Technology making our lives easier

In the words of the poet and philosopher Homer J. Simpson “It’s funny ’cause it’s true.”

How much tech actually improves your life versus the devices that simply raise your blood pressure? About three years ago I culled as many of the Hulk-rage inducing items out of my life as I could. I don’t miss them at all, but my friends have since been denied the pleasure of seeing a grown man have a temper tantrum. So I guess there is some opportunity cost.

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image by Dan Fulano

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Tactical Japanese RPG-7 water rocket!

Japanese RPG 7 450x696 Tactical Japanese RPG 7 water rocket!

“Exhilaration of flying the way you want a toy when he does not taste the other!” (img by Marudai)

I think you could knock someone the fuck out with this thing. I will have to acquire one for home defense purposes.

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Overland adventures as self improvement

Emb frontend1 450x300 Overland adventures as self improvement

History rarely happens in convenient places; unfortunately for most historians there is a great deal of value in actually being on the ground. It’s one thing to imagine the desolation and hardship of the Oregon Trail. But your imagination pales in comparison to the experience of actually going to the middle of nowhere Wyoming in June; watching a hail laden thunderstorm bear down on you, and knowing it is impossible to outrun and there is nowhere to find shelter. That kind of experience allows you to empathize with the settlers in a way that is simply not possible from the comfort of a reading chair. I think this is why so many of my motorcycle trips revolve around historical places or events. I am trying to place those into a context.

It appears that the same is true for historian/adventurer Emily Lethbridge. After converting a Landrover ambulance into an RV, the Cambridge based researcher embarked on a year-long research project in Iceland studying medieval Icelandic sagas.

While the history is interesting, I was impressed by Emily’s approach to the whole endeavor. Before her trip she was neither a mechanic, nor experienced off-road driver. Her earlier posts describe the process she undertook to address those issues. To me, that self evaluation and education process is the essence of Die Less.

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Mobile Carriers Gladly Give Your Data to the Cops, But Not to You

847992535 9915965547 450x299 Mobile Carriers Gladly Give Your Data to the Cops, But Not to You

This thing tells the cops where I’ve been and who I’ve been talking to! (img by Braden Kowitz)

tl;dr The headline says it all.

@Wired

The nation’s major mobile carriers have amassed a treasure trove of sensitive data on their customers that they share with police and advertisers — but keep hidden from the consumers themselves.

The major carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, store who you texted, the content of texts and locational tracking information such as cell-site data, which identifies the cell tower to which a customer was connected at the beginning of a call and at the end of the call. Different companies hold your data for different times. Sprint hoards information the longest, according to a Justice Department survey, keeping your call records for an average of 18-24 months.

But, according to a survey by Pro Publica, the major carriers won’t disclose the data to their customers, for a host of reasons — nonsensical ones at best. But they will gladly hand it over to the authorities, even without warrants.

The survey comes as the government is increasingly looking to use cell-site data to bolster prosecutions in the aftermath of a Supreme Court ruling that said the government must obtain a warrant to affix a GPS device to track a vehicle’s every move.

Read the rest.

You’ve heard this before, but we’re going to keep reminding you because it’s easy to forget. If you want privacy, you’re probably going to have to go analog. And don’t talk about your illegal exploits online.

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Make your own glorious papercraft AK-47

ak47 cover 450x636 Make your own glorious papercraft AK 47

Fully-automatic high-power assault cardboard. (img by PostlerFerguson)

Instantly recognizable in white despite some flaws in the reproduction, the AK-47, along with it’s variants, is the most successful rifle platform in the world.

And you can put this one together at home. PostlerFerguson is a design studio consultancy that is well aware of how iconic this particular weapon really is, and they have published a guide for making a papercraft AK-47 of your own right here, ($20). (more…)

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Tactical riflestache!

Riflestache 450x435 Tactical riflestache!

A captive riflestash (img by FourGuysGuns)

Inspired by the work of 5andaDime.com and as a tribute to the coolness exhibited by our boys on the frontlines, the riflestash is now available so everyone can stop the search and get a sweet ‘stache on the medium of their choice.  Available in 10 colors to match your style or needs, we put them on our buttstocks, just because we wanted to.  What you do with yours is your business. 1 order equals 1 sheet, 1 color of your choice with 4 styles on the individual sheet. You want more color, you buy more sheets.

You can get your own set of riflestaches, in nine colors of the tactical rainbow–black, tan, green, blue, purple, red, orange, pink, and yellow–from the FourGuysGuns store, ($5 per sheet).

rflstsh blue 450x605 Tactical riflestache!

A family of riflestashes (img by FourGuysGuns)

(more…)

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