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Quick Thoughts on Today’s New Apple Stuff

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  • Product Red Special Edition iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Looks cool.

  • New 9.7-inch just-plain “iPad”: Looks like the supply chain rumor mill was almost entirely wrong about new iPads. No new iPad Pro hardware at all. Just a no-adjective 9.7-inch “iPad” to replace the iPad Air 2. It’s a nice update for the budget-conscious: the new iPad has a brighter screen and an A9 instead of an A8 chip, and costs $70 less. As predicted, Apple is clearly putting the “Air” brand out to pasture.

  • Clips: Looks cool, especially the part about dictating the titles verbally. But it doesn’t ship until April.

  • New Apple Watch Bands: None of these colors speak to me, personally, but I will say that comfort-wise, Apple’s nylon bands are my favorite.

  • Update: Also, the iPhone SE storage tiers have been bumped from 16/64 to 32/128 GB. That means Apple is no longer selling any 32 GB iPhones (or iPads for that matter).

(A thought about the missing updates to the iPad Pro lineup: it seems like the supply chain leaks are mostly related to displays. A 10.5-inch display would necessarily require a new hardware design, because that’s a new display size for iPads. But what if the next update to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro also sports a new smaller-bezel design? Same display size as the current big iPad Pro, but a smaller footprint? When Apple makes multiple sizes of the same device family, they generally look as similar as possible other than the difference in size. It would be weird if, later this year, Apple released two new iPad Pros, but only one of them sported a new edge-to-edge display.)

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tingham
1 day ago
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You mean like shipping a smaller Pro device with more features than the big one?
Cary, NC
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Building a Hackintosh Pro – Dan Counsell

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If Apple can't update the desktop, it's time to roll your own.
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tingham
2 days ago
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There've been a bevy of minor but pernicious bugs with mine to the point where I'm back to using my 2015 mbp again pretty regularly.
Cary, NC
MotherHydra
3 days ago
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That last point can't be argued. I'm curious how this all plays out but my hunch is that any pro hardware released this year will be too little too late. The migration is beginning in earnest.
Space City, USA
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ZBrushCentral Highlights March 13-17

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Mar 13-17 Lead In


As Spring draws near, the heat is turning up on ZBrushCentral! Don’t forget to click on your favorite piece and then vote for it in this year’s ZBrushAwards!


Pug Insta Portrait HDPug Goblin – very cool 3D scene created by ZBrushCentral member David Kuo


Cerdito FacebookCerdito – this hilarious scene created by ZBrushCentral member Eduardo Simon based on a concept by J. Carlos Gomez and M. Maggi


Rocco Facebook

ZBrushCentral artist Eric Cunha has shared a large sketch dump of some of his latest works including this Nickelodeon throwback!


Infantry FacebookSee more soldiers from different eras by ZBrushCentral member Donat Mate Hidvegi! Top Row stuff!


Xeno TwitterRequiem Xenomorph – this great version of the Alien creature created by ZBrushCentral member Ivan Overst


Frog Insta Portrait HDWarrior Frog – character by ZBrushCentral member Marco Mendoza based on the art of Morten Skaalvik. Looks great!


Forest TwitterForest Avenger – character designed by ZBrushCentral member Nikita Kuzmichev for the ArtWar competition. Nice work!


Snow FacebookThis wintery stylized character is by ZBrushCentral member Mohammad Reza Pardakhti


Cannon TwitterTsar Cannon – great hard surface modeling here by ZBrushCentral member Michael Reese


Pika FacebookA fun Pokemon fan art concept by ZBrushCentral member Mickeal Lelièvre inspired by Max Grecke. Nice one!


Shanker FacebookCheck out this short breakdown/tutorial for this character from the game Shardbound by ZBrushCentral member Oskar Kuijken


Woman TwitterRealistic female portrait by ZBrushCentral member Vladimir Uryadov. Excellent!


Nightcrawler TwitterNightcrawler 3D print by ZBrushCentral member Franco Carlesimo. Make sure you stop by to see more shots of this great print!


Akari Insta Portrait HDAkari: new character by ZBrushCentral member Andy Lee. Great job on this one!



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tingham
2 days ago
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pug
Cary, NC
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A Shopping List for a Brand New Dungeon Master

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When the DM of my regular Wednesday night D&D 5e Adventure’s League game announced that he would be gone for 2 weeks, we faced a dilemma. The rest of the table was all fairly new to the world of D&D and none of them were ready to start running a game, even for a couple of weeks. While they do have a ton of potential, I was the one with the most experience so I stepped up.

And, like any good nerd taking a deep delve into a hobby, it was time to go shopping. So here is my shopping list as a new DM getting back in the game after a long break. I share it with you all but I am also looking for other ideas.

A Dungeon Master Shopping List

First and foremost, if you don’t already have them, you need 2 key books to be a solid DM: the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual. They are somewhat self explanatory but allow me to explain anyway.

  • The DM’s Guide is a great study in how to manage and run a game.
  • The Monster Manual is the first collection of monsters, critters and bad guys for the fifth edition.

Having them around as a reference work really helps. (I will say, it is imminently frustrating that I can’t pay Wizards of the Coast a fair price and get a copy of these digitally to save myself some lugging around weight. Other less idealistic DMs might be tempted to download one of the readily available PDFs of the books, but, I, good sirs, am Lawful Good.)

Next up, I knew that we would need some great visual representation of the game. We had come to rely on our DMs expansive set of miniatures and maps. Our game would suffer if I didn’t have a great answer for that. And while it would have been easy enough to use dice or other tokens, I made the investment in some Pathfinder Pawns.

Pathfinder Pawns are a series of miniatures that are printed heavy cardboard and have bases. In a box, you get between 200-300 different characters. So with 2 boxes bought, I had enough to do the encounters I needed and give every character except our Dragonborn friend a pretty good representation.

As for the map, I went with the Chessex map and got the longer version. We are usually playing on two 8 foot tables smashed together and because we have space for the longer map, it lets me draw multiple maps on the board before we have to erase.

And it is worth it to buy the wet erase markers that Amazon will recommend alongside of the map when you go to purchase it.

In terms of other tools, I already owned Hero Lab, as I used it to create and run my characters as a PC. I know that Hero Lab has some fantastic abilities to run encounters via certain modes for DMs but the guys around my table don’t have it yet and I haven’t had time to look through the tutorial videos about it yet. I suspect that I will eventually be using Hero Lab but for now, I am running everything off of an old school Encounter Sheet.

Finally, my vacationing DM in an effort to make it easy for me pointed me to 3 encounters to run during his absence. Both are Adventure’s League encounters from season 3 and I have run 2 of the 3 we will be doing. They have been fun to read through and set up play and I downloaded them from the DMs Guild.

A D&D Shopping LIst

The second adventure went off the rail because we have a character who is strictly in it for Hack and Slash when the adventure called for some roguery and espionage. Also, because of the AL rule where you can change your character in any way up until 5th level, it has made the adventures a little bit difficult to plan for. While I could be a jerk and lock people down into what they are playing next week at the end of the adventure, we are learning to adapt on the fly.  All in all, it has been fun and I won’t mind being the pinch hitter for our awesome DM.

So, you experienced DMs out there, what did I miss? Is there a better way to manage encounters than simply pen and paper? I’d appreciate any help you can lend! Here is a direct link to our Facebook page so you can weigh in.

The post A Shopping List for a Brand New Dungeon Master appeared first on Nerds on Earth.

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tingham
9 days ago
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Cary, NC
JayM
9 days ago
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Atlanta, GA
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Screenshot Saturday Highlights - March 11th, 2017

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vokab1.png
This Screenshot Saturday selection takes you on a journey to mystical islands, stop-motion cities, and otherworldly train rides.

Vokabulantis
Kong Orange | PC
Playing as two children, you explore the mysterious World of Language in Vokabulantis. You have to guide the duo, working together to solve puzzles, and learn more about this otherworldly place brought to life through stop motion.
vokab2.png

Pine
Twirlbound | PC, Mac, Linux | 2018
Pine drops you into the midst of an AI-driven ecosystem, ranging from migrating beasts to advanced tribes. Wielding glider, blade, and other weapons and gear, your hero can work with or against factions, delve into dungeons and temples, and engage in challenging fights against enemies that adapt to your tactics.
pine1.jpg

Blackwood Crossing
PaperSeven | PC, PS4, Xbox One | 2017
Scarlett and Finn's seeming normal train ride soon becomes one of surreal mysteries in Blackwood Crossing, a narrative adventure that explores themes of coming of age.
black1.jpg

Linkage
Konstructors | PC
An odd island, weird geometric structures, and a cable crossing the entire landscape; these are the foundations in upcoming puzzle game Linkage. You must travel the open expanse of the island, manipulate impossible architecture, and discovering notes and clues to progress the story.
link1.jpg

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tingham
9 days ago
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Cary, NC
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ZBrushCentral Highlights March 6-10

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Mar 3 Lead In


March is already proving to be a great month for art! See what the artists on ZBrushCentral have been up to below.


TheRage Insta Portrait HDThe Rage: This incredible piece is a personal project by ZBrushCentral member YangKuanYu.


Blair TwitterNew character by ZBrushCentral member Blair Armitage. Fantasitc work! Stop by ZBrushCentral to see more renders!


Ortlo TwitterOrtlo – VN: Space Scavenger – character made for the 2017 Art War competition by ZBrushCentral member Regie Santiago


InfectedChimp TwitterInfected Chimp: a study of hair systems by ZBrushCentral member Jonathan Derby


ZenGirl TwitterZen Girl with Wavy Hair: this beautiful sculpt comes to us from ZBrushCentral member Shana Vandercruysse. See the full piece on ZBrushCentral!


Osohnit TwitterOsohnit the Blood Demon: creature by ZBrushCentral member Alvaro Ribeiro for the Pinshape Character Modeling Contest


TheKid FacebookCharlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan in ‘The Kid’ – by ZBrushCentral member Daniele Angelozzi. Congrats on Top Row!


GirlSpheres TwitterGirl & Spheres: this stylish, illustrative piece is by ZBrushCentral member Ladislas Cueros. Nice work!


AlienMonkey FacebookAlien monkey creature by ZBrushCentral member Guillaume Martinet. See more renders on ZBrushCentral!


Akari FacebookAkari: new character in progress by ZBrushCentral member Andy Lee. Already looking fantastic!


 3Skulls Twitter3 Skulls: Samurai, Viking, Spartan – by ZBrushCentral member Joern Zimmermann. Excellent work!


 Demons TwitterDemon designs by ZBrushCentral member Wietze Fopma. Great job!


 Goodnight FacebookGoodnight: creature design by ZBrushCentral member Ali Noori. See clay renders and wireframes on ZBrushCentral!


 Vengeance TwitterVengeance: a great character piece by ZBrushCentral member Przemek Nawrocki


Sicarius FacebookSicarius: this creature is ZBrushCentral member Slava Gedich’s entry for the ArtWar challenge. Great work!


Warrior 2 TwitterWarrior character by ZBrushCentral member Anirbansen. Loving the armor details on this one!


Deathstroke Insta Portrait HDDeathstroke: collectible sculpted by ZBrushCentral member Allessandro Baldasseroni. Excellent work!


Simba TwitterMy Son – A Lion King Story: Mufasa and Simba as interpreted by ZBrushCentral member Gael Kerchenbaum. Beautiful!


Chrustian TwitterChrustian Seabourne – just love this fun original character creation by ZBrushCentral member Paul Braddock!


Diner TwitterChef Eric – part of ZBrushCentral member Epach’s Fine Diner collection of characters.


DOTA FacebookSpirit Breaker – DOTA 2 fan art by ZBrushCentral member André Yamaguchi. Looking good!


Raid TwitterRaid on Rooster Shrine – see closer shots of the models in this great piece by ZBrushCentral member Nikhil Rath


 



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tingham
9 days ago
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Cary, NC
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