Checking the EMALS 

Monday, February 13th, 2017

If you want to see a short video of a truck being launched off an aircraft carrier and then skipping like a stone, click this link. If you don’t want to see a short video of a truck being launched off an aircraft carrier and then skipping like a stone, what’s wrong with you?

Space Oddity 

Friday, February 10th, 2017

In a farm field near Casa Grande, Arizona, a space capsule has come crashing to earth.

They’re Bad Prompts, Tom

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

I recently discovered the Good Dogs! game, from the same mind that brought the world the fabulous @dog_rates Twitter account. Despite being yet another entry to the seemingly endless ranks of endless runner games, the game is enjoyable, and I wanted to share it. I figured I’d just grab a link to it from the App Store and message it along.

To do so, I tapped the Share button in the upper right corner of the app’s listing in the App Store:

Step 1: Tapping the Share button

This gave me a fairly standard Share sheet, showing different ways I could share this content. Even though the app itself is free, it seemed neat to be able to gift it to someone, rather than just sending a link.

Step 2: Tapping the Gift button

I tapped the “Gift” button, and got a “Send Gift” form:

Step 3: Filling out the Gift form

As you can see, I filled it out with an appropriate message. I then hit “Next”, and was given the option to select what sort of theme my gift would have:

Step 4: Selecting a theme

After settling on a theme, I hit “Next” again, and I was taken to a Review screen, as seen here:

Step 5: Reviewing the gift

Everything looked in order, so I hit “Buy”. When I did, very little seemed to happen. The only difference was that now the upper right said “BUY NOW”, instead of “Buy”:

Step 6: BUY NOW

This seemed odd, but I again tapped in the upper right. When I did, the control reverted back to reading “Buy”. I was confused, but eventually noticed that the network activity spinner was whirling away in the status bar:

Step 7: Spinning

After more than a few seconds, I finally got the iTunes Store password prompt with which iPhone users are far too familiar:

Step 8: Password entry

I filled out my password and tapped “OK”, certain I was finished. My thoughtful (though admittedly free) gift was headed across the internet! Except that it wasn’t:

Step 9: Oh. OK.

After all that, the system rejected me because this item was free. Even more annoying, it took four additional taps to bail out of the whole gifting UI, then another two to just message a damned link like I’d intended to in the first place.

A modest proposal for Apple: If gifting isn’t available, don’t offer gifting.

Trace the Bed to Get a Bed 

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Hotel Tonight is just one of many ways to find a last-minute hotel room, but its popular smartphone app has led it to a large presence in the industry. This story explains how their seamless booking process was originally a little too easy, and how they fixed it with a clever, logo-based solution.

Death by Tactile Paving 

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

In recent years, you may have noticed the addition of brightly colored patches on the sidewalk, with various patterns on them. The system here is called tactile paving, and it provides a very helpful guide for the visually impaired. However, when it’s implemented wrong, it can be worse than not having it at all.

Engaging With Brands: Super Bowl LI Edition

Monday, February 6th, 2017

I hope you’re not too worn out after the advertising bonanza that accompanied the Super Bowl last night, because it’s once again time to engage with brands! Today, we have a truly ridiculous follow-up to October’s post, which including some unintentional brand engagement with Kia.

When that brief Twitter conversation with Kia concluded, I assumed we were done. As such, I was surprised to see this tweet over two months later:

I actually fell off of Twitter back in November, so it was only by chance that I even saw this. Nevertheless, I was intrigued, so I sent a message to see what was up. This was their reply:

We really appreciate your support of the Kia Sorento Tecmo campaign starring Bo Jackson and Brian Bosworth. We have a pair of limited edition Tecmo gloves we’d love to send you as a thank you. If you send us an address and your size preference (M or L), we will do our best to accommodate it. Thanks again.  
- Your friends at Kia.

Apparently, just mentioning their ad constitutes “supporting” the campaign, despite the fact that I was also taking a cheap shot at the brand. But sure, why not get some free Tecmo gloves? Beyond that fact that I have no idea what the hell size gloves I wear, anyway. But hey, I’ve loved Tecmo Super Bowl for decades, so I sent Kia my information.

Shortly before the Super Bowl, a small package arrived from Kia. When I tore into it, I found this sweet card:

Hey, that’s me!

Man, I am spiking the hell out of that football, in a fashion that seems certain to dent the Kia. The back of the card had an explanation for what else I’d find in the package.

Yes, despite the fact that I tweeted way back in October of 2016, and didn’t mention their hashtag nor their username, I was given a token of gratitude “for the 2017 #KiaTecmo campaign”. And despite the fact that the commercials center on two-sport star Bo Jackson, Kia decided to make gloves featuring NFL flop and supporting character Brian Bosworth. Here’s Boz in all his 8-bit glory:

8-bit Bosworth

It’s exactly what no child ever dreamed of, let alone any adult! I don’t really play much organized football these days, and wearing gloves in a pickup game would be more than a little odd, so I have no idea what I’ll do with these. But hey, at least they sort of fit (I probably should’ve taken the large).

The whole package

Perhaps I’ll wear these while riding my decidedly non-Kia motorcycle. But even if they’re good for nothing else, at least I can share them for a laugh with you, dear reader.

A Weak Laugh for the Weekend 

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Over at the Intercept, Jon Schwarz digs deep to find just a bit of comedy in Donald Trump’s horrendous executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven majority Muslim countries.

There’s not a lot that’s funny about President Trump’s January 27 executive order temporarily banning immigrants and refugees from seven majority Muslim countries.

But you have to admit this is a little funny: Trump’s executive order appears to brazenly violate another executive order about how the government should issue executive orders.

It’s not much, but these days, we have to take what we can get.

A Piece of Impulse-Buy Garbage Designed for Suckers 

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Becky Molin really hates her curved TV.

Emoji Logos

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

The new Logoji Instagram account is great. It takes real logos and reworks them to replace elements with standard emoji (using Apple’s emoji art, specifically).

I’ve made side-by-side comparisons of some of my favorites, to really highlight how well done this is.

Malibu Rum

The PGA Tour

Santander Bank

Frankly, I think you could swap that Santander logo in everywhere, and no one would notice.


Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

If you’re looking for the most realistic simulation of the male anatomy yet found in a video game, look no further than “Conan Exiles”.