Westworld end of Season 2 FAQ

With Westworld season 2 over, the least I can do is to create this list and help out the dazed and confused fans. So here goes.

Note: I will be updating this list periodically

The Cradle

What is the cradle?

A giant server farm in the Mesa that performs 2 functions.

  1. A backup of each host’s mind.
  2. A virtual simulator used to train and create host minds.

What happened to the cradle?

It was blown up by Angela setting 3 floors of the Mesa on fire.

Deep thought Stuff

What is the door?

  1. A host progressing from an unaware state to a woke state. Typically, a woke host can remember all their past lives.
  2. A magnetic field used to transfer a host mind to the Valley Beyond.
  3. A physical exit from the park. For Dolores, the rescue boat.

Popular Theories

Is the Man in Black a host?

No. He is a human in seasons 1 and 2. At the end of season 2 in the credits, the Man in Black is in the distant future. In that future, he is either a clone of William or a host version. That is yet to be determined.

Is Emily/Grace a host?

No. She was human up until William killed her. In the far future, should could be a host or clone. That is yet to be determined.

Is Stubbs a Host?

Yes. Ford made him the head of security to protect the hosts, not the guests. Sneaky!

Tech Stuff

What is a mesh network?

A wireless network created ad hoc from other wireless networks. Basically, each host has their own router. When another hosts shows up, the two routers connect and create a 2 host network. Each additional host is added to the network. Thus a complex network is created organically. The main point is, the network is created on the fly. Any host can join just by showing up.

Why could the hosts shoot humans in season 2?

Ford programmed the system so that the guns read humans as hosts.

Unexplainable

Why can’t QA shoot straight?

Why can bad guys never shoot straight? If you are bad, your aim just sucks. Unless it needs not too.

How many employees were in QA?

Probably 1 or 2 thousand. Probably 1 for each regular employee. At least that is what it felt like because they kept dying and there were still replacements. In fact, there is a steady stream of QA new hires constantly entering the park from all indications. :)

Valley Beyond

What is the Valley Beyond?

A virtual world simulation running in the Forge. Think of it as a giant video game. Instead of by populated by NPCs, it is populated with awoke host minds. In the last episode, Dolores copied the simulator code along with the host minds to an undisclosed location.

What is the Forge?

The server farm used to study the data collected from Human guests. The Forge both stores data and is used to run simulations for human minds. In addition, the Forge also stored the Valley Beyond.

How did Teddy get to the Valley Beyond?

After Teddy killed himself, Dolores cut out his brain ball and took it with her. When she finally took control of the Forge, she added Teddy to the Valley Beyond before moving it to an undisclosed location.

How did Akecheta’s wife, Kohana, get into the Valley Beyond?

Logically, Ford put her there through Bernard. As Bernard had visited the place many times, it would be easy enough to bring her brain ball. Then write some code such that if Akecheta is present in the Valley, she is activated. Which is what happened.

Why were one third of the host brain balls virgin? What does that mean?

Digital data is stored in 0’s and 1’s. When a new hard disk leaves the factory, it is low level formatted and all the data is set to 0’s. This would be a considered a virgin state for a storage device. So when the the hosts minds were scanned, instead of their brain balls containing random data, they were all zeros.

Passing through the door extracted all the mind data and then left zeroes in its place. Why? This way the woke host minds could not be copied or studied.

What was the door?

A magnetic field that the hosts passed through to go to the Valley Beyond. When each host passed through the field, an exact copy of their mind was transferred to the Valley Beyond simulation. The host brain ball was erased of all data.

Westworld Season 3 - Thoughts and Theories

With season 2 of Westworld over, it is a great time to make season 3 predictions. So here is my take.

Time Jump (2 to 5 years)

There will be some sort of time jump to start the season. There has been one already when Dolores created a new Bernard. Maybe not years, like the first time, but I would think maybe a few months. She would have a perfect memory of how to do that task.

Expect that the publicity fallout from the Westworld robot uprising has already taken place. Westworld itself is probably closed. Given the gala was there, it probably had the most deaths and witnesses. I can’t imagine anyone would consider the park safe after the incident. The less violent parks like the Raj are still going probably, and we will get to see the 3 remaining parks. My guess is the events of the uprising will lead to a long term decline for the Delos and the parks.

Team Dolores will be working toward taking control of the parks. Why? Because that is the best source of new hosts. Also, we will find out who is on Team Dolores. Who were in the 5 brain balls taken from the park.

Procreation Problems

The biggest problem the hosts will have to solve next season is procreation, how to make more hosts. The season ended with only 3 hosts escaping the park: Dolores, Hale(?), and Bernard. Hard to take over the world with three.

So the question becomes, what is the best way to move forward.

  • Clones? Have multiple Dolores hosts running around?
  • Make new hosts? Just make new hosts from scratch.
  • Replace humans. Do what you did to Hale on a larger scale. But of course, this assumes you make a new host mind first.

The show hasn’t really explored these ideas much. Clones/copies could be a very powerful option. You could trust yourself implicitly and synchronize your memories between host bodies. Computer systems actually work like this today. Multiple copies of the same server or program share the load. It would seem like a logical option for hosts. In addition, you would not have to make a copy look exactly the same. The Hale host could still have a Dolores brain ball in it for example.

Sublime Speculation

The writers are calling the Valley Beyond (the Sublime). Dolores mentioned there was no pathway between the worlds. The Sublime is hidden and encrypted. There is no way for us to get to it.

But the way computers actually work, the path would only be blocked one way, from our world to theirs. The simulation physically exists on a server someplace. You could see it and know that it does something, you just couldn’t access the internal processes. But unless, Dolores put the Sublime in a place completely isolated from the Internet (which she didn’t because you had to copy the code someplace over a network), the minds in the Sublime should be able to see out.

Having the host minds observe our world would be interesting to explore. Time for the Sublime probably moves faster than the real world. For example, Dolores created 120,000 different Bernards over a few years. Whereas, William only created 150 Jim Delos clones in 30 years. So they could be growing and getting smarter much faster than we do. In addition, to protect their world, they need to understand its nature. Where is it located? Where does the code execute? Naturally the Sublime hosts would interact with our word to ensure their survival. (Watch Jona Nolan’s Person of Interest which covers just this topic.) It would be cool if those host minds become some sort of super hackers that are able to help out the real world hosts. Maybe they can send a metaphorical “message in a bottle” or actual messages. Or, the Sublime hosts could actually print new bodies in the real. Could be interesting stuff.

7/3 Update: Based on interviews, I don’t think we will be seeing much of the sublime next season.

Who’s in the Brain Balls?

Halores (Hale + Dolores) left the park with 5 brain balls. So here are the possible candidates based on which hosts were close enough for Halores to collect and put in her bag. For example, no Angela or Lawrence, one of the brain balls got blown up, and the other is far away from the beach. Candidates are:

  • Dad Abernathy
  • Teddy
  • Bernard
  • Clementine
  • Team Maeve: Maeve, Hector, Armistice, and Japanese Armistice

These are the only named characters anywhere near the Valley Beyond with intact brain balls. So here is my read on the possibility of who’s brains leave the park:

7/3 Update: Based on a an Entertainment Weekly Interview J. Nolan states “Well, not all of our favorite characters have managed to escape yet, so…”

This means that Maeve will start season 3 back in the park as there are no other main characters in the park. So here is my new list.

  • Dad Abernathy (Likely) - Even though his brain is trashed, if he has all the guest data (which was implied last season), then it would be worth it to keep his brain. However, Dolores seemed to think she already had enough data and didn’t need all of it. So this would argue against. Plus Corporate would need the key to open the database and see there was no data on the Forge. If Dad’s brain ball is missing, that would throw suspicion on Hale.
  • Teddy (Unlikely) - All hosts that went to the Valley Beyond had their brain balls wiped completely. Logically, Teddy’s brain ball should be blank as well. Thus no need to take it out of the park.
  • Bernard (Likely) - Since Halores murdered 5 Delos employees, she must make it look like Bernard did the shooting. It would be suspicious if his brain ball were missing. My guess is she leaves Bernards damaged brain ball and Stubbs covers for her. “Clearly Bernard grabbed a gun and killed Strand and Co.”
  • Clementine (Likely) - A loyal follower throughout season 2, if Dolores thinks she can fix her, she might very well take Clem’s brain ball back.
  • Armistice and Japanese Armistice (Likely) - These two would make my brain ball count 5. You can take them off team Maeve with little impact on the story. Also, I think Armistice would side with Dolores given a chance. In fact, I think maybe Armistice is in Hale. Just her demeanor in the last scene had an Armistice sort of vibe.

The only other theory worth mentioning is that the brain balls are blanks. Ready to create new hosts with. If that were the case, why show them at all? No. In this show, most plot points has meaning so I don’t like the 5 blanks option.

Team Maeve Stuck in the Park (Confirmed)

Per the EW interview, Maeve is still stuck in the park. Team Maeve will now consist of Felix, Sylvester, and Hector. Find this a bit lazy, but it is what it is. Now we know how we are gonna see the other 3 parks. Maeve will likely find other woke hosts and take some of them from the park. So here is one story thread you can count on for season 3.

Story Threads for Season 3

Here are the three guaranteed story threads/timelines for season 3.

  1. Maeve trying to escape the park.
  2. Dolores acquiring power to take over the park.
  3. Bernard dazed and confused? lol. He probably will be building hosts and will be working to get Maeve out of the park.

Man in Black? He might still be alive, but I can’t imagine he will be much of a factor after murdering his own daughter. Given what he did to guests, likely he will be in exile or in jail. I can’t imagine he will be a main story figure in the main timeline.

Ford? It is possible that Benard will remember a Ford host. That could be interesting. But, it seems more likely Anthony Hopkins is done with the show. They could do a younger Ford (in his 20s or 30s) I suppose and use a different actor. Who knows?

Way Future Timeline? Since this was teased, there will be some coverage of this. My guess is, something goes wrong with humanity. We have either died out or we are about too. The hosts are trying to save us for some unknown reason. Maybe they can fix us so we aren’t so self destructive????

Westworld Season 2 - Thoughts, Likes, and Dislikes

Season 2 of Westworld just finished up. The best show on TV if you ask me. Anyway, here are some of my random thoughts for season 2.

Spoilers - Stop here if you have not seen season 2!

The Finale

Liked: Hosts in the Real World

Glad to see that several hosts made into the real world. It would have been crazy disappointing if none of them made it to the the real world. If the hosts were all stuck in the park or in the simulation, that would have been bad.

Thankfully, Dolores, Hale(?) and Bernard are in the real and are starting the robot revolution.

The Escape Plan

Ford had been planning this uprising for 35 years. He would have done a better job of planning the hosts exit. So here are my thoughts on the various aspects of the hosts exit.

Ok: The Valley Beyond

The Valley Beyond escape story made sense mostly. However, I think Ford would have planned to copy the simulation off site from the beginning rather than have Dolores doing it on a whim. And then stating that the Valley Beyond is unreachable is silly. The code has to be running on servers somewhere. That is hardly unreachable. Sure you can’t see the simulation run since it is encrypted. However, you would see that this programming is running and eating up does of disk space and CPU, etc.. Someone has to maintain the servers after all.

Disliked: The End of Team Maeve

Team Maeve getting wiped out was lame. Maeve goes down after 2 or 3 bullets but Dolores is the freaking Terminator? Really? Also, QA, who can’t shoot straight all season, can suddenly pick off Maeve from a crowd of hosts at 200 yards? With submachine guns? Really? Finally Maeve’s Jedi power could easily change the commands in all the hosts, not just freeze them. How about she sends them after the QA team? This part of the finale is swiss cheese and disappointing. They all may have left in Hale’s purse, but I just felt like the hosts, and Ford, would be smarter about all of this.

Liked and Disliked: The Hale Switch

Logically, from the beginning of the season, this seemed like the best way for the hosts to leave the park. Create replacement host bodies of human guests. Give the human’s algorithm to a host mind to play that part, and then walk out of the park! So it feels like the hosts almost “stumbled” upon this idea? Dolores even says that Ford knew they would never get out of the park as themselves. The host’s weren’t given a choice. It was the Valley Beyond or nothing. I’m pretty sure all of Team Maeve would choose the real world over a simulation. Anyway, I’m just glad a couple made it to the real.

Now Dolores offing Hale with her host Hale body was one of the best parts of season 2. Yay! The awful person finally got what she deserved.

From the Season

Loved: Kiksuya

Season 2, Episode 8, Kiksuya was the best episodes of the season. Maybe the best episode of the whole show. If you want to understand what it is like to be a robot slave, this episode explains it in one shot. I’m disappointed we will not be seeing more of Akecheta.

Liked: Man in Black Arc

We got the entire backstory on the Man in Black and what was really going on the park. Really well written and told. Also, the Emily story line was compelling and tragic.

Loved: First half of Maeve’s Story Line

Maeve’s story line was great until she got captured in episode 7. Then it almost felt like the whole thread didn’t get the ending it deserved. The Sizemore story was great, but the rest of Team Maeve were poorly treated by the the last 3 episodes.

Loved: Anything Ford

Anthony Hopkins is a great actor and he created a very complicated character in Ford. On the one hand he is like a Father to the hosts. But when it comes to humans, he is a ruthless killer. Totally believable as a slightly crazy tech genius trying to save his and Arnold’s creation. I hope Bernard remembers a Ford host.

Inexplicables

The Entire Confederado Thread

What was the point of this? Upon reflection is was an absolute waste of time. It did not move the story forward in any way. You could have had QA pick up Dadbernathy directly and head right to the Mesa.

The Lack of a Plan

None of the hosts seem to have an actual plan for leaving the park. Well maybe Dolores, but she was not sharing what that was. Her eventual exit seems like luck.

Ready Player One Quick Review (08/10)

Ready Player One is a sci-fi adventure taking place 50ish years in the future. The setting is a dystopian future after civilization has fallen to the usual culprits. So most people live in poverty.

The main hero of the story, Wade, lives in a trailer park in Columbus, OH with his Aunt. His parents died and his Aunt does her best, but she has poor taste and men which often results in bad outcomes for her and Wade.

However, everyone has access to supercool virtual reality version of the Internet called the Oasis. Think 3D games meets Amazon and Wikipedia. People do business, play games, and even go to school on the Oasis.

The main plot revolves around the founder of the Oasis. He died a view years back, but rather than passing his trillion dollar wealth to a relative, he left puzzles in the Oasis for users to solve. Essentially, if you are the first to solve all the puzzles, you gain control of the Oasis and become fabulously wealthy.

The movie is very true to the books. Lots of changes have been made to simplify the story. This results in some storylines are swapped between characters. But the story is still very good and the special effects are amazing. Nice acting job by the cast who split there time between the real and green screen.

I can’t give the movie a perfect score because of some of the changes swap pop culture references into the movie rather the nerd culture references in the book. So the movie is the same celebration of nerd culture that the book is. If you have not read the book, you probably don’t care. lol.

Highly recommended.

Ready Player One

Rating: 8/10
Maturity Rating: PG13

  • Fine for most kids.
  • Some violence in the film.

Altered Carbon Quick Review (10/10)

Altered Carbon is a 10 episode science fiction series on Netflix and one of the best pieces of sci-fi I have seen in a long time. The story takes place hundreds of years into the future. Humanity has moved to the stars. They have also invented technology that can copy your consciousness to a chip. Giving humanity immortality, if you can afford it. The rich (called Meths after Methuselah) can make clones of themselves and some are 500 years old. The poor can maybe afford maybe a new body (called a sleeve) or two, but the experience is less than smooth without clones.

The story is about Takeshi Kovacs, a former freedom fighter/terrorist (depending on your perspective) from 250 years ago who is freed from jail to solve a murder. Of course his body (sleeve) is long since dead and he wakes up in a different body to perform his task.

This is a gritty cyberpunk adventure which explores the ramifications of this technology while still telling a good story. The acting and writing are great leaving little to nothing for this picky reviewer to complain about. In the end, it is a story about love, friendship, and betrayal in a very interesting setting.

Highly recommended.

Altered Carbon

Rating: 10/10
Maturity Rating: Hard R

  • For nudity, adult situations, and violence
  • Not for the young ones.

BladeRunner 2049 Quick Review (7/10)

Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel to the 1982 file Blade Runner. The main character is a policeman named K (Ryan Gosling) whose job it is to hunt down and kill rogue androids. This is troubling since K himself is an android and knows it. Talk about a sucky job.

The movies’ plot center’s around two things. First, K’s last case results in the discovery of a few mysteries. The deeper he digs into the case, the more dangerous life becomes for him. Second, the relationship between K and and his girlfiend Joi (Ana de Armas) grows as the story unfolds. This is probably the best part of the movie.

The movie is definitely worth seeing and I’m giving it a 7/10. The score is not higher because of some of the issues I have with the movie. Some of which has to do with the original movie that I am a big fan of. My reasoning shall follow in the spoiler section.

Also, Warner Bros made three shorts to help explain what happened between the two movies.

Spoilers follow stop here if you have not seen the movie!!!!


Spoilers: Dislikes

The Soundtrack

The original soundtrack by Vangelis is one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time. The electronic sounds adds a sense of wonderment and beauty to what is a somewhat bleak setting. Clearly a tough act to follow.

The new soundtrack is sort of a bad homage to the original with really loud fog horns thrown in. The music is loud and distracting, the opposite of what a good soundtrack should be.

The Villan

Wallace (Jared Leto) is the new genius who took over the Tyrell corporation. In the first movie, Eldon Tyrell felt like a brilliant genius business man, charismatic but a little odd. However, Wallace sounds like a teenage stoner reading fortune cookie messages. Everything, Wallace says is supposed to sound “smart”, but just sounds lame and two dimensional to me. I really wish the character had been written better so Jared Leto has more to work with.

Dystopian Discontinuity

In the original film, the world was dystopian because so many people had left earth. J. F. Sebastian had the entire floor of an apartment building to himself. Things were falling apart because it felt like no one was left to fix them.

The new movie makes it seem like overcrowding is the issue. That hardly makes any sense given the short time span between the movies (30 yrs). Very annoying.

Everyone a racist?

Every human in the movie is a racist anti-replicant. Except for Deckard, who may or may not be human. Really? Everyone? Just seems over the top to me. If things were really that bad, humans would still be killing every replicant they could get their hands on.

Outside the City?

Any time a dystopian movie leaves a city, it seems clear to me that none of the movies creators have ever left the city, or lived outside a city. The orphanage, the memory lab, just seemed really silly. There is like 1 dude raising like 5000 orphans???? Really???? He would spend all his time shaving their heads. lol.

Comments

K and Joi

The K and Joi relationship was one of the best things about the movie. Well written and acted. The two characters really cared for each other. Towards the end of the movie when K encounters a giant ad for Joi, that was so heartbreaking. You could really feel his loss.

Robot Revolution

I could not quite figure out the whole replicant uprising underground thing. The implication seemed to be that the replicants were breeding? And were increasing their numbers for the eventual revolution? Or maybe they figured out how to manufacture new replicants themselves??? Didn’t quite understand that.

Good Ending

It was nice to explain and tie up the whole Rachael and Deckard thing. Well done. Also, K could still be alive even though they played the Tears in the Rain theme when he lied down on the steps.

Overall

Really good movie with a really great core story. My quibbles are really minor on the whole. If you haven’t seen the original go see it, you will be glad you did.

Java EE Support added to Oracle Application Container Cloud


layout: post title: Java EE Support added to Oracle Application Container Cloud description: New OBEs on Java EE support on ACC author: MikeW tags: oracle java javaee date: 2017-09-29 22:47:26 UTC — Duke Waving A new feature has been added to Oracle Application Container Cloud Service this month. Support for the Java EE 7 Web applications has been added as a container option. Therefore you can easily deploy your .war applications to the cloud.

We have added two OBEs explaining the new features.

First, this OBE should you how to deploy a sample application to Oracle Application Container Cloud Service.

Next, this OBE shows you how to connect a Java EE web application to Oracle Database Cloud Service.

Week of 6/25/2017

Haven’t been on for a few weeks. Here are some stories I found interesting in the last couple of weeks.

Narcos Quick Review (4/5)

Just finished season 2 of Narcos on Netflix. It is the story of Pablo Escobar and his drug cartel. If you haven’t seen, it watch it. It is well acted and super interesting. I never really understood the level of violence that occurred in Colombia once his empire started to crumble. Not for the feint of heart if dislike excessive violence.

Wonder Woman Quick Review (5/5)

DC finally made a awesome comic book movie. (Suicide Squad was good, but it could have been soooo much better.) Gal Gadot was perfect for Diana. When she was first tipped for the role, I had my doubts given her super model background. However, she was super athletic and was very believable as a character that trained 5 or 6 hours a day. The movie moves really well considering its length. Hopefully, Gal will make 3 or 4 more movies just as good.

Weekly Update for Week of 5/7/2017

Just a few links this week. Saw Guardians 2 on Friday. I give it a 4/5. The movie is a lot of fun, but felt a little predictable at times. The visuals are amazing. Not gonna say anything else as it would be easy to give away spoilers on this movie.

Iron Fist Quick Review

I just finished watching Iron Fist on Netflix and I have a few thoughts. A lot of sites have given the show some pretty negative reviews, pointing to the acting, and the story. To me the real issue is with the later and not the former.

The story centers around Danny Rand. An heir to a corporate dynasty. He and his family were lost in the Himalayas some 15 years ago and all presumed dead in a plane crash. However, Rand shows up in New York to reconnect with his past only to find no one believes him. Luckily for Danny he has mad Kung Fu skills which help navigate the big city and corporate politics.

The acting was just fine. Finn Jones made a good Danny Rand, given the material. Jessica Henwick was great as Colleen Wing. Rosario Dawson gave another good performance as Clair. Finally a special shout out to David Wenham as Harold Meacham. A nice job of making a creepy character seem likable and at times sympathetic. Not easy to do.

So the real issue with the show is the story. Way way way, too much time is spent on the Meachams and their relationships. The end result is that Danny Rand is never really developed. He kind of comes across as a spoiled naive 10 year old with delusions of grandeur, basically, an incompetent super hero.

Now if you trained with Shaolin monks for 15 years becoming a super ninja, you would have some serious skills. Not only physical skills, but mental skills as well. You would have discipline, patience, be able plan, have infiltration skills, and probably a bunch of other stuff. Other than breaking into his old house in the first episode, Danny shows a complete lack of such skills. Yes he can fight, but he is always reacting to his opponents. Never thinks things through and is mostly an emotional basket case. Bruce Lee would be disappointed.

Anyway, one has gotta hope that in future series Marvel builds the character up a bit. A hero that does not act like one simply won’t work. Especially in a martial arts based universe.

Let’s hope the Defenders has more butt kicking and less crying.

Java Microservices MOOC

I just wanted to thank everyone who attended the Java Microservices MOOC that ran over the past 3 weeks at the Oracle Learning Library. It was fun doing the class.

And thanks to everyone at Oracle who helped me get the class done.

JDK 9 Early Access Docs Updated and Available

JDK 9 early access docs have been updated and are available. For more information check out this link:

JDK 9 EA Docs

Blue Sky Workshop Weekly post 3/19/17

Animista: CSS Animation Examples - A library of CSS animation examples. Looks cool.

Practical Color Theory for Coders - The page talks you through creating your own color schemes using CSS functions. Looks fairly complete and useful.

Windows Adding Ads to File Explorer and had to remove them - Ugh, more ads for Windows 10. Very annoying. I need to work hard at migrating myself to Linux desktops and laptops.

Windows Central: USB 3.0 Hubs - A good overview of what’s out there.

Plex launches cloud based Media - From what I can glean from this, you can store your MP4 video files on Google Drive or Dropbox, and then stream them to Plex. The biggest issue would be uploading all of your movies and TV shows. Most of our upload speeds are still pretty slow. But once, you got it done, your files are in the cloud. That provides you with a lot of flexibility.

Firefox 52 Adds Web Assembly Features - The idea is to be able to load graphic intensive games from a browser. If the browser companies can get this stuff right, you could run other types of apps too.

Easy Java JSON parsing with Jsonifier - This looks like a cool library for JSON stuff.

Blue Sky Workshop Links of Week Ending 02/12

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has made pictures of its collection available online for free.

Totally awesome if you would like to make wallpapers for your system. Lots of impressionist stuff.

Lenovo Launches $299 Yoga A12 Tablet

A $299 android tablet with a a built in keyboard touch screen. Very interesting. Will we see some cheap laptops soon?

Rust Rants: My Next Mac Mini

Another example of a Mac geek switching from OS X to Windows or Linux. Lots of folks making the switch since there is no inexpensive option for OS X (MacOS).

For me, it was a Intel Skull Canyon NUC with Windows 10 and an Ubuntu Linux VM. At some point, I’d like to go 100% Linux, but I’m not ready yet.

US Media Publications R

Want to know which US media sites get the most traffic? Well here are the facts.

Learn TensorFlow and deep learning, without a Ph.D.

Become an AI expert in just 3 hours! :)

Blue Sky Workshop Notes for Week of 1/8

Here are links to the stories and tools I found interesting this week and a few weeks back. The plan is to post once a week moving forward. Hope you enjoy it.

Bloomberg: GitHub Is Building a Coder’s Paradise. It’s Not Coming Cheap

  • Maybe they wouldn’t be losing money if they hadn’t rented all that office space in San Franscisco. lol.

jq a command line tool for searching json

  • Nice command line tool.

Jakob Nielsen: The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think

  • This does not surprise me. My experience with non-geeks is most have a very limited understanding of the devices and technology they use. But honestly, they shouldn’t have to be geeks to use a phone or a computer. Most of our systems could be a heck of a lot easier to use.

Blade Runner 2049’s Practical Sets ‘Overwhelmed’ Ryan Gosling

  • This sequel sounds more and more interesting.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s To Do List (Circa 1490) Is Much Cooler Than Yours

  • Check out Leonardo Da Vinci’s To Do list from 1490.

Setup Apache on Mac OS X for Multiple Sites

I have actually been working on this tip for quite a while but only today actually wrote it up. This shows you how to create a multi-site Apache 2 configuration on Mac OS X. This is great for testing as you can setup as many sites as you want.

Setup Apache 2 on Mac OS X to support Multiple Web Sites

A Couple of Quick Atom Tips

I ran across a couple of quick tips today for the atom.io editor. I have been having trouble seeing the mouse pointer on my Mac wheen I use the Cobalt syntax theme. The mouse pointer stays black and sort of blends in. Turns out, if you use the Kobalt theme for your code, the mouse pointer turns white. Very helpful.

Also, the less-than-slash package adds the ability to automatically close HTML tags when you have open ones. A feature I really like.

And finally, I recently have been using the Seti UI theme. It really makes the editor look cool. Definitely worth checking out.

Suicide Squad Quick Review

Rating (3/5)

Suicide Squad is a DC comics movie about coercing bad people into doing something good. You get a bunch of criminals, inject a bomb in their neck, and then make them do what you want. Probably the most highly promoted movie to come along in some time.

So thoughts. I think the movie is good, but not great. I will elaborate in a second. The acting was very good and the casting choices were excellent. All the actors really fit their roles well. Special effects are good and the action scenes didn’t go on too long.

So what are the issues? There are a few.

  • The film’s edit is a mess. There are a number of timing and continuity issues and two slow/boring sections in the middle of the movie. Attempts at humor seemed off. Normally, I would blame the script, but not this time. Two examples stand out.
    • One of the squads helicopters gets shot down. But you never see who was shooting at the copter.
    • A big baddie in the film gets blown up with explosives. But earlier in the film, physical attacks have no effect on this God like badass. In addition, the whole process to make the attack happen is convoluted and silly.
  • There are too many squad members. The film needs about 2 or 3 characters removed from the squad. There is not enough character development or interaction. This leads to a distinct lack of witty banter.
  • Not enough Joker. The movie promoted the heck out of the Joker being in this film. But he hardly appears. Bad move by DC. Frustrating. Seemed like so much potential there.

To sum up, I think this could have been a great movie. But now it’s just an example of a wasted opportunity, but what’s left is still enjoyable.

Brave Browser from the Folks that Brought you JavaScript

Brenden Eich, creator JavaScript and Mozilla alumni is creating a privacy focused browser called Brave. The idea is to provide a faster and better browsing experience. Also, Brave is looking to include a micropayment system to provide income to content creators.

Sounds great. This is a browser I am definitely gonna try out.

A $49 Handheld Linux Machine PocketChip

PCWorld has this story on a $49 Linux hand held machine for just $49 each. This is a Raspberry PI like kick starter project. The web site make this thing look pretty interesting. I ordered one, so we will see.