GM Futurama 1939 (by Unkee E.)
I’d been living with a Samsung Chromebook for 2 months. I paid $170 (normally $250, but it was a Best Buy floor model) for a small, lightweight machine I didn’t have to worry about. At that price, I felt like I got my money’s worth, even though it often dumped web pages (and, er, the Tumblr posts I’d entered) from memory and needed to refresh them. But, hey, it’s a cheap machine.
On the other hand, the Chromebook Pixel I’ve used for the past week is beautiful and simple, and I wanted to love it. It’s a thoroughly cool machine with its high-res touch screen and LED bling on the lid.
It provides for 95% of my self-defined “laptop computing needs”, but that’s just not enough when a slightly cheaper Mac that’s (not as simple to live with, but is) lighter on my bad back would provide for 99%. I tried running Linux on the Pixel, but had to make sacrifices on the Chrome side when I did. For example, you then can’t watch Netflix with Linux installed — even from Chrome OS — because Netflix then seems to consider the machine insecure.
I don’t fault Google for any of this. They were honest in their description of the Pixel. I just needed to live with it to know whether it was for me. Oh well. So long, Pixel!
I use Smith’s Maze ski helmet mainly because it’s the lightest on the market. It’s also comfortable. A helmet likely saved me from spinal cord injury in 2005 so I likely pay more attention to brain buckets than most…
I like skiing with a mic and speakers in my helmet: I stay connected with friends on the slopes since I hear when texts, GroupMe’s and calls come in, and I can answer without taking off my ski gloves and fumbling for my phone. (Or, worse, fumbling for my phone with gloves on and eskimo kissing the touchscreen to answer a call before it goes to voicemail.) And I sometimes rock out to tunes when I’m skiing by myself.
So I like that the Maze helmet integrates with wired and Bluetooth headsets from SkullCandy. I less liked the price of these official add-on audio accessories: $50 for wired (even more of a pain in a ski helmet) or an outrageous $150 for Bluetooth. They both have good sound quality (which matters less in a ski helmet) and terrible build quality (which matters a lot for a ski accessory).
So I searched for a cheaper solution and found one. Monoprice sells a behind-the-neck Bluetooth headset with integrated mic for $45. I ordered one to try with my Maze and was jazzed to find that it works great for in-helmet audio. Here’s how to do it:
- Unzip the channel at the back of the Maze that extends from one ear flap to the other.
- Insert the headset with the left speaker in the right flap (reversed stereo is the biggest downside of this solution but, hey, maybe it’ll make Brain Salad Surgery sound new all over again…).
- Zip the channel up and you’re good to go.
Press your right ear to control power. Press your left ear for the multi-function button (pause and play music, answer calls, activate Siri). That’s it.
This is amazing. I want this, but it demands a solution to muffle riders’ screams!
via Jeff Jarvis
Magnificently fragile photos of individual snowflakes
My son probably enjoys it most. The Nexus Q sits atop our tower of STBs like a spherical architectural element. Spectrums of color dance around the equator. My boy changes the color mood, to blue, or smoke, or warm (was it just me, or did it automatically turn orangey on Halloween?).
Sometimes he asks if he can turn on the monitor and when I let him he and his sister don’t eat their kashi. It shows pretty visualizations and track info. Gently tap its top to mute the music or YouTube (that’s what ours plays, though you can also play movies from Google Play).
It’s Made in America. When you turn the northern hemisphere to adjust the volume, it has an audiophile-grade heavy kinda feeling, with just the tiniest resistance. It has a good amp inside so if I wanted to give it to my son as his bedroom stereo, I could just buy him a set of decent speakers.
My son and I control it with an HTC One X. It does what it does well.
But there are 2 problems:
- It was priced at USD $300.
- It’s not for sale.
America, through my living room window.
It is often when we yearn for an answer that we stand to learn the most from staying with the question. It is neither resolution nor fulfillment that we long for in those moments, I suspect. It is desire. (We remain suspended because desire feeds on distance and possibility). If we can’t figure out which option is better then it may be worth examining what those options mean to us.
…very relevant for me right about now…
Flying over the Tulips Fields in Anna Paulowna
it looks like the earth corrupted and stopped rendering correctly