Finishing Cristo

Read to the end for a post about boarding positions. This past weekend I was traveling and found myself nose-deep in my Kindle. I am still reading The Count of Monte Cristo, which I’ve already dubbed “The longest book” because, well, it is. It’s 1200+ pages. It’s over 110 chapters long. And I’m 98% done with it. Back in June when I wrote about this endeavor, I estimated I would finish it last year. That didn’t happen. Between life and other things occupying my free time, I did not read as much as I would’ve liked. As such, it’s only…

Laid Off Guy Hides Undetected in Company Slack

The remote work era means companies are completely reliant on chat and communication apps. Slack and Microsoft Teams are the two big companies in this space. To me, Teams still feels like a terrible ‘homework copying’ by Microsoft to clone Slack but I’m not here to rant about that. What I’m here to write is how Gizmodo writer Tom McKay, laid off in 2022, was able to stay on the company’s Slack instance for months undetected. How? By pretending to be the built-in Slackbot that is part of every instance. Emma Roth at The Verge has more. When it was…

Raccoon Causes Power Outage

Sometimes the headlines write themselves. A power outage in downtown Toronto earlier this month was the result of a raccoon coming in contact with “equipment”. Alex Arsenych at CTV has more. A raccoon was behind the massive power outage that knocked out  electricity to some 7,000 customers in downtown Toronto for hours Thursday night. Hydro One said a raccoon “made contact with equipment” at a downtown station, which cut the lights for parts of the city. The raccoon’s condition is currently unknown. “We’re currently responding to an outage affecting customers in and around the following boundaries: St. Clair Avenue W to…

Outhorse Your Email

One things Americans have been accused of is never being fully disconnected while on vacation. We sorta have a reputation for continuing to check email, dialing into calls, and overall monitoring things when we’re on PTO and trying to relax. Iceland’s tourism board is looking to change that. A scenic and beautiful country, Iceland’s tourism board is looking to help you disconnect and enjoy everything it has to offer. To help facilitate this, it came up with delegating your out of office email responses to a horse. Yes, a horse. When you visit the site you get to choose one…

Clean Mail

Nearly a year after the USPS announced it would shift a sizable portion of its delivery fleet to electric vehicles, the first signs of this are coming to fruition. A few weeks ago in Atlanta there was a press event that showed chargers in the ground and showed off the new Ford E-Transit EV delivery van. Jennifer Mossalgue at Electrek has more. The US Postal Service showed off its first EV charging stations, and some spiffy new Ford E-Transit BEVs, at an event in Atlanta yesterday, with hundreds of new sorting and delivery centers set to open around the country…

It’s Only A Matter of Time

Read to the end for a post about critical chicken thinking. For over a year and a half I’ve been pining to see Back to the Future: The Musical ever since it debuted on Broadway here in NY back in October, ’22. But life usually has other plans. Finally though after waiting over a year, this past weekend my fiancé and I headed to Broadway. For me it was seeing new ‘Future’ for the first time since experiencing BTTF: The Ride in 2000. BTTF: The Musical is not a reboot or Part: IV or any other breaking of The Pact…

A Roller Coaster For One

For those of you that enjoy theme park rides then you’ll want to check this out. The Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art in North Adams faced a daunting challenge: how to occupy an expansive space with a creation that would captivate visitors. To solve this provlem, they turned to the talents of Los Angeles-based artist E.J. Hill. His interactive sculpture called the “Break Run Helix” exhibit built in 2022, is an imaginative exploration inspired by the whimsy of backyard roller coasters. But, this isn’t your typical theme park ride. The experience is designed for a single rider, allowing only one…

The Power of TayTay

Only a few months ago I wrote about the incredible proliferation of Taylor Swift and her music. Her business acumen has propelled her into superstardom. But last week a flood of AI-generated fake sexually explicit material of Swift was posted all over Twitter X. It’s a reminder that this happened to one of the most powerful entertainers out there. Even she can still fall victim to terrible people, predictably doing terrible things with bullshit-spewing AI tools. Jess Weatherbed at The Verge has more. One of the most prominent examples on X attracted more than 45 million views, 24,000 reposts, and…

Surprising Nobody, A Zelda Movie Is Coming

Nintendo has learned a thing or two about making movies. Its first outing back in 1993 was somewhat absolutely a disaster. A confusing live-action flick starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo was so, so bad. But thirty year later in 2023, Nintendo tried again. And boy did they have success. So much so that its other tentpole franchise is heading toward the big screen. Yuri Kageyama at the AP has more. Nintendo is developing a live-action film based on its hit video game “The Legend of Zelda.” The film, with financing from Sony Pictures Entertainment as well as its own…

Inhumane Pin

I continue to be skeptical about AI and that skepticism extends to the “AI-focused” products that are coming out this year. Case-in-point: a pin from an unknown company called Humane. They’d like you to think of it as a sort of wearable thing that you can interact with using AI. What it looks like is a very expensive product, spewing confidently-wrong-AI bullshit-filled-responses that will likely sell in tiny quantities. Ron Amadeo at Ars Technica has more. As far as we can tell, it’s a $700 screenless voice assistant box and, like all smartphone-ish devices released in the last 10 years,…

Mercedes + Buc-ee’s = EV Love

Mercedes is getting serious with electric cars and, even more important for those on road trips, public charging where it’s needed. Late last year the automaker opened a flagship charging location in Georgia. To say it’s gorgeous is an understatement. But now it plans to expand these ‘premium charging hubs’ to one of my favorite chains: Buc-ee’s. Peter Johnson at Electrek has more. Buc-ee’s operates the “world’s largest convenience store,” that’s 74,000 square feet (because everything is bigger from Texas). In comparison, the average convenience store in the US is about 2,600 square feet. Where better than to build premium EV charging…

Airport Squirrels

Squirrels may be just another part of nature walks or excitement out a window, but here’s something quite fascinating: a group is dedicated to helping the European Ground Squirrel population thrive. And one of its most thriving and last spots is at Bratislava Airport in Slovakia. An airport may sound like an odd place to have a thriving colony of squirrels. But the video from Mossy Earth goes into many details as to why this is. Mainly the land around an airport is clear but untouched by people due to the nature of how an airfield needs to operate. Because…

Kid Defeats Tetris

Tetris news, like the game itself, never seems to end. The classic puzzle game returned to the news last week because something new with the game had been accomplished for the first time: beating it. Thought Tetris has no ending? Think again. A 13-year old boy who goes by the name of Blue Scuti was live streaming an attempt to reach what’s called a “kill screen”; a part of a game where the whole thing glitches and it’s impossible to continue. And sure enough he was able to achieve this feat for the first time ever. You can watch as…

Bidding on The Enterprise

eBay is always filled with various bits and bobs of movie and TV memorabilia. Scripts, set pieces, small trinkets from the entertainment industry always find their way to the ‘world’s biggest yard sale’. But late last year something odd hit the marketplace: a model of the USS Enterprise used to film the opening credits of the original Star Trek. Samuel Axon at Ars Technica has more. The first model of the USS Enterprise ever used in shooting the original Star Trek series may have surfaced after going missing decades ago. An eBay listing of a 3-foot model of the Enterprise appeared early last week and named a starting…

Half-Life at 25

Late last week, I had the pleasure of immersing myself in Valve’s 25th anniversary hour-long documentary, which focuses on the remarkable journey behind the creation of Half-Life. The game turns 25 and Valve felt it was worth a celebration. If you aren’t familiar with Half-Life, this may sound odd. So, let’s rewind. Half-Life was the first game by Valve, the company behind Steam and the Steam Deck. Released in 1998, the game was a first person shooter but unlike anything that had come before it. Half-Life (HL) was designed to tell a narrative story that immersed you in the environment.…

Florida Man: The Sport

Imagine this: You’re being chased by the police. There’s fences you must jump in order to evade capture. Or you’re in a booth with money being blown all around you that you must catch. Or you are ready for hand-to-hand combat… with beer bellies. I’m not tossing out random competitions. I’m talking about the “Florida Man Games.” Organizers of the “Florida Man Games” describe the competition as “the most insane athletic showdown on Earth.” The games will poke fun at Florida’s reputation for producing strange news stories involving guns, drugs, booze and reptiles — or some combination of the four.…

Rivian Delivers Expansion

Rivian, the automaker who makes the quite-cool-looking fully-electric delivery vans for Amazon, has gotten its wish. The company has ended its exclusivity with Amazon and is ready to expand its van business to other customers. Now any company in the delivery business can nab one of these snazzy vehicles. Jameson Dow at Electrek has more. Amazon ordered 100,000 of these vans in 2019, and Rivian has steadily been fulfilling that order, which goes through 2030. They’re starting to appear out and about, but the order will take years for the company to fulfill as it ramps up production. So far, Rivian has…

The Full Starcruiser Story

Disney finally called Uncle on its immersive Galactic Starcruiser experience. For those unaware, it was a 3-day stay on a “starship” in Florida with a visit to Baatu (AKA Galaxy’s Edge) but cost about $5,000. It looked amazing but ultimately it closed. So what was it like to be on board? YouTube channel Ordinary Adventures has you covered. Over the course of four visits, channel hosts Kitra and Peter filmed and cut together the entire experience. This spans across the 4 storylines you could participate in: Jedi, Resistance, First Order, or Smuggler. The complete video is four hours but immensely…

East Coast vs West Coast Butter

Generally, we think of coastal rivalries involving sports teams or rappers, but in a twist, there is also a difference in the world of butter. That’s right, butter, which I have never thought about in any way except when I need to use it or buy more, has a whole different look on depending on where you live in the US. Luckily, the butter itself is basically the same. The biggest difference is whether you want salted or unsalted, which is the same choice in New York and California. The size, weight, and shape are what sets it all apart.…

Hard Rock Lobster

If you could take two very different genres of bands and mix them together, what would it sound like? Mac Glocky over on YouTube has done just that. He has combined the B-52’s classic Rock Lobster with the sound of System of a Down. Yes, that ‘System’ which has such amazing songs as Chop Suey and Aerials. As most readers have found out, I love hearing reimagined and innovative takes on classic music. This mash-up is certainly a great one, especially if you like both System and the B-52’s like I do.

Junk In Spaaace

While there have been efforts for decades to stop polluting Earth, nobody said we can’t do it off-world. So, sure, why not? That’s basically what’s been going on as a certain someone endlessly launches satellites into low orbit, NASA and other organizations work to explore space, and we build a hodgepodge of infrastructure in zero gravity. But what happens when all that stuff becomes junk? Well, debris in space is supposed to be ‘deorbited’. However, it seems that Dish Network didn’t quite do that to their decommissioned equipment, and the FCC is none too pleased. Jennifer Pattison Tuohy at The…

Apple’s Problem With Jon Stewart

It’s no secret I’m an Apple fan and generally support what the company does. Today is certainly not that day. Buried in the plethora of Apple TV+ content is the fantastic show The Problem With Jon Stewart. It’s a topical half-hour show that’s a cross between the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight. Stewart doesn’t pull any punches, as is his personality. But it seems there’s a line that was crossed… by Apple. Charles Pulliam-Moore at The Verge has more. Along with concerns about some of the guests booked to be on The Problem With Jon Stewart, Stewart’s intended discussions…

The NACS Have It

More dominoes have fallen in the auto industry’s switch to NACS, the Tesla plug for EVs. Toyota, who has basically zero EVs, has joined the club in adopting the North American Charging Standard in 2025. Of course this means future Toyota cars will also get access to the supercharger network too. Umar Shakir at The Verge has more. One of Toyota’s first vehicles to include a NACS connector is a future three-row SUV it is planning for 2025, which will be assembled at the automaker’s plant in Kentucky. Toyota is currently light on EV options compared to most other automakers…

Ala Cable Carte

Twenty years ago the ‘promise land’ for TV was not only cutting the cord but getting access to only the channels or networks you wanted. The Ala Carte model was a pipe dream until Netflix kicked off the streaming revolution. Fast-forward to today and you have a plethora of streaming services to choose from: Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Hulu, YouTube TV, Paramount+, HBO Max, and on and on. But in a cruel twist of fate, it’s now even more expensive to watch this content than traditional cable. Ben Lovejoy at 9to5Mac has more. As little as a year ago, a…

Ham & ISS

Leave it to creative and ambitious amateur radio operators to do things I never thought possible. Earlier this year an amateur radio operator was able to make contact with the International Space Station using nothing more than a handheld antenna. The radio operator, KB8M, recorded the interaction and it’s below. Also something very cool is the card shown at the end. A comment on Reddit sheds some light onto it. For those unfamiliar with amateur radio, the card shown at 2:41 of the video is a QSL Card. These are little post cards that are normally sent through the mail…

U2-A-Sphere

Vegas is no stranger to spectacle. The whole town is about excess, but there’s something that is jaw-dropping even in a place numb to the idea. A new venue called The Sphere is spinning things in a new direction. The building is a giant round venue that holds over 18,000 people and is lined inside and out with huge screens and LEDs. Together this takes a concert and turns it into an experience. Legendary band U2 opened the venue the other day and there is no shortage of video on YouTube. One is linked below. It’s not only the incredible…

Agressive Peeping

Social media is one of those technologies where you can find beautiful places in this world. But conversely you also learn about beautiful places in this world… to visit. And that’s where the reality of human behavior meets the road. This is why the town of Pomfret, Vermont is closing its roads to leaf-peeping tourists. They can’t behave. Lisa Rathke at AP News has more. In recent years, social media users and photographers have clogged the narrow road for selfies and fall foliage shots of the scenic private property, drawn by its colorful hillside trees, the barn and classic New…

BeaverNet

If you’re going to have an internet outage, and you live in Canada, there is no better way than this: a beaver causing a small British Columbia town to lose connectivity. Kaitlyn Bailey at CTV News has more. The beaver gnawed its way through an aspen tree which then fell on both BC Hydro lines and a Telus fibre-optic cable line strung along BC Hydro poles between Topley and Houston. The resulting power outage affected just 21 customers but the fibre optics damage affected Telus customers in Burns Lake, Granisle, Haida Gwaii, the Hazeltons, Kitimat, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Smithers,…

It’s-A Time To Retire

Since the first Mario game where the famed plumber needed a voice, one man has held the role: Charles Martinet. For over 25-years he has voiced Mario, Luigi, and a host of other characters in the bestselling franchise. Now, Martinet is stepping down in order to focus on being a “Mario Ambassador”, which is Nintendo-speak for ‘retire’. Ash Parrish at The Verge has more. Martinet has voiced the character since the ’90s, appearing in mainline Mario titles like Super Mario 64, Super Mario Odyssey, and Super Mario Galaxy as well as countless spinoffs. “Charles is now moving into the brand-new role of Mario Ambassador. With…

This Flying Car is Electrical

The year is 2023 and we still don’t have flying cars. We likely never will and based on how many people drive, I am not optimistic it’s really a good idea. Heck, we’ve been here before. But that won’t stop companies from trying. As Natalie Neysa Alund reports at USA Today, yet another aspiring company looks to make this a reality. This week, Alef Aeronautics revealed its flying car “Model A” was granted legal permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to test run the vehicle on the road and in the sky − a move needed before it can be released to…