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