232: TZ Discussion – Welcome to the Future (Sorry, No Refunds)

Justin and Jason discuss Justin’s new Basis watch and his get fit plan, the upcoming MicroConf conference, how the NASA-backed fusion engine could cut a Mars trip down to 30 dayshow one guy’s code made it into a Hollywood movie, how Jason wants to shoot a sci-fi webisode with his friend Phil and how they were inspired by the low-budget film Primer, how previous show guest Dan Southworth is in the upcoming Mortal Kombat Legacy, the new TechZing Wiki, why Justin thinks (with his marketing help) Jason’s secret project could make $100,000 right out of the gate (and how Jason thinks Justin is smoking something), the concept of MVP+, how Jason had his iMac hard drive replaced, how Jason is going to start spending more time on his secret project as opposed to working on the Catalyst IDE, the complete digedu story, the weird luck surface area email, Jason’s involvement with Mecruit, the latest on AnyFu, the hardware failure at the latest Catalyst session and Jason’s lesson on two-dimension arrays, whether Bitcoin is an existential threat to the modern liberal state or whether it’s the futurehow solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilitieswhy Jason believes that Solar City is going to be extremely successful, how the US instigated the latest confrontation with North Korea and how North Korea lacks the capability to strike the US.

  1. Matt S says:

    Hooray! New episode!

    Fitbit is a great alternative to the Basis watch – it doesn’t do the heart rate/perspiration tracking, but it’s only $99. You just clip it to your belt/pocket and are on your way. I also bought one of the WiFi enabled scales (I have the Withings one, there are others now) that automatically records your weight and does charts, as well as integrates with the Fitbit web app. I knew I would be too lazy to record my weight in a spreadsheet manually, so this is perfect for me.

    I really liked the look of the Basis webapp and the goals. I went to ordered one a few months ago but they were still out of stock, so I’ll stick with my trusty fitbit for now.

    I’ve posted this before on a past episode where Justin has talking about weight loss, but I’ll mention it again. Two small changes that had a big impact for me (>50 lbs lost): 1) bring a sack lunch to work instead of going out to eat, 2) if I want to watch a TV show (and I love me some TV!) I had to be exercising (treadmill, lifting weights) while I did it. Best of luck Justin – keep us updated 🙂

  2. 8-bit Arnie!!!!

    It always makes me laugh when I watch the original Terminator film, theres a bit where you see from the Terminators POV and you see his ‘program’ scrolling down the screen. Its actually 6502 machine code.

    Keep up the great work, always a pleasure to listen to.

  3. While Jason was talking about his secret project, there is a strange horror/science fiction movie music comes behind. I first thought that Justin was making a joke, humoring this “secret project” 😉 Then it turns out to be it was Jasons phone :S

  4. Richard says:

    I love the idea that Jason the ‘lone coder’ is building a team collaboration app, “Hey you teams, you’ve been doing it all wrong!” 🙂

    Enjoyed the discussions of mecruit and Digedu. Digedu sounds like a great product and a really good story. It would be interesting to hear some background on how the founders came up with it and got to the point of promising demos to schools without an experienced coder involved.

  5. Jason says:

    @Richard – Oh the irony that is my life. 😉

  6. Aleksander says:

    Jason, I assume that TV you bought recently is a Smart TV. How do you (or your family) find the “smart” features? Did you try them out – the “apps” and the rest?

    If not – do you think there’s any point putting them there? (Especially considering you’re a geek – if you don’t find them interesting, why would the average Joe Doe. And it certainly made the set more expensive.)

  7. Jason says:

    @Aleksander – You know, I rarely get a chance to watch anything on the new TV, much less use an app on it, whatever the hell that means. 😉 But I did my research and I asked Sandy about it and she says they only thing they (being my wife and kids) use on it that might qualify as an “app” would be Roku and the YouTube videos that Colby’s always watching. I think the last one he watched was about how to make a blowtorch out of a pen and a cigarette lighter. Now that’s what I call enriching content!

    Anyway, I’ve been extremely skeptical of the whole smart TV / web TV thing ever since the mid-nineties when they first started pushing the idea. It sounded stupid to me then and still sounds stupid to me now.

  8. Aleksander says:

    Jason, thank you for investigating this.

    When I spoke of apps, I meant on the TV itself, not on an attached box. 😉 But if you’re unaware of them, the manufacturer is obviously doing a really bad job. Assuming I’ve identified your device correctly – a Samsung with an additional touch remote is almost certainly one of the expensive smart TVs. There’s a Smart Hub button on your remotes (probably hexagonal, in the middle), which leads to an app launcher and an app “marketplace”, not unlike a smartphone.

    I’ve become somewhat involved in that space recently, but my main conclusion is that it’s a huge waste of money and engineers’ brain cycles. The only real purpose seems to be manufacturer’s differentiation in marketing materials. A bullet point on a flyer.

  9. Jason says:

    @Aleksander – Actually, I have seen the apps (and you’re right, the functionality is built directly into the TV), but I use the TV so rarely that I barely know how to navigate through the various menus, much less experiment with the functionality. I agree that it’s mostly for marketing and kind of a waste of money.

  10. Chris Lorenz says:

    Hey Jason,
    I saw this kickstarter thought it would be cool to talk about on the show. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/antonyevans/glowing-plants-natural-lighting-with-no-electricit?ref=category. I wonder how usefule the 250 dollar option would be.

  11. Jason says:

    @Chris Lorenz – Wow, that’s effin’ cool! We’ll talk about it on the show this weekend.

  12. Justin says:

    @Jason, @Aleksander – I got the Samsung smart tv over a year a go specifically so I could watch hulu, netflix, amazon etc. That’s all I use it for (I don’t have a regular cable subscription). It works great. Just plug the TV into the internet and go.

  13. Aleksander says:

    Justin, I didn’t realize you had one too! Thank you for sharing.