Archive for July, 2018

Leadership Style Colors

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Lara Hogan:

I don’t believe there’s a finite set of available styles for leaders. But it is certainly handy to have a shortcut for describing your style, and how you might adapt it for different environments, or different teammates, or different end goals.

Here’s her framework:

I have a hard time thinking of myself as a leader at all, which uhhh, isn’t ideal, but if I had to pick I’m going with a major in Brown and a minor in Blue.

Avatar: The Last Airbender had a Style Guide

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

It’s been 10 years since the finale! Andrew Whalen talks to the creators, Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko:

Still, when looking back at the series bible—a document developed to serve as an internal guide to the characters, settings and overall narrative of a show in the early stages of development—Konietzko and DiMartino found many of their ideas for the finale already in place, years before Avatar premiered in February of 2005.

That’s pretty cool. It feels like a show that had a very solid plan all along and a world that wasn’t just winged. Unlike LOST, in which the writers just did whatever the wanted:

“I had friends that were writing on Lost, I can’t say who they were. And I was watching football with one of them and I was telling them how much I loved the show…and I’m like, “How are you going to pay all this stuff off?” And he looked at me and goes, “We’re not.” And I go, “What do you mean you’re not?” He said, “We literally just think of the weirdest most fcked up thing and write it and we’re never going to pay it off.” And I look at him and I’m like, “That’s such bullshit! You are completely f*cking with the audience.”

I still feel scorned by LOST. It was such an incredible journey, fueled by the idea that this must be the most ingenious intertwined puzzle plot ever and the payoff is going to be incredible… maybe we can even figure out little bits along the way. Only to have it end with close to zero payoff and the admission it was just winged.

Humm Zinger

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Two incredible local favorites, Deschutes Brewery and Humm Kombucha paired up this summer to make a radler:

It was incredibly good and everyone I know around here was talking about it. And then it was gone. Like any special batch, I suppose. But it was so good and such a perfect summer thing, I kinda expected it to hang on longer.

I wrote to them about it, and they replied:

Thanks for taking the time to contact us, and for being a fan of Humm Zinger! This tasty collaboration with Humm Kombucha created quite the buzz, and we appreciate all the positive response we’ve received.

Humm Zinger was a one-time release, but the response has been so positive that I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if our brewers and Humm’s brewers are working on the next batch as I type this. The beer is a true labor of love, as it took over 100 batches to dial the recipe in; as well as having to can it offsite (as we couldn’t allow kombucha cultures into our packaging line) but myself and many others would agree that it would be worth it! Only time will tell as to if and when we’ll see this tasty radler back in action, but I will be sure to share your feedback with our strategic beer team.

We appreciate the message Chris! If you enjoyed Humm Zinger, I highly recommend you try our current sour series release: Black Raspberry w/Summer Hops, and stay tuned for the Grapefruit, rose, and elderflower to hit the taps later this month. Stop by our tasting room or our pub to taste what’s just been tapped, and thanks for drinking Deschutes!

I wrote back to tell them I’d happily volunteer to be on this strategic beer team.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that I live in the town with the last Blockbuster

Monday, July 16th, 2018

I was always kind of a Family Video kinda guy, but it’s damn something to go from 9,000 Blockbusters in 2004 to 1 in 2018. Front page news here of course, but even WaPo picked it up:

Even the IBM computers are running the same floppy disks from the 1990s, she said, shocking the younger employees.

Running a business with software on a floppy disk would shock me, and I’m 100 now. I wonder what happens when the floppy fails? Anyway, I haven’t personally gone over there, because, uhm, I don’t even have a DVD player.

The GraphQL Guide

Saturday, July 14th, 2018

It’s just kinda awesome to see the luminary John Resig (along with co-author Loren Sands-Ramshaw) go all-in on GraphQL. Not only will it be useful for this book to exist, but the fact they are writing it legitimizes the tech all that much more.

What I really like about this is how they are selling it. It feels smart, fair, and damn entrepreneurial.

  1. For $39 you get the eBook, which comes with a bunch of Git repos.
  2. For $89 you also get “free” updates for 2 years, bonus content, and an interactive tool.
  3. For $289 you get support, community, even more content, and a shirt.
  4. For $749 you also get to come to a day-long workshop
  5. Starting at $1000 you get team licensing

All that sounds very fair to me. The base price is a good number. Not too low, not too high. Meaty tech books are rightly a bit pricey. Then each step up is both a significant price increase and gives you significantly more. I bet they’ll sell well across all those tiers.

Voice User Interface for StarCraft II

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

I still watch a decent bit of other people playing StarCraft II for my own enjoyment. It’s incredible to see the players do their thing at a professional level. There is a measurement called APM (“Actions Per Minute”) that is important in StarCraft:

Professional e-athletes in South Korea usually have average APM scores around 300, but often exceed the 400 mark during intense battle sequences. Notable gamers with over 400 average APM include Lee Jae-Dong. Park Sung-Joon is noted for the record APM of 818.

Basically, pro gamer hands are flying on their mouse and keyboards.

That’s one reason I found this prototype idea (by Rafal Cymerys and fellow hackathoners who seemed un-named) for voice commands in StarCraft II fascinating. It’s like Alexa for a video game.

The multi-tasking stuff is the hardest part about getting good at StarCraft (to me):

When fighting with the enemy, the player needs to focus on the combat.
At the same time they need to be actively involved in things that are happening at their base. They need to keep training new soldiers, constructing new buildings and checking if workers are collecting the right resources.

Even though such multitasking is the domain of professional StarCraft players, VUIs bring a huge opportunity to let the casual players focus on what’s important.

I love the idea on focusing my limited skill on things like combat, while shouting out commands to do other tasks…

Training more troops and sending them to the battlefield once ready. That’s especially helpful when you realize that you realize that the army you sent to the battle is too small. You can focus on the fight, knowing that more of your soldiers will show up soon.

Evacuating workers to the base. When you see the enemy marching towards you, you can quickly order the most vulnerable units to back off to the safety. This can also extend to moving marines into bunkers, to give them advantage over enemy’s units.

The other thing that’s appealing about VUI’s is that it could bring a level of accessibility to gaming that I imagine it could use.