Positive Sean Blog: What does Apple know about you?

posted by Positive Sean, A&G CCO - 

Thursday, October 18 2018

No clever witticism or hot takes today, just this helpful guide on how you can now download all of the data that Apple has collected on you. Click here for the full guide from CNBC.

Monday, October 15th 2018

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver continues to be among my favorite watches every week. This weeks major focus was specifically on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi while generally being about the US's relationship with Saudi Arabia. Come for the great sight gag at the beginning, stay for the actual journalism other "news" networks should be envious of. Enjoy the feature below.

Wednesday, October 3rd 2018

A powerful cast performing in a movie about a fascinating time directed by one of the best in the business? Sign me up!

The Movie: Vice

Starring: Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Sam Rockwell as W, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld.

ENOUGH WITH THE DETAILS. Here's the trailer:

Ok, first things first. What in the HELL did they do to Christian Bale?

Even though 98% of the time I too eat chicken with my hands, any time I see a character do that in film I always assume that character is an idiot. On a more relevant note, Sam Rockwell is by far one of my favorite actors. Regardless of the movies he is in, I always find him remarkable.

This is an evergreen review, but it's a point that can't be made enough: Amy Adams is perfect. Seriously the cast on this is amazing.

Ok, I really need to know what they did to Christian Bale, are we sure this is really him?

Adam Mckay, WTF DUDE! How is this possibly the SAME EFFING PERSON?!?! 

We have a Steve Carrell sighting. Really nice to see how his career took off once Seth Rogan helped him have sex several movies ago. 

"I SAID BIG FONT! YOU CALL THAT BIG!" - the person in charge of putting words in text in the trailer, I'm guessing. Bonus points if these letters are actually in the final cut of the movie.

With a cast I admire as much as this, lead by a director I trust to tell serious stories in an entertaining way my expectations were high for this trailer and they nailed it. Add in the bonus points for using a Brandon Flowers song that is regularly used on the show as bumper music and I give this trailer an 8.5 out of 10. I will certainly see this movie on opening day.

Thursday, September 27th 2018

I've been bit. Nothing I can do about it now but embrace the fact that I am fascinated by investing. I have wanted to get in the game for a long time actually (talking about investing outside of my 401k) but I have always been kept out what I perceived to be a steep barrier to entry in the form of trading fees. Never having a ton of money to just throw at investments the $10 per trade of sites like E-trade seemed designed to swallow up low volume investors like myself and increase the degree of difficulty in actually turning a profit. Then several months ago I read about the Robin Hood free trading app and my research began. This seemed like exactly what I was waiting for... except for one thing; Robin Hood didn't allow for the trading of Mutual Funds, it only allowed stocks and ETF's (mutual fund style thingies that you can trade throughout the day). While this was by no means a deal breaker, it gave me enough pause to do further research and see what other resources were out there for an aspiring investor such as myself. This is when I discovered my bank was coming out w/ it's own version of a Robin Hood style app that included a cap of 100 free trades for the first year, but allowed unlimited trading of mutual funds for no fee, this was the right fit for me and I jumped on it and I have since invested literal HUNDREDS of american dollars. What follows is my very uneducated, beginner level attempt to explore the stock market and have some fun with the ever so small possibility that I actually somehow turn a profit. All of that is to say THIS IS NOT AN INVESTING ADVICE COLUMN, I am only sharing what I have done and not what I think you should do.

First my overall approach/strategy: Find a couple of mutual funds/etf's that are invested in the companies whose stocks are too expensive for me to invest in. Make sure you get some international funds as well (I'm specifically targeting tech in Asia and infrastructure in India). Invest in companies that are poised to benefit from the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality wave that I feel is coming. Be on the lookout for big companies w/ room to grow whose stock price isn't prohibitively expensive for me. Use a small portion to invest in technology that you think is important regardless of profit potential. So I've put together very basic graphs to show you what I've done so far and would actually enjoy your comments as this has engaged my brain in a way that few things have.

1st Chart is a simply visualization of my long term goal:

Here is the individual breakdown of what I actually have in the PSP

Here is a slightly cleaner version with things loosely grouped together:

Smh, it appears I may be over-exposed to marijuana, which is not the first time I've been accused of such things. I will look to balance that out with future investments in other areas and I will continue to update my progress every (most likely every other week as I don't really plan on doing a ton day to day). 

Monday, September 24th 2018

Old friends are fantastic for several reasons but the one that remains my favorite is their ability to offer gentle reminders of who we once were and how far we have all come. This particular gathering featured a group of friends I've known since high-school and there is little doubt that they are among the biggest influences in my life. They, however, will not be featured in the following pictures, they are all far too decent people for me to expose them to you jackals (not you, you're cool, it's the OTHER people that I'm worried about) but what will follow is some very amateur digital shutter-bugging of the beautiful northern California coast that was the setting for the celebration. 

Everywhere you look you see views like this. (a tractor isn't always there)

See, sometimes instead of a tractor there is a Big Foot holding an American Flag (UPDATE: there is also still a tractor...)

Shout out to the Gualala origin story, not sure how this was dedicated after I left though....

When the start is good but the ending sucks

Dense woods like these being so close to the coast very cool to me

Not trying to brag, but I help set these up...

I tried to take this home with me but it wouldn't fit in my car

Anytime someone asked directions to somewhere during the wedding, I directed them to this room and said "3rd door on the left"....This is also why I won't be invited back.

Monday, September 17th 2018

Positive Sean's Emmy Preview

Greetings all. As the unofficial consumer of all things culture on the A&G show it is my pleasure to bring my completely unscientific and biased preview of the 2018 Emmy's awards for outstanding something or other in TV and certain websites that also make TV type stuff. I will be doing this in the traditional "Who Will Win" and "Who Should Win". Also I'll only be covering the major categories or one's I find particularly compelling (apologies all you outstanding sound editors out there).

Outstanding Drama Series Nominees:

The Americans, The Crown, Game of Thrones, The Handmaid's Tale, Stranger Things, This Is Us, Westworld.

Should Win: The Americans: Despite most thinking I would be rooting for my beloved Game of Thrones here, my hope is this will be a bit of the "lifetime achievement award" for what has historically been a much overlooked show. As good as any thriller has ever been with a fantastic final season, which is increasingly rare these days.

Will Win: Handmaids Tale: I feel this one is tone-ally a little too "on the nose" for the Academy to pass up. A VERY dystopian look at a VERY oppressive regime. Incredibly well made with wonderful acting yet still very tough to get through, although to be fair that seems to be by design.

Side Note: Under no circumstances should Westworld win any award not having to do with the technical aspects of a TV show. I will also watch every episode of Westworld ever made in a effort to learn how it all went so wrong.

Outstanding Comedy Series Nominees:

Atlanta, Barry, Black-ish, Curb Your Enthusiasm, GLOW, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Silicon Valley, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Should Win: Atlanta: I don't even try to hide the fact that I am beyond being biased about this Donald Glover driven show. It is my favorite new show in several years and it's seconds season only expanded what I loved about the show from it's first.

Will Win: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: If it weren't for Atlanta I would be all over this show as my rooting favorite. A delightful comedy that was thoroughly enjoyable to watch and deserving of any awards it receives. Honorable mention to the folks who made GLOW, good show, just not your year.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominees:

Jason Bateman, Ozark; Matthew Rhys, The Americans; Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us; Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us; Ed Harris, Westworld; Jeffery Wright, Westworld.

Should Win: Matthew Rhys, The Americans. I'm all in on this being a victory lap for all involved with The Americans. Special shoutout to Jason Bateman of Ozark which is a fantastic show.

Will Win: Matthew Rhys. We have our first "Should" and "Will" overlap, hopefully it's our last.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominees:

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve; Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black; Keri Russell, The Americans; Claire Foy, The Crown; Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale; Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld.

Should Win: Keri Russell, The Americans. All of my previous fawning over The Americans goes double for Keri Russell is by far the best thing about the show.

Will Win: Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale. A powerful performance deserving of any award it receives even if it falls in the "I'm unlikely to re-watch it" category.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominees:

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish; Ted Danson, The Good Place; Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Donald Glover, Atlanta; Bill Hader, Barry; William H. Macy, Shameless.

Should Win: Bill Hader, Barry. I even shocked myself with this one by not picking my current man-crush Donald Glover. I just can't imagine another person doing the high-wire act that Bill Hader pulled off in the first season of the hit-man turned struggling actor comedy.

Will Win: Donald Glover, Atlanta. The show is perfect, Donald is amazing in it. I will never complain when this show gets accolades.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominees: 

Pamela Adlon, Better Things; Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Ms. Maisel; Allison Janney, Mom; Issa Rae, Insecure; Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish; Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie.

Should Win: Issa Rae, Insecure: Great performance from a great show, using this space to give it some shine and encourage people to check it out.

Will Win: Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Ms. Maisel. The show I was most surprised by when I first watched it and it is in large part to Rachel's perfect performance.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Outstanding Variety Talk Series Nominees:

The Daily Show w/ Trevor Noah, Full Frontal w/ Samantha Bee, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Week Tonight w/ John Oliver, The Late Late Show w/ James Corden, The Late Show w/ Stephen Colbert.

Should Win: Last Week Tonight w/ John Oliver. By far my favorite of these programs, it is consistently funnier and more informative than any other on this list. While the show seems to have become more partisan (along w/ the rest of the industry) I still feel like it's a cut above it's competition.

Will Win: The Late Show w/ Stephen Colbert. No show has embraced the the new hybrid of political based comedy more that The Late Show and I feel like that will be rewarded... Besides, a network has to at least win 1 of these awards don't they...?

Friday, August 24th 2018

My favorite animal for as long as I can remember is the majestic whale. Despite living a short distance from some wonderful whale watching spots I have never ventured to connect with worlds largest mammal. Why haven't I done this? I'm not really sure I'm an avid indoorsman who finds it very easy to not do things. I mean seriously, it's so easy to not do things I'm shocked anybody ever gets anything done. This video started making the rounds yesterday and while there is no doubt this video is amazingly cool it is also at least 19% scary AF right? Special shout out to the guy cackling like a mad man after he realizes he is still alive, which is 100% what my reaction would be.

Friday, August 17th 2018

A couple of news-worthy VR related stories happened across my view this week. 

The advancements in VR are speeding up as the barrier to entry (mainly cost) has begun to fall. Some of these advancements have obvious real-reality (here-to-fore known as RR), namely training our surgeons to be even better. The ability to get life-like practice with out the need for actual could lead to some serious acceleration of the skill-ceiling of surgeons. 

Other "advancements" have .... less impressive RR implications, such as using VR to improve getting your feet massaged. The most impressive thing to me though is this new prototype of an omnidirectional treadmill (video below). This new version seems to allow a much larger area of influence than previous versions I have seen, which has opens up a lot of new opportunities for users & developers. 

I'll let the folks from Computerphile explain the rest.

Monday, August 13th

John Oliver with another very timely segment on the prevalence of "astroturfing". 

Watching this I couldn't help wonder how much of my on-going theory of "The most important conversations of our time are all being hijacked by the dumbest 8% of people on each side" is caused by people just PRETENDING to be the dumbest 8%. 

Although I continue to be saddened that the "best" reporting I see on a weekly basis is on a 30 minute comedy show, I remain happy that this chuckle-hunk keeps making arguments.

Ok, I need your help with the following....

A: Finding my new best friend (shown below)  

B: Asking my new best friend where he got his sick-ass-roller-blade-hybrid-anime-mech-suit thing that he is using (also shown below). 

Once you know that you are 80% of the way to getting me the afore mentioned suit for my birthday (which, I'm not sure if you know, is less than 4 months away). 

Thanks in advance and enjoy this legend.

Friday, August 10th

In addition to Han Solo's Jacket, feel free to add this castle featured in Game of Thrones to my birthday wish list (it's less than four months away after all). Located in Norther Ireland and currently on the market for a very smooth $656,000, it really is the perfect gift for the guy who has everything nothing. Don't worry, I would totally invite you to at least 1 party I throw there (but you would be kept in east annex, where we would be very unlikely to make eye-contact bother one another).

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