PCWorld exits print a winner as the online exodus continues

PCWorld was the last of the big computing enthusiast magazines in the US until today that is. Effective with this months issue, PCWorld will be ceasing publication in print and concentrate all its efforts on online and digital editions. This marks the end of the big enthusiast magazine and in joining Newsweek, US News, Gourmet, PC Magazine and countless others in the deadpool it may be time to change how we look at the magazine publishing industry.

The magazine industry has not died, quite the opposite in fact as the online sites like TechCrunch, TheVerge, Engadget, and even us here at SNFN cover the same things that magazines used to cover, only now we cover the news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week instead of waiting for a weekly or monthly magazine to come out. There is a countless amount more content available today than there were a few years ago and it grows daily.

So instead of bemoaning the demise of print, maybe it is time to look at it for what it really is, innovation. The large publishers are going to have to innovate, or die. PCWorld is doing a good job of this as they are not laying off any journalistic staff with the change, but concentrating their work on where the eyeballs, and thus the advertisers are.

So congratulations to PCWorld and we look forward to continuing to enjoy your work online.

Chris Hatfield astronauts like a boss! Closes with Bowie’s Space Oddity as you have never seen it.

We never saw this coming, but on December 19, 2012, Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) and we mere earthlings proceeded to get quite a lesson over the last 5 months. He returns to earth today and we are going to miss his social missives from space that brought us all much closer together and we are all a lot better off because Chris communicated with us all like no one before ever has. Sunday he released his final video from space and it is singularly the coolest thing I have ever witnessed with his very own rendition of Space Oddity. I feel fairly sure that David Bowie never saw THIS coming back in 1969. The best and most likely most expensive cover song video ever made.

So here is to you Chris for continuing a legacy of cool Canadians while blazing your own trail that most likely will not be repeated any time soon. You are not just a Canadian hero, but a hero to us all.

Here is the version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.

Jeff Bliss gives his teacher a piece of his mind and hopefully we all learn something.

This week Duncanville High School student Jeff Bliss had a video go viral. This is not your average viral video though as we may have all just witnessed the beginning of a big change in how students are viewing school and where we are and why we are where we are educationally in the US.

We really can’t say it any better than Jeff did so here is the most pertinent quote from his rant.

You want kids to come into your class, you want them to get excited for this? You gotta come in here, you gotta make them excited. You want a kid to change and start doing better? You gotta touch his frickin’ heart.

Now young Mr. Bliss may not have said it in the so called right way, but the fact of the matter is if he had, there would be no viral video and no discussion going on about our education system and how we teach our children. Below we have posted the interview James gave and it includes some of the rant as well. There are a lot of people saying he handled it the wrong way, but those people are completely wrong kids have been trying to handle this the right way for a long time and it has gotten them nowhere. Had he made a request to the principal does anyone really think we would be discussing this all over the country?

Lets hope that Jeff keeps his self together because you can see a really bright future for this kid.

And no, by the way, he does not need to conform to your standards. We think he derives all his power from that beautiful mane of hair, much like Hercules.

So Long and Thanks for all the fish….

The dolphins are freaking out off the coast of San Diego where there has been a spotting of a long ‘super mega-pod’ of 100,000 dolphin. A group of over 100,000 dolphins spotted off the coast of San Diego caused a spectacle for nature watchers as they traveled together in an enormous pack.

Dolphins typically travel in groups of anywhere between 15 and 200 which are called pods but this was a pod of unprecedented size that stretched for about 7 miles and was about 5 miles wide.

Experts are unable to pinpoint any specific reason as to why so many of the mammals were traveling together on this particular night.

‘They’re definitely social animals, they stick together in small groups. But sometimes, the schools come together,’ marine expert Sarah Wilkin told NBC.

While it does seem like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a very similar flock of thousands of dolphins were seen swimming together at the end of February in 2012, an unspecified group of dolphins was spotted swimming about 65 miles north of San Diego, implying that there may be an unacknowledged migratory pattern.

We aren’t sure about the migratory pattern, but it sure makes us think of a certain book.

Check out the video below taken by Dana Wharf Whale Watching it was taken Feb 23, 2012 out of Dana Point.

 

A Grammy moment with Ellen and Katy

Ellen apparently really liked Katy Perry’s dress.  We did too Ellen, we did too.

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Kate Upton is here in body paint and on the cover of the 2013 SI Swimsuit edition.

Supermodel Kate Upton, who was named the 2013 Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl, tweeted a first look at herself in body paint.

Upton, 20, couldn’t contain her excitement at being the first SI swimsuit model to adorn back-to-back covers since Tyra Banks did in 1996 and 1997. “I’m so FREAKING EXCITED about this issue!” Kate gushed.

Kate Upton Body Paint 2013 SI

On a side not, that is an amazing job of body painting if you take a look at the depth of field on the paint it is amazing. You can take a look at all the photos on SI at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2013_swimsuit/painting/

It was already revealed that Kate is the cover girl for the second year in a row. Here is the cover

kate-upton-si-swimsuit-cover-2013

For all you Upton haters out there, we have one thing to say… Shout the hell up, women are supposed to have curves, not look like Justin Beiber circa 2011.

As a bonus here is her calendar shot as well.

Kate Upton SI Calendar

Bill Gates is still smarter than you and I

We sometimes forget just why Bill Gates ended up where he is today and how Microsoft ended up being the behemoth it is. Today, Bill Gates did an “ask me anything” on Reddit and proved again that he is a visionary. It is amazing when you think about just how right Gates has been on most things. Had the shareholders listened better to Bill and stayed on the tablet front like Bill wanted to, the world we live in today would have been much different. Steve Jobs is mostly credited with today’s tablet explosion but it was Gates who had the vision first. What Jobs did was run with it in a way that a behemoth like Microsoft just could not do.

In today’s Reddit session, Gates sounded off on a lot of things and it was funny to watch the posters amazement at how savvy Gates was with comments like how fast he was responding and the like being common.

Bill shared his thoughts on technology and some personal thoughts as well. Some of the highlights included his thoughts on Bing, Windows 8, his philanthropic work and some personal things as well. We really got a look into Bill Gates the man in this AMA and it appears that everyone really liked what they saw.

Some examples:

On Steve Jobs: Gates said that he and Jobs “respected each other” and that he saw Jobs regularly before the Apple co-founder’s death in October 2011.

On Windows 8: “It is a huge advance for Windows which people will see even more as the great applications and hardware come out.”

The next big disruption: Gates thinks robots and speech interaction will be big. Robots, pervasive screens, speech interaction will all change the way we look at “computers”. Once seeing, hearing, and reading (including handwriting) work very well you will interact in new ways..

What if he wasn’t a computer geek: He said that if the “microprocessor had NOT come along,” that he might have turned his talents to medicine or theoretical mathematics.

He Still Codes! : “Not as much as I would like to. I write some C, C# and some Basic. I am surprised new languages have not made more progress in simplifying programming. It would be great if most high school kids were exposed to programming”

This is highly recommended reading for anyone. If You want an insight into the mind of a genius without a filter, check out this conversation.

By the way, Bill has just about the coolest computer we have ever seen. He showed off his Perceptive Pixel display which is a huge Win* whiteboard. Amazing. Lest there be any questions about who was doing this AMA, you can see the Reddit on the display pic he posted.

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Check out the complete AMA here and be sure to dig deep into the comments Bill answered questions from commentors as well as the first questions. Amazing AMA

CBS Fashion Police at Grammy’s thankfully ignored

We can all be thankful that for some stars, the Grammy dress code email sent out by CBS was completely ignored. Thank you Kelly Rowland, Rihanna, and especially a great big thanks to Katy Perry’s boobs for keeping the Grammy’s sexy.

The dress code was outlined in an e-mail obtained by Deadline where CBS forbid stars from wearing overtly sexual outfits. “Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered,” the e-mail reads. “Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare flesh under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack. Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic.” Really, problematic for who. your ratings? I am pretty sure that if the stars listened to CBS, ratings would drop faster than a

The e-mail continues, “Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples. Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible ‘puffy’ bare skin exposure.” That may be the funniest line I have ever read. I think that CBS owes Sean Combs some money for the term “puffy” bare skin exposure.

Here are some of our favorite dresses that were banned at this years Grammy’s, but thankfully showed up anyway.

Kelly Rowland and her cut out dress. Kelly also had our favorite quote “I thought about the dress code and thought about it again and that’s about it,” Rowland, 32, told reporters backstage. “I respect.  See, I wore clothes!

kelly-rowland-grammy-backstage

Rihanna completely ignored the see through clothing part of the memo showing off her perky nipples in a sheer red Azzedine Alaia dress posing on the red carpet.

Rihanna_Grammys

Katy Perry and her fabulous cleavage

katy-perry-at-the-grammys-2013

We are not really sure what is going on over at CBS anymore, but the bans on SodaStream, Dish Network and the CES controversy, and now this ban on fun in general are starting to make CBS look like they just want ALL of us off their lawn.

10 Amazing Chrome add-ons to make your life easier

We have been touting Chrome for a while now. While IE has caught up with Chrome in speed and a lot of other areas, what makes Chrome so indispensable is its bevy of add-ons and extensions that can make your life a lot easier. These are our ten favorite extensions that we use every day.

1. LastPass: This is easily our most used and most liked extension as we have literally over a thousand passwords to remember. LastPass is an online password manager and Form Filler designed to reduce the headache of managing multiple user accounts and passwords. LastPass also includes the ability to import and export passwords from major password storage services such as RoboForm, 1 Password, KeePass, etc, as well as Chrome, Firefox, and IE’s built-in password managers.

lastpass

2. Evernote: Speaking of indispensable, this post was originally written on 3 different machines (a laptop, ipad, and desktop) using Evernote. Evernote allows us to begin writing outlines wherever we are and save ideas for fleshing out later. Evernote is always the first thing we install on every computer, browser and even our phones. There are other similar products, but none that come close to Evernote. Their family of products help you remember and act upon ideas, projects and experiences across all the computers, phones and tablets you use.

evernote

3. Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate: Awesome Screenshot provides the tools that make capturing and annotating portions of webpages dead easy. Captured screenshots can be saved right to the user’s computer or uploaded to awesomescreenshot.com for easy sharing.The screenshots for this page were taken with this extention.

Awesome Screenshot

4. Readability: The official Readability extension for Chrome provides a better way to read online, turning any web page into a comfortable reading view right in your web browser and saving it for later. It couples a great reading experience with an innovative way to support writers and publishers on the web. Fantastic for students and anyone who has to do research.

Readability

5. NewsSquares: NewsSquares provides a cool, entertaining way to read your favorite news and blogs. It’s a totally new experience for reading stories and news articles in the browser. Stylish and super easy to use

NewsSquares

6. Pandora: Pandora is what we play in the background while getting some work done. Pandora is personalized internet radio that is designed to help you discover new music you’ll love mixed in with music you already know. Just enter a song or artist that you like and Pandora takes off and plays that and similar music in your own personalized station.

Pandora

 

7. Dropbox: Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website.

Dropbox

8: Quick Note: The quickest way to take notes in Chrome, as quick and slick as the best desktop note-app. Quick Note is especially designed for lightweight note-taking. You can use it as a simple notepad, scratchpad, clipboard, or to record todo lists.

Quick Note

9. ToDo.ly: Todo.ly is an intuitive and easy to use online Todo list, and Task Manager. It helps you to get organized, and to get things done. Create todo lists and manage them online from anywhere.

Todo.ly

10. Turn off the lights: Just one click and the entire page will fade to dark, so you can watch the video as if you were in the cinema. Video sites have a horrible white background that distracts focus. Just click on the lamp and the video will become the star.

Turn Off the Lights

 

This is by no means a complete list and there are literally thousands of extensions so take a look around the Chrome web store and see what becomes indispensable to you.

Did CBS just kill off CNET?

The news gathering business is full of tough calls every day, especially when there is both news and editorial content involved. There is always a very fine line to walk between what is news and what is editorial content. The public generally does not see the difference in cases like the “Best of Show” awards given by sites like ourselves and CNET. Last week we now know that CBS crossed a line that should never be crossed in journalism.

CNN is now reporting that after CNET announced its “Best of CES” candidates, the CBS corporate office “laid down a ban: CNET won’t be allowed to even review Dish products, much less give them awards.”

The page for CNET’s review of Hopper was also updated with a statement that “the Dish Hopper with Sling was removed from consideration for the Best of CES 2013 awards due to active litigation involving our parent company CBS Corp. We will no longer be reviewing products manufactured by companies with which we are in litigation with respect to such product.”

The story actually gets juicier when CNET tells their side of the story. Excerpted below is the account directly from CNET as reported by Lindsey Turrentine

Last week, about 40 members of the CNET editorial staff met in the CNET trailer in the parking lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center to vote on our official Best of CES winner. We gathered on Wednesday evening and heard from each editor covering the show what he or she liked best.

Ultimately, we chose the Dish Hopper for our Best of CES award because of innovative features that push shows recorded on DVR to iPads.
After the vote, we communicated the winners, as we always do, through normal channels. CNET immediately got down to the business of preparing for a massive stage show the following morning and preparing a press release.

Later that evening, we were alerted to the legal conflict for CBS. All night and through to morning, my managers up and down CNET and I fought for two things: To honor the original vote and — when it became clear that CBS Corporate did not accept that answer — to issue a transparent statement regarding the original vote.
Ultimately, we were told that we must use the official statement and that we must follow corporate policy to defer all press requests to corporate communications.

This is a completely untenable situation for the reporters and editors at CNET and quite possibly could mean the end of CNET as a respected news and opinion site. Respecter reporters are resigning in protest from CNET. The editor in chief for CNET reviews openly stated that maybe she should have immediately resigned. How is the public supposed to believe anything coming out of CNET anymore, or CBS for that matter. Does this mean that if they do not support a politician that they will not cover them? When it comes down to it what is the difference?

How can CBS possibly justify that? News organizations report news. Simply the fact that you are in litigation with a company MUST be reported on in an unbiased manner within your news organization and to do proper reporting you have to review the product enough to explain why you are in litigation.

These kinds of things have happened before sadly and the wall is dead between the corporate and news divisions amongst almost all of the major media players. That is why we do what we do and bring reporting that is not beholden to any corporate entities. We will never allow the money counters to interact with the news gatherers or editorial staff at SNFN.

You think this is not important? Think about it this way: AOL owns Engadget; NewsCorp owns The Wall Street Journal and its influential tech coverage; IAC invests in Aereo but owns The Daily Beast. If these corporate overlords are going to control editorial content, where will we get our news?

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