Thinkertry
Afterthoughts #13
Jan 21, 2012

Street artist Fabian Gaete Maureira re-defines finger painting (Gizmodo & Devour)

Each week I come across a lot of great videos, articles, and random things that I want to share but aren’t well-suited to a full article. Afterthoughts are weekly posts that collect all this extra stuff for your weekend reading/watching/listening/laughing pleasure.

Again, sorry for the delay, I’m hoping to be all caught up by next weekend. Being at CES accumulating saved articles without having time to read them all really threw me for a loop.

News:

  • A wire 4 atoms wide by 1 atom high was created that can conduct electricity just like copper. Surprisingly, the resistance of the extremely thin wire isn’t as high as scientists (and my high school physics textbook) thought it would be, suggesting that Moore’s Law will continue and supercomputers the size of dimes could be created, maybe: The Verge
  • Using “optical superchannels”, researchers at the NEC Corporation set a record for transmitting data over 10,000 kilometers at a rate of 1.15 Terabits per second (or 144 Gigabytes per second). Combining multiple superchannels, they got speeds of 4 Tb/s (500 GB/s)! When will we get those kinds of internet speeds? Who knows: The Verge
  • Facebook News Feed ads have arrived!: Gizmodo
  • The number of Earth-sized planets in our galaxy (compared to giant ones like Jupiter) is greater than scientists expected. Good news for alien life searchers: Gizmodo

Videos:

  • If you’re looking for a clear explanation of what all this “SOPA” and “PIPA” legal stuff is about, watch this (But before you do, know that it’s quickly losing support and will likely be rewritten): Devour
  • Christopher Walken reads Where the Wild Things Are with insightful commentary (the tree in the water really doesn’t make any sense): Devour
  • Vote for Vermin Supreme, the friendly tyrant, and get a free pony. I don’t know: Devour
  • To promote their new braille menus, Wimpy Burger made 15 burgers with sesame seed braille bumps and sent them to a few blind institutions. Good idea. Great story. Perfect marketing: Devour
  • Microsoft Research created a touchable 3D hologram (using a classic mirror illusion). The spinning Earth demo is the coolest: The Verge
  • “Yay Buffering!” (Stuff nobody says): Devour
  • Watch a 30-story building be constructed in just 15 days: Devour
  • The confusing and complicated system of primaries and caucuses clearly explained using stick figures, photos, and monocles: Devour
  • Scary crosswind plane landings. Good videos to remember during your next turbulent landing: Gizmodo

Other:

  • The reasons why this Winter has been so warm thus far: Gizmodo
  • Nissan’s self-healing iPhone case fills in scratches and knicks automagically. I’d love to see car exteriors do the same thing: Gizmodo
Afterthoughts #12
Jan 7, 2012

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa celebrating the arrival of 2012 with the fireworks show to end all fireworks shows. (Gizmodo)

Each week I come across a lot of videos, articles, and random things that I’d like to share, but sometimes they aren’t well-suited to a full post. Afterthoughts are weekly posts that collect all this extra stuff for your weekend reading/watching/listening/laughing pleasure.

News:

  • Traditional (and expensive) SMS text messaging seems to be on the decline thanks to apps like iMessage, Twitter, and Facebook Messenger (among others) that are available for smartphone users. It’s not going away anytime soon, but if you’re a smartphone user there are definitely ways around it now: The Verge

Videos:

  • Snoop Dogg and Neil Patrick Harris appeared on The Price is Right for charity week.
  • Waiting on hold for too long will inevitably lead to eye injury, gang violence, and a road-side ditch: Devour
  • A curious family of mountain gorillas hang out with a camera guy: Devour

Other:

  • A map of the world contained in a droplet of water: Gizmodo
  • Fluorescent bacteria that may help us detect toxins or pathogens in the future. Not sure how the bacteria will get food or get rid of waste, but synchronized fluorescence is cool enough anyway: Gizmodo
Afterthoughts #11
Jan 1, 2012

Happy New Year, and see you in 2013! (Devour)

Each week I come across a lot of videos, articles, and random things that I’d like to share, but sometimes they aren’t well-suited to a full post. Afterthoughts are weekly posts that collect all this extra stuff for your weekend reading/watching/listening/laughing pleasure.

News:

Videos:

  • Astute (and entertaining) commentary given by two brothers on old home videos of their childhood exploits: Devour
  • Your luggage’s journey from the check-in counter to your plane’s cargo hold: Devour
  • A behind-the lens look at the astronaut/camera responsible for the recent (and awesome) Earth time lapses: Gizmodo

Other:

  • The Verge wrote up a very comprehensive  ”Year in Review” with the biggest tech news, trends, and products of 2011. A really good look at the tech world of 2011.
Afterthoughts #10
Dec 26, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! (Gizmodo)

Each week I come across a lot of videos, articles, and random things that I’d like to share, but sometimes they aren’t well-suited to a full post. Afterthoughts are weekly posts that collect all this extra stuff for your weekend reading/watching/listening/laughing pleasure.

News:

  • The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) found its first new particle: the Chi-b (3P). Yes!: The Verge
  • AT&T’s push for a T-Mobile acquisition fell through, here’s a haiku: Gizmodo
  • Cornell University is cooperating with New York City to build a “Science Island” near the Big Apple: Gizmodo
  • The Superbowl will be streamed online this year. Very nice: The Verge
  • Ads may be coming to your Facebook news feed in 2012: The Verge
  • Despite bad omens, Firefox and Google ended up making a deal that’ll fund Mozilla for another 3 years: The Verge

Videos:

  • Remember Jetman and the wing-suit guy who flew down a mountain? For a 360 degree view of what it’s like to fly like them, check this out (performance may vary): Gizmodo
  • Speaking of Jetman, meet the similarly named earth-bound Rollerman: Gizmodo
  • Watch a Bengals football player flip his way to a touchdown. Like a Jedi: Devour
  • What we Googled in 2011: Gizmodo
  • A short behind-the-film look at Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. The video supposedly focuses on the film’s music, but it deviates quite a bit. A good look at the Dubai scene as well: Devour
  • 2011′s best table tennis shots: Devour
  • The history of Santa Claus: Devour
  • Cats yawning, just because: Devour

Other:

  • A great xkcd comic that anyone who’s been to a supermarket can sympathize with: xkcd
  • A great photo tour of Space Shuttle Atlantis’s insides. Flight deck, mid deck, payload bay and all: collectSPACE
  • Netflix updated its iPad interface: it’s a whole lot better now: MacRumors
  • The best iOS games of 2011: touchArcade
Afterthoughts #9
Dec 17, 2011

I wonder what the bearded dragon thinks of this game. (Gizmodo)

This week’s Afterthoughts is a bit late and a bit scant: sorry about that, it’s been a busy week and I have some catching up to do. Now that I’m on break I’ll have more time to write up some thoughts I’ve been meaning to publish, so look forward to those before CES 2012 in January.

Each week I come across a lot of videos, articles, and random things that I’d like to share, but sometimes they aren’t well-suited to a full post. Afterthoughts are weekly posts that collect all this extra stuff for your weekend reading/watching/listening/laughing pleasure.

News:

  • After many years writing for his own site, Winrumors (which covers Microsoft-related news and stories), Tom Warren announced that he’s moving to The Verge. Boy, The Verge is definitely full of talented people: Winrumors

Videos:

  • If you want to become healthier, do this: limit yourself to sleeping/eating/gaming/doing nothing for only 23 1/2 hours a day. Think you can do that? Great, watch Dr. Mike Evans’ short visual lecture to learn more: Devour
  • Dogs barking Jingle Bells. Yup: Devour

Other:

  • The Verge wrote up an extensive history of iOS just like they did for Android a few weeks back. A great reference if you ever need it: The Verge
  • A new Google Easter egg: searching for “let it snow” makes snow start to fall and your window fogs up. Neat: Google
Afterthoughts #8
Dec 10, 2011

You know, I never have seen a plastic toilet… White Porcelain. (Devour)

Each week I come across a lot of videos, articles, and random things that I’d like to share, but sometimes they aren’t well-suited to a full post. Afterthoughts are weekly posts that collect all this extra stuff for your weekend reading/watching/listening/laughing pleasure.

News:

  • A “Google-funded study” shows that Firefox is less secure than Internet Explorer. Well, I think it’s safe to assume they’re not helping out Firefox anymore: Gizmodo
  • Hulu is adding facial recognition to their videos, allowing the viewer to simply hover over the actor’s face to find out their name and some extra info. Gotta say, I like the idea: The Verge
  • Google+ can now alert you whenever a photo with your face in it is uploaded, not just when somebody else tags you in it (like Facebook). It’s a bit creepy, as most facial recognition-related things are, but in this case it might actually be pretty helpful: you don’t have to get tagged to find out there’s a photo of you somewhere: The Verge
  • The Apple Store in Grand Central opened, and lots of people came to get free T-shirts: Macrumors

Videos:

  • Chacarron… Hablehrerememeyeyeye! (fyi, this is actually legit, not a dub): YouTube
  • School Picture Day, but with a reality check: Devour
  • A demo of a new phone camera module from Sharp with unbelievably good image stabilization (hopefully it works just as well outside a lab): The Verge
  • A catchy little song with a music video jam-packed with iPhone games: The Verge
  • A really neat animated Apple ad promoting the Beatles on iTunes: Macrumors
  • The Daily Show takes on the freemium app Tap Fish: pointing out at 2:18 that the developer is basically “a drug dealer”: AppAdvice

Other:

  • You can now use Google as a graphing calculator: Gizmodo
  • Don’t have a fireplace? Stream one with Netflix, in HD: Gizmodo
  • Google launched a new app called “Currents”, which is basically Flipboard, but Google-curated. Their launch video makes it look awesome, but after using it for a bit: eh. Images take a long, long time to cache. This ain’t an RSS reader: Gizmodo
  • Some new renderings of Apple’s upcoming spaceship-like campus: The Verge
Afterthoughts #7
Dec 3, 2011

“So let me grab a fork here. No, not to eat it with; I’m not a communist.” Wait, what? (Devour)

Each week I come across a lot of videos, articles, and random things that I’d like to share, but sometimes they aren’t well-suited to a full post. Afterthoughts are weekly posts that collect all this extra stuff for your weekend reading/watching/listening/laughing pleasure.

News:

  • Carrier IQ. By now I’m sure you’ve heard all about it, and the story is still developing, but here’s a good summary of what it is and why people are freaking out about it: Gizmodo
  • The 3DS is, in fact, doing better than the original DS did when it first launched. Maybe things aren’t so bad after all? Eh: The Verge
  • You can now make free phone calls via Google+ hangouts, very similar to Skype and seemingly even simpler. Still no calendar integration…: Lifehacker
  • Prey, the open source anti-theft desktop software, is now available on iOS. It can’t do everything the desktop version can, but the way it tricks the thief into getting their picture taken is pretty clever: Lifehacker

Videos:

  • A cool interview between The Verge’s Paul Miller and HuskyStarcraft, one of the many professional Starcraft 2 casters (like sports casters). It’s neat seeing the world of e-sports start to appear outside of gaming-focused news sites; it seems that they’re becoming more and more popular nowadays: The Verge
  • Watch Jetman Yves Rossy fly in formation with his custom-made jetpack; as close to actually flying as you can get: Devour
  • A convincing and entertaining argument against the penny’s use in the US: Devour

Other:

  • People are having a lot of fun making Siri do cool new things. Kinda reminds me of the first few weeks after the Kinect was launched: The Verge
  • It’s true: HTML5 isn’t quite developed enough for certain sites like Ustream or Netflix to adopt. For a very extensive look at where HTML5 stands today and what the road looks like ahead, check this out: The Verge
  • If you hate bugs, then you’ll cringe in fear when you see the world’s largest bug: the Giant Weta. Bigger than most small birds, heavier than three mice combined, and capable of gnawing on a carrot: Gizmodo
  • Wolfram Alpha now helps you cheat at Scrabble / Words with Friends. Please don’t abuse it!: Lifehacker
Afterthoughts #6
Nov 28, 2011

“Yup, knew that was coming.” (Jalopnik)

Sorry for being a bit late this week, I typically post these on Fridays but given that it was Thanksgiving weekend I figured I would spend a bit more time hanging out with family (as you all hopefully did too).

Each week I come across a lot of videos, articles, and random things that I’d like to share, but sometimes they aren’t well-suited to a full post. Afterthoughts are weekly posts that collect all this extra stuff for your weekend reading/watching/listening/laughing pleasure.

News:

  • The Pentagon is going to repair the Air Force’s fleet of F-22 fighters, none of which have ever seen combat, for $7.4 billion. I understand the need to be cautious, and the F-22′s have flown around for defense, but I would much rather see 74 iMacs given to every public school in the nation with that kind of money. It’s not going to happen, but a geek can dream: Time
  • The screenplay-writer of The Social Network is “strongly considering” writing one for a possible Steve Jobs movie: MacRumors

Videos:

  • An intriguing look at the kinds of things generative art designers do. The way the musician rationalizes the relationship between the Iraq War and music is cool, and Electric Sheep seems neat as well: The Verge
  • This is what happens when Waffle Irons are on sale for $2 at Wal-Mart. I was considering making this the featured video for Afterthoughts #6, but something in the video, well, disturbed me. You’ll know what I mean: Gizmodo
  • Jay Greenberg, a 12-year-old musical prodigy who’s already writing symphonies: Devour
  • A guy who does backflips, front flips, and spin attacks just like Link while playing Skyward Sword: Kotaku
  • I don’t think anybody on America’s Got Talent has physically suffered as much as these guys have: Devour
  • A nice short of a clever desk toy with dreams of travelling the open road: Devour
  • A behind-the-scenes look at the work involved in making the World’s Largest (and Longest) 3D Street Art piece (both Guinness World Records): Devour

Other:

  • An interesting concept of a modular USB key. It’s not very practical, but it looks pretty cool: Engadget
  • A neat and clean-looking flashcard app for iOS and Android called StudyBlue. Seems simple enough, and there’s a web version of StudyBlue as well that makes it easy to share your cards with anybody (other people don’t even need to create an account): HackCollege
Afterthoughts #5
Nov 19, 2011

An amazing finish

Each week I come across a lot of videos, articles, and random things that I’d like to share, but sometimes they aren’t well-suited to a full post. Afterthoughts are weekly posts that collect all this extra stuff for your weekend reading/watching/listening/laughing pleasure.

News:

  • The Verge is officially CES 2012′s Tech News Partner, a role that Engadget has touted for many years. This news is a little bittersweet though: while I’m very happy for Josh Topolsky and his crew, I can’t help but feel a bit sad for guys at Engadget. Nevertheless, I’m very impressed with how Topolsky and crew stuck it to AOL and created their own place where they could produce amazing in-depth reviews, ridiculously beautiful videos and awesome guides without being pressured by a room of suits. The Verge feels like a publication, not just a tech blog, and they deserve their success: The Verge
  • The 3DS isn’t doing so hot, but at least it’s selling more than the original DS did and will probably get a holiday boost: Engadget
  • Netflix released a completely redesigned Android tablet app that’ll be heading to the iPad soon, but supposedly it’s still feels like junk. Here’s hoping it’ll be at least a bit more usable than the current interface, it’s really quite bad right now: Engadget
  • I really like the idea of OnLive, but maybe (like Dippin’ Dots) it’s just a bit ahead of its time. With slow internet connections continuing to plague the nation and internet data caps looming, Microsoft thinks it might be a while before this kind of thing is ready to change the way game consoles work: Joystiq
  • It seems that Sony is preparing to revitalize its costly television business by integrating some kind of IPTV service that’ll compete with cable. With all the Apple TV, Google TV, Roku and Boxee stuff going on recently I’m not really surprised. I suspect Sony will integrate it directly into their televisions, but I’m not sure that’s the best approach. We’ll see: The Verge
  • A newer, better, more expensive North Face jacket: Gizmodo
  • A better lithium-based battery with ten times the capacity might come out in a few years. I’m still skeptical, but since it’s lithium-based it might not be too radical to implement. Here’s hoping: Gizmodo
  • Verizon is going to start monitoring how you use your phone so they can sell that data to advertisers unless you opt out. Nice: Engadget

Videos:

  • The very first “On The Verge” show “aired” this week, and I have to say I was extremely impressed with both its production value and content. Very geeky, but that’s what makes it fun. Great job guys: The Verge
  • Damien Walters, a pro stuntman who can do a barrel roll through a moving car: Devour
  • Siri gets in the middle of a Siri-commercial gone wrong: CollegeHumor
  • An animation of the ISS Cupola being installed on the International Space Station. I’d imagine there’s a pretty good view from up there: Gizmodo
  • If you want a good look at Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), watch Joshua Topolsky’s video review at the Verge. Man they make good videos: The Verge
  • I really don’t know how to respond to this one, and after watching it you won’t either: Devour
  • If you’re a sky-gazer, you’ll like this neat time lapse mosaic of an entire year’s worth of sky: Devour

Other:

  • Reviews of the Kindle Fire are in, but they’re not all that favorable. According to Marco Arment, the Kindle Fire “is not a great tablet” because “it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do well.” That’s a bit of a bummer, but they’ll still sell a bunch of them this Holiday. I get the feeling that they were slightly pressed for time this year and that the next Kindle Fire will be what people were hoping this one would be. The issues with this first-go are pretty glaring for a content consumption device: Marco
  • One of many great xkcd comics, this is one I’m sure we can all relate to: xkcd
Afterthoughts #4
Nov 11, 2011

“No B and C? It’s a trap!” (Devour)

Each week I come across a lot of videos, articles, and random things that I’d like to share, but sometimes they aren’t well-suited to a full post. Afterthoughts are weekly posts that collect all this extra stuff for your weekend reading/watching/listening/laughing pleasure.

For some reason there was a just a whole bunch of interesting stuff posted this past week. The list may look a little daunting, but I assure you, there’s a lot of good stuff in here to explore. Enjoy!

Videos:

  • An ocean of birds, they look like an Aurora: Gizmodo
  • If you have trouble with procrastination, watch this video a few times, you know, so it really sinks in: Devour
  • The next generation of Beyblades, those weird “battle top” things kids play with, except with more lights, and magnets: Gizmodo
  • Paul Miller from The Verge takes a tour of the giant Windows Phone that was set up in Manhattan: The Verge
  • An RC helicopter fly-through and tour of a GE plant: Devour
  • Bridges constructed entirely of living tree shoots, and each one takes over a lifetime to build, fascinating: Devour
  • A visual explanation of why the electoral college is messed up: Devour
  • A truly “Green City” being built in Abu Dhabi: Devour
  • A psychedelic polygon sculpture that’ll make your brain melt: Gizmodo
  • Light-up blinds for your underground man cave, good to fake people out: Gizmodo
  • A cool “3D” museum piece using a whole bunch of LEDs floating in midair: Gizmodo
  • A guy had too much time one weekend, so he decided to stack a bunch of coins on a dime: Gizmodo

News:

  • Adobe announced that it’s giving up on Flash for mobile devices, HTML5 is better: The Verge
  • Dippin’ Dots filed for bankruptcy, which means the little stand at the mall that’s 20 miles away from you might be closing down. They could recover from this, but it’s still kind of a bummer, those little dots were real chill…: Gizmodo
  • Honda showed off the newest version of its ASIMO humanoid robot. I swear, sometimes it looks like a monkey with a suit on: Engadget
  • And here’s another (uglier) humanoid robot with an actual human controlling it from afar. Pretty precise: The Verge
  • An iOS developer showed off a loophole in iOS 5 that lets an app download and execute code to tap into a bunch of the user’s sensitive information. He was kicked from the developer program and tweeted, “That’s so rude!”, but I’m sure he expected it to happen posting it on YouTube, he just wanted attention: Gizmodo
  • Khan Academy is growing. It now has $5 million in funding to grow and is considering building a school (which doesn’t make much sense to me, but whatever). They sound pretty ambitious, but time will tell if the US is ready to start learning outside of the traditional classroom: Hack Education
  • Andy Rooney passed away this week only a short while after officially retiring. Here’s a collection of his best tech-related talks: Gizmodo
  • Some more info about C3 Technologies (the 3D mapping firm Apple bought) trickled out, and it seems like they do a lot of the same things Google does with Maps. Whenever this comes to the iPhone I hope they implement some sort of iPhone crowd-sourced traffic data. Navigon and other GPS apps, for whatever reason, don’t seem to detect traffic very well, and that kind of information is really, really useful when you have it. Sure you could check the news before heading out, but, bleh: MacRumors
  • A “definitive” flu vaccine that makes it “impossible” to become infected is currently being tested. Supposedly you’ll never get the flu again if get it, but for some reason I doubt that’s true: Gizmodo
  • The new Apple Store iOS app lets you buy things with your iTunes account and walk out of the store without ever talking to anyone. Pretty cool: Engadget

Other:

  • Lifehacker recently put up an article touting the benefits of having an online backup of your computers, but that’s not a great solution if you’re the “Computer Guy” of the family who’s responsible for keeping everybody up and running. Online backups get expensive, and it’s also a bit less private. Instead, I’d check out Tinkertry’s tips for using LogMeIn’s Hamachi client with Windows Home Server to back up your computers (Macs too!) from just about anywhere with an internet connection. Multiple offsite backups become a breeze, and your whole family can be backed up nightly without any driving whatsoever: Tinkertry
  • Marco Arment notes that with the recent floods in Thailand making HDDs scarce, the new demand for SSDs will probably drive down their cost: Marco.org
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