Has The Media Gone Too Far In Attacking PewDiePie?

I admit; other than his guest appearance on South Park a few years ago, I’ve never paid attention to PewDiePie. I know my children watch him.

This past Saturday, I started seeing claims that he’s a racist and anti-Semite. These are MSM and SJW claims that usually mean nothing more than the MSM or SJW disagrees with a person. Many conservatives, alt-right, and libertarians have become desensitized to it. No matter what you say, unless you keep completely quiet, they’ll call you one of those names or a white supremacist.

So, I started watching some of PewDiePie’s videos. I won’t subscribe to his channel, but for the most part, I think he’s not bad. He did one video making fun of the “boilerplate” YouTubers include. “Thanks for watching, subscribe to my channel, subscribe to notifications, yada, yada, yada”. I got a laugh out of it. Half of YouTube videos are stupid boilerplate that wastes time, and I’m glad PewDiePie lampooned it.

A once great paper, the Wall Street Journal, was among those who attacked him. You know, since there’s nothing else going on in the world than a 20 something satirist who records videos for children demonstrating how stupid he thinks Fiverr is by paying a couple of fools to hold a sign up, so see if they would draw a line at what was obviously an absurd statement. And they didn’t.

PewDiePie responded to the criticism:

Poor guy.

The media has also recently gone after Milo, and they will never stop going after President Trump.

I think this may be the beginning of the end of the media. They’re already irrelevant. Nobody trusts them. They’re liberals, so they don’t understand things like context and categories. They don’t understand honesty and integrity. And plenty of people get that. How many of PewDiePie’s 53 million viewers do you think pay any attention to the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, or the Clown News Network?

Like some of their recent attacks, all they’re doing is cutting themselves off. Disney dropped a lucrative deal with PewDiePie, as did YouTube. They’re going to lose money over those deals. It’s just like that irrelevant department store (Macy’s? Bloomingdales? Who cares; I don’t shop there.) that decided to drop Ivanka Trump’s line of products. Ivanka’s products shot to the top of Amazon. Look at all the money they lost, that Amazon got. Oh, well, they made their political statement, and won’t understand what pushed them out of business in what is already a devastating retail apocalypse. (UPDATE: Nordstrum. I inadvertently came across that. I’ve never shopped there; have no plans to ever shop there, and care so little about them I wasn’t going to expend effort to fact check the name.)

I’m just going to sit back and watch them continue to fail. CNN is so obviously against President Trump. We have TVs at work tuned to them. Every now and again, they get a new headline and I think to myself “Oh, good, CNN has a new chew toy. I hope they’re happy.” Would they even have viewership if employers like mine didn’t leave TVs tuned to them all day?

TV Alternatives Still Have The Same Problem…

Our 2 year obligation (but not a contract somehow) to Scumcast runs out in July. I’ve been looking at alternatives for some time. And I’m finding out that all alternatives to a cable subscription all have the same problem: THEY’RE STILL CENTERED ON TV. This means that in order to watch the shows YOU want, you have to take a whole bunch of channels filled with shows you DON’T want.

My wife sent me an article about Hulu soon offering live TV. It seems to be heavily centered around CBS, home of shows like NCIS and Big Bang Theory. Well, give me NCIS, and keep Big Bang Theory. Never watched it; and I never plan to. I’ve seen a few clips of it, which made me roll my eyes and leave the room.

And of course, you get ESPN. Never watched it. I don’t give two shits about sports. I’ve tried; I can’t get into it. Plus, as Vox Day has so well documented, ESPN and the NFL are pretty much sold out to SJWism and are going to die eventually.

I looked at a few other packages, such as Playstation Vue. Same thing. It’s all about packages of channels, just like shitty Comcast that I want to leave.

I’ll let you in on why. When I broke down and got a flat screen TV a couple years ago, I decided we wanted HD. It made no sense to not use the full screen of the new TV. $10 more a month for an HD cable box. But then, they wanted to sell us “Triple Play”. There is no freaking way to NOT have the stupid phone line. I never use it, but I have to pay for it. Then we got the “X1 Entertainment Operating System” because we wanted a DVR. I thought we had all the channels, even though we barely watch 20 of them between us. Nope, somehow we still had a limited package. And they started taking channels away from us, rolling them into higher priced packages.

We like to watch Bar Rescue. One day, Bar Rescue stopped showing up on the DVR. Spike wouldn’t show. My wife called. Now, Spike is in a higher priced package. We can get it back if we want to pay more. They’ve done that with a few other channels we like. And we seeth with rage; vowing that come July, Scumcast will be no more in our household.

That brings us back to the problem. Everything is centered around CHANNELS. Why don’t we have a paradigm built on SHOWS? I don’t care about the channels. SYFY has some shows I like, and many I don’t care about. Why can’t I just get the shows I want and scrap the rest?

My wife still watches TV. I haven’t used it in well over a year. I get my entertainment through Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, and if I can’t get a show I want that way, I have a few other alternatives…

Then there are commercials. Few, if any, are relevant to me. Most are annoying and patronizing and I work very hard to not have to watch a commercial. And even those that are relevant, entertaining, and informative, I only need to watch once.

We definitely need to change the way we create and watch our entertainment. Since there’s a big movement in alt-tech, let’s hope we get some alt-entertainment that is out of the mainstream.

Ryan Holiday’s $139 Book

I’m glad to see Ryan Holiday is back. He went through a phase of liberal butthurt after the election, and the quality of his posts dropped dramatically. I found them unreadable for the last month and a half or so.

He explains why he dropped $139 on a book. And why you should too, if you want the book and it adds value to your life. As for “I don’t have time to read?” Here’s Ryan:

Fuck you, you don’t have time to read. You’re reading this article aren’t you? You checked Facebook this morning. And Twitter. You went to your work’s Christmas party and you’ve seen at least one episode of Game of Thrones. You have time. Money? There is always money for the things that are important. There is always a way.

Guilty of all, except I’ve never watched Game of Thrones. I have a rule about culture. If something is so popular that everybody is doing it, I normally don’t. I either get in early on the hype curve, or maybe come back to it after the hype has died down.Also:

A single book can unlock an idea, start a business, generate a change, seal a life decision, open you to a new perspective, prepare you for some unknown adversity that lies around a curve in the road. A single book can be worth literally millions of dollars. Or save a broken marriage. Or introduce you to something you’d never have known otherwise.

I agree with Ryan. I probably have more books than I’ll ever be able to read in my lifetime, and they keep adding up. But I’ve read some that did change my life, give me a new perspective, or give me a new direction. I’ve also had to learn that some books suck, and it’s OK to put it down and move on.

Review: Samsung Gear VR Headset

A friend gave me a Samsung Gear VR headset for Christmas. When I got home, I opened it up and started playing around with it.

Of course, growing up in the late 70’s and 80’s, like anybody else, I’m fascinated with VR. I’ve waited years for this technology to be viable.

The Gear VR headset is compatible with the Galaxy Note 5, the S6 line, and the S7 line. Fortunately, I have a Note 5.

The first thing you have to do is install the Oculus app from the Play Store. You have to create an account on the Oculus website and verify your email address. You can then login to the app, and mount your phone in the headset and put the headset on your head. You go through a tutorial and setup process. Then you can play around.

The first night, I didn’t have many options. Unless I wanted to spend money on a game or movie, I was limited to the content on my phone. But still, it was cool. There’s a 360-degree background, so you can look in any direction and see it. You can zoom in on the pictures. For instance, I have a picture of my cat laying on the floor in front of the couch. I zoomed in all the way. I was looking at the cat, and had to look WAAAAAAAAY up to see the couch.

The next day, I had to take my children back to New Jersey (it was my first Christmas with them in 4 years). Took about 10 hours in holiday traffic. When I got home, I opened a beer and looked at the Play store to see what other VR apps were available. Samsung has a VR app, so I installed it and went back to VR-land.

The headset has a touchpad, volume controls, and a back and home button. It also has a focus wheel.

Samsung’s VR app includes videos. For now, the content is fairly limited, but there are some interesting ones up there. CNN (Clinton News Network) has some VR videos. GE has some promotional videos. Mythbusters have some of their Shark Week content available.

Among the videos I watched, I rode a weather balloon into the stratosphere, I was in the press pit for Donald Trump’s victory speech (2 1/2 minutes of it, anyway), took a tour of Singapore, and watched planes land at Heathrow Airport. It was a lot of fun.

At this point, it’s not true VR. This is how it works: they film with a 360-degree camera. (You can buy these cameras and make your own 360 videos). You can watch these videos on your computer or phone without a headset. But with the phone mounted in the headset, you don’t exactly see the edges, and the lens magnifies the video, so you are immersed in it. It’s enough to induce vertigo in some cases. Even though you KNOW you’re standing or sitting in a room, when your mind sees immersed motion, it wants to interpret it as actual.

There are a few minor problems. For one, when mounting your phone, it’s not hard for the Home button to contact the case. Then you put your headset on and you’re looking at your phone’s launcher. You can’t launch the VR apps this way. You have to take the phone out, re-launch the app, and mount your phone again, hoping you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Also, the VR apps put a heavy strain on your phone’s processor and battery. After watching a few videos, my Note 5 is burning up; almost enough to become a Note 7. I could probably shut my house heater off while I’m using the headset and heat the house with my phone.

One thing I would love to see is the ability to control your phone completely in the headset. The interface is similar to a vision I once had for the Human-Computer Interface (HCI). Think about it; your mind is very powerful, and your computer/phone are very powerful, but the only way you can “talk” is through a screen, keyboard, and mouse. It would be awesome to be able to read through my email and browse the Internet with the headset on. You could spread your various applications across the available space, and not switch screens. Of course, responding to email or going to another website would require a keyboard, which you can’t see. I could probably touch type well enough to use it.

For the most part, this is a decent and affordable way to get started with Virtual Reality through your phone. This technology is still in its infancy, and I look forward to what comes next.

You can buy the Samsung Gear VR here. (Currently $59.99 on Amazon).

Chris Matthews Uses His Show To Solicit Donations For His Wife’s Campaign

http://www.stonecoldtruth.com/#!Corrupt-Blowhard-Chris-Matthews-Plays-Hardball-With-Guests-For-Wife’s-Campaign/cjds/570729fb0cf27bf9349f1b51

Tingly-legged windbag Chris Matthews got caught in a pay-to-play scandal involving his wife’s campaign and his TV show. The blond blowhard has been soliciting donations for his wife’s congressional campaign in exchange for appearing on his show, enabling the donors to be seen by Hardball’s dozens of viewers. MSNBC should can the tiresome phony right away.

Not even savvy enough to time the donations in a less obvious way, some were made within a few days of the appearances. Matthews’ guests had given Kathleen Matthews’ campaign nearly $80,000 as of December 31, 2015.

Go figure. (This was written as a draft some time ago, and wasn’t published until now).

Book Review: Fight The Rooster by Nick Cole

At some point in the past, I got on Nick Cole’s mailing list for Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) of his books. I still owe him a review for Ctrl+Alt+Revolt.
Fight The Rooster showed up in my email a couple weeks ago. I started reading it. It’s my first Nick Cole book, and it will not be my last, that’s for sure.
Fight The Rooster is billed as a book about a director who decides the only way to save his life it to ruin his movie. He wants to deliberately wreck it so he can escape Hollywood.
But despite every attempt he makes, the movie will not be ruined. The actors work hard. The old-fashioned cameraman he brings in has rediscovered his love and updated his techniques. Even the screw-up stoner brother of a great producer who comes in to cover for his brother somehow manages to pull the job off.
Though most of the characters have names, a few are never named. “The Great Director”’s name is never given, neither is his “Perfect Robot Wife” or the “Executive Vice President”.
Though the book starts out as a comedy (and it is hilarious), it turns into a dramatic redemption story. It’s the kind of story you wish you didn’t have a job or need to sleep or anything so you can finish it. Five stars for being riveting and everything a great story should be.

Noah’s Ark

I’ve had the show “Myth Hunters” bookmarked on Netflix for quite a while. I saw that the first season is going away this month, so I have to watch it this weekend.

It has some interesting shows. The episode on “King Solomon’s Mines” was fascinating to me, as was Hitler and the Spear of Destiny.

The first episode on Noah’s Ark kind of pissed me off. It was produced recently enough that they could have done better research.

For one thing, not all Creationists are literal 6000 year “Young Earth” Creationists. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t know that. Or they do know that, but are hoping a fallacious appeal to ridicule is good enough for their audience.

For another, the episode focused exclusively on Mt. Ararat in Turkey. The Bible says the ark came to rest “Upon the mountains of Ararat.” Mt. Ararat in Turkey was named by Marco Polo, a fact mentioned then discarded in the show.

To find the real mountains of Ararat, one must focus on a land known as Ararat AT THE TIME GENESIS WAS WRITTEN, not from a 12th century explorer.

Josephus says the ark came to rest on a certain mountain in Armenia. Bob Cornuke of BASE Institute thinks Ararat was in Iran, and led an expedition there some years back.

Of course, finding the ark assumes it was left intact. I personally think it was disassembled for building material and/or firewood, of which no proof is available, but it makes sense.

Or it simply rotted away over the years. It was made of wood, after all. The Titanic has only been at the bottom of the ocean for 104 years, and it is rotting away. I doubt there will be anything left of it in 5000 years.

It would be cool as hell for somebody to find Noah’s Ark, but I don’t think it’s likely to happen.

iPad Only?

I’ve been using Michael Sliwinski’s application Nozbe for a couple of years. It’s not perfect, but what is? Wired had an article a while back about how it’s 2016 and why can’t we have a decent productivity app? There are tons and tons of productivity apps. Those that are powerful on the desktop either aren’t present or are pathetic on mobile. (MyLifeOrganized is an example). Those that are good on mobile don’t work well on a desktop type system (I consider laptops on that category- a full fledged Windows or Mac system). Nozbe seems to hit the high points and has a consistent user experience across all platforms.

Michael and a co-author wrote a book called iPad Only. I haven’t bought the book yet. Based on user reviews, I do not perceive it to be worth $10.

I have tried over the years to figure out a true mobile experience. That’s not easy for me though. I took a class a while back where I didn’t have much desk space. I brought my MacBook Pro the first day, but after that I used my iPad Mini with a BlueTooth keyboard the rest of the week due to desk space. It got the job done all right. Thanks to the integration of cloud storage, this helps, assuming you have a consistent Internet connection.

The iPad has definitely come a long way since the beginning. At first, it was pretty much a media consumption device and still very limited at that. Along the way, better apps and technology were integrated into the platform. Now it has Microsoft Office and other productivity apps.

I think the biggest limitation on the iPad at present is the fact that it is STILL run by a mobile operating system. While Microsoft has Windows 10, which even on their phones is a full fledged OS, Apple is still running mobile.

I’m convinced that the biggest revolution in mobility is a phone sized device that is a full-fledged computer. It has a full operating system, plenty of storage (at least 1TB), and is capable of docking to a laptop sized device or a keyboard and monitor for heavier duty tasks. And it appears such as device is here, or almost here: the HP Elite X3. The Lumina 950 and 950 XL have a similar capability, but not as much on board storage. No way you could keep your music library on it.

Not Quite A Book Review: The Confessions of Congressman X

A friend told me about the Confessions of Congressman X. I figured it was inexpensive, so I ordered the Kindle version.

Had some downtime at work, so I read it. It was a VERY quick read. Maybe too quick, especially for $5.

This “book” was billed as confessions of an inside Congressman. Supposedly, he’s a Democrat. He “tells it like it is”. I didn’t think so.

Some background: the book was compiled by a man named Robert Atkinson based on conversations he’s had over the years with a Demoncrat Congressman. He became friends with this Congressman, and would meet up when he was in DC. Over the years, he made notes of the things the Congressman said. At one point, he figured he had enough notes to make a book. The Congressman was pissed off at him for making notes, but eventually relented and told him to put a book together. He also edited the notes so the quotes are accurate. This is all detailed in the introduction to the book, written by Mr. Atkinson.

One of the newsletters I read took the book on a few weeks ago, before I read it. They couldn’t identify the Congressman, but speculated that it could have been anybody. I agree; the book is a selection of quotes centered around “chapter” themes. It’s more like a book of wisdom; proverbs of an asshole is a better description.

Confessions of Congressman X didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. Voters are stupid. Congressmen are more obsessed with fundraising and getting reelected than anything else, and don’t give a crap about the voters. Bills are written in secret by unaccountable committees, etc. He didn’t even touch on how lobbyists basically write the bills, although he did say Congressmen don’t read occurred

t occured to me while I was reading that this book would have been a lot better if it were written in a fake persona, like Dan Lyons’ “Fake Steve Jobs”. Now THAT was funny, but also informative.

If I haven’t bored you with the idea too much, you can buy “Confessions of Congressman X” here, from my affiliate link.