September 2012

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Sun 9/30/12 11:09am # | tweet this



Artprize thoughts

A quick audioblog about going to Artprize yesterday. I forgot my camera, so I only took a few lame photos with my phone. If you search Artprize 2012 on flickr, you'll see all sorts of stuff though.

Summing up my audioblog, I think Artprize was weaker than previous years, and I really think it should be an every 2, 3, or 4 year event to really give the area time to recharge and regroup. I think Grand Rapids is too small and out of the way of a community to really put on a show of this size and type EVERY year. Still it's a nice walk around downtown, and something to do if you live here.

I want to hear your



Sun 9/30/12 10:30am # | tweet this

Great TV Saturday Evening

Fired up the DVR and and had a fantastic evening of TV last night.

New season of Green Lantern the Animated Series was first up. Fun introduction to Guy Gardner in the series. I'me very interested in where the Anti-monitor story goes, and the Manhunters are going to make great villains this season I think. The first season of Green Lantern is available on DVD for $15 or so at Best Buy. If you haven't watched it yet, now is a great time to get yourself caught up.

Next up, new Young Justice! I love Young Justice, it's everything I wish the New52 reboot would have been. The writers of YJ, understand the DCU better than the comic company wing itself. It's a fanboy's dream show, grab it on DVD as well, it really gets cranking after a few episodes and the second season does some really ballsy shake-ups. It's not just good cartoon, it's good TV!

Third in the line-up came the 1 hour (2- 30min) episode premiere of Nickolodean's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle remake. Show starts from scratch with the Turtles venturing surface-side for the first time and meeting a new younger April. There's abit of an origin sequence, but they didn't change much about it, so they don't dwell on it, which is a good thing for older viewers like myself.

I expected a silly kid show, but I didn't feel like they were talking down to just kids or anything. Characterizations for the most part are what you would expect from previous Turtle outings, only Donatello seemed abit different, but not so much so that he seemed out of place. (Mostly just because Donatello got so much lead actor time when normally you'd expect it to be the Leonardo and Raphael show.)

The animation for TMNT is really top notch. CGI that rivals the recent movie, with little anime "chibi-like"\"tex-avery-like" stop-takes that are far better integrated with the show than either Teen Titan's or Ultimate Spider-man's use of this style.

It's probably too early to tell if Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will hold in quality. Thundercats had an epic first episode and quickly degraded into mediocre cartoon fare, hopefully TMNT will follow more in Green Lantern's and Young Justice's footsteps than Lion-O's.

Last up was the final episode of the Ponds. (Or as final an episode as you can have with a time travel series I suppose.)

Don't get me wrong, any new Doctor Who, is some good Doctor Who, but by my count this is probably the 3rd "farewell to the Ponds" episode that we've really had, and I think I actually liked the previous two better. I would have been quite happy with ending their era many episodes back when they got the house with a blue door. I thought that was delightful, sweet way to end their period of companionship with the Doctor. I've enjoyed the episodes with the Ponds that have come since. They're such fantastically fun characters. But those episodes were largely fun romps and not nearly as necessary to their Arcs.

River does make a return in this episode (Sorry if that's a spoiler sweetie.) I love River, you can't have a bad episode if River is in it. But like my blue door Pond comment above, River really feels like her arc has run it's course as well.

Any new Doctor Who is good Doctor Who, and this episode was good Doctor Who, just not great Doctor Who. I'm looking forward to the Christmas Episode and then seeing where the show goes with a new companion.

I want to hear your



Fri 9/28/12 8:59pm # | tweet this



Notetaking apps for Android

Just tried a notetaking app: Quill on my Android Tablet. Pretty pleased with it. Nice simple page creation, pinch zooming and pen tools. I've also tried Handwrite Pro and Pen Supremacy

I can see myself using Quill and Handwrite pro in the future. Quill's ability to pinch to zoom and get in close enough to write spatially across the page is a very useful feature on the smaller 7" screen. I'd loosely compare Quill to Bamboo Paper on iPad.

Handwrite Pro has a nice zoom window where you can write large and it transfers your writing smaller onto the main page. It's a weird concept if you haven't tried it, but it works well for taking lots of notes fast with a capacitive stylus. You don't have the quick spacial organizations of something like Quill, but for pure speed, it's a great way to go. I'd compare Handwrite Pro to Note Taker HD on the iPad.

Pen Supremacy's iPad analog would be PenUltimate and it's description in the Google Play Store says as much. It's a nice enough app, but with no pinch to zoom, you're going to be pretty limited in the amount of text you can fit on a page.

I used the 7" Android tablet for taking notes in a meeting today. While the screen of my Android device is not as refined as the iPad 2's, it was a meeting in which I was standing and the 7" tablet was easier to hold one handed and jot notes with my other hand. So taking notes in a standing meeting is a pretty good use case win for the 7" tablet over the 10" iPad.

In the ease of use dept. I'd put the iPen on iPad as my favorite so far. You can't beat the accuracy of the active digitizer. But the iPen can be a a bit of a bother to set-up, since you have to attach it's dongle and switch to specialized made-for-it-apps like Ghostwriter. I've yet to try the Samsung Galaxy Note's pen stylus yet, but I'd imagine it would be a similar to the iPen experience but without the hassle of the dongle.

For future, I've yet to bring both devices into a meeting yet. But I think together they will make for interesting mixed-collaborative use in a longer sitting meeting to use the iPad for web or document viewing while simultaneously using the 7" tablet for notetaking. Likely, something to try next week.

I want to hear your



Thu 9/27/12 10:03pm # | tweet this



This thing that changed the world.

There are all sorts of inventions that change the world. And then we quickly get used to them, and marveling at their wonders turns to noticing their imperfections.

The world is elastic, you stretch it, and it finds a way to regain it's shape the best it can, as quickly as it can.

Don't believe the hype. But believe the hype when it becomes S.O.P.

I want to hear your



Thu 9/27/12 9:53pm # | tweet this



7in Day

Primarily used the Onda V701 all day. Worked well. Excellent battery life. Very convenient that it charges off usb without a charger too. I plugged it in once for about an hour midday, and then just recently. Fairly heavy use.

The device won't replace my iPad 2 as my primary device, but I am digging the form factor for some things.

It takes up a little less room at the diner table and is a little easier to weld one handed when sitting on the couch watching TV with Jenn.

So far I've been impressed with Ice Cream Sandwich. It's a little rougher around the edges than iOS, but there are some nice things about it, like I do dig having access to a real file system.

I have a bag for it that should deliver soonish, and then I will probably try venturing out with it's smaller self to some places that the iPad is just a little too large and awkward for.

I want to hear your



Wed 9/26/12 10:09pm # | tweet this

Onda V701 - Hulu Plus and Netflix

Ok, two bummers to report. Hulu Plus App, launches and tells me the device is not supported for video playback, although it will let you manage your queue, for what little that's worth. Netflix App installs, but doesn't even get to a title screen. It just launches and immediately closes. Xfinity App doesn't seem to offer any streaming playback either, but works in all other regards (I don't know if the Xfinity lack of streaming is a device thing or an Android thing though.)

I want to hear your



Wed 9/26/12 9:52pm # | tweet this



Android Paper Camera Test

Used an app called Paper Camera on the new Android Tablet and tested uploading to my blog with it.

I want to hear your



Wed 9/26/12 9:19pm # | tweet this



Onda V1701 Android 4.0 Tablet

Last Friday ordered a cheap, $87.99, noname 7" Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet from Hong Kong. It arrived today. Considering they shipped it Monday morning, I thought Wednesday afternoon delivery was pretty fantastic for $7 shipping.

This is a pretty spiffy device. Nice article and demo video on Red Ferret and here's it's incredibly non-descript order page.

Here's it's specs:


Quick, just out of the box impressions:

It came in a decent if generic enough box. I opened it up and started playing with it right away. I has the Google Play store, so after entering in my google account info, I immediately downloaded some apps I had previously bought for my phone as well as all the usual free app suspects: twitter, facebook, dropbox, pandora, etc. etc.

The device has a 5 point capacitive touch screen, that's very responsive. You can pinch to zoom and all that good stuff. Keyboard is very snappy too and kept up acurately with my typing.

I installed Sketchbook Pro and tried some drawing. There's a tiny ammount of lag, but not annoying and pinch to zoom in Sketchbook pro made it fairly easy to zoom in and out drawing and erasing on the small screen. My Sensu capacitive stylus brush also worked fairly well in Sketchbook Pro too.

I installed Android Comic Viewer and pulled a CBR from my dropbox and the pages turned nice and quickly.

I installed Songza, and while the external speaker was a little tinny, the device streamed music nicely in the background while I played around with other apps.

No problem with Youtube. And I'm looking forward to trying the HDMI with my TV a little later.

All sounds good so far right? What's the catch? Why is this Dual Core, 1 gig of ram, 8 gig of onboard storage 7" tablet so cheap? Well mostly because of the screen. The screen is only 800x400 resolution and at the 7" size it's not the sharpest. The viewing angle is pretty substandard by today's standards, and the brightness level leaves a bit to be desired. So if a meh screen is going to really bug you, this might not be the device for you.

But beyond the screen, it's a very snappy device, very responsive, and ice cream sandwhich Android 4.0 feels much more modern to me than my aging 2.3 Gingerbread Evo phone.

If you're a hacker/hobbiest etc. and your looking for a cheap Android tablet or second device to toy around with... I'd reccomend this highly. At half the price of the Nexus 7, if you can deal with the dated screen res and viewing angle, you're going to be quite happy with the purchase.

If you're looking for a first device, I'd still reccomend an iPad or a Nexus 7... both of those devices are well worth the cost and will serve you well as a primary tablet, but if like me, you already have an iPad, but want to dabble abit in Android, or I suppose if that extra hundred for the Nexus 7 is just more than you want to swing, this is a very snappy device that you should enjoy.

Onda V701

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Sun 9/23/12 8:54pm # | tweet this

Renaissance Fair

Photos of today's trip to the Renaissance Fair in Holly with Jennifer's parents (A couple of the pics are their's as well that I grabbed off Facebook.)

I want to hear your



Sat 9/22/12 5:30pm # | tweet this



Maps

It's been interesting to see all the hate for Apple's Map switch. Google Earth is still a downloadable app. Google's Map website still works, but the internet has lost it's sh-t of the week over Apple replacing Their map app back end with their own solution instead of Google's.

Most of the functionality still exists in one free app or another.

Near as I can tell people seem to think the iPhone in their hand is a device and not hardware portal to services. That I suppose would explain the frustration, they think Apple changed their device perhaps.

People may think Apple broke their device, when really Apple just changed their service. McDonald Shamrock shakes may no longer be being offered, but it's ok, Dairy Queen's still exist, options still exist, it'll be ok. It's easy to see a resturaunt as a service industry, but these smartphones, less so it seems.

More and more iPhone apps are tied to cloud services. More and more, these "devices" aren't really devices at all, they are portals to those services. And services, especially digital ones, are always going to be subject to change.

I want to hear your



Sat 9/22/12 1:43pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


The Internet Is Opinion Saturated And Why I Am Quitting The Debates [Opinion]
source: MakeUseOf.com

An opinion piece about if the internet is too saturated with opinions. Yes, yes it is.

Speed Up Typing And Other Tasks With Your Head Using Switch Via Cam [Windows]
source: MakeUseOf.com

This is an interesting app. You create a hotspot on your webcam video, and then whenever you swipe a had through that spot or something causes those pixels to change, an action is triggered.

1277/365 - Pizza Pinwheels
source: Jennifer\'s 365 Project

Pizza Pinwheels Jennifer made last week.

Does High Definition Resolution Even Matter For You? Reader Intelligence Report
source: Unplggd

Depends on the type of show. Although over the last year or two, I've gotten much more picky about finding the HD channels for things. Probably less about the resolution and more about those black sidebars though.




Toy soldier stop-motion animation
source: Boing Boing

Cute. Almost Monty Python-esk.

It's Our First Clip From Arrow And There's An Awful Lot Of Sound Effects
source: Bleeding Cool

It's got that detective from Caprica in it. Cool.


Joshua Middleton shares art from Green Lantern animated series
source: Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

Neat stuff. May need to use as an action figure background display.

She-Design/He-Design: Pat Billings Punisher!
source: Project Rooftop

Punishette!

New day job starts tomorrow. Wish me luck.
source: dean trippe | moonbase a

Nice.

Leibal: A World of Modern Design Direct to Your Doorstep Store Profile
source: Unplggd

These fold down shelves are a neat idea.

Former Palm employees take to Kickstarter to fund Hiku shopping list gadget
source: PreCentral.net

I like the idea of this as a standalone gadget that you can just leave in the kitchen all the time. Bar Code Scanner and Voice to text annotator. Nice.

Makerbot Announces Replicator 2 and other goodies
source: SolidSmack.com

Makerbot continues to go to higher prices.Not so high that a middle class hobbiest couldn't buy one, but high enough for these to go mainstream.

Dumbo Folding Bunk Bed
source: Likecool

Neat.

The Holdster Mason Jar Mug
source: Likecool

Neat. Thing is a kickstarter when really it should just be an etsy item.

ONDA V701 Dual Core 7 Inch Tablet PC for $87.99 should seriously worry Apple
source: The Red Ferret Journal - gadgets, cool sites, freeware and tech trivia

I ordered one of these.

I want to hear your



Thu 9/20/12 6:47pm # | tweet this

New Action Figure

Just got Elastigirl today. Nice figure and larger than I thought she'd be.

Doom Patrol

Pretty good looking Doom Patrol now

Doom Patrol

Elastigirl and Apache Chief

As you can see, she stands up to Apache Chief pretty well.

I want to hear your



Sun 9/16/12 8:15pm # | tweet this

Recent action figure pick-ups

Miles Morales Action Figure Package Front

Miles Morales Spider-man - Just picked this up at Walmart today. Nice figure. Full articulation.

Miles Morales Action Figure Package Back

I've read a little of the the Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-man, what I've read has been pretty good. I've really been enjoying th 616/Ultimate crossover Spider-men though. Really good mini-series so far.

Miles Morales Spider-man

Miles Morales Spider-man

Captain Caveman - picked up at ToysRus.com. Pretty decent figure especially for the low price.

Captain Caveman

For a 3.5" figure, the Captain works pretty good with 6" scale.

Captain Caveman with B'wana Beast for scale

Zoom - Reverse Flash

I'm actually suprized that up until now I didn't have a Proffesor Zoom or Zoom Reverse Flash action figure.

Zoom - Reverse Flash close-up

The first Superhero comic I can remember getting was actually a Flash comic featuring Green Lantern and Professor Zoom.

Robot Chicken Fanboy

Robot Chicken Fanboy. This was clearanced at ToysRus.com and I added it to my cart to help balance out the shipping charges on Captain Caveman. Amusing character.

Robot Chicken Fanbow with Zoom for scale

I also have the Mad Scientist and the Robot Chicken in one of my boxes as well, but didn't have a chance to dig it out for the shot.

X-Man: Forge

Forge was an obscure figure on my to get list. Originally part of a two pack ToysRus exclusive, I believe. I picked him up pretty reasonably as a single on ebay. No Accessories, but I'm sure I'll be able to dig a gun out of my parts box for him later.

I want to hear your



Sat 9/15/12 12:00pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


Can't wait for Star Trek Into Darkness? Here are 2 new ultra-dark Trek spinoffs! [Video]
source: io9

Starring an aged Checkov and Tuvok. Interesting, will need to watch later.

The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity Suggest a Better Way to Choose Politicians
source: Neatorama

Lot's of great links I've added to my reading list.
A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
Cipolla gave an insulting, yet possibly accurate, description of any human group: “human beings fall into four basic categories: the helpless, the intelligent, the bandit, and the stupid.”



Power Up Your Copy & Paste Functions With These 2 Tools [Windows]
source: MakeUseOf.com

The Paste as File app they feature is pretty cool. Let's you paste text or images on your clipboard directly to a file in windows explorer.

Genuinely cool Power Rangers animated shorts
source: Super Punch

Neat animations.

Standards
source: Neatorama


A Day in the Life of YouTube Star Felicia Day [VIDEO]
source: Mashable!

3 min video, really just on the Guild set.

Ubiquitous surveillance rap
source: Boing Boing


Hard Boiled Punisher Fan Film (Starring Thomas Jane)
source: Neatorama

I haven't seen yet, but it's added to the watch list.

The Nicholas Cage Couch
source: Neatorama

That's a couch that noone will ever make out on.

First film shot using Google Glass debuts on YouTube
source: DVICE

Not really an interesting video. But there are some interesting structures imployed, such as the use of mirrors, etc. to include the video taker in the shot during the recording. This uses multiple Glasses. It will be interesting to see what comes out of single camera uses of the device once they reach circulation.

Spooky Bat Clothespins
source: Likecool

Interesting, these wouldn't be too hard to make either.

Tim Cook Should Have Done This At Today's iPhone 5 Event [Humor]
source: Gizmodo

Amusing College Humor video.

First-year criminal law course in webcomic form
source: Boing Boing

Great read, I'm about 6 or 7 posts in at the moment.

I want to hear your



Sat 9/15/12 11:04am # | tweet this

Pure Michigan Statewide Singalong

Fairly terrible singing, but A for effort and editing.

I want to hear your



Thu 9/13/12 8:14pm # | tweet this



USA Today.

The above branding positioning video is so well done. So epicly bland, vanilla and perfectly targeted at a US mainstream ideal that it makes me want to quit my profession for lack of wanting to be associated with this type of work.

Well done USA Today advertising agency. Well done, but this is why people hate us.

USA Today

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Thu 9/13/12 8:01pm # | tweet this



Negativity gets a bad rap

Alot of it, is probably the name. Perhaps the tide wouldn't continue to go against negativity if it had a less negatively defined name.

I did a quick google search for synonyms to negative and I saw this one:

pri·va·tive/ˈprivətiv/
Adjective: (of an action or state) Marked by the absence, removal, or loss of some quality normally present.
Noun: A privative attribute, quality, or proposition.
Synonyms: negative
Privative has a nice sound to it doesn't it? It sounds like private and people generally feel pretty good about privacy.

So lets talk about appropriate privativity (Is that a version of privative? I don't know, but I'm going to run with it.)

Being privative, need not be a bad thing. Appropriate privativity cuts to the chase, let's everyone know where you stand on an issue. It also points out where problems lie so that they can be addressed. Identifying that there is a problem is the first step in solving it. You have to point out the privative parts first before you can fix something.

When you go to the emergency room, they find the worst things wrong with you and treat those first. They don't tell you "My you're having a great hair day." They tend to focus on the bullet wound first. This is a good thing.

Privative comments about one's work or ideas are not the same as privative comments about one's self. Too often people confuse the two.

Yes privativity can be a drain on energy. Emotional buckets can be filled quite quickly with the right privative remarks. And people who conflate a privative comment about their work with their self can get hurt quickly. But that's sometimes the price to pay for a privative's efficiency of cutting to the chase, and when looked at that way--…privativity can be an invaluable utility.

Privative

I want to hear your





Wed 9/12/12 9:42pm # | tweet this

Thoughts on today's Apple presentation

The iPhone 5 - Nice, but for the most part, incremental improvements. Nothing that really shifts the market or userspace anywhere. The fact that the iPhone 4 is now such a bargain on contract, will probably do more to bring additional people to iPhone than the iPhone 5 will.

The new connector - It's nice that it's smaller, it's annoying that it's not a micro usb. Largely, it's just going to be a pain for people for 2 years. The large connector had become so ubiquitous that even though it was proprietary to Apple, it was functionally as available USB. Hotels have had alarm clocks with the old connectors for several years now. Now everyone is going to need those little adapters everywhere they go.

Apple marketing videos - Are competely a parody of themselves now. They're marketing videos really need a freshened, more human approach. Yeah they are making money hand over fist now, and probably don't see it that way, but the Jony Ive on the white background breaking it down do you gentle point by gentle point has got to go.

iPod Touch - People who have these, love them. I have a 4th Generation. I love mine. I hardly ever use mine since I got my iPad, but it's a nice device. The new iPod Touch is a seriously well built, well speced machine, but $299? You could probably play Fruit Ninja just as easily on the larger screened $200 Nexus 7.

iPod Nano - This pretty much looks like a device for runners now. Even has the little Nike Swoosh as an app.

EarPods - Yes they branded their headphones. No idea, I'll have to put some in my ears sometime.

iTunes - Looks like it's still pretty crappy. Dropbox and the fact that iOS devices can update all by themselves now makes it fairly unnecessary I suppose, so no bother I guess.

iOS6 is coming next Wednesday. Facebook, Shared Photo Streams, Passbook, lots of phone feature upgrades, better mail app. Cool stuff.

What they didn't announce

They didn't announce an iPad mini. They're supposed to announce that in October now. With the iPod Touch priced at $299, it'd be weird for an iPad mini to be cheaper than that, wouldn't it? $350 then maybe? Dunno, I think the iPad is better than the Nexus, but I'm not sure that it's twice the price better than the Nexus for the average person right now.

They didn't announce anything with Apple TV. Seems like if you were going to do a new TV product, you do it in the Fall as the new TV season got underway, but dunno, I suppose they did just release the last one in March, so maybe it's too soon.

They didn't announce anything that shook things up. If you were waiting to buy a new iPhone or iPod Touch, or are a couple generations back on either, well, you can confidently give Apple your money later this week and not worry about having last years model for 12 months, but if you are only a generation behind, you'll probably shrug and just keep rocking your existing device and not have to buy a bunch of connector adapters.

Last thoughts

Now that the Apple iPhone keynote is out of the way, any other tech companies can feel free to make a reach for the spotlight, and not get lost in the iPress. So hopefully, someone else announces something neat in the coming weeks.

I want to hear your





Tue 9/11/12 8:56pm # | tweet this



Exciting Sh-t from Apple Day

Tomorrow is exciting sh-t from Apple day! As technolusters are want to do, we will all tune into the liveblogs tomorrow at 1pm and watch each minute announcement and marvel at off center cellphone camera shots that document every moment of Apple's CEO in front of a giant stage-size powerpoint presentation.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking it. For gadget lovers these keynotes are Christmas.

In a world where we generally do know what's coming, Apple still manages a suprize or two at these shows, even if it's something minor. And while it won't likely be flying cars or jetpacks or anything crazy like Google's Project Glass Skydivers there will likely be some neat new calendar app function or some weird new way to attach or send an email. Something likely mundane that will no doubt change in some small way how we use our mobile phones or tablets everyday.

And that's the cool thing. Something new is coming. It may not be earth shattering, it may not make you wake up and reorder how you think about your entire life, but there will be something new. And that anticipation of the newness, that's a fun feeling that one doesn't always come by every day.

So bring on tomorrow's new sh-t Apple. If it turns out to be a flying car, all the better, but if it's just a new awesome calendar notification badge or something? We'll take that too.

Check out The Verge Liveblog tomorrow

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Tue 9/11/12 6:41pm # | tweet this



Yes, we should be very concerned

I don't disagree with the stance on data caps... But it's a creepy statement still.

Article

I want to hear your





Mon 9/10/12 6:19pm # | tweet this



Sensu Capacitive Brush for iPad

Just came home and unboxed my Sensu Capacitive brush that I ordered from Thinkgeek. Tried it out real quick and I really like it. It's very natural feeling. The soft brush seperates you from the hard glass feel you get with the iapen or a rubber tipped stylus. I think I prefer to draw with my iPen, but this is much much better to paint with than the iPen. It'd be nice to have both ends in a single device.

In anycase, the Sensu brush is much nicer than a rubber tipped stylus for painting (although probably not for notetaking) It does have a rubber tipped back end, so you can use the other end for that.

Neat device, works with any app, I'd reccomend.

Sensu brush on Thinkpad

I want to hear your



Sun 9/09/12 10:13pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


Google Glass Graces the Runway at New York Fashion Week
source: Mashable!

Darlink, you must tell me who you are wearing? Goo Gogol, lovely darlink, lovely, I must meet this man and have him craft a pair of these wonderful frames for me before Buffy's next get together in the Hamptons.

Inch-Tall Crocheted Superheroes
source: Neatorama

Cool.

Apple Patent Would Disable Smartphones by Location [VIDEO]
source: Mashable!

This seems like a ridiculously simple idea for a patent doesn't it? Shouldn't something have to be more novel than this to warrant a patent?

Luxury Cat Playhouse
source: Neatorama

What a cool idea.

Dracula's Denture Cookies
source: Neatorama

These seem simple enough to make. Nice use of almond slices.

What Americans Do All Day
source: Neatorama

Interesting.

How Slingshots Worked Before Rubber [Video]
source: Gizmodo

The crossbow-like sling he makes at the 4 minute mark is interesting.


How to Create a Mini Ironing Table
source: Instructables: exploring - featured

Neat.

Google spreadsheets, now with discussions
source: Official Google Docs Blog

Interesting, now you can make each one of your spreadsheet cell's social.

I want to hear your



Sun 9/09/12 7:22pm # | tweet this



Blackboard paint spraypainted Smuckers jar

Sure I could have just took the jar and put pencils in it unadorned, but what am I uncivilized?

In anycase, I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought, I have pencils that I could put in a spraypainted jar, so I bought a can of blackboard spraypaint at Michael's (no I didn't have a 50% coupon when I bought the spray paint, but do you know what? They printed me a 50% off coupon for my next purchase on my receipt tape after I bought the spraypaint. I can't figure out if I'm happy about that or if it really was sort of a F-ck You to me by them, as in, we could have charged you $3.25 less on this thing you just bought, but we're betting you lose/forget about this 50% off coupon we're giving you right now before your next shopping visit here... so like have a nice day buddy. er, uh but I digress.)

Anyway, I wrote "write" on it with a piece of chalk and then I thought, when was the last time I wrote anything with pencil. So I erased the word write and chalked in the word "draw" instead, but really when you think about it, what little drawing I do, I usually do on the tablet or computer now, so maybe I should have just wrote "neat crafty thing I saw on Pinterest" instead, but it's a small jar and that seemed like too many letters.

I also spraypainted an empty can of spagettios, but I haven't put anything in that yet, so without contents in the can, what would I chalk/write on it? Yeah, I couldn't think of anything either, hence no picture.

I want to hear your



Sun 9/09/12 6:54pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


CupChair App Lets You Take 360 Degree Pictures With Just an iPhone and a Cup [Apps]
source: Gizmodo

This is a great idea, but I'd rather it just exported an animated gif than it get all crazy into embedding from their site. Some things just work better as apps without services, but everyone wants to do apps with a service backend now.

Thrillbending At Baltimore Comic Con
source: Bleeding Cool

While I really like what Waid is trying to do with Thrillbent.com, so far it's very much just a portal approach. There's nothing wrong with that really. And if someone of Mark Waid's talent and stature can get some others of the Big Two/Comic Creating guard to experiment with digital delivery of their comics, I think that's very much a good thing.

What I think is really needed though, is a good subscription and discovery system. There was some traction building with RSS, before Twitter and Facebook came along and stole it's thunder. Twitter and Facebook subscriptions/follows are easier than RSS for most people, but they clutter up the content delivery with a lot of news, social chat and randomness in a way that you didn't see as much with RSS.

In anycase, even with a good feed subscription, once you click the link you're thrown into so many different formatting experiences. Some sites work well on iPad, some work better on desktop. Some sites have content prominent, some sites lose their content in a random cacophony of pop up, page dominating ads.

The syndication issue (being able to control what content about the property hits you and how it's queued) and orderly bundling with unrelated content (queuing unrelated content from different producers while still allowing them control over their ad placement and revenue) those two things still need to be solved.

Instapaper, Readability, and Flipboard are doing some interesting work in the space, but again, they're all single corporation, one-portal approaches. There doesn't seem to be any standards body tackling this problem at all.

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Sun 9/09/12 1:52pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


Amazon Kindle, Google Nexus 7 Ads Shamelessly Rip Off Apple Ads
source: Mashable!

I think it's interesting to note, the unbranded world this little girl lives in. She doesn't have an Elmo, or a Barbie, Legos, or any recognizable brand name toys. She lives in a world of Etsy-handmade created play things. (Well except for a 30+ year old Curious George book in the opening section.)

Lightspeed Presents . . . "My Wife Hates Time Travel" by Adam-Troy Castro [Lightspeed Presents]
source: io9

Cute short story, give it a read. I always wondered that about Orange.

Geek Kids : PLAYMAT 4 in 1 Workshop
source: ThinkGeek :: What\'s New

Cute.

eBook Settlement Big Win For Amazon & Consumers
source: ReadWriteWeb

Interesting.

Eken G70 $99 Android 4.0 Tablet Gets Handled at IFA 2012, Features 3G Modem (Video)
source: Tablet News

Decent devices at $100 or slightly sub-$100 are now possible. They are a bit uneven and slightly incompatible with one another, but they're available. What I'm interested in now, is what happens when you enter an area with alot of people and all start using the same app. Not network effects at home, or distributed over a city, but network efects in the same hall or theater. Should be interesting once it starts to get going.

Warren Ellis on life in the science fiction condition
source: Boing Boing

Really good stuff. Click the link above and read the entire post.
In the last ten years, we’ve discovered two previously unknown species of human. We can film eruptions on the surface of the sun, landings on Mars and even landings on Titan. Is all of this very boring to you? Because all this is happening right now, in this moment. Check the time on your phone, because this is the present time and these things are happening. The most basic mobile phone is in fact a communications devices that shames all of science fiction, all the wrist radios and handheld communicators. Captain Kirk had to tune his fucking communicator and it couldn’t text or take a photo that he could stick a nice Polaroid filter on. Science fiction didn’t see the mobile phone coming. It certainly didn’t see the glowing glass windows many of us carry now, where we make amazing things happen by pointing at it with our fingers like goddamn wizards.

[snip]

Use the rear view mirror for its true purpose. If I were sitting next to you twenty-five years ago, and you heard a phone ring, and I took out a bar of glass and said, sorry, my phone just told me it’s got new video of a solar flare, you’d have me sectioned in a flash. Use the rear view mirror to imagine telling someone just twenty five years ago about GPS. This is the last generation in the Western world that will ever be lost. LifeStraws. Synthetic biology. Genetic sequencing. SARS was genetically sequenced within 48 hours of its identification. I’m not even touching the web, wifi, mobile broadband, cloud computing, electronic cigarettes…

Understand that our present time is the furthest thing from banality. Reality as we know it is exploding with novelty every day. Not all of it’s good. It’s a strange and not entirely comfortable time to be alive. But I want you to feel the future as present in the room. I want you to understand, before you start the day here, that the invisible thing in the room is the felt presence of living in future time, not in the years behind us.

Can fandom change society? PBS video
source: Boing Boing

Interesting video. Not sure what my thoughts on it are. On the one hand, the only way to create a new reality is to envision a reality different than the one that currently exists. On the other hand how much time should be spent in these fictitious realities?

Barnes & Noble Rumored to Leave Android, Approach Windows 8 for Future Nook Tablet
source: Tablet News

That would be interesting. Not sure B&N really is a technology company at it's heart. Amazon surely is. But could B&N really offer something unique if they're on top of Windows RT? Then again, turning all those Barnes and Noble manned Nook Kiosks into something that promoted Windows RT, would be probably a very good thing for Microsoft. Things they keep on a changing.

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Sat 9/08/12 5:15pm # | tweet this

Blandford Nature Center

Jennifer and I went to the Blandford Nature center this afternoon. Nice little suburban nature center near Lake Michigan drive.

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Fri 9/07/12 12:42pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing



Amazon's New Kindle Fire Tablets Are Ad-Supported, Bet You Didn't Know That
source: Tablet News

It's like Amazon is almost a 21st century cable company of sorts, and their tablets are the cable box. They're not really "yours". Also what you buy is unlikely to really be yours either since it's only going to be viewable on the Amazon devices and apps.

DC Collectibles Reveal Figure of Newest Green Lantern
source: Action Figure Insider - Best Toy News on the Web!

Simon Baz DC Collectibles Green Lantern Action Figure Spring 2013

LED 49-unit Quadcopter Formation Foreshadows The Robot Takeover
source: the How-To Geek

That's some impressive, yet creepy sh-t.




A sneak preview of next week's issue of Suicide Squad [Comics]
source: io9

I've ranted on this before. But this is not Amanda Waller.



Half of Old Hungarian Ikarus Bus Becomes an Office
source: Furniture, Gadgets, Inspiration and More for a Better House

Very cool.




Men's Clothing Store Called 'Hitler' Agrees to Change Its Name
source: Brandweek News - All

Still too soon.
Doctor Who Season 7 (Part I) Episode Titles and Posters
source: THE BEAT

Very cool, but here be spoilers, albeit of the minor TV Guide variety.
Pogo Connect Pressure Sensitive iPad Stylus Ships In October
source: TechCrunch

So many of these styli out taking slightly different approaches. It'd be nice if Apple just baked this functionality in and solved this.

I want to hear your



Thu 9/06/12 7:02pm # | tweet this



Gadgets vs. Services

This was probably the most interesing slide in today's Amazon Kindle presentation. I think there is some truth in it, and I think it will probably be where we end up, but I think there is a whole lotta love still left for the gadgetness of gadgets. And while most people probably do just want services, they're going to be influenced just a little longer by the rabid gadget fans ethusiasm for the latest gigabye or resolution bump. At least until phones and tablets plateu in functionality for the average computer like desktops and laptops have. You rarely hear people go on abot the latest laptop and desktop advances, because for the most part, they don't matter much to the average (non-gamer) user. Phones and Tablets will get to that point-- but not this year.

All Things Digital

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Thu 9/06/12 # | tweet this

The Verge did a great livestream of the Amazon event.
My comments, in reverse chronological order are below.

They have a 4G LTE version of the 8.9" Kindle HD. For $49.99 a year, you get 250mb a month of data. That's not bad, you wouldn't be downloading movies on the go, but it'd be great for twitter, facebook and email as well as most apps and books. Of course, the $499 pricepoint for this unit puts you into iPad territory, and you'd probably be better off getting one of those and just hunting for a wi-fi hotspot or something. Still, if that 4G plan pricepoints can trickle to other devices soon, all sorts of interesting possibilities open up.

2012-09-06 14:59:30

$299 for the Kindle HD 8.9" is a bit too steep though, seems unlikely it will compete well against an iPad Mini at that price.

2012-09-06 14:53:48

Larger 8.9" Kindle Fire looks pretty cool. It has dual Wi-fi Antennas, which sounds useful. 254ppi resolution which is fantastic. Claiming 41% faster than the iPad 3's wi-fi.

Audio book and kindle book syncing. Follow the bouncing ball (highlighted passage) as the book is read to you. I wouldn't use this, but it'd be neat for kids. X-ray in videos, let's you tap an actor and get their IMDB page.

Set time-limits for kids, a little authoritarian for my tastes, but for the parent who wants to control their child electronically, I'm sure it will be popular.

2012-09-06 14:43:40


I spoke too soon. They are keeping a low end Kindle, priced at $69. That's excellent. Pretty much no excuse for someone not to buy an ereader now.

2012-09-06 14:02:51


New Paperwhite Kindle. Nice improvements, but nothing revolutionary, worth upgrading my eink reader. Honestly it almost has too many features. I would have hoped the category would continue to get simpler and cheaper so that you'd start seeing the devices lying around like clipboards of sorts.

2012-09-06 13:57:24

Haven't got to the storage unit yet, but am watching the Amazon event live stream now.

2012-09-06 13:41:21

Just loaded up the bread machine, Fresh bread for dinner tonight. Going to grab a quick sandwich for lunch and then going to work on some organization stuff (moving over some things from the storage unit. Amazon Keynote in an hour, will probably peek at that too.

9/6/12 - 12:27pm

I want to hear your







Tue 9/04/12 5:06pm # | tweet this

In brightest day...

...in blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power Green Lantern's Light!

Saw this in the Hallmark store today. it plays a voice recording of the oath, how could I pass that up?

I want to hear your



Tue 9/04/12 8:41am # | tweet this



Y'know this sort of stuff is coming. As geeks age, there'll be a whole new category of licensed products available.

I want to hear your



Mon 9/03/12 9:26pm # | tweet this



Laser printed 3x5 index card

I found out I can print on regular 3x5 index cards on my black and white laser printer. Very cool, I may actually use my printer more. With the cell phone, I almost always just email myself stuff, and I almost never need a full 8.5x11 inch print out of something, but I can see printing on these 3x5 cards and magneting up notes on the fridge or what not.

I tried my color laser printer but the smallest it would go down to was 6.3", so no 3x5 index cards for it.

In anycase, on the black and white laser, I set-up a custom 3x5 paper size in the printer driver set-up and in Adobe Illustrator I created a template (with the correct margins) so that I've got a quick go to icon that I can double click open in Illustrator and paste pictures or text onto the right sized card.

Should be handy.

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Mon 9/03/12 9:19pm # | tweet this



It is Risen!

My first bread machine made bread, a honey white, is a tasty success!

I want to hear your



Mon 9/03/12 6:59pm # | tweet this



Washed and repurposed a Mouthwash Cap into a rice cup for a narrow jar. Tomorrow I'll go to dollar store and realize I could have just used a small plastic dixie cup.

I want to hear your



Mon 9/03/12 5:07pm # | tweet this



Rise!

I was tought this afternoon how to use the bread machine. It was not complicated, and actually abit disapointing in it's simplicity. In anycase, I have honey white bread, bread machining right now. Exciting photo of my finely crafted loaf, soon (in like 4 hours) to come.

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Mon 9/03/12 4:39pm # | tweet this



Smell the rainbow!

Dollar store scented candle. Smells just as sweet and sugary as you'd imagine it would.

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Mon 9/03/12 4:28pm # | tweet this



Clean Air

We got one of those Air Purifier oscilating tower things for the basement a couple weeks back. Placed it near the cat litter box. Boy has it made a big difference.

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Mon 9/03/12 3:23pm # | tweet this



Two Dollars!

Was in the dollar store and they had an whiteboard eraser and two markers for $2. They also had assorted mini whiteboard markers with the erasers right on the cap for $2. They took all the fun out of my future time killing eraser project.

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Mon 9/03/12 11:08am # | tweet this



Some new to me, neat iPad Apps

Downloaded and briefly played with three iPad apps this morning.

Edita
Nice free app, you can type text/html/javascript and toggle back and forth between source and browser. It's also has an internal folder structure so you can do .js includes and similar. It has ads, but once you are out of the directory browser view they're not too obnoxious.

Concept
Very cool app, like a more free form version of my beloved Index Card app I use. You can put sticky notes, scraps of paper and photos (either from the camera roll, or shot directly into the app) onto a canvas and move them around. A good way to save some trees and keep your desk looking tidy. Exports to camera roll and jpeg for easy sharing. This won't replace Index Card for me for everyday task management, but I could see using this for individual projects that have multiple pieces that I need to keep track of.

Remarks
Normally I reach for Good Reader for reading documents, but Remarks is a very clean pdf reader and annotator. You can freeform draw (circle, underline, scribble etc.) and also create free floating text boxes right on top of a PDF page. The app can be connected to dropbox for download and upload once you've annotated your pdfs. I look forward to the next work meeting where I can play with this app in more depth.

I want to hear your



Sun 9/02/12 11:37pm # | tweet this



I think I'll let the internets recharge

Enough surfing for today. Up to bed.

I want to hear your



Sun 9/02/12 10:19pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


An Event Apart: Designing Meetings to Work
source: LukeW | Digital Product Design and Strategy

Scale meetings to people’s needs

  • We have different levels of involvement in projects: being aware, understanding the affect, collaborating, recognizing, or owning a project. If your project needs are at the bottom (being aware, understanding affect) all you need is check-ins or no meetings at all.
  • If you need recognition or collaboration, you might need traditional hour long meetings.
  • If you the owner of a project, full day or workshop session might be necessary.
  • Ensure your meetings are representative of the involvement you need.

Are We Alone? charticle
source: Boing Boing

Nice interactive HTML5 info graphic of the Drake equation.







The Republican Party Has a Reagan Hologram But Is Scared It Would Upstage Romney [Holograms]
source: Gizmodo

Now that Hologram Regan technology exists, it's only a matter of time before someone use it.

LEGO Lord of the Rings The Orcs Point of View [Video]
source: the How-To Geek

Poor Jerry.



Warner Bros. must be kicking themselves that they let Joss Whedon get away [Justice League]
source: io9

Warner Brothers Has no interest in Superheroes beyond Batman and Superman.


Space Time Impressionism
source: RIPT Apparel

Nice design, especially given the fantastic Van Gogh episode.


Star Trek Can Relate to Samsung's Feelings About Apple [VIDEO]
source: Mashable!

And let's not forget, the bridge looks like an Apple Store too.

Apple v Samsung: What if they had Patented the Alphabet?
source: Rushkoff Blog

Imagine we were just developing spoken language for the first time. And someone came up with a new word to describe an action, thought, or feeling - like “magnify” or “dreadful.” But in this strange world, the person who came up with the word demanded anyone else who used it to pay him a dollar every time the word was uttered. That would make it pretty difficult for us to negotiate our way to a society that communicated through speech.
Good article.

NPointer: Control Your Mouse Pointer Using Hand Gestures
source: MakeUseOf.com

Not exactly Kinect by any means but I could move the mouse pointer around with just my hands. Neat.

I want to hear your



Sun 9/02/12 6:34pm # | tweet this



These aren't being written for me any more

I read New 52, Justice League #12. The Superman kisses Wonder Woman issue. (Where the JLA also argues about whether they should still be heroes if they can't save every single innocent bystander)

Written by Geoff Johns and art by Jim Lee, this is DC's premiere creative team. But who really wants to read the above? Would a kid even find this to be plausable dialogue between Superman and Wonder Woman? Even with everybody rebooted and younger, I just don't see at what level this works on at all.

There hasn't been a single must read DC book for me since the New 52 launch last year.

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Sun 9/02/12 4:35pm # | tweet this



Eraser

We have this little whiteboard in the kitchen that we write our grocery and shopping list on (usually when we run out of something, we add it to the whiteboard). Whenever we go shopping we snap a photo of the whiteboard with our smartphones and then we have our list with us. You can even load the whiteboard grocery photo into a drawing app and cross things off as you shop.

Anyway it's a great system and we've been doing it for years. The only problem I never have a whiteboard eraser laying around. We always end up ripping off a small piece of paper towel and erasing with that.

It always feels wasteful to me to toss the paper towel after such a trivial use.

Anyway, I looked at Meijer and Target and didn't see "just the eraser" they all seemed to come in $10 kits with the markers. Sure $10 bucks isn't anything, but I really just wanted an eraser. So not seeing what I wanted, I started to think-- what is an eraser really except a block and some felt. Surely I could make something just as quick.

Now I probably could have just glued some felt to a small block of wood and called it a day, but I decided to play a bit. and came up with the above. There's a 3 piece sandwich of wood, although really it could have just been a solid block, And then there is a top piece of wood. the paper towel wraps around the whole thing and the top screws into it and clamps it together.

The whole thing is about the size of a business card. I ran some wire through the t bar section and have the whole thing hanging on a hook near the whiteboard.

I'll probably stain it or rebuild the whole thing as a nicer block of wood with some felt and an eyehook on some other day when I've got 30 minutes to kill again.

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Sat 9/01/12 5:01pm # | tweet this



Big and little screens

Did some errands and some shopping today. While out, I saw two new things.

Thing one: Aquous 80" LED TV. There was a display at Walmart. It was 6 1/2 feet long. Huge. Much larger than just trying to picture two 40" tvs side by side. The thing tryely looked like it was the bridge screen of the Starhip Enterprize. They had the new Madden game on the screen when I walked by it, It's hard to imagine playing video games on something like that. The google image picture above really doesn't do it justice.

Thing two: I was in Staples and I played briefly with the Google Nexus 7 tablet. I was not impressed. While it was certainly more responsive than my Gingerbread Android phone, it still had that Linuxy unfinished Android feel. One thing that really stood out to me was how they dedicated 50 pixels or so at the bottom of the screen to replicate in software, the standard Android hardware buttons. It seemed a waste to permanently lose that screen real estate to the home and menu buttons. After playing with it, I was kindof bummed, I had thought of maybe getting one of these, but after a few minutes of tinkering I quickly realized that I'd likely never use it over my iPad. If someone didn't want to spend out for an iPad, I'm sure the Nexus 7 would be perfectly fine, but if you can spare the extra iPad cash, I don't think it'd be regreted.

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Sat 9/01/12 12:08pm # | tweet this



New Doctor Who tonight!

New episode of Doctor Who tonight! I'm sure it will be Brilliant! Weekly adventures are back!

I want to hear your



Sat 9/01/12 10:51am # | tweet this



Watching grass grow

Finally looked out today and noticed my two different grass seed experiments are developing baby grass shoots. The photo on the top is a seed/food/mulch mix, you can see to the left that it comes with it's own green mossy looking cover.

The bottom is just regular seed that I added seed starter topsoil over.

Nice to see both are working.

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Sat 9/01/12 9:57am # | tweet this



Rockin Robins

Looked out on the lawn and saw 5 Robins scattered about. (only 3 pictured)

I haven't seen that many Robins since the last Batman Comic.

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Sat 9/01/12 9:46am # | tweet this



September? Already?

It's hard to believe it's September already. We're 3/4 of the way thru 2012 and headed into 2013. Crazy.

I'd be ok if the next couple months slowed down, just abit.

Perhaps this next week off will help that happen, just a little.

I want to hear your



Sat 9/01/12 8:53am # | tweet this



Twitter Party Fail

There was this major live tv event called the Republican National Convention last week. In days of twitter past it, as with other live events, it would have been twitter catnip for tweeple to produce a continuous stream of snark.

But no such thing, in my stream, anyway.

It seems of late, Twitter has moved from an internet ethos of free expression, to the same sort of measured comments one would make at a work party.

This turn of events saddens me because twitter used to be so much fun, and now it's so much more guarded. It's the real world now. And that's such a bummer.

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