January 2015

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Sat 1/24/15 12:52pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing

Designing For Print With CSS - Smashing Magazine
source: smashingmagazine

Nice detailed article.

How to enter God Mode with Windows 7
source: instructables

Nice. Create a folder and rename it: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Andes Mint Cookies
source: instructables

How to saddle stitch leather
source: instructables

Decentralize All The Things!
source: techcrunch

I want to hear your

Wed 1/21/15 3:22pm # | tweet this

Thoughts on Today's Microsoft Presentation

Some links and my thoughts.

Microsoft's HoloLens headset is a holographic display for Windows 10
source: engadget

This is the most interesting thing Microsoft announced today. It's not a VR (Virtual Reality) visor, it's an AR (Augmented Reality) visor.

Microsoft is throwing around the word: Hologram everywhere, but it's really just a 3D heads up display.

They demoed and insinuated Tony Stark level 3D image manipulation. But it won't be that good.

This whole device comes down to timing and price. If it's $300 it's going to be quite the tech toy this Christmas, if it's $1,000 it's a footnote novelty most people will never try much less buy, if it's $175-- it'll change the world.

Microsoft's Surface Hub is an 84-inch device for Windows 10
source: mashable

The other cool thing Microsoft showed. It's an 84" 4K Windows Surface tablet to hang on your wall. You won't be able to afford one, but if you work in a really cool office, you'll be constantly fighting your coworkers to schedule a meeting in a room that has one.

Microsoft makes Xbox features an integral part of Windows 10
source: engadget

Microsoft also tightened Xbox branding and some integration with Windows. Seemed more buzz speak than anything else, and also they strangely demoed a Steam game.

Microsoft's new browser includes Cortana and offline reading
source: engadget

Offline reading? Great for people who fly alot, but I don't do fly much, so therefore I'm never offline. So there's not much need for this feature.

I've been able to talk to my Chrome browser for awhile now. I never do. Keyboard and mouse is faster and more accurate. Cortana won't change that.

Windows 10 for mobile wants to be the full PC experience on tiny screens
source: mashable

Microsoft is still trying to get you to use Windows on a phone. Win10 probably won't be the version to make people do that either.

Project Spartan is Microsoft's new web browser for Windows 10
source: mashable

I live in a Google world, so I'm not likely to leave Chrome anytime soon. This will have some nice features for offices though, so hooray for office people who will likely continue to live in an alternate Microsoft-centric world from the rest of us at home.

Microsoft To Offer Free Windows 10 Upgrades For A Year After Release - ReadWrite
source: readwrite

Nice that it will be a free upgrade for Win7 users as well as Win8 users. I'll likely update my 8" Dell Windows Tablet, but I don't know about my current desktop. I'll probably just need to plan on getting a new desktop computer in another 18 months.

Cortana is coming to Windows 10
source: mashable

Cortana is neat, but I doubt it will work any better than Siri, Google Now or Xbox One, so beyond the novelty, I doubt I'll use it. They should keep moving forward with this, but voice always seems perpetually 10 years out from being really useful.

At this point, I'd be much happier with a really good conversational query/answer/execute interface that I could engage with text and keyboard. I'd love to see them work on that before they try to figure out all the problems of text to speech.

I want to hear your

Tue 1/20/15 10:43am # | tweet this

State of the Union Bingo

The State of the Union is tonight. I've once again updated my State of the Union Bingo Cards. Click the link and refresh the page as often as needed to generate new random cards. When the word, phrase or action happens you can cross off the space. Some people use it as a drinking game too.

State of the Union Bingo Cards

UPDATE: by request, I also made an experimental version you can use on your phone or tablet. Read the disclaimer at the bottom of the card. Crayon is still probably safer.

I want to hear your

Tue 1/20/15 8:53am # | tweet this

Gas is too cheap

I watched this news report on the the PBS Nightly Business Report yesterday. They dedicated the whole show to Gas and Oil being too cheap. I get all the arguments as to why if gas and oil stays this cheap how it upsets the balance of things. The thing that strikes me though, is noone looks at it from a higher level.

Gas and Oil are valuable and useful things. Sure it'd be better to be on cleaner fuel sources, but that doesn't take away from their usefulness. You can make them into plastics, you can burn them for energy, you can run farm equipment to produce food for the world.

So putting aside the environmental concerns of burning fossil fuels for a second. The problem on the business show is that we have too much of a useful thing and having too much of that thing may wreck our economy?

Shouldn't we look at the underlying system? We may need to fix a system that crashes when too much of a good thing is available. That may not be the best system.

I could see a system crashing if you don't have enough of something you need, but a system crashing when you have too much of something you need? That's a weird system.

I want to hear your

Sun 1/18/15 6:12pm # | tweet this

Social Media

I read this medium article A teenager's view on social media. It had some interesting points.

I love his line about Facebook: "...as and awkward family dinner party we can't really leave." That is a perfect summation of Facebook I think.

The author of the above speaks highly of Instagram. I know a lot of people like Instagram. Personally I find it the least social of the 3. It's more broadcast than interaction in my opinion.

The kid (I can call him a kid right? I'm old enough to get away with that?) doesn't get Twitter. I can explain what Twitter is: It's a virtual office watercooler (something a 19 year old probably doesn't have much use for, since they're in school still). And like the office watercooler, you really don't want to talk about anything too offensive, state too many strong opinions, and for the most part it's safest to just talk about the current football game. Oh, and you can say nice things about whatever work project someone is doing, or agree with whatever they have to say about music/movies or tv. With any luck, you can talk to some people in your related field or interest. But don't try to talk to anyone too far above your station or outside your clique, that'd be like starting a conversation with a VP at the office restroom urinal. Office-like hierarchies and tribe mechanics are in effect.

I want to hear your

Sun 1/18/15 11:54am # | tweet this

So obvious, why didn't I think of it earlier?

Sometimes I find a model on Thingiverse that I want to print in 6" action figure scale on the 3D printer, and I'm forever guessing as to what I should resize it to.

Today, I had the completely obvious idea, one that should have been obvious from drawing and my perspective classes 20 years ago to just import a figure and use that as reference.

So I searched for an Iron Man on Thingiverse, imported it, scaled the figure to 160mm, and then I had a great visual reference to scale the trash can to. Like I said, obvious in hindsight.

I want to hear your

Sat 1/17/15 3:28pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing

Box office attendance hits lowest level in 19 years | The Verge
source: theverge

— a five percent decline since last year, and the largest year-over-year drop in nearly a decade. Most importantly, it's the lowest attendance figure since 1995, suggesting dire news for a film industry still struggling with digital piracy.
Sigh. It has nothing to do with piracy. Theaters keep getting more expensive. The experience is generally has gotten no better in the last decade, and in-home entertainment options are greater than ever. It's a wonder they've only had a 5% drop. It's a testament to people's desire to get out of the house that attendance has only dropped than small amount, I think.

DIY Cubes Calendar
source: instructables

IC Real Techs 720-Degree Allie Camera Can Stream Virtual Reality
source: techcrunch

Very cool, worth watching the video. Demo is shown on a tablet, but thie would probably work great with Google Cardboard too.

I want to hear your

Mon 1/12/15 9:47am # | tweet this

More Tech Thoughts


There’s lots of connected home stuff coming out. Electronic locks are supposed to become big. I have no interest in these, maybe in six years I'll think differently with a young kid, but for now, this isn't a home automation tech I'm interested in being an early adopter of. Beyond the Thermostat and Lights, I still struggle with whether any automation is really worth it for the average person. Phone/Internet connected Thermostat and Lights are cool though, even if it's hard to see upgrading present Nest or Hue lights anytime soon in the next 5 to 10 years.


Barring accident, I doubt I'll replace my iPad 2 in 2015. It's still a solid device 3 and a half years in.

Phone and Smartwatch

Cracked my Samsung S4 screen over Christmas. It still works at the moment, so I'm looking to hold onto it until the Samsung S6 comes out in March-ish. Unless an Android Wear Smartwatch comes out with a camera, I'll probably continue to primarily use my Gear 1, which keeps me in the Samsung ecosystem a little longer. Not that I mind. The S4 has been a great phone, and Jenn's S5 has been good too.


I'm hoping the Xbox One/Kinect voice control gets a little better next year. Also interested in seeing the Amazon Echo or anything in that category that Google might come out with to compete. It'd be interesting to see more conversational information delivery, but since they don't really have this in text yet, I doubt it's coming in any robust way to voice any time soon either.

VR headsets

I'm excited about this space, but I'm guessing if anything much happens with it in 2015, it'll be toward fall of 2015, or possibly even later. Until then, hobbyist experiences like Google Cardboard will probably be about it.

3D Printing

After a year of having a 3D printer I still think it's a neat thing. I print a few things a month from it. Still feels like a very hobbyist space. There have been some nice upgrades in some software I use for it. I don't expect much to change in this space over the next year and the average person probably won't have much use for one any time soon either.

I want to hear your

Thu 1/01/15 9:48pm # | tweet this

2015 6" Action Figures

Here's what 2015 is looking like for New in 6" scale action Figures.

Early 2015

Mid 2015

Probably 6" Funko Legacy (Like their excellent Game of Thrones Figures) of Rocketeer and Firefly sometime in mid to late 2015.

Likely to be some nice Star Wars Black 6" figures during the back half of the year. Emperor Palpatine is a noteable figure already announced for later in the year, and four Ep VII figures have been leaked.

Maybe a few of Arrow/Flash TV figures will be worth getting. Arrow, Flash, Black Canary and Malcom Merlyn stand out? But scale might be too tall as these are 7" and not 6”, plus all but Merlyn have been made before in 6" scale in their comic versions.

Not much in the way of New DC Collectible figures until at least late 2015? As most everything announced so far are characters previously done in 6".

Mattel doesn't seem to be doing much with the DC License at retail in the 6" scale outside of their more kid-friendly Total Heroes Line. Maybe something will be announced at Toy Fair, but with no cartoons or major DC movies this year, it seems unlikely there will be much beyond a Batman figure or two.

Will there be 6” action figures announced for Avengers 2 and Ant-man? Likely in store April 2015 and June 15? Toy Fair in February seems the absolute latest that those could be announced. However, there do not seem to be any announce prominent characters in either film that haven't been made in 6" already (Not counting upcoming Movie Specific costume variations of course.)

Action Figures for Fantastic Four (7/31?) Probably not as Marvel isn't interested in promoting this 20th Century Fox Film and has even cancelled the comic for now.

I want to hear your

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