Amazon Wish List For Hurricane Maria Relief In Puerto Rico

Note: This post will be a Sticky until I think it’s stopped doing some good. Scroll down one for new posts. But read this first and help!

Astrid Cruz — aka artistikem on Twitter — is a writer in Puerto Rico. Remember Hurricane Maria ravaged it?

As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s been round after round of drenching rain since. See this Instagram video from Astrid.

Most of the island is still without electricity and, according to a TV news report I just saw while doing this post, eighty percent of people have no access to clean running water.

Assistance still isn’t getting where it’s needed. And Astrid needs help ASAP.

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Spectra Electric Skateboard Unboxing

This isn’t the first one. Hell, the video isn’t even in English. But it’s done meticulously and by the guy who did the world’s first unboxing of the Ninebot/Segway Kickscooter. So it’s worth posting here and worth seeing.

The Spectra is another crowdfunded project. What differentiates it from other electric skateboards — aside from size and its sleek, futuristic design — is that there’s no handheld remote control. Spectra has devised a “3D posture” control system that requires specific foot positioning to start, accelerate, and brake.

I want to call that “bizarre,” but that would place me in the same camp as those who ridiculed the idea of typing on glass when Apple introduced the iPhone. All I know is that this scheme defeated someone as experienced as Casey Neistat. But there’s at least one guy on YouTube who recently received it and is thrilled.

There’s an option to control it via an app too. But who wants to risk their phone like that? Yes, I know people do it all the time in a worse way: Their phone on a Selfie Stick while riding a board. But still. Remote controls are very inexpensive.

See several videos after the break.

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Another Research Day

Been getting dizzy trying to decide between direct hub drive or belt drive for an electric skateboard.

Looking at videos of the Benchwheel Penny, which is intriguing. It’s belt drive.

Also the Acton S series, which is less intriguing. It’s hub drive.

And thinking about micro electric skateboards. They’re all hub drive.

And still lusting for a Sanyo-battery Meepo Penny Single (which someone already has in the U.S. — hurry up with that damn video!). Another hub drive.

People either really, really know what they want or they roll the dice and are happy (or pretend to be happy on YouTube) with what they buy.

What I really, really want doesn’t exist yet (as usual!). Because battery technology isn’t following Moore’s Law. Aside from stored energy capacity doubling every eighteen months, I’d want battery weight reductions too. Weight, size, and range matter to me. But range could be manipulated if every damn electric skateboard had swappable batteries. I’ve seen some that have battery wires actually soldered to circuit boards. How backward is that? Price is also a factor, of course, otherwise I’d go straight for that Mellow Board kit.

Let me get back to confusing myself now …

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DMCA Idiocy Strikes Again

I mean, seriously? You DMCAed a public library?

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Slope Measurement Frustration

Kurt V once mentioned he’d tell us how to measure a slope using a phone.

He never did.

So I sought out my own solution and came across this Android app: Bubble Level, Spirit Level.

Using it is frustrating, however. I’ve placed it on streets and have been surprised to find it doesn’t match my own estimate of slope. Another frustration is that I can’t put the tablet down flat because there’s a 1mm or so camera hump. And when I place the tablet on its side, I usually find the surface itself isn’t flat enough to give a reliable reading.

Google and Apple and other damn mapmakers could solve this. Measure the damn slope of things when you’re mapping and add that your maps!

If the readings I’m getting from this app are anywhere within a correct range, so far the slopes I’ve measured here don’t go beyond just five degrees. But I haven’t yet had the tablet with me when I’ve had to walk up one of the Death Hills.

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Vivitar Action GarbageCam

So I saw this in a discount store …

And I thought, Hmmmmm, just twenty smackers.

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Posted in fraud, Video | 3 Comments

The Best Conversion App For Android I’ve Found

It’s been driving me crazy. Watching YouTube videos in which kilometers and kilometers per hour and kilograms are used instead of the more sensible (ahem!) miles, miles per hour, and pounds.

To convert, I’d usually Google either on the desktop or — worse — the borrowed Asus craptab.

And that’s not possible without WiFi.

So last night I researched and tried a few conversion apps. All of the ones at the Google Play Store marked with “Contains Ads” were disqualified. The hell with that. I don’t want malware to have that backdoor into the craptab.

My search paid off with this: S Converter – Unit Converter.

This app has gorgeous design. See the screensnaps at the Play Store. Get it. It converts instantly as you type. And it has so many choices. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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Electric Skateboarding 101: Video Tutorial

After the break, a brief and good tutorial for people — like me! — who have never ridden an electric skateboard before.

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Meepo Board Range Test By Xiaomi M365 Electric Scooter Owner

Doug Hnut is back with another exciting riding video.

He also owns a Xiaomi M365 electric scooter, so I was very interested to see how the Meepo would do.

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Hello, China. Meet Your Worldwide Reputation.

I just replied to a businessman from China in a YouTube Comment and thought I should duplicate it here.

Do you understand how frustrating it is for the rest of the world to deal with Chinese businesses? There are so many duplicates that we can’t tell who originates anything. We’d like to be customers of the originators and not the thieves. The thieves don’t care and often sell shoddy products with bad manufacturing, rejected parts, and fraudulent batteries. I know China has a censored press, so it might be news to you to learn that Made in China is more of a warning sign over here than a sign of reassurance, like Made in Japan once was. In addition, Chinese businesses don’t understand marketing. Every inquiry is answered with, “You want to buy?” We often want to learn more first, to make sure we’re not dealing with crooks. I hope you found this helpful and not insulting. It’s just the way it is and I don’t know how many Chinese realize this.

If there are China intelligence operatives reading this, too damned bad. This is the way it is. The more you block our emails to Chinese businesses that contain outside links, the worse you make it for yourselves on the world stage. Your businesses are hardly the ones looking to foment a revolution. They’re interested in sales. But when my emails to them are disappeared because I’m trying to send a link to a blog post I did, you’re harming China more than you could ever possibly harm me. Chinese businesses cannot learn of worldwide interest in their products because of such censorship and people outside China aren’t able to assess which businesses are trustworthy. Get the hell out of the way and let business do business.

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Samsung’s Odd Moves In VR

Go figure out this one.

One foot out: Samsung isn’t selling the best Windows Mixed Reality headset in Europe.

Who yelled at Samsung to knock it off? Was it Google? Facebook/Oculus? Or does Samsung see the European VR market as being even more moribund than the American one?

Two feet in: Samsung’s 360 Round camera livestreams 3D VR.

Despite the fact leader Nokia has abandoned the VR field, Samsung is going to release their own pro camera. It’s going to need a surprisingly low price to move the needle in VR production. And even so, is it something that would be carried at Best Buy? That’s not really where such pros shop.

It’s too early in the morning to confuse me like this, Samsung.

Previously here:

And Now VR Must Fight From The Bottom Up
Virtual Reality category

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