The BMOG Kickstarter is now at 90%, with just under 48 hours left before the end (Friday, 2:45 PM eastern). We need $1,800 before we hit our target, and every dollar above that helps us make the project even better.
Get in now, we’ve got lots of great rewards left!
In case you’re not familiar with BMOG, this is a toyline where each figure breaks down into 5mm compatible action-figure weapons that can be used with other BMOG figures, or any number of other toylines including but not limited to: Transformers, Ninja Turtles, Starriors, Lego, Kre-O, Blockmen and many, many others.
Do you want your webcomic to look like Silver Age comics
yup one pantone for all skin ever
Derrick is the man behind character designs for shows like Teen Titans, Transformers Animated, Legion of Super Heroes, Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc, Ben10 Omniverse, the Nick TMNTand more.
We’re stoked to bring him into the project and see what he can come up with! Fund the BMOG Kickstarter so we can make this happen!
Steve Ballmer is chief executive officer of Microsoft. He’s been in the job for some time, but he recently announced that he’s stepping down. The fact that Ballmer’s departure was announced without the simultaneous announcement of a successor is a good indication he was pushed out the door by the board of directors. And these photos taken Sunday around noon at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City in Arlington, Va., show why.
Here’s the Microsoft Store.This is not a trick of the camera. There were zero shoppers in the store. At noon. On a Sunday in December at peak retail shopping season.
And here’s the Apple Store. It is crowded.
Of course Microsoft operated for many years as a fantastic company without any retail stores at all, so it’s not as if the failure to build successful stores is the problem per se. The real issue is that there’s nothing wrong with the store. It’s a great place to shop. Much better than the Apple Store, really, because the Apple Store is crowded, and it’s a little hard to get an employee’s attention. At the Microsoft Store you get a very pleasant physical environment and a helpful staff. It’s just that nobody wants to buy their stuff.
It’s still a very profitable company thanks to its enormous strengths in the enterprise market. But enterprises are made of people. If nobody wants to buy Microsoft’s stuff, that will trickle up into the enterprise.
Microsoft definitely has issues with communicating what’s great about their products. They also seem to have major issues with focus at this point.
And while things like Microsoft Stores are arguably emblematic of that lack of focus, that lack of focus is also the Microsoft Store’s biggest obstacle: it has no reason to exist.
Even ignoring the innovative-retail-experience stuff, the Apple Store is arguably the best place to shop if you’re interested in Apple products. It has ALL of them, and it has pretty much anything you could need or want for them. (To that end, Apple’s done a great job of differentiating their products, too. Even if they’re the same Intel APU and same Samsung memory chips, “a Mac” is one of five different products. There are two iPhones—and while an iPhone isn’t the only type of smartphone, it’s a discrete kind. There are three iPads, on a trajectory toward two—and while there are other tablets, the iPad is marketed as being in a class of its own. Want an iPod? All four of them are right there on the shelf. And if you want an accessory for ANY of them, if any retail store carries it, the Apple store is the most likely to. (Now, I’m not sure that last point is—strictly speaking—100% true, but what matters is that the place is PERCEIVED that way.)
Microsoft sees no such benefit to draw people to their store. Aside from Xbox and Surface, they’re not selling Microsoft’s stuff—and even there, Xbox has been branded so distinctly from Microsoft in the past that it doesn’t register as a Microsoft thing to a lot of people either. They don’t have “the Microsoft Phone,” they have 12 different phones made by 3 different companies that may or may not work on your carrier. They don’t have “the Microsoft Computer,” they have 30 different laptops and 14 different desktops on offer, none of which are made by them and some of which might not even be on display. And while they do have the Microsoft tablet, they’re also selling nine other companies’ tablets right next to it.
The reason customers go to the Apple Store is they know, whatever they need to know about the product—or their choice of products—before they buy it, whatever problem they may have with those products later, these are the people who made this thing. If they don’t know, nobody does. Go to a Microsoft store, and… well, fuck, Sony made this one and HP made this one and Asus made this one, no I can’t explain to you the difference between this one and that one because they’re fundamentally the same product made by different companies, and we’ll try to support them but you’re just as likely to have to go to them if it breaks. The Microsoft Store doesn’t work because, no matter how well they train their salespeople, planogram their store, or select their products, they can’t offer the same experience Apple does. That’s not their business model, it won’t ever be their business model, and it probably shouldn’t be their business model. Which means their attempt to clone Apple’s experience produced a very lovely but anemic miniature Best Buy.
So why would you go to the Microsoft Store when Best Buy is closer and has a better selection?
"God i can’t believe Frozen has soooo many mistakes!!!!! Disney should do so much better!!"
i mean movies can’t have mistakes
man what were they thinking?
i just can’t believe it
movies have mistakes in them man. Not just frozen believe it or not
i would like to know how many of the 8 “mistakes” in Pocahontas are of the “Powhatan was drawn with six fingers on one hand” variety and how many are of the “SHE WAS LIKE, TWELVE YOU ASSHOLES” variety
According to the site they’re using: five continuity errors, Mel Gibson is a shitty voice actor, hair doesn’t work that way, and an anachronistic flag.
IT. IS. ON.
A whole lot of things just started to make sense now.
I love this picture so much.
In the game Taboo (by Hasbro), the objective is for a player to have their partner guess a word written on a card, without using that word or five additional words listed on the card. For example, you might have to get your partner to say “baseball” without using the words “sport”, “bat”, “hit”, “pitch”, “base” or of course “baseball”.
As soon as I see a problem like that, I at once think, “An artificial group conflict in which you use a long wooden cylinder to whack a thrown spheroid, and then run between four safe positions.” It might not be the most efficient strategy to convey the word ‘baseball’ under the stated rules - that might be, “It’s what the Yankees play” - but the general skill of blanking a word out of my mind was one I’d practiced for years, albeit with a different purpose.
Yesterday we saw how replacing terms with definitions could reveal the empirical unproductivity of the classical Aristotelian syllogism. All humans are mortal (and also, apparently, featherless bipeds); Socrates is human; therefore Socrates is mortal. When we replace the word ‘human’ by its apparent definition, the following underlying reasoning is revealed:
All [mortal, ~feathers, biped] are mortal;
Socrates is a [mortal, ~feathers, biped];
Therefore Socrates is mortal.
But the principle of replacing words by definitions applies much more broadly:
Albert: “A tree falling in a deserted forest makes a sound.”
Barry: “A tree falling in a deserted forest does not make a sound.”
Clearly, since one says “sound” and one says “not sound”, we must have a contradiction, right? But suppose that they both dereference their pointers before speaking:
Albert: “A tree falling in a deserted forest matches [membership test: this event generates acoustic vibrations].”
Barry: “A tree falling in a deserted forest does not match [membership test: this event generates auditory experiences].”
Now there is no longer an apparent collision—all they had to do was prohibit themselves from using the word sound. If “acoustic vibrations” came into dispute, we would just play Taboo again and say “pressure waves in a material medium”; if necessary we would play Taboo again on the word “wave” and replace it with the wave equation. (Play Taboo on “auditory experience” and you get “That form of sensory processing, within the human brain, which takes as input a linear time series of frequency mixes…”)
But suppose, on the other hand, that Albert and Barry were to have the argument:
Albert: “Socrates matches the concept [membership test: this person will die after drinking hemlock].”
Barry: “Socrates matches the concept [membership test: this person will not die after drinking hemlock].”
Now Albert and Barry have a substantive clash of expectations; a difference in what they anticipate seeing after Socrates drinks hemlock. But they might not notice this, if they happened to use the same word “human” for their different concepts.
You get a very different picture of what people agree or disagree about, depending on whether you take a label’s-eye-view (Albert says “sound” and Barry says “not sound”, so they must disagree) or taking the test’s-eye-view (Albert’s membership test is acoustic vibrations, Barry’s is auditory experience).
Get together a pack of soi-disant futurists and ask them if they believe we’ll have Artificial Intelligence in thirty years, and I would guess that at least half of them will say yes. If you leave it at that, they’ll shake hands and congratulate themselves on their consensus. But make the term “Artificial Intelligence” taboo, and ask them to describe what they expect to see, without ever using words like “computers” or “think”, and you might find quite a conflict of expectations hiding under that featureless standard word. Likewise that other term. And see also Shane Legg’s compilation of 71 definitions of “intelligence”.
The illusion of unity across religions can be dispelled by making the term “God” taboo, and asking them to say what it is they believe in; or making the word “faith” taboo, and asking them why they believe it. Though mostly they won’t be able to answer at all, because it is mostly profession in the first place, and you cannot cognitively zoom in on an audio recording.
When you find yourself in philosophical difficulties, the first line of defense is not to define your problematic terms, but to see whether you can think without using those terms at all. Or any of their short synonyms. And be careful not to let yourself invent a new word to use instead. Describe outward observables and interior mechanisms; don’t use a single handle, whatever that handle may be.
Albert says that people have “free will”. Barry says that people don’t have “free will”. Well, that will certainly generate an apparent conflict. Most philosophers would advise Albert and Barry to try to define exactly what they mean by “free will”, on which topic they will certainly be able to discourse at great length. I would advise Albert and Barry to describe what it is that they think people do, or do not have, without using the phrase “free will” at all. (If you want to try this at home, you should also avoid the words “choose”, “act”, “decide”, “determined”, “responsible”, or any of their synonyms.)
This is one of the nonstandard tools in my toolbox, and in my humble opinion, it works way way better than the standard one. It also requires more effort to use; you get what you pay for.
Nice to see this described. Reblogging for reference and just ‘cuz I’d like to see more people see it.
Newly anointed Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said this week that it would be OK for Internet service providers to charge Netflix and other companies for a faster lane to consumers.
Wheeler’s stance is surprising given that it appears to contradict the FCC’s Open Internet Order, passed under his predecessor in 2010. That order, which sets out the country’s network neutrality rules, says that fixed broadband providers may not “unreasonably discriminate” against any type of traffic. The order specifically calls out pay-for-play arrangements as being potential violations.
Wheeler (a former lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries) spoke positively about the order but said he wouldn’t mind if Netflix has to pay for a faster lane to consumers while answering questions Monday after a policy speech at Ohio State University.
"I am a firm believer in the market," he said. “I think we’re also going to see a two-sided market where Netflix might say, ‘well, I’ll pay in order to make sure that you might receive, my subscriber receives, the best possible transmission of this movie.’"
This is horseshit. The level playing field of the internet is what makes it such a powerful place for new, disruptive ideas. I shared Humans vs. Zombies and Cards Against Humanity online when I was flat broke, and I was able to do that because I didn’t have to ask for permission or pay anything extra to make those things available. The same is true of Tumblr, Google, Facebook, and just about every other internet company that you love and use.