Firebox

Today, while perusing the internet for a new coffee mug, I discovered Firebox. Like other shopping sites that pander to the geek crowd (ie. FanGamer, ThinkGeek, etc.), Firebox comes off a little classier. Check them out if you're in the market for some new, decidedly nerdy gear here.

SHOP!

SHOP!

Google (the "Good Guys") Tip Off Cops

A Houston man has been arrested after Google sent a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children saying the man had explicit images of a child in his email, according to Houston police. The man was a registered sex offender, convicted of sexually assaulting a child in 1994, reports Tim Wetzel at KHOU Channel 11 News in Houston. "He was keeping it inside of his email. I can't see that information, I can't see that photo, but Google can," Detective David Nettles of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce told Channel 11. After Google reportedly tipped off the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Center alerted police, which used the information to get a warrant.

Don't get me wrong—I'm happy this guy was caught—but I'm concerned about the precedent this sets. I would rather our governing agencies uses these algorithms to vet hateful messages and explicit images instead of private corporations like Google. The algorithms will become more advanced and, in not-so-distant future, there is less need for profiling as everything is automated. Form your own half-full or half-empty opinion after reading the article here.

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The Lytro Illum and it's Wonderful Tech

The Lytro Illum is the kind of product that I don't know how to describe. It's a camera, but the technology inside is so...kind of mindblowing that it has potential for much wider appeal. First though, you'll need to throw away everything you know about the principles of photography—the rule of thirds, shooting for depth, the golden ratio—all of it. Lytro touts what the Illum shoots as "living photographs", capturing images that can change depth of field in real-time. It might sound gimmicky, but in reality, it's incredible to behold. You're able to zoom, pan, and rack focus all at once and the results can be staggering.

You need to see it in action to really appreciate it; find a gallery here.

If you're impressed (and have $1,500 burning a hole in your pocket), Lytro's Illum can be yours today. According to The Verge, it still has a ways to go, but swinging the fences has it's merits. 

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Mad Max: Fury Road

The most surprising thing to come out of SDCC 2014 was the Mad Max: Fury Road trailer, and by surprising I mean that it's totally incredible. Oh and by the way, CGI is used at a minimum, so all the car wrecks, explosions, and crazy Cirque du Soleil stunts you'll see in the trailer are practical effects. Watch the trailer and get ready for May 2015 here.

BASED GEORGE MILLER

BASED GEORGE MILLER

Smart Shoes Mock Your Wearable Tech

We are in the early dawn of the wearable revolution. Like it or not, wearables will have a big presence in the coming years. Not content with smart watches or glass, Indian start-up Ducere Technologies is banking on smart shoes. The bluetooth-enabled shoes integrate with Google Maps and will vibrate your left or right foot depending on which way you need to go to reach your destination. If only they didn't look like those shitty water socks from the late 90s/early 2000s... Read the article here.

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The Life and Death of Michael Rupert

I'm fascinated by the doomsday hive mind. I don't know why, but the fact that some souls think they're breaking away from the pack and grandstand, shouting about knowing how the world will end, always entertains. Michael Rupert in particular, who first caught my attention in "Collapse", became one of my favorite. Not because he was crazy, but because the things he said, in a real way, kind of made sense.

On April 14th of this year (2014), he took his own life. Nonetheless, his life was a fascinating one and The Verge has done a wonderful, lengthy write-up about this tortured soul. Find it here.

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Nobotty Knows...

Life can be trying for some of our iron pals, but them's the brakes. Photographer David Emmite has created this bizarre photo project in which he explores the idea of robots as hobos. The photos feature a series of retro-flavored robots who are down on their luck and if it sounds awesome, it's because it is. See the series here and check out David's additional work here.

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Escape! Great Prison Escape Films

I'm a fan of the escape story. Like any magician performing a trick, there's just something attractive to me about people on the inside hatching a plan to get out. I don't like to post Top 10's, and while this isn't a proper "Top 10", GeekTyrant put together a list of ten of the greatest escape scenes/films for the niche that I wholeheartedly agree with. Find the list (with clips!) here.

Trapper Keeper Making a Comeback

In the best possible way, the Trapper Keeper is making a comeback for modern utility. If you're a child of the 80s, you probably remember the Trapper Keeper as the essential tool of keeping all of your school crap together. If you pine for the days of yore, they're coming back...as tablet cases! All that's missing is radical 80s artwork—nothing a few stickers can't fix!

These fine items won't be shipping until September, but in the meantime, you can find purchase links here. If you're feeling nostalgic, you can read up on the history of the Trapper Keeper here.

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Independence Day

I'd like to recall the words of President Whitmore, who, when all hope seemed lost, courageously proclaimed...

Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. “Mankind.” That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

Celebrate your freedom. Celebrate it hard.

WELCOME TO ERF

WELCOME TO ERF