CAT | Gadgets

Jan/15

7

picked up a Nest learning thermostat

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The Nest was our Xmax gift to each other. It is a nifty little gadget. They say it should pay for itself in under 2 years. It learns what you like and knows when you are away to cut down on heating and cooling costs. I can monitor it from my phone or a web browser.

Jan/15

4

17x17x17 cube

Sep/14

12

this ingress thing is getting out of hand

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Seriously, out of my hand and on the bike. Also it has become a completely obsession. Theresa had to lay down the rules once again.
* I have to go to work
* I have to eat
* And I have to keep paying my share of the bills

The Koomus BikeGo phone Mount Holder made a huge difference. The thing is perfect. I ended up riding over 20 miles last weekend around my area playing ingress. Almost a level 8.

May/14

20

take that grass

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Sharpened up the mower blade. Lets mulch sometime

We are really enjoying the Amazon Fire TV. I assume you know it is basically a very decent android tablet you plug into your TV. Just thought I would share pros and cons.

Pros:
* The thing is powerful. Quad core processor, 2GB RAM, and dedicated GPU. It was a big step up from our ROKU 2 and it can handle anything we throw at it. It it basically a very decent android tablet you plug into your TV.
* Games play great, but the remote is hard to use. Should be better with the game pad. They are on backorder currently.
* Many of the apps are ported Google TV apps. I am so happy to have a real youtube app.
* You can multitask. Play a song on pandora while playing a game
* Voice search works very well for searching Amazon content. The OS is basically being inside the amazon streaming store and you can use apps.
* optical audio out made it possible for us to use it. Right now we cannot get audio from HDMI. It is a nice feature.

Cons:
* No Google Music yet. Google Music requires Google Play Services which doesn’t function correctly yet.
* No PBS channel, but content can be found. They do have the Smithsonian channel though.
* voice search does not work in apps

The Amazon Fire TV is great on day one and should get better as more apps and updates are released. It fits in well with the streaming device family we have going on. Each has their place, and the Fire TV gets the prime living room location.

UNL Today article

Rack, who is U.S. principal investigator for the environmental surveys that were conducted as part of the international ANDRILL Coulman High project, had left the site just prior to the discovery. He was listening by radio when he heard the report from the robot deployment team — engineers Bob Zook, Paul Mahecek and Dustin Carroll — who began shouting as they saw the anemones, which appeared to glow in the camera’s light. “They had found a whole new ecosystem that no one had ever seen before,” Rack said. “What started out as a engineering test of the remotely operated vehicle during its first deployment through a thick ice shelf turned into a significant and exciting biological discovery.” In addition to the anemones, the scientists saw fish that routinely swam upside down, the ice shelf serving as the floor of their undersea world. They also saw polychaete worms, amphipods and a creature they dubbed “the eggroll,” a 4-inch-long, 1-inch-diameter, neutrally buoyant cylinder that seemed to swim using appendages at both ends of its body. It was observed bumping along the field of sea anemones under the ice and hanging on to them at times.

I know a guy who found a new species. This has some roots in Lincoln because of UNL working with ANDRILL. My buddy Bob was living in Lincoln this past summer working on the SCINI remote operated subs that go under the ice in Antarctica since the UNL team was working on the hot water drill.

It just so happened that my other Antarctica buddy Nick had worked with Bob and they met up here in Lincoln. Nick brought Bob over to the BorKade and we hit it off great. Bob is just a darn cool guy. Heck even his voice grabs your attention. He had fun playing the machines and was very interested in my rockets. He even came out to a THOR launch with me and he had a blast interacting with the other folks with much more complicated rockets filled with gadgets. It was just a great day and I had so many questions about the project he works on. They drill a hole through the ice of Antarctica and then send a remote controlled submarine down the hole. That is why it is shaped like a long tube.

Congrats on your discovery Bob :)

Jan/14

15

Andersen 3000 storm door is awesome

After painting the house one thing stood out. The storm doors that came with the house were in pretty bad shape. I had repaired the screens a couple times, but wear over the years had taken a toll. We went shopping for a door and I was a bit bummed to see that the same mech to lower the glass and expose the screen was there. The fingernail breaker style mech was on $250 doors. The door guy at Home Depot approached and I complained about the window mech. He had me step a few feet to the left and showed me the Andersen 3000 series storm doors. There is a nice handle that you squeeze to release and you can slide the window down and a screen rolls out of the top easily with one hand. The fancy door was just $50 more than the ones we were looking at, so it was an easy choice. We ordered one for the front door and waited.

Andersen claims that they are very easy to install. Claiming that normal folk can install it in 45 minutes. It took me a bit longer because I was fiddling with stuff, but it was a darn easy install. And it is a darn fine door. It does not open up as wide as the old one. I guess that is the style these days.

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Jan/14

9

CES 2014 VIDEO: Stern Pinball

Article

It may seem like the complete antithesis of what you’d expect to see on the floor of the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, but there they are — pinball machines.

Pretty cool to see STERN at CES.

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