Categories
News Review Sci/Tech

Friday Finds – Jumping the Shark

Solid week, things are easy at the office.  Here are the week’s posts:

Other links worth your time:

Do Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Markets have gender bias?  From the ever so awesome Geekachicas multi-blog.

I don’t do any tabletop gaming, but these maps look badass.

The first transatlantic communications cable took years to successfully install…and three weeks to get destroyed.  This dude may not have been the sole cause of the cable failure, but maybe you should think through tripling the voltage on something like that.

The M101 ‘Pinwheel’ galaxy is awesome to photograph with any camera.

Stop.  Hammertime.  Obligatory xkcd link.

And finally, I give you the story of a man jumping a shark.  Literally jumping ON it.  The money quote:

“We circled around it a couple times, realized it was a basking shark, got comfortable, came up next to it and thought, ‘You know? I need to feel this fish,'” Jacobs said. “I need to swim with him and be part of this.”

Oh man.  Great way to lead up to Shark Week.

Categories
Media News Sci/Tech

Friday Finds – Free RPG Day and more

It’s Free RPG Day tomorrow, similar to free comic book day where you can go to your favorite local RPG game store (the board game, pen and paper kind) and pick up a free game.  Most of what is available is the basic stuff, a good way to introduce your kids if you think they might be into it.  This link can find a store near to you that is participating (none here, drat).

Leviathan Wakes is out in stores now, if you are the sort that likes to go and pick up actual paper copies of books.

Speaking of Friday, Rebecca Black’s Friday is gone from YouTube.  We so excited.

Redbox users can now get videogames, $2/day.  Maybe YOU will enjoy Duke Nukem Forever.

Black hole eats a star.  Choice quote:

A huge “belch” of radiation from a supermassive black hole indicates that the cosmic monster recently devoured a star, scientists say.

As my nephew says at every meal (quote Garfield), and that’s the sign that the tank is full.

Speaking of Duke Nuken, I referenced the hilariously delayed game in an early post on this very site – in 2007.

Categories
News

Child's Play Donations!

Hi all…taking a break from hockey, movies and pictures of my kids to ask for donations to Child’s Play.  I’ve been a huge fan of the charity that Gabe and Tycho put together, which sets up Children’s hospitals the world over with books, toys, game systems and cash to improve the experience of the sick kids who get stuck there.  Women and Children’s Hospital here in Buffalo has been participating for a year or two, and the difference is amazing.  I’ve had to be there on more than one occasion (thought not for much that was too terrible) and the changes are night and day.  If you don’t want to donate straight cash, click the link above, which can take you then to the Amazon wish list of the hospital of your choice, where you can buy items the hospital has requested.  While you are there, check on the Letters page to read some stories of just what all this means to the kids that got to play with the toys or video games provided.  Just something I’d like you to consider. :)

Categories
Media News

Time Warner Raising Rates…Fight Back!

Many of you have probably heard by now, TWC is raising rates, as much as 12% depending on what you have. You can point straight at crap like the recent Fox nearly being pulled due to pricing negotiations running right up to the deadline, and (locally) the Channel 4 craziness.

tron legacy, HD, full movie, stream

So what can men do against such reckless hate? Negotiate for a better deal, or cut the cord altogether and consume your media online. Here are some articles to get you started:

How to get the best deal on Cable or Satellite TV

How to go Cable Free

How I cut my television bill in half

The first thing you need to do is take a good long look at what you really watch. I bet many of you only regularly watch a few stations. You may think ‘But I like (xyz channel)!’ but if you haven’t tuned it in a few months, it’s safe to say you can do without. Check these against the dish or cable company’s offerings, and you may find you can downgrade or remove a few tiers right off the top. Goes double for the premium movie channels, as Redbox or Netflix usually work out to be a better deal. (Use the Redbox website to ensure your favorite machine has the movie you want before you go).

That right there can save you a few bucks, with minimal disruption to how you operate already. The next step is to call your provider (or as mentioned, try the online chat support) and ask for a better deal. It helps to have a competing offer to hold over them, check a deal site like FatWallet or Techbargains if you haven’t gotten a mailing recently.

So, still not much of a change in viewing habits for you there, just a bit more work. If you are willing to go in deeper, with even bigger changes, read on.

Categories
Media News

Time Warner Raising Rates…Fight Back!

Many of you have probably heard by now, TWC is raising rates, as much as 12% depending on what you have. You can point straight at crap like the recent Fox nearly being pulled due to pricing negotiations running right up to the deadline, and (locally) the Channel 4 craziness.

So what can men do against such reckless hate? Negotiate for a better deal, or cut the cord altogether and consume your media online. Here are some articles to get you started:

How to get the best deal on Cable or Satellite TV

How to go Cable Free

How I cut my television bill in half

The first thing you need to do is take a good long look at what you really watch. I bet many of you only regularly watch a few stations. You may think ‘But I like (xyz channel)!’ but if you haven’t tuned it in a few months, it’s safe to say you can do without. Check these against the dish or cable company’s offerings, and you may find you can downgrade or remove a few tiers right off the top. Goes double for the premium movie channels, as Redbox or Netflix usually work out to be a better deal. (Use the Redbox website to ensure your favorite machine has the movie you want before you go).

That right there can save you a few bucks, with minimal disruption to how you operate already. The next step is to call your provider (or as mentioned, try the online chat support) and ask for a better deal. It helps to have a competing offer to hold over them, check a deal site like FatWallet or Techbargains if you haven’t gotten a mailing recently.

So, still not much of a change in viewing habits for you there, just a bit more work. If you are willing to go in deeper, with even bigger changes, read on.

Categories
News Sci/Tech

Cuil Search Not Ready For Primetime

Cuil search engine needs work:

We didn€™t find any results for €œbuffalo sabres€
Some reasons might be…

a typo. Please check your spelling.
your search includes a term that is very rare. Try to find a more common substitute.
too many search terms. Please try fewer terms.
Finally, try to think of different words to describe your search.

Versus this from Google:

Results 1 – 10 of about 3,610,000 for buffalo sabres with Safesearch on.

Safesearch was on for both. Cuil is the latest challenger to Googlefor search supremacy, and they claim to index more pages than the Goog. I’ll wait a while to see if that actually pans out, but it would help if they could actually find something I’m searching for…

edit: okay, I’m getting results now. Guess they are getting hit pretty hard.

Categories
News

Explosion Behind HSBC Arena

…about 1000 yards from where I’m sitting. Here’s the first story I see on it. I heard the boom, but that sort of noise (with the construction and industry around here) isn’t out of the ordinary. And no, if I die, you cannot have my stuff.

Categories
News

Cheapskates: $1 Bus Fares to NYC, Toronto

Megabus has started service between Buffalo and Binghamton, Toronto and NYC, in case you were not aware. The trick is, you can get tickets as low as $1 each way depending on when you search and how much demand there is for the trip. I just did a search, and could go round-trip to Toronto for $6 (plus $.50 reservation fee). I’d much rather take the train, but considering how expensive gas is nowadays for car travel, this could be an option for getting to NYC or Toronto if you can stand a no-frills ride.

Categories
Gadgets News

Office Spaced

A California man used an automated script to sign up for more than 58,000 Google Checkout, Paypal, brokerage and other online accounts that use deposit verification techniques, and got sent $58,000. Think Office Space. It would’ve worked, except:

However, Largent used false names, including cartoon characters, as well as false addresses and social security numbers, which opened him to conviction under laws on mail, bank and wire fraud.

I want the list of cartoon characters used. Seen at Gizmodo.

Categories
News Wacky

Croc Attacks Backpacker in Australia

It was a near-miss for the Darwin Awards in Australia’s Northern Territory, as a man was nearly disarmed by a 16ft saltwater crocodile. He and his friends wanted to get a picture with the apex predator, and as he leaned out over the water to point at it, it leapt at him. My favorite part of the article, though, is this quote:

I was pointing at it when it suddenly jumped up at me – I didn’t realise that crocs were so aggressive.

My emphasis. The best part is that since his friends had the camera, you can see every step of the bad decision, from Look, there’s a croc! to Hey, he’s getting pretty close and on to HOLY [email protected]?&!!