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Dimitri Musafia

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  1. Some anonymous posters here have cast doubt upon my "research" on Strad cases. The quotation marks are theirs and define those who have written them. I adhere to the idea of the Man of Doubt, and in fact am one myself (look it up if you don't get it). Descartes got it right; Galileo risked his life for it. But there is a distinction to be made, which I have already done. One can be a Man of Doubt in the sense of Galileo, who actively seeked the truth amid dogmas, through reason and experiment. Then there are what I have called the no-vaxxers, who fight dogmas with their own dogmas, who will not heed to reason even if a metric ton of it is shoved down their throat. Who is right, then? Time will tell. Oh yes, time will tell, and it will separate the men from the boys.
  2. Look at this graph, there is a difference but not an enormous one:
  3. Today, the three Bluetooth trackers most popular on the market are: Tile (who invented the system, and was financed with a crowd funding), Samsung’s Smart Tag, and Apple’s AirTag. These devices cost as much as a lunch in trattoria, they do not require any subscription, they are as small as half of a key fob, and the battery life is up to a year. If they are put inside of a violin case, they are easily hidden. Tile uses a network consisting in other Tile users: if something containing a Tile is lost or stolen, it is possible to report the object as “missing” to the network and as soon as it enters the range of another Tile user, its location is automatically (and anonymously) reported on the dedicated app. The main flaw is in this: although 35 million Tiles have been sold so far in 195 nations, the coverage is anything but complete, and the effective range remains that of the Bluetooth signal, 100 meters at the most (Tile model Pro). Depending on the location, days or months can go by before another Tile user happens to be nearby, being able to send the localization signal. Samsung’s Smart Tag and Apple’s AirTag get an advantage over Tile, such as being able to count on the vast network of millions of smart phones of those brands. However, Samsung’s smart phone will suggest to close the app – if it is installed on it – when it is not used in order to save the battery, a thing that many people will do, lowering the number of other users who can signal the position of the object. Apple’s Air Tag is way better, because it works with any recent iPhone even if the app is not installed. In a practical test made by the Wall Street Journal, a bag (entrusted to thirds party) “abandoned” in a street corner in Manhattan was localized in 4 minutes with AirTag, while Tile and Smart Tag found it only much later. Therefore, is AirTag the perfect solution to follow a stolen violin case? No, it isn’t. In order that the device is not used to illegally follow people (stalking), Apple had to set some boundaries. If the thief who steals your instrument owns an iPhone with iOS 14.5 or superior, a message will appear on his phone telling that there is someone else’s AirTag in close proximity. After 72 hours that the iPhone is far from the device associated to it, it will ring, characteristics which soon also Tile and Smart Tag will have. Today, new generation GPS trackers are available, such as the LandAirSea 54. It is produced in the USA, it works worldwide thanks to the 4G LTE technology, its battery life is up to six months and it is more or less as big as a package of rosin (and can be easily camouflaged as one), probably it is the best on the market together with the GeoForce GT0. The only limitations are the cost (one must make a monthly subscription, which is actually not too expensive) and the typical limits of the GPS itself, such as the black-out inside of the buildings because the GPS signal requires a mostly open sky.
  4. I actually thought about this before posting. But a) I stole nothing, since I pay for my subscription, b) I condensed the article and removed the photos, so it's not a reproduction but a quote, c) the content is already all over social media, d) I indicated where the original full article can be found, e) I credited the source.
  5. Thank you, David, and happy new year! My studies have shown that a case exposed to direct sunlight heats up inside at a rapid rate (the outside color doesn't make much difference). That exposure can simply be waiting outside for a tour bus or a taxi, or walking from the train station to your hotel. What does seem counterintuitive is that the relative humidity inside the case can double in 20 minutes, such as from an initial 40% to 80%. (It is counterintuitive because everyone knows that heating an air mass makes it drier). What happens is the air, as it heats up, tends to suck out moisture from wherever can: the humidifier, the case lining, even the violin itself. And so it does, and the violin is not happy. Additionally, while the air is heated, it tries to expand. If the case is airtight, it cannot, and it goes under pressure. This increases the dew point, thus increasing the RH further. The solution is to provide pressure-release ports in the case structure. Testing has shown in fact that making particularly large ones allows the heated air to escape to the point of reducing the level of RH from initial value to a dangerously low level, which is what we would all expect when air is heated. Thus, carefully-sized release ports will maintain a stable relative humidity level even with the increase of internal air temperature.
  6. All it takes is a snowstorm or a strike, and the parcels are sometimes left outside in the elements on the tarmac. I've had that happen and no, it's not pretty. I agree, avoid the holidays which just compound things. And now there's Covid which has decimated workers in Customs and logistics. We currently have shipments which are over a month late.
  7. The best way you can photograph a "Steiner" (sic) is through a beer glass.
  8. Here are some excerpts, the boldface is mine: On a Sunday night in September, Ashley Estrada was at a friend’s home in Los Angeles when she received a strange notification on her iPhone: “AirTag Detected Near You.” An AirTag is a 1.26-inch disc with location-tracking capabilities that Apple started selling earlier this year as a way “to keep track of your stuff.” Ms. Estrada, 24, didn’t own one, nor did the friends she was with. The notification on her phone said the AirTag had first been spotted with her four hours earlier. A map of the AirTag’s history showed the zigzag path Ms. Estrada had driven across the city while running errands. Ms. Estrada is not alone in her experience. In recent months, people have posted on TikTok, Reddit and Twitter about finding AirTags on their cars and in their belongings. There is growing concern that the devices may be abetting a new form of stalking, which privacy groups predicted could happen when Apple introduced the devices in April. In Canada, a local police department said that it had investigated five incidents of thieves placing AirTags on “high-end vehicles so they can later locate and steal them.” (this where the danger lies with high-end instruments inside their cases) Apple automatically turned every iOS device into part of the network that AirTags use to report the location of an AirTag,” Ms. Galperin said. “The network that Apple has access to is larger and more powerful than that used by the other trackers. It’s more powerful for tracking and more dangerous for stalking.” After a Friday night out with her boyfriend this month, Erika Torres, a graduate music student in New Orleans, was notified by her iPhone that an “unknown accessory” had been detected near her over a two-hour period, moving with her from a bar to her home. She called the police and she called Apple, but she never found an AirTag. An Apple representative told her other devices could set off the alert, including AirPods. When Ms. Torres posted a video about her experience to YouTube, a dozen people commented about it happening to them. “The number of reports makes me think there must be some sort of glitch that is causing all these people to experience this,” Ms. Torres said. “I hope they’re not all being stalked.” Ms. Estrada, who got the notification while in Los Angeles, eventually found the quarter-sized tracker lodged in a space behind the license plate of her 2020 Dodge Charger. She posted a video of her ordeal on TikTok, which went viral. Another woman was notified by her iPhone that she was being tracked by an “unknown accessory” after leaving her gym in November. When she got home, she called the police. The woman, Michaela Clough of Corning, Calif., was told that a report could only be filed if someone showed up at her home and that Apple’s notifications were not enough proof that she was being stalked. She later got in touch with an Apple customer service representative who was able to disconnect the device from Ms. Clough’s iPhone. The device was never found. Jahna Maramba rented a vehicle from the car-sharing service Turo last month in Los Angeles, then received a notification about an unknown AirTag near her on a Saturday night with her girlfriends. She took the vehicle to her friend’s parking garage where she searched the outside of the car for an hour before its owner notified her that he had placed the device inside the vehicle. Ms. Maramba had been driving the car for two days. Internet-connected devices, designed for easy monitoring for consumer convenience, are being turned into spying tools. (Copyright New York Times; consultable in today's print edition as well as online)
  9. I'm not going to waste any more time with the Strad case no-vaxxers here. Anyone interested in further information about Stradivari cases is welcome to contact me personally via email. I'm happy to share the results of my research. To the no-vaxxers here, I say that the very fact that the Museo del Violino exhibits the "Milan" case as being attributed to Stradivari is proof enough. You don't believe them? Your problem, and your embarassament.
  10. You truly know nothing about case making, which is no surprise. Luthiers do not provide the templates which serve to make the cases: they provide the templates of the instruments themselves. I realize this is a bit difficult for some to understand, but the curator of the Museo del Violino got the idea, hence the articles in The Strad. If you like, I can draw a picture for you so even you too can hopefully understand the concept.
  11. Fair enough... wifey said she'll text me tomorrow morning with a performance report. Sure you don't want that Moet? :-)
  12. Yeah, too bad wifey knows we're entering 2022.
  13. What more do you want man, a bottle of Moet?? I mean, most guys your age would be happy to make wifey happy... like, it's New Year's eve man. Keep it ...up!
  14. "Constructive criticsm" you say? Okay, okay, I'll get you a discount for Xanax too, and also for those little blue pills, so wifey is finally happy.
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