Sunday, August 26, 2012

I hate Papyrus font.

The other day I went on a ten minute diatribe about how I hate the Papyrus font.  I shared this information on Twitter only to have the amazing Edwin Solorzano share this gem he created for me destroying the font.  I mean, like, AMAZE!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Heads-up: Tech to combat concussions - ESPN

The drive to minimize head injuries in sports is stronger than ever, especially in football. The NFL, recognizing the importance, has put stricter player-safety rules and policies in place -- but technology is catching up to offer preventive methods to combat the issue. Below are three high-tech products being tested and used in all levels of football, from Pop Warner all the way to the NFL. It should be noted that these innovations do not prevent concussions, but rather reduce the risk of head injuries.

Read the full post here at

Monday, August 20, 2012

Furby is back! - First Look

It's bacccck!  Want to feel dated?  The Furby was last on the market 15 years ago.  And as we all know, it was a hit exceeding sales of 40 million.  In less than a month, it's back on retail shelves.

Meet the new batch of gremlins, errr ummm Furbies.  A little bigger in size and a little more sass, Furby is able to have a number of personalities and can be shaken, pulled and tickled for reaction.  And of course, it speaks Furbish while slowly learning English.  It can also communicate with other Furbys.

Furby joined me in the Spike TV studios last week and was kicked out twice for non-stop talking.  My only suggestion to Hasbro, an off switch.   

Furby makes his debut mid-September with a price tag of $60 and an accompanying free app.  It will be available in six colors and four AA Batteries are required.

See below new Furby in purple/pink alongside my old Furby.  I’m pretty sure both are possessed.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Four Tricks for Phone Calls

Burner, $1.99 (plus pay for credits)
The Burner app got a lot of buzz this week.  If you ever wanted a temporary number that you can later ditch, it’s a nice little option.  I gave it a run and it does what it advertises.

The app costs $1.99 and gives you three free credits.  Three credits will give you "a valid number for 7 days or 20 talk minutes or 60 texts".  You can "burn"/get rid of the number whenever you want.  During this time, you also have access to your original cell number.  See other options below.

 Still a reliable option.  Want your number to show up unlisted?  Just dial *67 followed by the number you want to call and your number will show up blocked.  I also use *72 to forward my calls to my other phone sometimes (just dial *72 and the number and you'll hear two -three beeps)  you can cancel the forward by dialing *73 and the number you want to stop forwarding it to.

Slydial, Free
Go straight to anyone's voicemail.  That’s right.  The phone won’t even ring, so you can leave a message and play dumb.  You have to sit through a ten second ad, but honestly, who cares.  Just dial 267- SLYDIAL (267-759-3425)

Fake-A-Call, $0.99 / Fake-Call-Me (Android) $0.99
This app has been out for a while but is still decent for getting out of an awkward date or escaping a scene with a "talker".  The app creates a fake incoming call with name and number and set time to ring.  You can even go as far as setting up a fake FaceTime call, but I recommend you keep it simple.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Whats Trending on the Olympic Interwebz!

Here are the top trends courtesy of Yahoo! and Google.

Olympics Buzz Courtesy of Yahoo!

o   Rivalries: A lot has been made of rivalries at the Olympics this year. When looking at some of the top rivalries, who is searched more? Usain Bolt has been training with his country mate Yohan Blake, bolt gets more than 6X the searches of Yohan but searches have spiked 114% for Blake in the past few weeks. Michael Phelps has said that Ryan Lochte challenged him to swim faster. Phelps gets more than 2X the searches of Lochte but searches have spiked 200% in the past few weeks for Lochte. 

o   Questions: some of the buzzing questions from the Olympics this weekend are: Where is Roger Federer from? Where is Gabby Douglas from? What is Prince Williams last name? What is Jessica Ennis’s ethnicity? Where is Jamaica? What is Michael Phelps net worth? 

o   Top searched Olympians in the past 7 days: Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas, Misty May-Treanor, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber

o   Top searched Olympic Sport in the past 7 days: Gymnastics, Beach Volleyball, Water Polo, Badminton, Tennis 

Top Searches Courtesy of  Google
Americans: Getting in Shape
  • Searches for [running shoes] have increased more than 30% in the past 30 days.
  • Searches for [workout outfit] have increased over 90% in the past 30 days.
  • Searches for [personal fitness trainer] have increased 15% in the past 30 days.
  • Searches for [home gym equipment ] have increased 40% in the past 30 days.

  • Searches for [synchronized swimming] jumped over 9 times in the past 30 days,

Breakout Young Olympians
  • In the past 30 days, searches for [Gabby Douglas] peaked over 2 times higher than searches for [Robert Pattinson].
  • Searches for team USA’s youngest member [Katie Ledecky] have skyrocketed, jumping more than 5,000% in the past 7 days.

Breakout Athletes
  • Searches for [Andy Murray] have increased more than 30% in the past 30 days.
  • Searches for [Usain Bolt] have increased more than 300% in the past 7 days.
  • Searches for [Sanya Richards Ross] have increased more than 400% in the past 7 days.

Curiosity's Main Mission ...


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Curiosity Rover Must Stick the Landing

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover was launched in November of last year.  After traveling 352 million miles, the rover will touch down on the red planet in just a few hours (1:30amET).  Curiosity is bigger than any previous rover but also more equipped giving us our best shot yet at verifying if life on Mars, was, or is ever possible.  But first, Curiosity has to stick the landing on Mars' surface.  Allow me to break everything down on all things Curiosity.

Lets call it a 2.5 billion dollar gamble; the mini cooper sized rover is going to have NASA engineers seriously sweating on this landing.  

From the top of Mars atmosphere, down to the surface, it takes 7 minutes.  

Curiosity has to go from 13,000mph to 0mph during this time, which is being dubbed as “7 minutes of terror".  There is no room for error on this landing.

Since Curiosity is much bigger than previous rovers, it cannot use an airbag landing. The process requires four steps.  

The rover will be inside a capsule for the journey.  Upon landing, it will deploy a
100lb parachute – “the strongest most supersonic parachute NASA has ever developed”.  (It has to withstand 65,000 lbs. of force)  But that parachute is only going to slow it to 200mph.  When it gets close enough, it will cut that parachute off and slow itself down with rocket- powered deceleration.  It then will be lowered down on it’s wheels by a Skycrane, and this will all happen with the utmost precision.

Image courtesy of NASA - the three Mars rovers - Curiosity to right (much larger in size)
This particular mission is the most ambitious and also has the most riding on it.  If the mission fails, there will be a lot of skepticism on the spend and also future space missions. And if the mission is a success, it could lead to very interesting discoveries in science.

Experts are predicting a 60-70% chance of failure.

What is the point of the mission anyway?
The main point of the mission is to determine if the planet ever had life or could support it.  (There are three criteria needed to prove it was once habitable: water, necessary compounds and a source of energy.)

Curiosity will be landing next to Mt. Sharp that has numerous layers the rover can explore unveiling potential secrets about ancient Mars and the possibility of a once habitable environment.  (Note - this rover is also a lot more rugged and was built to climb craters and mountain areas.)  

And while it is much bigger than previous rovers, it is better equipped which finally allows NASA to confidently get answers.  There are ten different instruments on board that will take on various missions:  a camera that will take high res video and pictures, testing for radiation, and there’s even an on- board laser that will test the soil and rocks (all data will be sent to two orbiters to relay the results back to NASA).

The mission itself is scheduled for two years, though NASA says the battery could last up to ten.

Image courtesy of NASA - Curiosity is compared to the size of a Mini Cooper
This sounds freakin’ awesome, where can I watch/stay up to date?
There are quite a few viewing parties across the country.  If you happen to be in New York City, you can watch it live from Times Square, right where the ball drops.  If you are elsewhere, fear not, here are a few links:
                                       - map of viewing locations
NASA TV Public Channel - feed including commentary and interviews - uninterrupted, clean feed
XBox - NASA link on your dashboard
NASA Be a Martian App - while this won't be streaming live it will have regular updates

 And PS - I highly recommend you watch this clip from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Oh So 'Social Olympics'! - CNN

Nearly 10 million tweets on opening day, smartphone tweets and texts jamming up cell networks during cycling races…. who can deny these are the most social Olympics? So, what are people really searching for and what is trending on Twitter?

I reached out to Twitter, Facebook, Google and Yahoo to get you the latest and more interesting stats across the board as discussed on CNN.

Let’s start with Twitter:
·      Nearly 10 Million Tweets Opening Day
·      2/3 of both team USA and team Great Britain on Twitter
·      Most tweeted about sport has been "volleyball"
·      Most tweeted event – Phelps’ gold win Tuesday (half a million mentions)

And just an interesting little stat: popular on Twitter, nail art!  Searches for “Olympic nails” up 125% on Yahoo and some of the most popular pictures pulled from twitter from athletes especially swimmers like Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt:

With the good Twitter, we have the bad Twitter.
As we all know by now, NBC has seen strong sentiment mostly over the decision of tape delays.

Networks were clogged in road races on Saturday and blamed texting and Twitter for the jam – people onsite were told only to send updates if urgent.

We have seen two athletes; one from Greece one from Switzerland ousted from the games for racist tweets.

And after British Diver Tom Daley failed to medal, a fan wrote to him stating he let his dad down (who had passed away last year).   Daley, whom has hundreds and thousands of followers, retweeted it.  The 17-year-old that sent the message was later arrested.

My favorite statistics were those pulled by Yahoo.  Here’s what you guys are searching for!
Searches for “Olympic nails” are up 125% 
Searches for "Gymnastics" spiking 252%
One of the top searched questions on Yahoo! “Are the Olympic medals real gold?”
Searches for "Michael Phelps girlfriend" are up 15,253%
Searches for Aly Raisman’s parents are up 1067% Tuesday.
Searches for Missy Franklin’s parents are up 775% Tuesday

The most searched and liked athletes from Google:
Top ten athletes in English in the US (past week):
Courtesy of Google
1.     Lebron James
2.     Alex Morgan
3.     Michael Phelps
4.     Kobe Bryant
5.     Hope Solo
6.     Lolo Jones
7.     Kevin Durant
8.     Ryan Lochte
9.     Usain Bolt
10.   James Harden

And in terms of Facebook here is the list of athletes who have grown the most by # of fans overall:
Facebook “most liked” athletes:

Courtesy of Facebook
1.     Tom Daley
2.     Michael Phelps
3.     Ryan Lochte
4.     Jordyn Wieber
5.     LeBron James
6.     Usain Bolt
7.     Yannick Agnel
8.     Kobe Bryant
9.     Neymar
10.   Maria Sharapova


Copyright © 2012 Katie Linendoll