June 2014

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Mon 6/30/14 6:00pm # | tweet this

Yet another Earth Green Lantern

Now, technically she has the Earth 3 Power Ring GL's ring, but basically she's yet another GL. Jessica Cruz who for some reason was given the costume of an early 80s punk rock Leprechaun.

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Fri 6/27/14 1:00pm # | tweet this

Outdoor Sports

This past weekend we rolled rolled out a tv onto the deck and watched the World Cup outside. That's pretty much my idea of "outdoor sports".

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Fri 6/27/14 12:53pm # | tweet this

Let me out too!

This past weekend Jenn and I spent a lot of time on the deck. The cat isn't a fan of that arrangement. It makes sense to him that he should be wherever we are.

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Fri 6/27/14 12:48pm # | tweet this

Summer Rain

This past week has been full of little on and off rainstorms. It looks like we will have a nice break today, then return to that pattern for the weekend.

Image is from this past Wednesday.

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Mon 6/23/14 10:32am # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing



Balcony Bar
source: IKEA Hackers



Sharing Economy and Self-Exploitation
source: The New Inquiry

Though the sharing economy appropriates a language of progressive change and collectivity (e.g., “collaborative consumption”) to proselytize for their apps and business models, their effect is to more thoroughly atomize individuals, demanding that they regard themselves as a kind of small enterprise while reducing their social usefulness to the spare capacity they can mobilize for the platforms to broker. Users are asked to scour their lives for marketable time and resources, performing labor that the sharing-economy companies organize and expropriate.

Anaxar Is Going To Be The Ultimate Star Trek Fan Film
source: iO9

Directed by the director of "Free Enterprise", lots of familiar famous actor faces too. This is crazy high end and can't be properly considered a "fan" film I don't think.


Will a New Report on China's American Film Fatigue Change Hollywood?
source: io9

I'd love to start to see, more, smaller movies. It's gotten fairly weird that most of the action blockbusters now have some random China or Hong Kong scene added to the story. I get that they want the movie to play to the broadest possible international audience. But it's just gotten a little forced feeling.

The Sharingť Economy
source: The New Inquiry

Sharing economy

  1. deregulation by technology, evading the political process
  2. renders services generic, leading to deskilling
  3. prevents workers from recognizing class interests by isolating them and forcing them to operate as small enterprises
  4. forces workers to provide the capital assets and assume responsibility for their depreciation
  5. forces economies of scale onto unscalable social relations like "trust," thereby corrupting them, extinguishing them
  6. creates monopolization at the level of the platform, but forces service providers/workers to compete against each other more ruthlessly
  7. encourage reliance on reputation systems as alternative to regulation, which demands a de facto vigilantism to have norms enforced
- Rob Horning


Like capitalism, consumerism has proven adept at assimilating critiques and adapting to them. In so doing, it cuts away the ground underneath the complainers who don’t appreciate its dynamism. When complaints arose that mass markets forced a stultifying conformity on consumers, the market responded with brand campaigns organized around an ethos of individualism, offering superficial options for customization to appease the desire for distinction.

When critics argued that acquiring goods didn’t necessarily lead to lasting happiness and that accumulation of stuff merely puts us on a hedonic treadmill, marketers like Paco Underhill began to emphasize shopping “experiences,” a bit of rhetorical prestidigitation whereby consumer items became souvenirs of promised states of feeling rather than their source. When the problem was with homogenizing brands and the eradication of mom-and-pop stores, corporations rolled out ersatz small brands and adopted old-timey packaging design to recall the heyday of regional businesses.

When social theorists complained about the hollowness of leisure time predominantly spent consuming and collecting goods, consumption began to be represented in marketing discourse as a creative form of meaning production, with consumers as “co-creators,” using products inventively in off-label ways to enrich their unique identity. When ecological concerns began to be voiced more loudly, the market responded with recyclable packaging and “green” products that offer a moral alibi for our consumer behavior and let us continue our love affair with packaging.

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Thu 6/19/14 12:04pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing




Raspberry Pi - Pirate Box
source: Pirate Box


Weird Corporate Twitter - The New Inquiry
source: jbrons twitter

It is a fact of marketing that brands can’t ask for business too directly. People tend to recoil from requests that feel too direct, and this is why social-media accounts explicitly selling anything seem like spam, triggering disinterest. Brands have to make us want them by giving us something: in branding terms, providing #value. This is how humor, or the gift of laughs, becomes the universal gift that any Twitter account can provide to its followers, as #weirdtwitter proved in its universe of thousands of anonymous accounts tweeting nonsensical humor at each other.

[snip]

For us, there is a sociopathic freedom in knowing there is no individual behind the Twitter account. The corporation will not reach out for support in hard times the way an individual person on Twitter may. Laughing with it doesn’t trigger an existential fear that we might be relied on for support, sending vibes or crowdfunds during @dennysdiner’s darkest emotional hour.


That 2nd paragraph above really nails something. And it's the sort of thing that may eventually kill off alot of Facebook and Twitter, or at the very least, make being in spectator only mode the most important unstated rule. People aren't designed to "groom" hundreds of people. There's actually only a handful at a time people can actually handle interacting with on a give an take basis.

Corporations on the other hand exist as "one" to serve many. And their exchange/transaction terms are generally much more defined than those between real persons.





Miles Morales Is Joining The Ultimate Spider-Man Cartoon!
source: io9

Both the comics, and now the third season of the TV show are doing Crisis on Infinite Earth's type stories focused on alternate Spider-mans. Sigh.

Their Spider-girl isn't Mayday Parker from M2 either. It's a Gender Swapped Universe Peter. :(

Kindof looks like an excuse to sell Spider-man toy variations doesn't it?

StorkStand: Carry a Portable Standing Desk Anywhere
source: Apartment Therapy

Interesting idea.


Report: Google Nearby to Bring Android Next-Level Contextual Awareness
source: Gizmodo

Interesting, phone to phone sensing. And interactions based on who is near you.

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Thu 6/19/14 9:33am # | tweet this


photo: The Verge

Adobe Ink and Slide review: is this the future of art?
source: The Verge

At the above link The Verge has a nice review of Adobe's new Pen and Ruler hardware.

It looks interesting.

From what I've seen and used, the iPad is a perfectly fine device for casual sketching, and in that context, I think the above tools will be quite fun for hobbyists. This sortof thing really needs to be integrated on the OS level though (Ink and Slide only work within selected apps) and you'd probably need a 14" or greater sized screen for it to be of real use to professionals. "Ink and Slide" do look neat though and at $199, they aren't ridiculously overpriced, but unless they get the cost down to $100, I'm not sure a lot of hobbyists will be that interested in going for it.

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Tue 6/17/14 12:05pm # | tweet this

Groot!

As I mentioned earlier I picked up the movie Star-Lord and Gamora recently. I already had Comic versions of Rocket and Drax, so I didn't see the need to rebuy those figures.

That put me in a quandary though, Groot, the 5th member of the team is a build-a-figure (one piece comes with each figure in the wave). And I only wanted to by two of the sixth figures, although, I'll likely pick up Nova at some point, but that's still only 3 pieces and only half the pieces to make Groot.

So I decided to sculpt my own Groot in Sculptris and then print him on my Solidoodle 3D printer.

I printed him in two pieces (Really 4 really you count the arms separate) and glued him together. He had a couple little places I had to fix with some Sculpty putty. I spray painted him brown and did a little bit of model paint on him.

While he's not quite a store bought figure, I think he came out well enough to display on the shelf with the rest of the team. Below are some more photos.

You kindof have to do the Rocket on Groot's shoulder picture.

Here's a turnaround

Team pic with Rocket on the ground

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Mon 6/16/14 7:25pm # | tweet this

Deer

I really enjoy all the deer and other wildlife we see in our neighborhood on our walks.

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Mon 6/16/14 7:22pm # | tweet this

The Kids in the Hall

This past Saturday, Jenn and I saw The Kids in the Hall at the Royal Oak Music Theater. Great seats, good show.

Sadly, no "These are the Daves I know I know, these are the Dave's I know." but the opening "who are we" song was fantasic.

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Wed 6/11/14 9:33am # | tweet this

Printing of Thrones

Someone uploaded a model of the Iron Throne, from Game of Thrones to Thingiverse and I printed it out yesterday. It took over 9 hours to print. I've never ran the 3D printer that long before, and I was surprised it worked.

Oddly there is a line through the top of the throne (that wasn't on the model itself), but given the subtly of the detail, it didn't come out too bad.

I would have sat Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen in the throne, but Jon's rubber cape and Danenerys skirt do not allow them to sit. So it looks like Tyrion gets to rule all of Westeros!

And for fun, here's the Eleventh Doctor on the throne flanked by Weeping Angels I printed last year.

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Sun 6/08/14 11:26am # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing



Minion Lawn Darts
source: Instructables

Neat.


Is 3D Printing Technology's Rapid Progress Hurting the Industry?
source: Fabaloo

Interesting choice of words. Is it hurting the industry? probably not, there are more companies offering more products everyday and the top companies are getting bigger and putting out better machines each year.

By the tone of the article the author probably meant is the rapid progress hurting mainstream adoption? I don't think that's the case either. You can go down to Harbor Freight and buy a drill press for $50. It's been this way for a decade or more. Stable. A drill press is a very useful tool, but it's not a tool the average person really has a lot of use for. That's sort of the case with 3D printers. The average person just doesn't have much of a use for one yet.

The three things that will continue to slow adoption:

1. A lack of really cheap 99 cent or free quality models.

2. Creation software that still makes it very difficult for the evening or weekend hobbiest to make or tweak quality models to print.

3. Output speed. These printers are very slow with output times measured in hours. Again that's hard for the evening hobbiest who wants to tinker at 8pm. It's not like you can put together a model in an hour and then print anything in another hour before it's time to think about bed.

But do you need mass adoption for the space to be a success? Maybe not. Maybe 3D printers eventually reach the Harbor Freight $50 Drillpress level of adoption. That would be ok too I think.

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Sat 6/07/14 10:38pm # | tweet this

Guardians of the Galaxy

This week I got the Movie Star Lord and Movie Gamora Marvel Legends Action Figures. These were ordered through Amazon, they have yet to show up in stores around here.

The Build-A-Figure for this wave is Groot. To complete Groot, I'd have to buy Movie Drax, Movie Rocket, Nova and Space Iron Man. At the moment I do not intend to buy all 4 of those additional figures (although I'll likely pick up Nova.). I'm ok with the Comic Drax and Comic Rocket I already have.

Besides, a tall plant character is a tall plant character right? I could have Swamp Thing fill in for Groot like at right? ;)

Actually, unless I find a good deal on an assembled Groot, or there is an alternate toy that comes out that works with the others scale, I may try my hand at sculpting him either digitally and 3D Printing, or with sculpty. We'll see.

Drax and Rocket Raccoon are comic based versions of the characters that were in earlier Marvel Legends waves.

I'm pretty happy with the whole foursome, although the verdict is still out on Movie Gamora or the more Flamboyant 70s Marvel comic cosmic styled Gamora. I'll wait and see the movie first on making that call.

Star Lord and Gamora are both very nice figures though. Star Lord especially comes with a bunch of accessories and a helmetless headswap, but I imagine I'll keep the masked one up for display.

Normally I like to see a movie first before getting the figures, but based on the one trailer I've watched, the movie looks like it will be a blast and these seem like pretty safe additions to the collection.

Only two more months until Guardians of the Galaxy the Movie is out!

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Fri 6/06/14 8:08pm # | tweet this

the Daily Donut

I learned thru social media today that it was National Donut Day, so I decided since it was a beautiful Friday that I would finally drive out to Clarkesville to see Chris Scheil's The Daily Donut Shop. I had a very nice visit with him in between his taking care of customers. I also had a very nice donut (and brought back a dozen for the weekend). Chris and I used to work together years ago and it was nice catching up. If you find yourself out on i96, make sure you get off on Exit 59 and take a short jog into town, and grab a donut and sit for a bit. He's got a nice little shop there and if it's not too busy, I promise you'll enjoy the conversation too.

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