On iPhone Sales and Predictions

iPhone 4 (no idea why I'm using such an old model)

Ever since I predicted poor success for the iPhone, I’ve wanted to return and try to figure out why I was so wrong. I mean, with Apple recently becoming the first company worth $1 trillion, it’s pretty clear I was really far off in my prediction. I still can’t say for sure why I was so wrong, but I can make some hindsight guesses that are probably accurate. And 11 years later seems as good a time as any to reflect on how dumb I can be.

What I’m wondering on this, though, is why get a phone with all those features if it is going to cost that much? I’ll admit that I’m probably not the target demographic for this whiz-bang gadget. I like to get single task gadgets for the most part

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City of Heroes, a Little History

I used to play the hell out of City of Heroes (CoH) and City of Villains (CoV). To the point where it probably affected my parenting and my marital status. Sadly for me, the game shut down in November 2012. But I still see people online talking about the game quite a bit, as it was very unlike any other MMORPG out there. Even the similarly-themed Champions Online (CO) and DC Universe Online (DCUO) played so differently that I personally never enjoyed them enough to stick around (although I paid for lifetime subscriptions to both prior to launch in hopes either would replace CoH/CoV for me). My most recent spotting of CoH/CoV talk is this Massively Overpowered article on some of the history of the games, including launch, the Marvel lawsuit, going free-to-play, and issue roll-outs.

One of the perks of this subscription was the delivery of a monthly City of Heroes comic book. That was a neat idea, but gradually this deal changed, with NCsoft charging an additional fee for the comic and then scrapping the physical book entirelly and making them available only on the website. The first issue came out in June 2004 and the 32nd and last arrived in August 2007.

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Gettin’ all Sciency in Here

As a follow-up to yesterday’s brief bit on the Parker Space Probe, I thought it was worth taking some time to share more information about the project. This is some of the best we have going on in the scientific community (in my not so humble opinion), and I thought it was worth learning and teaching more about it. Watch live in the embedded video above, or read on for more details than you ever realized you needed.

The Parker Space Probe launch window opened this morning around 3:30 Eastern Time and extends to August 23rd. So depending on the weather at Cape Canaveral (Space Launch Complex 37, more specifically), the probe may already be on the way to the sun by the time you read this (I’m writing it a day before launch but posting around 7 hours post possible launch time).

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Drive Fast, Speed Turns Me On…

Image stolen from the Engadget article to which this news item is linked

So if you ever wondered just how fast we puny humans can make things go, it turns out that right now something around 430,000 miles per hour is our peak achievement. That’s the projected speed of the Parker Solar Probe which will be launching tomorrow morning, just a few hours from now. I have more reading to do to come up with a more substantial post on the probe, but I hope to put something together tomorrow so you can get learned. Just know that this probe is going towards the sun to study solar winds so we can learn how to better prepare for them in the future. (Image stolen from the Engadget article to which this news item is linked).

The spacecraft will also reach speeds up to 430,000 mph, making it the fastest-ever human-made object. That’s nowhere near fast enough to reach Alpha Centauri within our lifetime — it has to travel around 7,000 years to reach the star closest to our sun — but fast enough to get from Philadelphia to DC in a second.

The Top 100 Women of History

Young Margaret Sanger

I heard one of the local radio station’s morning crew talking this morning about the women who changed the world and decided it might be interesting to see what some thinkers online came up with for their top 10 or top 100. The first list I found was this ThoughtCo. list of the top 100 women of History. My knowledge of historical women is pretty sparse, but I was happy to find I could at least recognize most of the women on this list, even if what I know about each of them is quite limited. I’ll be reading up more on the particular details of these women to expand my knowledge.

What’s most interesting about this list to me is that it isn’t something based on some small group of “experts” deciding who makes the cut – this is a list of women ranked by searches online. So while number one on the list may get disagreement from all corners (I’m sure of it, in fact), there is a reasonable basis for how she got there. 

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Blender 2.79b

When last I was active blahgging, I mentioned an update to Blender had been released recently. Since that time, a lot has happened in the world of 3D modeling. I have tried to learn how to use Blender, buying and viewing video tutorial courses, books, and spending time reading the documentation. I still can’t create squat in Blender, but there are some amazing projects getting created with this tool. So I decided to share news of the latest version, 2.79b, just in case someone reading here has a knack for 3D modeling but isn’t already familiar with Blender. Check it out and see what you can build. I’d love to hear from someone who uses Blender to make something cool. Maybe even come share it in the Facebook Blender group.

Finding My Voice Again

I started the Blahg as a way to share things that I found interesting. For a while, I was really, really, active in maintaining it, spending less time with family or my job than I should have. I took time to setup posts days in advance so the site continued to receive new content when I was away – keeping daily activity going was important to me. It seems that for a while what interested me also interested others. At my most active, I was seeing hundreds of page hits per day. But not all was right for me to keep the site going.

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Blender 2.66

One of my favorite applications is sadly one for which I have no capacity to master. I’m speaking of the outstanding, open-source modeling tool Blender. Version 2.66 of this fantastic tool has just been announced. And while I’m sure almost everyone who uses the tool already knows about it, I mention it just in case someone drops by here and isn’t familiar with the tool but possesses the skills necessary to create something great with it.

Understandable standards for system and components

I love this Tech Report article on setting standards for computer systems and components, but don’t have any idea how we could make this reality.

Discrete or integrated, nobody knows what graphics solution to choose anymore. No, I’m not talking about people like you and me who actually read hardware reviews. I’m talking about the vast majority of the market, composed of regular, non-technical people who simply want to buy or upgrade a computer. That apparently simple task has become an ordeal. I mean, you know there’s a problem when even my most computer-literate friends come to me for clarification—and I often can’t help without looking at Scott’s graphs.

I confess this is even true for me, and I try to keep myself moderately well informed of what is going on in the world of graphics cards. I’m still running an nVidia 670 card in my desktop, and would love to upgrade (don’t need to, but I want to), but I don’t have the time right now to properly evaluate the current generation and make sure I get something that’s a legitimate upgrade while still maintaining a reasonable spending budget.