11: 3rd Place is the Worst Place

January 6, 2013

1. Griffin’s PowerDock 5

One thing I didn’t see coming when I picked up an iPad mini to use as an addition to my iPhone and iPad (3rd gen) is the charging headaches it would cause. At least for me, the iPad mini doesn’t replace the larger iPad and vice versa, meaning I use them interchangeably throughout the day. For the most part I end up charging the iPad and iPad mini at the same time, so I have to manage two different wall chargers and two different cables. Throw in my iPhone which is a bit of a wild card for when I need to charge it and the fact that rooms have a limited supply of wall outlets, and it’s become maddening.

The Griffin PowerDock 5 is a single dock which will charge five devices at once. It’ll be available in a few months for $100, and it’s sure to solve the first world charging woes that tech geeks face.

2. Consumer Reports Says The iPhone 5 Is The Worst Top Smartphone — Or Not

Headline on iDownloadBlog: Consumer Reports places iPhone 5 among the worst of top smartphones

Actually, Consumer Reports said that the iPhone is the third best phone. Unless #3 out of hundreds has become a bad thing, consider this the Dazzling Display of Headline Bias of the Day.

3. Yeah, Why Is He So Popular?

Paul Harris over on The Observer asks: Why is Superman still so popular?

The article is a bit more deeper than that and dives into the changes Superman has gone through as time changed, but I dig the question. Being fully honest, I haven’t ever liked Superman; the hero or the shows/movies that he shows up in. Superman has a single weakness which conveniently is exotic and pretty hard to find. As he is a God-like character, there isn’t much for us puny humans to empathize with. So what’s the draw?

4. The Waterproof Hearing Aid

Siemens never fails to impress me, and while The Ramones haven’t ruined my hearing yet, I certainly appreciate progress for people who are disabled. Hearing aids are electric, and as such, subject to the same water damage that voids your iPhone’s warranty. No longer, as Siemens has created a hearing aid that can be submersed in as much as three meters of water. If you are hard of hearing, ask your doctor if the Aquaris hearing aid is right for you.

5. So Why Is Leatherface So Popular?

Texas Chainsaw 3D brought in an estimated $23 million at the domestic box office, bringing it to #1 in the U.S. charts.

As a Horror hound I understand the satisfaction of seeing (fictional) teenagers get sliced and diced in 3D, but it amazes me that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise — or at least its characters — can stand the test of time. I have to reserve judgement since I haven’t seen Texas Chainsaw 3D yet, but I’m not sure that anything other than more impressive gore can be added to the franchise. The biggest problem with remakes and reboots is that creativity is restricted. Even in unoriginal films, at least the characters are new. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is done in my mind.

6. Facebook Standing Up For Privacy?

This is news to me: Facebook is refusing to grant access to users’ private information that could alter the results of a murder case. Honestly I’m surprised that Facebook doesn’t sell it to the highest bidding lawyer, but I’m happy to know that the posts I set to “friends only” will only be seen by my friends. Kudos, Facebook.

7. Rebel Wilson To Kidnap One Direction

Honestly I just find this story funny.

8. Ornithologist Forced To Explain Why Humans Can’t Become Birds

As reported by The Onion, ornithologist Ethan R. Lewis was forced to participate in the History Channel’s new program, What If Humans Suddenly Became Birds?

To be honest I wasn’t even aware that “ornithology” was a thing. I knew that there were people who studied birds, and I knew the study had to be called something, but I was never curious enough to actually look it up. Thank you Onion editors. :-)

9. Processing In The News!

It’s interesting to see The Verge doing a story about the programming language that I’m learning, Processing (and others). One thing that I’ve noticed about Processing is that not very many normal people even know what it is, so seeing it get a shoutout on a large blog like The Verge is encouraging (maybe even inspiring) and makes me want to work even harder at being a generative designer.

Honestly in learning this coding language I need all the encouragement I can get, as prior to a week ago I knew next to nothing about code and, while I already a statistics fan, I’m learning that I have to invest time in learning geometry and algebra if I want to be good at Processing. Learning geometry and algebra is something I don’t want to do, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking for excuses to try my hand at a different hobby.

10. iPad mini Day 4

I’ve now had an iPad mini for four days, and I have a load of thoughts on it, but my biggest surprise is how my iPad and iPad mini are already diverging. Instead of starting fresh, I restored my iPad mini from my iPad’s backup. Four days ago the two devices had the same use at face value. But every day the app selection I have on each changes, and in examining my usage habits it’s clear that the iPad and iPad mini are very different devices.

I don’t set the iPad mini down in use; it’s very much meant to be held, whereas the iPad usually lays flat on the table. Think of the iPad mini as a lounging device, and the iPad as a productivity device. I haven’t closed iA Writer on my iPad since I started writing this post, and right beside it I’ve been finding news that I want to write about using Flipboard, Thirst, and Safari on my iPad mini.

If you prefer, you can think of the iPad mini as a second screen to the iPad. In the end that’s effectively how I’m using it most, and together the iPad and iPad mini cost less than a single MacBook Air (the cheapest Mac that has a display) which doesn’t come with a second screen. Since I type faster on the iPad’s software keyboard than I do a traditional keyboard, I’d wager that the $928 that my iPads cost combined was money well spent.

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