1803 Blog March 2018

March 2018

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Fri 3/09/18 10:59am # | tweet this

Random Non-Sequiter

I saw this awful trailer for this Been Stiller movie: Brad's Status.

There is an interesting exchange 3/4 thru trailer between Stiller and a young woman.

She says to him: "You're 50 years old and still think the world was made for you."

He corrects her: "I'm 47."
(Ironically, or not ironically, the actor is 52)

I've thought of this often the past week.

I want to hear your

Tue 3/06/18 9:02am # | tweet this

3D Printed Action Figure Stuff

I've been making some various action figure parts on the 3D printer lately.

In action figure collecting there are figures called: Build-a-figures. Action figures are typically released in waves or sets of 5 to 10 figures or so, and as a way of encouraging collectors to buy the whole wave and not cherry pick just the most popular figures, it's common for each figure to come with a piece: a head, torso, leg, arm, etc, that when you buy all the figures in a wave, you'll have the pieces necessary to assemble a bonus figure: the build-a-figure.

Often collectors still don't want an entire wave of figures, but they may want to complete the build-a-figure, so they may turn to eBay to buy loose pieces that came with figures they don't want, or they trade for the missing pieces with other collectors. This is still pricey however, as the pieces themselves will often run more than half the price of the full figure and piece combined.

I've been playing around with finishing some of my uncompleted build-a-figures with 3D printed parts.

Below is a Black Panther Okoye Build-a-figure I completed using a 3D printed leg and head. I had to find some similar models online, digitally cutoff the pieces I need and add sockets or connectors where necessary.

By the time I got around to painting the Dora Malije guard's head, I did acquire the actual missing leg at a clearance price that was worth it.

In an Avengers wave of 6 figures, I only wanted 3. The 3 figures I got came with Movie Thanos's arms an torso. I found a 3D Thanos model online that I could slice and create leg sockets for, for the legs. And I found another Digital Thanos head bust model, that I was able to digitally size, carve and socket a head, that I like even better than the real thing.

I will eventually paint the pieces. Painting is the slower part of the customizing process for me typically.

I want to hear your

Tue 3/06/18 8:38am # | tweet this

Older but charming single purpose tech

I'm typing this blog post on an Alphasmart 2000. I'm not a writer, where these devices seem to have a dedicated niche group of followers, and I'm also not a former student of a narrow age where these devices would have been used in schools in place of pricier laptops or desktops, so the device is new to me.

I like it so far. It's a very simple stripped down word processor. It shows 4 lines of about 36 characters at a time. It is powered by AA batteries, has instant on, and 8 file buttons that load one of 8 text files of approximately 12 pages in length. You transfer your text from the Alphasmart to a full size computer by plugging it in as an external keyboard, loading your chosen file and pressing the "send" key. The device then pretends it is a keyboard, for as far as your Windows or Mac computer is concerned, and the device sends one character at a time to the PC as if you were pressing the keys in brisk real time.

The main draw of the device would seem to be it is instant on, instant file loading, and completely no distraction in nature. Use the Alphasmart to get words out of your head, and then edit those words in a separate session on the PC later. I haven't played with it much, but I do find it very charming to use so far.

I want to hear your

Tue 3/06/18 8:01am # | tweet this

The internet scales

The internet scales. There were things before the internet that scaled: books, newspapers, radio, tv, but the internet blows these things away.

The internet creates a different dynamic. The internet is not perfect and does not scale perfectly. There are limiters. Native language is one, region to a lesser extent is another, search engines will often prioritize information closer to a users home region. There are more, but I'll leave those two out there for the purpose of this post.

One thing the early internet excelled at was transferring information from the non-internet accessible world to the internet accessible virtual world. Newspapers, magazines, these sorts of offline media, the people on the early internet spent a large portion of their time summarizing, re-conceptualizing, and often just directly copying the real world into forms that could be spread on the internet. Taking the offline world and bringing it online, was what people did with the early internet.

Then smartphones and omnipresent wireless access happened. Suddenly everyone is connected to the internet at all times. The internet ceases to be a separate thing and instead becomes a sixth sense and voice not limited by distance or presence.

Everything becomes connected to the internet. Everything becomes accessible via the internet. The internet changes from a thing that people use to communicate information about the real world, to become the thing people try to make the real world more like.

We don't want the real world. We want the real world to be more like the internet.

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, AI, 3D Printing, ecommerce, all these activities are really trying to bring the lack of restraints and lack of friction of the online world to the world older people used to call "the real world".

So that's everyone who is smart's job right now: Make the real world as scalable, as flexible and limitless as the virtual worlds.

I want to hear your

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