I noticed this right before the last Firefox update but it deserves a post even though I’m late to the game; The Firefox built-in web development tools have become massively awesome! Beyond the usual combo of css tools, code coloring, breakdown of elements, debugging, etc., this new Mozilla beast gives you a 3d view of your css!

Check this out:

Firefox 3d CSS view

 

Do You see that?!? That’s the actual layers of the css stacked up so you can select just what you want whether you just need to retrieve an ID or whether you’re debugging and need to figure out why your css has gone all wonky.

My hat’s off to the Mozilla devs! You guys are AWESOME! And the new build of FF is also awesome! If you haven’t tried it there are hundreds of new bits that make it easily a great competitor in the browser market once again. I’ll admit I was feeling a bit of frustration with FF for the last couple of years as I saw Chrome pulling ahead in the browser sector both in the area of speed and versatility but it looks like Firefox has come back finally, and come back swinging!

 

Great site for trading altcoins. What are altcoins? Altcoins are alternate crypto-currencies, that is, alternate to the one crypto-currency that everyone has started to learn the most about; Bitcoin. At the very least, Bitcoin (or BTC for short) is the most publicized of crypto-currencies. Why crypto-currency? That’s a matter for another post. Suffice it to say I’m just posting this filler because I’m trying to remind myself about something entirely different and somehow when I make a post about something unrelated it helps to bookmark the more important thought in my brain. Yes, it’s odd, and perhaps even more odd that I put such things on display here, but hey, that’s what sets me apart from the masses, eh? No? OK, whatever, I’m done now.

 

For various reasons I’ve never been interested in getting a tattoo of any kind on my body. Just the idea of putting something on me that doesn’t change with my insane amount of psychological ups and downs makes me cringe. That said, when this comes out I’m thinking I’m not going to be far from the front of the line!

Geeks Are Sexy (.net) is reporting on a patent that Motorola recently filed for a tattoo-like etching that would be placed on the users neck and would make it possible (theoretically) to speak normally under any given conditions (typhoon?) and have it relayed to the phone receiver of your choice. Given the materials involved it may not even be a permanent fixture, as they discuss pieces of it made from rubberized materials that stick to the skin rather than actual ink (the traditional way to tat someone). At any rate, this is pure cyber-future-tech and the idea is way cool. Check out the whole article here.

My new baby arrived on 10-12-2013! It’s a Schecter BlackJack SLS C-1 EX.

The SLS stands for Slim-Line-Series which means this BlackJack is a bit thinner in the body than a standard guitar, making it slightly lighter than the original version (though it’s still heavy since it’s the EX which I’ll get to in a minute).

The C-1 is your basic ‘rock guitar look’ body style. Schecter also makes a C-7 and a C-8 with seven strings and eight strings respectively. While I might end up getting a seven string guitar in the future, right now I still prefer to play on what I’m most comfortable with and that’s 6 strings. I can’t even imagine what I’d do with eight strings.

I don’t know what the letters in the acronym EX actually stand for but I do know that it identifies this guitar as a baritone model – that is, it has a scale length of 26.5 inches rather than the standard of 22-24 inches that most guitars have. Most people would think this would allow for more frets, but that’s not actually the case. The extra length allows the guitar to be tuned down to A/B/C or D standard tunings while retaining the same tension that you get on a regular guitar. Therefore I can have this beast tuned down to C standard without making it feel like I’m playing on spaghetti strings! Coupled with some Ernie Ball “Thin top Heavy Bottom” strings you might be able to imagine how heavy this thing can sound!

This BlackJack comes with an ebony fretboard which gives the attack a nice ‘snap’ which is great for leads and excellent for arppegiated chords. It also adds a bit to the sustain characteristics of the guitar. This guitar is using a set neck which is joined perfectly to the body and trimmed in such a way that access to the upper frets is a breeze. The finish is a satin black which is so smooth to the touch that even when you’re hammering out licks that would curl your nose hairs and sweating like a stuck pig that you can still slide up and down the neck with ease.

Last but no where near least are the pickups. Two Seymour Duncan Blackouts. I’ve played EMG’s and SD’s and they are both great pickups but these Blackouts just have a depth and robust taste to them that will raise the hairs on your neck! There is just no way to explain the intensity these pickups have without hearing them. And it doesn’t even have to be on a particularly monstrous amp – I’ve run them through several combo’s I have and they sounded great, but when you do run them through something big they also shine like nothing you’ve ever heard. I just can’t say enough good things about these pickups!

All in all I have to say that this guitar is worth every penny I paid for it. And since my son also bought a Schecter and it plays every bit as good as this one (though we stylistically have our differences) I can say with a good bit of certainty that these Schecter guitars are really worth checking out as a whole.

One other minor point, you might notice the skull in mother-of-pearl inlaid at the twelfth fret. If that offends anyone, I’m sorry! I originally was going to get the Schecter BlackJack first edition which had a simple lightning bolt in that position but as it turns out those are not being sold anymore and it was difficult even finding a used one for sale (Which again lends veracity to my thought that these are some good guitars since people don’t seem willing to part with them). These second edition BlackJacks all use the skull motif which I wasn’t really thrilled about but the other attributes of the guitar outweighed what I felt was a minor issue.

BlackJack

Hope to get together with my friends soon to jam with this beast!

Financial Post has a story up about Samsung’s new curved phone, appropriately named the “Galaxy Round”. While this is going to be nice for those that might want a larger screen but don’t have the hands to match, what is really interesting are the speculations that this kind of technology is going to lead to actual folding screens – that is, not just a flip-phone style that we have now but an actual folding screen similar to a piece of notebook paper; fold it, slide it in your back pocket and forget about it! Not saying that they’re going to make it that simple for us right away, but it’s certainly the way things seem to be headed especially if you’ve seen Microsoft’s view of the future of smart technologiessamsung-galaxy-round-curved

 

Funny thing when you head to a page thinking about a particular idea and you actually come across that exact idea – like someone else in the world was thinking of the same thing you were at the same exact time. I suppose statistically it’s not surprising but it’s still cool nonetheless.. what was I talking about? Oh yeah, using Chrome to develop web sites. I use Chrome tools to test various site features all the time, but I went to reddit thinking I’d ask a question about whether anyone had gotten ftp (or something similar) to work using the Chrome tools and lo and behold, someone had just beaten me to asking the question!

 

 

The name says it all, or maybe it doesn’t, either way it’s coming! Steam OS is going to let us use our big screen tv’s to play our PC games! Of course they’re going to have a lot of kinks to work out since to begin with they’re saying that it is going to run on Linux which as you may note if you have a steam account is pretty sparse territory for games currently. But Steam is a huge juggernaut of a platform that gamers and game designers love in equal measure (or is that hate, naw, couldn’t be).

Forget XBOX, Forget PS-whatever this months flavor is, forget cramming Android into yet another tinier than your fingernail device – Get a Steam OS box and plugin to the power of the Steam eco-system! Play with your friends, your way, with all the crazy modding-goodness that PC games offer right in your living room on your WIDE SCREEN TV!!!!

Ok, gonna try and stop gushing here .. check this link to hear it directly from Steam HQ!

 

LinuxGizmos.com has an article up about Linux being used to power a new feature that’s supposed to hit the Tesla S series in the next few years: autopilot. Basically the system is supposed to take care of 90% of the ride from location to location so theoretically you could take a nap during your commute as long as you were awake for the initial start and final parking bits. Still, the price of the Tesla Model S comes in at a bit over 80K for the fully loaded model so you’re still going to need some pretty good buying power to get a hold of one of these babies.

2012-tesla-model-s-fd

Aside from the price though, the idea of automating a good chunk of the commute sounds great. I personally drive at least a couple hours to get to my office and it would be great to be able to kick back during the in-between time. And Google’s self-powered car has been roaming the states for a couple years now without any serious problems so we know that in theory at least this could be done. As I’m typing this my son tells me he thinks it would be too dangerous to allow such a vehicle on the road and I imagine others are of the same mind. Personally I’m still on the proverbial fence; I’d love to get a peak behind the curtain and see what kind of logic systems they have in place to make this technology work. If anyone has a solid source on such information I’d love to get the links to it.

 

I just joined the beta program for Facebook for Android. I found it rather ironic that on signing up I was required to register at the Google group for beta testing the Facebook app. Almost like Facebook has an interest in collaborating in some manner with Google on the social networking front. I mean, if it’s a Facebook app, why not use one of the Facebook pages to keep users of the beta informed? Cold this be a nod from Facebook to Google on how they might want to collaborate in the future? Is that too much of a stretch? I’m not sure, Facebook has shown itself to be very strong in pulling people together in the social computing realm and though Google’s own efforts have been valiant their social model is still quite a bit less attractive to those that are less technically inclined.

Just a few thoughts. Time will tell.