Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Different Types Of Algorithms for Rubik’s Cube

People who are enthusiasts of solving the Rubik S Cube often do so by following Rubik S Cube Algorithms. But let us look at what the Rubik’s cube is. Earlier known as the Magic Cube it is a three dimensional puzzle. It was created by a Hungarian person named Enro Rubik. He was both, an architect and a sculptor. He was a professor at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts where he taught design. The rights to manufacture this puzzle were then given to a company known as Ideal Toy Corp.

Different Types Of Algorithms for Rubik’s Cube

Rubik S Cube Algorithms

While some people consider it to be a toy, others call it a puzzle. It was first created in the year 1974. It won several awards the year it was released. It reached the heights of its popularity in the 1980s. But it still continues to sell in large quantities every year. To give you an idea of it’s popularity, it is the highest selling puzzle game ever produced. Some people also consider it the highest selling toy.

Real enthusiasts who are looking for Rubik S Cube Algorithms say that the reason they are so crazy about the cube is the belief that it makes them smarter. Maybe the fact that it make you think about several different outcomes of a single rotation of the cube stimulates the brain.

Some people also believe that children become smarter if given the cube to play with.

Using the Rubik S Cube Algorithms

Solving one face of the cube is very easy, but solving all six faces needs an entirely different approach. Most people will, however, agree that solving the cube cannot be done one face after another.

This is because the minute you finish one face and move on the next, the face that you finished is all messed up. The most common approach to solving the cube is to do it in layers.

Several people have come up with solutions such as Rubik S Cube Algorithms. An algorithm, in their parlance is a series of moves which give the result that was expected.

Three popular algorithms exist for solving the cube – Thistlethwaite’s algorithm, Kociemba’s Algorithm and Korf’s Algorithm. Kociemba’s Algorithm was an improvement on Thistlethwaite’s algorithm. Korf’s Algorithm was developed by Richard Korf in 1997. He claimed to optimally solve the cube by iterative deepening. With his algorithm he claimed one could solve the cube in 18 moves.

Several other people have also come up with algorithms independently. A quick search on google will give you thousands of websites containing both videos and tutorials on how to solve the cube. But all of them require practice. A common practice is to get the “cross” right at first. This involves getting the central pieces of the same color on all six faces., and then to solve the cube in layers.

Though many notations exist to show the moves required by Rubik S Cube Algorithms, the most common notation is called the Singmaster notation. It was created by a metagrobologist called David Singmaster.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vote and Make The LEGO Ectomobile a Reality

When even World of Warcraft has its own line of "building bricks", one has to wonder why some of the most iconic movies of the 20th Century aren't immortalized in Lego blocks.  One could argue that Ghostbusters is so Lego-ready that it's already a done deal. It isn't: however, you can help make this a reality by logging your support with a vote (link below).  Every single one makes this fan-made set closer to being a real product on shelves.

Come on, you know you want this for your desk at the office!

Vote at:
Via: NerdApproved

Your Own Personal Holodeck

Yes, I'm not kidding, your own holodeck.  It won't have any physical feedback or safety protocols, like in Star Trek, but it will allow you to run around in your own virtual environment for less than you might think.

The system is composed of the Virtual Reality (VR) goggles called Oculus and the Atlas iPhone app.  The Atlas positioning system maps the markers, which you can print at home, using your phone’s accelerometer and gyroscopes to know where your are in the room. When you walk forward your virtual room changes as though you were walking forward in it.  The added bonus to all this that you are interactive.  It could end up being a great alternative to going to the gym.

The beauty of this system will be its estimated $100 price-tag.  Although real-space VR systems have been around for well over a decade, you couldn't get a wide-field-of-view head display with low-latency and head-orientation tracking for under $50,000.  Plus, the positioning systems cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“We’re really living in Year Zero of virtual reality,” Rasmussen giddily tells me. “We’re going to to see more wearable technology become consumer products. As developers work on games, we’ll work on a consumer version that kids can get under their Christmas tree. My vision for the system is something you and some friends bring to a racquetball court, play a high-intensity game for an hour, and get a workout.”

Read more at TechCrunch

BMW i3 (2014)

BMW has officially revealed their electric vehicle, the i3, which goes on sale, for the American market, in the third quarter of 2014. The BMW USA i3's price is set at $41,350 MSRP, not including $925 Destination & Handling fee. The United Kingdom's market has it starting at £25,680 GBP for the standard, electric only version, with the Range Extender model costing you at least £28,830 GBP.

The BMW i3 is powered by a hybrid synchronous electric motor, with an output of 125 kW, 170 hp and 250 Nm of torque. The range extender (hybrid) internal combustion engine is a 647cc unit, with 34 hp at 4,300 rpm and 55 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. As is BMW custom, the i3 is real wheel drive, via an automatic single speed transmission with a fixed ratio. The BMW i3 is able to accelerate from zero to 37mph (60 km/h) in 3.7 seconds and from zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.2 seconds. Top speed is 93 mph (150 km/h). BMW says that the i3 has a range of up to 80-100 miles (130 – 160 km), or 160-186 miles (240 – 300 km) on the range extender model.

 BMW is offering four interior styles, including the standard Atelier, the Loft, the Lodge and the Suite trim levels. The i3 comes as standard with the iDrive system and Radio Professional, hands-free phone system, air conditioning, Park Distance Control with rear-mounted sensors and onboard connectivity via an integrated SIM card (probably at extra cost). USB / Bluetooth connectivity, and the i Remote App, are also standard. The BMW i3's options include various navigation systems, Adaptive LED Headlights, an electrically operated glass roof, automatic climate control, heated seats, Comfort Access and more.

 The BMW i3 measures 3,999 mm in length, 1,775 mm in width and 1,578 mm in height. Thanks to lightweight construction, the i3 weighs just 1,195 kilograms.  BMW says that the i3 has a perfect 50:50 weigh distribution. It comes with standard 19-inch alloys or optional 20-inch wheels.

 The i3 comes with the full set of BMW Connected Drive technologies and the 360° ELECTRIC services, as well as all the safety features you would expect from a modern vehicle.   Unlike the Volkswagen XL1, this car (although typical BMW expensive) may be more practical for both commuting and family lifestyles.  It would be interesting to see, with a top speed of 93 mph, how this car handles on the autobahn.

2013 Volkswagen XL1 Diesel Hybrid - 261 mpg

It looks like the Germans are finally stepping up to the plate with fuel-efficient cars, and with German engineering, we should see some fairly sizable leaps in technology in the next few years.   With the US federal government’s latest regulations mandating that vehicles sold in the US will have to average 54.5 MPG by 2025, it looks like Volkswagen may give their lineup some serious room to spare on that average.

When it is released, the XL1 from Volkswagen will be the most fuel-efficient production car in the world, with a fuel consumption just under a liter of fuel per 100 km. It is a two-seater plug-in hybrid, with a range of up to 50 km in all-electric mode...and zero local emissions.

The rotating doors are super-cool, although it may still be a challenge to open them in tiny German parking spaces.

Quick Specs (sorrry abou the mix of metric/U.S):
Make:Volkswagen, Model: XL1, Year: 2013, Engine: 1.0L 2-Cylinder Diesel Hybrid, 0-62 time: 11.9sec, MPG: 261, HP: 74, Top Speed: 100mph, Seats: 2, weight: 795 kg, Aerodynamics: Cd 0.189, Center of gravity 1,153 mm high

Bottom Line:   Looks really cool, but your grandmother's Pinto will beat it on the 0-60.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Endless War on Terror Wearing on the American Public

It would seem that the American public is growing tired of the "war" on terror. The war is now seen as a never-ending (or at least no end in sight) war against an enemy that is everyone and no one.  The war has been used to justify sweeping new powers for the American Government, with no real oversight or checks. Secret courts, rulings and the associated wiretapping has finally taken its toll on a public that has become increasingly afraid, if not hostile, to its own government.

More Americans still approve of the wiretapping than disapprove; however the shift towards disapproval in just three years is dramatic.  Concerns over civil liberties topped protection from terrorism for the first time since Pew Research began polling this question in 2004.  The poll found that 47% of respondents were more concerned that the government’s anti-terrorism policies have gone too far in restricting the average person’s civil liberties, while only 35% were concerned they didn't go far enough.

Although the President and other senior officials insist that only “metadata,” such as phone numbers and email addresses, is being collected, 63% still think that the NSA is gathering the content of their communications, with 27% believing the government has listened in or read their communications specifically.  
Most likely, the NSA's perjury before Congress, as well as their "fact-sheet", which was hastily withdrawn after those facts were found to be not so factual, has contributed to the distrust the public has over the data collection.

Please read more at People Press

Friday, July 26, 2013

Android 4.3 - Choose Individual Permissions

The latest Android update has a hidden feature that will give users far more control over what access apps have to their data and hardware, by removing the all-or-nothing approach to access. The permission system controls the settings that say whether or not an app can access a specific feature or setting. These permissions include everything from finding your location, to preventing the screen from locking or even sending sms messages to your contacts automatically.

 As most of you know, Android shows you which “permissions” each app needs says it requires. Generally you have to either accept that or do without the application.

 This new, and frankly overdue, feature was discovered due to research by Android Police on the newly-released Android 4.3 operating system. Current testing show that it seems to work on apps that you've already installed as well as new installs, allowing you to browse the list of permissions and disable them individually as desired.

 For now, the app remains hidden since it’s still in a testing phase and it appears to have a few bugs/design issues that need to worked out. For example, you have to use the app once before the permission setting will show for that app.

 If you already have 4.3 installed you can try it out via the device settings or by downloading a new app that acts as a launcher for the hidden feature. Testing by Android Police’s Ron Amadeo showed that he was able to successfully stop Facebook from using location data without affecting any other Facebook functionality.

via GrS and AP

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Honey! I Could Just Eat You Up.

Yes, you can look sexy and delicious!

Yes, you can buy this at HalloweenCostumes

Fry’s Holophonor!

Futurama fans will love this, a replica of Fry’s Holophonor! Unfortunately, it doesn't play but only looks awesome.  Still, it's super cool!  Notice the Robot Devil’s hands holding it up?  That's attention to detail. You can check out some more photos and the step-by-step building process over on the Volpin Props website.

 You can check out some more photos and the step-by-step building process over on the Volpin Props website. (via sogeekchic)

Your Choice of Ice Cream Reveals Your Personality

Did you know that your choice of ice cream flavor can say a lot about you?  In honor of  'National Ice Cream Month', Baskin-Robbins conducted a study to to help you figure it out.

The study was conducted by Dr. Alan Hirsh, founder of Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, who has been identifying what flavors of ice cream may suggest about individuals personalities.  According to Dr Hirsch, the study has "...uncovered quite a few surprising finds," .

"For instance, we found that people who prefer Rainbow Sherbet are more pessimistic than you would think, in spite of the flavor’s bright taste profile, and that those who prefer Rocky Road are actually very good listeners."

For Vanilla lovers, you’re more likely to be impulsive and an idealist.
Chocoholics are dramatic and flirtatious, while Rocky Road lovers are good listeners
Praline ‘n Cream fans are loving and supportive.
Mint Chocolate Chip tend to be argumentative.

Chocolate: dramatic, lively, charming, flirtatious, seductive and gullible
Vanilla: impulsive, easily suggestible and an idealist
Very Berry Strawberry: a tolerant, devoted and an introvert
Mint Chocolate Chip: argumentative, frugal and cautious
Rocky Road:   aggressive, engaging and a good listener
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: ambitious, competitive and a visionary
Pralines 'n Cream: loving, supportive and prefer to avoid the spotlight.
Jamoca: scrupulous, conscientious and a moral perfectionist
Chocolate Chip:  generous, competent and a go getter
Rainbow Sherbet:   analytic, decisive and a pessimistic

'National Ice Cream Month is the perfect time to enjoy your favorite ice cream flavor, and this year we wanted our guests to have fun by learning what their favorite flavor says about them,' said Dan Wheeler, from the ice cream chain.

In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with 'appropriate ceremonies and activities.'

National Ice Cream Day this year was on Sunday, July 21.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dubai’s multi-million dollar fleet of police cars

Dubai’s multi-million dollar fleet of police cars includes Aston Martins, Bentleys, Ferraris and Lamborghinis

The Dubai police fleet is getting bigger, faster, and even more ridiculously expensive. Apparently a $450,000 Lamborghini Aventador was only the beginning, because the list of on-duty exotic cars in this millionaires’ playground has recently grown to include Bentleys, Ferraris, and a $1.4 million Aston Martin supercar.

KARIM SAHIB/Getty Images

Welcome to Dubai: Site of the world’s fastest and most expensive cop cars!

Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters 

via NYDailyNews

A little Pac Man Fun

Pac Man doodle from Google and embed script from The Rusty Brick.
In case you are wondering, Google disabled the sound.

Paid Email Ads In Google's New Mailbox Redesign

 Google's new inbox redesign sticks ads, disguised as emails, right inside your Gmail inbox.  These ads are under the promotions tab, one of the three new tabbed sections in this version of Gmail, so in Google's defense you won't see them unless you are in that tab.

 The paid-message-e-mail opens up like a regular e-mail, with the option to opt-out of that particular ad only after you have opened it.  Personally, I'm not sure my mailbox needs more spam.

 Fortunately, there is a means to disable the promotions tab, which is an option due to the outrage from users the last time it changed up its inbox.  The inbox tab under settings gives you the option to choose what tabs are shown, so uncheck the promotions box and you are again spam-free.

 Now, the promotions tab does serve a small purpose.  It gathers up all those Groupon and Living Social emails, tucking them away to a tab you may never use, and may help to keep your real mailbox a bit less cluttered.  However, you'll have to deal with the ads if you choose you use this method.

Where Kiwi Fruit Comes From

Although most think of Kiwis as a fruit, it it actually from the Kiwi bird.  This also explains its odd fur covering, which I personally peel off before eating.   The picture below show a good cross-section representation of the fruit, before processing.  Not very appetizing, but it tastes so good!

Provide More Transparency Around Government Surveillance of Internet Users

Companies have already had limited success in casting some daylight into the shadows of national security surveillance. After extensive negotiations, the Justice Department recently allowed some companies to release extremely general aggregate information about some categories of intelligence requests. Courts have exerted pressure as well: In March, a district judge found the broad gag orders associated with National Security Letters unconstitutional, though that ruling has been stayed pending appellate review. And just this week, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court agreed to declassify the legal opinions requiring Yahoo to participate in PRISM. On the whole, however, the practical legal constraints on intelligence surveillance—and the reasoning behind them—remain hidden from both congress and the general public.

The Center for Democracy and Technology is simultaneously launching a White House petition, allowing members of the public to join the call for greater transparency.We the people need to know: How extensive is the government's surveillance of the Internet?

The White House Petition text:

Join us in pressing the White House to allow Internet companies to publish comprehensive transparency reports about government requests for their users' data--and in demanding that the government publish a transparency report of its own.

Democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency.

Recent revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs raise serious questions about the scope of the government's access to our private communications and records. However, Internet and telephone companies are barred by the government from providing even basic answers to their users about those questions.

We the people demand that the government allow Internet and telephone companies to publish basic numerical data about the specific number of government requests they receive under specific legal authorities and the specific number of users affected. In addition, the government should regularly issue its own transparency report with the same information.

Because we need to know.  

Sign the White House Petition at:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Secret Court to Americans - Fuck You

This past Friday, the "we're not a rubber stamp" Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Secret Court, which oversees cases related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, rubber-stamped the renewal of the order that enables the NSA to compel telecom companies to hand over records whenever it wants. Bottom Line: No end in sight to the NSA spying on phone records.

The existing order was set to expire at 5pm on Friday, but the FISA court re-approved it at the last minute, probably to avoid the press from covering it. Just weeks ago most of the world didn't even know that the American Government was unconstitutionally vacuuming up the records of every American; however, the government decided to declassify the details due to the increased scrutiny over the NSA's so called telephony metadata program. Odd thing is, why tell everyone that you are going to continue doing the thing that's making the majority of America mad?

Frankly,  it doesn't look like the government's going stop the spying any time soon.  The Obama administration also responded on Friday to one of the lawsuits filed against the NSA spying, by saying that it would keep collecting phone records as long as it was in the "public interest.".  It also noted that the NSA program doesn't violate Americans' constitutional rights.  Of course, just because the President says it doesn't, does not make it true, and even though it does, it can't be challenged in court.

The spying is not isolated to just a few people.  The NSA surveillance covers not only individuals with potential terrorist connections but also everybody they know and everybody that they know.  Considering the six-degrees of Kevin Bacon, we're probably all being recorded.

The good news is that we now know more than ever before exactly how the NSA's telephony metadata program works. The bad news is that the more we learn, the less it seems we can do.  There are organizations that are fighting this, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Head on over there to find out what they are doing and how you can help.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Living to Work or Working to Live

Here’s a line graph on how many vacation days the average employee in each country gets:
Oops, only slave laborers in China get less vacation days than Americans.  But in all fairness, employers in the USA aren't required to give any vacation days at all!

Via: InfoPlease

How many hours the average worker works each year by country:

Not bad, Italy plays hard and works almost as hard as Americans!

Average parental leave for full-time employees:

If your company wanted you to have kids, they would have issued them to you.
About 57% of working Americans had unused vacation time at the end of 2011, and most of them left an average of 11 days on the table - or nearly 70 percent of their allotted time off. 
- via CNN

What If You Could See WiFi?

Would we still love WiFi if our world was awash in visible signals, instead of the invisible?  Pretty though they are, I'm not sure if we'd love the haze.  These illustrations by Nickolay Lamm, will give us an idea of what our world would look like.

See more at TheFeed

Matt Smith Says To Comic-Con Fans: “You’ll Forget About Me"

At Comic-Con, Departing Doctor Who star Matt Smith was asked by a fan why he was leaving the show.

Here’s what he said and how the room of fans reacted:

MATT SMITH: “I kind of figure it’s been four years — the best four years. It’s been wonderful. It’s been a privilege to work under Steven Moffat, but, you know, when you gotta go, you gotta go. Trenzalore calls.”

MATT SMITH: “It’s sad, I’m going to miss you and I’m going to miss Comic-Con too. I love Comic-Con. Comic-Con is great.”

MATT SMITH: “The world should be more like Comic-Con. It wasn't an easy choice, it wasn't an easy decision to come to. But, I don’t know you can’t play it forever.”

MATT SMITH: “And look — they’ll get someone amazing, they’ll get someone brilliant to do it, they really will. And that’s the great thing about the show. It continues and the strength of it survives. It will get better and bigger and keep it up and you’ll forget about me.”

Matt clarified his remarks on Friday, stating that the show is the star, and that he is lucky to be one of the 11 who have played the Doctor so far.  It will continue and be successful without him....but please don't forget about him!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Iron Cyberman

Free Reyes at Geek Tyrant photoshops a Cyberman into a Mark XLII Iron Man suit.

Think the Doctor would be challenged by this?

Highest Grossing Movie Franchises

Most of you can probably guess which movie franchise is the biggest, but this cool infographic from BuzzFeed visually breaks it all down for us.

Oddly, the Star Wars franchise isn't the largest; however, with it set to continue in 2015, it's sure to surpass James Bond eventually.

Out of all the franchises listed here, what is your favorite?

via GeekTyrant

Why You Need Kaspersky One

Use any of the links to get $20 off to protect 5 devices for the price of 3.

     Cyber-crime is quite common these days and is affecting a large number of the digital devices we use every day.  In order to protect ourselves from cyber-crime  it is imperative that we keep our systems secure from viruses, malware and network intrusions, which can compromise our systems and data. 

     You can protect yourself by using a strong anti-virus software and a firewall, both of which are available individually; however, the best solution for most home users is software that combines both.   The combination of both anti-virus and firewall protection, provides a greater level of protection to your system than anti-virus alone, keeping them free from intrusions, viruses and malware.

     KasperskyONE Universal Security has revolutionized the protection of digital devices by providing a complete package to protect all your devices...Windows PCs, Macs, Android smartphones and Android Tablets.  It is the world’s premium multi-device protection software, packed with award winning technologies which provide high-level and effective security from all kinds of malware, viruses and potential intrusions into your network.

     Not all Internet Security software is created equal.  Although many anti-virus competitors share some properties, Kaspersky is a performance leader, catching more viruses and malware than its competitors, without slowing down your system. All it takes is one virus to get by and your data could be compromised.
     It is the easiest way of protecting all of your digital devices, requiring only a single license whether PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet.  Installation isn't complicated and you are fully protected once installed.  You don’t have to indulge in any complicated post-install procedures, you are simply ready to go.
     Purchase options include one license covering 3, 5 or 10 devices.  Choose the one best for you and your budget.
     Although Kaspersky One is a single license, the software is specially created for each device that it is designed to protect.
·       Protection for your Android tablet
Strong and reliable security is provided for your Android tablet, including anti-theft protection, tracking and remote wipe should your device be lost or stolen.  Scans your device and apps for malware and viruses, and blocks malicious websites, keeping you fully protected when you are using a social networking websites, online shopping or online banking. 
·       Protection for your Smartphone
 Keeps your smart phone secure from viruses, threats and malware.  Scan for mobile viruses, detects and eliminates them from your Smartphone immediately.  Blocks unwanted SMS and calls, and can hide your contacts, texts and calls from unauthorized viewing.  Also includes anti-theft protection, tracking and remote wipe should your device be lost or stolen.  Kaspersky is optimized for minimal impact on battery life.
·       Protection for your Window PC
Kaspersky ONE Universal Security protects Windows PCs, including Windows 8, from threats both knows and unknown by using advanced behavior detection algorithms.  Keeps your PC safe from network intrustions, blocks phishing sites and defeats keyloggers.
·       Protection for your Mac
Friendly Mac-style Interface.  Real-time protection against Mac, PC and Linux malware.  Defeats keyloggers, screen-capture malware and identity thieves.
     Keep your Smartphones, PCs, Android Tablets and Macs safe and protected by using only one simple and flexible solution that is KASPERSKY ONEUNIVERSAL SECURITY.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

So True

I think these graphs say it all.  Especially the part about the cable channels.  Do you know how hard it is block out 400 channels on your 450 channel package!

via DHD

Back To The Future - Clock Tower Scene - Homemade

These guys have waaay too much time on their hands.  Or maybe that's just jealously rearing it's ugly head.  Either way, they are obviously having loads of fun reenacting these scenes B-movie style.

Jump to their YouTube channel to get the behind the scenes video of how they made this.

Catwoman's Weakness

It's funny because it's true ; )

Monday, July 15, 2013

London Police sieze 'Glow-in-the-dark' Lamborghini

I have to admit hat this looks like one sweet car, especially at night when it goes TRON on the town. British Police have a pretty good stranglehold on their mostly ASBO population, and they don't discriminate when it comes to taking your personal property.

With cameras everywhere, and ANPR (automatic name plate recognition), which allow the police to scan license plates automatically, you won't be able to miss being caught if you let your insurance lapse...or in this case, simply not have the documents on you.

The Lamborghini Aventador is one of the world’s fastest super-cars. It is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 engine which gives a 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 217mph.

The owner is believed to be Nasser Al-Thani, 24, of Qatar's ruling family.  So, he can afford the insurance, the fine and all the other costs that pile up.  Plus, he can afford the parking ticket that he got hours later, after he picked up his car.

This car was one of several seized under Operation Cubo, with more than 10,318 seized by the British Police since 2011.

Would love to take a spin, but for now I'll have to keep to reality with more reasonable cars, like a BMW 328xi or Audi A6.

You can read more at: MailOnline

Boba Fett and Grumpy Cat = Unstoppable!

From the artist Heroforpain: "This is part of my Multi-Verse Series, Basically a futuristic world that is created after all the fictional worlds implode.

This Boba Fett and his companion Grumpy Cat. Fett has armed himself with as many canons and armor as possible, The top two are controlled by Grumpy cat. These two are basically a two man wrecking crew."

There are a number of references in this picture...Tron, Duke Nuke'm perhaps.  Even a Nike Swish.   Anyone else notice the ruby slippers?  LOL, you're not in Kansas anymore!

More at HeroforPain

Peer Into the Starship Enterprise

For you Trekkies out there, just having the model is generally good enough to elicit a glow of pride; however, being able to see inside it is icing on the cake!

This  18-inch long, eight-inch tall cutaway model of Kirk's pride and joy has all of the Enterprise's secrets laid bare.  From the bridge all the way to the warp nacelles, the interior is visible on the left side of the craft under a protective clear plastic outer layer. While it's not cheap at $175, that's a small price to pay for...well frankly, for something this cool!

You can find this at ThinkGeek

Talking Heads

Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. Just goes to show you that most news reporters are waaaay overpaid. In this case, a newscaster was given the supposed names of the Asiana Airline pilots, which crashed recently in San Francisco.    She doesn't skip a beat as she reads off the names, which makes it all the more funny!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Doctor Who-Themed Jewelry

Specializing in steampunk Doctor Who jewelry, this jeweler creates pieces from time itself.  From fine art cuffs, and Victorian jewelry to custom heirloom pieces, every Doctor Who fan can find something to love.  Below are a few examples from their storefront.

Doctor Who Pocket Watch Necklace "Gallifreyan Technology"

Doctor Who Pocket Watch -Cosmic Working Watch with Fob

Based on what I'v read, the pocket watches do not work.

Find more at ETSY

Friday, July 12, 2013

Which Tablet To Buy

There are a lot of choices when it comes to tablets. Android, Apple, Windows, 10-inch or 7-inch screens and more. In the end it comes down to preference and often price. This site: Best Tablets Today will help you make an informed decision based on features, operating system, screen size and more.

Screen Shot of
After you've read up, use the comparison page to make a final decision, with up to date pricing to help you along.  What I like especially about this website is that it combines technical data with plain English.  It even imports reviews from Amazon so you can get real-world opinions.

From the website: is your innovative community for updated tablet information, prices and reviews.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Commentary: If PRISM Is Good Policy, Why Stop With Terrorism?

My first day in college, the professor for Public Policy 101 asked a 200-person class, "If there were a policy that saved over 20,000 lives, reduced carbon emissions by 20 percent, reduced gasoline usage by 20 percent, decreased average insurance costs by 75 percent, and which would increase revenues to the federal government and not cost any additional money to implement -- who in this room would support this policy?" Of course, everyone's hands went up.

 The policy solution that he was referring to, he soon revealed, was to cap national speed limits at 40 miles per hour. The room, filled mainly with 18-to-20-year-olds, was horrified at the prospect of never being able to drive their car above 40 mph on the highway. Individual freedom is difficult to quantify in public-policy analysis until its real costs are clear, but it has to be part of the conversation.

 The government's policies in the NSA's PRISM program reflect perhaps the perfect storm of public-policy conundrums. This surveillance seems to offer short-term advantages, with the real costs hidden, diffuse, unknown, and, seemingly, far in the future. What, many ask, is the real price of giving up privacy? The government has presented PRISM, and other similar surveillance programs, as a solution to a danger and fear -- terrorism -- which is almost impossible to comprehend: Terrorism is everywhere and nowhere; the battlefield is across the globe; the threat is omnipresent. It is difficult for the average person to perceive and understand until it is splashed across television screens. Terrorism is by definition designed to "shock and awe." It is theatre of the macabre.

 The government has used this fear to justify unprecedented intrusions into our privacy, including monitoring who we call, our location data, and allegedly even the contents of our communication (if there is a 51 percent chance that one party to the communication is foreign). Our personal calling data, emails,letters, credit-card transaction data -- everything seems fair game. The fact that the NSA wants this much information shouldn't be surprising. The old maxim that to a hammer every problem looks like a nail is appropriate here. A spy agency specializing in "signals" intelligence is always looking for more phone calls, emails, and other signals-based data to analyze. The more data NSA receives, the more powerful it becomes.

Read more at The Atlantic

By Derek Khanna
 The Atlantic
July 5, 2013.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Your All-Knowing Telephone

I'm not sure that anyone will be surprised by this completely, but seeing vs. being told how your phone allows you to be tracked is pretty disconcerting.

In Germany, Green party politician Malte Spitz sued Deutsche Telekom (Germany's equivalent to AT&T) to hand over six months of his phone data that his company stored on him.  He then offered this data to ZEIT ONLINE, one of Germany's largest newspapers.

Zeit Online combined his geolocation data with other somewhat public information...his digital trail so to speak...such as Twitter feeds, blog entries and websites, to create a map of his movements.

Screenshot of the interactive tracking map

When you push the play button, you will see where Malte Spitz's went, how long he stayed there and when he made phone calls.  Pretty eye-opening to say the least.

You can read and interact with the report here: ZeitOnline

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Awesome TARDIS Storage Box

I realize that not everyone is a Doctor Who fan, but this TARDIS replica is pretty impressive...yes, it is bigger on the inside ;)  It was created  by Milling In Line, a carpenter, artist, and fabricator, to hold Black Alchemy Lab oils and perfumes.

Even if you don't collect BPAL oils, Milling in Line will customize this box to your specifications.  Perhaps to hold your collection of Sonic Screwdrivers.

Milling In Line’s works towards maximum storage and organization, without sacrificing anything on the intricacy of its design.

The bottom tray is 3-inches high.

If you are interested, you can find this custom made piece here:  Etsy

(Source: fashionablygeek)