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Isherwood  ·  540 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 24, 2018

Well, my boss and one of my teammates were fired. My two other teammates were lopped off and sent to another department and now I report directly to our VP. She told me things were going to change, but in standard fashion, nothing has.

My old boss is trying to recruit me away and I feel like I'm in a position where there's no right answer.

I also found out a woman I worked with a year or two ago spent most of the time we worked together telling people I stole her job and that's the reason an entire department stonewalls me. It's some high school bullshit and I'm not a fan.

But my best friend from school is getting help and looking to reconnect so we're going to start playing games once a week, which makes me happy.

WanderingEng  ·  540 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    a woman I worked with a year or two ago spent most of the time we worked together telling people I stole her job and that's the reason an entire department stonewalls me.

Reading this, I think I'm more annoyed by the reaction of the department than the person. There will always be that one person, but if someone told me someone else stole their job, I'd be more judgmental of that person. Stole how? Objectively better at the role? More able to perform subjective aspects of it? Just a better fit? The more sinister reasons (nepotism, discrimination) wouldn't use the phrase "stole."

So it's disappointing any group of people bought into that.

snoodog  ·  539 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    My old boss is trying to recruit me away and I feel like I'm in a position where there's no right answer.

Guess It depends on what your old boss can offer you and where he stands in his new job. You probably cant win at the old job but you might be able to if you go elsewhere, especially if you are recruited in as you have a lot of value in the negotiation

Isherwood  ·  617 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 8, 2017

On Monday I lay awake in bed for hours trying to think about what I want, what I really want, from work and I came to the conclusion that I want money - to be able to pay off my house and take care of my family.

Tuesday I got a call from a guy I used to do web design for. He offered to pay me to do it again and I turned him down because it's hard. So that theory is out the window.

Meanwhile I keep getting more and more involved in church. I'm not a religion person in any form, but this is a farm church and we spend our time growing crops or baking bread to give to people in need. It's good work and it feels rewarding. I think there's some lesson here in the futility of close inspection and the value of action, but whatever.

Speaking of bread, I'm making my biggest batch - an octuple batch. I'm kind of worried I don't have containers large enough for the proofing process.

Lastly, in games - Cities Skylines came out with a new expansion for green cities. I don't know why I love management games so much, but it's really fun to make a city. I beat the main story of Odyssey, but there's still a ton more to do. I'm really amazed at how dense the game is - it feels so small but contains so much, which is a brilliant design. Also the new overwatch hero scares and excites me.

kleinbl00  ·  617 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Maszlow's Hierarchy has been heavily discredited as a psychological tool but as an aphorism it ain't bad.

What you're saying is that you want security out of work. That's not strictly accurate, though. You need security out of work. it is the thing that ensures your food water shelter sex. It does not provide self-actualization, which is that thing Maszlow figured few people ever achieved. It doesn't give you the tip of the pyramid.

Your church gives you the tip of the pyramid. What you're grappling with is the dichotomy between your need for security and your want for self-actualization. you turned down the web design gig because it does not provide you enough security for the self-actualization it would deprive you of. If you thought web design was your one true calling, you would have taken it regardless of the money. After all, nobody is paying you to bake bread.

Isherwood  ·  653 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Rise of the yimbys: the angry millennials with a radical housing solution

I wasn't trying to slag Xers, I very much remember all the shit that used to be talked about them when I was growing up and, even as a child thinking "that's a bit rough".

I was specifically thinking about my work place. It's run by boomers and xers and they're always reading out articles and surveys responses that say who millennials are and how to get them to come to our workplace.

Once a quarter we'll get a millennial report - where a boomer stands in front of a crowd of millennials and tells us what we want in the workplace. The speech comes with a fair amount of "this is what the data says you want and it's more than we got - so be grateful." None of it really resonates with me or with the other people my age, but there's data and old people are wielding it, so Who Am I to say it's not what I actually want?

I get why they do it - they don't want the workforce to age out and we're a confusing group. I'm not admonishing the efforts (half the reason I go along with it is because of the effort - at least they care, right?)

I'm more reflecting on my (and many of my cohort's) tendency to accept the outsider's assessment instead of being confident in my own. It feels like a common crisis for people my age. And I've seen the most passionate among us flare up in harsh rebellion to the assessments. The result is usually some form of radicalism, those who go first seem to go big, but it's still a reaction to the same assessments.

That's not what has me curious. My mom and dad we're Joe and Sue. They always made a point to tell me, against millennial tradition but in accordance with Lutheran, that I am most likely in most ways average. That's simply how it has to be for the math to work. So when I start to feel these discomforts and trepidation, they don't make me feel alienated - they make me wonder how the cohort is going to deal with them.

I wonder how the millennial masses will come to terms with who they are. What personalities will shake out when they realize what shitty yields come from investing in looking cool. What they'll really value when then number and expense of appliances means you really can't have them all. How they'll act when they work for 8 hours, play with their kids for 5, and have 1 glorious 60 minute period left for them to truly be themselves.

It's already happening to the masses in some ways. The industries we're killing, the complaints we're making, the culture we're refusing - they're all the result of a critical mass of completely average people simultaneously thinking to themselves, "no, I don't think that's the way I'll do it."

It's our right, just like it was your right, just like it was our parents' right. I think how we exercise that right as we become functioning adults is going to be fascinating.

Isherwood  ·  708 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 9, 2017

A N G S T

Other than that I'm good though.

Dala  ·  708 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Man, I feel you there.

Isherwood  ·  752 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Gamers of Hubski. I need your help to check out my friends site..

He needs a better "how it works" section, preferably a page. My gut reaction is that this is some kind of scam and the site's explanation of three bullet points doesn't quell my fears.

A nice in depth (or psudo in depth) explanation of what this is and how it works would help a bunch.

Also, any words from indie developers about why this is good for them would make me feel better. Right now I'm just taking the word of a site I've never heard of.

It's a great concept, but "Pandora for games" is very new and very scary to a lot of gamers. GOG got popular on the exact opposite sentiment.

To thrive, a site like this will need to make a very appealing case to the sentimentally of modern gamers, which it currently doesn't.

MarkIV  ·  752 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hey Isherwood,

I'm one of the founders of dropleaf! Thank you so much for the feedback. If you want to know a bit more about who we are, here's a thing I wrote some time ago about what we're doing and why:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WEB5EgGD4MmC7Vuvi5Zg0_NgzGnHi4IJ_5Xja3ZMn_I/edit?usp=sharing

I think you're right about the play on sentimentality, but we needed to make sure we got a functional landing page up and running first. We'll be working towards that.

Isherwood  ·  751 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You need a minimum viable product.

Right now, from that doc, it seems like you're try to do several things and don't have a common thread to tie all of those things together.

Based on your manifesto and the language on your site it seems like building an LGBTQ gaming community is going to be your central focus, but right now you have no community features so your site's messaging isn't selling the product you have.

Conversely, you have the tools to provide games but you don't have language that explains that service (how it works and what you get) on your site.

Your marketing is a narrative and your product is the protagonist. You want to tell this story where your protagonist is an art gallery - you can pay your dues and come and go as you please. You can enjoy the work in the gallery but you can't take it home with you, and down on the ground floor there's this wonderful little coffee shop where you and all the other art nerds can hang out and talk about your love without worry of being judged.

A narrative like that ties together your themes and can be slowly rolled out over months or years. It makes it easier to consume because it solidifies your identity.

(I'm currently short on time so forgive me for being curt or making assumptions. I really like marketing, I really like games, and I really think you have a very neat idea).

MarkIV  ·  751 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The google doc was more of a description of vision than anything else, and I don't think the website even once says LGBTQ (I just checked), but I think I take your point. I like the "gallery" metaphor, it's a really great one! Thank you for that, I'm totally going to steal it.

I think making our initial messaging more games specific and clear as to exactly what we have right now is a great Idea, and will be working on that.

Again, thank you for the feedback.

By the way, we do have an MVP our client is up and running and has a bunch of very solid indie games to play. (Granted, We're not the ultimate arbiters of "viable," customers are)

Isherwood  ·  750 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, I was playing fast and loose with the assumptions on my post and I probably should have left those off but I glad you could still dig up the main point.

I also like the gallery idea and just have this vision in my head of a web site that looks like an art gallery wall, with indie game demo videos playing in ornate frames.

MarkIV  ·  750 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That might be a thing we add for v2 of the website. I love that image.

Your feedback up to this point has been super insightful, thank you! I'd appreciate it if you were able to hop onto the client and give it a try, Hubski50 will make it 5/month for your first year or WelcomeHome17 will give you your first month free. (Cancel anytime etc)

Isherwood  ·  749 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Alright, I've made an account and I'm on my free month.

I've been playing around with the experience and I wanted to start out by saying I love the bones of the service. It's a really neat way to try out a ton of games and see what grabs me without that sense of obligation I usually have when I buy a game on it's own. I definitely didn't think I was going to want to play any of these, but there were a few that were way more intriguing than I thought.

That said, I'm not sure I would have given the client much of a chance if you and I weren't in a conversation.

What I've been chewing on is the identity of the client. There's nothing in the client that really says who you are. From my perspective, this is a neat little indie game launcher and not much else.

And I keep going back to that idea of games as art and your client as a gallery. When I go to a museum or a gallery, a lot of my enjoyment comes from the information I get from the labels.

Take a look at this

It's a white rectangle with black, sans-serif text. It uses this very rigid but ultimately understated formatting to structure it's data. It's classy.

So let's apply that idea to one of your games.

---

Dowino

Villeurbanne, France

A Blind Legend, 2015

Citrus Engine

The goal of A Blind Legend is to create a novel experience for players. To do this, Dowino developed a video game with no video. The game relies entirely on binaural audio, sound reproduced as the human ear would hear it, to direct the player through their journey.

Sighted players should appreciate the change to their senses as they play, noticing the rising acuity in hearing. Players should also take a moment to appreciate the depth of the sound design and how the developer layers different noises to produce a full and vibrant world.

---

We put this on a piece of paper and we stick that piece of paper to a wall.

So you've got your art, you've got your label, and you've got a wall. In the client, above the fold, you have a main exhibit. Commit to having a new set of game every month, every quarter, every year, whatever, that are tied together by some common theme - accessibility, aesthetic, developer location, engine, theme, etc. Do a little write up explaining the theme and why it's important to look at these works.

This does two things - it gives you a dynamic front page that provides a new value to your customers, and it opens up your service to much older games. There might be some classic from 1999 that was the first to implement rudimentary particle physics and it's worth looking at in the context of this exhibit.

Under that you can have your dynamically created exhibits - most popular, new art, whatever - but they're also exhibits that get their own static write up and gallery space.

Blow you can have an extended collection that is much more compact and only shows the information on hover.

I know I'm just taking an idea and running with it, but for me this cements your identity - you want games to be seen as an art. You want people to appreciate what games can be. You want people to have discussions together. You want gaming to be appreciated.

The way I see it, this design would push your users to see that identity on every page.

MarkIV  ·  749 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you so much for the feedback, We love the art gallery idea, and we're actually setting things up so that I have the ability to make the copy around the games more in line with what we'd like it to be, rather than copypaste from steam, or whatever got typed in.

I really like the idea. It's a great visual.

MarkIV  ·  749 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you so much for the feedback, We love the art gallery idea, and we're actually setting things up so that I have the ability to make the copy around the games more in line with what we'd like it to be, rather than copypaste from steam, or whatever got typed in.

I really like the idea. It's a great visual.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  751 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Feel free to make your own post when it's up. I haven't gotten much impression from the website because I don't understand how it works.

kantos  ·  752 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Agreed. Good starting points for the three bullet points:

- Subscribe: Well... no, that's straight forward.

- All-you-can-pay: List titles to match what new and old games are being referenced by whoever wrote the bit. Further, as with any product, I want to know exactly what I'm getting into and whether it’s worth my time. Don’t let the user have to search elsewhere for what “Cluster Truck” is. While I’m on the site, you want to keep me there as long as possible. If these indie games are critically acclaimed, then brag about it! "These are the titles that got X awards for Y by Z magazine - all hand picked for you." Or something to the effect of what this site has to offer that gamers would be attracted to in the first place, alongside genres available. This comes down to presentation. If they are totally new games, that’s totally fine and the blog Bottom line: move the review blog portion of which games reviewed that appear on the site to its own page (with the all-you-can-pay section, or at least make it clear option to go to).

- Community: Similar to the previous points, it boils down to what, why and how. The why seems to be in the rhetoric of the site, which is pretty sweet. The what/how is the mechanisms by which people interact with community; that is, list features. Is there a forum for members? Can it be accessed by non-members as a secondary form of advertising the community itself? How about chat rooms or voice channels? In-game, or not? This is a good place to showcase the client itself and user interactions on the site with a suite of photos ranging from the clients player-to-player exchanges or otherwise.

Personally, and I've written this here before, if I invest in a game, it's because the game style is attractive to me, simplistic grinding mixed with creativity: ARK or Minecraft; action and strategy: League of Legends; simple to use with great action, graphics and balancing: Shadowgun: Deadzone. Half of those listed were free to play, but each one I've invested easily 500+ hours in easily as well as dished out money for cosmetics or extras to show support. I guess my point here is show why this selection is worth one's time and money. Or, why is it something that can bring people together. Are the indie games multiplayer focused and themed towards community involvement? Are the games sheerly phenomenal with mindful discussion points that provoke discourse? Be generous with what you and your games chosen have to offer that’s different from, say, steam. Let the pictures of games on the site lead to review blogs or the dev profiles (if you have one). The community itself in a given game will either be great, or not (or both! all depends on the circles you encounter), but some of the friends I've made are from mutual interests that has carried us through different games over 5 years and going. By now, people have found communities easily through online games, boards, and aggregators. Who is the target market, and what is the appeal to pull them from games they can otherwise easily vet?

Isherwood  ·  764 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 14, 2017

Automation

I got two rooms on switches - one single, one double - and I didn't get electrocuted! I also got a Harmony Hub on sale and synced it with my switches and google home. Now when I say "turn on the projector", the projector and receiver turn on and the living room lights turn off. I'm trying to get "time for bed" to turn off the living room and turn on the bed room, but it's running into trouble (I think it's already a keyphrase).

Home Improvement

We got an unpowered push mower and it's fantastic. I thought it would be miserable, but it's actually easier than a motor mower in a lot of way, and it's super quiet and relaxing. My wife and I take turns mowing because it's a great way to get some exercise and listen to a podcast.

The shelving project got shelved (:D) because it's way more complicated than I thought it would be so I'm making real plans this time.

I got a new case for my computer. My old one was over heating. I thought it was because it was such a small case, but on taking it apart I actually put waaaaaay too little thermal paste on the CPU. I'm trying to hide this fact from my wife who thought a third case in a single year was foolish already.

Work

I made a proposal to change jobs. I stated what I was good at and how my current job was moving me away from those strengths and my manager was super supportive!

It's crazy that I have this narrative of slave driving management in my head, and how that keeps me from speaking up, but in reality they're just nice people who want other nice people to succeed and be happy. It's a really nice thing to see.

kleinbl00  ·  764 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I got that Fiskars mower. It actually requires less effort than the NiMH powered Craftsman it replaced (which our tenants stole, along with everything else that wasn't nailed down). You gotta keep up on it, though, and you're going to want to buy a string trimmer to get the nasty weeds. I have one that's powered by the same batteries as my drill, which also has like hedge trimmer, router, impact driver, air compressor, jigsaw, zip saw and a million other pieces. It's rad.

Isherwood  ·  764 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Nice. My drill is some crappy thing and the motors about burnt out. I need to get a new one, so I'll look into the replaceable battery thing. Who makes yours?

kleinbl00  ·  764 days ago  ·  link  ·  

http://www.blackanddecker.com/products/product-stories/matrix

None of these things are as great as the dedicated tools that do those things but considering how little I need a router, it's a great router, for example.

Isherwood  ·  1303 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 23, 2015

Anybody talking about star wars? Maybe we need a spoiler thread? I've been having a great time mapping the hero's journey.

Other than that, I'm antsy at work because this is a slow season for me. Work antsyness leads to a general sense of unfulfillment so I swing hard into trying to deconstruct and solve other people's problems and when that doesn't work I get all morose and angsty. So I've been playing video games and going on walks to make sure I'm not taking life too seriously.

I also amped up my volunteer work. I'm trying to help nonprofits understand that they are a type of business and that a business mindset, to a degree, can result in the ability to help more people. It's fun, and there are really interesting, really human problems in this mix. We'll see how it goes.

user-inactivated  ·  1303 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Wife is coming home from work early. We're gonna go see Star Wars. We figure the theater won't be a nightmare in the middle of the day Wednesday. I'm excited. I promise not to spoil anything.

veen  ·  1303 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Star Wars: it's not perfect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I'm not a huge Star Wars fan. For accepting a near-impossible task, Abrams handled it as best he could, I think.

Fun fact of the day: the Stormtrooper that is influenced by Rey's Force and drops his weapon is a cameo by Daniel Craig!

OftenBen  ·  1303 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think that might be my favorite bit of film trivia ever now. How did they get him? Did he volunteer? Was he just hanging around and someone asked if he wanted to be in the film?

veen  ·  1303 days ago  ·  link  ·  

They were filming in the same building.

coffeesp00ns  ·  1303 days ago  ·  link  ·  

apparently his call sign is also JM-007

thenewgreen  ·  1302 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Shoutout to me if you do. I'm ready to discuss it.

Isherwood  ·  1396 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Consumers Prepare For An Internet Of Very Pointless Things

Most manufacturers of smart home products just aren't trying right now. They're going for the lowest hanging fruits with lights and switches, most of which take more effort to toggle on your phone than to just tap the wall.

Home automation will take off when people stop focusing on "sexy" automation and start making serious and boring products.

Nest has a good start with their thermostat and being able to set your status as home or away to save on heating and cooling costs. From there a valve for my water heater would be the next big step forward, making sure I'm not heating 30 gallons when no one is around to use it. Also, in the winter, the automated unit can pump hot water at night or drain the pipes to make sure there's no bursts. Outlets are next, cutting off power to constant power draw electronics when I'm off on vacation. After that, irrigation systems that can check the recent weather and soil saturation to make sure my garden isn't over or under watered.

There are dozens of great ways to use home automation, but the big producers are too busy making lights that can be any color to create them.

kleinbl00  ·  1396 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I disagree wholeheartedly.

X-10 is nearly as old as I am, and has been continuously available the entire time. It has been possible to control your thermostat via "the Internet" since the era of acoustic couplers. The parts were available at Radio Shack. Anyone capable of programming a garage door opener is capable of programming X-10. Yet its penetration has always been minimal, its users the lunatic fringe.

Nests sell because they have an app and they look sexy. For what they do, they're preposterously expensive. Timed thermostats have been available at every hardware store in the country for over 20 years and are about as difficult to program as a garden timer; now that Honeywell has seen that some upstart can charge $250 for a bells-and-whistles thermostat with blue LEDs, they've got an entire line of bells-and-whistles thermostats with blue LEDs. All it will take is for a Chinese company to decide they'll take 1% profit margins rather than 100% and the things will be $60 like they oughtta be... and then we'll all have thermostats we can control with our phones.

It won't change the fact that any given thermostat has three connections - heat on, cool on, fan on. There isn't a lot of "smarts" necessary. If you work a normal job, a simple schedule will do ya. Going out? Hit the "hold" button. There's a reason homes aren't "smart" - there isn't a lot of "smarts" necessary. Your water heater example: completely sorted with a tankless, which is what most new construction is going to. They don't rot after 5 years, they don't sit there streaming excess heat into the closet and they don't take up more room than the dishwasher. Smart outlets? How is the outlet going to know that the wall wart driving your phone charger is lower priority than the wall wart driving your Tivo? Or your Wifi? Which keeps everything else working?

Your irrigation system already works that way, by the way. Check it out.

It comes down to this - consumers say "I don't just want chips on things, I want stuff that will actually improve my life." Vendors say "We've been selling that shit since nineteen diggity two." Then consumers say "Oh. Well... I was just making conversation. I don't actually, like, need any of this shit." and the vendors go "We know. That's why our sales on telematics run a fraction of everything else. But we're happy to watch Samsung try to get you to buy a microwave with an email server every third CES show."

veen  ·  1395 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do you happen to know a good(ish) book on the Internet of Things / telematics that doesn't suck? I've read the Age of Context and on my list is The Zero Marginal Cost Society by Jeremy Rifkin, but he seems like an asshat. I've got an assignment on harbor logistics and I'm gonna write the part that talks about IoT (and why it's a nonsensical buzzword), but I'm looking for a book or two to back me up.

kleinbl00  ·  1395 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't. I don't think you'll find one - again, I maintain that "the Internet of Things" is just a buzzword rebranding of telematics to put it in terms that people who are afraid of Latin roots can understand.

Age of Context was bullshit. I put that crap down the minute Scoble describe Google Glass as a "world-changing technology."

Isherwood  ·  1395 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In my example, it's more about all the parts of the home working together and "just working". Yes these things have been on the market for a long time, but they either require and intimidating amount of programming (that is, some programming) or they don't have perceived intelligence (my thermostat schedule doesn't adjust to my sick days).

I think if someone could create an affordable smart home suite that "just worked" it would be more enticing than the other current solutions. I also think this is what nest is working towards.

kleinbl00  ·  1395 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Here's my objection:

You say, "It would be great if it worked like this."

I say "It does work like this. Has done for decades. Nobody cares."

You say "But it doesn't work like this."

This is the part where I say

Look. The difference between a Nest and this is $230 worth of hipster bullshit. I say this having hated on how primitive and stupid thermostats are for going on 20 years. I actually rigged one very similar to this example to act as a dayparting timer for background music in a large chain of restaurants - the cheapest way for me to switch between two sources in over 2,000 restaurants was rigging the thermostat Macgyver style to do what I needed it to do. Its not that they're really versatile, it's that they're really fucking simple.

But hipsters are scared of things involving screwdrivers, and in love with things involving wifi, so yay. $250 thermostat. It doesn't "just work", it has to "learn" your behavior. Fuck you, Nest. Turn on when I tell you, turn off when I tell you, and go for the temperatures I decide. See, that's the part they don't really explain - you have to fuck with a Nest for about two weeks before it does its magic, while my $20 buddy is in the zone within ten minutes of me slapping it on the wall. And remember - three wires. Same three wires the Nest needs.

You wanna see innovative? here's innovative. Fuck your thermostat, I wanna know what all the power in the house is doing, and I want to know from everywhere.

Except that isn't innovative either. I think TED is a 3rd or 4th generation whole-house monitor. But since it's basically a scaled-down industrial energy monitor, rather than "the Internet of Things", and since you need to know how to change out a circuit breaker to use it, the hipsters aren't eating it up.

"Just working" means "but I want bells and whistles!" or "but there isn't enough hype!" THAT is what separates Nest from its competition - bullshit Kickstarter eMasturbation "sentiment."

And again - we do this every ten years.

Isherwood  ·  1395 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, there is a market of people who don't want to change their circuit breaker and still want the benefits of controlling their home energy. You can dismiss them but they aren't going away, and they seem to have cash in hand for more energy efficient homes.

So companies can go in, in our simplified universe, one of two ways. The first tact is yelling "fuck you you hipster piece of shit, we built what you're talking about 20 years ago and if you really wanted what you're talking about you'd bring yourself to my level." The second tact is building the thing that people seem to be asking for.

I know that all of these things exist and work. I know that this is nothing new to you. But if I'm making these devices then fuck you, you're not my target market anyway. Instead, I'm going to focus on those hipster pieces of shit. I'm going to build a "learning thermostat" that your program to your actions. That has a motion detector that can tell if you're home and the house should be heated or cooled off schedule. That looks futuristic and cool, because even if they don't want to admit it, that matters.

And when I have that product built, I'm going to build lights that can use those motion detectors to turn off if no one's in the house. That can not use the water heater, when someone wants to save money without going tankless. That can Know when an outlet should be drawing power and when it shouldn't be.

Yeah, you can do these things because you give enough of a shit to go out and learn it. Everyone else can't say the same thing. That's who they're building for.

kleinbl00  ·  1395 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And again, here's my objection:

those people don't exist.

"Energy efficient homes" is a mature market segment. You'll find that most power districts will throw incentives at you like they're made out of money for going energy-efficient. City of Seattle will pay half of a front-loading washer, for example. Need new windows? Have a tax credit. Wanna go tankless? Have a 40% cash rebate. Not to mention all the CCFLs distributed by every power company under the sun. That shit's super easy and it's completely seamless to the consumer.

Not only that, but you're either selling to people who are comfortable going to Home Depot or you aren't. If you aren't comfortable going to Home Depot, sure, buy your Nest off Amazon. Lookithat. They got 'em prime. Right next to them, of course, they've got the Honeywell for $100 less, and it includes that all-important picture of a female hand model holding an iPhone with graphix comped in.

If you are comfortable going to Home Depot...

And thus the problem. Home Depot will absolutely sell you a Nest. They'll sell you a Honeywell. They'll sell you cheap chinese blister-packed thermostats for $19. And if you're comfortable going to Home Depot, you're comfortable asking Home Depot "hey, how hard are these things to put in?" and Home Depot will say "easier than a light switch because you don't even need to turn off your breaker. Do you have HVAC? no? Then there's literally two wires and the polarity doesn't even matter."

Yeah - the Nest is a darling of the tech industry right now. Yeah - it's a lot less ugly than that which came before. And yeah - it's going to have a lasting impact on the market. Just like when the iPhone came out: all of a sudden it wasn't cool to have your phone be ugly as fuck. Gizmodo called it "the Jesus phone" and they were right (even though it didn't have copy and paste) and it radically changed the landscape for handsets.

But the iPhone also changed the functionality of phones. Multitouch was a big deal, and allowed you to actually use the thing with your thumb. An App Store that didn't suck was a revelation. A handset you didn't have to spend the weekend doing registry hacks on in order to use? Marvelous.

The Nest is a thermostat. It even looks like an antique Honeywell.

Talk about skeuomorphism - the design of the gadget above is a consequence of bimetallic strips and mercury switches. The Nest adds what, exactly, besides that non-denominational "fuzziness" of its programming and an app for that?

Which isn't a problem except that once you've put in a magic thermostat, you've let the magic out. Your comprehension of its cleverness is predicated on your lack of understanding.

So your market segment is basically

- people with money

- who don't understand technology

- but are attracted to it

- and are interested in home improvement

- but not so interested that they'll visit a home improvement store.

My whole house monitor? Sold through the exact same channels as X-10 shit. Home hobbyists have been dinking with this stuff for decades and that's not going to change. The difference is, Wall Street is going to forget about them (again, for the nth time) when the "Internet of Things" doesn't translate into revenues.

thx1138  ·  1392 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You're really over-complicating the market segment description. It's simply people with money who are attracted to technology. And they certainly don't consider a thermostat swap as a "home improvement project". Home improvement projects to them are putting in a hardwood floor, new countertops, or painting the walls.

Like it or not, understand it or not, agree with it or not, there is a whole class of consumer that will happily fork over $250 for the ability to turn the heat on without getting out of bed, and more importantly to them have guests comment on the "cool looking gadget on the wall". Hell, some of them might even be programmers (loud GASP!). Say it isn't so, Joe. Understanding technology has nothing to do with it.

If those people don't exist then who the hell did Nest sell al their devices to? What you are missing is that there is absolutely a class of consumer that wants all of the bells and whistles you and I don't value. They don't give a shit that there are cheaper altenatives available with the same core features and same easy installation process. They are likely very aware they are simply throwing their dollars at the aesthetics of the product. I wish I had disposable income for this kind of stuff. My furniture collection and wall art would be quite different I assure you.

Besides, the Honeywell Smart thermostat is a better bells and whistles match to the Nest than the base programmable you linked to, so with an honest comparison it's really only $70 worth of hipster bullshit not $230.

kleinbl00  ·  1392 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How many Nests have you seen? I've seen one. It belonged to a team manager at Space X. You missed the fact that this 'class of consumer' precludes the individuals doing stuff like this for the past 20 years without needing to spend $230 on a Honeywell analog.

You've got your opinion, I've got mine; mine wasn't delivered with immediate, condescending snark. So the next time you try to have a conversation with me, you'll know why you can't.

beezneez  ·  1395 days ago  ·  link  ·  

  
    FROM: yourmicrowave@samsung.com

    TO: youremail@hubski.com

    SUBJECT: Your food is done cooking

    MESSAGE: Your food is done cooking

Thanks microwave, how else could I have known?

OftenBen  ·  1396 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There's an argument to be made that you need to ease the consumer market into a new functionality. Solitaire was put on early home computers to teach people how to drag and drop, for example.

In this case, get people used to the idea of 'controlling your home from a distance' with something very easy such as lights and heat, then we progress to the more complex stuff like detailed HVAC/plumbing/environmental controls.

Isherwood  ·  1406 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Microaggressions and the Rise of Victimhood Culture - The Atlantic

My other reply is also about this, but if there's not a backstory here I think an out of the blue outrage could come from how this conversation is "traded" online.

This is a new idea for me, so bear with me as I'm hammering out the details and the language.

There are a lot of frank conversations online about race. These conversations are largely anonymous so people can spout controversial or offensive positions very easily. These conversations are also at will so people can walk away if things don't go their way, leading to a huge number of very heated but unresolved conflicts.

These conversations are all carried out by flesh and blood human beings, none of whom can completely detach themselves emotionally from the content. This creates the ideal conditions to breed the strongest, negative, emotional links to the most controversial and incendiary topics.

Once these links are in place, it can be very difficult for an individual to to be confronted with the topic to separate the emotional response built in other conversations from the future discussion about to take place.

That's the idea, I've been trying to work out any way.

But in this case I think something happened at the last pick up game:

    ...you take up space, steal the ball, don’t pass,...

    ...non passing the ball, stealing the ball from beginners,...

These are so specific that it seems like he's been stewing on them for a while.

thenewgreen  ·  1406 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    ...you take up space, steal the ball, don’t pass,...

    ...non passing the ball, stealing the ball from beginners,...

    These are so specific that it seems like he's been stewing on them for a while.

-I completely agree. It sounds like these two have issues between each other that stem beyond the topic/forum used to unearth them.

Isherwood  ·  1406 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Microaggressions and the Rise of Victimhood Culture - The Atlantic

I'm thinking more and more about the information economy instead of the social culture because I feel like this kind of article is dictated more by the former.

The pervasive capital of the current information economy is anger. Anger capital has enough power to get people excited, and excited people like, share, and comment on posts. Excited people, whether they are for or against the subject at hand, spread the information like wildfire.

This anger trade is great for spreading information, but it has the negative effect of adding a toxic tinge to the topic. When the same information is brought up in other contexts, say a face to face conversation with a new person, someone who's only ever traded this information in anger won't be able to disassociate the topic from that feeling and could end up finishing an angry conversation that the other person didn't know they started.

I think a lot of these articles are sculpted to produce ire in every instance and as a result, we attach that ire to the conversation at hand. This does help to create a conversation, but that conversation is so negative, that it rarely ever moves us towards reconciliation.

Sorry, this is a bit of a tangent, I've got other things on the mind and this just brought them to the surface.

Isherwood  ·  1408 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 9, 2015

The work story.

I spent the last couple of months collecting data and coming up with a plan for how to build a better education system at my company. I presented it last week and the proposal was accepted, which means I'm essentially starting my own department.

In my proposal I said it would cost $80 to get up and running, because that's how much a bluehost web hosting account costs. Instead, I got my first lesson to building something for a large corporation - it's always five times more expensive, and ten times more complicated, than doing it yourself.

Legal and marketing had some issue with bluehost and even if they didn't our IT department had security issues. Instead, they insisted that we install on AWS and my $80 turned into $504. I was terrified to tell my boss about the five fold increase but the head of IT told me everything was approved by his boss, a different person, and we would be up and running by the end of the week.

So that's cool.

The personal story

The wedding is coming along. We're realizing how expensive everything can be and we're getting a bit more creative with what we want. My fiancee is doing most of it, and I feel like I should be doing more, but most of this stuff just seems insane to me. If I had my way it would be a BYOB potluck with a simple ceremony and anyone offended by the lack of propriety would be more than welcome to stay home.

kleinbl00  ·  1408 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We did a ceremony on an island on a Wednesday. There were 13 people there.

Then we did a reception a month later at my uncle's house. We sprang for the alcohol and the rest of it was a potluck. The downside? you don't get to extort presents from everyone. The upside? We were less than $2000 out of pocket, including putting up our parents on an island.

Isherwood  ·  1408 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We have 180 invited. It's pretty insane, but that's what she wanted. It's not too bad, the guest list is 80% her side and she knows she's responsible for the size and therefore stress so she's taking on the brunt of the work. It still makes me sad to see someone I love learn a hard lesson.

user-inactivated  ·  1408 days ago  ·  link  ·  
This comment has been deleted.
Isherwood  ·  1457 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 22, 2015

I've been inventing systems since the day I started this job two years ago. About a year ago an internal training system I created got some traction from a higher up and she's been making sure I succeed at it. It's been great to actually see how my theories play out into reality and they're finally opening a position where I'll be able to pursue this system full time and maybe even build something that has a lasting impact.

I'm scared shitless. I've always been a theory guy, and my theories tend to be more progressive than most, so they usually don't get implemented. Now I'm questioning myself and my systems, because no matter how many tests I run them through, I can't recreate reality. It all comes down to the question of if I can adapt fast enough to offer real value, or if I'll just be another person with more pointless work for the people on the ground level.

I really don't want to be that guy.

But, on the other side of things, I'm about to spend 8 days in Washington backpacking and I just got my first motorcycle.

Overall, the week is a plus.

kleinbl00  ·  1457 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ooh! Where you backpacking? Back when I lived up there I tried to go every weekend.

Isherwood  ·  1457 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We're shooting for the 7 lakes /hoh river area, but I messed up and got didn't get the permit fax (because it's still 1998 in backwoods Washington) in on time. It's 50% pre reserved, 50% first come first serve, so we're leaving first thing in the morning from olympia to try and get one.

If that doesn't work we'll just bum around a bit and hike and sleep where we can.

kleinbl00  ·  1457 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh lovely. You cannot go wrong if you're up in there. I'm real fond of basing myself out of Moclips and just heading wherever. One time I was burning through so much film I restricted myself to only shooting waterfalls. I think I still cooked off eight rolls.

Isherwood  ·  1456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm actually really looking forward to it now that we don't have the permits. My fiance is a planner, through and through, I like my adventures to be a bit more... spontaneous. I'm hoping we get a chance to do something we never planned and get lost for a little while.

rinx  ·  1457 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The rainforest has been on my todo list for a long time, I bet that will be awesome. Take lots of pictures! And watch out for fire!

Isherwood  ·  1458 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The future isn't robots replacing waiters, it's me replacing waiters

Yeah, if people just broke from the spell of Big Vinegar and banished that demon cucumber I wouldn't be in this situation.

kleinbl00  ·  1458 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A good pickle is a thing of beauty but it's also rarer than hen's teeth.

Isherwood  ·  1462 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Post-Capitalism Has Begun

http://www.summary.com/book-reviews/_/The-Support-Economy/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshana_Zuboff#The_Support_Economy

It really is worth a read though. It's a long book but she's a good story teller and simplifier of complicated ideas. Sometimes she gets bogged down in providing every, single, number, but you get used to it and pick up on what you can skim over and what's new information.

user-inactivated  ·  1462 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Awesome. I'll look into it.

Isherwood  ·  1462 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Explaining white privilege to a broke white person

I like the monopoly analogy. You, white guy, started a game of monopoly. Your friend, black guy, came into the game about 10 turns after you started. Yeah, you both are playing now, yeah there's still some property, yeah you both technically have a chance of winning, but those 10 turns are probably going to screw the black guy over.

fudog  ·  1458 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Except with monopoly he has an advantage over all the losing people because you get seed money to start out with.

tacocat  ·  1462 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's pretty good except most games of Monopoly end with boredom or anger rather than a winner.

I understand I'm being kind of an asshole.

Isherwood  ·  1462 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    most games of Monopoly end with boredom or anger

Just like real life?

Assholes never bothered me so long as they're right or they're funny.