design competion

5

Agent Kallus in Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion

Why there is no ACA replacement

Notice how “repeal and replace” is looking more and more like just repeal, despite the protestations of, well, everyone (including GOP governors and the insurance companies themselves)?

There’s a big reason for that.

The GOP doesn’t want you to know this, but the truth of the matter is the Affordable Care Act is their healthcare plan. No joke!

The right-wing Heritage Foundation created the framework for the law, including the individual mandate, in 1993 while the Clinton Administration was attempting to pass healthcare reform. The same framework became the health care law that Mitt Romney successfully passed and implemented when he was governor of Massachusetts.

When the Obama administration began to tackle healthcare reform in 2009, it didn’t start with Medicare-for-all (read: single payer) the way people on the left wanted. Aiming for compromise, they took the framework that led to the Massachusetts law and added a public option – essentially a Medicare buy-in option designed to compete against the private insurers to drive down premium costs.

Republicans and conservative Democrats balked at the public option, so it was jettisoned – leaving the same law Republicans had been championing for decades. Only not a single one of them voted for the ACA when it passed – and since then, they have done nothing but try to sabotage and get rid of the law.

Think about that: a conservative idea worked. It was imperfect. There were issues. But the law did what it was designed to do: make health insurance more accessible to Americans and ensure the policies they paid for actually worked for them. Yet Republicans, so aghast at President Obama, sabotaged their own ideas!

Anyone with half a brain knows the only ACA replacement that would work would be single payer. But the GOP will never go for that (especially with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s obsession with gutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security), so in gutting what was ultimately their own idea, they’re sentencing Americans to a lower quality of life and even death… just because they got all uptight over a black man occupying the White House for almost a decade.

The ACA is the Republican healthcare plan. They have nothing else.

10

Junkers G.38 diesel-powered transport/airliner, later upgraded to more conventional gasoline engines, at the time the world’s largest aircraft in service, designed to compete with the Zeppelins.

Only two units build in the late 20′s, one lost in an accident in 1936, while the remaining unit was destroyed in an airfield by RAF aircraft in 1941.

An acquaintance of mine contacted me about his development of a potential assistive device for autistic people...

[TL;DR: A group of allistic college students are working on an augmented reality headset that uses facial recognition technology to display what someone facing you is likely to be feeling. An acquaintance of mine contacted me about it, and wants your input. I will be letting him know what people respond with, or if you prefer to talk to him directly, his email is <demichel@stanford.edu>.]

Here is the full message, from him:

—-

“Hello,

My name is Patrick DeMichele and I am college student studying computer science. Over the last weekend, my friends and I formed a team and attended a "Hackathon” - a 36 hour event in which teams compete to design innovative technology. It took us a while to think of an idea, but eventually we had one: to design an augmented reality headset that could help autistic people identify social cues. We used the Microsoft Hololens (a headset similar to Google Glass) and Microsoft “emotion” software that can interpret facial emotions from a picture. With our software, a user wearing the headset can wave their hand and the software will interpret the facial emotion of someone they are talking to, displaying an emoticon and a description below their face in real time. The headset allows users to see everything around them, and projects the images on top of everything else.

Here is a helpful video to understand how the Hololens works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aThCr0PsyuA .

Here is a demo video of our product : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgqIG4N0qpc .

The product was received very well by the staffers, and we even won an award. We want to develop the product further, but we don’t know enough about the difficulties faced by autistic people. During the Hackathon we did some research, but there wasn’t much time. As it currently stands, this is a platform designed by people who are not autistic and was reviewed by people who are not autistic, which is unfortunate. It is essential we get some input from real people who have experiences with autism so that our product can truly reflect their needs, and eventually benefit them if it’s released.

So here is the question: what would be the best use of the Microsoft Hololens (or similar headset) to assist autistic individuals? I’m keeping it broad; any kinds of responses are welcome. Also, feel free to comment or criticize our idea of displaying emotions - is there any direction we should take that feature?

Comments on this post are welcome, or you can send emails to <demichel@stanford.edu> for more detailed questions or comments.

Thanks so much,

Patrick"

—-

I’d massively appreciate if we could all let him know our ideas, needs, and concerns, since this is primarily modeled as assistive technology for autistic folks! Reblog, reply, or email with your thoughts! 

2

I had a lot of deep thoughts today at work about the new pictures and I’m here to ruin all your feelings about them with my garbage headcanon.

The Project Runway Drinking Game: Brought to You by Red Robin

Let’s be real: Project Runway, a show that was once (unbelievably) critically respected for its devotion to high fashion and glamour, has devolved into a hot mess of a competition between increasingly bad designers competing in increasingly poorly conceived challenges that support what the show now truly is: an hour and a half platform to endlessly plug products of increasingly questionable quality. Between the Sally Beauty Studio, the Brother Sewing Room, the Aldo Accessory Wall, and the Mary Kay Color Design Studio, at this point the only part of the entire Project Runway studio that hasn’t been branded is the fucking fire escape, which will most likely be sponsored next season by the #4 highest selling fire escape company in the North East. Five seasons ago the producers even made the decision to take away pencils and papers from the designers (pencils and FUCKING paper) and make them sketch on *HP* tablets. It’s like sometime over the last ten years Mad Men jizzed all over this show, threw it a towel and the show decided not to use it.

The peak of this Blade Runner-esque advertising foolishness undoubtedly came last season when the designers were forced to make looks inspired by Red Robin and then speak in confessional interviews about what they think is ‘chic’ about Red Robin, most likely while a junior producer who still has integrity sat five feet away from them shaking their goddam head thinking “I owe NYU $200,000 for a degree that got me this fucking job?”

But in the rough of this unbelievable decline, there is a diamond - a big fabulous diamond that refuses to diminish in quality in any way: Tim Gunn. Possibly the only person or branded inanimate object on the show who/that is not phoning it in, after 10+ seasons Tim Gunn continues to tireless help and care about the most irritating, morally repugnant, talentless human beings when after five minutes of interacting with these contestants even Jesus would be like “kill yourself”.  If Oprah and a pack of rainbow streamers had a baby, the result would be Tim Gunn. The challenges got worse. The judges got worse. The insults got worse. But Tim Gunn is and will always be amazing. Through everything, Tim Gunn is really, really what the show is about.

Regardless, Project Runway is still a god awful parody of the worst parts of competition reality television, an abomination that lacks any creative integrity that unfairly implicates the viewer and the only likeable personality involved in its production in the systematic commercial exploitation of everyone and everything on and in front of the screen.

We’re so fucking excited it’s back.

Recommended drink: start with a classy, name brand fine liqueur - then switch to lower and lower quality alcohol, naming each brand at each switch up. Drink responsibly, and make it work! Maybe!


One drink: every time a product and/or brand is unnecessarily mentioned (which is every time a product name is mentioned). Two drinks: no person capable of rational thought could ever conceivably find a link between this product/brand and fashion.

One drink: every voiceover of someone describing an amazing idea for a design while footage is shown of them sketching a design that looks nothing like this.  

One drink: a designer says a seemingly innocuous comment about a fellow designer’s look and the receiving designer takes it as an insult and loses their shit. Two drinks: said designer asked for feedback in the first place.

One drink: a designer won’t give their extra fabric to another designer because “this is a competition”.

One drink: Tim Gunn is ‘concerned’ with a look. Two drinks: Tim Gunn is ‘deeply concerned’ with a look. Finish your drink: Tim Gunn is ‘enormously concerned’ with a look.

One drink: one designer telling another during the runway show that their work is good only because they are sitting next to/very to close to them, not because they really believe it.

One drink: every backstory that involves bullying.

One drink: every confessional shot of a contestant spewing platitudes about a brand that literally no one gives two fucks about and quite possibly have never heard of.

One drink: white judge likes ‘ethnic’ look.

One drink: ‘matronly’.

One drink: seriously tho what is Heidi wearing?

One drink: a plotline in the episode is that someone isn’t going to finish a design Two drinks: this person finishes their design - because every contestant always finishes a fucking design.

One drink: every team challenge where the two designers who hate each other most in the competition just happen to end up on the same team.

One drink: unnecessary German.

One drink: a fan favorite designer is not sent home despite clearly having the worst look.

One drink: the designers are not nearly given enough time to complete an extremely elaborate challenge because the producers won’t pay the minor costs involved in giving them more than one day to work.

One drink: Designers are utterly *shocked* when Tim lets them know about a ‘twist’ in the challenge, even though this has happened multiple times a season for the last 13 seasons. Two drinks: the twist is they have to make another look.

One drink: a contestant does not listen to Tim Gunn’s critique. Two drinks: this contestant gets sent home because they didn’t listen to Tim Gunn’s critique. Three drinks:  this contestant voices no regrets about not listening to Tim Gunn’s critique  in exit confessional.

One drink: there aren’t even three good designs put out in the episode and the judges have to pretend like one of the top three looks is good.

One drink: the contestant who has immunity puts out a sorry ass no design look that can’t even be called a hot mess because ‘hot mess’ implies effort was put into the design.

One drink: the guest judge has no relevant experience in the fashion industry and has no business even being part of something that’s as gaudy as this shit show.

One drink: a designer is asked for feedback from a peer when the peer has made an awful design and asked designer delivers most vague, brief word of compliment while not diverting eyes from their own work as to avoid having to look the other designer in the eyes while lying.

One drink: every time someone leaves the work room at the end of their one day challenge with practically nothing done then are somehow able to complete an entire look during the runway prep time despite this time being portrayed by the show as very minimal.

One drink: a designer barely uses ‘unconventional’ materials in the unconventional materials challenge even though short of committing an act of physical violence this is the surest way of getting sent home (and everybody knows it).

One drink: a winning designer from a previous season is brought in to give advice and you’re like “who da fuck?” despite having seen every season of Project Runway. Two drinks: when they’re introduced in flashbacks you’re like “Ooooh, right”. Three drinks: you then become anxious about your own life circumstances as you reflect on the sad reality that no one from this show no matter how talented they are seem go anywhere in life and that maybe you’ll end up like them.

One drink: a designer’s sexual orientation is made part of their backstory because SURPRISE they are a gay.

One drink: a designer complains about their fabric even though they picked it out themselves in one of New York’s best fabric stores with an incredibly wide variety of fabrics.

One drink: Tim Gunn will miss a sent-home designer ‘terribly’. Two drinks: Tim Gunn continues to speak volumes about this designer, raising the possibility of a ‘Tim Gunn Save’. Three drinks: Tim Gunn doesn’t use the ‘Tim Gunn Save’

One drink: the sent-home designer believes “this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from” them. Two drinks: it’s the last we hear from them. You can go ahead and drink that now.


We hope you survived this one. Recommended Friday hangover cure: Red Robin - YUM!

I really miss classic Sonic and Tails. They were both so fat and cute in the really old games. Granted, I love my chao gardens and not crappy modern Sonic games (Colors for example). I grew up with both, but modern Sonic character designs can’t compete with the adorable classic ones.

Sonic © Sega

2

The French Tabatiere rifle,

In the 1860′s it was quite clear to most European nations that there would be a showdown between a rising nation called Prussia, and the old empire of France.  Prussia had the Dreyse needle rifle, a bolt action breechloading rifle which fired a paper cartridge and was significantly faster to load and fire than common percussion muskets of the day. As a result, the French decided to adopt their own bolt action needle fire design, called the Chassepot.  Development and initial production of the Chassepot was slow, being introduced in 1866, so in 1864 the French government decided 1864 to began a program to convert it’s large stock of old percussion muskets into breechloading rifles which could used a self contained cartridge.

Many gunmakers submitted competing designs, but the winning bid when to a man named Schneider.  It was called the “Tabatiere”, meaning snuff box because its breechloading mechanism looked like a snuffbox. The chamber of the musket was hollowed out and a sideways tilting breechblock was installed.  To load and fire the user simply cocked the hammer on half cock, opened the breech, inserted a cartridge, closed the breech, fully cocked the hammer, then pulled the trigger. 

The Tabatiere fired a large 555 grain 17.5mm bullet with a coiled brass cartridge, which was covered in paper, containing 69 grains of black powder.

The Tabatiere was primarily used in the Franco Prussian War of 1870-71, and proved itself to be a reliable and sturdy rifle.  Typically it was only issued to National Guard units, supply units, and other rear echelon units.  They were also commonly used in France’s colonial wars, being used to arm native troops. After seeing military use, most Tabatiere rifles were sold as military surplus to hunters and target shooters. A number were converted to shotguns as well.

3

The Butterfield Priming System,

By the 1850’s the user of percussion caps for an ignition system ended the use of the flintlock mechanism for most military muskets.  However there were many ingenious designs created to compete with the percussion cap.  One such system was invented by Jesse Butterfield in 1855.  Rather than using a copper cap filled with mercury fulminate, the Butterfield system used small cylindrical shaped wafers or pellets of mercury fulminate called “Butterfield’s Wafers”.  This was combined with a feeding mechanism that was installed on the lock of the musket.  The mechanism featured a tube which held a number of wafers, and when the hammer was cocked, a spring loaded mechanism would force a wafer out of the reservoir while a sliding bar would push or feed the wafer onto the nipple for firing.  When struck the mercury fulminate would explode, sending a spark down into the chamber which ignited the main charge.

Butterfield’s system was a good idea in theory.  The idea was that the system reduced the process of loading a musket by one step; placing a percussion cap on the nipple. It was also meant to solve function problems of the caplock system, namely when a spent cap became lodged into the cup of the hammer, it could cause a misfire (happened to me), or in the case of revolvers, jamming up the cylinder.  However since Butterfield’s wafers lacked a metal cap, this was not an issue. In practical terms, however, Butterfields wafers and feeding mechanism failed in real world condition.  The wafers themselves were much more susceptible to the effects of moisture compared to percussion caps.  In addition the feeding mechanism often jammed or malfunctioned.  Misfires were very common.  A few thousand older Springfield and Harpers Ferry muskets were converted to the system, although for the most part regular percussion caps were used instead of the Butterfield wafers.  A small number of Betterfield priming breechloading rifles were produced as well.  Jesse Butterfield also designed a .41 caliber revolver which utilized his system (bottom picture).  In 1861, at the beginning of the American Civil War, the US Government contracted him to produce an order of 2,250 Butterfield revolvers, of which only 650 were delivered.  None were ever officially issued but a few hundred were fielded by soldiers who privately purchased them.

so taxes are government coercion and doubleplusungood right?

what about the fact the way Apple takes a 30% cut of any transaction you make on the App Store and their newly announced subscription system takes 15% for subscriptions older than 12 months?

sales tax in Australia is only 10% and credit card processors take less than 5% so Apple is absolutely gouging repeatedly for something that takes them no ongoing investment, nor are they using the revenue to fund development of the platform because the hardware is already sold at a profit, and in the past they even charged developers for access to the tools! (and of course they still prohibit any development activity on non-Apple hardware, so in a sense you still have to pay to play anyway).

App Store policy prevents you from using a competing payment processor or makes it extremely awkward to do so, so competition is squashed.

sure you could design your own competing ecosystem from scratch, but that would take billions in capital, and is completely out of reach of even the largest app developers (besides those that are trying to establish similar monopolies).

a principled boycott of Apple appears unlikely to get off the ground.

now Apple won’t send the canonical men with guns to your house if you refuse to pay: they don’t have to! they deduct their cut before they pay you! so no force is involved and it’s entirely okay, right? bleurgh.

9

Last week we probably held our first-ever Drink ‘n’ Draw Until You’re Pink and Raw at Tumblr HQ. The challenge? We name a cartoon character, and contestants have sixty seconds (one minute, for you Yanks) to draw that character. From memory.

Over 85 of our favorite New York designer-types came to compete. Plus, we were lucky enough to secure internationally acclaimed graffiti artist Bansky as our Special Guest Judge.

While we’d like to thank everyone who made it out, we’d particularly like to acknowledge Banksy for taking the time out of his busy schedule to Skype in to our event. “Cheers,” Banksy!

See the whole thing here.