May 2013

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Wed 5/29/13 7:24pm # | tweet this

Who Owns the Future

Wow... that went south fast. I've been reading Who Owns the Future by Jaron Lanier. The first half of the book is very very good. Then the second half of the book is completely worthless even as an intellectual exercise. It's like the guy who wrote the second half of the book didn't even read the guy who wrote the first half.

The book basically has two halves, the first half of the book looks at our digital landscape and networks in general and digitally in specific and explains where we are, how they work and how we got here. You'll read the first half and you'll have your eyes opened on a bunch of things-- you'll want to give up your participation in humanity and slit your wrists because it's so depressing, but it's very well thought and written, and as to the wrist slitting, honest truth can do that to you.

The second half of the book, the prescriptive or solution part, envisions some entirely different world populated by what I can only imagine are people from a different planet than those described in the first part of the book. There are so many inconsistencies with logic and human nature in the second half, and so many fanciful leaps of faith and suspensions of disbelief required to read the second half that I mostly had to start skimming it after a couple chapters in and then had to more or less give up entirely because the "Humanistic economy" he describes in the back half seems to belie no knowledge of the Humanistic reality he accurately describes in the front half.

As much as the first half of the book bummed me out in a good way. The back half of the book just bums me out for having it in the same container as the first half.

I do highly recommend the first half of the book. Just do yourself a huge favor and drop the book like a hot potato after the end of Chapter 17. The back half is just that bad.

I want to hear your



Mon 5/27/13 10:25am # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


The Graduation Song
source: Neatorama

Is high school graduation really about adulthood in our society anymore? With College all but mandatory for decent employment and kids staying on parents medical insurance until 26? Hmmm... doesn't seem to be the way things are going.

It's Not About the Nail
source: Likecool

Humor. Funny.

Video: This Live Action Version Of Wacky Races Is A Car Commercial, Of Course
source: Bleeding Cool

Very cool. Loved this cartoon when I was a kid.


Binge-watching forces “One Life to Live, All My Children to cut back on new episodes
source: NewTeeVee

Interesting learning based on difference between broadcast an streaming. Production switching from 5 hours to 2 hours a weeks.
The change in schedule, the company claims, is due to the fact that viewers are ďbinge-watchingĒ instead of watching one episode a day, and this makes it too hard for them to keep up.



How to Make Panda Bear Cookies
source: Neatorama

Nice.

Make a "Book" Shelf
source: Instructables: exploring - featured


Spider-Man's Mini-Me And The Rhino's Powersuit Revealed. Ish
source: Bleeding Cool

*sigh* always with the little kid scenes now.

I want to hear your



Sun 5/26/13 10:24am # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


New DC Unlimited GL and Beware the Batman Figure Images
source: Action Figure Insider - Best Toy News on the Web!


DIY Project: Make Your Own Slatted Console Table
source: Apartment Therapy - Chicago

Nice simple bench/table idea.


Google Glass Will Make Amateur Photographers Even More Annoying
source: Gizmodo

Funny. Misguided, but funny. I don't think this will be the case though, people will have multiple cameras on their person and use each as most appropriate/useful.


I want to hear your



Sun 5/26/13 9:32am # | tweet this

Game

Passage, extracted from a larger chapter, Who Owns the Future paraphrased ever so slightly for brevity, but I think the sentiment is still in tact.
[When people are measured] and the result has something to do with who gets rich and powerful, people don't just sit around [...] awaiting impartial assessment. Instead they play the game.

We geeky sorts would prefer that the world passively await our mastery to overtake it, though that is never so.

[...] big data about people is different. It doesn't just sit there; it plays against you. It isn't like a view through a microscope, but more like a view of a chessboard.

I want to hear your





Sat 5/25/13 7:24pm # | tweet this

Kneel before...

I picked this figure up from Meijer today. Also saw the Movie Supes (which I passed on). I did not however see Russell Crowe Gladiator Jor-El though.



Man of Steel Movie Masters 6" General Zod Packaging





Basic enough figure. Since I've yet to see the movie, it's as yet unknown whether this will "the" Zod to have. It's probably at least closer to the 1976 Superman movie zod than this 2007 DC Direct Comic Version though.

I want to hear your



Sat 5/25/13 11:41am # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


New Custom Tuesday 5/17/13
source: thefwoosh.com

Nice custom Morlocks.


Gutters: Issue #420 - Adam Moore
source: The Gutters

Parody about the upcoming Master of the Universe vs. DC Justice League Comic.

Wall mounted shoe rack from Pax door
source: IKEA Hackers

Interesting design.

What is Evolution?
source: io9

Nice basic video. Would be great for an elementary Science Class.

Google Glass apps: everything you can do right now
source: The Verge - All Posts

Good article, app by app walk thru on what you can currently do with Google Glass.


I want to hear your



Sat 5/25/13 11:29am # | tweet this

A copy of "Not quite a farewell note", more of a "we'll still be friends, but I'm going to be seeing other people" post that I just made on Flickr:

Iím not a fan of the new Flickr redesign. Itís not even that I donít like the visual look of it.My primary beef is: without warning they completely changed the service for paying customers. Iíve payed for a Pro account for years under the assumption that paying for a service would provide a little more reliability. Flickr has shown that not to be the case, so Iím planning to use it far less frequently and probably far differently than the personal photo site of record I have been using it as. (Iím also not pleased with their likely upcoming attention/advertising model)

I was able to put all my photos into one Set and download the full size images using a free service called flickandshare.com, so I have everything safely out of the service now. Likely I will eventually set up my own simple photo gallery (and give these photos a new home) on my website at chris-karath.com. Hosting your own services and codes seem to be the most reliable method for content that you want around for years to come.

Photos that are here now, will probably continue to be here, Yahoo willing, into the future.

Iím coming to believe that commercial services are fine for ephemeral content, but archival content seems better suited for self hosted methods.

Since Flickr has shown itself to be of unpredictable stability, and it appears to be transforming into more a social network than a photo service, Iíll probably plan on treating it as such. If you subscribe to my account for the action figures, Iíll probably from time to time still post a picture or two of those here with links back to my own site where Iíll likely start posting more photos.

If you follow for my personal photos, following me on Twitter or my personal blog atchris-karath.com will probably be your best bet. --- Best wishes, Chris.

I want to hear your



Mon 5/20/13 9:39pm # | tweet this



Web Services

Rambling rant follows...

Flickr went thru a major change today. No pre-announcement, warning, or heads up, just a major overall. Not something I was expecting since I had a paid account. On the surface everything seems dandy, but I liked the old Flickr better.

Of course this is also on the heels of Google Reader announcing that it was going away. Reader will end in another month or so. No good replacement options yet on the horizon for that service.

I'm at a low point at the moment in having faith in outside web services.

Currently this blog is hosted on Yahoo as well. The backend php and content management is completely original and hand coded by me, so no fear of the code going obsolete, but it does require PHP and MySQL to run, or at least the current live pages do, the older pages I convert to flat HTML files every month. Will Yahoo decide next month to get out of the webhosting business too? Or discontinue my flavor of PHP/MySql? Who knows, with any of these services, paid or not paid, it's their server, their rules. It's like renting an Apartment instead of owning a House, it's not really your place.

Of course, PHP and MYSQL are terribly popular, so there would be another service that this whole site could transfer to. PHP and MySQL are popular for now anyway. As I've said, most of the older pages are flat HTML files, and flat HTML seems terribly terribly stable doesn't it? Should be readable and servable for a good long while into the far distant future from some web host or server hardware at least, shouldn't it?

In related news, I'm currently reading Who Owns the Future? buy Jaron Lanier. It's very good so far, but alot of it's topics aren't helping my mood about web services at the moment. If you're so inclined, give the book a read though. It's good stuff.

Have a comment? Well, at the moment you can't leave one, because I gave up for while a while ago in a fight against a spammer that kept posting Viagra type ads in my comments, so there's email if you know that, or my twitter which is ckarath.

*Grumble* I'm just very soured on web services for any use beyond the utility of the immediate moment right now. They're way more transient than they need to be. I think I'll step away from the computer and go stew about it somewhere else for awhile.

I want to hear your



Sun 5/19/13 8:03pm # | tweet this



Star Trek into Darkness

I saw Star Trek into Darkness today. I liked it. I liked it better than Iron Man 3 too.

The "into Darkness" appears to only be there because Dark Knight made the word Dark popular. Because there is nothing terribly Dark about this movie. It's light and poppy for the most part and moves from scene to scene briskly.

There are a couple things that I'm not found of, with this Star Trek's technology, but nothing inconsistent with the first movie or itself.

There were only three complaints I have about this movie. Two are spoilers though, so I'll skip going into them here. But the complaints I do have, I wouldn't pay much mind to, they aren't faults with the movie or it's structure, their just personal peeves of mine that you might not mind at all.

There were a couple nods to both the previous movie and ealier Star Trek lore that I also thought was really well done. Again spoilers, so I'll stay vague.

There was less lens flare in this movie, so much less that I really didn't notice it, or maybe I'm just used to it now or something, who knows.

It's a very good Star Trek movie. Star Trek is better when on TV, but this was a very good Star Trek movie. Go see.

I want to hear your







Sat 5/18/13 12:49pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing





Cat Whack a Mole
source: ThinkGeek




Small footprint vertical bicycle stand
source: Instructables: exploring - featured

Neat.

Homemade Lemon Drops
source: Instructables: exploring - featured


Chocolate Caramellows
source: Instructables: exploring - featured


A Super Easy Arcade Machine from 1 Sheet of Plywood
source: Instructables: exploring - featured




Experiencing Life Away From Your Computer Screen
source: Mashable!

Ha. (Fortunately a problem I've had far less of since the S4... but can totally relate to during the days of the Evo.)


DC Collectibles Solicitations for Items In Stores November 2013
source: Action Figure Insider - Best Toy News on the Web!

19 DC direct/collectables action figures to be releaased in November 2013 and I only want one of them (Pandora).

Space Oddity without question the greatest Bowie cover ever recorded
source: The Red Ferret Journal - gadgets, cool sites, freeware and tech trivia

Astronaut Chris Hadfield cover of David Bowies' Space Oddity, made aboard the International Space Station. One of the coolest things ever. Seriously this is probably one of the top 10 neatest things ever to have been done in space. Footsteps and rovers are really cool, and I'd in no way want to diminish those, but this is real art crafted in space, a very human thing to do that I can't recall another prominent instance of beyond some wonderful photography of course.

How to make a paper bow
source: How About Orange

Cool. Simple.


Internet is Destroying the Middle Class
source: Neatorama

Interesting.



Could This Be the Future of Google Glass?
source: Mashable!

Interesting accept for the random father dieing bit.

I want to hear your



Sat 5/18/13 9:31am # | tweet this



Iron Downey Jr 3

Wednesday I saw Iron Man 3 with friends. I enjoyed it, but there were alot of issues with it. It has lots of good moments. Robert Downey Jr. continues to be fantastic as Tony Stark... but like Iron Man 2, they've continued to water down a lot of his more interesting qualities.

I think you can also see foreshadowing of things to come with hand of Disney creeping into and doing it's Disney-thing with these Marvel movies. The overuse of the kid(s), seemingly being the most heavy handed expression of the studio's likely meddling, and the Armour(s) scene likely existing primarily to push toys a bit too much too.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this movie, and I liked it a lot more than last year's Amazing Spider-man for example. Like Dark Knight Rises which I also enjoyed, in hindsight you can look back on Iron Man 3 and find no end to gaping plot and story loopholes. Both movies move along at a brisk enough pace where you don't pay that much attention while you're in them but afterwards, if you think about some of the story points, you're left with an awful lot that's loosely constructed.

Iron Man 3 is worth seeing in the theater though. Goo see.

If you've already seen Iron Man 3, Hittler does a pretty good job of breaking down the problems with the movie. Warning though, if you haven't seen the move, Hittler will SERIOUSLY SPOIL the movie for you.



I want to hear your



Sat 5/11/13 10:45am # | tweet this

Action Figures


Dark Knight Returns Batman package front

Batman Unlimited Dark Knight Returns Batman. Very nice figure that I picked up just a little higher than retail at C2E2.

Dark Knight Returns Batman package back

Dark Knight Returns Batman

Dark Knight Returns Batman

Yellow Lantern Hal and Blue Lantern Guy

DC Classics Yellow Lantern Hal Jordan and Blue Lantern Kyle Rayner that I picked up cheap on eBay. Also pictured below with a DC Direct Red Lantern Guy Gardner.

Skittle Corps

I want to hear your



Sat 5/04/13 9:09am # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing



Wacom outfits the Cintiq 22HD with multi-touch, bumps the price to $2,499
source: Engadget

Neat device... way to pricey though.

How to Export Your Starred Items From Google Reader
source: the How-To Geek

Article has a link to a python script that will turn your starred items into something readable too.

CBS CEO Moonves says he could take network cable-only in 'a few days' if Aereo prevails
source: The Verge - All Posts

So, is high speed internet going to mean the end to over the air untraceable, untrackable broadcast tv and radio?

The McDonalds Theory of Bad Ideas
source: Daring Fireball

Interesting. Manipulative, but interesting.


Is Warner Bros. just too stupid to make a Justice League movie?
source: io9

No, they just don't as a culture care about superheroes.

JCPenney Begs Customers to 'Come Back' in New Ad
source: Mashable!

Pandertising.

Rumor: Koch Brothers to buy 8 major newspapers, including LA¬ Times
source: Boing Boing

If you can't beat them, buy them and then transform them into something useless.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos appears in new film about the rise of e-books
source: DVICE

"If people don't get paid, they won't contribute. That's just not true"

What a great quote from this documentary movie trailer at the link.

WebColourData: Get a Color Breakdown Of Any Website
source: MakeUseOf.com

What a nicely done and useful website.



8.1 Inch Windows 8 Acer Tablet Gets Specced and Priced on Amazon; Acer W3-810 is Here!
source: Tablet News

At $349... this is interesting. At $299, I'd probably definitely buy.

I want to hear your



Thu 5/02/13 9:11pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


You'll be safe here.
source: dean trippe | moonbase a

Nice pic.

Has Kickstarter Lost Its Way?
source: Mashable!

Well, now that it's proven useful, the well organized (corps etc.) will soon start using it, yes.

Bruce Sterling on startups' role in helping the global rich get richer
source: Boing Boing

You're going to need to hang in there 3 minutes or so until it gets good, but this is absolutely fantastic video.

Barry
source: One Thing Well

Save full length webpages as images using your iPhone and iPad.

I want to hear your


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