Friday, August 30, 2013

Bits and Pieces - August 30, 2013

An early book on Samurai training has been successfully deciphered. Sadly, most of the secret techniques were not explicitly discussed (hence the "secret") so we might never know how the best samurai managed to jump to the top of buildings and fly across tree-tops. Hey, I watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and loved it.

We could use some good samurai troops, too, I think. I like this essay by K.T. McFarland on Fox News concerning what the USA options are as a response for the chemical attacks in Syria. Mr. Obama faces some tough choices, and no doubt it will force the world to look at all of us in new ways once again.
I don't know why a chemical attack on citizens seems more horrible than the multiple military attacks the Syrian government already perpetrated on its citizens. Death is death, a horror wrought on humanity by those who are supposed to protect and guard the people.

Lee Hutchinson is on Day 3 of his Soylent experiment. (Just a note: it has almost no soy in it.) His discussion of the end of Day 1 had me cracking up, as he was attacked by "room-clearing, horse-killing, World War I mustard gas-type gas [where he]  migrated from room to room in the house like [he] was giving up territory to the Kaiser." The guy is funny. His analysis is good, too.

In yesterday's installment he referenced Shane Snow's two-week trial of Soylent on Tim Ferriss's blog. I read the entire thing, and was impressed with how thorough Shane was in his review. He didn't mention the gaseous attack problem, though.

I liked this slide show because it shows all those grainy pictures of mythical beasts. Bigfoot shows up a number of times, but I don't see a unicorn here. Yes, I still believe in unicorns…

So I'm overweight because I don't have enough of the right kind of bacteria in me, not because I eat too much! That makes me feel so much better!


I was disappointed in my version of Parallels a few months back. Perhaps I didn't give it enough credence. More likely, my machine just doesn't have the power to pull off operating two systems at once, since I'm having the same problem with VMWare.



James Spader will be Ultron in the "Avengers:Age of Ultron" movie opening May 1, 2015. I have no comment. Since Joss Whedon is at the helm I think they could get Danny Devito (or Ben Affleck) as Ultron and it would still be worth seeing. Ultron, with little doubt, was my favorite Avengers villain.

I admit it. I'm a sucker for Bluetooth headsets. I own a half-dozen that just didn't make me happy. When I saw that PC Magazine had a list of the ten best headsets, I had to take a look.
Well, I looked, but none impressed me as much as the stereo headset I own (LG HBS730) and wear almost every day. The white version (used by a coworker) is just as sweet as my black one.

PC Labs has a list of their top ten laptops. I'm still looking at it… I like the Asus because it is less than a thousand dollars, but has a dedicated graphics card. Still, I need to see what Apple™ announces on September 10th before I make any purchasing decision. It isn't that I'm an Apple™ fan (I am) but they do make exceptionally good hardware.
If you're still wondering whether you want a tablet or a laptop, they have an article on that, too.

I wonder if Edward Snow knows about this upcoming method to encrypt text messages? I'll bet the NSA is aware of it. Do you remember when we were kids and we didn't even know the word "encrypt?"

I just downloaded this time management app to my phone to give it a try. Hey, it's free so I can at least play with it to see if I like it. I'll let you know.

This one is fantastic! Play in a real sandbox and craft an environment then the entire thing gets scanned and converted to a computer landscape. I could see where game makers might want to take a look at this. Makes me want to create a sandcastle! What we need is a scanning system that will scan my relative's crazy-good model landscapes and create a virtual image of those!

A good 3D printer could create the models he uses in his landscapes, but how to get the model requirements to the printer? Finally, a 3D scanner to go with the 3D printing revolution! You know you want one. Eventually they'll make a scanner that will take a 2D image and convert it to a 3D printing model.

This app to use Virtual Imaging to put furniture in my house might be handy if I could use any furniture instead of only Ikea furniture, but it's a start. I expect we'll see something that does anyone's furniture in VR soon, but by then we'll simply be scanning and printing our own couches! (See above.)

Writers and app developers are always worried that someone will steal their idea. Let me tell you, the idea isn't the key thing, so stop worrying about it. For you app developers, someone will steal your idea! Just accept it. What isn't so cool is when someone actually steals the CODE!



You remember when you used to make those little flipbooks for stick animation? Finally someone stole my idea and made an app for that! Good job guys. Just send the check via PayPal. (Oh, wait, ideas are a dime a dozen - I've said so a thousand times!)

I'm not sure why I'd want an app that takes a photo and turns it into a thousand emoji images, but it is unique (until someone copies it).

For you app developers, here are some good user guidelines.
http://www.wired.com/design/2013/08/design-and-the-digital-world/

That's all for now, folks! Have a great holiday weekend!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bits and Pieces - August 29, 2013

Toon Town is closing down. That a virtual world that has now been around for a decade. I don't know where the population of a virtual world goes when the world closes down. Virtual heaven?

These devices are designed to help you survive a natural disaster. Most of them are just small self-enclosed receptacles that will (supposedly) keep you alive until help arrives or you emerge from the disaster. It makes me think of something my brother told me once. When he was in the Army Reserves they drove around in the forests for the weekend on four-wheelers and in Humvees and practiced digging holes and burying themselves. In case of disaster. I guess that's so nobody else needs to come bury you after. The only device I liked was the solar water purifier.

I have to admit, even though I get seasick, the title caught my eye. Who isn't looking for adventure and the chance to sail around the world for free. Okay, the article should say "no cost" since most of them still involve working your way. We haven't come that far from the days of tramp steamers ferrying adventurous men to new continents, have we?

As of Sunday, there have been 488 dolphin strandings from New York to North Carolina. It looks like the dolphins are dying from something like measles. So the world is already being hit by a pandemic - it just hits the oceans first.

We have a new element in the Periodic Table, with an atomic number of 115. That's good. We needed something to make up for losing a planet!

Like pixel art? Who doesn't? If you have a Mac you can use this program to make your own. Or you could just play Minecraft!

If you're wondering whether you should get a full-size iPad or an iPad mini, Charlie tells you the decision points to consider. I've always liked his writing style.

There are a lot of ways to watch TV and movies on your iPad. This is a list of ten of those ways.

One of the most amazing things about a Mac is the Automator tool. This is a walk-thru on how to use it to clean up your working screen, but it gives you an idea of the power of Automator. Really, it should be a superhero name for someone…

I've been trying to lose weight. Yeah, I know, I need to push away from the table more, but aside from that there are a lot of plans out there for losing weight. This one looks like it will be fun, and we get to enjoy it vicariously. The soylent plan…I don't think it's people, but I plan to send a message to Charlton Heston - oh wait, he's dead… *

And here's Day 2 of his Soylent experiment. This looks like it will be fun to follow - and I don't need to drink the stuff to enjoy some of the benefits.
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/08/ars-does-soylent-day-2-my-god-what-have-i-gotten-myself-into/

One of my best friends has been doing research on 3D printers. He's quite optimistic, which I am not. It's articles like these that make me realize the industry is barely into infancy.

I'm not saying 3D printing is bad stuff. I think it has great potential, but we're at the same place now as computers were when we fed them paper tape to boot them. 3D printing will be monumental someday, and NASA agrees with me. They used it to print a rocket engine.
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/08/nasa-3d-printed-rocket-engine/


My hometown newspaper (yes, I've been here for forty-three years, but Rockford is still my hometown) has a weekly column on taxes. This week, though, he addresses Obamacare in one of the most thoughtful summaries I've ever seen.

While I was researching some of these articles I ran across a website about the Art of Manliness. I'll have to go back and review it later.



* Charlton Heston was born John Carter. Why in the world would someone change their name if they are called John Carter?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The BEST Self-Publishing Post EVER



I just read absolutely the BEST Self-Publishing Post I ever read. It wasn't mine, but I don't care.

If you ever even THOUGHT of writing a book, read this post by Claudia. You'll love it.

I follow Claudia's blog as well as James Altucher's. I'm glad I do. Once you read the post, you'll be glad I do too.

You're welcome.

I followed most of the instructions, though I struggled from a point of significantly less experience than Claudia and James. Still, I did pretty well publishing my book. I see a few points in her post I'll take a closer look at. My book, My Mother-in-law Misadventures, is still available on Amazon, both paperback and electronic.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Star Force Series - book review



I just finished reading the first eight books in the Star Force Series by B. V. Larson at Amazon. Okay, so far these are the only available books in the series, but it is clear from the end of the eighth volume that Larson plans to write more. There's this one little thing he hints at during that last book …
The Star Force books are not Heinlein and I have to think that anyone who makes that comparison is not really thinking about it. Larson's books are fast-paced and full of action. Honestly, I don't think you can go three pages without something blowing up - and that's the kind of book it is. These books are fun, pretty quick to read and full of action. These are what I consider popcorn books - I'll read them, but they don't change my life or make me think of the world differently.
Some of the reviewers say the characters are pretty two-dimensional, and I heartily agree with that assessment. That doesn't automatically make a book good or bad, in my opinion. The character in The Catcher in the Rye isn't two-dimensional and I really dislike that book. Colonel Kyle Riggs is the main character in the series. I actually didn't like him in most of the book and found his outbursts and responses atypical and frustrating, but perhaps that is why I read all the books. He was never the book "hero" as far as I was concerned; he remained too unlikeable. I did like Marvin, the AI, but only because the self-forming robotic being was absolutely bizarre and self-centered.
I normally wouldn't read a series this long; that was my main reason for abandoning Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series - he just couldn't bring it to an ending. I like a good ending to a book. That's what I'm looking for. I can wait three books to get to it. I can sometimes wait five. As far as I can recall, this is my first time to wait eight books for a final resolution to the lives of the main characters - and this one probably isn't final. I won't read a ninth book, though. I'm not saying these are not well written - they are. There are tidbits of military history and historical references that were a pleasure to encounter, as well as some of the military tactics.  I'm simply tired of Colonel Kyle Riggs for now. Here are the books in the series.

1              Swarm
2              Extinction
3              Rebellion
4              Conquest
5              Battle Station
6              Empire
7              Annihilation

8              Storm Assault

If you're looking for a book with deep philosophical meaning, don't even bother checking these out. However, if you want something fast-paced and entertaining, go make some popcorn and grab the first book to see how you like it.

It's your call.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Tidbits, August 19, 2013

No budget for clothes, apparently
We watched a movie on Netflix last night. Called AE: Apocalypse Earth, the movie stars Richard Grieco (haven't seen him in a while) and Adrian Paul as Lt. Frank Baum (really? Oz anyone?). When Adrian Paul appeared in the movie I thought it couldn't be him because he looked so young, but Darling pointed out it is Netflix so the movie could be old. Turns out it was made in 2013! So he still looks good. His love interest (he always has one) is Lea (the first movie for Costa Rican actress Bali Rodriguez), a native of the planet the team crash lands on. Okay, it wasn't the best film, but it sure wasn't the worst I've seen. The ray guns were pretty cheesy, but IMDB says it only had a million dollar budget, so overall, for the price, that's pretty good.

Since the networks cancelled Primeval: New World, Darling and I decided to watch the original series (Primeval) on Netflix.  So far I like it pretty well.

Fox News has a slideshow of the wackiest gadgets. I'm not that impressed, except by the tin can robot. That's cool. Maybe I want one.

They also have a slideshow of the twenty places we should all visit in the USA. I thought I'd probably seen most of them. I was wrong. I'll list the places so you don't need to visit the site, but the slideshow is nice.
(Highway 1, French Quarter, National Mall, Las Vegas Strip, Yellowstone National Park, Times Square,  Nashville, Grand Canyon, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Disney's Magic Kingdom, Independence National Historical Park, Taos Pueblo, Fenway Park, South Beach, Civil Rights District, Gettysburg National Military Park, Chicago, Ill., Ellis Island, Pearl Harbor, Metropolitan Museum of Art)

This makes me worry. How many other things can be remotely controlled? And really - prison doors? This doesn't look good on any level.

There have been a lot of bear attacks in recent weeks, across a number of states. Wildlife specialists think it is simply coincidence and a larger than normal number of bears.
Michigan, Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho,

The government finally admitted Area 51 is real, but it isn't anything special except a testing site for the government aerial surveillance programs. Days after this announcement a buddy of mine mentioned that the ISS has noticed something hovering on the portside. (Okay, it's probably just an old EVA bag, and I don't even know if I'm allowed to mention it, but there it is for both my readers.) Still, the fictional Area 51 sites are much better than reality!
(And why was it kept such a secret all these years?)

People say there aren't any good comic books with heroines. I disagree. The first volume of Delilah Dirk is free to read on-line. You can thank me later.

I don't know why I never heard of Kristine Kathryn Rusch before, but I finally read the first volume of her Retrieval Artist series. I liked it. You might too.

I thought some of my favorite writers disappeared from Wired.com. Turns out they simply went to a different site…

… where they still write cool articles like this one on an older television series starring David McCallum from (from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and NCIS). It isn't on Netflix, though, and neither are the two other shows they mention: The Woman in Black and even Welcome to Night Vale.

Since my brother Barry is now heading off to teach another year I thought I'd post these quotes about teachers. He feels under-appreciated, and I don't blame him. In many countries teachers are revered. Barry has to take a pay cut under the current Michigan administration - again - after the State reneged on health care promises made decades ago.

Just a quick aside, since I'm talking about Michigan. I thought about investing in some property in my home state, but the current Republican governor has made the state some place I don't want to be involved in. The current Michigan administration even taxes retirement benefits. It's a beautiful state, but if they keep this up it will become unpopulated.

Scientists managed to take another step into the technology of teleportation. We aren't quite at the "Beam me up, Scottie" era, though.

These guys are making Google glass look better. They still won't let me wear it at work, no matter how cool they look.

On the artistic side, here are some absolutely amazing photos of water. Who knew water was so beautiful?

If water isn't your thing, how about a pencil sketch. Really. Take a look.

As a gamer I have to admit I'm a little fascinated by this game review. But there aren't any explosions and nothing to shoot. Sounds like Mist.

I won't tell you what this slideshow identifies as ten of the most addicting phone games out there, but I will give you a hint. Curse you, Candy Crush!

If you're really busy (like I should be) WIRED says these are the only tech guys you need to follow. No, I'm not on their list.

WIRED also says these are the only business guys you need to follow. I'm not on that list either, and neither is James Altucher. I'm not sure WIRED has all the latest information… (just kidding).


If you're looking for a new place to live…
If you have a couple extra million, $2.5 million to be exact, you can get this nice place in New Mexico that is totally independent. I don't know where the nearest neighbor is though. Maybe that's why the owner is selling; he got lonely.

And here are three Texas ranches you might want to look at, all near Blanco, Texas. Why Blanco? Because zombies probably won't make it that far when the Zombie Apocalypse occurs. (Yes, they all use Trulia, but I like Trulia.)
A nice little ranch in west Texas for a little less than a million dollars, but you get two houses on 16 acres.
http://www.trulia.com/property/1044971171-1193-Cedar-Cir-Blanco-TX-78606

Which makes this place look like a bargain at only half that price, is on 3.8 acres and near town. I don't guarantee that Blanco has a theater, though.

This one costs a bit more, but it has a pond on 21 acres. With fish.

Yeah, I'm doing research for one of my stories…


If you're an iOS developer (like I sometimes am) you need to have. I don't have them all yet, but I like  the templates, but I can see where they might be useful in the development cycle.

The new iOS is going to drive me nuts. Icons are a major pain for me, since I'm not a gifted artist like Darling. This does make it much easier. If you need to make icons, you'll like it, but you need Photoshop.

And if you are a developer, you'll want to know how people think the competitors are doing. This guy gives nine ways the Windows phone is better than iPhones. He has some good points, actually.



Finally, if you read this far, you deserve an original bit of wisdom from me. I was thinking the other day, on the way home from work (amazing!). Some of us grow up to be leaders. Some of us grow up to be followers. Some of us don't grow up at all.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Swordsmiths - some musings

Jake Powning has an interesting story of the crafting of a classical Norse sword (I think that's right) with six other swordsmiths from around the world. Called Arctic Fire 2013, the story is fascinating. The blade is hidden somewhere in the world. "All you have to do to win the sword is to be the first to solve a two-part riddle: What is the name of the blade, and where is it buried?" http://www.arcticfire2013.com/Home_Page.php
Good luck on that one. Email me if you win. That's just cool.

I never considered smithing of any type to be a beginner's trade. I mean sure, you might be able to hammer a piece of metal, but shape it? That's practice. The right metal for what you're making? Practice. Get it the correct hardness? Practice again! Now what? Practice!

I can see why a person should be an apprentice first. It's too bad I didn't live two hundred years ago or more. I might have been an apprentice blacksmith.
I suppose I might also have been an apprentice weaver, too, so maybe it's okay the way it is.

This is a good discussion thread on swordsmithing in general. To sum it up, a swordsmith is an artisan crafter in metal, not just some beginner blacksmith making a pointy piece of metal.

The same site that has an excellent article on creating an anvil and a wide range of articles on blacksmithing has an excellent page for those people who "want to make a sword."

There are many smiths who do blades, though. (I'm not endorsing any of them. I simply did a search for sword smiths in Texas.) For instance, this one.
Morrow's Blade and Blacksmith Shop http://www.swordsmith.net/

You have to wonder at the life of a smith, though. I don't think it is exactly as portrayed in the movies (and one site said so). I suppose there aren't any female smiths who look like Cory Everson either (from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys).

According to one on-line magazine, the best swordsmith in the world lives near Austin Texas. Daniel Watson currently has four apprentices. It takes twelve years, full-time to become a swordsmith: "Four years in knife making, four years in sword techniques, followed by yet another four years in either metallurgy or artistry." Obviously this is something I should have started as a younger man. In 1990 I did look into it, but you couldn't make a living as an apprentice, and I had child support payments. And I was afraid of disrupting my lifestyle so extremely. (That last one haunts me in so many avenues of my life…)

Daniel O'Connor works out of Dallas, and makes hand-crafted wood-working tools. He also makes fiddles. I just liked the site.

There is a Dragonfly Mountain Sword School (Dragonfly Forge) in Oregon where Michael Bell teaches classes, but in the twenty years of the school only one apprentice finished graduation. It's just that hard.


One of the links gives other links. I found them interesting, too, especially the third one, which is about ARMA and swords, since my youngest daughter was big into ARMA for a few years (losing a tooth in the process, actually!).






Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Anvils

Blacksmithing
In my previous post I put a link to a blacksmith that crafts items for Hollywood and mentioned that I was always fascinated by blacksmiths.
My sweet cousin (who always posts Anonymous) responded to me with:
wish I would have known about your interest in blacksmiths years ago, I would have taken you to my Grandma Hunt's place and showed you my grandfathers blacksmith shop, he had passed away many years before but the bellows still laid on the cold forge, hammers and tongs atop the well worn anvil and the horseshoes he fashioned were hanging on square headed nails along the beams. the shop has long since been torn down, but the tools of his trade are stored in my aunts shed..it was always a dream of mine to display them in a sort of mini museum to honor his memory....someday....wish you could have seen it.

This made me ponder my (supposed) love of blacksmithing as a craft. Part of it stems from all my reading, of course. Many fantasy novels have blacksmiths - they are part of the genre.
During my years in high school, wondering what I was to do, I fantasized about finding a blacksmith who could train me and relieve me of the modern version of slavery of the everyday commute (to which I have now been condemned for over thirty years). When my first wife left me I even did some research into what it would take to become a swordsmith, but by then it seemed too late in life and I had too many obligations.
In the years before the Internet, research into blacksmithing was much more difficult.

So let's look at some links about anvils!



Anvils

This is a conversational thread about making an anvil out of D2. And I don't even know what D2 is, so I am really ignorant. The thread doesn't say much that's really helpful to make an anvil.
One guy writes about the properties of an anvil, though, and it's fascinating.
The horn, the ledge and the tail of the anvil is soft. The flat is forge welded tool steel. A fully hardened anvil might have its uses. The Hardy hol and the Pritchell hole all have uses. The edge of the flat runs from near a sharp corner for most of its lenght to 1/4" radius. The horn's shape is something like a bent paraboloid whose upper side runs parallel to the face . The tail is cut away for a good reason. There's good reason why some parts of an anvil are hard and some soft. There's probably lots of other wrinkles and features deliberately incorporated into a good anvil

Anvilfire - a new site I found when doing this search - has a good review of manufacturing an anvil. Then you can click on the link that says "Getting started in Blacksmithing." I think I am too old (therefore I am).

This one gives a lot of details on how to make an anvil. Very good stuff, except I have no idea how to weld or use a cutting torch. Again, my ignorance appalls me.

This guy has a step by step with pictures on  how he made his anvil, and it looks pretty nice when he's finished, too.

This fellow goes the standard route and uses a railroad rail to make it. He doesn't say much, but the picture is good.

Every one of these instruction sets talks about how you need to harden your anvil, which makes sense. The anvil needs to be harder than the metal you work with and harder than the hammers you use. It also cannot be brittle, so the cooling process is critical.


Wow. What a lot of work. I think it might be easier to buy one. One of the sites talks about how the anvils that are 100-150 years old (that would be your Grandfather's anvil, Mary) were prized possessions because we just can't make anvils that good any more. Anvils that old are still working anvils, too. They aren't even considered antiques until they are over 200 years old.

Blacksmiths not only make their own anvils, they often make their own tools, including their hammers.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tidbits, August 12, 2013

I just needed a good picture.

I've been fascinated by blacksmiths my entire life. This guy has too.


I don't get a good feel for the universe. It just seems too … big … for my brain. These guys think this picture helps. I didn't think so, but you might.

3-D Cosmic Map Helps You Wrap Your Brain Around the Universe’s Weirdness

 


There are a lot of sources for the date of the next iPhone. I'm not sure I care anymore. My date is sometime in October, when my plan is up.

Next iPhone coming Sept. 10, sources say

 


I'm still looking for the next phone. This review helps, a little.

Motorola Moto X

 


I haven't yet found any tech that helps me live healthier. Movement required, and push-backs from the table. Those I have trouble with, and no amount of tech (besides a killer robot) will help me with that one!

Tech That Helps Me With Healthy Living

 


Oatmeal. Check. Blueberries. Check. Coffee? No, not really. Red wine? Hey, wait a minute here! What kind of list is this?

19 superfoods for your heart

 


You don't have to read this one. The "crazy way" is some kind of acupuncture with electricity. That seems like it might deactivate a lot of things!


I agree with the author on this one. It's good to play a game that lasts only a few hours and then ends. Not like that stupid Candy Crush or Angry Birds or Skyrim. Wait. I really like Skyrim. Okay, so maybe some games should last longer…

Forget ‘Addictive.’ Give Me a Game That Only Lasts Three Hours



I wasn't interested in this game at all. Then I read this review. It's a great review. I'm still not interested in the game. If you want you can read through to the last couple paragraphs and you'll see why. Idiots.

Review: 'Dragon’s Crown' game a rough diamond

 

This is when we should have started all that conservation stuff. I wonder what we'll be saying in 150 years.

A 12,000-Year-Old Loss Still Stings

 

And these guys think they know. As a Futurist I can assure you that most of these are sheer speculation and extrapolation. They might be on target

What Will the World Be Like 150 Years from Now?



Of course it does! Mystery surrounds all those Egyptian things! I do love archaeology.

Mystery surrounds Egyptian sphinx unearthed in Israel


I even love archaeology when it is on another planet. That's essentially what our rovers are doing. C'mon, think about it. A hundred years ago we never would have thought we'd have robots on another planet! (Go back and look at those predictions, though. I won't be able to say the same thing in 150 years if we have habitations on other planetary bodies!)

Mars rover Curiosity celebrates 1 year on Red Planet



I don't normally like the articles that say they can make your computer faster. They are usually - the word idiotic comes to mind. This one is pretty good advice, though.

5 simple steps to a faster computer

 

So this is why all my computer cables go bad after a while. Worth a watch and goes along with how to use that tape to make more accurate holes. Did you see that one?

That’s Not How You Use That: Coiling a Cable

 


That's my list. I love the lists these guys put together, too.

Tasty Tech Eye Candy of the Week (August 10)


Oh, and I can't forget the best post ever made by Wil Wheaton. The Return of the Hoverhand.

 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Today's Tidbits


When I saw a picture of Wired's Mech at Comic Con I was in awe. This is worth a watch if you have a few minutes and like exoskeletons (who doesn't?).


Business Insider has a nice list for this morning. I'm not sure I really care about all ten things they list, but they are nice to know. Four of them are about Jeff Bezos buying The Washington Post. The two that caught my eye were the fifty people that showed up to volunteer for a one-way trip to Mars and a third-party Apple iPhone power cable electrocuted a woman to death.

10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Tech

Wired's Gadget Lab lists seven things they love, including the new Nokia Lumia 1020, a phone with a 41-megapixel camera. I researched that phone the other day. Too bad it is a Windows Phone 8.

Crowd Sourcing

I might have to back this project on Indiegogo. I certainly want some of these when they hit the market! This Little Sticker Works Like an Anti-Mosquito Force Field


I have (and wear) the Pebble phone. It's not the big deal it could be with the right apps, but it's still an okay watch. Who these people are and the promises they make are fascinating. Will they deliver? Mysterious smartwatch maker Kreyos raises $1 million on Indiegogo



Lists of things other people think you'd like

I'm always looking for the best iPad Apps. Most of these are the ones are the solid ones that have been around for a while, but it's a good list to review periodically. Maybe my apps will be on the list someday. (Ha!) 50 Must-Have iPad Apps

I don't have an Android phone, but I do have a Kindle Fire. Once I figure out how to find Apps for that I'll review this list! 50 Best Android Apps for 2013


And I'm always on the lookout for more websites to waste my time. Just kidding. 50 Best Websites 2013



In the Gaming World

Being a veteran WoW player (now retired - again) I'm always fascinated by how Blizzard intends to handle the subscription problem. Content is no longer good enough for the $15/month payment (IMO). I also read that Blizzard has lost another 600,000 subscribers (I don't know what time frame that is). I'll do some research on that later. Blizzard Backs Away from Subscriptions for Its Next Big MMO


We flee to games to escape real life. We flee from games back to life! Life imitating art. I won't say anything else. Zynga's CityVille Comes To Life With Kre-O Line


This is just the beginning. The holo-deck is coming closer all the time. Oculus Rift Plus Motion Controls Make Shooting Almost Too Realistic


During the late 90s every kid wanted one of these. My dear daughter wanted one, but I don’t recall if I was that nice to her. Now she has a chance to get one again. Great. Tamagotchi Are Back In This New Free App

 


 

Other Stuff

I followed xkcd's Time for almost the entire epic release. Here's the full story. Some of the links take you to the comic itself. Worth a look. Creator of xkcd Reveals Secret Backstory of His Epic 3,099-Panel Comic


Since I'm not a handy-man, I need all the tips I can get. Use Masking Tape When Wall-Mounting Hardware to Perfectly Align Screw Holes


This is a good low-end option computer. My youngest daughter just got a new computer, but she needs MS Word, so this isn't what she got. Still, it's worth a look. If you get it, maybe you should review my post on configuring a net-book. It's dated, but probably still useful. Back to School: The $200 Acer C7 Chromebook Is a Good Cheap Laptop


I'm still doing research to choose Darling's next phone. This might be a good choice. Samsung likely to unveil new Galaxy Note on Sept. 4


Darling and I are seriously considering dropping cable entirely. We should be able to pick up the shows we like using other venues. Anyone have any ideas on how to make that happen? I really like my Sci-Fi…Steep cable price hikes could soon make cord-cutting a reality


I love photographs. You will too. Look at these! 25 Awe-Inspiring Images of the Milky Way Galaxy

 

I love this camper. I do. I'd totally get one. This Teeny Camper for a Mini Cooper Started as an April Fools’ Joke