Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday Weekly Bits and Pieces 09 Oct 2013

I can't help it. I have to start this post with the new Boston Dynamics WildCat, an untethered equipment-carrying robot.

This is almost directly from M.U.L.E. I love it! Life does imitate games!
I'm pretty sure I still have this boxed game on 5.25" disks.

These folks are doing a weekly review like I do. They're probably funnier, and I have to agree that most of the stuff they picked out is really cool. Oh, and I mentioned the light saber thing last week. Catch up, guys!

The shutdown (whoops - it's a slimdown now! Whatever!) has 8,754 CDC employees furloughed. Germs don't take a break because of economic problems, though. There's a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 278 people in 18 states.
The CDC also confirmed brain-eating amoebas in the Louisiana water system. This is how zombies start, people!

We don't hear much of anything about the lady who rammed the barricades in DC last week. She had some interesting things in her car besides her one-year-old daughter. It seems odd to me that killing her was the only viable solution - but I wasn't there when it all happened.

Unrelated to the shutdown, some veterans were arrested in NYC at the Vietnam War Memorial. I didn't see that reported anywhere but these two places. Hey, folks, we're guaranteed the right to peaceful assembly, especially on public lands! Oh, maybe the warranty expired…
And I didn't understand this one at all. We open the mall for some people and deny it to others? Can someone explain, please?

Working from home doesn't really work. Companies are figuring that out.

Here's a bit on the Brown Recluse spider and silk. Strong spider, strong silk, I guess. We'll see how this plays out in the next Hobbit movie!

Samsung demonstrated their new flexible display technology with a phone! The Galaxy Round has a flexible display with a bit of a curve on the short side.
Quite a few news services have articles about the flexible screens. From a Futurist perspective, the idea has now risen from esoteric to commonplace.
This is the beginning of a revolution. I'm thinking portable devices that roll around my wrist like a watch, but unroll and lay down flat like a mini-tablet. We may not be far off from that idea.

Speaking of Samsung, their smartwatch is sort of a bust. I have the same problem with my Pebble, but that's for a later post.

Looks like Apple plans another event on October 22. Really, I'm not entirely over the last event and still scrambling to finish my book on the iPhone 4S and iOS 7. They say this event will have hardware announcements for the iPad and the Mac Pro.
Apple™ will probably also announce their OS X Mavericks for the Mac line, since their master build is ready for developers.

If imitation is sincere flattery then Apple™ should be flattered. The upcoming HTC One smartphone will come with a fingerprint sensor just like the new iPhone 5S.

The iPhone 5C is now selling for less than $50 with a two-year contract. I still don't see a lot of them out in the wild, though.

Since we're talking about our phones and data plans (we were, right?), Jon Brodkin wrote a fascinating piece on how he tethers devices to his Verizon smartphone without paying extra.

If you're going to do tethering, you don't really want a limited plan like Mr. Brodkin. How about unlimited everything for $30/month? I'm interested.

While we're still talking hardware, Nest is making a smoke detector. I still plan to buy their thermostat. I really like what these folks make!

It's a good thing gaming doesn't always imitate life. This guy has a nuclear war in his Civ II game that has raged for 1700 in-game years (and TEN years of real life!). Over the last year thousands of people have stepped in to help resolve the war. Maybe some of them could offer advice to the government on the shutdown?

If you're in the market for an inexpensive laptop just to surf the net (but not to write papers for school - sorry, kids) then HP's Chromebook 11 might be just the thing.

If you just need something to read books on, the new Kindle Paperwhite is a big hit, and rightly so. I own an iPad and a Kindle Fire. I owned a Kindle, too, but figured I had too many gadgets and cut back. The Kindle was the easiest reader to handle. I liked it, just not well enough to choose it over my iPad!
Wired really likes the new Kindle Fire HDX. I don't blame them. Your choice!

Thinking of doing some home improvements? There's an app (and a company) for that.

I'm not much for home improvements (you can ask Darling and she'll confirm that) but I do love knives and swords. Blind Horse Knives caught my eye recently. I might have to check them out.

If, like me, you've wondered how to turn your phone into a spy camera (hey, we all need hobbies), here's an article on how to do just that!

Some people are claiming that much of the action in Gravity was movie magic. Well, yes, it was, but that's what I wanted to see. If you haven't seen it, well, I liked the movie a lot. I don't know if these guys liked it; they sure work hard to correct the facts, though.
Buzz Aldrin liked the movie, though.

Not to be outdone, a photogenic frog decided to leap into pictures and was captured by NASA cameras. To infinity and beyond!

NCIS without Ziva? Life goes on, but we miss you Ziva! [There are episode spoilers.]

Want to see what toys were popular when I was little? Here's a list of the most popular toys from the last 145 years. No, they didn't ask me for input.

I just love when a site publishes a list of best books of - whatever. I read some of these "best books for young adults" but not all of them.

For my buddy Wes, here are some nice golf course pictures. Even gold can be an extreme sport! I like the 19th hole at Legends Golf Resort in South Africa.

There is also a great article on hacking passwords. It's a science.

An hour of extra sleep can make a difference. Where's my boss - she needs to know this.

A major milestone in nuclear fusion - more energy produced than expended. Soon the Earth will shine like the sun! Wait - that's not a good thing, is it?

That's all for now. Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave comments or throw money at me. Both are nice.


  1. sorry I have no money to throw at you,,,a little casino excursion last weekend left me a little poorer, but it was a fun time, I got my money's worth(or is it lost money ) just watching the other people gambling....and losing....and winning...and husband - a big fan of NCIS- is devastated - what will he do without his weekly Ziva fix! Still out here and still reading. I always find out something new, and after your review of Gravity, I may break down and actually go to a movie theater instead of waiting for the DVD!

  2. Mary, dear. I think you'd like Gravity a lot - well worth a visit to a theater. Get popcorn.
    I'll miss Ziva, too.
    Glad you had a good time at the casino. Watching people is worth a few dollars. Barry and I took Dad to the Mt Pleasant casino years ago but eventually had to drag him out. We made him leave his wallet in the car. Good choice!
    Thanks for always reading my posts. As far as I can tell, you're my only regular reader. I appreciate it!