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Craig Tumblison
2,329 followers -
Skydiving sounds fun.
Skydiving sounds fun.

2,329 followers
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A few quick thoughts on Pokemon Go

It's been a long time since I've really played a video game. I grew up on classic Game Boys, Game Cubes, a PlayStation or two tossed in, but for the past ~5 years I haven't owned a console and I don't play regularly.

Looking through my smartphone, the only games installed are Dots, Holoku (a sudoku app), and QuizUp. Needless to say, I'm by no means a professional smartphone gamer either.

Pokemon Go has me truly excited because it's different. It's the perfect casual game with the ability to really level up if you choose. Perhaps most importantly, it encourages you to be active and fits into busy life.

For those that haven't taken the game for a spin, it isn't quite like traditional Pokemon games. Much like the popular Ingress game, Pokemon Go takes place in the real world. That requires physical movement so sitting and playing for hours simply isn't an option.

Using Google Maps and landmark location data from Ingress players, real world hot spots (think monuments, fountains, etc.) are turned into actionable spots in the game. There are Poke Stops to fill up on supplies and gyms to leave your Pokemon at for other trainers to challenge.

The game doesn't yet feature player to player trading or battling, though the former is all but confirmed as an upcoming feature.

One of the coolest aspects of the game is the augmented reality mode. When switched on, it provides a full screen view of your camera and superimposes a Pokemon into your environment. It's not perfect (specifically when capturing a Pokemon, the background freezes and can look a little weird), but it's quite a sight when it works well.

I don't know if I'll become a regular player of Pokemon Go, but I have had a lot of fun with it so far and I'm looking forward to watching it evolve.

If you're interested, there's tons of information over on reddit: http://reddit.com/r/pokemongo

#PokemonGo
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What songs have I been streaming over the past few weeks?

The first round went well, so here's what has been dominating my personal music charts for the past few weeks. Enjoy!


1) Desire - Meg Myers (Explicit)

Discovered: Google Play Music Radio

Genre: Alternative/Indie

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/Tsop6iu3a6t6lr44hfusik4xx6u?t=Desire_-_Meg_Myers


2) Big Guns - Ruelle

Discovered: Google Play Music Radio

Genre: Alternative/Indie

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/To5t6kvxg4ajf5wqcr4xs65h3eq?t=Big_Guns_-_Ruelle


3) Bloodstream - Transviolet

Discovered: Google Play Music Radio

Genre: Alternative/Indie

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/Tcje32tdee7gzpt3hviaffgcs4m?t=Bloodstream_-_Transviolet


4) Destruction - Joywave

Discovered: Google Play Music Radio

Genre: Alternative/Indie

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/Tqr2z2624u6dhlm7hgwwdrbiiae?t=Destruction_-_Joywave


5) Raise Hell - DOROTHY

Discovered: Google Play Music Radio

Genre: Rock

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/T7vzyenhwbcfwcc2oht3h3h6nmq?t=Raise_Hell_-_DOROTHY


6) Bridges - Broods

Discovered: Google Play Music Radio

Genre: New Wave/Post-Punk

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/Trt4j3fkj3rqytzh3ppwm2rqnni?t=Bridges_-_Broods

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Photo Credit: 1210 & Xone:02 by Jon Kristian Bernhardsen via Flicker: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jon-kristian/4466931417/
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Chrome OS Wallpaper Spotlight: Earth 188

Chromebook owners know that many of the default wallpapers are satellite imagery taken from all over the world. I recently had someone reach out for additional information on one of the wallpapers and what I found was pretty awesome.

The photo below is of an art installation in the Egyptian desert that was created in March of 1997 called Desert Breath.

“Located between the sea and a body of mountains at the point where the immensity of the sea meets the immensity of the desert, the work functions on two different levels in terms of viewpoint: from above as a visual image, and from the ground, walking the spiral pathway, a physical experience”

"The work uses precise positive and negative conical volumes of sand (i.e. mounds and holes) to create two interlocking spirals that emanate from a common center. Desert Breath is slowly disintegrating since the sand is blowing off the cone-shaped hills – a element noted by the creators to symbolize the “passage of time.”

"The spiral’s center, which was once a bright blue lake, has dried up along with other features that have been swept away by the winds."

You can read more about this piece at the article below, or find it on Google Maps at the second link below.


http://www.ibtimes.com/desert-breath-seen-google-earth-mysterious-spiral-egypt-symbolizes-passage-time-photo-1558094

https://www.google.com/maps/place/27%C2%B022'54.6%22N+33%C2%B037'48.5%22E/@27.3818306,33.6279391,814m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0?hl=en

#Chromebook #Wallpapers
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It's Leap Day!

Leap Day is quite possibly my favorite holiday. After all, real life is for March.

If you're not familiar with leap day traditions, this starter guide should help:

http://decider.com/2016/02/29/how-to-celebrate-leap-day-the-30-rock-way/

Now go out and spend the day doing things you normally wouldn't do. Nothing that happens on leap day counts.
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A few photos from Mt. Tamalpais, overlooking San Francisco.

I decided to take a drive yesterday and do the East Peak hike at Mt. Tamalpais. The trail is very popular and the photos go a long way to explaining why - the views are incredible.
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2/15/16
8 Photos - View album

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What songs have I been streaming over the past few weeks?

I sometimes bump into new music in some weird places, and that's part of the fun. I've decided to share a few songs that have been dominating my playlists for the past couple weeks in case any of them rub off on you. Yes, you.


1) Somewhere to Run - Krewella

Discovered: Google Play Music Radio

Genre: Dance/Electronic

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/T4rptivaeaiei2k5nvbr2oyp7ym?t=Somewhere_to_Run_-_Krewella


2) Time Traveler - Jonathan Thulin

Discovered: Google Play Music Radio

Genre: Alt Christian

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/Txllp3gzrk24eivn7xycw73bwja?t=Time_Traveler_-_Jonathan_Thulin


3) Last Stop Before Heaven - Armin van Buuren

Discovered: Google Play Music Radio

Genre: Trance

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/Te3vxngdsojgk6nf4o7sm7ilgwa?t=Last_Stop_Before_Heaven_-_Armin_van_Buuren


4) Gone Till November - Wyclef Jean

Discovered: It's Always Sunny (TV Show)

Genre: Hip-Hop Hitmakers

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/Tkiypedftnyvkylsbcfi5e5rqte?t=Gone_Till_November_-_Wyclef_Jean


5) My Body Is A Cage - Peter Gabriel

Discovered: House, M.D. (TV Show)

Genre: Rock

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/Thndg57hskhnyouvyo2qn6ohwum?t=My_Body_Is_A_Cage_-_Peter_Gabriel


6) You're Mine - Disturbed

Discovered: Google Play Music Radio

Genre: Alt Metal

Listen: https://play.google.com/music/m/Tcbp5aq67l4lsu2sjopvvo7d4fm?t=Youre_Mine_-_Disturbed

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Photo Credit: 1210 & Xone:02 by Jon Kristian Bernhardsen via Flicker: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jon-kristian/4466931417/

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A few thoughts about Amazon Prime Now.

For those that don't live in the delivery area, Amazon Prime Now is a new service from Amazon that advertises a free two hour delivery window for Prime members. You can opt to pay an extra fee for a one hour window, or choose to have it delivered later in the day if that's when you'll be home.

I'm a fairly happy Amazon Prime user. I'm not thrilled by some of the moves Amazon has made lately, but I am a fan of their Prime service and all of the bells and whistles it comes with.

I decided to give Amazon Prime Now a try this morning because I was offered a $10 discount code. I learned a few things in the process.

1) There's a dedicated app. That's right, another Amazon app you need to install just to use this service. It's also named "Prime Now", which makes it super confusing when you're looking in the "A" section of your app list for it.

2) The selection is very limited, and there's no mention of the stores your goods are actually coming from. For all intents and purposes, you're buying from Amazon, not Target, Whole Foods, etc.

3) There seems to be a $20 minimum purchase requirement. I was looking to fill up my cart to the $10 threshold and use my discount, but it asked me to select $20 worth of merchandise before proceeding. This could be because I was using a discount code, but I suspect not.

4) During the check out flow, it asks you to choose a tip amount to give to the delivery driver. The default amount is $5, though you have the option to enter $0 if you want. The app states that the tip goes directly to the driver, and you can modify how much you tip up to 48 hours after the order is complete. One additional catch: you can't use a gift card balance to pay that tip.

5) Like many other similar services, you can provide notes for the delivery driver (gate codes, where to leave it, what your secret knock is, etc.).

6) Unlike many other delivery apps, it allowed me to track the driver in transit. I was actually out picking up a few other things at the time, but I can see how this would be very useful if you're home and waiting for the packages.

7) When my items were delivered, they came in a single large bag, and they were just kind of scattered about. Nothing was damaged (though there was a glass bottle that was unprotected), but it did surprise me. I suppose I've been spoiled by Google Express obsessively individually wrapping any items that could leak.

Overall, my item arrived to my door step undamaged. It did take longer than two hours - but it's a holiday weekend, so I'm more than okay with that (I was also warned ahead of time).

I will admit that I do a fair bit of my shopping via Google Express, and this service is very comparable in pricing. I'll likely look at them both the next few times I need something, and check the pricing on each.

I'm happy to answer any questions. I would have included some screenshots of the app, but oddly, the app disallows screenshots.

#Amazon #PrimeNow

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Mini Review: BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

I live very close to the San Jose Airport (SJC). As one might imagine, there's a fair amount of airborne traffic most days. When it's warm enough to open the windows (like today - a cool 62F / 16C), the noise can prove to be a distraction.

A coworker was recently gifted a pair of noise canceling headphones over the holidays and gave a positive informal review that made me consider seeking out a pair of my own. I opted to settle for a more inexpensive pair from BÖHM.

The most important thing to note is that noise canceling technology isn't magic, it's based on science. My understanding is that it essentially works by creating white noise that can cancel out the background noise in your environment. As a result, it's not going to catch everything, and it works best with noises that are constant and at the same tone (like fans, hums, airplanes, etc.).

The headphones themselves are lightweight and don't feel cheap. I do get an impression that they are a little fragile, but that could just be because I tend to be very careful with new electronics. I wouldn't recommend tossing them about your room.

Compared to the other headphones I've had in the past, these are very comfortable to wear. I haven't tested them for very extended periods of time (more than 2-3 hours), but my ears have been fine during the testing phase. I will note that these are not fully over the ears headphones, so they will put pressure somewhere on your ear.

Setup wasn't too bad, though I did run into a snag with the Bluetooth pairing at first. There is a single multi-function button that controls both the pairing and turning the headphones on and off. To power on / off, you hold the button for five seconds. To enable pairing mode, you hold it for even longer, and when the lights flash, you continue holding the button until the headphones are paired, then you let go. The instructions don't make this as clear as it needs to be.

I tested the headphones with both a Nexus 6P and a Chromebook Pixel 2 with great success, pairing didn't give me any troubles.

Overall, I'm quite happy with this pair of headphones. I think they'll get the most use during weekends when I'm home and listening to audiobooks, and of course when I fly.

One last note: when looking for headphones on Amazon, I noticed that it seems this exact same product is being sold under at least two separate brands. I went with BÖHM only because they were available via Prime same day shipping and the other brand wasn't, but you may want to investigate further if shipping speed isn't relevant to you.

I'm also happy to answer any questions you might have.

Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01251KZUQ?tag=electronicfro-20

**That is an affiliate link. If you click it and then purchase the item, a small percentage of the sale will go to support the EFF: https://www.eff.org/helpout

#BluetoothHeadphones #NoiseCanceling

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Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone!

I spent my actual birthday working like any other day, but I did have the opportunity to meet up with some friends from India and the UK today to celebrate (+Dinsan Francis and +Mike McLoughlin). They're in town as part of Google's Top Contributor summit, a biennial meet up for all of the volunteers that power the support forums. - https://topcontributor.withgoogle.com/

We spent the day touring a number of Google campuses, visiting the Computer History Museum, and rounded the day out with a hike at Alum Rock Park, which produced the attached photo. Credit to +Dinsan Francis for snapping it!
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I would never condone being awake before 9AM on a weekend, but with that said, sometimes cool things can happen if you find yourself in that situation.

I decided that if I was to go back to the same spot for a third time, I had better find a way to see it in a new light. My solution was to see it at first light, when the sun was just starting to rise. I'm quite happy with how some of the photos turned out, and of course the view was even more impressive in person.

By the way, I have noticed that all of my recent public posts have been photo related. I'll work on getting some other content shared in the near future :)
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2015-10-03
10 Photos - View album
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