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Eric Ravenscraft
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Eric Ravenscraft

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In which a representative for the National Association of Theater Owners claims that The Interview will lose money because theaters didn't like Sony's day-one VOD release schedule. Because that's what happened.

I get that theaters have to cling to their exclusivity tighter than an internet writer clings to sarcastic jokes as a defense mechanism. But when the star player sits the game out and pouts, he doesn't get to come back and say "See? We wouldn't have won anyway." Maybe they would have if you weren't being a selfish dick.

Oh, and let's not pretend that theaters chose not to show The Interview because Sony also wanted to put it online. This wasn't a moral objection or a negotiation tactic. Movie theaters simply did what they do best: they pissed their pants the instant the internet did something scary, took their ball and went home.
The National Association of Theater Owners has some harsh predictions on the future of the day-and-date release in theaters & VOD.
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+Paul Tobeck Crappy as the Movie itself is, this has nothing to do with the movie. Theater assoccomplaining about the consequent consequences of their own actions. They first chose to cave to threats, THEN Sony reacted by releasing VOD. THEN theaters changed their minds and decided to show it.

I'm a bit annoyed that theaters would not defend freedom of speech, then exercise their freedom of spin.
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Hold on.  You mean to tell me that restricting a physical media format to only approved players, bogged down with complicated update schemes, completely banning PC playback without expensive software, ignoring the Mac market entirely, and generally giving the finger to paying customers didn't result in huge sales for years to come?

Color me mother fucking surprised.
Sony is warning shareholders to expect poor financial results for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. The electronics giant previously expected to pull in an operating income of 80 billion yen...
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andy o
+Andrew Dodd agree with +Eric Ravenscraft. Blu-ray is way harder to play than DVD ever was on the PC. The only surefire way to do it is to buy AnyDVD HD and keep it updated. Do you know anyone that has bought a new pc with a fancy overpriced Blu-ray player, that could actually play the movies without problems, especially newer ones? Even when you do buy a "legit" player, they come out with a new version about every year, and if new blu-rays break due to updated DRM (which they eventually will), then tough luck.

With DVDs, you can fire up PowerDVD 2.5 or something 15 years old and will play them.
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Question for the Linux users out there: I'm doing research on an article about the best features of Linux desktop distributions and equivalents you can bring to Windows. Any suggestions? Accepting both known equivalents and sweet features Linux does have that there may not be a direct equivalent for.
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Eric Ravenscraft

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I can't believe this needed to be said, but...guys. Don't fucking smash your phones.

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Amen... 🙆
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This is crazy. +Android Police reports on a project called Hera, Google's plan to bring Chrome and Android together into a single, unified interface. It's still unclear how it will all be implemented, but the web has been a second-class citizen on an operating system made by one of the biggest internet companies around. It only seems right that Google fix this.

Not to mention, that new look. Whenever Hera shows up on Android, it looks like it's going to bring a new style to Android. We previously saw a glimpse into this new UI when +Russell Holly of showed us what a future version of Gmail will look like here:

Android updates have been boring since Ice Cream Sandwich. Jelly Bean brought us Google Now and that was cool, but just about everything else was under the hood or minor tweaks. Thankfully, it looks like Google's not done bringing the hits.
Occasionally, an OS update will bring around features that really change things. Android 3.0 brought the Android experience to tablets. 4.0 completely reva... by Liam Spradlin in Android OS, Exclusives, Google, News, Rumors
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sounds interesting
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Eric Ravenscraft

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There's No Such Thing as "Your" Data
Or: I'd Like to Sell You the Moon

Spoilers if you're woefully behind on Game of Thrones, but there's a moment in season 2 of the show, Lord Varys is speaking to Tyrion Lannister on the nature of power. He asks the half-man who a sellsword would obey, a king, a priest, or a rich man, if each bid him kill the other two. The riddle has no answer, however. The point isn't the answer, the point is the problem. There is no way to resolve the question of who truly has the power when all parties involved disagree on who has the power.

"Power resides where men believe it resides," Lord Varys concludes.

Property ownership stems from a similar concept. Aside from our own bodies, there's nearly nothing we truly "own" outside of a more-or-less universally acknowledged social contract. So far, science hasn't created a way for one person to take control over another person's body, but everything else—your clothes, your car, your home, your various toys—can be removed from your possession if someone can find a way to engineer, through the shared social contract, that it belongs to them instead of you. You can be taxed, fined, penalized, charged, or sued for your property. The contract is elaborate and full of loopholes.

Yet, it's better than the alternative. If not for this social construct, anyone who walks inside your home and takes your TV becomes its owner, purely by virtue of having it. We don't like it when some rule or law says we owe someone something of ours, but we much prefer it to an anarchic law of pure possession.

There's just one little niggle with this contract of ours: it was never designed to account for information. Historically speaking, the idea of even owning information is relatively new. The earliest copyright laws—which granted the creator of a work exclusive rights to duplication and distribution of said work—first appeared in the early 18th century. It would still be hundreds of years, however, before the concept of "data" as we understand it even began to develop.

The internet revolution happened incredibly quickly, as historical events go. In a single generation, the average person has gone from having no computer of any kind in their home to having a device capable of observing and recording video, audio, location, and motion in their pockets. Devices that can communicate with nearly any of the other devices that are also recording information. Oh, and collectively, we have the ability to store that data in ways never thought possible.

Between copyright and privacy laws, we've gotten ourselves tricked into believing that there's such a thing as data ownership. If the government starts pulling your GPS records without a warrant, they get in trouble because that's a form of privacy invasion. If you post a photo online and someone takes it, crops out your watermark, and posts it on their website, they've violated copyright.

If someone follows you around and writes down every place you visit, but does nothing with this information, they have broken no laws. There is no legal concept that states you are sole proprietor and owner of the information regarding your life and that the mere collection of this information is a violation.

While you might be able to argue that a human being in this example would be guilty of some kind of stalking law, that technicality is irrelevant. You carry dozens if not hundreds of "people" around in your pocket. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and all of the many, many apps you have installed on your phone can gather far more information than a stalker following you around could, and they can do so almost invisibly.

There's almost no end to the types of data that can be collected about you. Forget the really private things like financial statements or emails and messages. The places you go, the number of steps you take, which apps you use, when you talk to people, what time you use your device. Nearly every action you take can be a data point to analyze and understand how people behave.

Analyzing that data is incredibly lucrative, too. Not for you, of course. Unless you're working for one of these companies, you probably don't have the means to analyze your data in any meaningful way. Partially because it's cumbersome for you to collect your own data, and partially because your data is useless without data from hundreds, thousands, or even millions of other people. However, Google can use "your" data to do all kinds of amazing things.

If I enter the phrase "ren and stimpy k" into Google, the search engine will suggest that the word I'm about to type may be "kowalski", "kilted yaksman", or "kitty litter". All of these seemingly random words are meaningful, specific, and relevant. How? How in the ridiculous hell could Google know that the letter "k" is meant to indicate "kowalski", much less "kilted yaksman"?

Data. Someone else's, actually. These results aren't my personal history. They belong to someone else. At some point in the past, some person who isn't me put those terms into the search engine. By recording this data and analyzing it, Google is able to improve my search experience.

This is exciting, but it's also terrifying. It will be uncomfortable to hear, but it's necessary in the modern world to accept a simple truth: you are incapable of preventing all possible data tracking. Cameras, satellites, and software virtually everywhere ensure that, no matter how much technology you eschew, someone can get some data off of you. Your local store tracks your purchases. Your cell carrier tracks your calls. Your area's law enforcement tracks the roads and intersections you drive down every day. Unless you plan to move to the mountains and hide from humanity, some piece of data that describes you will be tracked.

It's tempting, knowing this, to at least regain some kind of control. Someone's going to track it, but at least it's mine, right? This GPS data describes where I have been, so it must be mine.

Funny story.

Do you know who owns the Moon? Well, that depends on who you ask (1). A number of people and organizations have claimed to own the Moon in part or in full for hundreds of years. Yes, hundreds. Even before a single human being had ever set foot on it, there were those who claimed to own it. Thus far, none of these claims are recognized by any government or authority. While there is an international Outer Space Treaty, ratified by all the major space-faring nations, that says no country can claim territorial sovereignty of celestial bodies, the much less popular Moon Treaty (yes these are real things) states that no private individual or organization can own extraterrestrial real estate. No major space-faring nation has ratified the agreement. Officially, there is no authority or government that either recognizes or forbids ownership of the moon.

At the moment, ownership of data is only slightly less enigmatic. As stated earlier, your rights can be infringed if your privacy is invaded or if your intellectual property is illegally duplicated. However, legally, you have no more of a claim to "ownership" over your data than Google does. Legally speaking, you'll have exactly the same difficulty proving you own the rights to your heart rate data as you will in proving that you own land on the moon.

This might not always be the case. Individual nations and international organizations are attempting to establishing rules governing who can collect what data and what they're allowed to do with it(2). However, the issue is more complex than simply establishing that you own any data that describes your life. In fact, if it were suddenly the case that all governments and corporations are only allowed to collect data about you if you specifically authorize it, life will get a lot more complicated. We already experience complications that arise from giving content creators exclusive rights to distribution of their media (does having the TV on in the background of a home video count as violating copyright? This is a real question some lawyers have had to answer). Imagine extending that same complication to anything that anyone is able to measure regarding your life. Suddenly, you'd have to sign a legal release every time you swipe your credit card or walk through a store equipped with security cameras.

The question of who owns your data is not an easy one to solve. It becomes particularly problematic because you create data (whether or not it gets recorded) every time you leave your house. The number of steps you take, whether you look ahead or at the ground, what types of clothes you wear, and any number of decisions you make in view of other people are all potential data points (psychological researchers sometimes make use of this information by observing the behavior of people's behavior in public, which would be classified as data collection by any definition).

However, there's one thing that is absolutely clear: you are not the "owner" of your data purely by virtue of being associated with it. The effects of a data tracking culture on privacy is a legal issue that will evolve over the next few decades, to be sure. There are legitimate claims to be made that corporations and governments abuse your data. There may even be legitimate reasons to be upset because a company is profiting from "your" data. That still won't change this one fundamental truth.

You don't "own" data just because it's about you.

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At least one 2016 presidential candidate is running on a platform to enforce the Outer Space Treaty with Mars. Andrew Basiago states that he was last on Mars in 1984 with his father, and that there were/are several Homomartis Martians (beings) there in underground facilities.  Barack "Barry" Obama was trained in the same "jump" program and has visited Mars off planet.  Basiago will challenge Obama publically on this point because he was on Mars at the same time.  Wake up Earth peopleings because we are NOT alone.
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Eric Ravenscraft

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Most folks who know me here also know +Cameron Summerson. If you haven't heard, his friggin adorable two-year-old son needs a kidney transplant. His family could use some support right now. I don't usually pass around crowd funding campaigns, but I can't think of a better cause.
Yesterday, I posted that my family recently got hit with a life-changing event. I want to share a little bit more about that today. 

To get to the point, my wife and I found out our two-year old has a chronic kidney disease called Chronic Nephrotic Syndrome. Basically, his kidneys aren't working as they should, and they are irreparable. In order to live, he's going to need a kidney transplant, but he can't even have that done until he effectively doubles in size. This is a difficult task in children with any chronic disease, but the kidneys are especially crucial in growth. It's going to be a long, hard road that will perhaps take two years or longer. In the meantime, he's going to require three weekly dialysis treatments.

For those of you who are interested in the longer version of the story, here it is. I'll try to keep it as simple as possible.

Axten has always been a small baby, much smaller than other children his age. We just assumed that this was because my wife and I aren't very big people - her being 5'4" and me only 5'6". He's also a very picky eater, but that's not uncommon for a two year old. We figured he'd grow out of it. A few months ago, we started noticing swelling around his eyes, mostly in the morning when he wakes up. A lot of kids have allergies, so we just chalked that one up to the dusty Texas atmosphere.

Turns out those were all the first signs of a serious kidney disease. It wasn't until last week when he came down with the flu that we knew something more was wrong, when his feet and legs started swelling. It was the day after Christmas and I decided to take him to the ER because of the swelling and lethargy. After one look the ER doctor told me to take him to the Children's Hospital in Dallas immediately. We've been here ever since.

We had no idea what we were in for. We were in the ER for six or seven hours while they ran all sorts of tests on him. He was severely dehydrated from fever, which sent his kidneys into overdrive. Apparently they were functioning just enough to get by before he became ill, and the sickness was just too much for them to handle. Within 24 hours of arriving at Children's, we went from thinking he had some sort of flu and infection to finding out he has failing kidneys, a surgery to install a hemodialysis catheter, and the first round of dialysis treatment to clean his blood. He has handled it all like a champ, especially since he's so small. I nicknamed him Tiny Tank, because honestly, he's just tough as nails. 

I've never experienced anything so terrifying in my life. We're still trying to adjust to what's happening and the new life we'll have moving forward. He's already had four dialysis treatments, but has responded exceptionally well to them, which is a good start. After spending three days in the intensive care unit, we've been in a regular room for a couple of days. Eventually we'll get to go home, but we're still not sure when that will be. 

We have a long, hard road ahead of us that I never could have expected. I'd like to ask that everyone keep us and Ax in your thoughts and prayers. This all happened so suddenly we're still trying to figure it out. Honestly, it's overwhelming. I still can't believe any of this is real. 

If you'd like to help out financially, my sister-in-law started a GoFundMe account to raise money for his treatment. I don't want anyone to feel obligated by any means (and I'm honestly not sure how I feel about sharing this link in the first place), but I've had several requests for a way to donate since we first started telling people, so I'm sharing it here, too. The link is attached. 

Thanks for reading. Just typing this up has been cathartic for me. 
I have created this account in hopes of raising money for medical expenses for my nephew Axten and his parents. On December 26, 2014 their lives changed. Axten is two years old and will be three in February. He had been sick for a few days and just not getting better at all. My sister noticed his...
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Eric Ravenscraft

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Amazon customers discover their genitals for the first time.
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"That's really cool, how does it do that?"
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Turntable may be dead, but is alive and well. If you're up for some weird music on a Friday night, get in here. lets you and your friends throw a music video party. Chat with others in real-time about the music video. Step up and show off your music selection skills or 'w00t' the current DJ and watch as your avatar gets its groove on! It's a fun way to discover bands from foreign lands.
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Turntable closed down.
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Most of us only ever dream of being this talented.
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I've been excited to see my friend. +Liam Spradlin go public with this. I don't know many people with better insight into design, marketing, and the way the visual arts intertwine with our digital world.

You're doing yourself a disservice if you're not following him or checking out this site.
Today, I have two things to share. 

First, I am opening up DADAPIXEL, a personal blog where I'll share my thoughts on design, advertising, marketing, tech, and anything else I can think of that doesn't belong on AP and that needs more visual elements than Google+ affords me.

Second, and even more exciting, I'm finally showing Geode to the world. This is the project I've been working on for probably a year now. 

While I don't have as much news to share about Geode as I'd like, I want to share the design with everyone while I seek a foundry to help me get it to other designers.

It's early for both of these projects, and I'm really excited to see where they go.

PS Thanks to +Eric Ravenscraft for listening to my ramblings about Dadapixel for the past couple of weeks.
If you've seen my random Illustrator curves and close-up shots of pixels on Google+, this is what you were looking at the whole time.
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Ooh I missed the original, thanks for sharing!
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I've created a monster. This is a publicly editable spreadsheet for all the locations of the Google Maps Pokemon. And in case you weren't aware, THERE ARE POKEMON IN GOOGLE MAPS:
You are using a version of Firefox which is unsupported. Some features may not work correctly. Please update your browser or try Google Chrome.Dismiss. File. Edit. View. Insert. Format. Data. Tools. Form. Add-ons. NEW! Help. Accessibility. $. %. 123. Conditional formatting.
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+Fabian Pineda found one right by the islands. Where is the other one?
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Have him in circles
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Writing words on the internet
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Eric Ravenscraft's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.

Unleash Your Phone

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CyanogenMod | Android Community Rom based on Gingerbread

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Quickly Notification Shortcuts

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Slice - Shopping Organized

The simplest way to track &amp; organize your purchases. Download today: it&#39;s free! ★CBS News says, “the service is incredibly secure … Slice is is now available for Android! turntable lets you play music together with your friends and other people online. Each DJ takes

Passcode-stealing iPhone app banned by Apple

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LulzSec Releases Arizona Law Enforcement Data In Retaliation For ...

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Hook into your phone's power Grant and manage Superuser rights for your phone. This app requires that you already have root, or a custom re

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Perfect for trying many types of sushi. Staff is very friendly and the sushi is delicious.
Public - in the last week
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This place has fantastic food and great service. I love my food spicy and the servers offered to add in peppers from their self-grown ghost pepper tree (when they're in season). I'll be coming back here often.
Public - a year ago
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I choose this theater over at least three closer theaters because this place has cheaper tickets, free refills on drinks, popcorn, even ICEEs! The seating is wonderful, the theaters clean and the staff friendly. Nothing to not like. If you have the choice between this and an AMC or Regal, choose this theater.
Public - 4 years ago
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Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
6 reviews
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
This was a must-see while visiting a friend in Portland. I have to admit, she was right! Delicious donuts, and the atmosphere and creativity in this place was spectacular.
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago