Sunday, August 31, 2014

MYOB - Make Your Own Beer, with The Beer Machine

AUGUST 31, 2014
11:23 PM

Home brewing, all in one machine

Now if only I knew how to use it...

Now you can be the ultimate Homer Simpson-esque drunk with a clever appliance (if you can call it that) called The Beer Machine. The name pretty much explains it all, so I'll keep this one short and sweet -- hopefully like the drink this machine brews! Imagine never needing to buy beer again; just set this sucker up in your garage and let her go.

Apparently, you won't have to wait long for the beer to reach drinkable readiness, and you will be equipped with everything you need to start your first batch right away. That includes mix, yeast, attachments, and even reusable bottles and caps for packaging the product for your friends and family. Be the guy who always brings the good stuff, the home-made stuff.

I suppose this begs the question, though: is it the good stuff? Well, until someone here ponies up the cash to experiment with one, we may not know. Amazon reviews show there are a host of problems, but as Amazon user David B. Paul points out, "I have owned my brew machine for over 5 yrs. I have had a few small issues over this time but what that's expected when you brew your own beer."

If you had a lot of cash to spare, would you try it?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Finally! DrinkMate brings small Breathalyzer plug-in for the Android

AUGUST 30, 2014
8:00 PM

Well, it's about damn time

DrinkMate Breathalyzer for Android Smartphones -- fits on your keychain, super small/tiny!
Aww, isn't it adorable?
Have you ever found yourself standing at the door of that club you and your friends all went out to Friday night, staring at your car and wondering if that beer or two back at the bar has inebriated you just a bit too much? The ol' saying-the-alphabet-backwards trick (or walking in a straight line) sure is useless at telling anybody anything other than that you can say the alphabet backwards (or, again, walk in a straight line). Heck, anyone with a little practice could do it dead drunk.

If you want to make sure you're good to go, though, you can always try out this insanely useful little attachment for your Android called the Drinkmate by Edge Tech Labs. And when I say little, I mean tiny -- a true marvel at how far we have come in the world of personal computers. Just plug it into your Android smartphone and blow on it. Presto! Instant BAC measurement. Now the question is... is it really accurate enough to depend on?

That's the kicker. It's still in the prototype stage, but that means we could be getting the market product any time now, before the wave of hype crests and dies. So can we trust it when the time comes to make the call? The difference could be a ticket, a serious car accident, or worse. I guess time will tell.

Smart watches are not as groundbreaking as you're making it out to be

AUGUST 30, 2014
6:28 PM

Basically, a $250 beeper.

Smart watches are dumb and you should feel bad

This may offend many of you who have bought into the "smart watch" craze. Here's three words that sum up my feelings on that perfectly: I don't care. It's the truth, and I'm sticking to it. Smart watches are a fad, and they will soon fade away like all the other misbegotten inventions that were cool for a minute or two. Watch, they'll make like a Power Glove and sh*t the bed -- pardon my French.

It is particularly interesting that so many people are interested in smart watches at all. They keep saying, "You can be James Bond too! Don't you want to be a spy?" Sure, I read Snow Crash, and it was a super cool book, but you know what? Watches aren't cool. They haven't been cool in nearly a decade, so what is the hype?

Yeah, so what if you can wear it. I can wear my smartphone too, but I don't. There's a reason for that: it's plain dumb to attach electronics to yourself for no reason. They're more powerful when they're free to be whipped out like a pistol at a gunfight. Maybe that's just my opinion, but that's what you're here for right? I could understand if it's part of some sick Gargoyle suit, decked out in high-power wearables... but as an accessory? Just use your phone, dude.

Sure, I'll give some credit where credit is due for these dumb little things. They are nifty, and they are fresh. Wearable bring some much needed ingenuity to the market that has been over-saturated in laptops and smartphones; though, really, isn't a smartwatch only one degree removed from a smartphone? Whatever, at least something is happening.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, <insert mandatory Pebble mention and link here>!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

3D printers open tangible doorways now, too, with skeleton "bump" keys

AUGUST 27, 2014
6:30 PM

What is lock bumping?

3D printers open tangible doorways now, too, with skeleton "bump" keys
You may be seeing a lot more of this.

You may find yourself asking that as you open this post, and you shouldn't feel bad for not recognizing it. Lock bumping is a relatively obscure method for picking locks that has a surprisingly high success rate and an equally surprising ease of use. In fact, the only thing that appears to protect many of us from clever burglars armed with "bump keys" designed specifically for the task is the obscurity of the method itself -- but that may soon be changing...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Is the world ready for self-driving cars?

AUGUST 26, 2014
12:48 AM


Google's automatic, self-driving carCalifornia DMV implements steering wheel and break pedal requirements

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is now requiring car manufacturers to fit manual control devices in all automatic cars, even test ones, before driving them on public roads. These devices include a steering wheel and a brake pedal to allow drivers to take control of the car in case of unforeseen but inevitable circumstances.

This new road-safety regulation by the DMV in Google's home state has parked the company's one hundred test cars until they can be properly fitted with the necessary parts. The future weeps for progress lost thanks to a little knee-jerk rule-making.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I am Iron Man (or, the Stupidest Possible Way to Watch Fireworks)

AUGUST 25, 2014
2:33 AM

Welcome to yet another installment of the crazy Colin Furze, mad scientist extraordinaire. Today, we bring you perhaps the deadliest of all the Furze-meister's stunts: building a massive metal suit from which to directly observe a fireworks display; and when I say directly observe, I mean stand right in the freaking center of. Because, you know... MANLINESS!

Not that I'm complaining. It certainly sounds awesome, and you can get a glimpse of what it was like to perform this daredevil act by watching the video Furze uploaded. Of course, it will never be anything close to actually standing at the epicenter of explosion, but for now I think living vicariously through his videos will have to do:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Contrary to popular belief, the tablet is not the death of the PC

AUGUST 23, 2014
11:57 PM

Tablets like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Nexus 7 haven't killed the PC yet.
Tablets like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Nexus 7
haven't killed the PC yet.
You may find it hard to believe, but the PC has not been dethroned by the tablet, despite all of the hype they generated. For a while there, many of us were so sure that the tablet was the end of the personal computer era, because why would anyone want a bulky computer that may not even be feasible to move when you could have pretty much everything on the go with a tablet? Seemed like a done deal.

As it turns out though, the old maxim holds true: the devil's in the details. Sure, tablets are mobile computers, with minimum sacrifice -- but its those few things that must be sacrificed for mobility which make the PC stronger, like full keyboards and large screens. The Windows Surface is a step in the right direction, but at this point aren't we just mimicking notebooks? The line between smart phone and personal computer becomes increasingly blurred with every generation of tablet.