Saturday

Electric Cars Come Full Circle

The first automobiles were actually electrically-powered vehicles, indeed an electric car held the land speed record until 1900. The actual first electric vehicle is a little unclear, but it was way back in the early-mid 1800's (a lot earlier than I had assumed), and suitable rechargeable batteries came in around the 1850's.

An electric car circa 1895, image courtesy Wikipedia

Sign Of The Apocalypse #11 - The Last Blockbuster Store

Those Four Horsemen are in the saddle and digging in their spurs, because there is but a single Blockbuster store left in the US. The video and game rental chain employed close to 60,000 people in the US alone at it's height in the early 2000's - now, when you read this there will probably only be a single store left, in Bend, Oregon.

The last two Blockbusters in Alaska are closing Sunday July 15 2018, leaving the Oregon store - a franchise now owned by Dish Network - to keep history alive (and the Four Horsemen at bay).



Friday

ShutUp10 Helps You Tame Windows 10

O&O ShutUp10 is a software app that is free for personal use, and allows more straightforward control of a lot of already-available options in Windows 10. Essentially, it gathers together settings that tend to be scattered about Microsoft's current PC operating system, some lurking in dark places. 

You could probably think of it as a "privacy app", although that is sometimes a tricky thing to define. The software is also available as a "portable" version, meaning that it does not have to be installed, just download and run it.


Thursday

Amazon And PillPack Make Some Waves

Online retail giant Amazon has set it's sights upon the pharmacy business, and other retail pharmacies are quaking in their boots. 

Amazon recently announced a deal thought to be around $1 billion to purchase online pharmacy PillPack and with Amazon's clout, there may be some disruption forthcoming.

PillPack provides packaged medications (something that might be a boon for older patients, who may have to remember to take multiple meds), and is licensed to ship prescriptions to 49 states.
Amazon could also negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies, giving them the ability to offer cheap generic drugs even to customers without health insurance, according to industry experts.
Reuters


Sunday

SSD: TLC vs MLC - WTF?

So you are looking to buy an SSD, and you notice (among other acronyms) that some are labeled "TLC" and some "MLC", as seen in the example from Microcenter below. What is the difference and should you care?

Click to enlarge
Before I go any further, I should say that these are Microcenter "house brand" drives, and that I actually own a 240GB and two 120GB versions of these (they are cheap and fast, what can I tell you). 

Ninite - A Free Solution For Free Windows Software

As a registered skinflint, I think free software is just great. There is more good free software available than you might think, the problem is trying to find it. 

Some incorrigibles may bundle free software with malware, so that you install evil toolbars, etc. And if you ever do a web search for "free" anything, you invariably end up with a bunch of predominantly scammy results.

One solution is to use the site Ninite, they offer (free) a pristine selection of Open Source and other free software to download and install. 

The better part is that the Ninite installer does several things:

1 - Avoids you having to "deselect" any toolbars and such when installing apps, it's done for you.

2 - If you have several items you want to install, you can get use a single installer to take care of it.

3 - You always get the latest version of a given app, and you can update apps later by re-running the Ninite installer.

I have used this many times of Windows PC, and it's pretty flippin' great, I have to say.

Pick your desired apps from the page below (check one or more from the list), click the blue "Get Your Ninite" button to download the installer file, run the installer and your done.



Saturday

The Last Jedi - Let's Move On

I never thought I would be moved to publicly admit this, but I'm getting weary of some Star Wars fans still loudly complaining that The Last Jedi (2017) was a travesty and a disaster, and that it ruined the Star Wars franchise and so on.

It was a very popular movie with the average movie-goer and made a ton of money. I mostly enjoyed it, although admittedly not as much a The Force Awakens (2013). Yes, there were some clunky parts and several "joke" misfires and odd story choices, but I honestly thought it was otherwise entertaining.

When I saw Justice League (2017), I was way more disappointed in that experience, but I am not still bitching about it more than a year later.

C'mon folks, lets move on. Most of you will be camping out to be first to see Episode IX anyway...