Keeping kids safe online…

I don’t often give serious parenting advice here. I know my audience. But my purpose for this post is twofold – first, to congratulate Steve Kryger from Communicate Jesus for this piece on Sydney Anglicans that has been syndicated on Gizmodo.com.au, and second, to share Steve’s list of ten tips for parents. I think they’re good, and a great acknowledgment that clean feed, or no clean feed, the issue requires a thought out approach from parents not a government mandate.

  1. Understand what your child is doing online (put the computer in a public space, talk to your children, use accountability software).
  2. Ask your child to explain to you what they are doing, and why they are doing it.
  3. Talk to your child about your values, and how these should be lived out, regardless of the environment.
  4. Filter the content that your family views online.
  5. Understand the minimum age requirements for different websites and technologies (children under 13 should not be on Facebook).
  6. Understand how these popular websites are used, and what the opportunities and threats are.
  7. Understand what avenues are at your disposal if something goes wrong (e.g. your child’s Facebook account is hacked).
  8. Consider how you will respond if you discover your child is acting inappropriately, or viewing inappropriate material.
  9. Decide when or if your child will get a mobile phone.
  10. Understand the new functions of mobile phones, and what the opportunities and threats are.

A Rube awakening

The pinnacle of Rube Goldberg machine technology is the breakfast machine. That’s what we’re all aiming for. Here’s one that delivers a complete breakfast – courtesy of a Gizmodo feature

And here’s a video of the thing in action.

Coming a cropper


Gizmodo celebrated some sort of food week last week. Some good stuff came out of it. Including this post on coffee. That was really good. Right up until the last heading. On espresso. The post covers the myriad brewing methods available and the range of costs involved. And then the writer shoots his credibility in the foot with this gem:

You know what? Let’s just get this out of the way: You can’t make amazing espresso at home. Not unless you’re will to spend something $US7500 on an espresso machine from someone like La Marzocco. Why? Consistency. Temperature. Pressure.

I call shenanigans. That is rubbish. Certainly a good machine in the hands of professionals is going to produce a better coffee than most people can do at home. But this is the biggest piece of rubbish I’ve ever seen. My machine was $450. It’s a machine in the class the guy mentions – but there are home machines in the prosumer/semi commercial capacity that would produce much better coffee than mine because they’re built with more control over those variables.

I’d also argue that getting the grind and the beans right is much more important than having the machine right – because at the end of the day all machines perform the same basic function – just with different abilities to control those variables.

I’m not going to completely discredit everything this turkey says on the basis of one error. Because the underlying principle, that a good cafe will make a better coffee than a good home set up, is true.

Plane Truths

Have you ever wondered why cheap airlines are so much cheaper than the others? They must cut corners right? Of course they do. Some of the corners are more obvious than others. But they make cuts just about everywhere. Check out this infographic on Flickr for proof…

Found via Gizmodo.

Bangers and mash

We all know a good mashed potato needs just the right amount of seasoning. Which becomes easier if you can manage your dosage in caliber form… with these awesome salt’n’pepper pistols.

So Peter Piper now packs his pick of “pinch” or pepper… that was poor.

Found here.

Soap Invaders

These soaps are obviously designed to lure geeks into the shower. And it just might work… but grapefruit scented? What were they thinking.

Found at Gizmodo.

Reinventing the classics

Gizmodo has a great gallery of classic art being “ruined by technology” – a lot of them are clever.

Feel like Chicken tonight?

I submit to you that this is the worst food ever.

One trillion dollars

Being a supervillain and making demands for ransom ala Dr Evil is much easier now thanks to Google. You’ll be able to make realistic cash demands in proportion to your schemes knowing how much space you’ll need to store the payment just by using Google Sketchup. Google’s 3D modelling software doesn’t look quite as cool as Lego’s – but only because it’s not defaulted to using lego. I’m sure you could. You can provide a visualisation of one trillion dollars with ease (the little speck on the bottom left is a person). I haven’t used it yet, but it looks cool.

For the guy who has everything

I really have nothing more to say. Except that it’s from here. And I saw it first here. And they’re 9.95 Euros. I think for one. But I’m not sure. The sale page is in German and I haven’t translated it.

Autocomplete this sentence…

Autocomplete based on popular google searches is a pretty dangerous thing. Don’t type random vowels into YouTube – you’re likely to be shocked by what other people are looking for. 

I don’t know if this is a photoshop job – I haven’t tested it yet. But I will.

Update – I tested these phrases in the autocomplete searchbar in Chrome. It seems they’re legit.

Gizmodo has shared a couple of pretty funny stories about Google autocomplete this week. Pictures below. Click them for a link to the full sized image if you can’t see the hilarious autocomplete results. 

Stacks of fun

One BILLION DOLLARS. That’s what it looks like people. It’s in $100 notes and is a US billion. Which is different to the rest of the world. So it’s 10 million $100 notes.

The same artist has also stacked up your life* in Rolex hourglass sand.

*81 years.

Via Gizmodo

Controlled Evolution: Intelligent Design?

How many of these have you used? Are designs getting clunkier and more complex? Or more intuitive?

Really, it’s just a cool pic.

Here’s the original post – complete with family tree

Wiimote controlled television

Whoops. Make sure you’re keeping those safety straps on. There have been photos of wiimote damage posted – and funny videos of wiimote tragedies. But to Gizmodo’s knowledge this is the first video of said carnage.