Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lock Bumping

Once you've watched the first ten or fifteen minutes of this video about how easy it is to pick any lock in five seconds, you'll have one more reason not to sleep at night.

The One Question People Ask Me All The Time...

... "Sir, are you aware it's unlawful to loiter in a sorority quad?"

But the question I'm asked second-most often is "What's your newest gadget that you love?"

My newest is a two-way tie between a new gadget and a not-so-new gadget.

I'll start with the not-so-new one, but it's new to me, and it's awesome. The Uniden ELBT595 has been around a while, but it took me a while to get over my skepticism that it could do all it said it could do. Of course it's a 5.8 GHz digital expandable system; I love expandable systems, because I'm addicted to phones but don't have the jacks to feed my addiction. You can even use any of the handsets as an audio baby monitor (or eavesdrop on another room, if you're that kind of person).

But here's the cool part: the system has Bluetooth. Not only can you use your favorite headset, but you can also link the system with your Bluetooth cell phone. What this means (now follow this) is that you can set it up so if your cell phone is in the house and it rings, the Uniden knows it and all your phones will ring. Then you can answer your cell from any phone. Cool, huh?

But wait, it gets better: You can also pick up any phone and choose whether to place the call via your land line or your cell. What this means is you can use your cell minutes for long distance calls, and make unused minutes a thing of the past.

The other gadget is the Pioneer Inno, the newest member of the XM radio family. This is an amazing advance over the previous XM portables in features, signal quality and design. Just incredible.

If anyone else has something new and fun, of course, let us know in the comments. Real world experiences are sometimes more useful than reviews.

Tech Gender Gap a Myth, Says Survey

According to a study by the Oxygen Network, women are just as likely to lust after tech as men. Given a choice between a plasma TV and a diamond necklace, 75% of women made the eminently reasonable choice of a bigscreen. (Besides, in only very rare cases does the mining of plasma TV's cost enslaved children their limbs.)

And 86% of those surveyed endeared themselves to me by choosing a camcorder over a new pair of shoes. You go, girls.

According to the survey, which proves there's hope for humanity after all, women own, on average, 6.6 gadgets each, compared to men's 6.9. (I, of course, skew that curve with my 473 gadgets. Oh wait... UPS is at the door. 474.)

I Could Watch These Over and Over

Barney the Dog: My New Hero

The Wookey Hole Caves Children's Museum (yeah, you read that right) near Wells, England suffered the Children's Museum version of a tragedy when its guard dog, Barney, chewed up over a hundred rare teddy bears he had been left to guard. The bears were valued at over $900,000. (And, for good measure, he drooled all over the rest.)

To paraphrase Albert Brooks, there was wayyyy too much information in that paragraph.

There is a "Wookey Hole Caves" Children's Museum? There existed in England over a million dollars worth of teddy bears? And they left a dog to guard it??!

Yo, Blair!

I love dogs, and like most sentient humans, I have seen what happens when dog meets stuffed animal. So why would they leave Barney to guard the teddy bear collection? Does this museum also have a ball-of-string wing guarded by cats?

So, thank you, Barney, for doing your part to save humans from their own foolishness with a harsh lesson. Sometimes it takes some tough love for people to learn from their mistakes. Meanwhile, for a dog usually forced to sit in a dark museum, I'll bet for one night you had one hell of a good time.