Productivity

Super Bowl Heart Attacks and Universal Translator

February 17, 2018

Making Contact

For my readers who travel on a regular basis, you know there are two things you can’t necessarily rely on to be in every location: WiFi and English.

It’s a potentially awkward situation if you need to ask for directions or make a specific order at a restaurant…suddenly your worldly sophistication regresses back through 50,000 years of humanity to pointing, flailing, and grunting.

Enter ili—or as fellow Star Trek fans may recognize it, the Universal Translator. This amazing device captures speech in one end and translates it in less than a second before rendering the translation through a speaker on the other. Yes, it’s as incredible as it sounds. Buy one.

Tear Down This Paywall

I read a lot of articles as part of what I do, but a recent trend is for news outlets–specifically high profile sources like the New York Times–to put all the really interesting stuff behind a subscribers only paywall.

Sure, I get that they’re not selling as much of the old fish wrap as they once did, but when I’m just trying to follow a lead myself, it gets a bit inconvenient.

Luckily, walking through paywalls is just one of the superpowers offered by Chrome’s Incognito Mode. Incognito Mode (CTRL+Shift+N on your keyboard) essentially makes you invisible to many of the Internet’s common tracking devices, like the ones responsible for those oddly specific ads you keep seeing.

Once activated, you can browse away without totally giving up your anonymity or having your activity tracked at the user end…I use it pretty much all the time.

Don’t Believe the Hype

A few weeks back I wrote about the particularly aggressive strain of the flu that many people are saying is around this year. The “report” was mostly anecdotal, since I connected the dots when almost every agent I wanted to speak to over a two or three week period was out sick.

Now I’m thinking it’s possible that they just didn’t want to talk to me. Noted debunker Michael Fumento did the actual legwork and found out much the opposite. Seems this edition of the flu isn’t particularly deadly, but it does generate a lot of clicks. What’s one more for the truth?

Heart and Skol

Though the Supe–um, Big Game is on the horizon and both teams have been eliminated, perhaps the most memorable moment of this year’s NFL playoffs was the unbelievable ending to the Vikings-Saints game, where the Vikes scored the winning TD on the very last play in one of the least likely sequences to ever take place on a professional football field.

In fact, the finish was so absolutely mind-blowing to dedicated fans that Apple Watches all across Minnesota and beyond interpreted their highly excited state as a full-on heart attack. It really shows the passion of the team’s supporters as well as the wonders of technology, which probably saved a few lives with a simple “hey, take it easy buddy” alert.

The Last Word

All right, that’s about enough for this week of geek. Thanks as always for fitting me into your morning routine, I say it every week and mean it every time. I’ll be back in your inbox before you know it, but until then I’ve got my eye out for you flu fakers.

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