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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Watch: Rick Perry and Al Franken Share Awkward ‘Saturday Night Live Soundbite’ - The Daily Beast

"enator Al Franken (D-MN) has struggled mightily over the past eight years to downplay his previous career as a writer and performer for Saturday Night Live so that he might be taken more seriously as a member of Congress. But sometimes, his natural comedic abilities can’t help but shine through.

His turn to question Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for energy secretary, during  a Thursday confirmation hearing, was one of those times. Yet it was Perry who made the inadvertent joke.

Asked if he enjoyed their meeting in Franken’s office the night before, Perry replied, “I hope you are as much fun on that dais as you were on that couch.” Franken paused and gave a confused look just long enough to help Perry get an enormous laugh from the spectators in attendance. “May I rephrase that, sir?” Perry asked, chuckling."

Watch: Rick Perry and Al Franken Share Awkward ‘Saturday Night Live Soundbite’ - The Daily Beast

Amazon inspires 'oh shit' moment in the retail world - CNET

Amazon inspires 'oh shit' moment in the retail world - CNET

Apple Byte Extra Crunchy Podcast, Ep. 68 ((LIVE))

What does a Trump presidency mean for tech? - CNET

"The eight-year bromance between Barack Obama -- who appointed the first chief technology officer for the US -- and Silicon Valley is over. Now what?

That's the question the tech industry has been asking since a real estate mogul turned reality TV star, with a spotty reputation on technology, was voted in as 45th president of the United States.

President Obama, a self proclaimed geek and Trekkie, was the most tech-focused president in modern history, committing billions of dollars to support initiatives to spur innovation, improve education and encourage exploration and discovery.

On the eve of Inauguration Day, it's still unclear where Trump stands on most tech-related issues. He said very little during the campaign about the tech industry, though he did call for a boycott of Apple products over the company's stance on privacy in its fight with the FBI."

What does a Trump presidency mean for tech? - CNET

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Gadget Unit | HP ENVY x360 (13-y013cl) – Thoughts & Impressions

The Good

Build Quality and Design

As you’d expect for a laptop of this price, the build quality and design are both fantastic. The metal body on this very thin notebook feels premium and solid. There’s really nothing to complain about in this regard.


Windows 10 actually handles touch on a large screen rather well, and I’ve found it a complete joy to use. While you can fold the screen all the way back to use the ENVY as a tablet, I often found myself folding it to an angle that makes it ideal for tabletop use. I’ll never buy a laptop that doesn’t have a convertible touchscreen.

Boot Times

You can go from pressing the power button to being at your Windows lock screen in under 3 seconds. That’s blazing fast, and I don’t know if any non-Windows laptop can compete.

The Bad


As nice as the keyboard feels, I noticed it would miss input when pressing on a corner of a key. It’s probably not the best way to type, but compared to my MacBook Air’s keyboard, the ENVY’s immediately started to miss letters.


HP opted to use non-Precision trackpads from Synaptics. While wide and comfortable, tracking isn’t quite as precise as I expected. I often found that, when clicking, the cursor would move as I’m pressing the trackpad down, resulting in clicking on things that I wasn’t aiming for. This alone is what drove me to return the ENVY. There is also a noticeable delay when using multi-finger taps, such as 2-finger tap-to-right-click. Further, an issue with quality was that, even if you gave it a light tap, it would sound as though there is a gap between the bottom of the trackpad and the ENVY’s chassis. I’ve used trackpads on sub-$500 laptops that worked better than this, and were all Precision trackpads.


While it sounds nice to have a 3200×1800 resolution display in a 13.3″ frame, I found that this resulted in poor performance in Windows when doing rather basic tasks. For example, opening apps often resulted in stuttering Windows animations. What’s worse is that videos would often drop frames or regularly stutter. I had to bring the resolution down to 1920×1080 to get it to perform reliably. On a side note, I think that a resolution this high is rather unnecessary for the screen size. In addition to the computer having to render 3200×1800 images, the display also has to always power them, resulting in worse battery life.


5GHz performance is very poor with this ENVY. Less than 5 feet away from my router, Windows was reporting a transmission rate of under 300Mbps. At further distances, videos would not play without constantly buffering. There were also several instances where, when watching live / streaming video, the Wi-Fi card would completely shut itself off before coming back on 10 seconds later.


While this particular ENVY looks good and has a promising spec sheet, I found that it falls short at being a good laptop. From a frustrating trackpad to unreliable Wi-Fi, I can’t recommend the HP ENVY 13-y013cl, or anything from their 2016 ENVY line (for that matter). Sure, software updates might fix these issues, but the fact that it’s like this out of the box is unacceptable for the price.

Shambling corpse of 3D TV finally falls down dead - CNET

"The bespectacled zombie lies face down in the dirt, thanks to LG and Sony dropping support from their 2017 TVs. Will it ever rise again?"

"LG and Sony, the last two major TV makers to support the 3D feature in their TVs, will stop doing so in 2017. None of their sets, not even high-end models such as their new OLED TVs, will be able to show 3D movies and TV shows.

Samsung dropped 3D support in 2016; Vizio hasn't offered it since 2013. Other smaller names, like Sharp, TCL and Hisense, also failed to announce any 3D-capable TVs at CES 2017.

The 3D feature has been offered on select televisions since 2010, when the theatrical success of "Avatar" in 3D helped encourage renewed interest in the technology. In addition to a 3D-capable TV, it requires specialized glasses for each viewer and the 3D version of a TV show or movie -- although some TVs also offer a simulated 3D effect mode.

Despite enthusiasm at the box office and years of 3D TVs being available at affordable prices, the technology never really caught on at home. DirecTV canceled its 24/7 3D channel in 2012 and ESPN followed suit a year later. There are plenty of 3D Blu-ray discs still being released, such as "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," but if you want to watch them at home you'll need a TV from 2016 or earlier -- or a home theater projector."

Shambling corpse of 3D TV finally falls down dead - CNET

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 Review

Monday, January 16, 2017

Caffeine may be able to block inflammation, new research says - The Verge



 "Caffeine may be able to tamp down the inflammation that worsens with age, according to a study that investigated caffeine’s effects on immune cells. It’s a correlational study, but it’s one that dives into how caffeine could be affecting the immune system. The findings could help explain why coffee has been purported to help ward off everything from type 2 diabetes, to cardiovascular disease, and even dementia.

IT’S COMFORTING NEWS FOR THOSE OF US WHO WERE ALREADY REACHING FOR THAT SECOND CAFFEINE HIT True, there’s a long list of studies that have found a correlation between caffeine, coffee, and better health; there have also been a few that say coffee, especially hot coffee, can increase your risk for certain cancers. But today’s study is one of the few that looks at exactly how caffeine affects the immune system. We’ve known for some time that caffeine can block the effects of a molecule called adenosine; blocking adenosine receptors on brain cells is thought to be how caffeine wakes us up. But in the body, blocking adenosine may also block pathways that produce inflammatory molecules, according to results published today in the journal Nature Medicine."

(Via.).  Caffeine may be able to block inflammation, new research says - The Verge:

Samsung Gear S3 Review - The Best Samsung Watch Yet

2016 MacBook Pro vs Dell XPS 15 vs Razer Blade 14 - Best all around Laptop?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Will Mark Zuckerberg Be Our Next President? | Vanity Fair

"During this crazy and bizarre week—one in which we learned that Donald Trump was briefed by intelligence chiefs that the Russian government had kompromat on him (and then later what said kompromat might comprise)—an interesting fantasy has been circulating around Silicon Valley. On the face of it, the notion may seem as fantastical as a Trump presidency once seemed before he descended that golden staircase in Trump Tower some 18 months ago. Increasingly, a number of influential people in Silicon Valley seem to think that Mark Zuckerberg will likely run for president of the United States one day. And some people, including myself, believe that he could indeed win. “He wants to be emperor” is a phrase that has become common among people who have known him over the years.

Will Mark Zuckerberg Be Our Next President? | Vanity Fair