May 2014

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Sat 5/31/14 4:20pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing



Why Everyone Is Obsessed With This Academic Book on Economics
source: io9

I've been reading this book slowly for the past week. Interesting so far.


Skype shown automatically translating multilingual voice calls
source: The Verge

I love that the example in the video is a "client" using this technology to nitpick a German designer's choice of green in a design. Go technology .~

Marvel Superheroes vs. Their DC Equivalents
source:

Some great comparisons here.



Doctor Who: Series 8 2014 - 'Rain' Fan Trailer
source: YouTube

Nice fan-made Capaldi Doctor Who Trailer.


New Matter Wants to Launch First $199 3D Printer
source: Mashable

6"x 5" x 4" build area.


Google's self-driving car isn't a car, it's the future | The Verge
source: The Verge

Given the unpredictability of weather and other issues, these seem highly unlikely to exist outside of controlled environments. They would be interesting on closed campuses or maybe in dedicated lanes. There are possibilities with the right street designs to have these replace select bus routes up and down various streets. But I really doubt I'll see them on the road mixed in with human driven vehicles in any great number in my lifetime.

10,000 robots coming to Amazon warehouses
source: The Verge

Kindof scary, really.


MIT Media Lab CityHome: What if 200 ft2 could be 3x larger?
source: YouTube

Interesting, but you could probably do all this without the motors and automation and it'd be just as easy.


Profile of a courtroom sketch artist
source: Boing Boing

Interesting 6 minute video.









Samsung is working with Oculus on a media-focused VR headset
source: Engadget

Really, Really interesting. There's still a competitive advantage problem to solve though, ie: while VR will be more immersive, will you actually be able to out compete another gamer using a traditional controller and a flatscreen.

Will VR just be a 3D movie? An interesting novelty, but non-essential? I think VR is something, but it also feels like tech that is forever, 5 years out?

I want to hear your



Sat 5/31/14 10:33am # | tweet this

Northern Michigan Trip

Jennifer and I spent some time in Northern Michigan, Traverse City, Empire, etc. this past week. It was beautiful weather and a nice getaway. Jenn has more write-ups on her blog, but two of my highlights was this really cool fog in the early afternoon that was hanging over one of the bays near the Sleeping Bear Sandunes, and also an early morning matinee of Annie Hall we caught at Michael Moore's Traverse City State Theater.

Good Times.

I want to hear your





Fri 5/16/14 4:26pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing






Wall-Mounted Standing Desk
source: Instructables


The Rules of the New Aristocracy
source: Fans of J. Michael Straczynski

A Carlin like Rant. Interesting though.

Think Oculus Rift is Immersive? Try This Augmented Reality Experience
source: Mashable

Circa 1948. Facinating narrative concept. I like how instead of rendering the people they're just vague ethereal columns of light. Video at the link.


Going broke in LA
source: Boing Boing




Constantine NBC Official Trailer [HD] | CONSTANTINE
source: YouTube

Fantastic looking trailer, I can not imagine NBC pulling off a show this good though.



The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Amazing Spoiler-FAQ
source: i09

Amusing Question and Answer style review.

DIY 21" Cintiq(Intuos)
source: Instructables





Kurt Vonnegut on Reading, Boredom, Belonging, and Hate
source: Brain Pickings

What is it the slightly older people want from the slightly younger people? They want credit for having survived so long, and often imaginatively, under difficult conditions. Slightly younger people are intolerably stingy about giving them credit for that.

What is it the slightly younger people want from the slightly older people? More than anything, I think, they want acknowledgement, and without further ado, that they are without question women and men now. Slightly older people are intolerably stingy about making any such acknowledgement.


Are you paid to look busy?
source: PBS

Interesting article above. Related but different video on "Guaranteed Income" below.


Buy My Volvo
source: LikeCool

Very nice personal used car video.


The Backfire Effect: The Psychology of Why We Have a Hard Time Changing Our Minds
source: Brain Pickings

Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm. You do this instinctively and unconsciously when confronted with attitude-inconsistent information. Just as confirmation bias shields you when you actively seek information, the backfire effect defends you when the information seeks you, when it blindsides you. Coming or going, you stick to your beliefs instead of questioning them. When someone tries to correct you, tries to dilute your misconceptions, it backfires and strengthens those misconceptions instead. Over time, the backfire effect makes you less skeptical of those things that allow you to continue seeing your beliefs and attitudes as true and proper.

DIY cat tent
source: Instructables



I want to hear your









Sun 5/04/14 11:06am # | tweet this

ding, the technology is done...

It was a really an uneventful fall, winter and spring in technology. Most likely because for the time being, technology is baked. Time to leave the kitchen now and bring it to the table to enjoy or put it off to the side for a while and maybe focus on some other things.

Do you have any communication problems left? Are you having difficulty sharing text, images, video or files? How many different ways do you have to send a message to friends, family or co-workers?

How about your entertainment? Books, music, movies, tv, games? You can stream or download just about anything you want without leaving your couch.

Editing your photos, composing that first draft, setting up that spreadsheet, setting up that slide show, recording that song, splicing together those video clips? Collaborate with others miles, states or continents away. You're probably not 3D modeling objects and printing them in 3D yet, but you know a guy or know a guy who knows a guy who does, and you could if you wanted too: Tinkercad, Rhino3D, Sculptris, ZBrush, Shapeways, Makerbot. Still a little pricey, for home, but not so much if you actually need them.

So what's next, if not tech? Food trucks, specialty resturaunts, microbrews, bakeries, hangouts, maker groups, painting groups, crafting groups, sporting groups, nature groups, niche groups and more coffee shops? Yeah, those are a start. Not very technological, but the tech is baked remember?

More concerts large and small, reinvention of movie theaters and plays. How do you make those things cheaper and more accesible? Technology isn't interesting, it's a commoditity, people aren't a commoditity. (well for the rich sure, but we're talking everyday people here.) How do you make more tiny one on one interations with real people, or make really large impersonal interactions/audidiences seem more personal than they are?

Pets. Cats are easy. Dogs are great if you have a house. More places to take your dog? Spend time with others and their dogs? More parks? What's going on in the park besides trees? What else can you put in the park for the people and their dogs to do? Parks scale nicely, but for a population twerked out on instant entertainment, how do you jazz them up?

Travel. Downside to travel, it takes time. Time is still in short supply. Everybody is packing every hour with as much as possible, no time to travel except maybe an hour or two after work, maybe a day on a weekend. How far can you go in those timeframes? What experiences are too niche to be supported by one town, but could be supported by people pulled from 3 or 4 surrounding towns within a couple hours drive or ride? How do you market not to the world, but to one town over and grab that weekend travel time? For the most part, travel is rare for those too few vacation days people get/take.

Things you can just pickup and do with very little preperation. It's ok if there are one or two things you need to buy at the store or order online first. People like to shop and gear up. Not too many things though, and don't require too much practice either. Practice takes time, see above, it's in short supply. Only enough time to practice one or two things that require practice. And things that need practice, need to be able to be learned in a few months time, otherwise those won't be things for everyone, or many ones anyway. Twerked out on instant entertainment/gratification remember? Need payoff in the near, not too later.

Time is at a premium, but so is money. Entertainment that can be coveyed into the home digitally is cheap, but also common and ubiquitous. Like water. Water from the tap is a pretty cool technology when you think about it, but it's not interesting, it's too common to be interesting.

Things that are uncommon and unique, that not everyone (or at least not everyone you know) can do all the time, those things are interesting. Computer/mobile tech is too cheap and ubiquitous to be in that uncommon and unique category anymore.

Shopping? No. Shopping is too easy now. Too uniform. If it's a farmers market or a craft bizare, sure. But the mall? Most of that stuff can be ordered online and shipped straight to my door. Clothes, yeah the mall will always be full of clothes. Need to try them on, and feel the fabrics. But if you're not into clothes as entertainment, and it is really a novelty to still be into clothes for practicality and not entertainment; jeans and t-shirts are dressy enough for just about any occasion now thanks to casualing everything down over the past couple decades.

Keep it simple, why go to the mall? Bookstore is not as good a reading experience as the internet and Amazon, no matter how much you "still claim to love the smell of paper". Apple Store is cool, but technology is baked, if there is some slightly new thing, you can go there and play with it. Not so much about the store, but it's a place to play and socialize around the shared object. You won't find yourself socializing in a Sears, and there's suprisingly little playing in a Toys R Us? That's weird. Home Depot and Lowes will teach you how to paint and make a birdhouse on the weekend. Why doesn't Toys R Us have Lego days and Video Game competitions? That's not their thing it seems. It could be someplaces's thing though. Things are easily ordered online, but people require a place. Place matters.

It's probably hard to make money off those in person experiences at a store. It's hard to get them to scale. Too big a group, too many people, no longer personal. Better to have the customer buy a thing, read, watch a video and go play at home? If that's the case though, why not buy from home and play from home? Why does a person have to go to a store at all? They don't unless it's more convienent or entertaining than ordering from their couch. Most places, right now, that's not the case. Most places, are not that entertaining. Most places want to just sell things, swipe the card at the machine, maybe not even talk to a cashier. But a person can do that at home. A person doesn't need to be in a place to do that.

Places are for people, not things. Things can live in warehouses and deliver themselves to doorsteps in boxes. All the technology is baked and at home, so to go to another place, to pull people from the tech in their homes, there better be interesting people interactions or people experiences there that "just aren't the same streamed" otherwise, why would people leave all their freshly baked tech?

I want to hear your



Sat 5/03/14 8:52pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing




'Towerfall,' OUYA's most popular game, only sold 7,000 copies
source: Engadget

Poor Ouya, fun cheap hardware, but no love.

The Sculptor: Scott McCloud's masterpiece, finally in production
source: Boing Boing

Looking forward to this.


I want to hear your



Fri 5/02/14 8:53pm # | tweet this

New Office

My work converted a warehouse into a massive 4 story/2 floor glass and steel office building.

My department moved into it today.

The new building is across the street from the old office building that I worked in for just a couple months shy of 20 years. The previous building opened in 1985, and was well maintained but of that Dilbert cubicle era. This building is fairly modern, much more open with everything that entails.

We were one of the first departments to move into the new space. Others will move in every day for the next two weeks or so, at which point, the building will contain 1,000 people or so.

Has been, and should continue to be interesting.

I want to hear your


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