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Justtyn Hutcheson
Works at Web Industries
Attended Georgia Institute of Technology
Lives in Duluth, GA
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Justtyn Hutcheson

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New bucket list item: get checked into hotel by a dinosaur.
 
Remember when we were talking about Japan building a Robot Hotel a few months ago? Well today they allowed the media to take a full tour. Check out all the photos in the link. Let the Robot Uprising begin!

The Henn-na Hotel as it's known in Japan translates to 'Strange Hotel.' The 'staff' include a dinosaur-shaped receptionist robot that speaks in English, and the one shaped like a woman that speaks Japanese.

Photos: http://goo.gl/cp8UHW

Original post: https://goo.gl/LcvDtK

#RobotHotel   #Robots  
Japan's first robot-staffed hotel opens this week and we just got the full tour. While the main attraction may be the bordering-on-human receptionist (left) and...
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I know that a number of people were lamenting last week about the loss of the "fun tidbits" from Motorola like seasonal boot screens. Looks like at least one of those mysteries has been solved: Spotlight Stories followed the ATAP team to Google! It seems that the Android compatibility is pretty limited at the moment (my 1st gen X is listed as compatible, but not my Nexus 7 (2013)), but I think it is great that the project is still alive and kicking, even if it isn't Motorola exclusive anymore.
EDIT: Looks like they are going to start selling these stories like other movies. The newest one (HELP) is "free for a limited time". Hopefully we will get more information during I/O at some point.
 
The story HELP is worth downloading the new Google Spotlight Stories app for. Although your arms might get a little tired (geeks-ercize).

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/app/google-spotlight-stories/id974739483

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.spotlightstories
Immerse yourself in a world of storytelling made just for mobile. Engineers...
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I whole-heartedly agree with everything herein.

Language is a varied and nuanced concept for a reason. It is the concrete expression of abstract thoughts and ideas in a manner intended to convey those ideas to another person. When it comes to written language, word choice becomes imminently important as there are very few other contextual clues to convey emotion and meaning.
 
Dear Clean Reader,

You have the freedom of religion and speech--you can say what you want. I support your freedom to believe what you want and say what you want.

Unfortunately for you, this is a two-way street. I can believe what I want, and I can say what I want.

You have the freedom to not listen. I have the freedom to not listen to you, too.

I don't feel you have the freedom or right to change my words because you don't like what I have to say. I have the freedom to speak--and write--the words I want in my novels. That is my art. That is my story. While I'd love everyone to read and enjoy my stories, I understand not everyone is my audience.

If you don't like the use of the words fuck or bitch, or if you dislike the thought of a witch working with a bitch, my novels aren't for you--and I'm okay with that.

I want you, Reader, to be happy with what you read.

At the same time, I want my book to remain my book. Please don't take away my freedom of speech because you don't like what I'm saying. Don't change my words because you don't like what I have to say. Go ahead and skip scenes--go ahead and ignore what I have to say. But don't change my words. Those were written for a reason. And in my books, I say fuck and bitch and shit and damned and an assortment of other naughty words that may be difficult for you to swallow.

I don't mind if you don't like what I'm saying, but please don't take away my right to say it.

The words in my novels are, and will always be, mine. They are not yours to change as you please, simply because you are not comfortable with what I have to say.

I do not support your application, and I am intend never to do business with you and yours.

Fuck off.

Yours,

RJ Blain.

Some of you might be asking just what that little tirade was about.  Over the past few days, the internet has exploded regarding an app called Clean Reader. Clean Reader, developed by a fundamental Christian who was tired of reading profane language, scrubs novels for naughty words and replaces the terrible, frightening, profane, scary words!!! with harmless ones.

At a glance, I can see why many people would like this feature; profanity in books is difficult to avoid, and many adults don't want their children getting a hold of stories with bad words in them. I grew up with a very colorful language. Amazingly enough, I didn't turn into a monster. To this day, I still have a rather extensive vocabulary of naughty, naughty words.

Chuck Wendig wrote a spectacular piece on Clean Reader, and I agree with it from top to bottom. However, I'd like to go on to make some observations about this app from my perspective.

My first thought: Fuck you, Clean Reader. Bitch is not another word for witch. This is another shining example of why computers can't do your editorial work for you. Bitch has several different meanings and connotations. One is a curse word. One is not. Get over it. Welcome to the English language.

I'm the author of the Witch & Wolf novels. Bitch is a term for female dog. Guess what? Female Fenerec, the wolves in my world, are frequently called bitches. It is a compliment. Calling someone the son of a bitch is also complimentary. It's a nod of respect to the mother, who is a bitch.

They're proud to be bitches--in all ways.

In Winter Wolf and Inquisitor, the main characters at one point or another are referred to as bitches. They're also partnered with witches.

If you exchange bitch for witch, the entire story changes. Two witches are going out for a party instead of a bitch and a witch. A son of a witch is a much different thing than a son of a bitch in my world.

You're not just cleaning up the language of novels when you use this app. You are changing the meaning of the story. You're altering the plot, the characters--and the imagery the author wrote for your enjoyment--or not, if you dislike profanity.

I understand adults wanting to purify the world for their children. It's an instinct to want to nurture and protect the young.

My novels aren't the only stories that will suffer catastrophically from the existence of this application. Take George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Sure, I may not like the writing or the series--but Martin uses traditional and crude language to convey things. Entire characters are hinged on the use of this language. If you take away the bitches and make them witches, the entire story changes. The entire tone of the novel is destroyed.

I may not like Martin's works, but I respect his art--I respect the words he chose. I don't like them. He had the freedom to say and write those words.

I chose not to read that series of his. That's my choice as a reader.

When I initially found out about Clean Reader through a member's only discussion over at SFWA, I was on the fence about the app. I could see some uses for it in very certain contexts. There are some novels where the fuck bomb gets dropped so frequently that it makes my eyes cross and my cheeks twitch. It's annoying--and I don't really feel so many fucks doesn't help express anything about the characters.

But, I respect the living fucks out of the author's right to put those fucks there--and have the book read as it was intended. Black text on a black background, where I could see the words used if I chose--I could live with that. But changing those words to sanitize a novel?

That I can't live with. It's a violation of the author's freedom of speech.

If Clean Reader simply put black text on black background for the naughty words, allowing readers to see those original words, I wouldn't have been so up in arms over this.

The more I thought about it--and the more I read about the concerns of others regarding this app, the more I really disliked the app altogether.

My bitches aren't witches--they're bitches. Some of my bitches are witches, but them being witch witches makes no sense.

Some readers want to stay safely nestled in their comfort zones. I get that. There are books I simply can't read because they take me too far from what I can handle. I put down that book and quietly walk away. Sometimes it is the language--like Martin's novels. The language bothers me, so I do not read it. I find his writing crude, and I simply can't tolerate it enough to get into the story or the characters.

Sometimes it is the content that bothers me... so I choose to avoid those books. That's my choice as a reader. I do not buy what I cannot bring myself to read. I also check the samples of books I buy to make sure the content doesn't bother me. Most books have the language and content present within the sample, so it's not like I can't filter what I don't want to read. I also check reviews for that sort of thing.

If it isn't something I can stomach, I exercise my right as a reader and find some other story to consume.

I don't have children, but if I did, if it's a book I'm willing to read, it includes things I'm willing to discuss with my children, no matter what age they are.

If I had a child and they wanted to learn about the birds and the bees, they'd know. And they'd get my moral lessons along with it--and why what they read doesn't define who they are. That's my job as a parent.

If you don't want your child reading those books, don't let them read those books. You can install a door on your bookshelves and use a lock. Keep the key. That's your right.

But don't take away my right to express myself. I chose those words for a reason. I didn't choose them so someone else could come behind me and change them. If you don't like reading profane language--don't read them. Skip them. Skip the sex scenes (which I don't typically write anyway), skip the graphic violence--choose not to read the books.

But don't change my words because you can't handle what I have to say.

For the record, if Clean Reader only changed the color of the background and text to black out the questionable words, I wouldn't have quite as much of a problem with the existence of the app. My words aren't being changed, and are still available for the reader--in their original form.

But don't change my words because you can't handle what I have to say. So long as you have the freedom to say what you want, so do I, and I will never give you permission to change my words without my consent.
Dear Clean Reader, You have the freedom of religion and speech--you can say what you want. I support your freedom to believe what you want and say what you want. Unfortunately for you, this is a tw...
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Chances are, I don't know you. Even better chances are, you don't know me. And, yet further increasing chances such that they approach 100%, you don't know +Kimberly Chapman. However, while I don't necessarily agree with her 100% of the time, the fact that trolls, bigots, and hate-mongers have pushed someone I have come to respect and admire to such extremes and caused so much stress so as to make her feel it necessary to take such drastic steps is fairly appalling.

Worse, this instance is not the first I've heard of, nor, I'm certain, will it be the last. However, while +Twitter has gotten reamed over their lack of reasonable personal protections, +Google+ has been largely spared. I'd say that it is about time we changed that fact. When +YouTube was integrated, I expected the majority of their moderation tools, such as they are, to migrate over as well, but that has not occurred. So, to the new head of Photos and Streams over at +Google, please +Bradley Horowitz find a way to prevent such things from occurring in the future.

I believe in G+, the communities it fosters, and the people who develop and oversee its inner workings. And I refuse to give it over to the lowest common denominator, when it could be so very much more.
 
Changes Coming

I've had it with trolls and shit on G+.  I've been waiting years for promised thread moderation controls and the only thing on the request list I've posted multiple times - which Google executives have even responded to in person - that we actually have is that now when we block, it knocks us out of circles for the blockee.

(Incidentally you can use that to block and immediately unblock someone who is trouble in your threads but you deem not full-block worthy, because it silently removes you from their circles so they're not likely to notice your posts for a bit.)

I've complained loudly about the number of women posting high-interest content who have had to go private-only or left G+ entirely because of being worn down by the endless supply of racists, sexists, anti-feminists, sexual harassers, homophobes, and generic trolls all over their posts.  The YouTube integration opened the floodgates and it has been difficult for some time to share a video here without constantly having to moderate spammers, trolls, and creepers in perpetuity unless you disable comments on the post, because they keep coming from YouTube for weeks, months, and years after you posted.  The aggregate pile of shit some of us have to shovel every morning has become staggering.

Lately I've been spending an hour or two per day dealing with trolls.  Part of that time is taken by alerting friends so they can pre-block the trolls before they come to their threads, or dealing with the alerts my friends share with me.  At least a few times a week I'll be alerted to a friend or friend-of-a-friend's thread that is utterly awash in bigotry.  I used to open each bigot in a tab, wait for the lag, hit block (and sometimes report if there was actual violent hate speech on the profile, which there too often is), wait for the block lag (did you know if you close the tab before it shows as blocked, you have not blocked them?!), and then close the tab.  But that was taking forever and keeping their graphic hate banners on my screen too long (especially since I have children in the room who may see), so I started just using the flag button in the original thread, going down and flagging all of the assholes and blocking that way (which is complete abuse of the flag button but fuck it, G+ hasn't seen fit to give us blocking by hovercard like we've been asking for since hovercards came around, so why should we spend our time when they don't give us a better option?).  But even that is slow and depressing, and there are always more.

The mantra of "why don't you just block them" has been fundamentally broken for some time because blocking is so slow, but more importantly because it doesn't always work.  Too often a highly active troll will have multiple accounts, sometimes dozens and dozens.  They brag about it, a bunch of us flag it, but G+ rarely stops them.  There's pretty much nothing to stop someone from having endless throwaway troll accounts, and because G+ has not yet given us decent moderation tools, users are at the mercy of the trolls.

I know some G+ staff who care deeply about this.  I know research has been done.  I've been very patient for years.  But I've had it.  I'm done.

Those women going into the shadows?  I'm now one of them.

I will continue to post some innocuous posts (like pretty cakes or occasional nerd jokes) publicly, when I feel like dealing with the crap that even those get (mostly the random religious proselytizers and the mild "hi baby" creepers).  But anything where I expect trolls to come out will now be limited in some fashion.  That includes environmental stuff, science stuff, pro-vaccine articles, feminism, gay rights activism, police brutality issues, gun control, etc.  Anything that brings out the crazies.  And that probably includes almost all YouTube videos just because YouTube is a pile of uncontrolled trollspooge.

The problem is which methodology of going semi-private to use, because they all punish those of us who haven't done anything wrong.

My two main choices are:

1) Post publicly but set the global comment setting to Extended Circles or possibly even Your Circles.  We've been begging G+ for years to allow us to have this setting per post so we can restrict known-controversial posts without restricting all posts, but they have not granted this.

The pro of this method is that the important articles are still out there publicly to be shared, and those who are not in my circles can still have their say by sharing the article and commenting in their own space.

The main con is that it keeps those I haven't circled from commenting, which stops me from meeting new people, even on the non-controversial posts.  It means if someone buys my book and likes it, they can't come comment on my next post about the book to tell me so.  It punishes innocent people and worse, it does it in a really unfair way because (last I checked, correct me if this has been fixed) the comment field will still appear for everyone and anyone can spend time typing into it, only to be told at the point of trying to submit that they can't comment because they're not in circles.  Again, we've been asking for this to be fixed FOR AGES and as far as I know, it's still a problem.

Also, even though I can add more people to circles, there is a limit of 5000 and I have over 40,000 circling me, so I cannot possibly include everyone who wants to be included.


2) Post to Extended Circles/Your Circles for any post likely to attract trolls.

The pros to this are that posts won't go to What's Hot (always a source of massive trolling, especially for controversial issues), won't be searchable by tags/keywords (right now most trolls don't have be circled, they are assholes who have a pet issue and they routinely search for words related to that issue so they can go scream at strangers, and again, despite multiple reportings they almost never get actually banned from G+ and even if they do, they just make a new account), and anyone commenting is someone I or a friend has at least at some point tacitly approved.  This cuts the blueheads significantly.

The con to this is that those who want to reshare publicly need to do it manually, fragmenting activism.  It also means my reach in terms of spreading information is pretty much limited to the choir; I effectively would be ending my role as an educator on any controversial topic.  Also it means that those of you not in my circles simply won't see stuff at all.

Oh, and doing this might break my ability to have notification circles, because I believe if you try to notify circles while you also have Extended or Your Circles listed, it'll complain that you can't notify that many people, and of course I would not want to notify everyone in my circles or extended circles because that's spammy.  So then I'd either have to post to just the notify circles, or post to Extended/Your and then reshare to the notify circles and direct people to the other post, and that's time-consuming and messy.  Chances are I would just abandon notifying, so those of you used to getting pinged on gender issues would then have to either subscribe to get all of my posts or catch up manually or something.

I am pinging my gender-notification circles on this since those folks will be the most affected by this.



I am leaning towards #2 because even though it's more of a hassle for others and reduces the spread of information, maybe it's time for someone else to take those roles anyway since I've been shouting into the wind for years and don't feel like doing it anymore.  I'd be going right for that option if not for the breaking of notification circles, because I know a lot of folks value being notified on given subjects.

Basically, both options suck because G+ moderation and circle management sucks.  The question is whom should be more put out: well-meaning strangers or my friends?

So I'll put it to a poll below.  Which would you prefer?  Also, if I don't have you in circles and you're someone who has positively interacted with me multiple times, feel free to ask to be circled.  If I don't recognize your name or you demand to be circled, I'll ignore you.

I'm sorry to have to do this but I've waited long enough and I just don't believe that G+ will ever improve.  I believe that despite some well-meaning staff, there is no corporate-wide desire to give users moderation controls.  If I'm wrong, I might go back to public posting of big issues but...yeah, don't hold your breath.

If you have another potential solution that works with how G+ currently functions, feel free to offer it.



COMMENTS I DO NOT WANT TO SEE AND THAT WILL LIKELY GET YOU BLOCKED:

1) "Hey you can't give up the fight!  If you stop posting, the trolls/MRAs/racists win!"  Fuck off.  I'm tired and getting no support from G+ on this.  I am sick of being a front-line casualty.  I have other things I want to do with my life.  Plus, most of the people who say this are the ones who have the privilege of not dealing with the same volume of trolls, mostly because those who do suffer trolls on this level completely understand wanting to quit.  Only those who don't have to cope with it but have been drawing on the benefits of my hard work make this complaint, so you know what?  If you think me stopping is letting the bad guys win, how about you take up the mantle and get tens of thousands of followers (most of whom I never courted, and never asked for, they just showed up) and eat troll shit every day and let it cut into your productivity and relaxing time?

2) "You just want to create an echochamber!"  Fuck off.  This isn't about echochambers, this is about restricting people who can't behave themselves in other people's spaces.  And even if I did want to create an echochamber (which I think years of open posting indicates that I do not), why is it such a threat to you that one woman not want to listen to your bullshit anymore?  Who am I that my posts being restricted is such a threat to your worldview?  Or is it that what really scares you is the thought of a bunch of women/liberals/gay rights folks having an actually useful conversation without your derailments anymore?  I think that's it...those who cry "ECHOCHAMBER!" are really screaming, "YOU MIGHT MAKE PROGRESS IF I CAN'T CONSTANTLY WHINE AT YOU ANYMORE!"

3) "Blocking isn't fair!  It's censorship! You're the bigot for silencing others!"  Fuck off and die.

4) "Good!  Go private!  I hate your shitty posts!"  Fuck off and die with pus-filled sores in your eyeballs and genitals.

5) "I suffer from pus-filled sores in my eyeballs and genitals and it's not fair that you made fun of that."  Fuck off and die with salt-stuffed paper cuts between all of your fingers and toes.  I am also sick of the PC police, of liberals who derail conversations over semantics and baseless accusations of perceived wrongs that were obviously not meant.  I'm sick of not being able to post some articles because while 99% of the article is great, there's one sentence that I know hyper-sensitive asshats will choose to highlight to the exclusion of everything else there.  I'm not talking about saying, "That's great, but I'd have preferred even more progress in this area," because that's totally legit since it's how we build towards a better future.  I'm talking about people who have to rain on every parade, people who have to make themselves seem oh-so-much-more pure or righteous on an issue by demanding perfection in all things or otherwise make "my side" look bad and are just as derailing as "the other side".

6) There is no rule 6.


Image is as many screencaps of assorted trolls, spammers, etc. as I could fit on the screen at one time, some from my threads and some from friends' threads.  I have so many more, so very very many...
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You should limit comments on all posts.
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You should post to circles only.
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I have another suggestion in comments.
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When +Russell Holly  talks about things "rattling around" in his brain, all of I can think of is this part of +Chris D'Elia's  stand-up show.

SFW if you start the video at the time below. No guarantees before that, and definitely not in general :-)
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From +Jennifer Hutcheson :

"One can't talk bad about the iPhone
Steve Jobs will haunt your dreams"

Photo screenshot from http://youtu.be/KS_s96CJnf4
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If you are a fan of urban fantasy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Being Human, etc.) then this series by +R.J. Blain is pretty awesome. The third novel is out today, but you don't really need to read the first two to enjoy it (though it does make it significantly more enjoyable).

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some reading to do :-)
 
Blood Diamond, the third installment of the Witch & Wolf series, has released!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B010FAGRC4/

While you can go ahead and jump in if you haven't read Inquisitor and Winter Wolf, please be aware that many of the characters from the previous titles make appearances. Some of the events from both previous titles are mentioned! Witch & Wolf is a series following the lives of different characters, and in Blood Diamond, these paths cross.

Blood Diamond is currently available on Amazon for purchase.

About the Book

The world is full of corpses, and Jackson knows them by name. When a group strives to destroy the Inquisition, his powers may be all standing between the supernaturals and extinction.

However, when he learns the truth behind the deaths of his wife and unborn daughter, Jackson may prove to be the greatest threat of all to the survival of mankind...

Chapter One

The world was full of corpses, and I, Dante Jackson Emmett Anderson, knew them by name. Unfortunately for me, my brother knew my secret.

When my brother asked for help, it usually involved unidentified bodies or paperwork. When he had showed up at my door, I hadn’t expected an invitation to join an Inquisition field operation, one dangerous enough to warrant the use of my brother’s armored truck. He had me dead to rights when he told me I’d be driving, and judging by the way he had smirked while spinning the keys around his finger, he had known it.

I doubted the red-painted, tempting seductress of a monstrosity could be eliminated by anything other than a missile or a tank; even if someone wanted to blast their way in, they’d need a ladder to reach the door. I wasn’t small, not at six foot three, and I needed the help of the step rail and roll bar to climb in. The rest of the team needed me to give them a hand.

I drew a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. I should have refused my twin and ignored the lure of driving his absurd, stupid truck. I should have told him I would do a stint at the Inquisition headquarters shuffling papers and naming dead people instead of pretending I was trained for field operations.

Drumming my hands against the leather wheel, probably the only normal thing in the truck, I waited. The manila envelope on the dashboard mocked me, reflecting in the windshield as I watched the darkening forest for any signs of the team’s return. Once I opened it, I’d know more about the operation and its Inquisitors than I wanted. I’d know the names and faces of the dead, and if my bad luck held, I’d get a glimpse of their final moments.

The dead were vindictive like that.

I leaned forward, resting my forehead on my hands. My brother had been in enough of a hurry to get me into his truck and on the road I hadn’t had time to change out of my suit. Combat boots, fatigues, and Kevlar protected the Inquisitors. I wore a silk dress shirt and an equally thin jacket a bullet would ignore before tearing a hole through me.

Clenching my teeth, I bumped my forehead against the wheel as I cursed my idiocy.

A smart man would’ve put the idling engine into gear and left. If I did that, I’d be the target of my very own Inquisition operation. I doubted even the Red Beast could withstand a pack of angry Fenerec armed with more firepower than the military. They had missiles, and I had supplied all six warheads to them. If they launched one at the truck, they’d blow it—and me—into scrap metal and unidentifiable bits.

I turned my head to check the clock. In ten minutes, it’d be time to rip open the envelope and find out how the operation was going. If things went well, the photographs would tell a story where the Inquisition’s victims were dead and my team still lived. My brother had been adamant about the next part of my directions: if half of my team was dead by sunset, I was to take the Red Beast and get out of the area fast.

Fast was something the truck could do. I had clocked it at a hair over a hundred miles per hour over the rabbit trail of a road leading into Oconee National Forest, much to the dismay of the nine passengers crammed into the cab with me.

In a way, I felt sorry for my brother. He thought he knew me. He thought he could guess what I’d do, like he was so good at doing as the Inquisition’s youngest Shadow Pope. Unfortunately for him, while I had nodded my acknowledgment of his orders, I had no intention of abandoning the Inquisitors, and the team knew it. They had stared at me like I’d grown a second head for daring to disobey orders within five minutes of receiving them, but I wasn’t about to have a pack of Fenerec haunting me for getting them killed unnecessarily.

If everything went well, I’d do as my brother wished, staying in the Red Beast while my team did their dirty work. Once done, I’d drive the Fenerec pack home, clearing away a year of obligation to the Inquisition as payment.

If things didn’t go well, I would do what I could for them. The world was full of corpses, but if any of the Inquisitors numbered among the dead, it wouldn’t be because I had abandoned them. If I were going to be responsible for someone’s death, it’d be because I chose to tap a bullet between their eyes. Of course, I’d have to be close to my target to hit them, but that was a different matter entirely.

I checked the time again.

Five minutes gave me enough time to double check my gun, a vanilla Beretta M9 I had snatched on my way out the door. I preferred something heavier, but the M9 would suffice. It was loaded with silver, and that’d stop a Fenerec for a bit—or kill it, if my aim was good enough.

I wasn’t willing to make any bets on that.

If I needed the Beretta, it was because the team was in trouble, and I had left the Red Beast in favor of stupid heroics without the benefit of body armor and heavy munitions. If I didn’t get myself killed, my brother was going to finish me off when—if—I made it home.

I took my time checking the magazine before chambering a round, turning the safety on, and holstering the gun. Drawing a deep breath, I held it to the count of thirty before letting it out. The manila envelope was filled with photographs and a few sheets of paper. Dumping the contents onto the Red Beast’s dash, I flicked on the overhead light and used the reflections in the windshield to flip the twenty-three photographs and the stapled sheets of paper upside down.

So long as I didn’t directly look at the faces of the men and women the Inquisition meant to kill, my magic wouldn’t work. The photographs belonged to the wild Fenerec pack living too close to civilization, slated for execution. The papers, which consisted of three sheets, included the pictures of the eight men and one woman on my team. If they died, I’d learn their true names instead of the code names they favored during field operations.

I sighed, watching as the vestiges of sunset faded from the sky. In the dark of night, I would begin my own hunt—one my brother wouldn’t approve of. If he had wanted obedience, he wouldn’t have come to me asking for help. He should’ve known better than to think I would turn my back on those entrusted to my care.

I lifted my chin and began my grim task of flipping over photographs so I might learn the names of the dead. Of the twenty-three, one still lived, and all I could see in her jade eyes was accusation.

~~*~~

Thanks so much for your support! (Please consider buying a copy of Blood Diamond so I can keep on writing!)
Blood Diamond, the third installment of the Witch & Wolf series, has released! While you can go ahead and jump in if you haven't read Inquisitor and Winter Wolf, please be aware that many of th...
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Justtyn Hutcheson

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A little music for your Monday, one of my personal favorites.
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Justtyn Hutcheson

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Had a great time at the fair this weekend. Family, food, and fun!
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Justtyn Hutcheson

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I fully support +Luke Klinker in this action, and plan on purchasing his L version as soon as it is available. As he states, L is a fundamental shift in Android, larger than even 4.0 in UI/UX. And let's face it, Material Design looks odd in a Kit Kat environment, in addition to the sheer amount of work that it requires for a developer to back port the visual elements, especially the Z-axis and auto shadow elements that make things so much easier in L.
I sincerely hope that many other developers will follow Talon's lead and push a new app designed especially for L. And as users it is about time for us to step up to support the truly great apps, and prove that Android can be and is a great platform to work on, and can be a very lucrative venture if you make the effort to design for it.
 
Future of Talon and Android L

If you have been following my work with the L version of Talon, then you knew that this was coming, so just to start it off here, I will say this:

The L version of Talon will remain Android L and above only, it will not be coming to KitKat or below. It will be released as a seperate, paid app ($3.99) on the Play Store.

Some of you will hate me for this, that I know, so here are some of my reasons/ideals as to why this will be the case:

Ability to Support the Classic Talon
With computers being controlled by programmers, there are of course some very powerful things that can be done with them for coding purposes. One of those things is version control. It allows me to merge features between current and older versions of our apps. I don't have to manually move one feature from one version of the app to the other. This is pretty key because it means I can easily support not only the new Android L version of the app, but its older brother as well, the classic version of Talon.

They will continue to have similar features, and new features put into one version, will make their way to the other version with just a few keystrokes. So it isn't like the original will ever be lacking or stop receiving updates. It will continue to be supported just as well as Android L's version.

I also have no plans of revoking the tokens on Android L's preview version. So hey, if that one works well enough for you, go right ahead and continue with it, I see no reason to stop that.


Design and User Experience
Google releases new version of their OS because they are better. They have new features and complete other features. Developers have new toys to play with and new looks to compliment. With Android L and material design, it is pretty obvious that this is the case. With L, apps will be more efficent, powerful, and stylish. This is obviously a pretty special case with L. It is a game changer and by far the biggest update Android has ever seen.

Material design is the future of Android, but it is much more than just spicing up the user interface. It is about designing apps that anyone can use, that not only look good, but feel good and work well too. The Material Design guidelines aren't just about changing the look of your app, they are about re-imagining what is possible in your app and how the user interacts with those possibilites, and that, in my opinion, is pretty exciting.

By supporting all the older version of Android - when there is such a major leap between KitKat and L - you are creating a fragmented (and Android hates this word...) experience, not all users will enjoy your app the way you want them too or the way it is designed (Ex: KitKat's new transparency or L's material theme and animation capabilities). With the gap as large as it is, that isn't something I think users should deal with when using Talon. The experience should be consistent no matter what device you have.


New API's
I kind of talked about this in the above section, but with a new Android, it isn't just new styles and looks, the backend of your apps can change dramatically as well. With the hundreds of new API's Google has released for Android L, so many new things are possible that couldn't be done before. It goes back to the consitent experience again and what developers can do with their toys. I read somewhere that there are over 5,000 new APIs in the preview alone.


Userspace
With the current version of Talon, Google Play provides numerous usage statistics that developers can take advantage of. Talon is sitting at 85% of it's users on KitKat or above. This is an astounding number to me, but makes sense. The people using our apps, want power and functionality. They get that with the latest and greatest. So I am not so scared of the adoption rate of Android L. The latest KitKat numbers are showing that manufactures are updating, and that is great for both users and developers.

I like to think that Klinker App's users are some of the most advanced on Android, and these numbers and adoption rate go to support that theory.


Software Patterns
This one has been toying at the back of my mind for quite some time now, and it is probably the one that people will get mad at me about. It is also something that I am quite sure other developers feel the same way about.

When Windows 9 comes out, is it going to be a free upgrade? Do you have to buy the new version of Office every few years when it gets an update?

You might say that these programs are bigger than mine and warrent the new price. You might say mine is too much of a niche program for this type of thing. I disagree. I work just as hard as them on it, if not harder. I am a 20 year old college student balancing class, extra-curricular activities, and managing my own business. I don't have free time, what little time I do have is spent on my computer answering emails and getting back to customers. Every day, as our apps grow more and more, it gets harder and harder to manage these things. It isn't like this remake of Talon has taken me a few hours, this has been months of work and perfecting. It has been worth every second so far though.

When you buy a program for your computer, you expect to have to pay for major upgrades. This is something any developer would love to see in mobile, but it also completely against what mobile apps have been since their inception, with a few exceptions in iOS (Tweetbot being one of them). This is the way the Android L update of Talon will work though and I am not scared of breaking the trend.



So, put yourself in a developers shoes, think about our work and what we do, then you decide if the upgrade is worth it. If not, then don't get the L version of Talon, let someone else enjoy it instead. Boycott me, flame me all you want, I think I will have just as many people understanding the workers side of it as not caring about our side of it. I always find it astounding when people email us or post a reveiw asking why this or that isn't free and why they should have to pay for it. I'm not sure, but most don't work for free. 

You bought it once already? Thank you so much for the support, it really does mean a lot that we have so many awesome users, but this isn't the same app you have used in the past and you will notice that right off the bat when you start using it. The new version of Talon will be a paid upgrade.

I love what I have done and I hope you agree. Before Android L's release, I will continue to add new features, clean up and improve existing ones, and squash any of the bugs I can find. Pictures don't do this app justice... You really have to feel it to experience it.


Wow... That was a long post, if you made it through, thank you and I hope that you see and agree with the vision that I have for this app.

If you don't agree or see my vision, I have no doubt more than a few will be willing to voice that displeasure.

Talon has a bright future and I couldn't be more excited about where this is going :) I have quite a few nifty tricks that I have made for both this version and the classic talon that you guys will be seeing soon!

#keepsliding
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  • Georgia Institute of Technology
    2009
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I know It All. And I refuse to edit Wikipedia. Languish in ignorance, mwahahahha!
Introduction
Despite the above tagline, I don't know everything, but I do try to continually educate myself on topics I know nothing about.  The topics I do know about, I usually only know enough to get myself in trouble.  That, and lots of BS.
I am an excellent listener, and I'm always happy to give my friends (or anyone else for that matter) a helping ear.  Or hand.  Or whatever.

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Married to a gorgeous beauty who insists on becoming even more attractive and I am a helluva engineer.
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Mechanical Engineer, specializing in fixing whatever is broken (or not, depending)
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SolidWorks, CAD, Engineering, Problem Solving, Firefighter (engineering)
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  • Web Industries
    Process Design Engineer, 2015 - present
  • Osprey Corporation
    Design Engineer, 2012 - 2015
  • FLIR Systems
    Mechanical Engineer, 2010 - 2012
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