Categories
awesome science the greatest

Tesla Motors

I have always been a fan of Telsa Motors. I would totally buy a Tesla Model S if it weren’t for the facts below:

1) I live in Brooklyn

2) I park on the street (where people steal my wheels and flip their cars right next to mine)

3) Even if I had a garage or a spot to park my car, I certainly wouldn’t have the means to plug in an electric car

But still, I would buy one if I could get past those three items. I don’t even particularly care about owning an electric car. My car gets 14 MPG in the city and I don’t mind paying for the gas and I honestly don’t really pay attention to how that affects the environment. Oh well.

But these cars are undeniably awesome. They’re comfortable, they go fast, and they’re ridiculously safe.

Elon Musk made a move yesterday that, quite frankly, just isn’t seen anymore by any company…”open sourcing” his patents on the electric car.

I share Mr. Musk’s disdain for patents. The patent owner’s tend to just spend their lives in courts and no one gets any good ideas down because they’re all patented.

(When I was in engineering school, I remember walking past the plaques of all the professors that had been granted patents, and thought I wanted that. I was dumb.)

It should be noted that Elon Musk isn’t actually “open sourcing” his patents. He’s just choosing to ignore someone who is trying to make a better product. I sincerely doubt he would ignore it if GM or BMW start copying the Model S/Model X.

Its an interesting move anyway for a company that has made some other interesting moves. I like them and I wish I could support them. Steve would say I have to move from Brooklyn, but that’s not likely.

Hopefully it will pave the way for companies working together (when possible) and actually advancing the technology, which is what the Tesla team hopes to accomplish.

 

Categories
the greatest

Teapot Politics

Maybe you’ve heard on other websites about a little marketing issue JCPenney is having (also, NEWSFLASH, JCPenney still exists…I had no idea). But it just wouldn’t be the deadlycomputer blog unless we discussed this:

hitler-teapot-jc-penney-reddit

Does this picture remind you of anyone? Well if you’re drivers along California’s Interstate 405 Highway, you most likely thought “that teapot looks just like Hitler.”

Oh yes, its our pick for #1 dictator in human history back again, reincarnated (note: none of the staff at deadlycomputer believe in or advocate the belief in reincarnation) as a teapot. Now it may or may not be true, but I’m pretty sure Hitler enjoyed tea over coffee, so this product is oddly appropriate, even though I seriously doubt that the designer did this purposefully.

All this controversy is pretty stupid. Honestly, I would never see that teapot and think it looks like Hitler, until someone else would point it out to me. After all, it could be much worse:

ck_hitler_lg

But, if you’d like, you can totally still pick up this awesome teapot (but its on backorder) regardless of what you think of Hitler. It could be a collector’s item one day.

Categories
awesome

In Steve’s Absense

Its me again! With Steve out of the picture (and without internet access) I
will be posting as I see fit. Some posts he may agree with (like the one forthcoming), others he may not. Oh well. Its his fault either way for giving the keys to the kingdom as it were…

Categories
a stumble awesome Deadly Computer photo strange the greatest

OMG Stumbles 16!!!!!!1!!1!

That’s right, I’m taking over the collection of stumbles for its sweet 16 celebration. Now, if Steve considers this canonical or not, well that’s up to him. He may figure that since he didn’t write it, it doesn’t count, but I say he left! And since (I don’t think) he doesn’t have a set schedule for Stumbles posts, well here we go.

ATATAwww look at the cute little AT-AT! He just wants to go outside. I hope it’s not a blizzard out there! [source]

Categories
science strange

Blue, what have you done?!

Yes, Blue. Everyone’s favorite little blue dog from Nick Jr. has a dark, secret past. Even worse than that Steve character she used to hang around who got caught doing drugs or something. Come on, you know he HAD to be high to pull off that show. Remember when his brother Joe came and took over the show? Yeah that was awkward.

Anyway, why am I, a college graduate, talking about Blue’s Clues? Well, I am going to expose her secret. Magenta isn’t real! That’s right, Blue’s best puppy pal Magenta is totally made up. This leads us to a lot of things we could either assume or infer about the Blue’s Clues universe. Firstly, I accept that Blue the dog is real. Magenta is not, so what about Mr. Salt? Mrs. Pepper? TICKETY TOCK? Don’t even get me started on how Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper had little Paprika ohhhh no. Oh yes, they must all be fake too.  If Blue was willing to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes with her best friend, just think about all the other inanimate objects she lived with that she paraded in front of preschoolers as having personality. Sounds like Blue had some schizophrenia.

Well, I’ve gotten a little bit away from my actual point here. This whole thing about Blue from Blue’s Clues being schizophrenic is not true. The story here is much more science-y. You see, scientists (see I told you it was science-y) are saying that Magenta is not a real color. That is actually resides somewhere in the middle of violet and red on opposite ends of the color spectrum.

And since those two colors never blend in to one another, the brain invents its own interpretation of what that color looks like, but there’s no way to actually produce magenta when you’re talking about the wavelength level. Sure, you can make things (like dogs) appear to be magenta. But in the end, it’s really just your brain playing a trick on you and making stuff up.

[boingboing]

Categories
awesome DIY science the greatest

ZeroEdge Aquariums

We’ve featured a couple aquariums from time to time on the blog. Some were awesome, some were weird (even by my standards). And actually, the table aquariums inspired me to design my own that would be the future centerpiece of my living room, but that was during happier, more employed times. I might still revisit it later, but this is just beautiful and a really great design.

zeroedge

Now as I see it, there are a couple problems with this. There is no cover for the aquarium so you basically have to keep any cats far, far away from this. That might not be such a problem since the water flows over the edges of the tank and then gets recycled and theoretically cleaned I guess and put back in the tank. But again, since there’s no cover, I would be really worried about other stuff getting in there. Like dust or bugs or um…anything I regularly throw around my apartment. I guess in the end it wouldn’t really matter since most things would overflow with the water and get filtered out, but what if you have a fish that likes to jump? Nothing good happens, that’s for sure.

The really scary thing is that the website doesn’t tell you how expensive these things are, which leads me to believe I will never, ever be able to afford one. On completed kits, it just says to “Call for quote” which is never a good thing for a thrifty consumer. However, if you buy just a tank with a base (bring your own pump I guess) it ranges from $600 to $950 to infinity (which is, as far as I’m concerned, what  “Call for quote” means).

I found this on Make, and they seem to think that it would be easy to DIY, but I can’t help but think you would be way better off at least buying the tank from ZeroEdge. I mean, you could certainly buy an off the shelf tank and make a pump overflow it but anything you did yourself wouldn’t be nearly as elegant a solution as the real deal. If someone proves me wrong, I will buy it off you for whatever you want to charge me.

As long as it’s less than what ZeroEdge charges…for just a tank.

[Make]

Categories
awesome DIY led science the greatest

I love clocks.

I first saw this quite a while ago on my RSS feeds but I’m really lazy when it comes to the blog. Also, I was working full time and well, tired at night. So if you’ve already seen this, well too bad.

It’s no secret that we here at Deadly Computer are big fans of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. They make some really cool things but I consider most of their designs to be totally useless, because I also don’t desire to make stuff in my spare time just for the act of making something. Whatever.

This clock, though. This is awesome.

look at this!

They used 3 concentric rings of 12 LEDs (our favorite) and wooden post in the middle to create the shadows that you read the time off of. Evil Mad Scientists also say that it is difficult to photgraph LEDs (which I totally believe) and that the colors are actually more vibrant in person. So in this case, the time was 9:20:05 or so. I would love to have this in my cubicle at work.

I think the only problem would be getting it to work. I ride the subways to work every morning and if just a little bit of this was visible from my bag (while getting my book or headphones or something out of said bag) I could get into a lot trouble, because people are paranoid.

So please, Mr. Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories/Santa/Easter Bunny/non-denominational gift giving person of choice, make this kit available for the common people. I love it and would buy it immediately.

Oh yeah, it’s actually based off this, but I like the Evil Mad Scientists version better.

[Make]

Categories
awesome Deadly Computer the greatest

Steve’s Vacation

Steve has no faith in me. He has such little faith, he didn’t even ask if I would try and post some things. Well, little does he know that I have had a couple posts rumbling around in my brain for a while and I just might be persuaded to take over the blog for the next week.

So sit back and enjoy a week of my ramblings. I have better grammar and I spell things correctly.

I wonder what Steve would do if I did a stumbles 16…

Categories
awesome

This has been bothering me for a while…

Ok. I have an iPhone. I love it. I also hate it. I jailbreaked it so I could hate it a little less. And because most people who own one (which is a lot by the way) seem to love it there are the inevitable clones and copy cats flooding the market. Some are good, some are bad, some are laughably terrible. Because of this shift in what people want / expect from a “smartphone” RIM has decided to get in on the action with the Blackberry Storm.

oooh, pretty. And the subtle imagery. The lightning bolt…Storm? Someone at RIM must think they’re a genius.

ANYWAY, RIM decided they were going to fix the worst thing about having to type on a touchscreen. After all, this is a Blackberry, it’s main purpose in life is to do email for corporate stooges (and Mike) and do it well. So well, in fact, when they have outages, people damn near kill themselves because they can’t get their damned email unless they’re sitting at a computer. The horror. Ok so I’ve heard people complaining that because they can’t feel where certain keys are (i.e F and J for QWERTY fans or the numeral 5 for those with just a number pad) that they can’t type without looking down at the screen. Fair enough. Ignoring the dangerous implications of this, its damn near impossible to text your friends while driving. I suppose that’s an issue with some people.

So RIM comes along and says “hey let’s add some tactility to this otherwise normal capactive touchscreen. That will solve EVERYTHING.” So now, every time you touch the screen, anywhere on the screen, it physically depresses, allowing you, the user, to fully comprehend you have just touched a key. Consider my mind blown. Except wait. The only people who would consider this the solution to their touchscreen problems are people who say “OOOOOOHMYYYYYGOOOOOOOD I’m touching a capacitive touchscreen that is way more sensitive than those dumb ol’ resistive touchscreens and I can’t tell that I’ve initiated some action because there’s no button press telling me I did!”

Ok asshat. If you touch the screen, you engaged some kind of action. Texting, telephone call, change the music, warp drive who cares? I’ve tried touching my iPhone’s screen as lightly as possible and you barely have to brush up again the screen. That’s enough tactile response for me to realize that I’ve TOUCHED THE THING. The whole problem is that you can’t tell WHICH key that you’ve touched without looking at it, not that you can’t tell you touched it in general. In no way does this “innovation” fix this issue.

I’m waiting for people to realize this as hands on time increases with the Storm. The screen clicking thing will seem like a great feature until you try to type freehand and you realize that you have the exact same problem of not knowing where T or J or S is because its one flat surface. The same flat surface you get with any other touchscreen phone. Ooooooo but this one clicks!!!!1!! Go die.

This does not improve email. That’s what Blackberries are for. You have one / are getting because your company is making you so they can bother you when you’re eating dinner or telling your kids a bedtime story or otherwise…indisposed with a loved one. Try typing up an email with an iPhone and then a Storm. It will be exactly the same, except one gives you that extra little clicky sound that makes you salivate.

Categories
awesome photo

Autobot Origins?

Hey look at that, it’s me again.

For this past weekend, I have been suffering from what some would call a lack of sleep. Because of that, I am prone to weird delusions and random brain misfirings. Well, Monday I woke up and stared at my bedsheets for a while…I mean really stared. And I noticed something. Check out the Autobots logo:

Now take a look at Darth Vader’s mask:

Notice anything? Hit the jump for my highly scientific (for 2:30am) rendering.