Home | Comments | IM or Webcam Chat | Forum
email me: chris@chris-karath.com

November 2011

<--Previous Month | Next Month -->

Blog starts below

This page is closed,
for new content... go to my blog home page and click "Current Blogging"

Wed 11/30/11 12:04pm #

Your Brand

If you are an individual, you do not have a brand. You have a reputation, and you may have trust .

If you produce or market a product, you may very well manage a brand, if people are more familiar with the brand than you the single individual behind it.

If more people know about you personally than know about your “brand”. At best what you have created is a nice logo and identity package.

If the logo and identity package would continue to live on if you were no longer behind it. Then maybe you have a brand.

If people would rather talk to your brand than you. You might have a brand.

If you’ve ever driven a pick-up truck with a hound dog in the back, you might be a redneck.

er, wait a minute, what was I saying again?

I want to hear your

Mon 11/28/11 9:19am #

They’re, Their, There

According to wikipedia, only 27% of the worlds population speaks English. So 73% of the world’s population isn’t going to use any of the above at all.

It’s ok, at least they’re in a language you can read.

I want to hear your

Sun 11/27/11 10:10pm #

Social Media

Heaven forbid someone encounter a differing viewpoint on even the most mundane of topics.

Remember people, all social media should be positive, supportive, and reinforce the person your replying to's existing viewpoint.

Afterall, there can only be one viewpoint, and if someone is presented with one that differs from theirs, then either they are wrong or you are wrong, and trying to figure out which is which is very stressful.

So stop stressing people out.

(Plus did you stop and think that maybe their DVR didn't record the game, and the cat threw up in the hall again, and an 8am meeting just popped up on their work calendar for tomorrow, so obviously the person is going to blow up at you on your reply to their post about whether Grape or Orange creamsicles are better. Grape? really, you've got to be kidding me. You're a Fncking idiot.)

I want to hear your

Sun 11/27/11 9:52pm #


Went to a $4 showing of Immortals at Rivertown theatre. Not a great movie. Plays fast and loose with Greek Mythology, but to a certain degree it has some "outs" for some of it.

There are plot holes you could drive a truck thru, as well as what could be 30 to 40 minutes I'm guessing that they cut out of the theatrical version of the movie (which is the only thing that could really explain a couple abrupt scenes that I can't possibly imagine were intended to be that mashed together.

There's alot of bullet time fighting, and alot of violence. Again not a great movie, but not the worst Greeks/Gladiator movie of this genre that I've seen either. It's mostly this thing happens, then these people go here and then this thing happens, big fight at the end, etc.

I'd wait for a DVD or if you want to see the bullet time fighting on the big screen, catch a cheap show, but I wouldn't recommend a full $10 showing.

I want to hear your

Sun 11/27/11 11:22am #

Thought to think on

From the below Rushkoff interview

The rate at which we do business and make profit is actually driven and determined by the debt structure of the company rather than supply and demand.

Rewriting the above just abit:

The rate at which we do business to make profit is actually driven and determined by our debt structure rather than supply and demand.

Even if you are "debt free". You'll need to buy groceries next week. You might want a new iPad next year. The roof will eventually need to be replaced. You could get sick.

There are future debts to be incurred. And even without growth, there is a lifestyle to be maintained. Question is: at what cost.

That part of the article has sparked me for the day to think about debts.

I want to hear your

Sun 11/27/11 11:06am #

Douglas Rushkoff interview

I just read a Douglass Rushkoff interview and it has some very interesting ideas on the rise of the corporation, from its beginnings in the late Middle Ages, through its adolescence in the Industrial Revolution, to its present global and virtualized maturity.

There's even a nice pic from a classic episode of Star Trek within it.

There's also a nice little snippet from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

But I digress...

Here are a few snippets I liked:

That’s a totally different way of understanding money. Land was no longer a thing the peasants could grow stuff on, land became an investment, land became an asset class for the wealthy. Once it became an asset class they started Partitioning and Enclosure, which meant people weren’t allowed to grow stuff on it, so subsistence farming was no longer a viable lifestyle. If you can’t do subsistence farming you must find a job, so then you go into the city and volunteer to do unskilled labor in a proto-factory for some guy who wants the least-skilled, cheapest labor possible. You move your whole family to where the work is, into the squalor, where conditions are overcrowded and impoverished — the perfect breeding ground for plague and death.


It is. And because people don’t believe in that abstraction, because they’re used to grain receipts being based in something real, precious metal was required for the king’s currency — silver, gold; they had to use something that was considered valuable so people would believe.


Fast-forward to the 1970s. After four or five centuries of people believing it, Nixon realized that people now do believe, so the currency can be taken off the central metal and just be based on belief. That’s when they started putting “In God We Trust” on paper money, when it was taken off the gold standard.


The money supply has to grow as a function of interest. The rate at which we do business and make profit is actually driven and determined by the debt structure of the company rather than supply and demand. This is what Adam Smith was actually talking about. Adam Smith was not a free market libertarian, he was not a corporate industrialist the way the Economist or the Wall Street Journal likes to paint him. Smith said that economies only work in scale, they only work locally. He was living in a world where everyone was a farmer, and he hated corporations as much as he hated central government, because he knew that an interest-based economy does not ultimately work. And that is because debt is not actually a product. There’s nothing there. Nothing. Yet that’s what it was made for. The debt-based economy was invented so that people with money could get richer by having money, that’s what it’s for. I’m not saying it’s evil, it was an idea. But, it doesn’t actually work. If the number of people who want to make money by having money gets so big that there are more people existing that way than actually producing anything, eventually the economy will collapse.


Slowly over time, as corporations attempted to extract more and more value from people, both as workers and as consumers and ultimately as shareholders and investors in our own 401k plans, we all basically outsourced our lives. I outsource my job to a company. I outsource my consumption to a company, I go to Wal-Mart, I go to Costco. I outsource my investing and savings to companies, I give it to Citibank, instead of the local banker or my credit union or my restaurant or my children or my cathedral. All of our interactions have been mediated by corporations — you don’t work for me and I don’t work for you.


Our currency is not the only money. There are other kinds of money, just like there are different kinds of media out there, and they all encourage different behaviors. Computers encourage certain kinds of behavior, television encourages certain kinds of behavior. A gold-based money encourages certain kinds of behavior, a centralized currency encourages certain kinds of behavior, and a demurrage local grain-based currency encourages certain other kinds of behavior. The kind of behavior that our money encourages, intentionally, by design, is: hoarding. This is currency that earns interest over time so you want to hoard it and not spend it. And that’s OK if you need that tool.


They had to do that in order to prevent things from getting out of control. The significant points in the development of public relations were all at crisis moments. For example, labor movements; it’s not just that labor was revolting but that people were seeing that labor was revolting. There was a need to re-fashion the stories so that people would think that labor activists were bad scary people, so that people would think they should move to the suburbs and insulate themselves from these throngs of laborers, from “the masses.”


It got the most crafty after WWII when all the soldiers were coming home. FDR was in cahoots with the PR people. Traumatized vets were coming back from WWII, and everyone knew these guys were freaked out and fucked up. We had enough psychology and psychiatry by then to know that these guys were badly off, they knew how to use weapons, and — this was bad! If the vets came back into the same labor movement that they left before WWII, it would have been all over. So the idea was that we should provide houses for these guys, make them feel good, and we get the creation of Levittown and other carefully planned developments designed with psychologists and social scientists. Let’s put these vets in a house, let’s celebrate the nuclear family.


They created houses in neighborhoods specifically designed to isolate people from one another, and prevent men in particular from congregating and organizing — there are no social halls, no beer halls in these developments. They wanted men to be busy with their front lawns, with three fruit trees in every garden, with home fix-it-up projects; for the women, the kitchen will be in the back where they can see the kids playing in the back yard.


Everything’s got to be individual, this was all planned! Any man that has a mortgage to pay is not going to be a revolutionary. With that amount to pay back, he’s got a stake in the system. True, he’s on the short end of the stick of the interest economy, but in 30 years he could own his own home.

There's also some great thoughts about the concept of digital in the back third of the article as well.

But let's stay, for a moment, with the last several quotes above about the Suburbs and the nuclear family. I find this whole construction fascinating, but I don't necessarily find it completely external. I do not believe this lifestyle was completely put upon people I think the masses chose it to some extent. There are lot of insecurities that come with a society with tight social ties. Whims of society are not always preferable. "We are a nation of laws, not men" the statement goes. There is some appeal to the notion of being an individual instead of a member of society. Like anything though, the pendulum can swing too far to any one side. And its very likely that our current pendulum does need to find its way back a little more to center.

In anycase give the above full article a read. Good Stuff.

I want to hear your

Sun 11/27/11 10:23am #


Made some reply posts about Chrome OS and Tablets over on someones Google+. Was going to link to them here, but then noticed that the Google+ post in question is "limited" so I can't link to it.

So, I guess I won't link to it then.

(Not that they were earth shattering thoughts or anything.)

I want to hear your

Ptw Green dude doodle

Ptw Green dude doodle

Flickr: Sat 11-26-11 23:16:32 -0500

Sat 11/26/11 5:51pm #

Amazon Fire

I got a chance to play with the Amazon Kindle Fire for a little bit at Best Buy today. I was pretty impressed with the experience. Amazon has managed to hide the nastier unrefined bits of Android and create a very nice media consumption device that still can run enough apps for some light content creation as well.

One of my favorite art apps on mobile: Autodesk Sketchbook Pro was installed on the device and when I launched it, drawing was fairly fluid and responsive.

I also browsed a DC Comic on the device and the screen was clear and the book looked very nice as well.

Overall I think the iPad is still a much stronger offering, but at a savings of $300, the Kindle Fire is a very nice value. And for someone who doesn’t want to spend $500 to $700 on an iPad, the Amazon Fire is the first real consumer focused alternative tablet I’ve seen.

After playing with it, I even briefly considered whether it’d be worth my owning one just to have a 7" device. But between the Phone, iPod Touch and iPad, I thought it might be a bit too comical for me to start carrying around 4 devices of this type :)

In anycase, very nice looking device, and I think Amazon will be the one competitor to iPad to watch over the next couple years.

Nook Tablet

I also got a chance to briefly play with the Nook Tablet in store today as well. It’s not a bad device, but it feels far less refined than the Fire. I can’t say that I’d recommend the Nook Tablet over the Fire unless you fancy yourself having Hacker tendencies and really want the SD card slot (which the Fire does not have) And if that’s the case, I think such a person should probably step up to some of the other more general purpose Android 7" tablets that are out there or go for one of the numerous no-brand imports that are available from sites like dealextreme.com


Neat devices though. The whole post PC world seems really tangible right now for those that might want to go down that road.

I want to hear your

Fri 11/25/11 11:42pm #

Fred Meijer passed away today.

I want to hear your

Fri 11/25/11 11:53am #

Let's Go Surfing

Plastic Soda Bottle Lid Capsule
source: Instructables: exploring - featured

Neat idea.

Norwegian bookseller begins selling e-books on memory cards, for some reason (video)
source: Engadget

I think this is what is known as "trying to put the genie back in the bottle"/

The Vertical Chess Set
source: Likecool

This would be a cool thing to make.

Freemake Video Downloader lets you download from YouTube, Vimeo and more
source: The Red Ferret Journal - gadgets, cool sites, freeware and tech trivia

Nice App but make sure if you install that you switch to "advanced" and uncheck all the Bing toolbar stuff.

Superman poster by JC Richard for Mondo
source: Super Punch


Crafting Private Sleeping Quarters in a Loft: The Bed Cube
source: Apartment Therapy - Chicago

Interesting. Maybe not just for a Bedroom either.

Relocate Shower Caddies With Cabinet Knobs The Family Handyman
source: Apartment Therapy - Chicago

Neat idea.

Out of the Dog House: 25 Awesome Pet Habitats
source: WebUrbanist

Boldly go where no Kiteh has gone before!

"Nothing she does is memorable, because she does so much."
source: MetaFilter

Journalists, and journalism students, are drilled in the necessity of finding a story's hook, the thing that will justify its being written now. But relevance, a.k.a. buzz, can't trump the basic question: is this story good and does it deserve to be told?


"The rigorous division of websites into narrow interests, the attempts of Amazon and Netflix to steer your next purchase based on what you've already bought, the ability of Web users to never encounter anything outside of their established political or cultural preferences, and the way technology enables advertisers to identify each potential market and direct advertising to it, all represent the triumph of cultural segregation that is the negation of democracy. It's the reassurance of never having to face anyone different from ourselves." Charles Taylor, The Problem with Film Criticism

The Karate Kid Rehearsal Movie
source: MetaFilter

Paint the Fence!

You Sank My Battlestar
source: RIPT Apparel


Its a Cape real super heroes only please¦
source: The Red Ferret Journal - gadgets, cool sites, freeware and tech trivia


I want to hear your

Ptw @shatteredhaven

Ptw @shatteredhaven

Flickr: Thu 11-24-11 15:21:12 -0500

Ptw Daisy

Ptw Daisy

Flickr: Thu 11-24-11 12:37:36 -0500

Ptw Your next in line.

Ptw Your next in line.

Flickr: Thu 11-24-11 10:13:30 -0500

Ptw Eastward

Ptw Eastward

Flickr: Thu 11-24-11 09:59:16 -0500

Wed 11/23/11 12:26pm #

Paid Apps might have an advantage

I generally check out the Apps channel on flipboard every day. There are several sites in that channel that post daily lists of apps that have lowered their price significantly or to free. So I often discover apps that have been around awhile but I didn’t know about until the price drop.

But Free apps have no real way onto those lists, they are already free afterall so they can’t be featured in the ubiquitous price cutting/sale articles.

Free apps have to rely on the much more infrequent articles that profile new feature updates or category round ups.

I want to hear your

Wed 11/23/11 9:45am #

Red light, green light

The argument used to be, do humans want to be specialized like insects.

The new argument may be, do humans want to be reduced to a switch.

Red light, green light. On track, off track. Positive, negative. Profit, loss.

I want to hear your

Tue 11/22/11 10:06pm #

Killing time with iPad

Catch up on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

Catch up on email

Catch up on Flipboard, Zite and Google Reader

Try a new Notetaking app (Capture Notes 2)

Up next, NBC Nightly News App and then probably a little progress on an eBook.

I want to hear your

Tue 11/22/11 12:31pm #

Time flys when you are having fun

Do you work in an office only 3 days a week? How does that work for you? I think it would drive me batty on a permanent basis. With the Thanksgiving weekend coming up I’m only doing 3 days this week, and 4 next week. With various standing weekly status meetings and weekly occurring activities . A 3 day week is a pretty nutty pace, half the time seems devoted to preparing not to be here and the other half feels like it’s going to the status updates and minor weekly routine.

Couple that with being in the middle of Christmas (which is a pretty busy time for my employment) and you get some wheeeeeeee fun to say the least.

I want to hear your

Tue 11/22/11 8:39am #

Who Benefits?

I want to hear your

Tue 11/22/11 7:11am #

Social Media Thoughts on a Random Tuesday

I think existing social media is dying. I also think newspapers are dying. However, newspapers still generate alot of business, and social media will still generate alot of business.

Social media will likely even continue to die upward, in that more and more people will continue to get on it. But that doesn't mean that they will continue to use it in as authentic a way as they have at it's inception.

Noone cares much about the yellow pages, but they continued to drop it on people's doorsteps long after people really stopped using it.

And in anycase, businesses don't have to care about whether or not social media is being used as intended. Businesses mearly need to rate social media as a cost proposition. How effectively can a business drive sales using social media and at what cost?

Don't get me wrong, there is alot of refinement yet to happen in how business uses social media. And there will continue to be that refinement.

I also think that people will actually prefer to talk to businesses online over all but there closest friends, which for most people is actually quite a small real number.

People prefer to transact with large faceless corporations, and they will continue to do so. ie: While people like the occasional entertainment of going to a local farmers market, most people prefer the efficiency of a superstore grocery of some kind. Transactions in social media will be no different.

Let's face it, people can be flakey, they forget to call you back, they drop their ends of agreements, they don't follow thru. Companies do generally follow through on what they say they are going to do. The bigger they are, the more likely they will follow thru and keep their stated commitments. Impersonal sure, inhuman? likely, but efficient, predictable, reliable. I see no reason why people won't gravitate toward primarily interacting with corporations and their automated filters online for this reason.

Again people will keep their few close friends and family, but after that, as in the real world, most other transactions online will be of a corporate, automated bent.

But social media is dying, upward, but still dying.

I want to hear your

Ptw Beautiful night.

Ptw Beautiful night.

Flickr: Sun 11-20-11 20:58:51 -0500

Sun 11/20/11 7:07pm #

Just read an interesting thing called the Allen Curve, it has to do with personal communication and distance. Basically, people you see face to face, you communicate with more.

I want to hear your

Sun 11/20/11 5:13pm #

Let's Go Surfing

Comics Industry Issues Retort To Frank Miller. Including Batman.
source: Bleeding Cool

Frank Miller lost his mind last week over the Occupy Wall Street business.

How to Put Ubuntu Linux on a USB Thumb Drive (Without the Mess)
source: the How-To Geek

With an iPad and a Smartphone at one's fingertips, is there much reason to have an alternate OS on a USB stick for use on a "found" computer? I've always thought these were neat, but their use has got to be amazingly niche at this point.

Suzuki's Q concept blurs the line between car and motorcycle
source: DVICE

Unfortunately just another concept. None of these things ever come to reality at any sort of price point that makes sense.

Doctor Who Children in Need Charity Short.

There is a preview of the upcoming Christmas Special at the end of it.

Gif: Mirror
source: Likecool

Batman Beyond returns as ‘digital first series
source: Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

Interesting, hopefully this experiment goes well. Weekly comics are the way to go.

TP-Link Portable 3G Wireless N Router fits in your pocket, draws power from USB
source: Engadget

Cool device, but with Wi-Fi already much more ubiquitous than ethernet cable, this is again a very niche use item.

Victoria Saddle Bag
source: Likecool


Snow-Lek by Malcassairo
source: Likecool

Precipitate! Precipitate!

Desktop Bowling Alley
source: Likecool

Hmm... you could probably make something similar with some sculpty and a marble.

Does Amazon Have the Answer to Our Shipping Woes?
source: Unplggd

7-eleven is a nice choice for one of these. McDonalds would be another.

This little box turns any hard drive or camera into a Wi-Fi device
source: DVICE

This is just a kickstarter at the moment. But it looks like a very useful device idea. Although I imagine you could probably accomplish the same thing with a used netbook.

Flapcast: Stream & Play Podcasts Online
source: MakeUseOf.com

Flapcast.com. Interesting site with a memorable name. You don't even have to sign up. You can just use their Podcast search and press the play button, even on an iPad.

I want to hear your

Sun 11/20/11 1:42pm #

Snapping Doc Pics

Played around with Snapter a Windows program that let's you build PDFs from webcam taken stills. It's sortof tricky to find now as the company that makes it has discontinued it. In anycase, it did not work as well as the iOS apps: Genius Scan or CamScanner for detecting the boundaries of a page and straightening them, so I probably won't use very much.

Network file fun on the iPad

Also played around this morning with an iOS app called Filebrowser. Fairly simple access to your windows shares. It has "Open In" option so you can browse your network share and open the file in another app.

I've also been using iOS Air Video. It requires a Server on your PC or Mac. But once you install both, you can stream pretty much any video file pretty much instantly, directly off your networked PC hard drive.

Brighten up those dark photos

I've also been digging: ACDSee Camera Flash which is a nice little app that does natural brightening and adds a simulated Flash to your iOS Photos.

Vector Art on the Go

Need an Illustrator type app for your iPad? Try Inkpad I've been digging it.

Junkmail Catalogs on your iPad

I've been a big fan of Google Catalog for looking at retail and mail order catalogs. I've also recently discovered Catalog Spree. It's also worth checking out.

Get things straight!

Like photo apps that do one thing and one thing well? Try Image Straightener It does exactly what it sounds like.

Read me my Tweets

Want to try a fun twitter app? Checkout Tweet Speaker it reads your tweets to you.

Do you keep score?

Check out iKeepScore Universal App for iPhone and iPad, perfect companion for any board game. (Includes a nice dice roller and coin flipper too.)

Get it Write

iA Writer, Writing Kit, and enso Writer are 3 apps I can recommend. iA Writer is a nice clean distraction free writing environment. enso Writer is pretty clean as well (and is universal so you can use on iPhone and iPad), it has some sketching and split screen HTML preview options that are nice. and Writing Kit allows you to mark up your document in Markdown and export HTML to other apps etc.

Oh and if you want to try Markdown on your Windows PC, take a look at Write Monkey

I want to hear your

Sat 11/19/11 7:37am #

This is a test

Of the emergency broadcast system. The broadcasters:

  • in your area

  • in voluntary cooperation

  • with federal state and local authorities

Have developed this test

to keep you informed in the event of an emergency.

This has only been a test.

I want to hear your

Ptw Adam and Comfort Hooray

Ptw Adam and Comfort Hooray

Flickr: Fri 11-18-11 19:15:29 -0500

Tue 11/15/11 8:56pm #

Just a thought

What if email, angry birds, photos, facebook and music is the only thing the average person ever does with a smartphone?

Desktop computers have been around for decades now, and while their are dozens of niche uses, how many activities does the average person really do with their desktop or laptop?

It's sort of depressing really.

I want to hear your

Ptw Haircut

Ptw Haircut

Flickr: Tue 11-15-11 12:31:27 -0500

Posterous Post #

Article: Looxcie Adds Live Broadcasting To The Menu With The LooxcieLive Public Beta

Y'know, I could broadcast live from my phone already, and as of yet I have not had the need to do so, but this is still neat.

Biggest hurdle is just the creepy factor of having a camcorder on at eye level recording people all the time, it's going to take awhile before that becomes ok. 

We're barely, as a society, ok with the fact that people shoot still pictures from their camera at a drop of a hat. Motion seems a bit off yet.

Looxcie Adds Live Broadcasting To The Menu With The LooxcieLive Public Beta

(Sent from Flipboard)


Sent from my iPad

Mobile Update: Mon 11-14-11 12:29:42 -0500

Sun 11/13/11 9:12pm #

We're in a bubble and It's not not the internet, its higher education

Instead, for Thiel, the bubble that has taken the place of housing is the higher education bubble. “A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed,” he says. “Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus.”

Like the housing bubble, the education bubble is about security and insurance against the future. Both whisper a seductive promise into the ears of worried Americans: Do this and you will be safe. The excesses of both were always excused by a core national belief that no matter what happens in the world, these were the best investments you could make. Housing prices would always go up, and you will always make more money if you are college educated.

I want to hear your

Sun 11/13/11 7:36pm #

1996 article, written as if from 2096: White Collars Turn Blue

Snippets pieced together below, see full article above for larger post.
Most important of all, the long-ago prophets of the information age seemed to have forgotten basic economics. When something becomes abundant, it also becomes cheap. A world awash in information is one in which information has very little market value. In general, when the economy becomes extremely good at doing something, that activity becomes less, rather than more, important. Late-20th-century America was supremely efficient at growing food; that was why it had hardly any farmers. Late-21st-century America is supremely efficient at processing routine information; that is why traditional white-collar workers have virtually disappeared.

The same is true for individuals. The royalties that the Four Sopranos earn from their recordings are surprisingly small; the recordings mainly serve as advertisements for their concerts. The fans attend these concerts not to appreciate the music (they can do that far better at home), but for the experience of seeing their idols in person. In short, instead of becoming a knowledge economy we became a celebrity economy.

Now if you want to devote yourself to scholarship, there are only three choices. Like Charles Darwin, you can be born rich. Like Alfred Wallace, the less-fortunate co-discoverer of evolution, you can make your living doing something else and pursue research as a hobby. Or, like many 19th-century scientists, you can try to cash in on a scholarly reputation by going on the lecture circuit.

But celebrity, though more common, still does not come easily. That is why writing this article is such an opportunity. I actually don't mind my day job in the veterinary clinic, but I have always wanted to be a full-time economist; an article like this may be just what I need to make my dream come true.

I want to hear your

Sun 11/13/11 3:44pm #

Let's Go Surfing

Funny Batman Arkham City advertisement
source: Super Punch

Extended scenes

Define "All-Star"
source: Super Punch

Weird assortment of figures to call: All-Stars. Lafreeze (Cool, since I missed the DC Direct One.) Flashpoint Plastic Man (WTF?), Anti-Monitor Suit Superboy (Really?), and Batman Beyond (which seems fine enough, although it's been done in Classics)

ACDSee Camera Flash is FREE for a Limited Time
source: The iPhoneography Blog

Nice simple useful app, not sure if it's still free though.

7 Hidden iOS 5 Features You Might Have Missed [iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch]
source: MakeUseOf.com

The keyboard short cuts/text expander stuff is great for a few of those html tags you might want to use be might not want to dig through the keyboard to type the slashes and brackets.

Mayhem at the Manor poster now on sale
source: Super Punch

I posted a link to this earlier in the month, now it's in full color.

Listen To Your Own Private Twitter Station With Tweet Speaker [iOS]
source: MakeUseOf.com

Weighs in at a hefty 65megs, but interesting.

Short film pays gorgeous tribute to Blade Runner, using only handheld digital cameras [Video]
source: io9

The main video at the top is interesting, but after you watch that, watch the making of. It's some really cool stuff.

P:R Approved: Karl Heitmuellers Superman Comic Strip For BACK ISSUE Magazine!
source: Project Rooftop

Nice overview of Superman's costume thru the years, and a minor lament for the missing shorts.

What If This Is No Accident? What If This Is The Future?
source: TechCrunch

The new jobs that emerge may not produce a middle class gains in well-being that come from productivity improvements [may] accrue to an economic elite … we could be headed into an era of highly unequal economic classes. People at the bottom will have access to food, healthcare, and electronic entertainment, but the rich will live in an exclusive world of exotic homes and extravagant personal services.

Epic Disney/Sin-City Trailer Mash up

The General Problem
source: xkcd.com

Comic for November 4, 2011
source: Dilbert Daily Strip

I want to hear your

Posterous Post #

RSS Rant

RSS Rant

via Felicia Day by Felicia on 10/26/11
I’m going to use the longer posting capabilities (on here and Google+ which DOES NOT have RSS haha) to express my irritation about people removing RSS as a way to subscribe to websites.

Basically I’ve noticed a huge trend not only in websites moving away from RSS to Twitter and FB, but REMOVING IT COMPLETELY! Personally, I feel like this is NOT a good move for people who provide content to stay in touch with consumers. Why?

-Twitter has no good way to filter information sources and brands from friends. Lists are really not useable, I don’t think a lot of people use them, and the UI has them buried so it’s a pain in the ass to get to them. People are HIGHLY selective about who they follow, and they’re not gonna throw a dozen small blogs in with their best friends’ updates or the experience of using the service become greatly diminished.

-Facebook is a mess for trying to sort “likes” and pages, I don’t see how having a MASSIVE unwieldy feed of constant centralized updates helps ANYONE disseminate information. I would say you could check 5-6 Facebook pages a day MAX for blogs you like who have pages there. That’s a far cry from the 200+ blogs I check every day in about an hour.

RSS is a way to consume a LOT of information very quickly, and STORE it in nice categories if you miss it. So I can catch up with a small blog’s output at the end of the week and, if I so choose, read EVERY article easily in one sitting. You think on Friday I’m gonna go browse that same site’s Twitter feed on their page (digging through all the messy @ replies) and see what they did that week?! Or go to their Facebook page that is littered with contests? No way dude, I’m too busy for that!

I feel like small blogs cut their own throat by taking away the RSS capability. I give this analogy a lot, but social media outlets are INFO COLANDERS! 5% of your followers will see anything you post, and that’s probably only within 20 minutes of posting. That’s the way it is and it’s gonna only get worse. Apart from email lists, RSS is the best way you can collect stuff across the internet to read quickly, and I am so irritated when that choice is taken from me.

Mobile Update: Sun 11-13-11 13:02:00 -0500

Sun 11/13/11 11:02am #

Not cool twitter, not cool.

Twitter just launched something called the "Activity Tab". It shows what the people you follow are doing. Whether they are following new people, adding people to lists, or favoriting tweets.

It's that last part, I'm not that sure about, the immediate broadcasting of tweets I've favorited to my entire list. Part of the reason I'm not that keen on it is that I'm probably not using favorites exactly as intended, and Twitter immediately beamimg my "favorited" tweets into this list is effectively turning every one of my favorited tweets into a ReTweet, and when I favorite a tweet, it is not with the intention of Retweeting it.

I use favorites on twitter, as a way more often than not, of marking a tweet/link/or story that I haven't had time to read as something I want to come back to later.

I've always been aware that favorited tweets were public, but they were also obscure in that how many people were really going to take the time to go to my twitter page and click the list of my favorited tweets?

There are also other news Apps I use like Flipboard, that I very often "favorite" tweets in as a way of marking them to read later in Flipboard's favorites section.

Very often, I might find that something I favorited as a way of marking it for later is not something I'm interested in at all after I read it later. But twitter by actively broadcasting my favorites has now turned every favorite I mark into essentially a retweet. And I don't think I like that change.

In Flipboard, I can partially address this issue by emailing myself the stories instead of starring them for later, that will reduce some of the usefulness of Flipboard though, since emailing myself the link will take the story reading experience out of Flipboard when I choose to come back to them.

Anyway you look at it, this Activity tab has ratcheted up a twitter users sharing.

Every time you follow an account, you are essentially "recommending" that account to all of your followers.

Every time you organize a person into a list, you are now broadcasting that list's existence and your categorization of that account to all of your followers.

Every time you favorite a tweet, you are now effectively retweeting it to your followers, whether it's something you actually want to retweet or not.

And lastly, Twitter has effectively now created a second twitter stream (of just activity) that flows along side the first.

I don't see any privacy controls to restrict this new level of elevated sharing, and overall, I'm not really happy with waking up to find the rules of the game so abruptly redefined without warning.

Part of that is the price you pay for playing in someone else's playground I suppose. Twitter always has felt more like an open system than Facebook, however with Activity Stream, they just reminded their users, that for the most part they are running the same sort of racket as Facebook, but just at a slightly less intense level.

I want to hear your

Sat 11/12/11 10:16pm #

Virtual game board Idea I had

Probably plenty of people have already had this idea, but here it is:

You make a game board in photoshop.

You make the game board the background layer.

You lock the game board layer (so that it can't move.)

You import your game pieces, each onto their own photoshop layer.

You turn on Auto Select.

You select the pointer tool.

You lay your monitor flat.

You hit Tab on your keyboard to make all of photoshop's tool bars go away.

You put photoshop in full screen mode.

You plug in a second mouse.

Now you can take turns with another player moving the pieces.

Roll your dice on the real desk, move your pieces etc.

Want to pause the game? just save the PSD and reload it later.

To demo the idea I did all the above with a heroclix board and pieces in photoshop, then I used my iPad to remote control my desktop. The remote desktop control makes it a little tricky to move the pieces but you get the idea.

Photoshop in full screen, with auto select and all your pieces on their own layers makes a surprisingly good virtual table top.

I want to hear your

Sat 11/12/11 5:36pm #

Random Non-Sequiters

Time again for some random musings. We're at month five of owning the iPad and I still have no other tech toy in my sites. Normally by month three something appears on the horizon that is a must have, but surprisingly there's nothing much that's come along.

There have been some contenders, The Lytro camera looked interesting enough, but seems a bit overpriced for its usefulness, and then there's that little detail that it's only in preorder and isn't actually available yet. Also every now and then I have a faint bit of interest that creeps up in getting a Looxice, but after having played with lesser compact head mounted video cameras you quickly realize there aren't alot off places that you can run a constant tiny video camera without making people uncomfortable or just feeling abit creepy yourself (still it's neat tech and cultural mores withstanding how cool would it be to have a DVR for your life, may couple it with speech to text so that it's searchable? "Siri: show me stills from every time I said 'add to grocery list' in the last 6 days." It'd be neat to have that kind of random access recall wouldn't it? Most of the technology pieces are already hear, there'd just be the creepy little detail of privacy since you'd have to put yourself under constant surveillance to make it work.

Jennifer has been playing Skyrim the last day and half. Absolutely beautiful game. Makes you wonder why there aren't more tv shows that use these sort of 3D environments with this level of intensity? It's really engaging stuff, someone should take these game engines and combine them with live action, Land of the Lost style and produce some interesting TV. Maybe there is already some high end machinama in that vein and I'm just not plugged into that scene.

By the way I'm using iA Writer on the iPad to write this post right now. It's a delightfully simple word processor that works great when combined with a bluetooth keyboard in your lap.

I've read a handful of New DC 52, issue #2 and #3 books in the last few weeks. Nothing much jumping out at me. I find I have little patience of late for the overly narrated, under-storied 22 page pamphlet format and it's slow 6 month timeframe to unfold a single story.

On the app front, I'd really like to find a good meal planning/picking app. In all the computer app assisted wonderland I live in, I find that every day, twice a day I spend significant brain cycles trying to figure out what to eat for lunch or dinner. I suppose with a notch or two increase of income one could eat out every day, but even then, there's a fair amount of decisions between restaurants that need to be made.

Back to the technology and gadget front, I've mentioned this often at late when I do these sorts of rants, but the other piece of tech I'm interested in at the moment is the Makerbot 3D printer type stuff. Although the more I think about it, I'm pretty sure after some initial novelty wore off I'd probably only have a thing or two a month that'd I'd actually find the need to print/replicate. Well, after I printed about 30 or 40 action figures I suppose. That is, assuming that there was an active community uploading 3D model models that could be tweaked, I can't see myself digitally sculpting too many figures, while I like 3D, it's up there with Illustration as a tedious and time consuming pursuit. Enjoyable yes, but more work than leisure most of the time.

All for now.

I want to hear your

Ptw Ceiling cat

Ptw Ceiling cat

Flickr: Sat 11-12-11 15:37:47 -0500

PTW Shopping and puppets.

PTW Shopping and puppets.

Flickr: Sun 11-06-11 17:31:23 -0500

Ptw I couldnt resist

Ptw I couldnt resist

Flickr: Sun 11-06-11 14:05:43 -0500

Sat 11/05/11 6:31pm #

Let's Go Surfing


Free classic, ebooks you can read in a nice web interface in your browser or tablet.

The Future Of Books: A Dystopian Timeline
2013 – EBook sales surpass all other book sales, even used books. EMagazines begin cutting into paper magazine sales.

2014 – Publishers begin “subsidized” e-reader trials. Newspapers, magazines, and book publishers will attempt to create hardware lockins for their wares. They will fail.

2015 – The death of the Mom and Pops. Smaller book stores will use the real estate to sell coffee and Wi-Fi. Collectable bookstores will still exist in the margins.

2016 – Lifestyle magazines as well as most popular Conde Nast titles will go tablet-only.

2018 – The last Barnes & Noble store converts to a cafe and digital access point.

2019 – B&N and Amazon’s publishing arms – including self-pub – will dwarf all other publishing.

2019 – The great culling of the publishers. Smaller houses may survive but not many of them. The giants like Random House and Penguin will calve their smaller houses into e-only ventures. The last of the “publisher subsidized” tablet devices will falter.

2020 – Nearly every middle school to college student will have an e-reader. Textbooks will slowly disappear.

2023 – Epaper will make ereaders as thin as a few sheets of paper.

2025 – The transition is complete even in most of the developing world. The book is, at best, an artifact and at worst a nuisance. Book collections won’t disappear – hold-outs will exist and a subset of readers will still print books – but generally all publishing will exist digitally.

Adobe Webkit contributions

Alex Pappademas on the DC Comics Reboot
The most enduring fantasy character in the world of superhero comics is the New Reader. The myth of the New Reader goes like this: Somewhere out there, there are supposedly these people who don't currently read comics, but don't have anything in particular against them, either. And (supposedly) these New Readers even go see movies based on comic books from time to time, and afterwards some of them charge across the (figurative) street into their local comic-bookery, full of bright-eyed, openhearted curiosity and eager to read a monthly periodical with Green Lanterns in it. And then, per myth, they're confronted, there at the new-release rack, with a paralyzingly broad selection of comic books so clotted with incomprehensible backstory, so custom-tailored to the arcane expectations of superhero-comics lifers, that they might as well be printed in Dothraki or C++ or Nadsat instead of English. Plus, the guy behind the counter is usually kind of a dick. So instead of buying anything, the New Readers slink out of the Android's Dungeon confused and deflated and maybe ashamed, and an angel loses its wings, and superhero comics slip a little further into cultural and commercial eclipse.

And the other part of the myth is the idea that this doesn't have to happen — that if superhero comics could just figure out how to speak to the people it doesn't currently speak to, if the medium could do away with or at least downplay the qualities that make it seem juvenile or stodgy1 to outsiders, if comics could just put on a clean shirt and some jeans that fit and order a real drink and stop making tentacle-rape jokes in front of the New Readers, everybody on earth would suddenly get what's so great about them. This is first and foremost an argument you hear from comics creators and people on the business side, but it's one that gets echoed by fans and comics-blog types all the time. And it's weird that fans even care about this, but they do; no other niche pop-cultural fan-cohort is as concerned with how the thing they like is perceived by the world at large. As the great comics critic Chris Sims once joked, being a comics fan is like being a conservative, because you're always complaining about the mainstream media.

What reward does your brain actually seek?

Dopamine, Signal, anticipation and the power of: maybe. 5 min. Fora.tv video at the link. Really good. Worth watching.


Cool Site that you can make pixelated drawings on.

Royal succession: Equality and the monarchy | The Economist

There's so much absurdity in the headline. Like you could actually bring equality to the concpet of a Monarchy. The whole concept is antiquated, arguing over which gender of first born can or can not rule by virtue of birth is highly absurd.

Crayola Trace & Draw

Use your iPad 2 as a tracing "light table"

Wendy's Grill Skill Video -1989.

I saw this on a Twitter peep's tweet a few weeks back. This video was made about a year after I worked at Wendy's, but I did wear that same uniform and the views of the back of the restaurant etc. are nostalgic.

Next e-reader innovation: scrolling E-Ink web pages
source: Mobile Technology News

Scrolling eink. This is some cool looking stuff.

Inserting 3D objects into existing photographs

This is some amazing looking tech coming down the pike. See the video at the link above.

Neighborhood based social network. Interesting idea. Makes one think about the balance between anonymity and community though.

Look out competitors, Apple’s GarageBand is now on iPhone and iPod touch for $5
source: The Next Web

The nice thing is, this was a universal app, so since I alreday had it on my iPad, I downloaded it to my iPod Touch for Free. Neat app, but it is beffy weighing in at 500 megs even on the touch.

Kinect commercial SDK coming in 2012
source: Engadget

Surprized it's not out yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing what people and corps do with this on a PC once the official SDK is available.

How Lytro's Weird Design Tells A Story About Revolutionary Tech

Very cool, and there is a very cool embeded demo image in the article too.

Yahoo launches Livestand, a "living magazine" for the iPad

Ok app, very colorful, but isn;'t as deep as Flipboard. Strangely only seems to work in landscape mode at this time too.

Grommet Hanging Wall Pockets
source: ModHomeEc

This would be a cool project if I ever read paper magazines any more.

Compact Kitchens from Kitchoo
source: Freshome


I want to hear your

Sat 11/05/11 1:53pm #

Let's Go Surfing

Video, Batman Punches a Shark
source: Super Punch

Final Frame: Rewinding To the Past
source: Unplggd

I haven't tried it, but by the look of it, it looks like an amusing music player.

Guy Fawkes OWS bandanas
source: Boing Boing

Skylanders speed drawing
source: Boing Boing

Pretty epic speed drawing worth giving abit of a look.

Why being wrong makes us angry
source: Boing Boing

I didn't read the whole article, but the Boing, Boing snippet was pretty good.

Cookie Monster/Ringwraith
source: Super Punch

source: SpyreStudios Beginner’s Tutorial Coding Web Apps with jQuery Mobile

I want to hear your

<--Previous Month | Next Month -->