Just For Fun

It gets old being the bad guy...

Streaming Dongle Showdown

If that title sounds vaguely risque - then you have a filthy mind (not that there's anything wrong with that). In computer parlance, a dongle is some kind of (usually very small) device attached to a computer that adds or restricts functionality; in this case, they are USB devices that allow you to stream video and other content to your TV from a computer, mobile device, or other service. Gizmodo has a nice comparison between three inexpensive competing dongles available now; the Google Chromecast, the Amazon Fire TV Stick and the Roku Streaming Stick. While similar, there are enough differences that you should do a wee bit of homework before plunking down your $35-$50 on one or the other. As is often the case there is some good information in the comments after the article, too.

The Audience I Try To Reach

On this blog, I quite often post about how to do things or fix things. If I point to other articles, I try to cite articles that are generally written to a certain level. It's not that I think my readers are technophobic rubes, but rather are people like me sans the computer experience. When I write the posts myself, I write them to a certain person I have in mind: this person is about the same age as me, and is a bit leery of computers - that is my target. Whether I hit the mark or not is for my readers to judge, but that is where my aim is. If you seek articles with a little more meat to them, my other site Olderbutgeeky usually has a little more involved items.


The Magic Of Music

Most people enjoy music of some kind or another; it can affect our mood and trigger memories. But music also seems to be able to "cure" - or at least positively affect - quite a few other things according to this article.
It turns out that music can do more than making you dance like a fool or allow you to drown out the world when you need to. It has a scientific uses too!
The documentary Alive Inside details how dementia patients react positively when given iPods filled with their old favorite songs. It was observed that while the patients are listening to songs they can sing along, they are able to answer questions about their past. Their social involvement such as, having brief conversations with others, also improved.
“Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other human experience,” says neurologist Oliver Sacks, who appears in the film. “Music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring with it memory.”

Taking A Look At PC Matic

I have been seeing a lot of the PC Matic antivirus/pc tune-up commercials lately featuring the company CEO Rob Cheng. He talks about the 92% result PC Matic got on an April 2014 VirusBulletin RAP test and how you can install the PC Matic software on up to 5 PCs for $50, which sounds great. So is it really such a good deal?

*update* - got a couple of tweets from PC Pitstop (@pcpitstop), the makers of PC Matic, offering an evaluation license key and mentioning they support free utilities on their website. I run Linux, and so can't advantage of the offer, but I appreciate it.

Sunday Is Pun Day #2

As I mentioned last time, I do like puns...


A High-Flying Google Exec Breaks A Record

A Google senior executive, at 57 years old, has broken the world record for the highest ever sky dive (yes, beating the Felix Baumgartner Red Bull record set so spectacularly only a couple of years ago). This was not a "official" Google attempt to break the record; Alan Eustace, a senior vice president there is an accomplished sky-diver in his own right.
At dawn he was lifted from an abandoned runway at the airport here by a balloon filled with 35,000 cubic feet of helium.
For a little over two hours, the balloon ascended at speeds up to 1,600 feet per minute to an altitude of more than 25 miles. Mr. Eustace dangled underneath in a specially designed spacesuit with an elaborate life-support system. He returned to earth just 15 minutes after starting his fall.
“It was amazing,” he said. “It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.”
Mr. Eustace cut himself loose from the balloon with the aid of a small explosive device and plummeted toward the earth at speeds that peaked at 822 miles per hour, setting off a small sonic boom heard by people on the ground.