Oct
11th

Top Dollar for Old Comics!

Action Comics #1Wow! I gotta go through my comic book collection and sell some stuff!

The Most Expensive Stuff You Can Buy At New York Comic Con

The Daily Digg – “While comics may have started as disposable entertainment, it’s no secret that many books can fetch a hefty sum based on their rarity, CGC grade*, illustrator, and/or characters that may have first appeared in them.

We talked to the people working every collectibles booth at this year’s New York Comic Con and asked them what their most expensive item is, and what made these items so astonishingly valuable.

$17,000
Original Palitoy Star Wars figures, complete set
from the 1970s

$20,000
Gobbledygook #1 and Gobbledygook #2
(Only 50 copies made)

$35,000
Pep Comics #22 [Restored**, CGC Grade 8.0]
(Introduction of Archie)

$45,000
Strange Tales #110 [CGC Grade 9.4]
(Introduction of Dr. Strange)

$65,000
Robert Crumb complete four-page story

$75,000
Original art from Spider-Man #32

$250,000
Cover of Spider-Man #300

$550,000
Detective Comics #27 [Restored, CGC Grade 9.4]
(Introduction of Batman – 1939)

and, finally…

$3,200,000+
Action Comics #1 [CGC Grade 9.0]
(Introduction of Superman!)

*CGC, or Comics Guaranty, is in independent grading service that launched in 2000 whose purpose is to determine how well preserved a book is. The scores are given out of 10, and the color of the label implies its state: blues are unadulterated books, purples are restored, greens have a significant defect and yellows are books that have been signed in the presence of a CGC employee.

**Restoration can be accomplished in a number of ways including conservation (removal of dirt, debris, or stains) leaf casting (which fills in missing paper that may have rotted away) and color touch (recoloring worn pages). The process can be quite expensive, and restored comics are usually worth less than a blue labelled version of the same book.”

Oct
11th

A Hawk Attacks a Quadcopter!


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Christopher Schmidt – YouTube

On Oct 8th, I was flying my quadcopter at Magazine Beach Park in Cambridge, when a hawk decided he wasn’t too happy with my invasion of his airspace…

Oct
4th

British Phone Boxes Turn Green to Charge Phones

SolarboxNow, if they were just blue! Grin!

Phone boxes turn green to charge mobiles

BBC News – Technology – “Disused phone boxes in London are being put to a novel use – as solar-powered charging stations for mobile phones.

The first of six boxes was unveiled on Tottenham Court Road this week.

The service is free to use although users will be shown adverts as they wait for their phone to charge.

Many of the UK’s red telephone boxes have largely fallen into disuse although some are being revived as libraries or being fitted with medical equipment.

The boxes have had a makeover for the project – painted green and fitted with a roof-mounted 86cm solar panel.

Inside there are a variety of charging stations for different models of phone and a screen which shows adverts.

Battery life
The advertising screen is reinforced to deter vandals and the boxes are maintained daily and locked overnight.

The project was the brainchild of two geography students turned entrepreneurs Harold Craston and Kirsty Kenny.

Both studied at the London School of Economics (LSE) and were interested in finding new ways to use public spaces.

‘I lived next to a phone box in my second year at uni and walked past it every day. I thought, ‘There are 8,000 of these lying unused in London and we must be able to find a use for them,’ explained Mr Craston.

The solarbox can charge up to 100 phones a day, offering a 20% battery boost in 10 minutes.

Since launch, about six people per hour use the booth, according to the founder.

Running out of battery is a perennial problem for smartphone users as they become ever more powerful without an equivalent technology leap in battery life.

‘On launch day, my phone ran out of battery and I genuinely had to use the box,’ said Mr Craston.

Sep
30th

The MyBook Story: Tech Hype at it’s Best!


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Watch until the end, or get caught in the hype!

Sep
20th

Oops! I Dropped my New iPhone 6!


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Apple fan buys iPhone 6, promptly drops it

cNet – By: Don Reisinger – “For Apple fans who wait in line for hours, if not days, to buy a new iPhone, there’s no greater fear than dropping the prized possession they waited so long for. But that’s exactly what happened to one man in Australia.

Early on Friday, Jack Cooksey was first in line at an Apple store in Perth, Western Australia. After the doors opened and he purchased an iPhone 6, he ecstatically showed it off to a local news channel. During the interview, Cooksey appeared to have some trouble opening the iPhone 6 box. As he popped off the top — perhaps getting a little too excited to see Apple’s latest iPhone — the brand new iPhone 6 fell to the pavement below.

For a moment, there was a gasp (and laughter) in the crowd surrounding Cooksey. Quick on his feet, he bent down, picked up the handset and discovered, much to his relief, that it survived the scary fall.

The entire event, which was caught on live television, was likely one of the first iPhone 6 drops in the world. Thanks to Australia’s time zone, Apple fans in the country are some of the first in the world able to get their hands on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The comedic drop was set against the backdrop of what could be one of the biggest iPhone launches in Apple’s history. Apple announced the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus at an event on September 9. Last Friday, the company kicked off preorders of the two iPhones and sold 4 million units in the first 24 hours, setting a new preorder record.

Apple stores opened at 8 a.m. local time around the world on Friday. Other retailers and carrier stores are also carrying the devices. It’s expected that stock will be tight.”

Sep
20th

Comic TV Shows Are Exploding On the Scene!

There’s a lot of comic book heroes and adventures being developed in the TV shows that will air over the next two years. We already have “Arrow,” which is based on DC Comics “Green Arrow,” and this year they’re adding “The Flash,” produced by the same creators and developers of Arrow.

Other companies are developing properties such as Luke Cage, Daredevil, the Defenders, and another comic book “hero,” and yes, I put that in quotes, because he isn’t exactly a clean-cut superhero, and that is Constantine. It’s a little harder core that most of the other comic book adventures will be, after all, a hero that has demon’s blood in his veins and uses dark magic to pursue those that he goes after, can’t be considered exactly a “good guy.”

PowersAnd, based on all the interest in zombies in recent years, the CW is bringing “i-Zombie” out which will be about a med student turned zombie who takes a job in the coroner’s office to gain access to the brains she must reluctantly eat to “live.” And I used “live” in the broadest sense!

There is also a project called “Powers” where we have two police detectives living in a world where there are superheroes and super villains. Needless to say this is one I’m going to have to check out before I commit to watch it!

Also, they are working on a “Supergirl” one hour TV show. I am looking forward to that one!

So, we’re going from only a few comic book-based stories to quite a few, however, that’s usually the way it works as things become successful they start having imitators of that success. At least that’s what they hope!

Sep
20th

Hamster Wheel Standing Desk


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Hamster Wheel Standing Desk

Now you can build your own hamster wheel standing desk. Yeah. And the psychology of reminding yourself that you are “on a treadmill” while at work. Priceless.

Sep
10th

Krispy Kreme Celebrates “Talk Like a Pirate Day!”

Captain JackMark your calendars!

Krispy Kreme is getting in on Talk Like a Pirate Day again this year with a tasty grub giveaway. On September 19, any buccaneer who dares to enter a participating Krispy Kreme location talking like a pirate gets one free Original Glazed doughnut.

To the lad or lass wearing full pirate attire goes a bounty of one free dozen Original Glazed doughnuts.

To claim their loot on September 19, guests must:

· Talk like a pirate or wear an eye patch to a participating Krispy Kreme shop for one free Original Glazed doughnut.

· Come to a participating Krispy Kreme location in full pirate costume for one free dozen Original Glazed doughnuts. No weapons allowed!

Arrrr!

Aug
30th

Our Universe is a Simulation?

SpaceSo, because we may one day simulate a universe in a computer that PROVES we are a computer simulation? Ah, no. Logic says, no. And, wait… philosophers have a journal? Is that allowed?

We are about to find out if our universe really is a hologram

BGR – By: Tero Kuittinen – “What could be the most important scientific experiment of our lifetime is about to begin. The so-called Holometer Experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory aims to determine whether our perception of a three-dimensional universe is just an illusion. Do we actually live on a 2D plane, as a holographic projection? There is a well-established theory that states we are indeed living in a hologram, with a pixel size of about 10 trillion trillion times smaller than an atom. This has certain implications, some of which are quite sinister, even unspeakably horrific.

The argument about the nature of the universe hinges on something that 99.99% of people are not able to comprehend even on the most superficial level — namely, a comparison between the energy contained in a theoretical flat universe with no gravity and the internal energy of a black hole, and whether these two energy levels match or not.

Or whatever.

The point of the Holometer experiment is that it will be able to reveal via the pixelation effect if our universe is, indeed, a hologram. It will achieve this by putting two interferometers really close to each other, creating laser beams and observing possible jitters when they interact. If there are certain kinds of wobbles in the laser beams’ interaction, that means we actually live on a surface of a flat plain and only perceive our universe to be three-dimensional.

And this is where the cosmic horror seeps in. There was an influential piece published in Philosophical Quarterly in 2003, arguing that we probably are living in a computer simulation and this argument has nothing to do with the physical experiments now being carried out. The philosophical argument pivots on the point that if humanity continues surviving and computer technology continues advancing, we will inevitably reach a stage where it will be possible to simulate the entire planet and all of its living beings.

At some later stage, creating these simulacra of Earth will become cheap and common — just like building mobile apps. This means that ultimately there will be billions or trillions of simulations of the universe that offer nearly perfect fidelity. Nearly, but not quite, because at the heart of these fake universes there will be some pixelation if you burrow deep enough.

And those Fermi geeks are about to burrow deep. After we find out about whether we live in a hologram, we can all go back to focusing on Twitch’s valuation and whether the iPhone 6 will feature a sapphire screen. But deep inside, we will be shriveling in horror about the possibility that we live in a simulation, not knowing whether it’s some distant sequel to Sim City.

Or Gears of War with a really long epilogue…”

Aug
16th

“War-Driving” and “War-Kittehs”

As you know, on the Internet cats are lauded and there are tons of videos, photos, etc. of cats. In Internet lingo “kittehs” (sic). By the way, for those of you from Rio Linda, “sic” means I MEANT to type it that way! Anyway, then there is also the ancient computer hacker pastime of “War Driving,” that is, driving through a community with equipment to find open WiFi signals, and soundly mocking the idiots that have open WiFi (or, other more nefarious pastimes, once they are found… but I digress!

Anyway, combine the two, and you have a “War-Kitteh!” this was one of the many reports on the “War-Kitteh” this week:

Coco the cat can hack your WiFi network with his WarKitteh collar

Geek – By: Lee Matthews “Your cat probably does some pretty awesome, YouTube-worthy tricks. Chances are, however, that your cat isn’t quite the geeky little feline that Coco is. Coco, you see, can hack WiFi networks.

Not on his own, mind you. Coco’s got a special collar that was whipped up by security researcher Gene Bransfield. Now, most professionals who want to “research” the security of the WiFi connections in their neighborhoods will do a bit of wardriving or rig up a drone to do a little sniffing around. Bransfield thought that enlisting the aid of a cat would be both hilarious and fun.

Coco the War-KittehHe spent hours upon hours creating WarKitteh, a fur-wrapped collar that’s wired for WiFi reconnaissance. It’s not a clunky, cat-strangling hack either. Bransfield’s contraption is a little thick due to the electronics and battery, but only about as wide and long as an ordinary cat collar. It’s built around a GPS-enabled pet collar like the GeoDog and equipped with the Arduino-firendly Spark WiFi module.
While Bransfield has all the electronic and coding skills required to whip up WarKitteh himself, he needed a bit of help from a kindly neighbor lady to finish the collar off. Once the leopard print sleeve was sewn, he was ready to slip it on to a cat and see just how secure his neighbor’s WiFi networks really were.

His first feline operative, Skitzy, turned out to be a little too laid back to be of much use. Bransfield called for back-up, and Coco answered. On his first tour of the area, Coco and WarKitteh sniffed out 23 WiFi networks. Amazingly, a third of them were using horribly outdated, insecure WEP encryption.War-Kitteh protects your data!

Bransfield is hopeful that his project will increase awareness and convince people that it’s time to pay more attention to the security of their home networks. Sadly, I’m inclined to think that the vast majority of Internet users would be far more interested in the bouncing cat icon on his WarKitteh map than the fact that someone figured out how to turn a cat with a collar into a network hacker’s tool.”

Tiger, the


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