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Addison Chrystie
Jack of All Trades, Master of Some.
Jack of All Trades, Master of Some.


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I may just start posting this over and over again in response to about half half the posts I see on Google+. 1000% this.
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Happy Holidays to anyone who sees this. :D
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An old friend of mine from High School directed this Planet of the Apes promotional prequel short, which was produced by another old friend, and stars some of her children.  You should check it out, it's quite good.
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I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!
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Think twice and make sure you have the right setup for the Chromecast.  He says it in the video, once, quickly, and it says it on the site, indirectly in the details only, but no single picture seems to show it plugged in with the power cable.  I dare say this is intentional, because odds are it makes the device far "less cool" than it seems.  

To put it in the simplest terms, it plugs into HDMI, but you need to power it externally.  The choice by Google for power is USB.  However, it doesn't detail where this USB power comes from.  Two possibilities:
1) Powered by a television USB plug. Some may not have enough power or USB access if this is the case.
2) Powered through USB by a standard USB phone power cord that plugs into the wall outlet.  

Site says:
Plug Chromecast into your HDTV, connect it to WiFi, then cast videos and more from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to your TV.

No mention of power.  Then it says power adapter included, so I can only assume this means option 2 above.

I generally give Google props for being transparent, but I'm not sure that's the case here, and this makes me somewhat sad.  

In other words, assume every nice elegant picture shown so far of this tiny device includes some cable of unknown length and a converter brick of unknown size, plugged in somewhere.
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I've decided to start removing people from my follow list, based on a plethora of "ax to grind" posts.  Unfortunately this takes a fair number of people out of my circles that often have other things to post that I enjoy reading.  It's not a personal one strike policy, but I'm using the criteria that, if I can remember enough posts that the fundamental WAY that you make your argument is tragically flawed, and that you often seem to be a bandwagon jumper, EVEN IF I AGREE WITH YOUR POSITION ON THE MATTER, I remove you.  

The reason I'm doing this, is because the more time I spend on social media, the more I see the indicators that the fundamental problem with any sort of conversation is a gross disinterest in understanding the larger body of facts, and a high probability of jumping to conclusions and causal arguments.  In fact, most engagement starts from assumption or conclusion, rather than question.
This is often accompanied by an over emphasis of the severity of issues, extrapolated from extremely small amounts of evidence.  

Part of this is my problem.  I deal with this sort of linear thinking on a daily basis, and I purposely avoid mainstream media because it is riddled with it.  It's terribly frustrating for me to see things like this purposefully ridiculous made up example that I'm using to try not to anger anyone with some of the larger and more important issues posted here, "Statistics show 10,000 whales died last year, we must save the whales!"  Fundamentally, I agree. I like whales. I don't want to see them die out, they're probably important to their ecosystem, and allowing any species to die out seems irresponsible when we have the means to prevent it.  
However, what I understand is that if we are truly going to help the whales, we need to understand what contributes to that 10,000 number, and how that compares to the total population.  
The extent of the problem, whether it's a problem at all, and how to solve that problem, has everything to do with the DETAILS of what is happening, how it is happening, and to what extent.  Whether we decide to solve that problem is also a function of what other things are affected by the steps we take to solve the problem, and the solution itself.

Anything else is just politics, using seemingly large numbers for shock and awe, often out of context, to try to get people to bandwagon. I have never seen, in my entire time on the planet, this type of bandwagon jumping produce any meaningful positive results.  

So, I'm tired of it.  Part of it is the nature of social media , because it's difficult to pass large amounts of information around that might invoke true understanding of something and it's far more exciting to rail on about numbers that seem large or unfair, and far too appealing to feel we've found someone who emotionally agrees with whatever we've decided is the cause of our plight.  
I also think a lot of people see this as "raising awareness", and maybe it does, but I've never seen it accomplish anything other than a window dressing full of progress on almost any issue, simply because all the "shocking number driven awareness" in the world does not indicate an understanding of a problem large enough to set the parameters to produce real change.  Additionally, without considering the effect a fix has on everything else around it, it often leads to causing more problems than it solves.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions, so to speak.

I'm mostly here read about and engage with people who are similarly interested in things like games, science, technology/engineering, fiction, software and development, 3D graphics, writing, etc.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of opportunities to engage in those things get lost by the more popular "shock and awe" posts, as well as the "we did a survey that lead to a research paper, that referenced 50 other research papers, referencing 50 more research papers and some of the same papers referenced in our first paper, that in turn referenced another survey and an experiment in which one student got a higher than average Math SAT score because he stood on his head and farted twice before taking the test, therefore we demonstrate that there is a correlation between upside down farting and math knowledge, let's change the educational system now!" pseudoscience posts that somehow overwhelmed the science circle I followed, which I also stop following almost as soon as they pop up.

So, if I drop you from my follow list, it's nothing personal, I've just found the filter that seems most appropriate to me.
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I thought some of the quotes from the Microsoft executive in this article, were pretty arrogant.

This one in particular struck a chord with me: 
"This is a big change, consumers don't always love change, and there's a lot of education we have to provide to make sure that people understand."

Microsoft, it's not your job to educate me, or anyone else.  It's your job to compete and offer a product that caters to my needs, particularly given that this is largely a completely optional entertainment product.

Since we're "educating", let me attempt to educate anyone willing to read this, including said Microsoft Executive(s), even though it's not my job or right to do so.  
There is this thing called, giving a company too much control.  It's about the worst possible thing the consumer can do to themselves when it comes to  fostering competition in any market place.  The problem with your Xbox, dear Microsoft, is that if we give into your wishes, you become both the hardware supplier, and the game supplier.  You essentially become controller, in every way, of your own ecosystem.  
Given the high cost of producing gaming consoles, and the limited competition in the hardware space as a result (currently three players, with many complete failures along the way, SEGA, Atari, etc.), by allowing you to dictate every way in which we buy, and more importantly use, share, and sell games on your system, we would be doing, pretty much the opposite of what would be best for consumer friendly business models and favorable pricing as you put it, because you don't have enough competition, for an "equivalent" entertainment experience. 
You also place yourself in a favorable position for even more competition killing exclusive distribution models with publishers, which is also the opposite of what is best for the market, or consumers.
People like to compare this new move to Steam, but there are a few very important, very key areas that Steam is essentially an Apples to Oranges comparison.
1) Steam does NOT control the hardware, and in fact seeks to expand its presence on MORE hardware (Mac and Linux), whenever it can, because it needs to.  So even if there are some negative consumer issues we need to accept because of the digital distribution model, the fact that we can play those games on vastly more pieces and types of hardware, all of which are industry standards with significant longevity, produced by a huge number of varying manufacturers, with open hardware, and lots of competition, and many avenues to attainment of that hardware better ensures the value of our purchase.
2) Because Steam doesn't control the hardware, they have to compete with Amazon, Origins, GoG, Green Man Gaming, and whoever else can setup a storefront or a distribution application.  This keeps pricing down, and will continue to do so.
3) Steam, albeit still not as friendly to indie developers as we'd like, is VASTLY better when it comes to indie distribution, which is competition within the games market itself for these large publishing houses.  This also helps to increase consumer options as well as drive pricing down. 
4) Piracy, as much a I DO NOT support it, is in many ways a protection of our right to continue to use products that often become impossible to acquire and/or obsolete or unsupported by hardware changes.  Even Steam games, because I have the data on my hard drive and/or a backup, there is potential for pirate unlock, patch, or update, in the event that Steam no longer exists, or the game is no longer supported by the developer, that will allow me to continue to use the games I paid for, theoretically indefinitely.  Essentially this is my right to backup, modify to function, and protect my purchase, something that barely exists on consoles, and almost completely disappears because it's much more difficult to re-engineer and distribute hardware affordably, than it is for software.

None of this is available on your closed system Microsoft.  So, sorry, I don't need you to "educate me on the future and your better way", I need you to stop being arrogant and VALUE (the favorite buzzword of the disingenuous corporate mouth piece) my rights to use of my purchase, not seek to control how I access every piece of entertainment and tell me it's "for my benefit".

I'm sure it's for Microsofts benefit, and I'm sure it's for the benefit of many multi-million or multi-billion dollar publishers.  However, for my benefit? I don't think so.
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Microsoft, billion dollar company touting the power of "the cloud" for their new xbox, and they can't even manage to sync the audio in their E3 reveal video...
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Well, I have to say I'm enjoying the new #Google+ layout.
Much easier to read for a widescreen monitor user.
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