A sense of things at the moment
No particular order-- stream of conscience, more or less.
Twitter and Facebook. Part of it's likely summer, but Twitter's felt slow and less real time of late. The newsfeed direction may be winning out over the social direction. One other thing I've noticed about Twitter-- the star which always seemed like a riff on the star save for later in Google Reader really seems to have shifted to a "like" usage ala Facebook of late. Facebook-- I really don't know why I frequent and read that service as often as I do, it's like a Jacob Marley stream of friend and family past.
The great RSS calamity of 2013 has come and gone. Google Reader is dead. People have scattered to the the 4 winds of it's RSS replacements. As noted in past blogs, I ended up on Newsblur. I'm liking it pretty well for the most part. It's hard to compete with the muscle of backend power that was the Google Reader Engine though.
I last did one of these types of posts on 6/2/13. I rambled on about media there.
It's summer, so other than movie theaters, media is in low gear at the moment. Fall 2013 looks to be busy though.
One media point of note. I bought a clearanced sound bar last month for one of the small tv's. It was probably originally $99 or something, but it was clearanced down to $35. While I bought it because I wanted a small soundbar, the thing had an off brand media player in it too-- including playback of Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Youtube and others. In anycase my point is, if you look just a little bit, those Netflix type boxes can be had for uber-cheap now. I'm guessing within 2 to 3 years, they'll finally replace the cable box, if not quite replacing "cable" for many many people.
I ranted on this topic in the same post as above last month. There have been some interesting things in tablets this past month, noteably the Acer Iconia W3 Full Windows 8, 8". I still haven't seen one in the wild yet. But $350 for a full windows device and a touchscreen sounds very interesting. I'm sure it's still going to have a hard time breaking through the tablet marketing wall that is: iPad. But at that pricepoint, I could see adding one of these devices to my stable in the future, if for nothing else than to have a mobile Windows device that I could more easily pull files off my home server with.
My work changed their mobile device policy, and I decided to disconnect my personal devices from their email and wifi due to that change. I have hotspot functionality on my phone so I can be connected when I need to be on other devices through that, but the change from ubiquitous wifi at home and work and the loss of work email streaming to my phone and Pebble has caused a drop in "feeling connected". It's been a while since my work communication was so centered on my desktop. In the long term, it's probably a good thing though, but the gadget lover in me does miss the Pebble lighting up with notifications as often.
Still haven't seen anything "must get" on the 3D printing front. There's a few Kickstarter things floating out there, but nothing that feels really solid, if you'll forgive the pun, yet. Soon maybe though?
I also blogged briefly about a mini tablet I picked up at Best Buy for $50. So check that out if you haven't.
Not a whole lot else other than the Acer above has captured my eye on the device front this past month.
I've said before, and I like to preface this often, that I'm not a gamer, but we did get an Ouya a couple weeks ago. Jennifer blogged about that here and heres. It's a neat device. Most definitely a first generation product, but it does open up an exciting entertainment vector of low cost casual app store based gaming for your tv. While it's had mixed reviews, and it's low cost has made most of the mainstream tech press voraciously disparage it. It is a neat and well put together device with great promise for the future I think. If it can get enough indy developer support and maybe a bone tossed from one of the big guys or two, it or something similar could really be a new way to do computing and gaming on your TV--- unless I suppose Apple completely kills them in their cradle by releasing a Gamer Apple TV in the fall.
Compared to last year, this spring summer has really be fantastic this year.
Comics and Fandom
Image comics launching a DRM free way to buy their comics as CBZs and PDFs that you can actually "own" and move between devices and apps was a pretty cool change in comics last month.
There also seem to be some interesting mainstream things happening in digital comics too, but it's much much harder to actually get a true sense of it. By many media accounts, video game, television and movie based properties are doing really really well in stores like Comixology right now. There was even a story a couple days ago about a company that will be making all sorts comics based on 80s television-- Saved by the Bell, Knight Rider, Punky Brewster and others. Tablets may be creating the mainstream platform for comics that the direct market never could, fanboys may end up being disappointed when the money and the talent begin to shift their attention away from Superheroes though. I think you can get a larger part of mainstream readers to read comics as a medium, but I'm not sure they'll want to read the same things that the fanboys have been reading for the last 30 years. Mainstream acceptance of the medium, through digital comics, may likely turn out to be a double edged sword. Think MTV and not playing videos, and replace that with comics/capes.
People, Careers and Jobs
I also did a pretty lengthy section on this last month. It might be awhile until I have much to add to that.
One small thing I have been thinking a little on though is just how "together" things can be now. Of course everyone has different circumstances-- ie if you're out of work, or over extended on your house or car payments, or going through issues with friends, family or spouse or having medical problems, things probably don't seem too "together", but if you're fortunate enough to know where your next meal is coming from, not worried about your basic material needs much, have a person or two to talk too and you're feeling healthy, it's a really interesting time in America where things are really "stable" as much as they are likely to be anyway.
We're sortof past a time of great technological disruption it seems. Sure there's more little changes to come and probably some bigger changes in jobs and health care to come very soon, but that feeling that "something unknown" is going to disrupt the status quo doesn't seem to be so omnipresent. It feels like for the next 5 years or so, we are going to get to live awhile in the future we just got done inventing over the last 8. That feeling in itself is a little weird, as it was easy to get hooked on the adrenaline of "one more thing" being invented every 3 months or so for the last handful of years.
Those of us that like and live for a sort of constant new vibe will keep our eye out for those things peeking their heads over the horizon, but most people are probably going to take a few years to figure out how to best use and take advantage of the toys and tech already around them instead. Sure, the fine folks of the masses will listen to us a we point to distant shadows, but I don't think they'll pay such things much mind for awhile anyway.
I think for the small number who are hooked on "one more thing" though, it's going to be a "what to do, what to do that's new" sort of fretting for a few short years anyway. That's my feels on that anyway.