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Robot Apocolypse: Not as Exciting as it Sounds

Technology is destroying our lives. I’m just going to say it.

I realize I can’t say that with out incriminating myself. I am, after all, a web designer. My job is to try to design engaging digital media and layouts that lock users’ attention on some idea or product. But as someone who knows the ins and outs of 

Wireless Energy Transfer

This is a super simple circuit that I built. I just wanted to show it off because I thought it was kinda cool. Someday we’ll live in a world where things don’t need to be plugged in.

Thoughts on the ACA

Given the fact that it’s tax season and the recent King Vs. Burwell case that I wrote about in my last entry, I’d just like to share some thoughts on Obamacare a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Obama's signature on the ACA

But first a little bit of crucial background: I used to work for a company doing PHP development but there was some error in communication between me and the HR rep and unfortunately I missed the enrollment period for health insurance. I knew I’d be ruined financially if I got myself hurt and didn’t have any insurance, so I decided to purchase a policy from a company called Assurant Health. Back then I was doing pretty well for myself. I wasn’t rich, but I wasn’t struggling, so having to pay about $135 a month for a crappy health care policy was still an thorn in my side but it wasn’t really putting me under.

Fast forward a few months… Around November 2014 I had decided to see how far I could get on my own, so I left that company and started doing freelance. I did okay, but I had to keep a close eye on my budget. I didn’t make as much as I did at that other company but I was managing to keep my head above water. I kept that same health care coverage for a bit, but now the extra $135 a month was an expense I was eager to cut down. I wanted to see if I couldn’t save myself any money by switching to Geico to one of the Obamacare plans if I could find one. So I jumped on healthcare.gov to see what I could find. I plugged in my income information and everything else they asked me to fill out. It didn’t take as long as I had expected, especially after all the trouble they had getting this site off the ground. When I finally got to the results page, I was less impressed.

The cheapest rates that healthcare.gov could find for me were all at least $10 more than I was paying. (more…)

Political Propaganda

By now I’m sure anyone who is interested in politics, health care, or the ACA has seen this silly video from TIME Magazine floating around the internet, but if you haven’t, please take a moment to review so that this article makes sense to you.

I have some critique of this video. Though I applaud TIME’s effort to explain this increasingly complex issue with Americans in a remarkably simple way, there is a lot of blatant bias here which deserves to be highlighted.

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3D Printing from Blue Ooze

New tech for  3D Printing. This process uses a pool of mysterious blue goo and an ultraviolet light which is shined on the pool of goo from beneath to solidify cross sections at a much faster rate than carving the structure out of a block of material.

Anyway that’s it. Just thought it was cool.

Late Night Random Thoughts

It’s difficult for me to fall asleep at night. I usually spend at least an hour thinking of things before I’m able to even start to feel tired. Tonight I thought I’d jump on my phone and record some of the things I usually think about before I fall asleep. It might be the stupidest, most random thing you’ve ever read, but here goes:

I built the theme for this blog myself. I put off writing entries because I was sure that writing and finding good content would be easy… I was terribly mistaken. As a perfectionist, I face three very big obstacles when it comes to writing this blog:

  1. I have minimal writing experience. My blog entries won’t be any good.
  2. How do I find stuff to write about? How do I know my audience (if I even have an audience…) will like it? Putting yourself out there and sharing your opinions with the world is difficult. The harsh reality I may face is that I will write and no one will ever really like or read my blog. They will dismiss it as boring or worse… Obvious.
  3. I am starting this project and I really want this one to work out. I don’t want this to flop and then I’ll have to go start a new project all over again that might flop too!

Childish? Probably, but eventually I came to the realization that if I kept waiting for the perfect time to start, I’d be far behind before I ever even took off. 

I’m no professional writer. In fact I’m pretty far from it. But you know what? I’m gonna have a few really sucky entries long before I ever produce anything good so I might as well get them out of the way. Practice makes perfect right? That’s part of life I guess. I’m going to have a lot of failures but hopefully all this hard work and forcing myself to write everyday will pay off in the end. With time I hope to get faster as well. These entries are taking me too long to complete right now. (more…)

Would You Buy a Nintendo Phone?

nintendo-mobile1I read an article today from TechCrunch titled, “What We Know About Nintendo’s Plans For Mobile Games”. The article featured an 8-bit style image of what looks like the incriminating offspring of a tryst between your smartphone and that old NES controller you’ve had sitting in your basement for the past 20 or so years. The thought of a Nintendo phone immediately comes to mind. At first I thought, “Maybe it’s designed to be very minimal, like the iPhone, but with the same buttons as a Gameboy for the main interface…”. As I continued to envision how such a device might look in reality, it also occurred to me that it’s pretty late for Nintendo to be getting in the mobile phone game. The device I had rendered in my head or any device bearing a remote semblance to it would likely never be created. The more I thought about it, the more my thinking shifted.

Maybe six or seven years ago, people that were into retro gaming and pixel art might have bought these things for nostalgia or perhaps for the device’s inevitable “cute” factor (if it ended up looking anything like the image) but today it feels like the winds of mobile are about to change. With lots of new technology rolling out, such as flexible graphene and OLED screens; the rise of smaller batteries and supercapacitors; and the emergence of “wearable tech” (i.e. Google Glass), does anyone really expect these phones to stay in their current rectangle-ish form for very much longer? I mean if you still do, you might want to check this out:

Yes, I will give you a few minutes to collect your grey matter from around the room as the result of your almost certain mind blow.

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