Monday, April 29, 2013

OMG a Doctor Who K-9 USB Hub

"OMG a Doctor Who K-9 USB Hub! OMG a Doctor Who K-9 USB Hub!"

That was me, over and over, in response to seeing this.

Spotted at Entertainment Earth for $39 thanks to Dave Styer on FB. Thank you, Dave ;*


Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Need This Retro Star Wars Han Solo T-Shirt RIGHT NAO

We Love Fine just flashed me back to my childhood.

I love this. I love this. I am having a retro happy moment. I love this.




You can buy it here ;-)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tragic Events and the "Business" Of Social Media - What Constitutes Doing Your Job?

The events in Boston were horrible and sad and the instant it happened, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook became a stream of comment, concern and assistance for those in the midst of it all.

One minute things were normal and then my entire feed changed into one long scroll of Boston related tweets.

Well, most of my feed. Here and there there were people who I could tell hadn't heard yet, or were tweeting news stories or whatever it is we all talk about as we blather away. However, as the minutes passed, I saw those same people come to the news and the feed evolved.

I wish I could explain how important that scroll was for me yesterday. My heart was breaking, my friends were afraid, people needed help, no one knew how bad it was, and we were all there together reading along -- doing what small part we could do to share the news and share the pain in a way only social media allows.

I also decided, once the news broke, that any and all social media "work" I had planned for the day was going to have to wait. My job as Geek Girl Diva (the brand) was to shut up and get out of the way. My job as a person was to do what I could to be of assistance and do what I could to be part of the information flow to help others.

Others felt as I did. One, very specifically, was Janna O'Shea, who tweeted:


And I, thinking it was totally on target and apropos retweeted and then sent a version of my own.

Note, neither one of those tweets had any judgmental language. They were opinions and, given the NRA tweet that went out the morning after the Aurora shootings, there was thinking behind it.


We both got tweets suggesting we were out of line to suggest such a thing and that there was nothing wrong with scheduled tweets and doing regular social media.

So, allow me to clarify. Nothing about this is "right" or "wrong". It's my opinion based on my experience as a user and broadcaster on social media platforms. There I was in the middle of a tragic event, reading Twitter as a way to cope and support others and the incongruity of some obviously automated tweet (or tweet from a blog post feed - I count those as automated) felt like a shock and stood out like a sore thumb.

I'm also not the only one who thought it might be worth looking into. Social media heavyweights like Chris Pirillo and Chris Brogan did some asking around as well.


I'm guessing part of what precipitated both questions was the fact that people were suggesting that maybe yesterday wasn't the day to do "business as usual".

And my response, which may be the entire point of this post, was that it may come down to a calculation of "event magnitude vs. message amplitude".

I think you have to ask yourself as a company, as a brand, and as a person, the following question. Is your doing business during something like yesterday is going to yield you more positive than negative results?

If you have, for example, 1.2 million followers and you just keep tweeting away as tragic events happen, that's a lot of people who see you going on as if nothing is happening and, in my opinion, like you don't care.

Now, here's the thing. I'm not 100% sure, but I'm betting people were suggesting that maybe Guy should tone down the automation and that he may have sounded callous in the wake of what was happening.

If that's what he was tweeting in response to, well...that's a lot of "amplitude" on just what you think of the people following you -- and I'd be really interested to know. A quick search of tweets at him revealed a lot of irritated people.

And, just think would he could have accomplished if he'd used his powers for good? If he'd been tweeting from the beginning and helping spread the word? I mean, even if you're callous about it, think about the RT's and goodwill and general positives you would have gotten out of it.

Instead, because he didn't take a moment to stop and ask himself about the "magnitude to amplitude" ratio. Instead, he pretty much amplified what a douchecanoe he can be.

In the end, maybe the takeaway is this -- social media is social first and media second. Just because it's online doesn't mean it's any less noticeable when you look like the guy walking down the street during a tragic event passing out flyers for 5 bucks off a large pizza down the street.

You have a voice. Use it for good. The trick is knowing which "good" is best at the time.

Avoiding being a douchecanoe? Well, that's just a bonus.

Peace and love.

On a day like today...

I just want to remind you. We are all one. No matter our differences.

Love and peace.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Official" Firefly Jayne Hat at Ripple Junction Means C & D Notices To Crafters. Shiny! Not.

Y'know, there's something about this that just burns my butt in a way I can't explain.

The basic info is this. According to Blastr and The Mary Sue, fans who have been making and selling their versions of the Jayne hat for, oh I dunno, the last 10 year, are being hit with "cease and desist" notices from Fox.

Yep. Since Ripple Junction now has an official license to make the Jayne hat, any independent Browncoat knitter making and selling them is now making an item that infringes on their license and Fox is sending notices to enforce that license.
"in the last few weeks many of them have received cease-and-desist letters or have simply been banned from Etsy for producing DIY Jayne Hats."
And, yes, I know, they came from Fox, but do you think Fox was trolling Etsy to see if people were making Jayne hats in their spare time to help Ripple Junction out? Yeah, no. Ripple Junction, worrying about market share, likely informed Fox Legal and legal did what it does.

That just...grrrrrr.

And here's why it pisses me off.

As you may know, I worked over at QMx for over a year and a half and QMx has officially licensed Firefly merchandise. QMx has the license for Firefly prop replicas and the Firefly Jayne Hat is, while wearable, a prop replica. Which means QMx could have made it and just didn't.

Now, I don't know why they never did, but I have a theory.

My former boss is a Browncoat to the core. He started QMx because he wanted to make prop replicas and because he was a fan. QMx started with Firefly and Serenity and they've made some really amazing stuff. But they left the hat to the fans.

Because those hats, like the one Ma Cobb made for Jayne, we made with love and with care and with small imperfections -- and every one of them was unique.

Just like Jayne and just like Firefly.

So, somehow Ripple Junction gets the license for the hat and they'll be made in mass quantities for pennies in China. Fine. Hey, whatever floats your boat, RJ.

But you couldn't be happy to take the Browncoat money hand over fist and leave the crafters alone? Because mom and pop shops making Jayne hats was really going to cut into your financial bottom line that much?

Really?

Not cool.

Shame on you, Ripple Junction.

(via The Mary Sue)


Friday, April 5, 2013

Angels in Supernatural and the Crown of Thorns (A Guest Ponderation)

As you may know, I'm a big Supernatural fan and, this season, the GeekBoy's been quietly muttering asking himself why no one's really brought this theory up, so I asked him to write it down so I could feature it as a guest post. I think he's so smart ;-)

First off, if you aren't reasonably up to date on Season Eight of Supernatural there are spoilers below. You have been warned.

To give you a bit of background on myself and point of view, I'm a software developer and was raised a Catholic. Yes, I was also an alter boy. Not currently practicing but just wanted to let you know where I'm coming from.

This season, Supernatural has introduced a new dynamic into their Angels mythos. The most dramatic being that Angels can be "hacked" via a device placed on their head with specific spikes twisted into their skulls. Now, given my background, my first thought was a Crown of Thorns. I will get back to this later but it is what started off this whole thought process.

There have been countless people from monks to modern scholars debating why humans have free will and Angels don't. Hell, there are multiple Sci-Fi and Fantasy books about the same concept. Which raises the question how could Lucifer defy God and attempt to raise himself above his father? 

First we need to understand the orders or choirs of angels. They are listed below from closest to God to furthest from God. Their powers scale accordingly but conversely their ability to interact with humans grows the further from God they are.

Seraphim
Cherubim
Thrones
Dominions
Virtues
Powers
Principalities
Archangels
Angels

Yes, you read that right. Archangels and Angels are the lowest orders of the heavenly host. 

A couple things to get out of the way. Metatron is commonly thought of as a Seraphim. Cherubims are not flying babies with arrows but four headed, four winged, lion bodied things that would make you crap your pants. Satan/Lucifer is sometimes thought of as a Cherubim which didn't make much sense to me since his main opponent was an Archangel called Michael. But, it might in this telling.

So, imagine you are God. What do you do? You create beings that will serve you. Basically Roombas that praise you. Need someone to take out the garbage? Create another group of Roombas. Being an all powerful being, you are smart enough to give them some self awareness but not ultimate control. Sort of like Azimov's Three Laws of Robotics but far more powerful. 

As time goes on, you keep finding new needs and you keep creating new heavenly bodies. The problem is, each one needs more leeway. You can't have the Virtue mowing your lawn just blender a lolcat can you? (Hey, this is Heaven, God has read all the memes before you even thought of them.) 

Then God, being God, takes the progression to its logical conclusion and realizes that it might be possible to create something that doesn't have built in safeties but doesn't have much power either. Is this something that should be done? Maybe not, but it would be interesting. Really how much trouble could they cause? 

The question is, how does he let these newbies know they can learn? Oh right, he controls the operating system for every single being in existence at the time. 

So, he pops into Lucifer's head and flips a jealously switch that causes him to envy God. Bada bing bada bang Lucifer is on Earth and ready and waiting for Adam and Eve, who are basically children really. "Getting Cast Out of Eden" is pretty much growing up. God uses Lucifer to offer the Apple to Eve who gives it to Adam and free will is born. We humans don't have a hackable operating system because God decided to let us do whatever the fuck we wanted. Maybe not the smartest choice but, hey, who am I to argue with it.

Now we get to the Crown of Thorns bit. Jesus became a bit of a pain in the ass for the Romans (that they embraced Christianity later is ironic) and, before he carried the cross, Jesus was scourged and had a crown of thorns placed on his head. 

What if, just what if, down through the ages either through word of mouth or lore or whatever, placing something on a supernatural beings head that pierced their skull would either allow you to control them or remove their powers? Sure you can say that it was simple torture but what if it was torture and something else?

The first time I think we saw the Crown of Spikes used was with Alfie/Samandriel and Crowley henchman using it to torture him to reveal secrets -- then accidentally reset him to the "factory default". It's important to note that in this episode. depending on which spike was twisted, he would do or say different things. With Castiel, it's never shown explicitly but does Naomi approaching with the spike imply that he is being manipulated by the Crown of Spikes? Add to this, Naomi's desire for the Angel tablet. True, she doesn't want Crowley to get it, but she is going for full on Heaven control -- and if it lets her take control of all the Heavenly host, so much the better.

Here's my question for the writers of the show. Did they base the Crown of Spikes on the Crown of Thorns? I have no idea. But, I think they did and Angels being a kind of AI with an operating system makes sense to me.  


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