IDEAS: Android Daily Ad Panel

Ugh…just cause I <insert> “justification”, does not mean I want or consented to daily emails and notifications!

Just cause I…

  • Bought something at your brick and mortar, and chose “email receipt”.
  • Bought something from your online store.
  • Installed your application.

That said, I also understand you are a business and want to reach me marketing wise.

So why not a compromise…

New Android feature…

Daily marketing panel. So no more marketing notifications displayed by each app. (And a push to direct such emails more into SPAM.)

Instead, all such notifications of sales discounts, specials, marketing appear in a single popup. That can be displayed by a) alpha sorted name, b) company logos c) deal types (coupon, sales, etc).

This way important notifications are not lost in a flood of sales notices. Honestly, most od which we swipe away or delete. And we get so much in the habit of doing so, that we find ourselves often swiping away before even looking at the deal.

But dang, its tiring hitting unsubscribe and companies we’re increasingly ignoring emails and notifications. This would make them more meaningful, and less invasive. Enough so that we can glance and see if there is anything of interest today in the plethora of notifications.

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Dear Game Makers – You’re doing leveling wrong!!!!

Just hit level 20 in Jurassic World: Alive.

Marvel Contest of Champions – Reach level 60, and you’re all done. No more leveling. Thing is, you can reach this in the first few months of play. Yet, here you are, still receiving experience boosts that are completely useless – as if they’re prized result.

Pokemon go…peak out at a max level.

***

Here is what is wrong with max levels

1. Ends reward and recognition for labor.

2. Games often continue to award useless bonus items.

3. No comparison metric.

So what’s the alternative? Divide 1 by 3, what do you get? 0.33333…

An infinite repeating fraction!

***

So how can this help gameplay? Construct levels, not as a max limited integer scale. Rather, denote “1” as perfection. And frame level as a fraction approaching “1”.

So a player who plays for a year may be level “.968474”, but a player who has played for years may be level “.9936792”. Used as a multiplier in game mechanics, both levels will have near identical effect on game mechanics. But the approaching “1” as perfection allows continued recognition, continued improvement, and is unreachable. So those 50% XP boosts still have an affect for bragging rights. And when a need in game play mechanics is required (who has initiative) there is still a simple mechanic for comparison.

Dear California Congratulations. You’ve earned Jason’s “Stupidest State of the Year – 2019”

Let’s talk about the om idiocy that is California. (Besides destroying the entire ecology of the southwestern U.S. because despite residing next to the largest body of water on the planet, they refuse to build desalinization plants )

Latest idiocy…

Rolling brownouts to prevent fires. Why? Because we refuse to invest in infrastructure and fix the power lines. Seriously, America wake the @#$% up, we’re becoming a second-world country.

But here it is for dumb reasons. The power lines have sparked wild fires. The solution. Cut power to those regions. So after the residents lose all their frozen goods, etc. What are they going to do? Why they’re going to go out and buy generators, run their fridge off their trucks via an inverter, and so on. All increasing the risk of fire. So the strategy California has chosen is to reduce a single point of risk for fires in lieu of creating thousands of more spread out multi-point risks of fire.

Bravo California recipient of, 2019’s Stupidest State Award.

POLITICS: Thoughts on Turkey/Syria/Kurdish issue…

Thoughts on Turkey/Syria/Kurdish issue…

Everyone is bashing Trump. Could the withdrawal have been done better? Yes…and No!
(Hear me out.)

We have nearly 200,000 soldiers deployed across over 150 nations. There are ~200 nations across the globe. That means we have soldiers in 3 out of 4 countries. I don’t think any other nation in the history of the world has even approached having a military presence in half.

So if we’re going to start drawing down on our empire. And as oil continues it’s decline of value, there will be less and less motivation to be everywhere. We will be slowly pulling out of many regions of the world. Motivation will come from both the right (fiscal conservatives & libertarian branches) and the left (progressive & youth).

There were two options for handling this…

a) a slow lingering drawdown until we’re there in name only, and maybe an occasional airstrike.

b) a fast withdrawal

What are the likely results of each? The first, would prevent what we see today. But potentially, could be a far worse outcome. Peace would remain for several seasons. We’d be tested early on, likely resulting in a few airstrikes. Then things would be quiet for the next several years. A few rifle skirmishes here and there. But those would not garner retaliatory strikes. But after a decade or two, the Kurds would largely be forgotten. Our presence will have quietly departed. The attacks would be stepped up, and eventually reach the point of reaching U.S. news headlines. There will be some discussion of whether we should act. But economic recession and a distaste for war will lead the American political structure to merely passively condemn the actions. Allowing full military action against the Kurds and all matter of atrocities, without opposition, so long as it is shy of genocide. The Kurds will be done.

The present action represents the second choice A near identical scenario as when the British withdrew from the Middle-East. And we had Arabs immediately attack Israelis. Few expected the Israeli nation to survive more than a few months…but it did. Maybe the Kurds will surprise as well. It’s one thing to throw bombs, it’s a very different thing to hold territory and dislodge an armed populace that believes (and likely is) fighting for it’s life. (Perhaps Israelis will come to the support of the Kurds, providing small arms and air defenses. Sounds crazy, but imagine the shift in the Middle East if Israel going itself with a loving ally on the flanks of it’s staunchest enemies? Imagine if Israel established an foreign airbase in Kurdistan, providing mutual protection, while also allowing Israel to no longer have all it’s eggs in a single basket. What if that ally, in like fashion, gained territory with every attempt to attack it. Could happen… Doubtful, but a fascinating paradigm to play out in a gaming table.

Back to reality…

Do you take the band-aid off slowly or quickly? Both options suck.

Here’s the thing. The fast U.S. pullout and immediate armed actions by Turkey are raising the visibility of the Kurds. It’s essentially forcing the Western world to decide to act. The U.S. is forcing the E.U. to put up or shut up. And frankly, if the E.U. doesn’t put up on a matter on their back yard, it will cast do much doubt that between Brexit and failure in this matter, the European Union is likely to destabilize and dissolve.

There is more to this game than the average news viewer or Facebook user is aware of. Turkey is a member of NATO. Turkey has been attempting to become a member state of the European Union. Which has in recent years come to a grind. The European Union is in a better position to handle and negotiate with Turkey.

E.U. could move to offer the paddle and the bone. Give Turkey an ultimatum.

1. Stop the actions against the Kurds, allow the formation of an independent Kurdish state, and in return the E.U. will re-open membership discussions and provide financial incentives to assist Turkey internally, in order to aide the Turkish government in reform and gain popular support via economic improvement for it’s populace.

OR

2. Threaten to expel Turkey from NATO. Remove any economic privileges and enact harsh sanctions that will decimate it’s rainin economy and surely lead to regime change, and put Turkey on the path to become another Iran.

CHOOSE…

And this is the game that I think is currently being played out. And to the Kurds suffering in Syria. Forgive us. Please forgive the world entire. And perhaps this will end in a new land for you and not the genocide and destruction of another people’s of the Earth.

Ensign Worf and the Koyabashi Maru

Would be fun to have a CGI series do four episode story arcs of each crew member and how they entered Starfleet, or in the Academy.***Ensign Worf – while he did not pass the Koyabashi Maru exam, only Ensign James T. Kirk ever did that. He is noteworthy as the only other email to complete the exam without a phaser or disrupter being fired. Largely, due to being the first Klingon to ever take the exam. As soon as the Klingon battle cruisers decloaked, Ensign Worf issued a blood duel challenge to the Klingon Fleet Commander for command of the fleet – it being the right of any Klingon in command of a warship.The duel lasted two hours and eleven minutes, before Ensign Worf succumbed to his wounds. Ensign Worf had to be brought to sickbay due to multiple bone fractures, torn ligaments, and internal bleeding. The medical report states that “While the training holo-simulation is prevented from inflicting injuries on the participants. The ensign sustained systemic injuries from the strenuous strain he placed on his own body. Simply put, Worf broke his own bones thru raw physical exertion.Ensign Worf’s actions led to a second quandary. You see, after Worf’s loss to the Klingon Fleet Commander, there was confusion on the part of the Klingons on what to do with his ship and crew. A number of Klingon captains said both the ship and crew were war prizes. However, a number of more senior Klingon captains held firm that by tradition, his ship and crew were now members of the fleet. While numerous historical records documented cases of the challenge being made within the fleet, and between Klingon fleets in the midst of civil wars. No cases documented the oath being invoked by a Klingon captain of a warship not in the service of the Empire.The Klingon Fleet Commander’s final decision. The ship was a part of the fleet. Any of Captain Worf’s crew that swore loyalty to the Empire would be recognized as part of the fleet. Those who did not, would be executed for treason. Just under two thirds of Worf’s crew swore loyalty to the Empire and joined the Klingon Fleet. The remainder were spaced. And this is where the quandary came in, some felt the cadets had violated their oaths to the Federation and should be expelled. A couple felt the action was treasonous and they should all be tossed in the brig and courts martialed. The Commodant of Cadets however, recognized this was a simulation. The cadets knee it would not go beyond that day and that they would not actually commit any treasonous actions against the Federation. And recognized that most did so for the humor.Interesting historical note, while Worf did not save the Koyabashi Maru. He is one of a select few number of cadets to complete the simulation with surviving crew, and has the third lowest loss of crew in the history of the test. When inquired afterwards, Ensign Worf stated that he did not know ahead of time if the challenge would be recognized. And he made it knowing that it was unlikely the simulation would let him defeat the commander, but hoped that even if he died. That his death might spare his crew.Starfleet Academy has since updated the Koyabashi Maru simulation to take into account species of crew. And alter the opposing fleet to be of non-command crew species. In fact, a recent simulation when facing a highly diverse crew used a Federation fleet (from the mirror-verse of course) as the opposing fleet.

Movie Concept: The Veterans

@SlyStallone @Schwarzenegger @HarrisonFord

Want to see a movie in which the above actors play retired veterans endeavoring to draw the nation’s attention and Congress to address the high suicide rate of veterans.

Stallone’s a decorated Vietnam veteran (a.k.a . Rambo) whose only son committed suicide after returning from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Harrison Ford is a widower, and father of Air Force veteran and reservist. His son didn’t experience the horrors of being on the ground, bullets and bodies everywhere. However, his son was honorably discharged in 2008; coming out of service right into the Great Recession, finding his decade and half of active duty wasn’t transferring to civilian careers. Working full time as a shift supervisor at a big appliance and electronic box store while attending night school to become an RN. Not used to those under him failing to show up for shifts and talking smack, he’s struggling with the culture change, having to repeatedly fill in for employees not showing up for their shifts.

Exhausted, he finds himself snapping more frequently at his wife and for kids. He’s called into to his academic advisors office and informed that he failed to pass a required class in the nursing program. He did well in all the practicum work but his exam scores fell just below the minimum required passing score. And as this was his second attempt at the course, his enrollment is under review, and pending expulsion from the program.

Upon arriving home his wife hands him a letter, it’s an eviction notice from the property management firm due to repeatedly being behind on rent. Shouting as he walks out the door “I need to fucking clear my head so I can think without being effing nagged.” in response to his wife’s u inquiry of where he was going.

After maintaining sobriety for 12 years,, he walks out with a fifth of whiskey. Drinking it in his car, he returns home to see his 12 year old son with a model of a fighter jet in his hand telling his younger brother he’s going to be on the Air Force like Daddy. He snaps at his son… “You’re too stupid to go into the Air Force. You should become a plumber like Uncle Pat.”

He stumbles down into the basement den and begins to convulsively sob. He didn’t mean to say that…his son isn’t dumb, he’s actually smarter than his old man. He weeps bitterly over his words. He really was just afraid for his son, and didn’t want him to wind up where he is now. He looks at the eviction notice again. Thinks back to how he snapped at his wife. When did he become this man? He looks at a photo of his wife, three sons, and Missy…his only daughter. Kisses the photo and holds it in his hand as he passes out.

The next day after going coming home from work, he arrives home seemingly in good spirit. His wife asks what are they going to do. He tells her that he’s got it covered. How she asks? He grabs her face, kisses her gently, I promised you that day, I will always take care of you – and I will. I’ve just got to make a few phone calls. The next day she hears him making phone calls to the Air Force. Discussing retirement and relief options. The next few days all seems well. He’s chipper. Tebder in words and dress to his wife and kids. He affirms her once again… “I’ve got it covered.”

Thursday night, the kids are in bed. The wife is watching TV when she hears the sound of a firearm go off. She finds the body of her husband covered in blood. The photo of them all curled up tightly in his other hand. Words, freshly written on the back. “I always will love you…”

A laptop sits on the table. An Excel spreadsheet open. All the calculations are there, retirement survivor benefits, pension, life insurance payouts, annuities. All the calls made….were for this. Estimate for morgage and the Toyota Sienna they always dreamed of. At the bottoms were the words “I’m sorry. I always will love you and the kids. And I promised you, I would always provide for our family.”

Pan out and we see Harrison Ford tears streaming down his face sitting before his Congressional Representative handing them a paper highlighting the statistics of veteran suicides.

***

Stallone, feels he’s gotten no where in having his concerns addressed regarding his son’s suicide. He has researched and found one of his former unit commanders and come to his place of employment. Stallone asks him what the hell happened over there. They get a bit heated. But the retired colonel recognizes the man has lost his son, is a veteran himself. Departing in futility, as he is walking out. Stallone exclaims to the Colonel,

“I thought we promised to do them better than was done us.”

That evening, the Colonel’s wife asks him what’s got his mind so preoccupied today. He tells her of the visit from the father of a former soldier. Father of a soldier killed in action? No, a suicide…good soldier though. I recognized the name. “Such a tragedy…”

That night the Colonel’s sleep is troubled. He pulls out the card the father gave him and goes to the memorial site the father had made. The statistics are there…and another name the Colonel recognizes from his unit.

That day while in his office, the Colonel make a call. What do you mean? Freedom of Information form? Where the bloody hell do I get one of those?

The Colonel makes a second phone. A young Lt he’s stayed in contact with over the years – a lawyer to boot. The Colonel explains how he was approached by a former soldiers father regarding the soldiers suicide, and how he recognized the name of another soldier under his command. That he wants to know if any others from his unit have committed suicide. He called records and was given some crap about needing to file a Freedom of Information act. She informs him she’ll help him file one.

Months go by when a packet finally arrived at the Colonel’s house. He opens the packet and begins going through the pages. There are more than two. There are dozens. Dozens of young men and women, who were under his command, ….suicide. Names he recognized. Names he didn’t. But too.many names…

Before he reaches the ends, he reaches his own end. Slamming his fist into the side table, shattering the glass, causing the lamp to fall over, and cutting himself in the process. His startled wife comes in sees his bleeding hand and retrieves bandage wrap from the kitchen and begins to bind the Colonel’s hand as she inquired what happened.

The Colonel balks, “I’m fine…. they’re not!” As he tosses the stack of papers onto the couch. Later, the Colonel shows his wife the documents. He points to one showing that his former unit has one of the highest rates of veteran suicide. That the suicides are nearly equal to the units casualties.

Holding his wife against him, he says “I thought I did a good job of keeping my soldiers safe. I’ve failed them. I’ve failed the men under my command.” His wife reminds him that it was war, and that it’s Veteran Affairs that failed them. To which he replies..no… I’ve failed them.

He calls the father back and asks to meet again. This time there conversation goes much differently. There Colonel wants to know more, he wants to know how he failed this man’s boy. And so many others.

He calls back the former Lieutenant and enlists her help in finding the addresses of the parents for each soldier listed. He begins to write a letter to each one. Apologizing to the parents personally, asking their forgiveness. He contacts a military colleague who is now a state representative. He asks what they could of done better. His friend comments that he had his office request a copy of the records as well. And is very sorr about the xx lost from his unit. The Colonel corrects his friend, who replies that his lists xx. One number more. The Colonel’s asks if his friend can send him a copy. Upon receiving the copy from his friend, the Colonel sees a new name. He collapses on the couch beside his wife and weeps. “It’s not over yet. It’s still happening.”

The Colonel gets in contact with the family. They share about their sons nightmares, therapy, repeated job losses, and so on.

That day the Colonel makes a decision. With the help of his former Lt friend, they begin to track down the line location of all the soldiers that were under his command in Afghanistan. He begins to reach out, calling a few, and seeking to meet for lunch with the closest ones. Most seem to affirm they’re doing alright. A few simply hang up. And several agree to meet for lunch. The fourth lunch, the former soldier reveals that he tried to take his own life last year….but failed. Maybe he was too much of a coward. The Colonel affirms him that he is no coward. They agree to meet again.

The Colonel calls back the first father (Stallone) and explains to him how he’s been reaching out. And one of the soldiers he had lunch with attempted suicide the year before. He exclaims that he wants to get the man help. And begins asking Stallone for information for resources and programs that could help the other soldier. Stallone gives the Colonel several contacts, crisis lines, trauma programs, veteran affairs contacts. The says “Thank you”… the Colonel replies “For what?”. Stallone says, “For doing something. Maybe if someone did what you’re doing now, my boy, would still be here.”. The Colonel replies with a chill, “If me…”. Stallone replies “You’re doing it now. My son is dead. Nothing I or you can do to chan that. But what you’re doing now…ju may change that for another dad.”

The Colonel gets a return call from one of the resources. Harrison Ford, who has been organizing with others to see legislative action taken to address the epidemic of soldier suicides. All three work to testify before a Congressional committee on the concern of soldier suicides and the need for national action.

IDEA: Stranger Things – Season 4

This is my idea for a final season of Stranger Things. I think this would be a brilliant way to end the series. Curious if you agree?

***

PREMISE: They wind up going thru a portal. And find themselves in a land that appears to be akin to the Garden Of Eden. Luschious fruit everywhere.

They feast on some delicious juicy fruit but find themselves utterly lost. They come to a patch that seems less so. There are a couple withered trees. And tall grass seem to all be laid flat toward a small tree with a broken branch.
That’s when one of the kids discovers footprints. At first there is elation. They have found a path to someone. That’s quickly diminished when Eleven points out that the footprints are theirs.
They’re confused. None recall passing a part of land that looked distraught like this. That’s when they realize, these are the trees they ate fruit from.
As they approach the trees hundreds of fluffy seed pods release from the grasses and actively move to block their approach.
A larger one alights upon Eleven’s shoulder. She screams. The others come rushing over asking if she is hurt.
Shaking her head, she points to the trees and says “They are…”
The large fuzzy seed pod unfolds into a fairy like creature. Which manages to communicate with Eleven and even exchange some understanding for words.
“They’re alive…everything is alive. We’re murderers.”
The discovery, is that they are in the “Rightside Up”. A realm in which everything is full of life. And which until today, had no understanding of death. Until today, no living thing in the realm had ever consumed another for nourishment. In fact, in the Right-side Up…what we would typically view as plants and trees in fact feel greater anguish and pain at harm than the creatures that move about.
In this realm that the human children have entered, this “Right-side Up”, they are the “demigorgans”.
They are the strange beasts that seem to ravenous consume the life around them. And now Eleven and her friends, with the help of their Seedpod friend and other fairy-like creatures they encounter. Must find a way to return back to the Earth-realm. And every day as their hunger grows, the struggle intensifies. And when hunger reaches the point where the pangs ache and hurt…what do they do? What…no whom…do they eat?
And what will the consequences be to this realm that never knew death?
And why did so much of the area around the tree wither and dye off.
Lucas (assuming they’re all still around after S3) blurts out “bacteria”. The horrific understanding dawn’s upon them. Even if they refrain from eating in this realm and manage to find their way home. It may be too late. They may have already set in motion the entirety of destruction for this beautiful peaceful realm.
!!!!
[Couple thoughts on how to conclude it. Entailing them returning back to their origin point. And Eleven essentially burning out her powers to destroy an entire section of the realm. Every where they had traversed. Pulling it out of existence and into the Upside Down. Ensuring no bacteria or aspect of the earthly realm remained in the Right-side Up. But leading to the death of uncountable creatures. But the little Seedpod affirmed Eleven that her plan of action was the only way to save its realm. And the kids realize that their little friend has touched and interacted with them. That it has been contaminated by the earthly realm. Thata it is saying that it understands it must die as one of the earthly touched creatures.
Eleven and her friends find themselves back upon earth. Though Eleven has no sense of abilities anymore. In her hand, is a small seed pod. No longer animated. No longer alive. But for all appearances, now a mere ordinary looking seed (of no known earthly variety).
They go to the park….and find a protected shelter spot. And there Eleven buries the seed pod. The kids mark a little grave. As they depart, Eleven turns back.
What? Shes asked? Nothing…i just..i just thought I heard her voice again. …. “I miss her.”
As the credits begin to roll, we see the silhouette of an older Eleven under an unusual tree. Tall, long slender arching branches, brilliant multicolored iridescent flowers.
As the credits end, we see a few small children looking and stone with a small plaque.
“Eleven – 109 years of life & Seedpod, many many more…”
The tree now has a massive trunk, huge arching branches that form an umbrella-like canopy adorned with iridescent flowers. And we see several smaller trees growing in neighboring areas of the park.
THE END

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