Tag Archives: technology

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Lucky Friday” Edition

Happy Friday everyone. Yep, it’s that time again. Time to run through the weird, the strange, the dumb, and the stupid. Heck, we’ll even throw in silly at no extra charge! And yes, as this week’s post title alludes to, today is Friday the 13th. (You know, that may be the first time I’ve used “alludes to” in a post!)

  1. Given today’s date… this is hilarious. It’s Friday the thirteenth. And you’re about to board your flight to Helsinki Finland when you notice a couple of things. Namely, your flight number is 666, and the airport code you are flying to is HEL. Yep. Somebody queue up the AC/DC song….
  2. Wow… It really is true, you know? We humans try to add extra sugar to everything! As in the recent molasses spill near Honolulu, Hawaii. Now… yes, I understand it’s not cool that this spill happened and killed the fish. But it still made for a lighthearted joke. I could have cone with the other angle from the story… where authorities are saying that the molasses in the water that’s killing the fish poses no threat to humans… except for all the sharks, barracuda, and eels the dead fish are expected to draw in. Yeah, a shark poses no risk to humans. As long as you’re still on land (Unless you have a Sharknado). And uh.. stay away from anything labelled “sweetened fish” for a while, I’d say.
  3. Speaking of things in the water that can harm you…. How about this one? A a rare brain-eating amoeba has been found in a municipal Louisiana water supply. But don’t worry, “the water is safe to drink, state officials said, although they cautioned against getting water in the nose”. Oh, that’s reassuring. And that’s why… I don’t always drink in Louisiana, but when I do, I prefer alcohol!
  4. Next up, it’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s….. actually…. it’s a frog. So this is what Kermit has been up to these days. A frog recently photo bombed a NASA spaceship launch. Let’s be honest, Kermit was just looking to join up with the Pigs in Space.
  5. And closing out on the NASA theme…. Geek alert time! NASA has reported that Voyager I has officially left our solar system. Not only that, but its also sending back sounds!
    Frankly, I think this is really cool. But after listening to the sounds, I do kind of have to wonder….. Haven’t we seen this movie already?

Okay folks, that’s five and I’m off to see what the weekend brings. So, this one is for all of the weekend warriors out there. Even if you’re just waging war with the weeds in your lawn.

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Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “End of the short week” Edition

Good morning folks, and welcome to yet another edition of Five Thoughts. We’re off and running again this morning, just waiting to get the weekend started. So without fiddling around too much in this space here this morning, let’s get at it shall we?

  1. I like to think I understand the basics of business and marketing pretty well. Especially considering the diplomas on the wall that say I’m supposed to. As such, I totally get the point, economically speaking, that the author is trying to make in this article about McDonald’s possibly needing to abandon the $1 burger on its dollar menu due to increased costs. They simply aren’t making enough money on it to keep it around. But when you bust out a line that says.. “McDonald’s needs to start charging $1.50 or $2 for Dollar Menu items , Peter Saleh, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group”…
    I’m just curious, do you GET the whole point of a DOLLAR menu? Things are supposed to cost a DOLLAR. If they cost more, then they aren’t on the DOLLAR menu anymore. See how that works? Glad I could clear it up for you.
  2. Changing gears completely….  We’ve all seen these NSA online snooping stories… And I’m sure a bunch of people feel safe now because they either were using, or started using a bunch of extra encryption software to protect their data. Well, guess what… Now there’s news that the NSA can crack most anything you might be using. So that helicopter you thought you heard last night when you were surfing the web… Yeah, probably the Feds.  Maybe you used the wrong keywords…
  3. Next up, from the “I’m including this because I think it’s funny and scary at the same time” department…. You’re at home, having breakfast. The car you just sold is sitting in the driveway, waiting for its new owner to pick it up. And here comes a semi trailer with 45 TONS of sand rolling backwards down the road. Over your car and into your house. Yeah, I’d say you’re awake after that.
  4. Next up…. drones! Yes, I’ve posted my fair share of stories about them. I find the technology very interesting. And the “privacy” debate is interesting. This though, this is humorous. All I’m going to add though, as a Colorado town considers passing an ordinance that will allow people with a license to shoot down drones (And they are currently flooded with applications for the licenses), are those infamous words…. This. Will. Not. End Well.
  5. So a funny thing happened before the football game last night…. Sounds like a set-up for a punchline, you know? Aside from the weather delay, one of the stories coming out of the game (OTher than the game itself) was the shot NBC got of the Baltimore Ravens being patted down before the game. Turns out it’s a normal occurrence, designed to check for banned substances like grease or silicon (Which in theory could make someone harder to tackle, I guess). Although I’m still unsure how grease would help when you have a 300 pound missile leading with its helmet looking to remove you from your shoes. Oh well, that’s why I only watch the games on TV.

Okay folks, that’s five and I am about ready to get my weekend started, how about you? In the meantime, if things are still a bit off schedule from the holiday weekend last week like they are around here. Just remember, this morning was not the normal Garbage day. It’s tomorrow. See what I did there?

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Yeah, sort of missed a week” Edition

Apologies folks, last week sort of slipped away from us and it was some time Friday afternoon that I realized that we hadn’t done a post for the week. We weren’t all on vacation or anything, in fact I think we were all mostly in the area. Ah well. Anyways, this week we’re back it so let’s see what’s up, shall we?

  1. I’m a firm believer in the saying “Every time you make something idiot-proof, the world just makes a bigger idiot”. As a result, we seem to have a lot of really dumb people in the world these days. Take this article. I’m sorry, “I forgot it was there” is really no excuse for this. As my cohorts like to pick on me for, I travel a fair bit. A lot of it is on airplanes. If I can remember to not bring the little utility tool knife through security, there’s no reason for more and more people to show up for their flight with a gun! Now, I’m not an anti-gun person by any means, but if you can’t remember it’s in your carry on bag, should you really own a gun in the first place?
  2. Staying with the “not real bright, are you?” theme… What exactly did this ‘brain surgeon’ think was going to happen when they modified an old machine gun to make it seem like it was firing and drove around town with it mounted on a vehicle? Yep, the police got involved, and they got arrested. As our buddy Red would say….
  3. And one more for good measure… While summer has been going along swimmingly up here (No seriously, we’re virtually swimming we’ve gotten so much rain here in Michigan this summer! Good thing I have a boat!) it’s been hot, and I mean HOT in other parts of the country. Like Death Valley. Where they made a really fun video showing a ranger frying an egg in a skillet that’s been out in the sun. And that where the idiots came in. People visiting death valley tried to fry eggs. Except, they aren’t using skillets. They’re frying them on the ground, and making a huge mess of things. And now the park literally is asking people to stop frying eggs on the ground.
  4. Of course, as I’m carrying on about all this I came across this one which points out… I’m going about it all wrong! Well, except that I’m not technically writing a complaint letter. But I love this one, and I wanted to share. And if you look closely on the site, there’s actually TWO great complain letters available. And the only thing I can add is that it just reinforces my belief that if you do need to write a complaint letter, be clear about what was wrong but there’s no reason to be nasty about it. That doesn’t get you anywhere.
  5. And lastly, I know this will have some people up in arms for various reasons. This blog isn’t the place to worry about that type of stuff though. I’m just putting it here because I think it’s freaking cool that a completely computer controlled unmanned aircraft (With zero human control, not even remotely) is capable of multiple carrier landings. We’re one step closer to Skynet!

Okay folks, that’s five and I’m calling it a day. Why does it seem like I’m cutting it short? Because as I mentioned up in the post, we’ve had a ton of rain around here recently. But today? Blue skies. And in honor of finally seeing a blue sky

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer

Living With…..

My co-blogger and I like to consider ourselves as being fairly knowledgeable and on the leading edge of technology.  We both own our fair share of tech toys (although I think I have a ton more than he does).  The one thing that we both noticed is that when a new item comes out there are usually a handful of reviews on the item at launch.  We figure that the reviewer usually spends only a few days, maybe a week with an item as they write their review.  We decided to try a new thing called “Living with..”.  These reviews will be based on our actual experiences with items that we, just like you would, spent our own hard earned cash on and use in our actual lives.  That one time introduction being said, here is our first review:

Logitech Squeezebox™ Radio

What the heck is it?: The Logitech Squeezebox Radio is a compact digital music player radio with a built-in speaker.  It allows you to stream internet radio, your personal digital music library and online music services.

Why did we purchase it?:  I had made the purchase after one of our local radio stations stopped broadcasting “old time radio classics.”  I had gotten addicted to listening to the old stories of Dragnet, Fibber McGee and Molly and Suspense.

Fancy Technical Stuff:  There really isn’t anything too technical about this device.  It’s basically a radio that uses the internet to get broadcast instead of an antenna.  If you know how to hook up a wireless device to your network at home, that’s probably the extent of your technical need for the basic usage. You can connect it to your network via an Ethernet cable as well, but if you’re like most people you won’t have a port near where you would like to listen to it.  If you want to use the device to play your musical digital library, you will need to install some software on your PC or home server.

Cool Stuff:   

  • You can stream almost any radio station you can name.
  • The amount of free musical services available is also pretty decent.  They have Absolute Radio UK, Pandora, BBC Radio and Mediafly just to name a few.
  • I’m no audiophile, but the sound that comes out of the one speaker is pretty decent.  It’s not like a high end system, but it sure beats anything from the iHome audio series.
  • You can also purchase a battery pack to take it anywhere you need, but I just use the AC plug.
  • There is also a smartphone app that allows you to remotely control your device.  There isn’t a ton of options on the app, but it does come in handy.
  • You can program up to six presets that will allow you to instantly go to that streaming audio source from a cold start.
  • If you own more than one device you can sync them so they play the same.
  • You are able to use this an internet radio device to connect to your stereo.  It can act as a tuner and not use it’s speaker if needed.
  • Seems to have an active support community on the web.

 

Boo Hiss Stuff:

  • Can be a tad bit quiet if you have a big room
  • Some of the earlier versions of the software were a tad bit buggy.
  • Every once in a while the squeezebox main server will go down for maintenance and you lose all radio abilities.  I’ve learned to follow them on twitter and learn of any planned downtime.
  • Not a problem with the device, but some internet radio stations just seem to disappear  into the great unknown.

Well, was it worth it?  I truly believe it is worth the price.  I use this device on a daily basis either by listening to old time radio classics or listening to my Pandora stations.   Heck, even my kids get into the act by going in my room and firing it up when they are upstairs.  It’s one of those rare devices that actually delivered on what I wanted and thought I was getting.  It definitely made me a happy llama.

 

Living with … lessons: 

Update the software to the latest version immediately.

For those who love old time radio, here are some streams I connect with:

Antioch AM 1710 http://radio.macinmind.com/

Old Time Radio Fan http://www.otrfan.com:8000/stream.m3u