Featured posts Show

Where are all the magical gaming inputs?

NES-Power-Glove

In 2011 new and exciting gaming inputs promised a total shift in how we interacted with games. Not only games, but technology. This was the new unexplored frontier that was going to revolutionize everything and then… nothing happened.

The post-kinect world didn’t really look any different. Motion controllers, or gaming wands amounted to nothing more than a fad. It was like we dusted off the power glove and NES light gun and called them new.

Inputs aren’t revolutionizing gaming or interfaces. Are new consumption interfaces going to be the same thing? Is the Occulus doomed to niche lab experiments?

Posted Friday, May 16, 2014

San Francisco Airport’s TSA worst in the country blogger says

TSA-post

I feel like I’ve gone through security at a lot of airports. Years ago I was flying home after living abroad and went through JFK (I think?) and it looked like a 3rd world country to me. There were guys with machine guns all over the place.

But all of that pales in comparison to how awful the TSA is at JFK. I always opt-out of the body scanner and security is almost always extremely polite about the whole thing.

SFO is downright hostile.

San Francisco Airport’s TSA worst in the country blogger says

Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Voting with money

162544310_eb6e964295_o

Here’s an idea. Why not get rid of all the pain and wasted money with elections and replace them with ballot boxes that only accept money. Want to be a Senator? Pay the most money and you can have the seat.

This is just like the system we have, except more honest

There is basically no change in the US between someone winning based on votes and someone based on money. Elections are just marketing challenges and all things being equal the candidate with the most money wins anyway. Why not skip the dog and pony show?

Voting with money

Posted Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dev incentives are screwy

The monster known as DLC

The monster known as DLC

When an app is released and people love it, they buy it and everyone is happy right? Well no, because there are bugs, and people want extra features, and the dev didn’t have a chance to build all the things they wanted. They keep working and make a new version.

Now there are a bunch of users who already paid for the app and a new version. The new version goes out, existing users get it for free and maybe the app gets a little bump in downloads from press.

From a time investment standpoint the new update probably isn’t worth it. The incentives are messed up.

Video game companies are tackling this with DLCs. But gamers feel nickel and dimed. There has to be a better way to get consumers and developers on the same page.

Posted Saturday, April 12, 2014

What does one do in a post-job economy?

Dodge-Truck-commercials

We already know (or at least posited) that one way society gets richer is by destroying jobs. But how do you distribute resources if half your employment base isn’t working?

What does one do in a post-job economy?

Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What is the next great age?

Machine-intelligenceOr, what is the next great age?

The great ages have moved from iron, bronze, steel, (skip a few), industrial, chemical, and silicon/internet. Certainly the internet isn’t done and it will impact every future age just like past ages are built-in to ours. But what’s next?

There’s no way to know and every guess will sound stupid in 100 years but why not take a shot.

What is the next great age?

Posted Monday, April 7, 2014

The Art of War in the 21st Century

iron-man-3-hud-2

Humans are traditionally very bad at predicting the future. We can see the line of a series of innovations and how they might effect things but we always fail to see the innovations on the flank.

For instance, check out this great AT&T ad from 1993 about the future.

The Art of War in the 21st Century

Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Comcast vs Fiber

I recently hooked up internet in a location without Fiber and had to go to Comcast. It’s the first time I’ve used their service since I was in high school so I was hoping it had improved.

Surprisingly they said I could get 20 Mbit fiber which was awesome. My fiber was only 15 Mbit. So I got everything setup and quickly ran a speed test

Comcast 20/5

Advertised: 20/5
Actual: 5/2

Strangely I only got 5 Mbit. I thought it might be the server so I hoped on my old fiber connection and ran the same test:

BroadWeave 15/15

Advertised: 15/15
Actual: 13/10

Traffic Shaping

I was disappointed by the big loss of speed from Comcast. I expected them to fall short of advertised (everyone does) but to fall all the way down to 5? I lost 75% of my speed while fiber sat around 15% loss. That’s awful but at least I should be able to stream video.

I connected to my file server which is where I store my legally obtained digital content and started streaming. Uh-oh, even though the server can pump out 1500 KB/s I can only get 125 KB/s when going through Comcast. I checked from a few other locations and got stellar speeds which means Comcast is traffic shaping. Other locations give me quite a bit better speed, in the 1500 KB/s range but when I hit my server all of the sudden traffic shaping kicks in and my speed tanks.

Monopoly

Enjoy your monopoly now Comcast, or should I say Xfinity, because as soon as anyone has choice it will quickly become apparent that your internet offering is subpar. I don’t need a company deciding what traffic of mine is worth my bandwidth, that’s my business. Further, I think I ought to make a complaint to the BBB about your outrageous speed discrepancies.

Posted Wednesday, October 13, 2010
6

HTC – You Owe it To Us

On October 11, 2009 I rushed to get the HTC Hero on the first day it was sold. Eight months later that phone is now considered obsolete. Especially by HTC. First they took nearly seven months to update that phone from Android 1.5 to Android 2.1 now they’ve promised to never update it again.

One update is all they could give us? I really like my phone but when I bought it I thought that it would be updated for a long time to come. I had just come from the iphone where we got all the updates we wanted and when an update was released there was no waiting.

Let me cut to the chase,

Dear HTC,

You have abandoned Hero users. When we buy a phone we don’t just buy it for what it can do, we buy it for all that it will be able to do. Maybe you’ll be better in the future about keeping products updated (and updated in a timely manner) but for now you need to remember the people that made you money just eight short months ago. Here’s what you must do.

Opensource all the drivers for the Hero.

You make a lot of phones, I understand thats a big strain on your dev team to try to keep everything updated. That’s fine I guess. I’m disappointed but the least you could do is release the code for all the drivers. Be honest, there’s not a lot of proprietary value in keeping your drivers secret, especially for what is now considered an “ancient” phone.

Please do this, then I can compile from source myself with a 2.2 rom or a 2.3 rom or whatever rolls down the pipe. You want to abandon us? Fine, at least leave us with the tools to pick up the slack.

Signed,

Dan a, until recently, loyal HTC fan.

BTW, this isn’t a suggestion really, HTC required by law to opensource their kernel. I’m asking nicely but really they’re obligated to.

Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2010
3

Solar Power Still Sucks in a Big Way

I spent $100,000 to save $20!My numerous (and very vocal fans) will remember that I already wrote a post on how much solar panels suck. But someone who “works in the industry” told me how totally wrong I was. That post was from 2008 so technology should be totally different now right? Almost everyday there’s a story about solar panels reaching new and incredible limits in efficiency.

Please Solar, PLEASE!

I want it to work so bad. I would love to get rid of my electricity bill. Understand, I have a vested interest in solar power being awesome, if it were awesome then I could just throw some panels up and free myself of the utility company. Maybe one day that will be possible, please I wish it were. Even if I could cut it in half I would be thrilled.

So, let’s figure out what that would take. Because if it’s cost efficient, I will do it right now. Luckily for me there’s an organization that has done all the work for me and created a calculator using the latest in technology and current industry costs. Great.

Right now I use an average of 37 kwh per day. That’s slightly above average in the US (don’t ask me how my 1800 sq/ft home does that). Now to get half of that, now remember I’m using this calculator, I need about a 4.1 kW array. So how much does that cost? Luckily they have a calculator for that too.

It’s Totally Cost-Effective

think about how much money they'll save on storage!

So you're an investment banker huh?


So, the grand total is $32,800 to get rid of half my electric bill. But don’t worry, there are tax breaks for this, the federal government will give me almost 10,000 dollars so it ends up being 22,960.00 (I said almost 10,000).

Great, so now if I spend $22,960 to save $35 dollars a month I will recoupe my investment in about 60 years. That doesn’t include stuff breaking, or what happens if we get less than the optimal amount of sun. In reality it’s probably twice as much.

Sorry solar, until the cost is low enough that the investment can be recouped in a year, maybe two, you’re just not worth it.

Actually, I’ll go one step further and say that the government should stop paying people to throw their money away on a technology that isn’t ready. I’m all for more efficient panels and more research but right now it’s just burning money on a technology which probably is way worse for the environment to make than just burning the coal for the electricity.

Prove me wrong and I will love you. Until then, sorry solar, you suck.

Posted Thursday, June 17, 2010
61