August 2015

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Mon 8/31/15 9:23am # | tweet this

Random Non-Sequiters

Tomorrow is September already. Summer flew by. It was a fairly cool summer for the most part. I think we had one official above 90F day, with most days being in the mid to high 70s at worst and a handful being in the low to mid 80s.

It felt atypical, but I'll take it.

That said, it looks like this upcoming week is going to be high 80s. We'll see, they've been revising temperatures down alot lately.

Quinn is crawling like a pro now. Mostly Army crawls, but he gets up fully on all fours with his tummy off the ground for short bursts now too. He's also a climber. Loves to climb over us, pillow and anything he can pull up on.

Chasing after the cat's tail is already a thing for him too.

Apple will have it's fall new iPhone reveal next week. That's not very interesting because smartphones reached "good enough" status a couple years ago, so there is very little benefit now to getting the latest and greatest. But it's always interesting to watch their marketing event and see the comments on twitter, so I'm looking forward to that.

There are also, once again rumors that there will be a new Apple TV announced too. That could be interesting. I'd love to see someone really tackle apps for the tv, or even a more customizeable mix of personal photos, news and information on the tv screensaver/slideshow. It'd be really nice if Apple did a better remote too. And ya ya, I know you could use the iPhone, but dedicated remotes are still nice for TV things.

Has there been anything really interesting in tech all summer? Amazon Echo comes to mind. Google's OnHub also is interesting (although I'm not sure I want Google tracking all my traffic at the the home router level.) I guess the Apple Watch was a major release in the spring. I've yet to see one in the wild, although I admit, with a 6mo old, I don't get out much. Have you seen an Apple Watch at your work?

Nothing else tech really comes to mind, and the above all feel pretty niche really.

Windows 10 released too. But try as they might, making a desktop OS seem cool, new or novel is a major hurdle I don't see any company jumping anytime soon.

I haven't used Windows 10 on my Dell since I upgraded this past week much. When I do pull out a laptop, it's often still my Chromebook. Chromebooks really are great for 2nd or 3rd devices when you just need to get on the web or use a keyboard quick.

Did some work on a new door with a pet door for the kitchen. Took awhile to do, but it's nice having most of the basic tools I need to do stuff like that without running to the hardware sote any more. Now if only there was more time, working in the garage really cuts into family time or general relaxation time on the weekend. Feels good to make something though.

Politics has been pretty boring this summer too. The Trump thing is a joke that's old already. At the moment it looks good for Bernie Sanders, so that's a positive. but really with the election still a year and a half out, it'd be nice if the current President and Congress tried to get some things done too. We look forward too much and too far in this country and don't spend enough time preasuring the current politicians. 10s of thousands show up to campaign rallys for candidates, but 10s of thousands need to show up and push the people currently in office to do something.

Still miss the Daily Show. New Colbert Tonight Show in the fall at least, and maybe, maybe The Trevor Noah Daily Show will be good, here's hoping.

This coming weekend is a 3 day Labor Day weekend. Excited for that.

I want to hear your



Thu 8/20/15 8:38am # | tweet this

Windows 10

Yesterday I upgraded my Dell Venue Pro 8 Windows tablet to Windows 10. The whole process took about 6 hours. Quite a pain really.

I only played with the finished installation for a brief time last night but so far it seems like a huge improvement over Windows 8.1 for this small factor tablet.

I don’t think it would be better than Windows 7 for my desktop computer though, so I have no intention of upgrading that machine.

On the tablet however the “desktop” and Metro modes are finally well integrated and the task switcher to switch between programs is quite well done. The new start menu actually works a lot better than it looks too.

I might have more to say when I get some more hands on time with the update.

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Wed 8/19/15 7:48pm # | tweet this

Baby Stuff

A thing or two about a baby. They have a lot of stuff. Every couple months they use different stuff.

Once you perfect a routine, they grow past that routine, just enough that the routine is slightly different with slightly different stuff.

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Tue 8/18/15 10:05am # | tweet this

Fitness trackers

Every now and then an article creeps up saying fitness trackers are going to die as they are replaced by smartphones and smartwatches.

I hope not. My tiny Fitbit is better than both. I place it in the 5th pocket of my jeans and Iím all set.

I donít always walk around the house with my phone. Sometimes I take off my watch. But generraly Iím wearing pants.

So Fitbit wins

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Mon 8/17/15 8:53am # | tweet this

Corporations

There was a New York Times piece this weekend that painted a very negative picture of Amazon. It wasn’t a picture that would be too unrecognizable to anyone working in a similar large corporation.

What is the point of a corporation? Is there a difference in how we should look at corporations that employ: 10, 100, 1,000, or 100,000 people?

Should corporation governance at different sizes differ in similiar ways that family households and cities operate differently?

I think so.

People have a hard time with large numbers though. 10,000, 100,000 or 1,000,000 are really hard concepts for a human mind built to deal with numbers in the single to low hundreds. So it might take a long time if ever that we organize large groups in the tens and hundreds of thousands fairly and well.

Bummer.

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Sun 8/16/15 3:02pm # | tweet this

Tanger Outlet

Went early this morning to checkout the new Tanger Outlet Mall just south of us. Nice enough outdoor mall. Sortof nightmare parking though. And I canít really say that Iím likely to go to it much since most of the same stores are also at Rivertown.

They did have a neat little Toys R Us Express and a nice Calendar, Games and More (which also had a lot of collectible toys).

Quinn enjoyed the stroller ride thru it though so that worked out too.

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Sun 8/16/15 9:04am # | tweet this

Star Wars Rogue One

There is a preview cast image of this Ep IV prequel film out now. It's very dark. The one thing I think would be cool though? If they did 1970s style haircuts for the cast. Because that was the style in that time period a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

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Sat 8/15/15 12:14pm # | tweet this

Phones
There was a Samsung event announcing new phones and a sneak at their next watch. It got zero buzz in my twitter feed.

I'm thinking phones are about as interesting as laptops now. The form factor/harware is pretty much baked. Other than Apple it's going to be pretty hard for anyone to get much new phone buzz going.

Toys
Star Wars toys are starting to leak out ahead of their "Force Friday" September 4th launch. the movie doesn't come out until 12/18. These toys are just way too early. You can buy them because they are neat perhaps, but there is no context for the characters in the absense of the movie not coming out for 3 months after the toys.

Medibang Paint
I downloaded a drawing/comic illustration program: Medibang Paint on my Windows desktop, Android Phone and iPad. It's pretty neat so far. Not as full featured as Manga Studio pro, but you can't beat the free pricepoint and multi-platform support. There's also cloud sharing between devices that is really neat.

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Sun 8/09/15 10:57am # | tweet this

Bert and Ernie

The last time my mom was over, she brought Quinn an Ernie doll. Yesterday at Meijer, wefound a Bert doll for him, because you can't have Ernie without Bert.

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Sun 8/09/15 10:52am # | tweet this

Eyefi Card

Picked up an Eyefi SD Card for $20 on Amazon this week, I works just like a regular SD card except it also has a little Wi-Fi transmitter built-in that syncs the photos from your point and shoot camera to your Smartphone.

It's worked well for me the past couple days. I take the photos with my point and shoot, they automatically back up to the phone, and I can share them on twitter, facebook and have them autoback up to the cloud as well.

Eyefi has been around awhile, but I finally noticed it had dropped to a pricepoint that made sense for me. Nifty stuff.

Above, a shot from the point and shoot today, when we took Quinn to the basketball court to play in his walker.

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Fri 8/07/15 10:10pm # | tweet this

Earth 2 Society

Picked up a cheap New 52 Earth 2 Hawkgirl which sortof completes the initial core trio of the New 52 Justice Society. I didn't read too deep into this series, but the Hawkgirl design was one of the better updates.

Nice figure, and depending on what direction (costume hasn't been revealed yet) they go with the DC Legends TV series Hawkgirl, she might be a nice stand in for her too.

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Fri 8/07/15 7:45pm # | tweet this

Jon Stewart Daily Show

Last Jon Stewart Daily Show was yesterday. I'm sortof bummed by that. It hasn't been a great show this last year, but it was still a good show to watch when something stupid happened in the news. And you sort of get used to something if you watch something regularly for 15 years or so. It was good just having Jon Stewart as a check on the media going too over the top. Sure the media is insane now, but without the specter of Stewart looming over them to keep them from diving even deeper off the deep end, the media is probably going to get even worse in the near term.

Loved his "If you smell something, say something" line yesterday too.

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Fri 8/07/15 7:39pm # | tweet this

Marvel Legends

Got three new Marvel Legends figures from a new wave this week. White Tiger (mostly known now from the current Spider-man cartoon), Scarlet Spider (a 90s Spider-man story hense the retro hoodie) and Misty Knight (a Heroes for Hire character that should be in the upcoming Marvel Netflix shows).

All are nice figures. Scarlet Spidey came with 3 sets of hands, and 2 different Rhino Build-A-figure heads. Both of the other two figures came with a Rhino torso, so now I have two partially complete Rhinos that because I already have a Rhino figure, I'm unlikely to complete.

One bummer. White Tiger's arm was very stiff, and very small, and immediately snapped at the elbow when I tried to move it. It's ok with a little model cement though, just not poseable anymore.

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Fri 8/07/15 9:07am # | tweet this

Watched the Republican debates last night. The undercard debate was more civil. The moderators for the main prime time debate were really bad. I don't watch a lot of Fox News, but last night's presentation was enlightening.

Fox News gets accused of shilling for Republicans. After watching last night's debate, I don't think that is accurate. I think Fox News is it's own viewpoint and the nucleus of a certain type of attitude. Fox is first and foremost promoting Fox. Fox has their own unique destructive evil way of approaching issues. Sometimes Republican beliefs line up with those Fox ideals. Sometimes the gravity of Fox News pulls Republicans into their orbit for a time, but Fox and its ideology is something different than the Republican establishment machine.

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Wed 8/05/15 5:11pm # | tweet this

I've been going on about the slow demise of Twitter for over a year, so this may be a bit redundant. It could just be summer and less people using it at the moment, but lately it seems the realtime news aspect is coming a little unglued too. Sure there's the occasional blowup about a dentist killing a lion, but there were at least 3 classic Twitter friendly news stories yesterday that I learned about in places other than Twitter.

People are probably still commenting on things. But tweeting links and even retweets seem way down. And links and retweets are kindof key for the realtime news aspect of Twitter.

That said, I'm probably guilty of fewer retweets and links myself. But the trend doesn't seem to bode well.

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