Category Archives: Technology

Six Flags Amusement Parks Add Immersive Virtual Reality To Roller Coasters…and Blow. Our. Minds.

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*One of my greatest surprises after moving to the west coast seven years ago was the discovery of Six Flags amusement parks. I grew up just a stone’s throw from the midwest’s Cedar Point, which is widely known as the roller coast capital of the world. I still cherish the memories of my annual treks there as a kid, and didn’t imagine being close a park that could match the thrills I’d experienced at Cedar Point.

Then, I found Six Flags.

The one in my neck of the woods, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, was always a thrill, but got better in recent years with the addition of rides like Superman Ultimate Flight (which is the first ride I hit when I enter the park!) and The Joker, a new hybrid coaster that repurposed the foundation of one of the park’s old wooden out-and-backs and turned it into a scream machine that left me hoarse for the balance of my day there last summer.

During THAT ride, I had to suppress my repeated “F*** me!” screams, as there were small, impressionable children aboard.  (I can’t wait to ride it again!) Continue reading

Study Finds Social Media Users Are Obsessed With Their Dogs

It’s official: social media users are paw-sitively obsessed with their pups.

A new study released by BarkBox found that dog owners post photos of or talk about their furry friends six times per week on average. Nationwide, 46.3 million households have a dog, so having a canine companion is quite common. However, it may surprise some to know that out of the 1,000 dog parents surveyed, 11% have actually created a social media account specifically for their pooch.

Some have speculated that one of the main reasons dog owners love posting these photos and videos is because we consider our pets to be part of the family. Stacie Grissom, head of content at BarkBox, noted, “In our parents’ generation, a dog may have been kept largely in the yard and you greeted it in the morning and when you came home from work. Now the dog is [on] the Christmas cards.”

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Finally! Samsung Has ID’d the Cause of ‘Galaxy Note 7’ Fires

Koh Dong-jin, head of Samsung's mobile devices division
Koh Dong-jin, head of Samsung’s mobile devices division

*I pray you were not one of the unfortunate victims of a phone that caught fire…while you were on it! By now you’ve probably heard that Samsung had to pull their Galaxy Note 7 from the market only months after it’s August 2 launch. People all over the globe were bombarding the brand with complaints about their phone blowing up and catching fire; many of them landed in hospitals. Even airports laid out huge blinking signs advising folks not to expect to bring the phones on board, and confiscated them from those who did.

Samsung was devastated. They had already counted all the money and now was set to invest in lawsuits. Quietly they bowed out by taking the phone off the shelf — rushing it into research to learn what the hell had happened.

On Monday the answers came. Continue reading

MacBook Pro Saves Life During Florida Airport Shooting

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*Who needs a flak jacket when you have a laptop?

I just bought a new MacBook Pro with the TouchBar.

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Oh yes, I did.  LOVE IT.  But I was experiencing a little buyer’s remorse — you pay a premium for Apple’s toys, after all — as I flipped on the news for the first time one day late last week, and heard that a MacBook Pro’s had saved a man’s life.  

I’m keeping mine.  And as soon as I’m done working today, I’m going to buy a new backpack for it.  Keep reading, and you’ll understand all of that!  Continue reading

TNT Film Review: Hidden Figures Is The Year’s Best Movie

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*I’m tempted to tell you that the exceptional new Hidden Figures is the best movie I’ve seen this year. Since 2017 is just out of the gate, that comment might be seen as more than a little glib.

So I’ll go out on a limb and say this: Hidden Figures is the best movie I WILL see this year.

Usually, period pieces that are based on history don’t hold my attention, largely because we already know how the movie’s going to turn out. (We KNEW the Titanic was iceberg-bound and doomed, right? So who really cares about Leo DiCaprio’s “I’m the king of the world!” moment?)

With the story behind Hidden Figures, we already know that Neil Armstrong helps America win the space race, and that he walked on the moon eight years later. What most of us didn’t know was that a group of black women — “Colored Computers” they were called — were largely responsible for getting him there. Told from their perspective, THIS period piece kept me, literally, on the edge of my seat through the film’s final act. Continue reading

Family Blames FaceTime for Fatal Crash, Death of Five-Year Old

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*I’m filing this one in my new GMFB file:  Give Me (a) Break.  (I’ll let you fill in the “F” for yourself, just in case there are children in the room.) 

Five-year old Moriah Modisette was killed and her father was seriously injured when another driver, Garrett Willhelm slammed into their car at 65 mph on a Texas highway in 2014, according to her family.  Willhelm was chatting away on a FaceTime video chat at the time of the crash.  FaceTime was still running as rescue workers removed Moriah’s lifeless body and her dad from the demolished car.

Instead of holding Willhelm liable, the family has gone after Apple, according to Fortune.com, as it’s their FaceTime program that runs on their mobile platforms.  The family claims the company has failed to install a “lock out” feature on FaceTime, thereby preventing drivers from using the app while on the road.  The family’s lawsuit alleges that Apple was granted a patent to install the feature earlier in 2014, and the feature could have prevented the catastrophic crash. Continue reading

New Search Engine Tracks Fake News to Stop the Spread of Lies

graphic_on_fake_news_by_voaOf all the cell phone users in the U.S., about half have a smartphone, which means that a large portion of the country is surfing the Internet both at home and on the go. Studies show that as many as 93% of all these online experiences begin with a search engine, with over 100 billion global searches conducted every month.

Many people these days use the Internet as their primary news source, but recently there has been an unfortunate trend involving the spread of false information online.

Fake news has been around for as long as people have been sharing information. More recently, however, “trolls” have continued to weave a vast web of lies, causing fake news to plague the Internet like never before.

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What…Uber NYC Tracking Folks Even After They Exit Ride?

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*Uber is said to be getting on the bad side of New York riders who don’t like the fact that their whereabouts are being tracked for five minutes after they reach their destination and exit the vehicle. Well all I can say is, I hope this is a test-run that won’t go beyond the Big Apple.

When I first heard of it, which was basically earlier today, I thought, what a shame that haters continue to find ways to degrade a company because it has become so successful by telling lies.

But then Uber admitted this is what they were doing. And even attempted to justify the move. Continue reading