September 2015

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Sun 9/27/15 9:53pm # | tweet this

The Force Awakens

I got a Kylo Ren (back center in pic), this week. He's the bad guy (one assumes?) in the upcoming Star Wars VII. Very nice figure and one of the better uses of soft goods mixed with plastic I've seen in a 6" mass market figure.

I have no idea if this picture is out of line or not, and won't know what Kylo Ren has to do with anyone until the movie. But I thought this would be a fun grouping of figures for now.

I also fired up the 3D printer for the first time in a little bit and made a BB-8 to go with my Finn. There is an official BB-8 figure but it's a pack-in accessory to the Rey action figure, which I didn't care much for the sculpt or paint of, and I hated to spend full price on the figure just to get little BB-8 droid. There was a nice file someone uploaded to Thingiverse, so I printed one and painted him this evening. Not as nice as the store bought, but he works from a distance. And he'll make a nice stand in until an eventual clearance sale on the real thing perhaps.

I want to hear your



Fri 9/25/15 9:29am # | tweet this

I think VR as it is right now and near future, at right pricepoint has the opportunity to be the next Wii, not next iPhone.

I want to hear your



Thu 9/24/15 3:32pm # | tweet this

"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

I want to hear your



Thu 9/24/15 3:08pm # | tweet this

Stardust vs Arrow

Y'know every now and then a figure comes along that is silly and cheap enough to add to the shelf. WWE's Stardust is one of those type of figures.

Over this Summer there was a brief WWE storyline and a match between Stardust and Arrow Actor, Stephen Amell.

It's not like Green Arrow has a very in depth rogues gallery anyway, so why not.

I want to hear your



Thu 9/24/15 2:44pm # | tweet this

VR

I really don't think VR is going to be much more important than 3D TV currently is,for years yet.

It's too top down driven right now.

Billion Dollar Corporations, proprietary limited hardware, only expensive content creation cameras/tools.

There are 2 VRs too.

  1. 360 Video

and

  1. 360 CGI Virtual Reality

The problems with #1. 360 Video. a. It's video but more expensive to create b. most of the time the interesting thing is happening right in front of the camera, no need to see behind the camera, so why 360 instead of 2D? c. Multiple cameras are interesting, we have the technology for that already, but we do nothing with it. This lack of interest doesn't bode well for giving viewers camera control by way of VR. d. It's mostly novel in the same way as Google Street view. Everyone is going to agree it;s cool, but how much of your day do you spend in Google Street View.

The problems with #2. 360 CGI Virtual Reality a. It's basically just a 2D video game that uses turning your head as a controler in place of a joypad thumbstick b. you can't sit on a couch and comfortably look behind yourself c. standing, so you can look in any direction, is tiring after a very short time d. with any motion to the video, it's going to be nauseating for most people, as what the eyes see, won't match up with what the body feels.

The problems with both. a. It's like video, it's "real time". There's unlikely to be good skimming tools, so you are watching video/chatting/experiencing in realtime. And people over the age of 22 and especially people with children, have a finite amount of time for video experiences. b. It's as of yet hard to share and experience with others, I'm sure they could solve this, but I doubt they are going to have systems in place to locally sync 4 to 6 of these devices to the same experience anytime soon. c. It's expensive. Even at $99, you also need a $600 phone to go with it. So $700. That's $2,800 for a family of 4. That's pricey. d. If you solve the syncing of multiple headsets together, it's still realtime, so people have to get together at the same time, it's not going to have the asynchronous strengths of email/messaging/chat.

Still it's cool.

I just think VR Video is going to languish until 360 VR video gets real easy/cheap for Jane Doe to shoot and host online. VR Video games might get a nice niche going for people with strong constitutions who can handle the quesieness, but for group play I bet a person with a good standard controller will still out perform a person with a VR headset and the hardcore players will prefer to stick to a traditional experience.

Time is finite, time spent in VR experiences will need to be time not spent in other experiences. VR is probably just going to cut into Youtube/Periscope viewing time. Mobile phone was unique in that it gave people more time, they could use apps and experience media in places that people previously would have been limited to quiet contemplation or at best a paperback or Newspaper. Because VR can't make available more time like mobile did, it's not the same next "huge" thing.

Driverless cars can create more time, but that's a rant for a different day, and they are much farther out than VR in anycase.

I want to hear your



Mon 9/21/15 10:49am # | tweet this

Random Action Figure Pick-ups

Last weekend picked up the TMNT, Napolean Bonafrog, Napolean Dynamite parody character from the current TV series. Cute episode, cute character. Limited articulation, but for the kid friendly prices of these figures you can't complain.

A week or two back I picked up the Pirana Plant in store, to go with Mario. This Nintendo line of small figures is really fun, I wish I was more into the games represented, just to have an excuse to get more of these delightful little toys.

Added a Zoe to my Firefly grouping. Wash and Kaylee are also pretty cheap right now, but so far I've been content to "leave them on the ship" as it were and just stick to this Away team grouping.

Picked up a cheap Cortana about a month or so back. With Cortana taking center stage in Windows 10 and being added to Xbox One in a couple months, seemed like a good time to get this clearanced Halo figure.

I want to hear your



Sat 9/12/15 5:00pm # | tweet this

Disturbances in the Force

Picked up a 6" Emporer a week or two ago. Nice figure, much robes.

Tried taking a picture of it in front of my Chromebook monitor. Works ok. Some glare, but better than it was in front of glossy TV.

Saw a 6" Force Awaken's Rey in store today. Not a great looking figure, bummer that it is the only way right now to get BB8 though. Maybe after all the collector hype dies down it'll go real cheap/clearance, because it'd be nice to have the droid, but not worth the price given how meh the Rey figure is.

Haven't seen Kylo Ren at a store yet. Have seen lots of Chewies though.

Went in Walgreen's today. Nice fall reset of their Toy aisle. For a short run, they've got a killer selection of stuff. I saw all most all the latest Avengers wave in store today. Already have the two figures I wanted from that wave, but it's the first time I've seen them in stores, and Kudos to Walgreen's for being right in the lead of the pack in 6" collector stuff now.

Saw the Star Wars seasonal section in Target today too. Not sure if it was up last week, or likely, I just didn't think to go over to the seasonal area. They did up Star Wars like it was a holiday. Lots of neat retro styled printed tees for the whole family too. Cool stuff.

Other Randomness

Still bumming about the lack of quality tech news lately and how badly most of the major sites are dropping the ball on the topic lately.

Twitter feels a little too high noise to signal for me lately. I might do a culling of my main feed or at least move some different people/accounts into some categories to help me segment it better.

I also yesterday unfriended someone in Facebook just to eliminate a heavy flood of offbase crazy conservative posts. To some extent I like to keep some people I disagree with in my feeds, but in this case, since I know the person, more often than not it was just too annoying to see backwards error filled Fox News fueled opinions every other post and knowing it was just going to get worse going into the next Presidential election cycle, I finally snapped and removed this person. She almost never posted anything personal actually about herself anyway.

Digging the new Colbert Late Show even though, since it's 5 hours a week now instead of the old show's four 30 min runtime, it seems like a much larger time commitment each week.

I'm pretty much ready to drop the Nightly Show. It was mostly the inertia of it being in the Colbert Time Slot that carried it this far with me. It's just too inconsistent in quality and idealogy for me. I'm hoping that The New Daily Show in a couple weeks will be stronger.

First really nice cool fall feeling day today. And I really digged it. The next 8 weeks or so are probably my favorite for Michigan.

New season of Longmire exclusively on Netflix a couple nights ago. Like the show, glad it was picked up. But it's an episodic with mixed in occasional arc episodes, and for me that's a hard format to binge watch. (Not that we binge watch much with the baby right now.) The serial/continuing style shows are much easier to binge watch I think. Looking forward to working thru the episodes of it over the next month or two though.

I want to hear your



Wed 9/09/15 8:47pm # | tweet this

The Force Awakens

Last week on "Force Friday" I ordered a 6" Finn action figure. These 6" figures have, for the most part, sold out everywhere in stores and online.

So it's cool I got one, I guess.

The figure itself is nice. It looks like the actor, sculpt and paint detail is nice.

Of course, I have no idea if I'll like the character for another 3 months, which is when the movie comes out. It's a little weird to buy figures for characters you know nothing about, which is pretty much why I stopped at one figure from this movie, so far.

Based on looks, Kylo Ren and Rey/BB8 would also be figures I'd likely get. General Huck looks very cool as a figure too. And while Poe might be a good core character, I'm not that interested in another X-Wing flight suit figure. There's also 4 different Storm Troopers, a Resistence Trooper and a weird looking Constable character. Some others two. 4 different wave between now and the movie. Really until the movie comes out, who knows which of these would be worth owning in plastic.

I want to hear your



Wed 9/09/15 8:20pm # | tweet this

Apple Event

Well done enough event today. Nothing terribly really exciting.

The Apple Pencil, stylus, is neat, but iPad still not a full computer, so it is of limited use. The Apple Pencil will be better, most likely, when it works with some of the smaller, future iPads, instead of the more expensive iPad Pro that it currently only works with.

As it stands, it's a lot of money to basically hobby sketch. The Surface seems to be a better choice to actually use for Art. And a dedicated Cintiq/or Cintiq clone for desktop is still your best art bet.

The new iPhones are nice if you are on that track. I'm an Android phone guy, but if I was looking to upgrade to an iPhone, these 6Ses with the 3D touch and the camera improvements probably wouldn't disapoint. Nice step up from last year. With the iOS 9, they probably could have called these iPhone 7s and no one would have complained.

AppleTV. Basically, the new AppleTV looks like the current AppleTV + a souped up Ouya with a really nice processor. Controller is nicer for tv, but looks meh for gaming.

More politely put, this new Apple TV seems more like a screenless iPad for your TV. I'll probably a wait and see. If interesting software hits it, then maybe, but out of the gate, doesn't seem like an urgent upgrade for the $199 cost the 64GB one that would be prudent to buy.

I'm not big into games, and we have an Xbox One already that has nice TV functions on the big TV. Our older AppleTV sits attached to a smaller living room TV. Not sure what apps, I'd want to have on it?

Screensavers come to mind, iCloud photos, mixed with headlines, twitter and maybe facebook posts? dunno, Chromecast's backdrop does some of that already. AppleTV, looks to have some nice sports features if you pay for MLB subscriptions and things like that. AppleTV might be even better when they rollout a more comprehensive network cable tv cord cutter service in the future.

Siri on the Apple TV sounds nice, but Xbox One has done a little of that for awhile, so it's not completely new.

They opened with a recap of the previous WatchOS 2 stuff, which looked nice if you have one of those and an iPhone. Since I don't have an iPhone, no iWatch in my future either.

It was a long event. They had Microsoft on stage presenting with them at one point. That was weird. Really weird, did not feel right to have those two sharing the same stage.

That's about it. Nice iterations. No real disruptions, or "game changers".

I want to hear your



Thu 9/03/15 9:36am # | tweet this

Action Figure Stands

Found these neat action figure stands on eBay last week. They work well. The stand arm slides up and down so you can use it on a figure's wait or it's leg.

Good stuff, and they were pretty cheap too.

I want to hear your



Wed 9/02/15 2:37pm # | tweet this

Ignore the hate

There's two phrases/ideas that have been bugging me lately. It's probably a generational thing to some extent too.

Promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate.

and this one is a little less meme-like, but the below somes up the sentiment:

Remember that the strongest way to support something you love is to BUY it. Even if someone sends you a book for free, vote with your dollar.

The second I might see more than you if you don't follow alot of artist or creative types, but it's something that is stongly associated with the first.

You know how you look at some older generations above X and they can seem a little intolerant and maybe racist at times? But they don't realize it? Sometimes I feel like my strong negative reaction to the above two sentiments is probably a little of that for my generation for those younger than me.

I feel like there's a utility to pointing out the negative that seems lost on the fastly becoming not youth anymore of today. So as that cultural wave of positivity pulls my generation's snark under like a riptide, I can kind of feel an analagous vibe to the old people who are so left behind by Political Correctness, that they are willing to see Trump as their voice.

It'll be interesting to see what Seinfeldian type actor becomes my generation's Trump in 10 years, but I digress.

Be positive, at worst subtweet your enemies or things you hate, but never directly come out and confront something you hate. It makes you seem negative, and not a team player, rude for sure. The thought seems to be, everyone might know the sucky thing sucks, but it's not a good idea to be all loud about it and point it out. Afterall who wants all that negativity in their feed, and that sucky thing you are trying to kill might be someone's livelihood, and in today's economy, why would you be so inconsiderate as to actively sabatoge the thing someone is trying to make a buck at?

Celebrate the positive, ignore the neagtive.

Sounds good. But, and I might just be showing my age here, I don't like it.

I want to hear your


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