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Phil’s Newsletter #25

… is now available on the Substack. In it we discuss: My deteriorating mental state, this weekend’s RetroStrange Movie Night episode, and the return of 1993 Divergent League.

Thanks for reading.

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Phil’s Newsletter-mania, And So On

This week on Phil’s Newsletter, it is Wrestlemania, but then again, every day is Wrestlemania.

Our Discord sever is now a community server, which means I want all of ya’ll in there. This is a year for making new friends. Join today and watch some wrestling, or play some video games, or just lurk: https://discord.gg/uNahVCDU

The introduction video I wrote for OpenCV.ai is now live! It’s a tight 2 minutes of no bullshit pitching.

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This Week’s Newsletter, RetroStrange TV, and Movie Night

This week’s newsletter is a little bit light, and I was in a real weird mood while writing it. Movie Night is this weekend!

So, like, we have a TV channel now. RetroStrange TV to be precise. It plays movies we have featured on Movie Nights past, including some short features and other odds and ends. We are broadcasting Divergent League Baseball there, now, too.

There’s something coming from me about the indieweb, sometime, because I’ve remembered that I need it. I am a person who still feels like they do not really belong anywhere, or even, feels like they specifically do not belong wherever they are. I think over the last few years I forgot not how important independent media and news is societally, but how important it is to me personally. The answer is: Very much, a lot, etc. Where else would I go?

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Phil’s Newsletter is out, Plus: Tonight is RetroStrange Movie Night #21

Gamera .vs. Barugon (1966), Majin The Monster of Terror (1966), 7pm Pacific time at retrostrange.com/tv

As announced on retrostrange.com tonight we’ll be streaming a couple of good ‘ol fashioned rubber suit monster movies with Gamera .vs. Barugon and Majin The Monster of Terror, both released in 1966.

My newsletter went out last Thursday like it usually has. I spun up a Patron/Subscriber only Valheim server. I like Valheim.

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Spring Cleaned

Extrafuture.com got “a new paint of coat,” today and I am using one of the (very easy-reading) default WordPress templates until I get the gumption to create my own again.

I keep wanting to post things here but it feels like the world has changed around this slice of the internet. The silos just keep getting bigger and more closed off. I am going to try to “go back” which of course always works out well for everybody.

Even discussing this makes me feel incredibly old. Maybe the indie web still exists. I guess there is only one way to find out…

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Phil’s Newsletter 2/12/21

This week’s newsletter is a little more laid back and less anxiety-riddled. I talked a bit about guitar pedals, RetroStrange Movie Night, and this Divergent League Baseball season. You can read it all and subscribe for free on Substack.

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Where To Find Phil Nelson Online, December 2020 Edition

I cannot believe it is actually December 2020. The 6th, even. Time flies. Fruit flies. Something something. Here are all of the places I’m actively hanging out and doing stuff online these days in one handy place.

  • My Patreon, where you can support me directly each month and get exclusive content and early access to stuff
  • My newsletter on Substack is where you can subscribe for free (or $5/mo) and support me while getting a little more personal view on things than I post elsewhere, sent out every Thursday.
  • My Twitch where I sometimes stream video games, sometimes in VR, and we do RetroStrange Movie Night on every other Saturday night
  • Discord: I’m philnelson#1094
  • My Thingiverse account, where I post my 3D printable models
  • Extra Future, this place here, my blog since 2008 or so, where I announce and release things
  • My Itch account, where all of my (pay if you can / free) video games are hosted including the recently-released Chipping Challenge plus old experiments like Duck Jumper, Rassler, and Haunted Floating Eye
  • I am @philnelson on Twitter
  • My YouTube where I upload the intros to every Movie Night and some additional content
  • My LinkedIn which I don’t really use, but when I do, I mostly boost cool VR/AR stuff.

Ongoing Projects I Run

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New Game From Me: Chipping Challenge

From the official page:

Chipping Challenge is a point-and-click meditative golf-like game meant to be relaxing and rewarding. Games usually last about 15 minutes.

As of this writing Chipping Challenge Alpha04 is available for free on macOS, Windows, Linux, and Android. It is totally a riff on Desert Golfing, but more than that, and I hope you like it.

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Subscribe To My Newsletter

I have a newsletter. It arrives at your inbox each Thursday. I write about myself more openly there than I do here. I also write about pro wrestling, video games, what music I’m listening to, what I’m working on, &c.

You can subscribe and read the current issue for free on Substack.

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The 1977 Divergent League Baseball World Series Begins Tuesday, October 6th

Congratulations to the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox, who have defeated the Pirates and Yankees respectively, to advance to the World Series in this, the strangest Divergent League season yet.

That means the World Series starts Tuesday, October 6th, and 4:30pm. Join us live for every game on https://divergentleague.com/tv

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The 1977 Divergent League Baseball Postseason is here!

I haven’t talked about much about Divergent League (What is Divergent League?), the atemporal fantasy sports thing I run, here. My Patreon is usually kept up to date, but let’s get some cross-posting going on. Marketing 101.

The 1977 postseason has begun, and the White Sox, Yankees, Reds, and Pirates are vying for the coveted Bip Roberts Memorial Cup Even Though He’s Still Alive. We’re streaming games live every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 3:30pm PDT on Twitch. Join us!

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OpenCV AI Kit Campaign Final Stats

6,564 backers pledged $1,358,318 to close out the OAK campaign at just a little over the pledge total of the other massive 3D sensor campaign I worked on in 2015… and 2x the number of backers.

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Introducing The OpenCV AI Kit

For the last several months I’ve been helping OpenCV ready their biggest launch ever, and today it’s here. The OpenCV AI Kit is now available on Kickstarter.

A Spatial AI platform so small, it’s going to be huge.

The best press mention so far has been Devin Coldewey’s piece for TechCrunch: OpenCV AI Kit aims to do for computer vision what Raspberry Pi did for hobbyist hardware

The campaign has been up for a little over 4 hours, and we’ve passed 500 backers, smashed our goal, and are about to cross the $100,000 mark.

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New Work: Introducing megaAI, a 4k 60fps AI camera – Now on CrowdSupply

The last month or so I’ve been working with a new computer vision / AI startup, Luxonis. megaAI is the first project we’ve worked on together. I named it, designed the logo, wrote a lot of the copy, and wrote/shot/edited/narrated the launched video. It’s a tiny but powerful camera built for Raspberry Pi and other embedded / low power situations.

Get one: You can get your own megaAI on CrowdSupply right now for $169.

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Rassler release 13 is now available

Release 13 of my doomed video game project, Rassler, is now available for download. The dev log has more details:

First and most notably: The Rassler title screen and wrestler / territory select screens have music now! I made it. It’s probably fine? I also created and added a little punch sound effect when you start a new game. You can stream / download the new theme on SoundCloud

Rassler is a pay-what-you-can game. Pay-what-you-can means you can download Rassler for free, or if you’ve got the money, you can buy it.

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Bridgesketball, a mixed reality basketball game you can play anywhere

I’ve been working off and on for the last several months on a new project for the Bridge headset, which I’m calling Bridgesketball. It’s a mixed reality basketball game. You can put up a backboard practically anywhere and shoot hoops.

So I’ve promoted Bridgesketball to Project status here on Extra Future Dot Com. The last thing I did this for was la petite url (a custom URL shortener which got broken by some WordPress update or other and no longer works, sorry sorry) so… good luck, Bridgesketball. You’ll find a preview video on the Bridgesketball page as well as a slightly more thorough description, and I’ll add more stuff later. Promise.

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The Best Third-Party Carrying Case for the Bridge Mixed Reality Headset

Bridge logo spray-painted on the new hard case. Naturally, I had to customize it a bit.

TL;DR: This is the best case for Bridge


If you work on mixed reality games & experiences for the Bridge headset like I do you might sometimes (ironically, for a super-portable headset like Bridge) have a bit of trouble with getting your headset from point A to point B. The box that Bridge comes in is a great way to store the device when it’s not being used but it’s a little clunky for everyday carry.

Criteria

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying out several different commodity hard cases, using the loose criteria of:

  • Does it securely fit the headset?
  • Does it have room for the charging cables, controller, or other small accessories?
  • Would it stand up to my daily San Francisco commute?
  • Can it be had for under $50?

The Winner

After trying several cases that failed in one way or another (it’s especially hard to find something with the right height), the “Khanka Hard Case Travel Bag for Sony PlayStation 4 VR (PSVR) Headset and Accessories” is the best so far.

It safely and securely fits the Bridge headset, controller, cables, and even the lens spacers in the included bag. I re-purposed the lens bag the case came with as a shroud for the Structure Sensor and Wide Vision Lens while in transit, and there’s even just enough room for an external battery if you’re into that. You’ll have to bring your own padding. I used the thick foam that came in my Bridge box, but any foam or egg crate should work just fine.

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A Selection of Machine-Generated NES Game Titles

I’ve begun learning how to do machine learning. It is extremely complicated, but I feel after just a few days of trying I understand it much better. This python wrapper for tensorlm has made generating results much easier for me. I’ve got my little machine trained on the full NES US release list, and it’s giving me back things like this…

  • Super Super Hank
  • Doobley Dragon
  • Chanter
  • Class
  • Cartlevanina I: The Antiration
  • Kiggt’s Burtman
  • Jet
  • Rome Alone
  • Rock Hart’s Cave
  • Rock Master
  • Masher: II Lands
  • Greeado A World II
  • Pet of Tower
  • Baseball Loaded III

They can’t all be winners.

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Introducing TapMeasure – Occipital’s new measurement / room CAD generation tool

TapMeasure is a whole new way to build a 3D model of any room in a few seconds. It works with Apple’s new ARKit framework, and adds Occipital’s special sauce to provide artwork alignment, quick measurements, and the aforementioned generation of (SketchUp-compatible) CAD files. It’s free, and will ship as soon as iOS 11 drops later today.

See the website at tapmeasure.io.

For my part, I got to push some iOS code to this one! As well as helping out with some of the graphic design and UX, I was also able to design and edit the tutorial videos and the launch trailer embedded above. We have the luxury of one of the most seasoned computer vision teams in the world here, and I think it shows.

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Rassler Release 8 AKA Random Events Part II

Just pushed a new release of my free retro pro wrestling RPG, Rassler. This one contains some small updates and an interesting, complicated, unintended consequence:

The last bullet point, explaining the changes to the activity system, is essentially a naive implementation of drug dependency. The player needs their health to be above 0 in order to work or go out. If the player has $40 they can buy some pain killers to get them through the next match, but pain killers only provide a +6 to short-term health (and a -6 to max health, affecting their future prospects and longevity) so it is not a sustainable solution. Either the player gets lucky, and their next several matches are relatively easy and they aren’t further injured, or something bad happens and they’re rendered immobile and bankrupt in the end.

More in the Devlog.