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    October 7, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: LED Roomba

    via Reddit

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    October 4, 2015
    Apple Watch Coming To Target

    Apple has a great idea with its Apple Stores.  You get people in, they get to play with your products, and when they have a problem, they bring it right to you for repairs and the wonderful extra income that comes with that.  However, that’s a pretty limited distribution network, and even the best set of stores (and online sales) doesn’t reach everyone.  Hence, corporate partners who specalize in retail.  Like, for instance, Target?  The Apple Watch is going to be sold at your local Target.

    Get ready.  The Apple Watch hits Target’s website on October 18; all stores should have the watch in stock by October 25.  Here’s a press release from Target raising awareness and interest in their new product.  It looks like it’s going to have a good array of options at the price most people can afford.  Behold!

    “Guests can choose from 20 models—in both 38mm and 42mm sizes—including beautiful space gray and rose gold colors.  Select models and bands will be available at all Target stores, and an expanded assortment of Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch will be available on  Prices range from $349 to $599.”

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    September 17, 2015
    Microsoft Eliminates The Last Zune Reminder

    It seems like the Zune has been gone forever, resigned to the mists of history like the Apple Newton and other failed products that were good ideas that didn’t quite take off.  The Zune was only taken off the market in 2012, but it’s as if Microsoft was in a hurry to wipe it all out, renaming their music product to Xbox Music (and again to Groove).  There was one thing still around, though; Zune Music Pass.  The physical players themselves are still around too, but all support for them is now officially unofficial.  Microsoft is finally ending the Zune Music Pass.

    The Zune services will be shutting down November 15, thereby ending one of the weirdest periods in music.  Big companies were fighting left and right to make music players and provide interfaces for said music, and in the end, Apple won but that victory is going to be short-lived thanks to the rise of streaming services and always-on Internet in everyone’s pocket.

    The very smartphones that drive the company’s profits have killed their former golden goose, but I doubt they’re complaining.  Phones need upgrading more frequently than music players ever did.

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    September 9, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: They’re Serious

    Via ABC News

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    September 3, 2015
    The Only Traveling Jacket You’ll Ever Need

    When I went to England and Scotland two years ago, I had a pretty miserable time on the airplane.  I had my laptop and a neck pillow and sunglasses and a coat and a blanket and pillows and all kinds of necessary junk that I needed to keep track of between checking in at security and finally getting on the plane for a very long, mostly uncomfortable flight to Heathrow Airport.  It was a mess, and I was constantly rooting around in my carry-on or in my pockets for stuff while banging my knees on the tray table in front of me.  The solution has finally appeared to traveling woes in the form of a 15-feature traveling jacket.  The Baubex jacket is perfect for any traveler, because it does everything you need a traveling organizer to do.

    The features start in the hood and run all the way to the cuffs.  In the hood is an eye mask, an inflatable pillow, and earphone holders.  Further down there’s a passport pocket (finally), a drink pocket to spare the indignity of the pull-down tray, and a phone pocket.  Further down than that is an iPod pocket, a pocket for charging devices, and pull-out gloves built into the sleeves to keep your hands warm if you fail to pack for the weather or find your hands getting chilly in the plane.  There’s also a built-in blanket pocket and a sunglasses pocket, and probably a lot of other features yet to be discovered.

    The jackets retail for $160, and the product raised a staggering $9 million during a Kickstarter campaign earlier in the year.  The jackets come in four styles: blazer, windbreaker, hoodie, and bomber, and come in both men’s and women’s shapes with a variety of colors.  Of course, a jacket that useful could come in zebra stripes and fit like Zubaz and I’d still want one for my next long trip overseas.

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    August 26, 2015
    Amazon Goes Underground

    Back in December, Amazon’s app disappeared from Google’s servers.  The Google Play Store has rules, and the most important rule they have is not to use your app to sell other apps.  Google wants to control where your apps come from, and allowing others to sell apps back-handedly is very much against the rule.  Rather than pout, Amazon did something about their trouble with Google Play.  Amazon has taken its popular app and taken it underground, literally.  Amazon has an app called Amazon Underground that can only be gotten via Amazon.

    Of course, to make Amazon Underground work, you have to first allow your phone to download third-party apps.  For most instances, that’s a horrible idea, but this is Amazon, and if you get the app from their servers, it’s pretty safe.  You turn on to allow third party stuff, then you turn it off until you need to install or update the apps you load covertly through Amazon’s app store.  That will give you flexibility and the apps you crave for your addiction.

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    August 20, 2015
    Remember These Fossils?

    Laptops used to be expensive.  They still are, but they used to be very, very costly, well out of the range of most people’s budgets.  Smartphones were a completely foreign idea, the realm of science fiction.  Sure, there were things like the Newton, but that was rare and quickly forgotten about until the technology caught up with the idea.  There were a lot of gadgets like that when the Internet became a thing in the 90′s; interesting ideas that flared up but were never quite able to catch on for a variety of reasons.  PC World has a fun round-up of weird gadgets from the early days of the Internet.

    I love looking at old galleries like these, but I never knew anyone who had any of these devices, like the above-pictured 3Com Ergo Audrey.  I never knew anyone that had one, but I was always fascinated by the idea of them, and I remember checking lots of these out at the store when possible.  Kind of like how I was always fascinated by the idea of WebTV, but never knew anyone who had anything to do with them.  I don’t see a lot of them having sold well, but I love the ideas and I love how many of the features these devices had (wireless keyboards, touchscreens, wireless online connectivity) are pretty much standard these days.

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    August 18, 2015
    Intel’s Crazy Gadgets

    Robot spiders.  Bar code gloves and a wrist-and-belt system to monitor lifting posture.  A mirror that changes your shirt for you to test out different colors.  There are a lot of fun things you can do with technology that may or may not be useful.  Some of them, like the Neiman-Marcus mirror, are already slowly being pushed out to store locations.  Others are toys for the super-rich, like a killer race car simulator.  All of them have Intel inside and made their appearance at the Intel developer’s conference this week.  Here are some of the crazy highlights of Intel’s developer conference.

    I love things like this.  Most of these things aren’t practical, and they won’t see any kind of large-scale production for the consumer market, but the only way you know a product might work is that someone creates, tests it, and there’s enough attention.  Google Glass might have been a failure, but it was a neat experiment that’s going to yield results in the future via other products using parts of Glass to create some real virtual reality.

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    August 13, 2015
    iRobot’s Lawn Mower Roomba Is Coming

    Do you enjoy cutting the grass?  I sure don’t.  In fact, my lawn needs to be cut as we speak, but it’s just too hot and I’m too tired to bother with it right now.  It’ll wait until cooler times this weekend.  I wish I didn’t have to go out and do the chore manually.  I wish I had, say… a Roomba vacuum.  One of the longest-awaited ideas has finally come to fruition.  iRobot has been approved to develop a Roomba-style lawn mower!

    This is an amazing idea.  The Roomba operates by moving between radio-emitting stakes in the ground (or I guess running into the fence will make it turn around, too) which controls just where the Roomba cuts and where it doesn’t cut, so your neighbors will have to get their own or move the stakes after you put the Roomba to work and go back inside to enjoy a cool ice tea.  The FCC has approved the use of radio waves to control the device, so no need to do a remote-control version, the stakes and the Roomba will do all the work.

    Man, we’re finally starting to actually live in the future.  Robots doing our vacuuming and our yard work!

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    August 5, 2015
    Puzzle Over Song Lyrics No Longer

    I dearly love my father, but he has an awful habit of singing songs with incorrect lyrics.  They may just only be slightly off, but… they’re off enough to bother me.  I do it to.  Everyone does it, truthfully.  You sing what you hear, even if that’s not what’s actually being sung at the time in the song.  That’s where the Genius family of websites come into play. T hey’re a crowd-sourced lyrics and explanations site and they have been slowly expanding their reach through app-based services.  The Genius app has made its debut on Android, with redesigns across iPhone and web versions to boot.

    Now I’ve only used the Genius stuff via the web, but I’m excited about the idea of it, because I’m tired of looking up song snippets via Google when I can turn to something with some serious source and the knowledge of the globe at large to get songs right.  If it works for Wikipedia, it could definitely work for “Rocky Mountain Way.”

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