Rubik’s or Klingon?

I’m finally learning how to do a Rubik’s cube after all these years. I just googled how to solve it and am learning the simplest one. Even then, it’s a lot of memorization of patterns and rotations. To commit moves to memory, I memorize odd phrases like “fful riff l’ ruff” (Front, Front, Upper, Left, Right Inverse, Front, Front, Left Inverse, Right, Upper, Front, Front) Once I learned it, it’s more fun than the usual “I can only solve 1 or 2 sides” thing…more of a game than some impossible puzzle. Interestingly, you can go to a site to give you the best solution. You enter the configuration of your cube and it tells you the moves to make. Instead of the 100 or so moves I’d make, it’ll do it in something like 20 moves.

The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974, so it’s almost as old as I am. The cubes you can buy seem to be a lot better quality than they used to be. Sean bought a set of cubes with different numbers of faces. They turn really smoothly even though they seem to be unlicensed.

The return of remotes without batteries

The first TV remotes in the 50s used a mechanical clicker to make a sound that the TV detected to do things.  No batteries.  And now, Phillips Hue lights have started using the power of you pushing buttons to create a short wireless signal without any batteries.  Neat idea.  We’ve now got RFID and NFC  running tiny chips without their own power.

repairing a cracked phone screen

I dropped my phone the other night.  There was a single rock on the porch and it hit that and cracked the screen.  I was figuring the entire phone was done for, but looked into it and it’s apparently a $5 pane of glass that usually breaks.  You buy the replacement on ebay and *voila, you’re good as gold.

* Voila may involve a panicky 3 hour experience where you place the glue strip backwards and have to redo it because the kit comes with no instructions and you have no idea what you’re doing.

cheap Android phones just aren't worth it

We finally got too tired of the crashing, freezing, and unresponsiveness of our LG Optimus Elites.  These were our 2nd cheapo Android phones.  We first had LG Optimus Vs, which were just as bad.  We got Samsung Galaxy S3s now, which are night-and-day difference, even though they’re a couple of generations behind.  Smooth experience and lots of features added from Android 2 to Android 4.