The California Glass Insulator Company (California) opened in 1912 in Longbeach California, and used sand mined nearby for their glass, which was often a smoke or yellow color that turned a smoky purple-brown when exposed to sunlight for long amounts of time, although they made a wide spectrum of colors such as blue, sage green, plum, and two tones; a mixtures of two colors.

Although the plant was only open for four years, they produced as many insulators as a lot of companies that were open much longer. They made around 15,000 insulators every day. Before they closed in 1916 due to flooding, they produced many styles including the CD 112s. When the company had just started, they used the typical CD 112 design, then they quickly switched to the disputed CD 112-114, because it cost slightly less to produce. Because of this, there are few original CD 112 design Californias. If the later design of the CD 112 is designated CD 114, there will be a listing both for cd 112 (the earlier style) and for 114 (the later more common style) for California. The later style has some characteristics of the CD 112, and some of the 114, leaving it somewhere in between.

Many experienced collectors claim that it is a CD 112, and many others say it’s a 114. Some say that the collectors should not get worked up over the details, and just leave it the way it is. No matter what happens, the California Glass Insulator Company will remain an iconic insulator manufacturer.

Works Cited

Lockhart Bill, Schreiver Beau, Serr Carol, Lindsey Bill. California Glass Insulator Co. 2014,             https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/CaliforniaGlassInsulatorCo.pdf, Accessed 17, JAN 2017

Meyer, Bill. Insulators Glass & Porcelain. Amber 8 Computer Consultants, 2017 http://www.insulators.info/. Accessed 17, JAN 2017