December 2, 2013
With current technology, delivery could be made to points within 10 miles of a fulfillment center.
I wonder if you get to keep that handy plastic box that your item would come in, or are they like those crates the post office has that you have to return. It would seem that the recipient of the package needs to have a secure backyard or, perhaps, balcony where the drone can drop the package. The package recipient would have to first indicate on a map the precise location of his backyard. If you live in a high-rise with balconies, Amazon would also need a view of the side of the building (something like Google's Streetview) where you would indicate your balcony. Or would the drone be smart enough to count the number of floors from outside the building? Maybe those customers without balconies or secure backyards could agree to leave a window or slider wide open for the drone, but that would create other security issues.
November 29, 2013
About That Walmart
I was wondering, when the proposed Desert Hot Springs Walmart eventually comes before the Planning Commission, if it would be within the city's powers to include as a condition of approval that they don't open their doors on Thanksgiving or the Friday after. It would be a public safety necessity, I would think.
November 26, 2013
Deal On A GoPro Silver At Costco
I just noticed today that Costco is selling a GoPro Silver Edition for only $230 (also available at Costco.com. This is the same kit that costs $269 at Amazon. But be aware this is the GoPro Hero3 Silver Edition. It is NOT the GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition (which is the same price at Amazon and GoPro.com.
The differences between the Hero3 Silver and the Hero3+ Silver are these: The + has a sharper lens, longer battery life, better audio, and 4x faster Wi-fi.
The differences between the top-o-the-line ($399) Black and Silver editions are: 12MP vs 10 MP, no continuous photo in the Silver, no simultaneous video and still photo in the Silver, the Silver does not have 4K or 2.7K or 1440p, Black has higher fps in some modes, Black has Video Bitrate Capture up to 45Mbps - Silver 25 Mbps.
I think the Black edition has lots flashy stuff that will probably never translate into anything you can see with your eyes - for most videographers and most viewers. The Silver is a little more down to earth, but I would definitely go for the Hero3+ Silver over the Hero3 Silver. The unplussed versions of Hero3 were buggy.
November 1, 2013
Good Customer Service
Noteburner Audiobook Converter is an application for OSX that converts audio files with DRM (or without) to MP3 with no DRM. In my truck I have only two devices that can play MP3s: the CD player and the Garmin GPS. Neither of them can play files with DRM. I also have an old iPod Shuffle which will not play files with DRM. I could put the DRM files on my iPod Mini or my Android phone or tablet and they would play okay, but using one of those in the truck requires more fiddling and can distract me from safe driving for dangerously long moments. So I have been using Noteburner to convert an occasional file with DRM to wild and free MP3.
Then I upgraded my Mac to Mavericks. Noteburner uses iTunes to decrypt the DRM files. But the version of iTunes that came with Mavericks does not like Noteburner, shutting itself down whenever I tried it. I sent off an email to customer support at Noteburner. I may have been the first user to report this incompatibility. They asked for more data, which I supplied, and now, just 8 days after my initial email they've released the upgraded Noteburner that works with Mavericks flawlessly. So I'm happy and thought that good, responsive customer service should be pointed out when it happens.
October 23, 2013
GoPro Hero3 Black Only $330
While I was at the Apple Store today I saw that they are selling the GoPro Hero3 Back for only $330. This is not the latest model, the GoPro Hero3 Black+ which goes for $400.
October 21, 2013
I had never heard of Litographs before today. They've taken the text of a hundred books and used it to create designs on t-shirts, tote bags and posters. Here, for example, is A Tale Of Two Cities (should I have warned "spoiler alert?"):
Their browsing interface is like Facebook, an infinite page that keeps growing longer and longer. That works for Facebook, but gets irritating when you are trying to shop, I think. Here are the hundred titles:
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, A Christmas Carol, A Doll's House, A Little Princess, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, A Tale of Two Cities, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Adventures of Pinocchio, Aesop's Fables, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Anna Karenina, Around the World in 80 Days, Crime and Punishment, Don Quixote, Dracula, Dubliners, Emma, Five Weeks in a Balloon, Frankenstein, Great Expectations, Grimms' Fairy Tales, Gulliver's Travels, Heart of Darkness, Jane Eyre, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Just So Stories, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Leaves of Grass, Les Miserables, Little Women, Madame Bovary, Moby Dick, Notes from Underground, Oliver Twist, On the Origin of Species, Opticks, Paradise Lost, Persuasion, Peter Pan, Poems by T S Eliot, Poke the Box, Pride and Prejudice, Principles of Geology, Pygmalion, Robinson Crusoe, Sense and Sensibility, Siddhartha, Tarzan of the Apes, Tess of the D'urbervilles, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Aeneid, The Age of Innocence, The Arabian Nights, The Art of War, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, The Bible, The Canterbury Tales, The Chemical History of a Candle, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Divine Comedy, The Great Gatsby, The History of Creation, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Iliad, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr Moreau, The Jungle Book, The Kama Sutra, The Last Unicorn, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, The Metamorphosis, The Mysterious Island, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, The Odyssey, The Phantom of the Opera, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, The Prince, The Republic, The Scarlet Letter, The Secret Garden, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Three Musketeers, The Time Machine, The Torah, The War of the Worlds, The Wind in the Willows, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Think and Grow Rich, This Side of Paradise, Treasure Island, Ulysses, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Walden, War and Peace, White Fang, and Wuthering Heights.
You will note they have Pinocchio. I'm sure that if someone wanted to buy a lot of those, Dot Reed would be willing to award them to deserving people at City Council meetings.
October 19, 2013
Rice cookers, bread machines, soymilk makers, and now an American inventor brings us the Magical Butter machine. The inventor is Garyn Angel of Port Richey, Florida. Toss some marijuana in it along with either oil, butter, grain alcohol or glycerin; push a couple of buttons; go do something for a couple of hours; come back to marijuana-infused oil, butter or tincture.
Here's the Magical Butter website where you can buy the MB2 for $175. Sales tax and shipping to southern California will be about $10 additional. Comes with a one-year warranty. Or, if you're nuts, you can buy it at Amazon for $195.69 with no manufacturer's warranty (although the seller, Variety Corp., will give you a 30-day warranty).
This looks surprisingly similar to my soymilk maker.
I had never really thought about it before, but if you are occasionally troubled by snakes on your property and have no desire to show off to your friends that you can clear them out with nothing but an old stick and a shopping bag, then genuine snake tongs are for you. Cool Tools reviews two models: the M-1 Series Collapsible Snake Tongs ($100 at Amazon) and the Collapsible Snake Hook ($45 at Forestry Suppliers).
The reviewer is of the opinion that rattlesnakes in California are smaller and more mellow than those in New Mexico or Texas. He is diplomatically silent on the subject of Arizona rattlesnakes.
October 10, 2013
Meanwhile in Omaha
This is fake.
But this is real.
Cinnabon stores in Omaha are using Breaking Bad imagery to promote themselves. They say "corporate" has approved this, so we must assume that Cinnabon has agreed to pay AMC a ton of bucks.
September 20, 2013
Get your credit cards ready! On September 29 bidding will commence on 145 items from the shooting of Breaking Bad!. They include...
- The teddy bear! Starts at $1,500. The one without eyes starts at the same price.
- Walter White's copy of Leaves of Grass! Can you believe it! Starts at $3,000.
- Los Pollos Hermanos buckets! They don't say how many they've got, but they start at only $150 each.
- Skyler's Jeep! They say it "runs and drives, but leaks oil and has some paint bubbling and chipping." Starts at only $7,125 "as is."
- Tio Salamanca's bell! It's actually charred from the explosion, so they are gonna tap you for at least $3,500 to start.
- And Tio's wheelchair which is, of course, in destroyed fashion! $5,000 to start.
If you need a working wheelchair, there's Hank's and it starts at a weak $100.
- The crème de la crème: Walter White's not-so-very tighty-whities. Oh, baby! Starting at a modest $250.
- The bike lock (made of rubber) used waaaaaay back in season 1 to restrain and kill Krazy 8. $1,000 gets you started.
- Jesse's Roomba starts at only $200 and it works!
- The shopper must remain alert! Here they are trying to auction off a brown rock for $50 or higher, with no description. Is this from Walter's yard?
There are many more items your family can treasure and pass down to future generations, if you can just outbid everyone else!