Virtual Reality & Mixed Reality: We just don’t know

There has been a lot of excitement and hype about virtual reality and mixed reality in the news full of predictions, estimates, and expectations for what the future will bring. Much of it is based on actual reality, and there’s a good bit that is based on one of many possible realities. For people in the industry, this is pretty normal. We know what we can do, see what we hope to do, and dream about what could be possible. Seeing the incredible range of possibilities is part of the fun and even more of the excitement.

Where it gets complex is that everything that the industry says, believes, and dreams about is getting published in the media. Spectators less familiar with the deeper aspects of virtual and mixed reality get to see only one part of the magic that is happening right now. They see the speculation, predictions, and the hype designed to get investors enthusiastic about putting their money into the amazing technology that is emerging. This is not only expected but necessary. The technological hurdles still ahead will take ingenuity and investment to overcome, and investors need to know that there is an eventual return waiting for them. And to be sure, there is. Virtual reality and mixed reality are going to be exceedingly important in the future. I have no doubt about it, and neither should anyone else. How important? What will be the “killer app” that pushes it up the hill of development and over the cliff of “oh shit we need that”? We don’t know yet.

As researchers and engineers were developing the protocols for the internet in the 50’s and 60’s, they dreamed of what this new entity could provide. In the early 90’s when American society was getting their first taste of what an accessible internet could be, we all talked about the amazing things we could suddenly do. Download an audio file overnight! Amazing! The reality of those early days was less glossy, less interesting, and certainly more difficult that what we have now. And while some of the dreams of those early researchers and pioneers were spot on, many of the ways we use our connected devices today was never even considered.

That’s where we are now with virtual reality and even more so, mixed reality. The people who are already living with it every day are dreaming of what could be possible, but we don’t know yet how this will impact our world. And that’s a good thing. We need to watch and even help this industry evolve from it’s clumsy infancy to it’s awkward adolescence and teen years. Remember those giant brick cell phones people used to carry? It was necessary, but we didn’t stay there. VR is in the same place. Hopefully the excitement of looking to the future of VR and MR won’t poison the progress that is being made every day. There will be disappointments and missteps. There will be confusion and competition. But one day, we’ll see that the journey was worth it. And we’ll be amazed at how far we’ve come.

Bugfrog Hops Podcast – VR, AR, and MR to the Future – E. 57

Due to sudden publishing issues, Bugfrog Hops podcast is currently available in transcript only. I apologize for the inconvenience, and will get this resolved as quickly as possible.

Welcome back to Episode 57 of the Bugfrog Hops podcast where I cover things like technology, music and the industry, and whatever else I feel like talking about.

Thanks for joining me today, and I apologize for any issues you may have had streaming this episode. I’m having a slight dispute with our publishing partner so things might be a little bumpy as we work out the details. But don’t worry, I’ll get it all worked out and be up to full speed in no time.

So let’s get to it! As always I like to respond to a few of the comments and questions you have added to the comment stream. Again, I’m very sorry I haven’t been able to answer all your questions and comments in the last few weeks, but my communications intern Terry is healing up fine and hopefully will have full use of at least one arms again very soon. Good heath to you, Terry! Way to be a fighter!

So let’s get started here.
  • Michael E from Enid, OK asked a great question in response to last episode’s discusson of personal liberty. Michael its physically possible, but may be frowned upon in pubic social circles. Proceed with caution, and take your cues from those around you in the moment.
  • I got a letter of regret from last episode’s guest Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost. Remember he was not able to join us unexpectedly. Apparently there was a challenging mascot incident that he needed to attend to. Sluggerrr we are all pulling for ya. These misunderstandings happen in the Big Leagues. You’ll get through it.
  • And finally to Joshua from Chicago who used the Bugfrog Hotwire – Apply antibiotic ointment, and please, next time contact urgent care before calling me. Good luck.

Be sure to keep sending me your questions, comments, and criticisms through whatever channel works for you. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and now Peach. Certainly looking forward to seeing all your Peaches, so keep em coming.

Don’t forget about the Bugfrog Hotwire on the site, just click the button and leave me a voice message. I’m not afraid to put a new spin on doing things the same as before. Your voices screaming in the night are what keeps me going.

Before I go any further I want to give a warm Bugfrog Hop welcome to our new sponsor Walmart. Great to have you on board and I’m looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with you. Walmart – where every penny you save forfeits a piece of your soul.

Ok, now we are ready for the real meat of the show, so make sure you have aren’t operating any heavy machinery or handling a weapon while drinking with me today. Today we are talking about another subject I find interesting, and if you one of the subscribed masses, hopefully pretty dang interesting to you as well. Let’s get started shall we?

Virtual Reality. Have you been paying attention to what is going on with VR these days? If you haven’t been following it or noticed anything about it lately, you must have some pretty strict filters on your news feeds – Virtual Reality is in the news feeds multiple times a day for me. From different systems like the Oculus Rift and more importantly the Oculus and the Oculus platform, to the HTC Vive. Yes Vive VIVE, be sure to pronounce that right the VIVE. The Vibe is different and I think the winner in that race was Hitachi, but don’t hold me to that. But there are a variety of tools and platforms that let everyone get a Virtual Reality experience in one way or another. The Samsung Gear works together with a Samsung phone, which is very smart. I have a session in progress for that one coming. Of course Google has their hand in the mix as well starting with the very low cost Google Cardboard, and rumors starting to surface of a new device in development. Stepping a but further into the matrix are the newest Augmented Reality AR offerings like the much anticipated Hololens from Microsoft and the still very magical  unicorn of the field, Magic Leap.

What is interesting about all this VR, AR, and the more approachable Mixed Reality or MR right now is that finally the technology is at the point where regular humans not working in some exclusive research or training facility can actually see this in action. We’ve been seeing this for years in movies and games. Massive three dimensional computer generated worlds that you walk through like the real world, selecting files, getting information beamed to your display, shooting anything that dares to move in your field of vision, very cool stuff that took a lot of people and effort to bring to life.

There have been high tech training and simulation systems for many industries going back decades. 3D surround flight simulators, immersive military and emergence response training environments, even laparoscopic surgery simulators with active haptic response components that let a user feel the pressure when practicing tying off a bleeding artery. Immersive environments have been around for a while, but usually reserved for a select few due to cost and effort required.

Now this technology is available at what will soon be a desktop price. We can buy this without a the budget of a small country. Tools for consumption and creation of 3D immersive experiences right at home. Oculus, Unreal, Unity, Steam, and all the others all waiting for new artists to step into the ring. Were you alive for the desktop publishing revolution? Everyone suddenly could create whatever they needed to share their ideas. It was amazing! A new world… and yes a lot of that world looked like crap with terrible layouts, fonts, and images, but still new and amazing. Information to the masses like never before. How about film editing? Now any filmmaker can start shooting, editing, and sharing in HD what ever idea comes into their head. On their freaking phone! Of course there’s more crap too, some people tell stories like a 5 year old explaining why the cat is blue and in the dryer. But there has been a huge leap in seeing first hand the stories of real people. Creating and sharing has never been more accessible. There is still a technological divide and not everyone has the same access, but that is evolving as well.

So here’s the point I want to make: VR, AR, MR are arriving and are going to be amazing. MR especially is going to change the way we view, interact, and contribute to the world we live in. Right now we are at the beginning, so don’t freak out. There is lots to be figured out still. Just because we can’t go to Walmart and buy a full body haptic response suit and HMD unit for $49.99 with a 10% off coupon doesn’t mean its all crap. We are just looking at the beginning of this experience, and it’s going to be everything we hoped for eventually. For now, it’s a little bulky and goofy, but we’ll get there. The thing is as an industry, people in tech are at least in part dreamers, always thinking “Where can this go? What can this do eventually?” All the amazing and exciting things that COULD be are what keeps us moving forward creating the things that are happening right now. It’s a journey, and the destination keeps getting more interesting and further away the more we learn.

That’s what makes this so exciting for me. This journey has just begun, and we don’t really know where it will go. Discoveries, adventures, victories and epic failures await. We know only a fraction of what this journey will show us, and we have no idea who we will be on the other side. Is there anything cooler?

I’m going to stop there before I get too giddy. If you have any comments or questions, let me know what you think, I look forward to hearing from ya. Maybe we can even get you on the show next time.

One last thing, I’ve just been notified that we lost Walmart as a sponsor. Damn, I though that one was really going to work out. The good news is we have a new sponsor starting next week, so let’s give a big welcome to our new benefactor, the NRA.

 

Daniel Radcliffe and the Nightsweats – Love this BAND!

Can’t stop listening to this band. Saw them at the Illegal Pete’s 20th anniversary last week, Jimmy Fallon before that, around town for years.

That is one talented cat, surrounded by bunch of other talented cats! It’s a new Hogwarts house of talented cats. House of SweatinPuff.

Check em out! Jump or tweet!

daniel_radcliff_and_the_nightsweats

Oculus Rift – Pollen Preview

I wrote a quick post at The Rift Arcade about the game Pollen from Minefield Games. Check it out here. This one is built with Unity, so it’s even closer to my heart.

I love what will be possible with VR and AR tech in the coming years, and have been playing with different projects for a while.

Guns ‘n Roses Pays Homage to Upton Sinclair

It is completely true that Guns ‘n Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” is an artistic homage to Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel “The Jungle”.

table press test

Red Devil Magic2014-06-26 20:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernnone21+
Sid Pink (Emcee)2014-06-26 20:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernsid_pink21+
the Kinky Fingers2014-06-26 20:00:00Brendan's 404nonenone21+
Vanish2014-06-26 20:00:00Compound BasixCompoundBasix_djvanish21+
The Patti Fiasco2014-06-26 20:00:00Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grubnonepattifiasco21+
Go Star2014-06-26 20:00:00GOZOnonenone21+
Andy Sydow2014-06-26 20:00:00HornethornetdenvernoneAll
PrettyMouth2014-06-26 20:00:00Illegal Pete'sillegal_petes_prettymouthcdAll
Dead Pay Rent2014-06-26 20:00:00Irish Rovernonenone21+
Carmelita's Lovers2014-06-26 20:00:00Moe’s Original Bar B QueMoesBBQdenvernoneAll
Andy Thomas' Dust Heart2014-06-26 20:00:00Skylark Loungenonenone21+
DJ Dave Wilkinson2014-06-26 20:00:00Sputniknonenone21+
The Wales2014-06-26 20:00:00The Hi-Divehi_divenone21+
Residual Kid2014-06-26 21:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernresidualkid21+
kitty crimes2014-06-26 21:00:00Blue IcenoneKittyCrimes21+
The Matildas2014-06-26 21:00:00Brendan's 404nonenone21+
Keepers2014-06-26 21:00:00Compound BasixCompoundBasix_none21+
Saturn Cowboys2014-06-26 21:00:00Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grubnonenone21+
CC/NN2014-06-26 21:00:00GOZOnoneccnnmusic21+
Tyler Lee Holter2014-06-26 21:00:00HornethornetdenverthejekyllsAll
The Jekylls2014-06-26 21:00:00Illegal Pete'sillegal_petes_noneAll
Calders Revolvers2014-06-26 21:00:00Irish Rovernonenone21+
LSD Bags2014-06-26 21:00:00Moe’s Original Bar B QueMoesBBQdenvernoneAll
Mega Gem2014-06-26 21:00:00Skylark Loungenonemegagemdenver21+
Speedy Ortiz2014-06-26 21:00:00The Hi-Divehi_divenone21+
Joy Subtraction2014-06-26 22:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernjoy_subtraction21+
ssssnake2014-06-26 22:00:00Blue Icenonessssnake_inc21+
Blood Boilers2014-06-26 22:00:00Brendan's 404nonenone21+
Uncle Buck2014-06-26 22:00:00Compound BasixCompoundBasix_none21+
The Ghost of Joseph Buck2014-06-26 22:00:00Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grubnonenone21+
StaG2014-06-26 22:00:00GOZOnoneheyitsstag21+
Andy Palmer2014-06-26 22:00:00HornethornetdenverandypalmermusicAll
The Shilohs2014-06-26 22:00:00Illegal Pete'sillegal_petes_shilohsbandAll
Colfax Speed Queen2014-06-26 22:00:00Irish Rovernonenone21+
Lionized2014-06-26 22:00:00Moe’s Original Bar B QueMoesBBQdenvernoneAll
Phox2014-06-26 22:00:00Skylark Loungenonephoxband21+
Varlet2014-06-26 22:00:00The Hi-Divehi_divewearevarlet21+
Mountain and the Hound2014-06-26 23:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernnone21+
BLKHRTS2014-06-26 23:00:00Blue IcenoneBLKHRTS21+
Bud Bronson & The Good Timers2014-06-26 23:00:00Brendan's 404nonenone21+
option42014-06-26 23:00:00Compound BasixCompoundBasix_none21+
Grant Sabin2014-06-26 23:00:00Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grubnonenone21+
PRISMWAVES2014-06-26 23:00:00GOZOnonenone21+
Vikesh Kapoor2014-06-26 23:00:00HornethornetdenvernoneAll
Bonnie and the Beard2014-06-26 23:00:00Illegal Pete'sillegal_petes_bonnieandbeardAll
MF RUCKUS2014-06-26 23:00:00Irish Rovernonemfruckustheband21+
Aspen Hourglass2014-06-26 23:00:00Moe’s Original Bar B QueMoesBBQdenvernoneAll
Blake Brown & American Dust Choir2014-06-26 23:00:00Skylark Loungenonenone21+
megan burtt (? listed on Sat)2014-06-26 23:00:00Skylark Loungenonemeganburtt21+
South of France2014-06-26 23:00:00The Hi-Divehi_dives_o_f_music21+
Native Daughters2014-06-27 0:00:003 Kings Tavern3KingsTavernNativeDaughters21+
Fat Tony2014-06-27 0:00:00Blue Icenonefattonyrap21+
Warhawk2014-06-27 0:00:00Brendan's 404nonenone21+
ROGUE VOGUE2014-06-27 0:00:00Compound BasixCompoundBasix_roguevoguemusic21+
help is on the way2014-06-27 0:00:00Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grubnonenone21+
Mombi2014-06-27 0:00:00GOZOnonemombi_music21+
Sam Lee2014-06-27 0:00:00HornethornetdenverSamLeeRockAll
The Denver City Saltlicks2014-06-27 0:00:00Illegal Pete'sillegal_petes_noneAll
The West Water Outlaws2014-06-27 1:00:00Irish Rovernonewestwateroutlaw21+
Green River Vibe2014-06-27 1:00:00Moe’s Original Bar B QueMoesBBQdenvergreenrivervibeAll
eye and the arrow2014-06-27 1:00:00Skylark Loungenonenone21+
the Centennial2014-06-27 1:00:00The Hi-Divehi_divethe_centennial21+

Blog posts not posting to LinkedIn properly

This has been driving me crazy for a while. I have several blogs that I run and work on to varying degrees. I noticed one day that when I try to share a post through LinkedIn, none of the image and meta data would come in. I would only get the blog name.

LinkedInIssue

When I set them up, one of the first things I do is set up security plugins to keep them clean from the very beginning. I noticed that on a few of my personal blogs that used to work fine aren’t anymore. Very frustrating.

After much deep thought and testing, I narrowed it down to something to do with the Better WordPress Security Plugin, I just couldn’t find out what part of it was causing the problem. This is one of the important plugins that I always install as soon as I start working on a site ever since having to rebuild ones that have been hacked.

Finally, Nathan Brauer figured out what the issue was. One of the banned list rules was blocking any user agent that starts with Link, which is of course LinkedIn. DOH!

Here’s the fix Nathan posted. I’ve done it and so far it is working. I’ll post here if it isn’t the full fix. Keep in mind that if you try to post a link and LinkedIn scrapes the info, it will be at least a week before LinkedIn will scrape it again. Seems you can’t force it any sooner.

Let me know if it works for you.

Ark Update and Official Log: Day 33

Thankfully, the mood on board has lifted a bit. Most have accepted that we can only wait out the storm and then rebuild after. Some are taking it worse than others, but we are pulling together and will get through.

Other developments and updates:

  • The last hold out in the “I would never eat a rat” competition finally did. Angus from Deck 32 is the winner of the pool, and gets an extra serving of rice.
  • Cheese is no longer allowed anywhere below Deck 10.
  • Decks 35 to 42 have seceded from the ark and formed their own country. The security crew have decided to wait them out. There are no bathrooms on decks 35 to 42.
  • Deck 17’s “Kung Pao Luau” was quite successful, although there was some damage from the bonfire. We’ve agreed that future Luau’s will be announced to the crew in advance, and held on the outside decks.
  • We also agreed to only eat spare animals next time, although the mammoth steaks will last quite a while. Predictably, the Future Cannibals of Ameriark Association have disbanded, so that issue was resolved without conflict.
  • The Future Historical Philosophers Union has changed their name again to the Democratic People’s Union of the Future Historical Philosophers and Professors Organization, LLC.
  • We now have 424 rabbits and 693 rodents, and many more of the crew understand why I call all rodents tribbles, and wanted them in individual cages.
  • There have been some arguments about why we needed to bring 2 of each kind of tiger. A compromise was reached to put them closer to the rabbits to ease tensions.
  • Submissions for the “What did it feel like to be dry” essay contest have been robust, but most are grammatically poor at best. Writing classes start next week.
  • The Pessimist Club voted to change their name to Smuge Geniuses Guild and are having their weekly rush party on Monday.
  • There is still no suspect in the Lizarding Events on Deck 9, so investigators are expanding the investigation beyond the Reptile Enthusiast Club’s members.
  • All our stored raisins have re-plumped. We are planning a wine tasting as soon as possible.
  • No one can agree on what a cubit is yet. Meetings will still be held on Tuesdays, but will be moved to the deck 15 cubits above waterline until situation is resolved. See you there. 😉
  • We’ve determined that it takes on average 12 cow-a-bungie drops to break a rope. Additional cow-a-bungie events have been halted until we can ensure the safety of the cows and jockeys.
  • The Ewe Are So Beautiful competition on Deck 47 is taking entries now. Submit the name of your favorite sheep before Friday. It is suggested to submit unsigned nominations.

Generally, things are going ok. There are still complaints and issues, but we are managing to keep things civil. While life on board can be challenging, we all realize that we are in this together, and as illustrated by Mr. Fitzgerald, those who feel otherwise are welcome to find their own accommodations. Related: the recall election for Ark Captain has lost momentum and has been postponed.

Open .XPS file on a Mac?

I swear people do this shit just to be annoying. Let’s have open document types so that we can all communicate, but I have my own open document format that not everybody can read.

The point is, if you need to open a .XPS file on a Mac, use your Gmail account (or someone elses) to make it happen. View it through Gmail, and then you can print/save as a PDF.

Here’ where I found my answer:

http://hintsforums.macworld.com/showthread.php?t=114977

You may notice that the answer is from 2006 so several questions come to mind.

  1. Why have I never had this issue before? Honestly I’m not even sure where an .XPS document comes from. Maybe I just don’t deal with “those types” of people enough.
  2. More importantly, why is this still an issue to be had? In 2006 this was something that happened, but that was way back when we were young and stupid! Aren’t we all grown up and have learned how to play nice?

No matter. Google saves me this time. Again. Sometimes I’m less worried about my privacy if I can at least get something done.

Hop.