Since my mobile apps weren’t selling, I decided to make them free and release the source code under an open-source license. The code for Flavordex as well as several other projects are available on GitHub under the terms of the MIT License.
I’ve been pretty busy since the last post here. I finally released Flavordex 2 on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. I also made the first major update to the app today, adding data synchronization among a few other fixes and improvements.
UltraMega Software is no longer just the name of my website. I registered the name as a fictitious business name, so I guess it’s now more real or something. I also had to get a PO box since Google Play requires a physical address on all store listing pages and I don’t want my home address made so public.
I also reestablished the UltraMega Facebook and Google Plus pages which, along with Twitter, is where I will be posting about app updates and stuff.
A few months ago I wanted to check out Android Studio for developing Android apps. I’ve been using NetBeans with a third-party plugin to make my apps. The best way to learn a new development environment is to start a new project, so I decided to start work on a complete rewrite of Flavordex.
It’s getting close to being ready for release. It just needs some polishing.
Here’s a few of the biggest changes from the original Flavordex:
It’s a single app with categories instead of separate apps for each type of journal
Ability to customize categories as well as creating new categories
Many improvements to the interface, especially for tablets
Here’s a little preview of the app on a tablet.
Android Studio is definitely a huge improvement in the development process. Everything is integrated into the environment and it just works. I’ve also converted my existing projects.
Well, it has been over a year since I last posted so I think it’s time for a new one. Since the year is new, I figured a good topic is new movies coming out in 2015. I’ll just talk about four movies the interest me the most, in order of projected release date.
Avengers: Age of Ultron. Marvel movies seem to always be entertaining, especially when you combine the best characters in one movie. This one appears to have an evil robot voiced by James Spader, so that’s cool. There’s also some kind of super iron man suit thing for some reason, so that will be fun to watch.
Jurassic World. Dinosaurs! This time there’s actually a working theme park with lots of tourists, so that will be an interesting change. There’s also Chris Pratt riding a motorcycle next to a bunch of raptors, which looks pretty cool.
Terminator Genisys. This one has a weird name and seems to have a confusing plot, but it should be entertaining anyways. Nothing can top T2, but this one at least has terminators fighting each other and stuff. They also got the usual catchphrases in there.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. I only recently became interested in Star Wars after watching all the movies in release order. It should be interesting to see what happens after Darth Vader, and to find out who that guy from the teaser is.
So there’s some thoughts about some movies coming out this year. Thanks for reading!
On Thursday I went to see Pearl Jam at the Viejas Arena in San Diego. I went in with what I was sure were unreasonably high expectations, but I was not disappointed. What I got was the best live performance I’ve seen, removing any doubts that Pearl Jam is the epitome of rock bands.
The show lasted about three hours and had a good mix of new songs, old songs, and a few covers, and they seemed to save the best for last. The sound quality was excellent, especially for an indoor arena. Pearl Jam’s sound people seem to know what they are doing, instead of just turning everything to 11. Eddie did a lot of talking and drank from a bottle of wine between songs (he seemed a bit drunk near the end), even passing a bottle to his mom via audience.
They ended the show with The Who’s Baba O’Riley, Yellow Ledbetter with The Star Spangled Banner guitar outro, and then a great cover of Rockin’ in the Free World. Overall, it was a great set. The only thing missing that I would have liked to see was Jeremy, Daughter, and/or Corduroy.
After a long period of almost no sales, I decided to make the Flavordex Android app free. As expected, the number of installs has increased significantly. I do not yet have a plan for how the app will support itself financially. I’ll figure that out if the app becomes popular.
The backend is hosted on my own server, which I use for many purposes. The photos are hosted on Amazon Web Services, so that cost will scale with use. Right now it falls under the free tier limit, so its cost is 0 until that runs out.
I don’t want to put ads into the app, but I might put them on the website if there is enough traffic. Another possibility is to accept donations from the users.
I saw Soundgarden perform at The Wiltern on the 16th. The performance was excellent, the mixing could have been better (the bass drowned out the leads), and the crowd was mature (someone even brought a young child). Overall it was a great experience. I never thought this would happen.
The Wiltern, named after its position on the corner of Wilshire and Western, was a very nice setting. Entering the lobby was like entering a movie theater in the 50’s. The walls and ceiling had lots of fancy carving and molding to admire while waiting for the show.
Here is the set list. It was a good mix of songs spanning their entire career. Matt Cameron’s son played guitar on Eyelid’s Mouth.
Nothing to Say
Jesus Christ Pose
By Crooked Steps
Room a Thousand Years Wide
The Day I Tried to Live
Been Away Too Long
Get on the Snake
Blow Up the Outside World
Fell on Black Days
Searching with My Good Eye Closed
Beyond the Wheel
Here is a video I found from that night. I was right behind the person recording the video, so this was pretty much my view.
Lately, Facebook has become the place to be preached to about the importance of gun ownership. I don’t know why people think they need to convince their friends on the issue, but it’s obviously very important to some. They should write to their representatives in the government, not me. Anyway, I don’t want to contribute to that noise, so people will have to come here if they want my opinion.
What is a gun? A gun (in this context) is a device used to accelerate a small dense object to a high velocity using a combustion reaction. The intent is to cause damage to whatever the gun is pointed at, which can be a person or animal. The gun itself is only as dangerous as a rock without the addition of a propellant and a projectile. However, with all the parts put together with an operator, it is a very efficient ranged weapon.
Gun control has been a popular topic lately. It is one obvious approach to reducing malicious use of guns by making them harder to obtain. The argument against this approach is that a weapon can be just as useful for preventing malicious acts as they are for committing them. An attempt by the government to control something also tends to have an unbalanced effect toward the law abiding citizen, since the criminals are more likely to circumvent laws.
The above paragraph is a good summation of the gun control debate as I understand it. I tend to side with the argument against gun control. I think attempting to control the possession of objects or materials is an exercise in futility. Even if successful, it only removes one of many tools used to cause harm. People may even invent new tools to accomplish the same result.
Or is it? I frequently see this idea expressed on social media that society as a whole is somehow devolving. It’s just a vague and vacuous statement that could have many different meanings, but it is usually referring to people’s morality. While this may be subjective, I think society is actually improving overall every day.
There will always be areas that fall behind as the rest of us move forward, and these areas will appear to be getting worse. The bad things will always stick out. A good example of this is the social website Reddit. It is the home of some very intelligent conversations, but has recently become known for harboring some of the most deplorable opinions you’ll ever see. The fact that these bigoted, sexist, and otherwise moronic opinions are considered unacceptable by the mainstream public should be a positive reflection on society. Just a few decades ago, some of these views were much more popular.
From my experience, the people that think society is going down hill tend to be religious. I can understand their position if they are equating religiosity to morality. Religions do seem to be slowly losing their popularity, and this can be viewed as either good or bad. Being on the non-religious side, this is where we differ.
This reminds me of a quote I heard somewhere that said that things are always getting better, but people always think things are getting worse.
So what do you think? Is society improving or devolving?