Jul 22, 2014

Prime Techstars 2014 Demo Day Presentation #

Put on a pair of judgmental sunglasses and watch this: here’s the fully unedited video of Prime’s Techstars Demo Day presentation.

This went down at the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts, an amazing and beautiful facility in Kansas City. About 1,500 people were in attendance and it was just a blast.

Jul 16, 2014

The 3D World of Futurama's New New York #

Put this in full explorable-world game form, then shut up and take my money.

Jul 13, 2014

'We Really Have to Pivot And Adapt to The Demands Of The Consumer' #

Healthcare, finally catching up to the rest of the world.

Jul 12, 2014

Jason Jones Breaks 11-Year Silence #

Jason Jones, co-founder of Bungie and creator of Halo, breaks his decade-long silence and discusses all things Bungie, Halo, and Destiny with Ryan McCaffrey for IGN. A very thoughtful interview; Jones clearly deserves the success he’s earned and the joy he’s brought to the world.

He even talks about the mythical Halo 2 ending (or lack thereof) that has yet to be uncovered to this day and… well, I won’t spoil it for you.

Jul 9, 2014

'This Is Nuts' #

David Lazarus, for the LA Times:

In 2010, [Bill Erickson] had his right knee replaced after “lots of abuse” as a high school and college baseball coach. His insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, apparently covered everything.

Erickson, 64, had his left knee replaced last year. “Same doctor, same hospital, same procedure,” he told me.

But not the same medical bill. This time, Anthem said Erickson was on the hook for about $15,000 in charges related to a medical device used for post-surgery rehabilitation. He received no such bill the first time.

Long story short, here’s why:

Anthem’s Ng said the machine was never covered. Affiliated Home Health Care, he said, wasn’t part of the insurer’s network during both of Erickson’s operations.

It’s possible, Ng said, that once Affiliated received its $4,000 from Anthem, it decided not to pursue the remaining $13,500 that Erickson ostensibly owed. […]

After his second surgery, though, Affiliated once again received a partial payment from Anthem. But this time Affiliated chose to go after Erickson for the remaining $15,000 that it believed it was due.

That bit of speculation around the first payment is important and should be resolved. But regardless, for whatever reason, Affiliated never pursued Erickson for payment owed to them. That doesn’t make the second payment any less required or fair. But it does show that the system is ultimately broken.

The burden is on the patient to make sure every aspect of treatment is covered — an absurd expectation given the circumstances.

Lazarus does a good job of pointing out the details but not of summarizing. And this last sentence is very important for the summary.

In a nutshell, Erickson did his due diligence to make sure his doctor and hospital were approved by his insurance provider, Anthem. But Erickson did not check to make sure the post-surgery recovery device for his knee was covered by his insurance. (How does one even do that?) Turns out: it wasn’t. Ever. But the company that makes the device didn’t charge him the first time, for some unknown reason. Therein lies the rub.

Either way, absurd is right.

Jun 20, 2014

We Need to Make Life Multiplanetary #

Elon Musk, short and to the point as always:

I’m hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years, I think it’s certainly possible for that to occur. But the thing that matters long term is to have a self-sustaining city on Mars, to make life multi-planetary. … We’ll either be a multi-planet species and out there among the stars. Or we’ll be a single-planet species until some eventual extinction event, either natural or man-made.

And a bit on that mid-level Tesla coming soon:

I feel good about being able to produce a compelling mass-market car in the next three years.


Jun 15, 2014

Happy Father’s Day

Four years and a day ago my dad passed away. Life is short. Loved ones are precious. Cherish the good, forget the bad. Hug your dad.

Happy Father’s Day

Four years and a day ago my dad passed away. Life is short. Loved ones are precious. Cherish the good, forget the bad. Hug your dad.

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Jun 9, 2014


Some Thoughts on Being Assaulted Yesterday

At about 5 AM Pacific yesterday morning I was attacked and mugged. Most of what I was carrying was stolen. My iPhone, my weekender bag containing my clothes and various business cards from a conference I’d just attended, and my MacBook Air. I did not see it coming.

I was standing outside my hotel waiting for my cab. The sun was barely starting to show. The street was well-lit and cars were driving by, but not at the moment of the attack. The person who attacked me timed and staged it perfectly: when no one else was around, and from behind. I’m not going to get into the physical details of how I was attacked but it was violent and it was abrupt.

Physically I am okay with no injuries to show whatsoever.

I am very, very lucky.

Emotionally and mentally I have a lot of thoughts about what happened. Not a sense of loss—the things I lost were just material belongings, nothing I can’t replace. And not a sense of anger—what is there to get angry about in that which you cannot control? But I am sad. I am sad for my assailant and for our society.

So to the person who mugged me yesterday, I just want to say one thing:

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry society has gotten to a place where it felt right or required to do this.
I’m sorry we’ve all let you slip through the cracks. Families care for each other.
I too am guilty of becoming blind to those in need.
For that I am sorry.

I’m not sure if this was a choice or a “choice” for you. And there is a difference between the two.

I realize that all too often we label people as having a choice when really it was a “choice”, something in actuality completely out of that person’s control. Something they were required to do to survive.

If there truly were no other options left and this is what you had to resort to to survive, I forgive you.

If you had other options available to you, I still forgive you. I forgive you because I know all too well that an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. I do not wish harm upon you. I wish you simply didn’t feel the need to hurt others to help yourself. I wish you never to hurt someone again.

The only way I know to help others become better people is not through punishment but through compassion. And so I wish only to show you compassion.

To everyone else like me who tends to stand around holding their phone in public, a few thoughts: pay attention to your surroundings, especially if you’re on your phone (I’m not going to tell you to not look at your phone; I’m not that unrealistic). Wait inside when possible; make cab drivers call you when they arrive.

Not everyone is as lucky as I am. I’ve been in this type of situation before so I knew how to handle the situation and myself physically. Even so I recognize this could have played out very differently for me. I am thankful it didn’t.

Everyone, please take care of yourselves and of each other.

May 29, 2014

Modernized Space Camp Allows Kids To Simulate Frustration Over Lack Of Funding #

Let’s play a game before clicking the link: Onion article or no?

May 23, 2014

'Time and Space Has Been Completely Annihilated' #

Classic headline and tech writing from an earlier era.

(Via Greg Ferenstein.)

May 19, 2014

Kilian Martin: Altered Route #

Not that it’s not a beautiful sport and art, but I never thought I’d see a skating video that would make me say “This is beautiful.”

This is a beautiful skating short film.

(Via Will Imholte.)

May 16, 2014

First ‘Intersteller’ Trailer

Wow. Beautiful on so many levels. I haven’t been this excited for a movie since The Dark Knight.

The V for Vendetta music choice is perfect.

UPDATE: The track from V for Vendetta is “Evey Reborn”. Here’s a link to it on Rdio. The track is great and the film is great. Not related to Interstellar but worth a watch certainly if you haven’t seen it in a while (or ever).

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May 15, 2014

Russia to "Close" Space Station in 2020 Due to U.S. Sanctions #

And I’ve “given up” playing video games.

Posturing, pure and simple. Sad nonetheless. There’s no way to know what will actually happen here, but obviously I’m hopeful this can be resolved.

May 13, 2014

'For Me, It Is Always about The Possibilities' #

Om Malik, on the current state of the technology industry and whether or not it’s in a bubble:

The bad behaviors, like everything, get magnified too much by social media. I mean, last week in Italy people were asking me about Google buses, protests and what is wrong with the tech industry. I don’t know what is wrong except that the social norms and behaviors of players are different. The world looks at the gratuitous amount of profits made by a company like Google, and juxtaposes it against the lack of hope for a majority of the planet.

People dislike Uber, not because some founder is going to become a billionaire; the discontent comes from the visible disparity between those who have it and those who don’t. Google buses get rocks and eggs thrown at them mostly because they are a reminder of digital feudalism. As an industry, we are very fortunate; and that is why it is important to remember why we need to have compassion and understanding about the fears of the rest of the world. We need to remember that our actions now intersect and influence those who are not of our industry. Trying to be in their shoes isn’t a bad place to start.

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