Transmetropolitan

VR

I see Oculus Rift finally got a product to market. It only took them two years and a buy-out by facebook, two dev kits and the assertion that Next Gen consoles weren't powerful enough to generate VR image.

And then Google made a headset out of cardboard and a mobile phone.

And now Oculus Rift has cranked out thier first and only consumer product. It's a headset you slot a Samsung Mobile phone into!
Transmetropolitan

Scott '”Not as smart as I think I is” Adams strikes again.

Scott Adams' blog makes me happy.

Not because it's well written, thoughtful or any other redeeming quality, it makes me happy because it's my Three Minute hate: It gives me something to be angry about that's not actually important.

I can be angry about so many important subjects, and afterwards, just feel depressed because my blazing righteous fury affected nothing and these terrible events just keep going, smashing everything in front of them.

But Scott Adams? He's just doing comic strips and posting incredibly stupid blog posts. And he knows he’s writing dumb stuff because he’s had so much feedback he’s got a CYA on the top of each post:

Warning: This blog is written for a rational audience that likes to have fun wrestling with unique or controversial points of view. It is written in a style that can easily be confused as advocacy for one sort of unpleasantness or another. It is not intended to change anyone's beliefs or actions. If you quote from this post or link to it, which you are welcome to do, please take responsibility for whatever happens if you mismatch the audience and the content.

In other words, “If I said something dumb, well it’s your fault for being offended because I didn’t mean it, gawwwd. But if you agree, it’s because I’m smart.”

Today’s example of being a complete doofus: Aspirational Genetics

Adams has come up with this theory that if you lightly torture mice by underfeeding them and dangling food out of reach, they’ll decide to have babies that are tall enough to reach the food. He calls this Aspirational Genetics, because in his tiny world, he’s decided that you can merely decide to alter your DNA.

In other works he’s re-invented Lamarckism, which was based on the assumption that events during a person’s life would be passed on to children – e.g. if a woman was frightened by a rat while pregnant, her child would have rat like features.

And so, like almost every grand idea Adams comes up with we can bust it with a few minutes of Googling and a little rational thought. So in effect, a rational audience can have fun with the topic, if only by enumerating on how un-researched and how little rational thought was put in.

Then you read the comments from people larding on the praise for such brilliant thinking and realise this is the ego-stroke echo-box for Adams and no matter how dim he is, he’s always going to feel brilliant because of his sycophants telling him how marvelous his intellect is – Prompting him to toss out another scrap of delusional maundering and giving us all another recycled concept to mock.

Transmetropolitan

The dog in the water

We took the dog up to the Yorkshire Dales to look at Malham Cove*. The dog was very impressed and took great delight in throwing herself into the river, many times. She seems to enjoy both paddling and the odd little swim. I think she just likes feeling mud squish between her toes.

Malham cove was exactly as you'd expect from a giant limestone cliff created by glacial melt water, and Malham was fairly dinky and pleasant, though scattered with yellow jersey wearing sheep.

*Malham is nowhere near the sea.
Transmetropolitan

State of the dragon

Working on some design. It's one of these weird concepts, like "Draw a picture encapsulating the concept of something you can't imagine."

Awkward.

Also I got a pestle and mortar given to me so I've been wandering around grinding stuff. I now have a lot of really fine salt to put on popcorn.

I also now know why salt nees anti-caking agent. I may have to stick a popsicle stick in this and call it a salt lick.
Transmetropolitan

I’m not ded!

I’m still live and kicking. I sort of gave up on LJ because frankly Iw as having more fun on G+ and I just forgot LJ was there.

But now I return and find they have a j/k key navigation and I’m all squeetastic, because that’s the perfect way to read it.

It’s the little things.

So what’s new?

  • Went to a masquerade ball. That was surprisingly fun. It turns out army officers are all party animals.
  • It’s hot. I’m surviving but I don’t want to go outside. Hiss hiss.
  • Tea. Mm. Lovely tea.
  • Steams ales took all my money.
  • I bought an e-ink reader and I’m loving it.
  • Other stuff that doesn’t occur to me.
Transmetropolitan

AC

Packed for AC, unpacked, re-packed, checked the airline website and now I'm worried because I don't know how much my luggage weighs. I need to go off and weigh it to make sure it's not 'over weight'.

If I have to I'll just have to cut out a few of the gifts I was going to bring and mail them instead.
Transmetropolitan

Is piracy that bad?

Hollywood claims it'll destroy an entire multi-billion dollar industry - But Hollywood got started in California because they were hiding out from Edison because they were pirating his camera technology. And Edison was making money selling pirate copies of 'The first men in the moon'.

America, a young country, was also infamous for never paying royalties on the inventions that they stole from older countries!

And now the USA is arguably the largest media producer in the world - If not quite the economic powerhouse they were ten years ago.

China is doing what the US did 150 years ago, and selling us cheap goods, bootstrapping their economy into the 21st century.

Authors and musicians who's efforts are regularly pirated paradoxically see increases in sales - Which the RIAA laments, even as they take 99% of the profits generated.

The Music industry has balked at every innovation in music - From music halls, to sheet music, to records and radio, through to tapes, CD burners and the internet, promising that at every step, this would definitively destroy not only the industry but actual music itself. And they have never failed to make a profit every time.

Adobe Photoshop is massively pirated - But the result is that now almost everyone who does graphics has experience in Photoshop and so it's the de-facto leader for image creation and manipulation, to the point where it's an officially recognised verb. Adobe has not declared bankruptcy.

And when all's said and done and the actual numbers are examined, the losses through piracy per year add up, in total, to roughly the profit of the Alvin & The Chipmunks movie - Less than $460,000,000.

Or to put it another way, approximately 1/800th of the advertising budget for the USA alone, which is roughly four hundred billion dollars. Roll that around your palate for a moment. Four hundred billion dollars. That’s a round trip to Mars with enough money left over to give every person in the US $330 to play with. And they’re worried because for every thousand dollars they spend on an advert, they lose one dollar of profit to piracy.

What's shocking is not that the figure is so low, but that the Chipmunks movie made so much!

Transmetropolitan

Lighting concepts post…

Light is great, it lets us find our sandwiches and saves our shins form being mauled by feral coffee tables and means we don’t all have to learn braille.

But there’s different ways to achieve illumination in our daily lives and different types produce different shadows.

If you’re painting a picture with shadows you might want to know what sort of shadows you should be using – Not all lights produce the same sorts of shadows. More, on the tutorial page at http://www.cuprohastes.com/tutorials/2011/10/27/lighting-types.html