Phonebloks Is A Terrible Idea By Every Standard of Terrible.

I like ideas. I love ideas. If you know me, you know I don’t shut up about them. I take them seriously, and hope that the right ideas can change the world.

Enter Phonebloks. Phonebloks is a jawdroppingly terrible idea by a hipcool dude about the biggest problem in the world today, early childhood education in the developing world… wait no. Cell phones. Its about cell phones. Snap together your own cell phone with interchangeable parts.

What makes this so bad?

1) It would cost more. Individual precision machined enclosures? CA-CHing. Ask Lego about tolerances. There is a reason Lego ain’t cheap. Imagine that in metal.

2) Battery life would be God-Awful. Why? Because of the overhead needed to manage the disastrously inefficient  interconnects between devices.

3) It worsens the problem it intended to solve, mainly, it INCREASES WASTE. Right now, Every three years or so, I replace my cell phone. Now I am going to be encouraged to replace bits of my phone constantly. Each of those things have to be shipped to a store, or shipped to my home.

4) Nobody (Less than 20% of people) wants to build their own anything anymore. Apple taught us that. They want it sealed up so they can get on facegramblr and crush their candy bird ninjas. Is he really suggesting a return to the Build-Your-Own-PC days?

5) Compatibility. USB works because it is a simple bus. I think this guy is under the impression that everything can be plug and play. It… can’t. Android already has fragmentation on the software and hardware- now we are going to worsen that because Tristan needs more room for his MP3s?

6) It… won’t work. I’m sorry but I have to say it again. Things have to be arranged a certain way or they won’t work.

I honestly could go on forever, but I know what you’re thinking. You Bastard. You heartless, soulless, stick in the mud. This special boy, this nascent genius has given us mana from heaven and you mock him without a suggestion of your own.

Ok, here is my suggestion.

1) Cloud Processing. Improve the wireless network in this country so that “Heavy Lifting” can be done by severs on the back end. I know it doesn’t look as cool as a lego phone, but it could actually work. Want a faster phone for a week? Pay for more cycles.

2) Cloud Storage. Once your network is back, local phone storage does not even need to be an issue.

3) Better screen materials.

4) Better Batteries. The new ones charge in seconds and last days. Should make this problem completely moot.

5) Sell your old electronics to create a healthy secondary market to reduce the “Cheaper Model” trend (Plastic iPhones, I’m looking at you)

SO, your phone doesn’t go obsolete as fast and you can use it longer. You take care of your phone so when you DO replace it- the old one doesn’t get into a landfill. I know what you are thinking “How will I upgrade my Bluetooth Module” Actually, you weren’t thinking that- nobody is thinking that- which is why this is a stupid idea.

 

 

Firework DJ Birthday

Here is a small business development idea for pyrotechnic display companies.

Pitch: You are rich, and your kids know it. You want everyone to celebrate your kids birthday. The kid is too old for a clown, but too young for a “grown up” teenager birthday party. How do you make your party the best one on the block, the party that every kid in his class will remember forever? What One-Percent Kid’s birthday would be complete without his very own Fireworks Display. And, by very own, I mean he gets a big board and can push buttons to launch fireworks. Professionals set up the display, and the Birthday Boy presses labeled buttons to let them rip, including the big red plastic covered “Finale” button. Maybe he wants to launch them to music. Maybe he wants to pretend to be a wizard. Who knows. Kids love being in control of the world around them, parents want to do something memorable and unique.

Income: 2,000 to 5,000 per display depending on how many “shots” the parent buys for junior.

Challenges?

Make sure to have a “Cooldown” timer so he doesn’t just mash all the buttons immediately. Make sure she has an “Ammo” count. Put some work into having a control board made that looks like a big slick retro spaceship looking interface.

Additional Touches?

Film the displays and share them on your website or youtube, ending with the kid smiling and jumping around.

Alternative Plans?

Set up control board, launchers, and a viewing area on your company’s property. Party is hosted there, so parents can save money on having a set up placed in their neighborhood. This would be cheaper for the parents, and allow families with Homeowner association restrictions to participate.

Zombieland Two Trailer Concept

Setting. A built up city surrounded by desert.

Trash blows gently across a city street. The more keen eyed may notice a Twinkie wrapper.

Cut to the horizon. In the distance, a red dot appears as if a mirage. A low whirring can be heard.

Cut back to the city. Zombies slowly turn, dust shaking from them- they have been standing still for some time- but now they are attracted to the noise.

Cut to the horizon The dot is more defined. You can just make out that it is a vehicle before…

SMASH CUT to LOUD ENGINE Camera follows what is now confirmed to be, in fact, a Bright Red Vyrus 987 Motorcycle as it seems to be heading straight into the city. It is driven by a rider in all black leather, save for a red stripe that matches his bike.

Cut back to the city, camera rolls down a street of doors, where zombies stagger out slowly congregating as the engine whir draws ever closer. Cobwebs and trash scatters, again showing how this place had been undisturbed for months.

Cut to overhead view as zombies make their way towards the approaching vehicle. The vehicle turns slowly.

Cut to zombies changing the direction of their shamble, slowly speeding up.

SMASH CUT TO LOUD ENGINE AGAIN and HOLY CRAP. Driver looks over his shoulder to see he is being followed.

Cut back to overhead, the circular path of the bike is grouping the zombies together. The driver circles once more, than bolts into the center of the city.

Cut to Camera on the ground, focused up on a sky scraper. Motorcycle races by and nearly clears the shot as zombies stumble into view- pursing the luxury motorcycle.

Cut to front of the skycraper, Driver parks the bike, revealing that he is wearing some sort of low profile backpack. He begins to limber up.

Cut to to opposite shot, facing away from the driver. Driver is out of focus and continues to stretch as zombie hoard gets closer.

Cut back to driver, looking at his expensive watch, looking back at the zombies. Watch beeps and he runs into the building. Camera stays focused on the door, as zombies begin filling the shot, knocking over the bike as they stumble into the door opened by the driver.

Inside building. Driver is jogging up stairs, passing various satchels and backpacks, all the same red has his bike and suit stripe. They appear clean and bright.

Cut to zombies filling the stairwell.

Cut to roof shot, door flys open as driver jogs to the edge. Carefully he peers over.

He sees more zombies filing in, looks back at the door to the roof. He peers back.

The last few zombies are shuffling inside, they look perhaps slightly older or injured.

Cutting back to the rooftop door, the first zombies stumble through, clawing over each other.

The driver stands on the edge of the rooftop as the zombies finally regain footing and approach.

He unzips a pocket to reveal a pull chord, and jumps from the roof just as the zombies begin to lunge at him.

Zombies fall to their second death as he pulls the rip chord, and a basejumping parachute unfolds, the same color red seen so up until this point.

Close shot of driver now floating, zooming out to reveal the Virgin skyscraper, its logo the same red seen thus far.

From another pocket, the driver pulls a detonator, dramatic music that has been pounding now stops. Whistling wind and the click of a safety cover are heard. Then the driver pushes the button.

Long distance shot, the entire Virgin skyscraper is detonated from the top down, killing all zombies inside. As the shot is focused on the smoke and debris, driver floats by.

Camera now follows the floating driver, showing his destination outside town, where a Virgin-Red target is painted on the ground and a private Virgin aircraft sits.

Drivers feet touch the ground, parachute falls slowly, revealing  the most gorgeous woman you have ever seen in your entire life holding two flutes of freshly poured champagne.

She approaches the driver.

The driver, disconnecting himself from the red parachute removes his helmet, even as it radiantly reflects the high desert sun. His back is turned.

He faces the camera and smiles, as only Richard Branson can. The woman hands him the flute and the step into the plane.

Smash Cut to Logo Frame: Zombie Kill of the Week.

Smash cut to title ZOMBIEWORLD.

 

Mold? Tarnish? I wonder…

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This is why I’m leery about making dice in china.

From an alternate timeline : CJ Bucks!

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If that’s what its all about, at least do it right!

I would like to do some consulting work for the Hokey Pokey people. “So, you put your left foot in, and then you put your left foot out- only to immediately place your left foot back in before shaking it about. Then you repeat this process for most of your extremities? I am seeing some serious inefficiencies here.”

12 Monkeys (1995)

Mayan Movie Meltdown Madness continues! This time, we have the Biological Apocalypse Event!

This movie is almost 20 years old, beyond this point lie spoilers. 

12 Monkeys stars Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt and other people who I am sure were very popular at the time. I will refer to one of these people as “The Shrink” as that is her job, it is easier to spell than Psychiatrist, and I don’t remember the name of the actress.

The movie shows us a world where an imprisoned Bruce Willis is having flashbacks of a young boy seeing a man killed, while being clutched by a blonde woman. His flashbacks are interrupted as he wakes in a dystopian underground prison in a dystopian underground society. The surface world is only seen by volunteers, or rather volun-tolds, who scout for clues of the source of the viral outbreak that forced humanity underground. Willis is sent back in time to gather further clues, but is considered a dangerous loon and locked away. He interacts with a woman, The Shrink, who tries treating him for his “Cassandra Complex” – his warped insistence that he knows the future. While institutionalized he meets Brad Pitt, the psycho-political son of a Rich White Guy (TM). Turns out Bruce was sent back too far, and he makes his way to the correct year to learn about the outbreak, 1996. He reconne

cts with The Shrink, and by reconnect I mean kidnaps. He forces her to follow clues and she slowly realizes that some of his story is correct- specifically the existence of the Army of 12 Monkeys (Hey, thats the title of the movie!). Brad Pitt is leading them to do something major. After entertaining the delusion for a short while, the Shrink is locked in a trunk. She convinces Bruce Willis he is nuts, and Bruce vanishes Batman-Style from behind her back. With Bruce gone, The Shrink sees several clues fall into place and realizes that this is all true and the world is at danger. Meanwhile, Bruce convinces what he now believes to be his hallucinations to send him back once more. When Bruce gets back to the Shrink- they finally get on the same page to stop Brad Pitt’s Monkey Business. Well guess what- Brad Pitt is just a troll and released a bunch of animals- haha. No worries. So the now dis

guised Quasi loonies decide to skip the country. Unfortunately, Rich White Guy is in fact the source of the disease- but not through his son, but his creepy assistant Mr. Deadface. Deadface is trying to spread the disease all over the place and Bruce tries to shoot him at the airport. Well, he blows it and gets himself killed while the Shrinks clings to him. Of course, a young Bruce Willis looks on and if you hadn’t seen Looper this summer you were blown away.

Interesting and thought-provoking story, this little film. Tons of imagery, foreshadowing, visual clues, and cinematographic self references.  It came at a time when everyone was convinced that science might be pushing us too far. The idea that we could be the architects of our own destruction fairly well accepted. I personally cringe at the thought of being completely misunderstood and dismissed, so the theme of believing the “crazy people” struck a chord. Seeing it played out on screen, first with a time traveler and again with a respected scientist was difficult to watch, but perhaps therapeutic for my particular hangups.

One caveat, however. Brad Pitt got a lot of praise for portraying a nutter. It was a so-so performance, but frankly, playing crazy is overrated and over done. You can’t relate to them, you can’t explain their actions, and the only point in watching them is to see what they will do next. I don’t believe it is possible to connect with them. With some notable exceptions (The Dark Knight, Rainman, Girl Interrupted…) , I am not a fan of the art of being nuts.

Why You Should See It:

  • You like Mind Benders involving time travel.
  • You enjoy richly developed films.
  • You like a good mystery.
  • Quirky theme music is your thing.

Why You Should Skip It:

  • Crazy people is more of a trope than a triumph in your book.
  • You want a simple, straight forward sci-fi
    action film.

Deep Impact (1998)

End of Days Movie Fest: Space Apocalypse!

It’s the end of the world as we know it, so expect spoilers. You have been warned.

Last night I watched Deep Impact starring Tea Leoni, Elijah Wood, and Morgan Freeman. This film came out around the same time as, and was considered the thinking man’s version of, the Bruce Willis masterwork, Armageddon. Elijah Wood finds an asteroid barreling towards earth while hitting on some girl. Meanwhile, Tea Leoni is trying to find out about some bogus resignation. Well, she stumbles into a plot to save humanity- spearheaded by President Morgan Freeman’s America and “The Russians”. They have three courses of action. A manned space mission to detonate the asteroid from the inside results in making TWO asteroids, but not destroying it as planned. The second option, a plan I like to call “Nuke ‘Em”, fails as well. The only option left for humanity is to huddle in a cave, you either have to be an important person or win a lottery to get in there. The first asteroid hits, flooding everything east of the ohio river, but before the second one enters earth’s atmosphere is is blown up by a suicide mission carried out by the crew from Option 1. The film closes on the nation rebuilding, with President Freeman addressing the nation from the steps of the under-construction whitehouse.

All of the character stories are muddled, this is definitely a plot movie. Any emotion is derived from the thought of everyone in the world dying. Even this most dreadful of atmospheres is frequently betrayed by the shockingly poor decision making by individuals in the film. Morgan Freeman’s constant “We Failed” speeches are interesting, his final “We Failed, and now we’re F***ed” speech especially so.

This is definitely a 90’s Clinton-Era summer blockbuster film, from the terrible soundtrack, over reliance on immature computer graphics, and awkward throwbacks. For example, the shuttle program is in full swing and the World Trade Center somewhat survived the wall of water that covered the Eastern United States. Also missing is the grit. No crooked politicians, no doomsday culters, no rampant raping, looting, and pillaging. Oddly missing as well- free speech zones. The areas around key government facilities were open to public protest. I almost forgot we had civil liberties at one point in our history.

Deep Impact is a puppet show with an interesting plot. Characters are one dimensional and the only real excitement is seeing the stage catch on fire. My only regret is they didn’t have the courage to let the whole thing burn.

Why you should see it:

  • You can’t get enough Morgan Freeman (He’s very Morgan Freemany in this one.)
  • You like “Get me the President!” style situation room disaster movies

Why you should skip it:

  • You feel strong, believable characters are required for an interesting story.
  • You want special effects that hold up to the scrutiny of time.
  • You want to see the dark side of humanity facing extinction.

This is Mr. Christmas!

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A Paradox

The best time to do something is the worst time, because that is when everyone else is trying to do it too.

Sent from the Post Office at Lunchtime