3D 360 VR Video – Finally Made One! Warning!

I finally got youtube to show my file in 360 3D!

I got 2 360 cams, a selfie stick with space for 2 cameras and thought it would be an easy task to figure out how to make and upload a video to youtube in not only 360, but 3D as well. Wrong!

Since the technology is so new, there are not a lot of posts that explain how to make these videos. After 2 days of trial and error, I finally watched my video in 3D with my VRBox2, streaming from youtube in high definition (sort of).

Here is my first attempt at a 360 3D video walking to the ocean at Delray Beach, FL. (WARNING – It will probably give you a headache! Jittery, can see the cameras, etc.) To watch in cardboard or a VR app, click here.

VR Box 2.0 and Nexus 6

Just got a VR Box 2.0 with Bluetooth controller and wanted to give my tips on using this with a Nexus 6 phone. Even with the pads, I could not get my phone inside, so I started ripping it apart. The final method is to take out the springload system in the black removable phone cradle. There are tiny screws holding the springload. Just remove those and the sliding piece and voilĂ ! The phone sits just fine inside! Remember to put the pads around the area that the volume and power buttons sit.

Here is a qr code that someone posted, since it didn’t come with one. Open it with another PC or phone or print it out and use Google cardboard to switch viewer.

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Carvana.com Truly the best car buying experience I have had.

If you have ever traded or even bought a car at any brick-and-mortar dealership, you know how rushed and icky it feels. You always feel like you got duped. Luckily, there is now an option for the computer generation!

I had been researching buying a used car for two months, due to a circumstance that required a wait. During that time, I was driving to used car dealerships and found that either the car advertised on the internet was not there or there were all sorts of add-on charges. Places that advertise “no dealer fee” found other ways to make up for that “loss”.

I wanted a specific car. I wanted a specific interior and exterior colors, so I watched the cars come and go. Towards the end of my wait period, I could not find the specific car with the mileage and price that I wanted. I was getting worried.

Insert clouds parting and rays of light.

Carvana.com

I stumbled across a listing for what I was searching for, with a slightly different interior. I read through the site in detail and it sounded too good to be true. But, I figured that I would try it out, anyway.

Here are the items that appealed to me:

The whole process is done online.

They deliver the vehicle to your home.

7 day test drive (under 400 miles).

Money back guarantee.

Those gave me enough confidence to start the buying process. I put the car in the shopping cart (they call it a garage) and started the car buying experience of a lifetime.

The first thing in the checkout was their add-ons and extended warranty. I believe in warranties because I have had to use them before. The car I was purchasing was a hybrid, so I don’t want to take a chance. Carvana.com has their own 100 day/4189 mile guarantee as well, so with all that, plus the 8-year warranty on the battery that came with the car, I feel very protected. I have had issues with buying used cars in the past and don’t want a repeat. I actually called Carvana.com when I got to the financing screen and they informed me that they do a 120 point inspection before listing the car, and the same inspection right before they ship it.

As previously mentioned, I had questions when I got to the financing page, so I called them. This was a Saturday morning and the person who answered was not only pleasant, but very knowledgeable and receptive to my barrage of questions. I wanted to know whether clicking “next” on this page was “final”, meaning “is this locking me into this?” She said no. What floored me was that she said that up until I actually sign for the car when it arrives, nothing is set in stone.

Wow.

I also learned that once it arrives, I get to test drive it before signing for it. The down payment is also not taken until you sign for it. Did you know that if you wanted to pick it up, they will give you $200 towards your plane ticket? At this point, I knew I was going through with this, no matter what.

The “dashboard” screen was great to pick your own terms and payments! Loved this! I played with the dials until I was comfortable with what I saw.

Once off the phone, I clicked “next” and was taken through a few more screens of delivery options and dates/times, and then the contracts. Never have I been able to sit down and read every word of a contract at a car dealer without them tapping their fingers on the desk. I guess no one reads them, so when I try and ask questions, they are caught unaware. I read all of the contract terms and found that, in my situation, I live more than 100 miles from the nearest Carvana.com “vending machine” (yes, they call it that), and if I return the car, I may have to pay to get it there. Better $400 than thousands.

By the way, you cannot complete the process on your phone, unfortunately. This has to be done on a desktop.

Back to the contracts. You will be asked to provide a signature and your initials up front, and then click on highlighted areas to insert these signatures into the contracts. In my case, there were 9 contracts to go through. Once I completed the final one, the last page was my confirmation and I was done.

Later, I received an email (that went to my junk folder) that had a zipped file of all the documents that I signed. The woman on the phone told me that I would be called by their people to verify a few things. At the time of this writing(Sunday), I haven’t heard from them, but I didn’t expect any calls until Monday, anyway.

I ended up having to wait a week to purchase a vehicle (personal reasons), and during that time, I actually lost out on the car I was looking at. They will not hold a car for you, which makes it better for others who were looking at it, also. Everything happens for a reason, and this was no exception. I ended up getting the exact color and interior I wanted with another vehicle on the site. The re-signing of the documents were just as quick and smooth the second time around.

After the call that verified the down payment in my bank account, the date was set for delivery. I was called the morning of delivery by Stephen, who was extremely nice and answered my last minute questions. He gave me a head’s up on where they were at and how long it would take to deliver. I was able to text with him during their commute.

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Anita and Stephen waved as they arrived and were so friendly, I felt like I was in another world! The car looked amazing and within a minute or two, I was test driving my new car. I signed a few documents (not anything to do with the loan/ownership – those were already signed!) and they were on their way.

I cannot thank Carvana.com enough for this unusually pleasant experience and I will be telling everyone to get their next car through Carvana.com!

 

How to make a negative / inverse / opposite/ mirror image (NIOM) mold with the XackPhobe Method

While pondering the creation of a kit car, I came across the issue of getting the car exactly mirrored on both sides. Some people suggested that you get it digitally scanned and then 3D printed. Others suggested buying something that would be malleable, make a mold, then pop it out backwards to make another mold for the negative or inverse or opposite mirrored item. (NIOM mold) (pronounced NEE-AHM)

Of course, I wanted a better way. I came up with a device that would automatically give you the negative/inverse/opposite/mirror image (NIOM) mold, but I will explain here how you can do this at home without a device. This is crafting 101.

What you need:

Please note that this will ONLY give you a rough perpendicular mold.

Depending on the intricacies, you will need either very small rods or wooden dowels, or, if you are working on something big, like a car, large ones. So, for example, we are working on making a mold of a left hand to make a right hand. I would choose wooden sticks with a diameter of 10mm/one centimeter. If you want a lot of detail, you could go even smaller.

While writing this, I came up with an even cheaper solution. Coffee stirrers. Go to a restaurant supply store (GFS in FL) and pick up a few boxes. 2 boxes will equal one box, because you will want them tightly packed in the box. Use tape to reinforce the box before you shove the contents of the second box into the first. So, now that I have decided on coffee stirrers, I will use that for the rest of this.

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Office Depot stirrers

You will need a Dremel-type saw. Since this is to go as cheap as possible, you could use a nail file/buffer kit (Sally’s Beauty Supply $40) and a dremel-type blade. Or you could carefully cut through them with an exacto-knife or razor blade, but this would take a long time.

Put your item on a flat surface.

Lower the double-packed coffee stirrers box straight down onto the item to be negatively duplicated. This should look like one of those nail head toys.

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Make sure that your stirrers are not bending around the item you are duplicating.

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Once you have the mold, you will use the dremel to cut the stirrers flat across the top of the box while the item is still under the stirrers.

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Remove the item from underneath the stirrers.

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Press all the stirrers down to touch the flat surface and you now have your negative/inverse/opposite/mirror image mold.

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You can then use plaster of Paris or other mold-making stuff to push into the top part of the stirrers and wait for it to dry to have your NIOM mold. From there, your mold release agent should be used as in normal mold-making.

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As mentioned before, this will be a very rough NIOM mold and will probably need some detailing, but at least the dimensions will already be there.

The automatic version of this NIOM device I came up with (involving no cutting) may come to fruition if I get some funding or if a company wants to buy the idea.

Hope this helps!

I will try to add more pics soon.

SOLVED WordPress wp-admin redirect loop can’t log in lost css

The last two updates of WordPress (4+) have produced a redirect loop when attempting to log into the wp-admin page. I went through numerous solutions found online and the one that worked for me was to change the permissions on the wp-login.php file (in the root directory) to 644. It seems that when doing the update, WordPress changes the permission on this file. Once I changed it to 644 in my FTP client (filezilla), it instantly worked! So, this latest update (4.4.2) created the same issue and I had it back up and running in 10 seconds!

UPDATE: Upgrading to WP 4.5 produced an error on the front end and it ended up being the same issue. The admin section lost all of its CSS and I couldn’t get to any page I tried to click on.

Change all the permissions of the FILES under the wp-admin folder to 644. WP changed them to 777. Change your index.php file under the root directory to 644 as well.

Filed under Web

Xack’s Frozorganizers! Color-coded freezer bags!

So, the lastest idea I am putting “out there” is my Frozorganizer Freezer Bag System (On Indiegogo). It consists of several different colors of gallon freezer bags that are also labeled. Red for beef, green for vegetables, etc.

Xack's Frozorganizer Freezer Bag System

Xack’s Frozorganizer Freezer Bag System

Here’s the idea:

Heavy duty freezer bags that are color coded and pre-labeled with the type of items. When placing in the freezer, you turn the side of the bag that describes what’s in it towards you, so you could, at a glance, see what items are in your freezer.
Bags are:
Pink for pork, and labeled on the four sides “pork”, “bacon”, “ham” and “chops”. Flip the bag over and the four sides are labeled “shoulder”, “rump”, “ground” and “special”. If the item in the bag does not fit the category, you choose the main “pork” side.
Red bags for beef, similarly labeled with “beef”, “ground”, “steak”, etc.
Yellow for chicken, green for vegetables, white for potatoes and rainbow for desserts.
These freezer bags are dishwasher safe, reusable and also have a flap that can be turned up to show that the contents are fully cooked.

How I got the idea:

Christmas morning, I went to the freezer to pull out something from the day before and noticed what a jumbled mess everything was in there. I started examining the contents and could not determine what some of the items were. That’s when it hit me. I needed color-coded bags to organize my freezer! Not only color-coded, but also able to turn them on the shelf to easily show what cut of meat or type of vegetable!
Xack’s Freezer Bag System allows you quick visual access to what’s lurking in your freezer. Since the bags are reusable and dishwasher safe, they will pay for themselves!
I envision this to be something that everyone will need and everyone will gift to others.

Check it out on Indiegogo!

Anomalisa 2015-5 out of 5 Stars

Art is either something that touches you or not. When you walk through an art gallery, you revel in the beauty or the ugliness of pieces. As I have stated many times before, if art produces any kind of response, it has succeeded. Death of any art form is disregard.

There are two types of people who watch this movie. The first type are the “action flick” types who need explosions and murders in every scene to be entertained. These people will not “get” this movie.

The second type are the thinkers and people that can appreciate art and the skill it takes to create. If you see a piece and know that time and effort and talent went into it, then the finished product deserves more appreciation. These thinkers will see past the “language” (f-bomb) and the absence of action sequences to the amazing artwork being shown.

Here is what I got from the storyline:

A man, caught in a monotonous existence of slight fame, seeks to seize the opportunity of a business trip to break free.

To explain what you need to “see” in this movie, I will start with the cinematography. The camera placement and movement, while being controlled in miniscule amounts, harkens a big budget film. The lighting gives you the old hotel feel and highlights the sets, which, after a few minutes, fade into the background, which is the mark of fantastic design. You don’t question the sets because they look realistic.

With all of those allocades, the summary becomes “extreme realism within a tilt shift perspective.” Wet windows, steam and gritty hotel produce something that could have been filmed live, but it became art because of the replication.

Now, onto the characters. At first, I noticed that a few of the voices sounded similar, but with a different lilt or cadence. I assumed it was because it was possibly a cut that would eventually be overdubbed, but what appeared to be a work in progress was actually part of the storyline. With the cuts on the faces, I marveled at the innovative technique. The skin painting was hyperrealistic and beautifully crafted! Even breathing and body connectivity locomotion was so well done that you get lost at times.

I will have to say that the shower scene was what threw the attention to detail over the edge. Parts of the main character’s anatomy (wink wink) moved, as in reality, fluidly and realistically. People with hypocritical eyes have complained about the “sex” scene, but, there have been far more graphic things in major movies.

I also assumed that the faces would eventually peel off to show the actors underneath, but that didn’t happen. I like the fact that my prediction didn’t come true, and indie movies attract me due to this being the norm.

The Lisa (anomalisa) character was annoying, as was the intent, so you have to give props to the actress who played the part so well. It almost sounded and appeared that the whole movie was filmed with live actors and then they overlayed the stop motion characters and sets.

Upon completion of the film, I immediately went to IMDB (horribly manipulated site) to see the reviews and was met with the two types of people. 10 star reviews and 1 star reviews. That prediction was right. Either you get it or you don’t. During the time spent on the site, I learned that this was a crowd funded movie. That fact made me like it even more. No wonder it didn’t follow the ghastly American film industry’s rules. There is no happy ending, as art reflects life, sometimes you just trudge through the day.

So, all in all, I would give this 5 stars out of 5, for a brilliant art piece.

Peanuts 2015 Movie – Surprisingly Classic – 5 Stars Out Of 5!

I almost did not see this movie because the previews indicated that they ghettoed it up. I decided to give it a chance due to the unique “2/3D” animation and the affinity for the horrible voiceover specials from way back.

So, up-front-it’s not ghetto!!

If you liked any of the specials, you will like this. The animators did not completely translate these characters to 3D, so it looks like a 2D with beautiful dimensional colors.

The story is slow and calm and people under 40 may not be able to sit through this. There are no adult-themed sexual jokes. There are no “booty shaking” songs.

This movie gives you a glimpse into America at it’s finest. A time when love and imagination were the only two things you needed in life. Peanuts Movie 2015 will be a standard on cable family channels forever.

The muted colors are a fantastic change from the primary color explosive cartoons that attempt to entertain those with an extremely short attention span.

Did I say that it wasn’t ghettoed up like the commercials indicated?

There are some great literary jokes like “Leo’s Toy Store/Warren Peas”. Of course, Snoopy’s “Dark and Stormy Night” and Red Baron story lines are in this movie.

This movie has great morals and values. Charlie Brown makes good, unselfish choices. Telephone cords. Dip-type ink pens. Paper. No electronics.

So, for surprising me with maintaining the feeling and traditional look of a classic, along with not adding a ghetto soundtrack, I will actually have to give this movie… 5 stars! What???

Yes. 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Leaving Google Project Fi Cell Service

Goodbye, Project Fi.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to say goodbye to Google’s Project Fi. I was very excited when I first heard about their plans to combine cell providers and seamlessly switch between cell and wifi calling. With baited breath, I signed up and waited for their invitation. It came and I immediately signed up.

Service was ok. Wifi calling was tolerable. Then, over a period of time, it got bad.

I had not been on a limited cell service in a long time and it changed the way I interacted with my phone. I was constantly watching the amount of data, concerned that I would have to pay more if something started downloading a large file. I installed a VPN and one day, it did just that. Since my calls were going over wifi/data, the VPN used 500MB in one 3-hour period. I was livid.

The switching from wifi to cell DATA took too long, timed out web pages and was a pain when the signal was weak. This was what actually made me cancel their service.

After an upgrade to Marshmallow, the service has been very bad. Call quality went straight to hell. Still on limited data. I contacted Google every time I had a gripe, and sometimes they returned the message with doing something on their end that helped for a while. Sometimes they sent me instructions for lollipop, when I had sent them a message stating that I was on Marshmallow.

So, today I switched back to an unlimited provider. Ahhh… Now I can watch youtube while outside without concern.

The are things you must know about transferring over from Google Project Fi to another carrier:

You use the Project Fi app to “cancel” your service before the other carrier can take it. The good thing is that Google explains that they make sure the number is ported over properly. In the app, you manage plan and at the bottom hit the cancel service option. It verifies this, then verifies if you want to switch to another carrier or just want to cancel or want to port it to hangouts.

You don’t have an account number or password UNTILL YOU CANCEL THE SERVICE! So you have to go through this process just to get an account number and password to transfer.

Most people havent heard of Google Fi, so be prepared to educate the new carrier’s employees.

Good luck, Google!