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    May 22, 2015
    Turn Your XBone Into A TV/DVR

    Increasingly, the future of television is going to the cord-cutters.  I have an over-the-air tuner hooked to my television upstairs, as well as my Amazon Fire TV Stick.  Between the two, I’m pretty set on entertainment, but the antenna isn’t the best antenna out there, and it seems like other folks like myself are looking for a way to branch out and increase their free television consumption.  That’s where Microsoft comes in.  Did you know your Xbox One can be turned into a TV/DVR system?  It’s true, and it only costs $99 to make it happen.  Microsoft’s Xbox One now has a TV tuner.

    The Tuner comes from Mohu, and a glance at the Mohu website tells me that I have 34 over-the-air channels, most of which I currently can’t watch becuase they’re not offered by my satellite television dish.  The tuner and antenna is quite a deal at $99; the Hauppauge tuner by itself is only $59.99.  It provides a lot of fun functionality, from 30 minutes of pause time to the ability to watch TV and play games at the same time.  You can also stream over-the-air television to your wireless device (phone or tablet), which would have been great back when it was March Madness NCAA basketball tournament time.

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    May 20, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Gatwick Vs Windows

    Via Cory Doctorow on Twitter

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    May 19, 2015
    KFC’s Solution For Greasy Fingers

    My lunch time is one of the few times in the day I can use my phone without interruption or dirty looks from other co-workers.  I usually use it to read while eating my lunch, but that’s a problem if you’re eating something like, say, fried chicken.  It’s delicious but it’s also greasy, and that means if you’re not careful about your eating, you’ll get your very expensive smart phone all gunked up with chicken bits.  KFC to the rescue, then!  KFC has come up with the Tray Typer, a portable grease-resistant keypad placed on serving trays to allow smartphone use during the meal!

    It’s a pretty simple solution.  You take a grease-resistant keyboard, put it on the tray, and then link it up to your smartphone.  Now, rather than smearing Original Recipe all over your phone, you smear it on the KFC Tray Typer and when you’re done with your food, you wash your hands, turn in your keyboard, and then take your phone on the road with you.  Most importantly, the product has been tested and works, according to KFC.

    In Germany, where the Tray Typer was tested, every single one of the Tray Typers was stolen from KFC.  That’s pretty impressive, when you consider just how closely KFC was watching those things, and it’s proof that the idea is a great idea.  Perhaps something consumer:  a home version of the Tray Typer to take with you on your lunch break?

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    May 18, 2015
    Microsoft Vs The World In Solitaire

    I have spent hours by myself, playing a very simple card game.  The card game, of course, is Solitaire.  I learned it by watching my grandmother play it on a deck of actual cards, and when we finally got our first computer, well, it was only natural that solitaire became my game of choice on the computer, especially since this was before we had any video games on the computer and online gaming was in its infancy.  Well, now it’s still happening, and with every computer, a new version of Microsoft’s Solitaire Collection.  Microsoft is taking on the world in a Solitaire Tournament.

    The reason for the tournament is actually pretty fun.  After all, it was 25 years ago that Microsoft first added the Solitaire game suite to their computers.  It’s only natural that the company now determine the Microsoft champions of solo computer card games, then allow those champions to challenge the world.

    The Microsoft Solitare Tournament kicks off on June 5.

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    May 15, 2015
    Iron Man’s Custom Samsung Phone

    Everyone wants to be in the Marvel business.  They’re the world’s most popular comic book company, and they’re routinely rolling out movies that gross hundreds of millions of dollars, and those are the small potatoes pictures.  Marvel is huge right now, and it makes sense that lots of folks want to start hitching their wagon to the Marvel train.  Enter Samsung.  Samsung announced a special Iron Man edition smartphone.

    The phone, which hopefully will be in Iron Man red and gold, is a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and as you can see by the box, it looks pretty cool.  Well, the box looks cool; no one really knows what the phone itself looks like yet, but I’m definitely interested, especially if it’s got some sort of power icon shaped like Iron Man’s built-in chest battery.  Or maybe it’s powered by an arc reactor, so if you need to fight off any invading aliens, you can just pull your phone out of your pocket and start shooting energy beams from the camera aperture (or hold a charge for longer than a day).

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    May 14, 2015
    Apple Watch Can Be Reprogrammed By Thieves

    It took a long time for the iPhone theft stories to die down.  For a long time, it seemed like everyone was getting their iPhones stolen or stealing iPhones or whatever.  However, it seems like it’s finally started to die down… but that won’t last long, because as it turns out, the latest Apple product is a boon to potential thieves.  If your iWatch gets stolen, thieves can reprogram it without any true security.

    All it takes to reprogram the iWatch to your iPhone, rather than the iPhone of the person you stole it from, all you have to do is hold down the power button, select. and then erase all the data to remove the protective passcode from the phone.  Of course, there’s no real way to remotely wipe data from something that doesn’t actively connect to the Internet, and I guess if a normal watch gets stolen, it stays stolen.  The Apple Watch is a bit different, but apparently not that much different.

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    May 13, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Tool Many Bars

    Via Reddit, of course.

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    May 12, 2015
    Guitar Hero Is Coming Back

    Guitar Hero is one of the biggest gaming franchises in gaming history.  Between Guitar Hero and Rock Band, millions of games and millions of downloaded tracks were sold, but with all fads, it faded into the background and disappeared.  However, never underestimate the power of nostalgia, and never underestimate the power of a new generation of music fans looking to enjoy rhythm games in high definition.  Guitar Hero is coming back with new songs and a newly designed six-button controller.

    Of course, it’s still a Guitar Hero controller, not an actual guitar, so forget about learning anything while you game.  Still, at least there’s a new controller, and hopefully that means new drums, a new microphone, and a chance to dust off my very rusty skills.  Although I have no idea how they’re going to do a Guitar Hero game with a Skrillex song, but I love the idea of rocking out to some Judas Priest, The Rolling Stones, and Pantera.

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    May 8, 2015
    Google Can Help You Order Dinner

    Some days it’s just too hot, or too cold, or too rainy to bother going out to the store, bringing home food, and cooking it yourself.  That’s what delivery is for, and delivery food remains incredibly popular.  Indeed, ordering food was one of the earliest things you could do online, and it remains one of the biggest things for online restaurant websites.  But what if you didn’t have to go to the trouble of finding a delivery service to bring your food to you?  What if you could just search for a restaurant and Google would tell you how you could order from them?  That’d be cutting out the middle man, to be sure.  Well, that’s what’s happening.  If you search for a restaurant on your mobile phone, Google will be providing an instant ordering option.

    “When you search for a nearby restaurant on your phone, you’ll see an option to ‘Place an order’ in the search results.  Just tap that, choose the delivery service and you’ll be taken to their website to complete the order,” explains Google’s blog post on the subject.

    The service kicks off with six different providers here in the United States:  Seamless, Grubhub, Eat24,, BeyondMenu, and  Google is going to expand the offerings eventually, though it might take awhile and they’ve already landed the major providers.  Sadly, it only seems to work through mobile phones, but maybe it’ll be added to the normal Google service soon enough.

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    May 7, 2015
    Nintendo Is Heading To Universal Theme Parks

    The Super Mario Brothers were the first video game I remember playing.  Shortly after that I went backwards to things like Atari and those little hand-held Tiger games that never really worked, but Mario was my first.  I spent hours playing Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt with my dad in my room or on the family television.  Mario’s an important part of my life and if there was a Nintendo theme park, I would have already gone.  Now it might be happening.  Nintendo will be licensing its characters to Universal.

    That means Mario, Peach, Luigi, Link, and all your favorite Nintendo characters will be coming to Universal Parks & Resorts properties.  It’s actually kind of amazing that it hasn’t happened before now.  Then again, Nintendo is trying to expand its brand and help its characters get farther out into the world and penetrate even more into pop culture.

    All I can say is that if that means we get a Mario Kart ride, I don’t care who they license to, because that’s going to be phenomenal.  So long as I get the blue shell.

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