Hackers. Builders. Inventors. All are being called together while probably suffering from caffeine induced hyper-craziness via Red Bull for their 2nd year of the Red Bull Creation competition. I’m so there!

Red Bull Creation, the 72-hour themed innovation competition, is returning for its second year with a new digital format, upgraded technology and higher stakes. Last year’s marathon brought the best groups of four to Brooklyn to create side-by-side. This year, the competition goes TO the top makers, individually or in teams across the country…taking place in their own domain, using their own tools. The possibilities are endless.

Red Bull Creation will predominately live online starting with any interested possible competitors registering after June 15 and receiving a “Bullduino”, our version of an Arduino—an open-sourced single board wiring platform. Show us your skills by making something using the Bullduino and upload a video by July 3. No specific topic this round, just a maker and his or her thoughts. Twelve teams or individuals will be selected by a panel of experts by July 5 to participate in the 72-hour live build.

The real action takes place while the dozen “chosen ones” work simultaneously around the country in their own workshops, hackerspaces or homes to innovate around a common theme. That theme will be announced at the beginning of the 72-hour build set to begin on July 19 – 22.

Mark it down on your calendars. Participate. Hit up the Red Bull Creation website for more information for a chance to win $10,000.00. Live it.

And if you win it, don’t forget to share your winnings 😉

[ Links: Red Bull USA Creation, Red Bull ]

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft released what everybody thought they were going to, but with a few twists… a new tablet. The Microsoft Surface was announced at 6:30pm EST on June 18th to an online and rather intimate crowd in Los Angeles with a few turns and twists that most people did not expect. First off, the inclusion of Nvidia and their Tegra line was rather surprising for the Windows 8 RT version that should be available shortly after the release of Microsoft Windows 8. That version will include a 32GB and 64GB version that will be competitive with current generation tablets.

One of the twists was that there was a higher screen resolution, Intel version that will basically be an Intel i5 inside of a slightly deeper enclosure and with a higher capacity internal capacity for storage. This higher spec and invariably higher cost version will come out later in the year.

The other twist, the announced “smart cover” that includes a keyboard and touchpad in a 3mm or so form factor. Take that Apple!

Windows RT (version)

  • 676 g
  • 9.3 mm thick
  • 10.6” ClearType HD Display
  • microSD, (full-sized) USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Office Home & Student 2013 RT, Touch Cover, Type Cover
  • VaporMg Case & Stand
  • 32 GB, 64 GB Capacity

Unlike Apple which usually announces at the end of the conference that their new hardware/software is shipping and for what price, Microsoft decided to disclose no real delivery dates and/or prices which means we will all have to wait until Windows 8 is released before we know the final specs. I can’t wait… I’m already digging the new Touch Cover.

[ Links: Microsoft Surface ]

Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Apple just had their rather boring WWDC where iOS 6.0 and dropping Google Maps finally announced as well as the updates to their MacBook Pro line. The worst kept secret was the 15.4 inch Retina Display enabled MacBook Pro that’s been rumored for months was also finally announced.

  • Retina display: 15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
  • Supported resolutions: 2880 by 1800 pixels (Retina); scaled resolutions: 1920 by 1200, 1680 by 1050, 1280 by 800, and 1024 by 640 pixels
  • 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor or 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with 6MB shared L3 cache
  • 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory (configurable up to 16GB)
  • 256GB – 768GB flash based storage (SSD)
  • 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • MagSafe 2 power port
  • Two Thunderbolt ports (up to 10 Gbps)
  • Two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps)
  • HDMI port
  • Headphone port
  • SDXC card slot
  • Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (sold separately)
  • Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter (sold separately, available July)
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking
  • Up to 7 hours wireless web

With many upcoming apps, like Mail, Messaging and Aperture being updated for the Retina Display, I’m going to need a loan to afford all that I’m going to buy. The price? All starting at $2199 to $2799.

[ Links: Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display specs, Apple MacBook Pro ]

Not unless you’re triskaidekaphobic, that’s the phobia of the number 13, you have no real reason not to update to Firefox 13.0.

Memory usage seems to be the same as versions 11.0 and 12.0 (which I totally skipped), but developer tools, speed via SPDY, extra CSS3 code support and other performance enhancements make 13.0 that much better than the prior versions.

My take… worth the download. Go get it.

[ Links: What’s New, Mozilla Firefox 13.0 ]

As much as I dislike printers I think printers dislike me more actually, I totally dislike watches with batteries. You have to replace them usually at the worst moment and they tend to not last a while in a chronograph watch; thus my love for automatic watches.

Well, Girard-Perreqaux will be releasing a very limited watch very soon…

Limited edition of 25 pieces for USA only

The case, in black ceramic and rubber, measures 43mm. The crystal is sapphire, as is the display back, and it is water resistant to 100 meters.

Movement is the Swiss automatic GP in-house caliber GP03387 with 63 jewels, 28,800 vph and a power reserve of 46 hours. The movement was designed specifically for this model, and it displays the time in twenty-four time zones with day and night indicator, date and flyback chronograph.

No comment on price or exact venues where you can purchase this killer watch yet. To be unveiled at the 2012 JCK Show in Las Vegas.

[ Links: Girard-Perregaux WW.TC Dark Night Watch ]


It wasn’t too long ago that I was talking about Mozilla Firefox updating to version 10.0. Yet here we are, not even two months later and Firefox has turned up the volume past 10 and landed on 11… 11.0 that is.

The update brings along some new developer tools and an add-on Sync. Here’s a comprehensive list of what’s new, added and updated.

So far this update has been a good one. Go get it if you haven’t already.

[ Links: Mozilla Firefox 11.0 ]

Nolet's Silver Dry Gin - Basil Collins

It’s springtime and that means it’s time to drink newer, lighter cocktails. So why not add a Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin Basil Collins to the mix this year? Here’s a killer idea from John McCarthy:

Nolet’s Secret Garden and discover the unique botanicals of Turkish Rose, Peach, and Raspberry in Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin. A modern take on gin, the individually-distilled floral and fruity botanicals in Nolet’s Silver make it the perfect spirit for avid gin drinkers, those new to the spirit, and even those who shy away from the typical juniper-forward gins.

Refreshing and ideal for the warmer weather, seasonal cocktails such as the Nolet’s Silver Basil Collins complement your favorite springtime activities perfectly.

Nolet’s Silver Basil Collins

  • 1.5 oz. Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin
  • 3 Muddled Lemon Wedges
  • .5 oz. Honey Syrup
  • .5 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 3 Basil Leaves

Shake and pour all contents into Collins glass, fill with soda.

Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin can be found from around $49.99 for a 750ml bottle.

[ Links: Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin ]

Mozilla Firefox upgrades to 10.0

I give up. I can’t keep up. Mozilla Firefox has upgraded their browser to version 10.0. Didn’t version 4.0 come out in March of 2011?!

Most of the updates surround the handling of extension auto-updates and the refinements around the Orion code editor/scratchpad with new page and style inspectors, WebGL anti-aliasing and enhancements, CSS3D transforms and an easier thank you lord! method to sync with other browsers including the updated Android Firefox – also at version 10.0 today too which adds multi-touch gestures and other enhancements.

Simply put, this is a slight upgrade on Mozilla’s new 6 week or so upgrade path. But it’s on the path to an updated tab system in version 12 and leaner memory usage. So far, it is a good update for me. Click the bottom links to download your proper version for your desktop. Download via the Android Market for the upgrade for Android based tablets and phones.

[ Links: Firefox 10 PC, Firefox 10 Mac ]

SOPA and PIPA Blackout

January 18th marks a day that huge sites like Reddit, Wikipedia and many others – just noticed that OSNews.com is also protesting as well as a black bar over Google’s logo at Google.com – plan to shut down their sites in protest of the highly controversial Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act. Why should you care?

(SOPA) would authorize the U.S. Department of Justice to seek court orders against websites outside U.S. jurisdiction accused of infringing on copyrights, or of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. After delivering a court order, the U.S. Attorney General could require US-directed Internet service providers, ad networks, and payment processors to suspend doing business with sites found to infringe on federal criminal intellectual property laws. The Attorney General could also bar search engines from displaying links to the sites.

Effectively, all it would take would be a complaint from somebody in the MPAA and RIAA, or some intellectual property (proven or not) holder will be able to complain that your website is an agent of some form of piracy. This is an oversimplified look at what these bills provide and attempt to do; however it’s an attempt to stop foreign websites from pirating American software, movies and music. And to do so, it grants these rights holders the ability to influence your ISP to block sites as well as disallow search engines to display results that they deem are infringing on their rights.

To date, DNS/ISP blocking has been removed from these controversial bills. But there’s still a lot of “teeth” in the bills that allow intellectual property and copyright holders the ability to point their finger and have a website deemed a website that’s committing piracy.

You don’t have to imagine where this is going. Go to YouTube now and you will not being able to hear some more music since the Universal Music Group (UMG) has disallowed uploading any of their catalog. Now imagine that power Internet wide. That’s just the start. And there are no provisions against false accusations. The burden of proof is on the site to prove their innocence.

So what is piracy? We all know websites that allow wholesale downloading of movies, music and software *cough*PirateBay*cough* but with highly visible sites like YouTube being monitored already, imagine the entire Internet under that type of scrutiny. Love a song, link to a YouTube video that’s not yet censored, you might be considered contributing to piracy. That’s a bit extreme, but who’s saying that it will not end there. Sure, some sites do nothing but link to pirated material. There’s no use for those sites other than assisting piracy. Fine, go after those sites.

But SOPA and PIPA are structured mainly to restrict access to the Internet based on rules, accusations and the lawyers that they employ that are always shifting to support their agendas. And that agenda is simply to make money from what they consider lost sales to piracy. In many cases, historically, it’s been proven that those that will pirate were not going to buy the software/music/movie anyway. And in the end, those that are paying customers walk away with the feeling that they are being treated like criminals.

Bills like this have existed in one form or another for the last decade. Ten years ago, SSSCA was another attempt at such a law that empowered the film and music industry and regulate all digital media via restricting and downright crippling copy restriction preventative measures. Think DRM on a much more invasive level – but not as invasive as Sony Music putting a rootkit on your PC.

Learn more about PIPA and SOPA. Write your representatives, even the ones that do not support PIPA/SOPA. Boycott the companies that support SOPA and PIPA. Make your voice and opinion known. And find out why Lamar Smith (Republican – Texas) is so damn hung up on this bill.

[ Links: SOPA, SOPA and PIPA: Just the Facts ]

Apple iPad

The Apple iPad has clearly taken the crown in the fight for tablet domination. Its speed and feature set are complimented by the Apple App Store’s huge variety of time-wasting and time-saving apps. The iPad is a fantastic device, but anyone who has ever used the device to try to conduct business that is more involved than sending an email might have found it to be a little less than satisfying. Technology currently limits just how many business-friendly features are available on a device as slim as the iPad, but there are a few add-ons that the business types out there might find helpful.

Touchscreens are great, but it is hard to replace the tactile experience of pushing your fingers down against little pieces of plastic to type out your sentences. Read the rest of this entry »

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia has already released their Lumia 800 with its 3.7″ AMOLED screen, Nokia N9 polycarbonate derived body in Europe. But for the US, Nokia has released at the CES the oft-rumored Nokia Ace, now known as the Nokia Lumia 900.

Tech Specs

  • Networks: GSM/EGSM 850/900/1800/1900, WCDMA 850/1900/2100, LTE Band 4 (1700/2100) & 17 (700)
  • OS: Windows Phone Release 7.5 – Mango Commercial Release 2 (Mango + LTE)
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 16 GB internal memory (14.5GB user memory) + SkyDrive cloud storage
  • Weight: 160g (5.6 ounces)
  • Dimensions: (max): 127.8 x 68.5 x 11.5 mm (5 x 2.7 x .45 inches)
  • A-GPS
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • USB 2.0 high-speed
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

Sporting larger 4.3″ AMOLED screen and larger single polycarbonate body than the Nokia N9 and Nokia Lumia 800. Also comes with the standard 8mp camera (at least for the Nokia N9 and Nokia Lumia 800) as well as a larger battery and a forward facing 1.3 megapixel a must have for the upcoming Skype release for Mango/Tango – the Nokia Lumia 900 will hopefully reinsert Nokia as a household name in the US.

[ Links: Nokia Conversations ]

Tips and Tricks to Improve Apple iPhone Battery Life

It was with the launch of Apple iPhone that the real craze for smart phones began. Mobile phones were just meant for calling and sending text messages but Apple iPhones are mini computers themselves. Equipped with every program or application these phones help in performing multiple things at a time. But the thing that hampers the ability of the iPhone to be a complete productive device is its battery life. Read the rest of this entry »

Apple iOS 5.1 Beta 2

Quite possibly the worst kept secret ever, Apple continues to provide developers updates to their upcoming dot release of their mobile OS, iOS for the Apple iPhone and iPad in a recently announced 5.1 Beta 2. So far the updates have been coming rather rapidly, most centering around jailbreaking security updates, but here’s to hoping that 5.1 brings performance enhancements too.

[ Links: Apple, Apple iOS Dev Center ]

Black Water - blk water - Dark Side of Water

Every instinct that I have tells me that I should avoid water that’s black in color. Not because of food coloring, nor because of something I’d rather not be in the water making it black… but because of fulvic acid and 77 trace minerals.

Our proprietary blend of Fulvic Acid (a derivative of plant matter) is mined from a 70 million year old source deep within the earth. Naturally black in color, the formula binds to the molecules of our pure Canadian Spring Water turning it naturally black, with no artificial dyes, coloring, or additives. Fulvic Acid is critical in growth of plant life, helping the transportation and absorption of nutrients. Fulvic Acid’s small molecular structure allows for the fast absorption of over 77 different trace minerals and elements, powerful electrolytes, antioxidants, and free radical scavengers.

Found a bottle at Whole Foods for about $2 a bottle and amazingly enough there’s no weird taste, you look totally cool while drinking it and it’s supposed to be doing your body a good thing. It even has electrolytes!

[ Links: blk. | The Dark Side of Water ]

8 Tips to Get the Best Deals on Black Friday

The guys over at Dealnews have published a rather nonsensical list that will probably help you discern what exactly is a good buy and what’s not on Black Friday.

1. Know the Price History for the Item
2. Consider Other Colors
3. Compare to Prices on Similar Items
4. Consider Bundle Offers
5. Look for Coupons That Apply to Your Selection
6. Look for a Coupon for Competing Stores
7. Does Shipping Kill the Deal?
8. Don’t Forget Sales Tax

Sounds like common sense, sounds like something we all should already know, but let’s be honest. If you have 16 screaming, kung-fu grip mommies around you grabbing everything around you and you get caught up in the fever of purchasing a $79 dollar point-and-click camera made by a name brand that’s only sold in certain stores and perhaps isn’t the best name brand out there I’m not talking from experience… I’m really not… damn cheap friggin’ camera

So yes. Head over to Dealnews.com and read the whole article. Who knows, you might be able to save some money on some rather useless camera gadget and buy more bang for the buck.

[ Links: Dealnews – 8 Tips to Get the Best Deals on Black Friday ]


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