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    August 31, 2011
    Wordless Wednesday: I’m Helping

    I’m Helping, via Mental Floss.

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    August 29, 2011
    The NFL And The iPad 2

    When it comes to the National Football League, every player is good at what he does.  There’s not a huge difference between a top-flight QB and the worst starter in the league, so all teams are looking for an edge.  For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and head coach Raheem Morris, that edge is technological.  The Tampa Bay Bucs are the first team in the NFL to use iPads as playbooks.

    “It’s crazy how much technology has changed the game,” said Bucs second-year safety Cody Grimm in the St. Petersburg Times.  ”Back in the day, I think probably the whole team had to sit down with a projector and a reel, and watch the film together.  They’d have the whole offense in the same meeting room.  Now we all have our own iPad.  Stuff that we used to come in here to see, we can sit on our couch at home and have access to it 24-7.  It’s awesome.  It’s convenient.  It’s fast.”

    Most importantly, it’s safe.  If a player loses his iPad 2, or if the player gets traded, the team can wipe his iPad with the push of a button.  It makes me wonder if they can wipe them remotely, too, just in case the playbook is in Denver and the team’s in Florida.  I figure you’ll see more teams move to this as the technology becomes more accepted.  After all, the ability to study the playbook from any Starbucks has to be a benefit.

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    August 28, 2011
    Facebook Leaves The Deals Business

    When it comes to trends, there’s nothing trendier than the daily deal.  Since Groupon came out, and Living Social got a huge funding bump from Amazon, everyone decided that it was time to jump on the deals game.  Enter Facebook, which started beta-testing a deals-centric website called, of all things, Deals.  Facebook Deals had a small staff selling coupons for businesses (and selling the deal concept to businesses), and they also worked with other, smaller deals websites to publish them to a wider audience.

    Well, unfortunately for Facebook, it’s not that easy.  Facebook Deals is closing up after four months, and Facebook is leaving the coupon business to the professionals… for now, anyway.

    It is surprising that Facebook ended their deals product after just four months,” said Vinicius Vacanti, co-founder of Yipit.com, which aggregates daily deals and tracks the industry. “On the other hand, Facebook Deals had been an underwhelming product and experience.”  He added, “I don’t believe this means daily deals are not a viable business.  It more suggests that large media and tech companies can’t just ‘turn on’ daily deals and expect them to work.  It has to be more thoughtfully integrated into their existing product.

    Coupons are going to be a big thing going forward, but I imagine Facebook is going to expand into that business the Microsoft way, by buying up a smaller deals website or five and then merging and expanding them all.

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    August 27, 2011
    How To Use Your Cell Phone During A Disaster
    Playing Words With Friends isn't the best idea during a hurricane.

    Playing Words With Friends isn

    It’s late summer, which means it’s hurricane season.  The earthquake in Virginia should also have rattled some nerves.  Oh yeah, there are also fires, tornadoes, and general severe weather for the remainder of the summer season.  After that, there’s more storms, snow, and ice.  The fun never stops here on Earth, so it’s best to be ready.  Jessica Remo of Patch has some tips on how to use your cellular phone during a disaster.  First, here are some preparedness tips that seem simple, but are easily overlooked.

    1. Maintain a list of emergency numbers in your phone:  police and fire, friends, family, close friends, and anyone else who you might need to contact in the case of an emergency.

    2. Make sure your friends and family have your number.

    3. Download some safety apps, like the ones mentioned in my previous post.

    4. Back up your address book to someplace secure, like cloud storage.

    Here’s a tip that isn’t listed, but I’ll add it anyway:  Make sure your phone is charged up, with as much juice as it will hold.  Once it’s charged, make sure you limit your use until after the disaster is over and you’ve got a steady supply of electricity again.

    In that spirit, you want to conserve electricity and conserve bandwidth immediately after a natural disaster.  Text your safety status updates, rather than make calls.  Texting uses less power AND it saves bandwidth for people who need it, like first responders and people making emergency calls.  Use apps to check the weather and current safety situation.  Also, if you have a home phone?  Forward that to your cell if you have to evacuate.

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    August 27, 2011
    Preparing For Disaster

    The hurricane has already hit North Carolina, and now Irene has turned her attention towards the Big Apple, and she looks hungry.  New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has already declared a mandatory evacuation for certain areas of the city, and it looks as though this thing is going to get messy for New Yorkers.  Well, fortunately, you can be prepared, and there are some gadgets to help you.

    MSNBC has put together a list of disaster preparedness apps, for both the iPhone and Android user.  With everything from FEMA’s official disaster preparedness planning list to apps that find Red Cross shelters, show you how to give CPR, and even find the right local business to loot buy from to prepare yourself properly, there’s a wealth of potential information all waiting to be downloaded to your phone.  There’s even an app for active hazards, just in case you need MORE to worry about.

    I suggest you hurry, though.  It’s looking as though time is running out for preparedness purposes.  Hope you guys are ready.  Keep your heads down, gentle readers, and I hope to see you all safely on the other side of this storm.

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    August 22, 2011
    The Mouse-Eating Crocheted Cat

    When it comes to things I don’t really understand, chief among those things is the cozy.  I don’t really get why you’d want to crochet a cute covering for something akin to a tea pot or whatever when you can just put it out of the way when it’s not being used.  I guess the cozy is to add a little color to your household and turn your teapot into decoration, but still… it kind of seems beside the point to me.

    However, just because I don’t get it doesn’t mean I can’t like it.  For example, Kitiza from Craftster has created a pretty awesome little cozy:  It’s a mouse-eating computer cat!  Kitiza hated the way her mouse looked, so she took care of that and fed her mouse to a cute little orange crocheted kitty, who looks incredibly satisfied with the mouse “tail” hanging out of his mouth on one side and his tongue poking out on the other side.

    Apparently, the buttons left and right click still work, and the mouse itself is very fuzzy and comfortable.  You sacrifice the use of the scroll wheel, but do you really use your scroll wheel a lot right now?  I didn’t think so.

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    August 20, 2011
    New iPhone In October, New iPad In 2012?

    The problem with technology is that the moment you buy something, it is already starting to become obsolete.  Did you pick up a brand-new iPad 2 or an iPhone 4 recently?  Well, I hate to tell you this, but those awesome new devices are already on their way to becoming old and busted, rather than remaining the new hotness for the foreseeable future.

    Thanks to an accelerated release plan, Apple already has upgrades coming to both the iPad and iPhone lines within the next 6 months or so.  According to sources within AT&T, Mashable believes that the new iPhone 5 will be hitting stores in October (less than two months away!).  Meanwhile, for those who prefer their iExperience to come in tablet form, the new iPad 3 is expected to drop sometime early in 2012 to close out the final quarter of the fiscal year with a bang.

    Yeesh, that’s a lot of upgrading in a short time.  I know it makes sense from a market share standpoint to stay in front of the curve and keep the competition at bay with fresh offerings, but it’s also a great way to alienate adopters who may have only recently purchased the newest iPad (and the rumors have to hurt sales because of the urge not to buy last-generation technology when the newest of the new is right around the corner).

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    August 19, 2011
    Fun Friday Video: Don’t Microwave That!

    There are a lot of things you’re not supposed to microwave.  Tinfoil, CDs, bowls with metal filigree, you name it… if it’s metal, don’t put it in the microwave!  That said, there are a lot of unusual things that should be microwave safe that aren’t.  For example, the most shocking thing I saw on Buzzfeed’s list of 16 things you should never microwave was a harmless, innocent piece of fruit.  Allow someone else to demonstrate:

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    That’s right, apparently if you nuke grapes in a glass, you end up with plasma-like bursts of energy!  Who knew!?  Not me, that’s for sure.  You’d think that something like a grape would be totally harmless and safe to nuke, but I guess not.  There’s no telling why it had such an electric response, but I’m just glad I found this out before I decided to thaw grapes in the microwave or something else equally dangerous.

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    August 17, 2011
    Wordless Wednesday: Ol’ Painless

    Image via io9, drawn by Clinton Felker.

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    August 16, 2011
    215K 3DS Sold After Price Drop

    Will the price drop of the Nintendo 3DS help sales?  Well, the numbers in America aren’t in yet, but the numbers from Japan are.  In the first official week after the 3DS dropped in price, Nintendo sold 215,000 3DS portable video game systems.  Amazingly in the first week of sales, Nintendo sold 350,000 3DS (and 200,000 in the second week of sales).  The price drop appears to have given Nintendo a new lease on hand-held life!

    Of course, that’s in Japan, which has moved 1.5 million or so DS units since launch.  In America, the 3DS set sales records on launch, so it remains to be seen if the price drop will trigger the same kind of bump here.  I don’t see why it wouldn’t help perk up the numbers, since value is important, but an essential second launch might be asking a lot of the hand-held device.  It’ll help sales numbers, to be sure, but not to the extent that I think Nintendo is hoping for.

    Then again, I might buy one; maybe there are a lot of others were just waiting for lower prices, too.

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