September 22, 2016

Teach Your Kids What a Phone Is

Via Sue Walsh on Medium:

A friend recently told me that he asked his son to answer the phone. He and his wife have a backup landline, as cell reception can be spotty in their apartment. As the phone rang, the son ran around looking for it, not knowing where it was, even though the landline was in plain view. He thought “phone” was his Mom’s orange-cased iPhone. Without knowing that the ringing was coming from that unidentifiable thing on the wall, the call was missed.

The rest of the article is good too. The part I quoted is specifically about kids not knowing what a land-line is. They should. Teach them. ‘Kay?

Source: Digitization and The Loss of Iconography – Posted by SYPartners – Medium


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September 21, 2016

Connect a PS4 Controller to a Mac

I recently discovered Steam for video games (very late adopter over here) and for most games I prefer a controller to the keyboard/mouse thing. What to do?

English: A Sony PlayStation 2 DualShock 2 cont...

English: A Sony PlayStation 2 DualShock 2 controller. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(NOTE: the picture above is of a PS2 controller. This article is about connecting a PS4 controller. But I didn’t have a photo of a PS4 controller I could use for free. You might be able to use a PS2 controller as well. As always, YMMV.)

Turns out it’s fairly easy — OK, super easy — to use a PS4 controller on a Mac, which is what I have. Basically, you plug it in and it works. Wireless usage via Bluetooth is also possible, although I’m old so I prefer wired.

Click through to Macworld.co.uk to see full instructions.

If you’re looking for a great controller for playing games on a Mac, look no further than the PS4 DualShock. The stock gamepad for the PlayStation 4 is a great controller, and it’s easy to set up. In this feature, we’ll show you how to connect a PS4 gamepad to your Mac

Source: How to connect a PS4 games controller to a Mac – Features – Macworld UK


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September 8, 2016

Star Trek Is Still There For You

This article (link below) about Star Trek and how it has lost some of its original charm (not the right word but I’m trying to get this post up quickly) is spot on. But ultimately, Star Trek is still there for you. And for your children.

The Original Series Trekkies at BayCon 2003

The Original Series Trekkies at BayCon 2003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Photo note: I don’t know any of these people; it’s a usable pic from Wikipedia. I kinda love it, though.)

Here’s one of the the many money shots from the Op-Ed in the New York Times by Thomas Vinciguerra (and you should read the whole thing because it’s good, isn’t that long and it’s about Star Trek and is therefore important):

Still, my inner 12-year-old worries that this unique creation has lost much of its wide-eyed charm. Executed on a shoestring, begun amid major social tumult, “Star Trek” triumphed in large part because it tackled such essential and eternal themes as prejudice, war, learning and love. Shortly before the series began, the associate producer Robert H. Justman pleaded for “shows where the story is the thing and the gimmicks are unnecessary.”

Fair enough. However, as a parent and huge Star Trek fan (I also prefer Trekker to Trekkie, but that’s a subject for another time), I can safely say that the original series is still there for you. And your kids.

My own children are not as into Star Trek as I am, mostly because I am so deeply into Star Trek that I own a TriCorder and went to a friend’s wedding dressed (vaguely) as Mr. Spock. (I took my ears off during the ceremony, out of respect, but I put them back on when I got up to sing a Ramones song. Trust me, it fit.) I spent many tortured minutes debating whether or not I should go as Spock (now known as Spock Prime, because of the new movies) or Mirror Universe Spock. I chose the latter, although my beard wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped. Also, I wear glasses, so it was never going to be perfect. (One last caveat — the wedding invitation did say costumes. It’s not like I just showed at somebody’s wedding wearing pointy ears.)


Clearly, I have deep feelings for Star Trek. This is not a surprise to anyone who knows me reasonably well.

As such, I understand that many fans are disappointed with the direction the new Trek movies have taken. Personally, I like them, because they have managed to keep the essence of the characters mostly intact, and the characters are one of the reasons why I love the original series, or rather The Original Series. Of course the plots are another reason, as was the vision that Gene Roddenberry presented. Hell, it was the whole package. I loved it.

And I still do. I’m sharing it with my children. They get it. Are they going to feel the same way I do? I doubt it. And that’s fine.

Like the author of the New York Times Op-Ed, I didn’t go to the convention this past weekend. Why? I don’t know. One, I forgot. Two, I don’t love crowds. Three… that’s probably it. I could add “I’m cheap” and I imagine the tickets to the Con were not inexpensive.

You know what is, though? Watching The Original Series. Thanks to the wonders of streaming video, you can watch any episode of Star Trek whenever you like. You need a Netflix subscription, or Amazon Prime.


Is that a good way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek? It sure is. It’s also a good way to celebrate any other day. And that will never change.

Live Long and Prosper.

How the franchise lost its cult status — and why at least one Trekkie is in mourning.

Source: Who Stole My ‘Star Trek’? (New York Times)



September 6, 2016

MAD Magazine Humble Magazine Bundle

This MAD Magazine Humble Bundle is crazy. Pay what you want for a ton of digital issues of MAD Magazine.


Pay what you want for issues of MAD Magazine and support charity!

You remember MAD. You read it when you were a kid. Maybe you read it now. Maybe your kids read it now. But WOW is this a good deal. Pay what you want — seriously — for a whole truckload of digital MADs. (Technically it’s not a truckload. Virtual truckload, perhaps? Whatever.)

Pay as little one dollar and get 11 issues. Pay eight bucks or more for a 1-year digital subscription along with at least 10 more issues — that’s 10 PLUS the 11 at the El Cheapo level. Go to 15 dollars or more and things get really crazy. I mean MAD. Crazy was a different magazine, long long ago. In the 80s. Remember the 80s? Of course you do.

Not only do you get MADs, you are giving money to charity. Humble Bundle is great. Check it out. Now.

Source: Humble Magazine Bundle: MAD Magazine presented by DC Entertainment (pay what you want and help charity)


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September 6, 2016

That’s a Nice Prize

From our friend Z over at NascarRaceMom, a very nice prize, especially if you are racing fan. You could win a freakin’ RACE CAR. Check it out.

#Win A Chance to Drive Like A #NASCAR “King” (NASCAR Race Mom)


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September 2, 2016

Amazon Deals

Lots of cool stuff in this AV Club post, including Star Wars clothing and a bunch of 99 cent movies. Check it out.

In an effort to both serve our readers and help support The A.V. Club, we are going to post daily links to deals and interesting items that we find over on Amazon. If you use these links to click through and buy something—not just the thing you clicked—on Amazon, we will see a portion of that income

Source: Veronica Mars and a ton of Star Wars clothes: Here’s what’s on sale on Amazon today (AV Club)


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August 24, 2016

Earth-like Planet Found?

Exciting space news, people!

(CNN) In a discovery that has been years in the making, researchers have confirmed the existence of a rocky planet named Proxima b orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our sun, according to a new study. It is the closest exoplanet to us in the universe.

Cool stuff, right? It’s close to our sun so the whole “we’ll get superpowers because of a red sun” isn’t going to happen. Still, it’d be exciting if there’s life out there. See the CNN link below.

Source: Closest rocky planet to our solar system found – CNN.com