Ric Bretschneider

My thoughts in your brain…

Archive for the ‘SciFi Fantasy’ Category

Take the Blue Pill…

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Just a reminder that this blog (at https://ricbret.wordpress.com) is no longer active and new content is appearing at http://blog.ricbret.com.

Please adjust your links and subscriptions as necessary to keep in touch.

You can subscribe to the active blog by going to http://blog.ricbret.com and using the subscribe control at the top of the page on the right.

And there’s a new entry there today! Kind of fun, maybe leading into something scary. I’m excited and hope you’ll check it out.

Oh, here’s a direct link! http://blog.ricbret.com/books/take-the-red-pill/

redblue

 

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Written by ricbret

July 26, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Rotten Bitter Apple

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Update:

Word from comiXology now after many hand-wringing updates overnight is that Apple didn’t prevent comiXology from pushing to iOS apps, but comiXology made the call.  In a letter on their blog page, comiXology CEO David Steinberger noted:

After hearing from Apple this morning, we can say that our interpretation of its policies was mistaken. You’ll be glad to know that Saga #12 will be available on our App Store app soon.

It would be very interesting to know which policies, their actual nomenclature, comiXology was concerned about violating. Expect they were spot-on in their interpretation.  This smells of Apple making an exception after the fact to avoid bad press, and a small company falling on its own sword to keep in the fruit monopoly’s good graces.
Apple is a blatant censor, they just don’t want to be known as one.  Their role as a publisher who censors other publishers is a net-negative, regardless of the details.

20130410:12:45PM PST

Ric’ Originally Wrote on April 9th:

Apple Computer’s been pretty absurd about trying to prevent mature individuals from enjoying mature content on their mobile devices.

What’s so special about mobile devices? Nothing, except that Apple has implemented a file system and application system that they can control, they can prevent the user from using for any content. There is only content Apple approves of, on apps Apple approves of. And they’ve been your nanny since day one.

But now they’ve gone a little nuts.

a1Tomorrow, one of the finest comics available, Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, will not be available in digital form on iOS devices. This is due to two “postage stamp sized gay sex scenes” that appear in the magazine. They’re kind of background images, literally like someone left a TV on in a scene, context is ambiguous and not flamboyant.

Still Apple takes umbrage, and is shutting down all iOS apps that might try to down the comic. No iPad, no iPhone, no. Because they’re trying to protect you from an image you can walk into any comic store tomorrow and buy without showing your driver’s license. And it’s not the first nudity or sexuality in the magazine. It’s undoubtedly because of the gay context that they get out their big censor stick.

This is a crime against art.

I’m not exaggerating, Saga is one of the best comic books available today. Smart, inventive, human, witty, lovely, and unique.

All things Apple used to be.

And now they’re just disappointing.

Written by ricbret

April 10, 2013 at 7:03 am

QuickTechThought: Our Red Toaster

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Our pretty red toaster died this week.

Sunbeam Oster. It wasn’t even three years old.  I know, I know, they don’t make things like they used to.  But it’s just a toaster, it’s supposed to be pretty fundamentally simple.   Remember the toaster in Red Dwarf?  The joke was they had put all the crazy AI and voice tech in the toaster such that it drove the user crazy suggesting that “now was a great time for a piece of toast.”  Well, this one just has a bunch of buttons for various preset bread types, and a dial for darkness.  Nothing terribly cutting edge.  (Wait a minute… bread type settings?)

Reading up on this brand I see comments about failures and people opening it up to find “scorch marks on the circuit board” and how they really didn’t think they had the components to fix the board themselves. Which lends to three questions:

1. There are people who consider trying to fix the circuit board in a $40 toaster?

2. How did we get along for decades with toasters before we had integrated circuits?

3. And why doesn’t this thing connect to our WiFi so it could have downloaded an update that might have prevented the scorching, or at least a security patch?

Feeling a little weird about disposing of the toaster too.  I guess it goes on the pile of outdated or broken tech junk waiting for a tech recycling day at the local middle school.  Given it has circuits it’s likely there are components that shouldn’t go into landfill.  And it’s still so shiny and pretty, it feels wrong to dispose of it just yet.  Maybe we can rip the guts out and make it into a planter.  Isn’t that the solution for so many of these problems?

Written by ricbret

January 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm

And about that moon…

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Sometimes you just do things for fun.

For the last four years I’ve produced a weekly podcast and occasionally written articles for a web site called Fanboy Planet. There’s no money in this, but usually it gets you into conventions, occasionally it gets you into great parties, and quite often it delivers great swag.  The cost of most swag is that you must review it, and this week my review of the first season of the 70’s science fiction show Space:1999 is up for your reading pleasure.  I’d repeat it here, but I’d much rather send you off to Fanboy Planet where you might read and listen to a great many other fun things.

-Ric

Written by ricbret

January 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm

The Walking Dead…

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Just in time for Halloween...

AMC just released a new bit of advertising for the October 31st release of their “The Walking Dead” series.  That’s it over there on the left. The series is based on a comic by the brilliant Robert Kirkman.  The stark black and white art style and Kirkman’s brilliant character development over 75 issues has made it an acclaimed comic epic for some time now.  The quality and consistency of this book is amazing, so AMC has their work cut out for them to provide a similar television experience.

And it’s about zombies, did I mention that?

The trailer released this summer is quite graphic, not for the faint of heart.  Still, if you like such things… awesome.

Written by ricbret

September 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm