Mike Elgan2011-12-16 05:37:41
What people will use Facebook's 'Timeline' feature for.

Amusing themselves: http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/
  • 1220 plusses - 75 comments - 563 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-01-19 14:28:09
    Prediction: Apple will NOT be announcing this today.

    The future of the PC desktop is the desktop, according to this purely fictional concept by Adam Benton.

    The idea is that your desktop itself would be a Microsoft Surface-like multi-touch display that responds to objects placed upon it. Sync your phone by just setting it down on the desk. Touch any area of the desk and it becomes a trackpad.


  • 1030 plusses - 182 comments - 624 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-06-07 00:37:55
    Awesome round-up of HD transit-of-venus video.
  • 1179 plusses - 354 comments - 440 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-05-07 18:23:33
    If you dug a hole to the other side of the Earth, where would you come out?

    The Antipodes Map, a Google Maps mash-up, will tell you!

    I would come out in the middle of the Indian Ocean off the South-Eastern coast of Africa.

  • 898 plusses - 365 comments - 607 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-08 23:44:45
    I wonder if the threat of mass starvation might get people to consider organic agriculture.

    Bees are being wiped out by a long list of issues. One major issue is pesticides and fungicides, which not only kill bees, but weaken their immune systems and make them vulnerable to various diseases another issue. 

    Food companies and consumers use these chemicals because they make food cheaper. But now they're on the brink of making food VERY expensive due to shortages. 

    What will it take for us to reject industrial agriculture? Will the threat of starvation and massively high food prices do it? 

    What do you think? 



  • 1342 plusses - 265 comments - 377 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2011-11-26 18:11:47
    Can your Facebook do this?

    A Google+ user named +Markus Thompson found a camera underwater while scuba diving near Vancouver. He discovered that pictures on the SD card were recoverable, even though the camera had been underwater for a year.

    So he used Google+ to track down the owner of the camera to return his photos. Here's the story.



    UPDATE: +Markus Thompson contacted me and said that the owner of the camera has not been found after all. Some commenters claimed or believed to have found him, but it turns out that he has not yet been found.

    So.... Let's FIND THE OWNER!
  • 1000 plusses - 124 comments - 625 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-03 06:30:28
    Surprising things about America.

    This American Life interviewed immigrants on what surprised them when they came to the United States. 

    Here's what surprised them: 

    * Insanely well stocked supermarkets with an impossible variety of foods
    * Flag obsession
    * Religiosity
    * No haggling over prices
    * Fake food everywhere, and in huge portions
    * Amazing culture of convenience
    * Poverty
    * People who obey traffic laws
    * Young people don't get a new boyfriend/girlfriend every week like on TV
    * Americans don't hate their own families like they do on TV

  • 1203 plusses - 367 comments - 387 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-29 17:57:02
    What If the Next iPad, iMac, Business PC and Apple TV Are All One Device?

    How would you radically improve the iPad? You’d give it more powerful processing, enabling more powerful apps.

    How would you improve the 27-inch iMac? You’d make it 37 inches.

    How would you create an Apple desktop computer for business? You’d make it work like an iPad, but double as a boardroom device for presentations and video conferencing.

    And how would you improve TV and make it Applish? You’d build in a computer, Apple TV-like functions and give it a remote.

    If you think about it, these obvious improvements are not moving these four product lines away from each other, but toward each other — resulting in a single super product that does it all.

    What if Apple’s next iPad, iMac, business PC and TV set are all one iDevice?

  • 1374 plusses - 446 comments - 243 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-08 19:40:51
    OK, NOW tell me Ashton Kutcher doesn't look like Steve Jobs.

    You may have seen the picture of Ashton Kutcher on the left floating around. But you should also know that he was posing for a re-creation of a photo of the real Steve Jobs on the right. 

    How amazing is their resemblance? 

  • 1396 plusses - 278 comments - 299 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-21 06:24:24
    What to Do When Your Boss Points a Camera At You...

    A guy claimed on Reddit that when he installed a webcam to watch the office, a member of his staff did this. Nice!

    Props to Reddit: http://www.redditpics.com/my-staffs-response-to-the-webcam-that-i-put-outsi,1073263/
  • 1377 plusses - 256 comments - 316 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-01-19 18:33:40
    What I learned on the way to 3 million Google+ circles.

    I crossed the 3-million Google+ circles line this morning. http://goo.gl/mdil3m

    It’s weird and thrilling to have so many “followers,” and to be sandwiched in circle counts between Paris Hilton, who has a couple hundred thousand more circles than I do, and Rihanna, who will probably catch up to me and pass me at some point in the future. (One of the great things about Google+ is that the geeks hold their own against entertainers in popularity.)

    But mostly, it’s been an eye-opening adventure for me. Here’s what I learned along the way. 


  • 1256 plusses - 256 comments - 387 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-07-07 19:04:47
    Why the ‘Boycott Apple’ movement is dumb.

    The #BoycottApple hashtag was trending hard on Google+ last week. The call to boycott is based on Apple’s attempts to ban both the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone and the Galaxy 10.1 tablet. 

    Here’s why the call for a boycott is misguided and futile: 


    (Pic props to +Phlash Tha)
  • 1154 plusses - 428 comments - 372 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-02-17 23:41:29
    China on fire.

    The Atlantic published 41 stunning pictures showing the growing protests around China.

    From the article: "According to research by the Chinese Academy of Governance, the number of protests in China doubled between 2006 and 2010, rising to 180,000 reported 'mass incidents.' The uprisings are responses to myriad issues, primarily official corruption, government land grabs, Tibetan autonomy, and environmental problems. "

    Here are the pictures: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/02/rising-protests-in-china/100247/
  • 911 plusses - 391 comments - 537 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-08 14:56:15
    What's so great about Google+ Communities?

    Here's my column about why Google+ Communities represents the most highly evolved public communications medium ever devised.

    Before, Google+ was a great place for a certain kind of person, but it wasn't for everyone. The feature transforms Google's social network a supremely relevant and friendly place for everyone and anyone to talk about the things they care about. It's a whole new G+ now.

    The new Google+ Communities feature is better than you think. Here's why:


    (Pic props: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2006573/Thousands-yoga-enthusiasts-tranquillity-Times-Square-longest-day-year.html )
  • 1348 plusses - 322 comments - 300 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-11 23:21:52
    How wearable computing will change everything (even for those not wearing computing!)

    Listen, you tech-savvy, trend-resisting cynic you. I want you to stop dismissing wearable computing as a pointless, narcissistic fad.

    Wearable computing is not for people too lazy to look at their phones. It’s not a trendy toy for wealthy yuppies. And it’s not about joining +Robert Scoble in the shower.

    What you need to know is this: Wearable computing is the next evolution of consumer electronics. And it changes everything for everyone and not just the people actually wearing the computing. (It will even change Apple!)

    Here's why: 

  • 1380 plusses - 231 comments - 315 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-07-20 20:56:33
    Death Wish Coffee: 200% more caffeine!

    Too much caffeine?

  • 1058 plusses - 358 comments - 436 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-15 23:23:01
    Facebook not only paid zero taxes for 2012 -- they were actually paid money by the government -- i.e., your tax dollars!

    According to this article on AllFacebook.com, Facebook not only paid zero taxes for the 2012 tax year, they were given $429 million in net tax refunds. 

    That's right: You paid more taxes than Facebook did, and some of your taxes went to Facebook!

  • 965 plusses - 433 comments - 446 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-10 08:25:30
    Drunk Tourist Falls Asleep On Baggage Belt; Discovered In X-Ray Machine

    A drunk Norwegian tourist crawled onto a baggage conveyer belt at Rome's Fiumicino airport and fell asleep next to his luggage. He traveled on the conveyer for about 15 minutes, sound asleep, before being spotted on the security X-ray scanner. 


    Posted first on Google+ by +Anders Grydeland
  • 1154 plusses - 333 comments - 374 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-06-14 07:14:56
    Jesus: Nokia to cut 10,000 jobs.

    Long story short: Apple and Google are killing Nokia. The company is bleeding cash and can't compete. Now they're axing employees by the thousands. 

    In hindsight, maybe Microsoft Windows Phone wasn't the solution...

  • 1036 plusses - 449 comments - 394 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-02-01 19:26:41
    How to get your family and friends on Google+!

    Just about every active Google+ user has tried and largely failed to lead an exodus out of Facebook, or convince most friends and family to even try Google+.

    So with some help from my Google+ friends, I've created the ultimate guide to convincing all your family and friends to join and use Google+!

    Here it is: http://www.datamation.com/networks/how-to-get-your-family-and-friends-on-google-1.html

    (And please Share this post!)
  • 723 plusses - 158 comments - 713 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-06-04 17:53:24
    Don't look now, but here comes 'Captain China'!

    The first "Captain China" comic book has now become available as a Kindle book.

    The Amazon site says "Captain China" is "a propaganda-styled comic series aimed at capturing the main-stream consciousness of China. The stories will reflect and give insight to China’s current political stance, social environment, and cultural differences by blending complex characters, historical information, geographic locations, comic satire, and over-the-top explosive action!"

    In the comic, "Captain China" is last surviving member of a band of communist superheroes created by Mao during the Great Leap Forward (the catastrophic communist experiment that killed tens of millions of Chinese people), but has been in a cryogenic sleep (like Austin Powers) for 50 years.

    In the first edition, "Captain China" wakes up from a 50 years' sleep and saves US President Barack Obama's life during a visit to China.

  • 844 plusses - 433 comments - 510 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-02-17 01:56:04
    World's largest swing.

    You loved playing on the swing as a child. You're all grown up now; time to find a bigger swing!

    Props to +Jesse Stay
  • 836 plusses - 210 comments - 612 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-27 09:10:09
    Have You Been Lied To by the Media?

    Is Apple really the most valuable company in history? Did the Indian government build millions of $35 tablets and distribute them to students? Did the Saudi Arabian government create a city for women only? 

    No! These are lies told by the media. And in all cases, the truth was revealed by bloggers. 

    Heres' why the media lies: http://www.datamation.com/feature/why-newspapers-lie-1.html
  • 1275 plusses - 315 comments - 294 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-12-01 02:42:19
    BREAKING: 'Fast and the Furious' star Paul Walker dies in car accident.

  • 1263 plusses - 364 comments - 278 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-04-27 16:10:30
    How the junk food industry won the war against children.

    Wow! Reuters has published a scathing account on how the junk food industry bought the US government and defeated just about every initiative proposed to save children from the life-wrecking effects of their disease-causing products.

    This is a must-read column for anyone curious about how our corrupt government fails America's children.

  • 905 plusses - 441 comments - 462 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2011-12-07 06:12:21
    Cool picture from the new World Trade Center!

    This picture was taken yesterday from the 84th floor of the still-rising new World Trade Center tower.


    Props to +Chris Cho: https://plus.google.com/114516047414042281846/posts/9WZ3TjSrh5b
  • 1119 plusses - 154 comments - 458 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-06 19:00:14
    Now there's a TV show about bacon.

    A TV show called "The United States of Bacon" premiers December 30 on the Destination America channel. 

    It's about a guy who travels around the country to try different kinds of bacon.

    Does this sound like salty, greasy good fun to you, or yet another descent into the portrayal of consumerist gluttony as a harmless pursuit in the midst of an obesity-driven health crisis? 

  • 1040 plusses - 441 comments - 377 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-02-16 17:32:07
    Why Apple dropped the 'Mac' from OS X.

    The latest version of Apple's desktop operating system, code-named "Mountain Lion," has a shorter name. Instead of "Mac OS X," the software is now called just "OS X."

    Why did they drop the word "Mac"?

    I believe that the reason is that OS X will, sooner or later, run on hardware other than products called Macs, iMacs and MacBooks.

    When Apple first shipped the iPhone, that gadget ran an operating system called the iPhone OS. In preparation for the iPad, no doubt, Apple change the name to iOS because the software would run on hardware not branded with the word "iPhone."

    The unceremonious dumping of the word "Mac" is being done for the same reason.

    So what non-Mac hardware will OS X run on? Here's my prediction.

    The first non-Mac to run OS X will probably be Apple's TV.

    The next range of devices may be the touch-screen desktop PCs that I've been predicting for six years. One way to ease that jarring transition is to offer both old-and-busted Macs and at the same time, the new hotness: OS X desktop and laptops that don't use mice and don't need keyboards, which would be branded with something other than "Mac."






  • 993 plusses - 336 comments - 449 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-01-30 15:11:47
    Who wants an Apple iWatch?

    I recently reversed my prediction on whether or not Apple would sell a wristwatch (I said they wouldn't, then said they would).


    I illustrated my post with a far-fetched, all-glass bracelet thing. But this new concept design (pure design fiction, folks) from the Italian design company ADR Studios is more like it.


    Who wants one?

    * * *
  • 864 plusses - 364 comments - 513 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-02-12 06:51:22
    Worst idea ever: wood-burning stove to heat Volvo.

    Some Swiss guy named Pascal Prokop built a a wood-burning stove into his 1990 Volvo 240 for some reason.


    Wood stove in Volvo!

    Props to +cris cei
  • 904 plusses - 365 comments - 473 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-11 14:02:31
    My son's killer startup!

    I'm really happy to be talking about this -- finally!

    My son, +Kevin Elgan, has been working at a really cool Silicon Valley startup for about a year. They've been in "stealth mode," so he's banned me from blogging about it. 

    Well, their official public launch is today at 7am Pacific (as in right now), so finally I get to tell you about it!

    The company is +Tynker ( http://www.Tynker.com ), and their mission is awesome. They want to make software programming a standard part of the curriculum for children in elementary and middle schools.

    Tynker's software enables kids to build games and animated stories using something like electronic LEGO -- building blocks of environments, objects and actions that kids have fun playing and creating with. It all happens in the cloud. Once kids build projects, they can share them with friends to be played on Android phones, iPhones, laptops, Chromebooks -- whatever. 

    But while the kids are playing, they're actually learning programming skills, critical thinking and gaining a foundation for science and engineering education. 

    Tynker has been running pilot programs at over 20 schools, and apparently the kids are building some amazing things. 

    Teachers are apparently loving Tynker because it's a comprehensive, turn-key package of software, instruction and everything they need to teach these critical skills. Plus, it's easy for them to teach because the kids love using it. 

    The company was founded by the same geniuses who created Plusmo a few years back (which they sold to AT&T). 

    Anyway, you're going to be hearing a LOT about Tynker, but wanted you to hear it first from me. : ) 


    * * * 
  • 1171 plusses - 205 comments - 381 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-03-09 17:22:07
    Iceberg implodes, showering tourists with giant chunks of ice!

    Sometimes nature inspires awe. Sometimes it throws ice at you.

    Props to +Mick Rogers
  • 803 plusses - 226 comments - 577 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-07-19 21:44:25
    Microsoft's stock lost $32 billion in value today.

    Microsoft's stock dropped 11 percent today in the wake of a disastrous earnings report yesterday. 

    The drop puts Microsoft's market value at $261 billion, down from a record high of $616.3 billion in December of 1999 (one month before current CEO Steve Ballmer took over). 

  • 981 plusses - 404 comments - 388 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-06-21 05:38:58
    Don't blame the kids for the Karen Huff Klein incident.

    Everyone is outraged about a video that surfaced showing a busload of kids viciously abusing a bus monitor. (Note, this is a truly upsetting video, so please view with caution.) 

    Everyone is piling on the kids, and soon, the parents of those kids. And, yes, the kids are rotten and should face some kind of reckoning. 

    Scenes like this are, in fact, very common. It's only when someone happens to record video that everyone gets upset. 

    The core problem, in my opinion, is that we have industrialized education. As a result, we're placing children in cultural situations for which they have not been designed. 

    Humans are designed to live in small groups or villages with close-nit community members and family members of all ages. In nearly every human society since the beginning of time, say, a 12-year-old would rarely find himself or herself in a situation with a lot of other 12-year olds. Humans are designed to exist in groups of multiple ages. A young person would always be within the reach of grandparents, friends of the family, neighbors. 

    But in modern society, we've industrialized education. Public schools are factories for mass-producing workers. 

    By the time they are adults, children have spent the majority of their socializing time with groups of people primarily consisting of others their own age. The 12-year-olds in this video exist in a cultural context similar to Lord of the Flies -- devoid of non-12-year-olds. 

    As a result, a kind of social insanity has become normal. Like monkeys in a zoo (an unnatural environment), public school children live in a social context that their brains are not wired to understand or comprehend. 

    We understand that grown adults sent to govern our nation require "checks and balances" -- with each group watching the others. Why don't we think middle school students need them? 

    Many people will recall that decades ago, schools were similarly industrialized and routinized, but scenes like the one in the video below were unheard of. 

    The reason kids were "better behaved" in the past is that they lived always under the threat of the larger society of parents, older kids, grand parents, younger kids. What's changed is the amount of time that kids spend in their artificial peer group.

    With social media and cell phones, kids are still psychologically "with" peers of their own age, even when in real life they're physically in the same room with people of other ages. 

    I don't know what the solution is. But it's not more punishment for the kids. Our educational system is fundamentally broken, and we're churning out more pathological douchebags than we are Rhodes Scholars and functional citizens. 

    That's what I think. What do you think? 

  • 878 plusses - 444 comments - 432 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-28 11:54:08
    Worst keyboard concept ever? Or best?

    Do you eat at your desk? (Oh, shut up -- you know you do!) If so, maybe you need Dutch designer Hella Jongerius' keyboard concept, which has a plate right in the middle where your face is as you hunch over your keyboard and eat junk food.

  • 1019 plusses - 380 comments - 372 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-28 15:41:56
    Deluxe Apartment In the Sky Lets You Keep an Eye On Your Car

    A luxury high-rise condominium complex in Singapore called the Hamilton Scotts features an elevator for cars that delivers your ride into a glass garage inside your unit.

    Using the lift requires a biometric scanner of some kind, so crooks can't gain access to your car -- or the inside of your condo. 


    Posted first on Google+ by +Sam Manohur. 
  • 1137 plusses - 355 comments - 302 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-03-05 02:11:42
    Has the zombie thing jumped the shark?

    Or does this make you want to go bowling?

    These hand spray-painted zombie bowling balls were created by artist Oliver Paass that look like cut-off heads.

    Here comes the video!


    * * *
  • 968 plusses - 297 comments - 431 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-03-23 20:19:11
    Why Android Wear will rule the smartwatch!

    The announcement of Android Wear, and smartwatches from LG and Motorola, was greeted by the public as: “Oh, look — a new kind of gadget!”

    But the wearable revolution in general and Google’s Android Wear initiative in particular, is barely even about gadgets.

    The smartwatch revolution is about three things: devices, smartphone apps and cloud services.

    You’ll note, however, that these are listed in order from least to most important. Here’s why Google’s total dominance of the third aspect of the smartwatch revolution will make them unbeatable: 


  • 1343 plusses - 116 comments - 281 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-03-12 22:44:01
    How and why Monsanto has "devastated" agriculture.

    Monsanto got approval to sell its soybeans genetically engineered for its Roundup herbicide by telling the USDA that glyphosate (the main poison in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide) is a low risk for weed resistance.

    Since then, some 20 weed species have evolved resistance to glyphosate and Roundup, becoming "Super Weeds" that are very hard to kill.


    Now, in order to kill these Super Weeds, farmers are forced to resort to expensive, dangerous and time-consuming weed killing methods.


    Monsanto's genetically modified corn, which manufactures its own poison, has had the same effect on the bugs it's designed to kill -- forced them to evolve resistance to the poison. Plus, it's probably toxic to humans.


    Monsanto's GMO soy and corn is added to the vast majority of processed foods in the supermarket and at fast food restaurants. There's almost know way for consumers to avoid these crops, as Monsanto's shills in Congress refused to require the labeling of GMO food.


    Agriculture isn't the only thing Monsanto's Roundup is devastating. They're also devastating the environment and human health.




    Pic props: http://www.odinistpressservice.com/2011/12/19/monsanto-defeated-by-super-weeds/
  • 773 plusses - 270 comments - 549 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-31 21:43:06
    Microsoft's Surface tablet is failing hard - report.

    Way back in October, when everyone was giddy about the Microsoft Surface RT tablet, I predicted that the iPad Mini would sell at least ten times as many units as the Microsoft Surface RT. 


    It looks like that was accurate, but an understatement. A new report from IDC says Apple shipped about 22.9 million iPads of both Mini and Maxi varieties. Various reports say that the Mini outsold the Maxi. 

    Meanwhile, Microsoft sold fewer than 1 million Surface tablets, according to IDC. 

  • 1117 plusses - 476 comments - 244 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-05-21 02:47:15

    UPDATE: +Ciro Villa says this is fake and he appears to be right.

    Reshared text:
    alright.. here's another #eclipse picture... probably my favorite so far..

    from Kevin of FB:
    This is one of the most Spectacular photos taken from the Eclipse only yesterday!


    NZ 11.47am 21st AUST EST 9.47am 21st GMT 11.47pm MAY 20th
  • 1102 plusses - 184 comments - 383 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-06-27 22:15:13

    Plus-1 In Real Life?
  • 1430 plusses - 158 comments - 173 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-08 19:59:02
    How the Olympic Committee Violates the Fundamental Human Rights of Athletes

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC), drunk with greed and power, is forcing athletes to cover tattoos, remove headphones, take off wristwatches and generally stop showing any corporate logo of any company that isn't an Olympic sponsor.

    For example, the committee is currently investigating whether it will allow Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake (pictured) to continue to wear his own wristwatch during the games, as the watch maker is not a sponsor.

    The IOC required Team USA's track star Nick Symmonds to cover a temporary tattoo on his arm, because it showed the Twitter name of one of his sponsors.

    Dr. Dre sent free Beats headphones to some athletes. When a few people on the Great Britain team mentioned it, the IOC "sanctioned" them, and ordered them to wear the headphones provided by official sponsors.

    They also sanctioned Australian swimmer Libby Trickett for exercising her right to free speech in a Twitter post, in which she promoted a company sponsoring her.

    The IOC justifies this crackdown by citing Rule 40 of the IOC charter.

    You like rules and charters? I've got one for you, IOC. It's called Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which specifies that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

    Yes, I know athletes agree to your shameless rules, which are designed to extract the maximum amount of money from mostly unpaid athletes. But they suck, and your enforcement of them is ridiculous and extreme.


  • 1114 plusses - 363 comments - 274 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-26 18:33:08
    McDonald's Selling Lamb Burgers In Australia

    What's next? Kangaroo nuggets?
  • 1025 plusses - 432 comments - 292 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-05-19 05:35:13
    QR code reveals itself on glass only when it's filled with Guinness!

    Marketers take note! Guinness is running a marketing campaign called Guinness QR Cup. You can't see a QR code etched into the glass until you fill it with Guinness. (Most other beers aren't dark enough to work.) Then you can snap a pic with your smart phone, at which point "it tweets about your pint, updates your facebook status, checks you in via 4 square, downloads coupons and promotions, invites your friends to join, and even launches exclusive Guiness content."


    Posted first on Google+ by +James Moore.
  • 909 plusses - 139 comments - 492 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-10-23 13:16:48
    This is just makeup, but should be a tattoo.
  • 1261 plusses - 108 comments - 290 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-31 17:33:45
    The transparent iPad design fiction is much newer than the transparent iPhone design fiction.

    Weird. +Interesting Engineering ► posted an ancient piece of design fiction (from last summer) of a transparent iPhone. (It's neither interesting, nor "engineering" -- it's a picture.) 



    The irony is that this stale meme hit the What's Hot list on the very day when Yanko Design published pictures of a transparent iPad design fiction. 

    Why publish the old thing when the new thing is... new? 


    Here comes the video! http://youtu.be/lEBS0s3kXqg
  • 1233 plusses - 338 comments - 200 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-04-24 16:46:51
    Girl falls into sidewalk sinkhole in China.

    A surveillance camera captured an incredible accident: A girl walking down the sidewalk in Northern China while talking on a cell phone was suddenly swallowed up by a hole in the sidewalk 20 feet deep!

    Water had eroded the ground underneath the sidewalk, so the concrete had become unsupported.

    A crowd gathered to rescue her. A heroic taxi driver jumped in the hole and climbed to the bottom of the pit to rescue her. Firefighters arrived, and lowered a ladder down into the pit and the two climbed out.

  • 762 plusses - 439 comments - 442 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-13 20:54:43
    It's time to decriminalize nature and legalize food.

    A dairy farmer in Wisconsin is facing two and a half years in prison for selling raw milk. 

    Even the charge is legally false. The "buyers" of the milk were actually part of a "buyer's club" who bought shares in the cows. 

    But let's be honest: The dairy farmer's crime was offering people an alternative to the massive and politically powerful US dairy industry. 

    The problem with raw milk production is that it cannot be industrialized. So it's not a product that giant companies can produce at scale. Therefore, they want it to be unsafe and illegal and they press government to make sure that happens. 

    How dangerous is raw milk? Between 1998 and 2011 there have been two fatalities nationwide. That's being used to justify the jailing of a farmer who sells raw milk to people who know the so-called risks and choose to buy and drink it anyway. 

    Meanwhile, Harvard researchers say that 25,000 US deaths each year are linked to sodas and other "sugary drinks." 

    Two deaths in 13 years = prison for selling a dangerous beverage. 

    25,000 deaths each year = massive subsidy from the government to encourage lower prices and higher consumption. 

    Raw milk is controversial and people aren't going to agree about it. But that's not what this is about. This is about whether corporations should be able to criminalize food -- any food -- because they don't want competition.

    And it's about whether the government for any reason should ban food that people want to eat, weather it's trans fats and Big Gulp sodas in New York (illegal), raw almonds in California (illegal) or raw milk anywhere. 

    I think the health food people and the junk food people should unite to end food fascism and legalize all food. 

    Don't you agree? 

    Hey, US government: The queen of England drinks raw milk. Maybe next time she's on a good will tour of the United States she should be bagged, tagged and shipped off to Guantanamo for her crimes against bovinity!



  • 1142 plusses - 292 comments - 269 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2011-12-28 08:10:30
    How do you improve vintage postcards? With Photoshop!

    Nothing improves old postcards like the addition of aliens and sci-fi.

  • 925 plusses - 109 comments - 479 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-11 22:33:02
    Saudi Arabia to Build City for Women Only

    The Saudi Arabian government has finally figured out a way to allow women to move around freely and have careers without violating their unique interpretation of Sharia law -- ban all men.

    The plan is to build a city where men are not allowed.

    Construction begins next year. The city is reportedly expected to create 5,000 jobs in various industries, where all the employees will be women.





    (Pic props: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/267161/20111214/saudi-woman-beheaded-witchcraft-sorcery.htm )
  • 831 plusses - 408 comments - 401 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-02-02 18:33:27
    The five secrets to living a fulfilling and meaningful life.

    Here are the five secrets to living a fulfilling and meaningful life, according to the ultimate experts on the subject (people who are dying):

    1. Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you.

    2. Don't work so hard.

    3. Have the courage to express your feelings.

    4. Stay in touch with friends.

    5. Let yourself be happy.


    Pic props: http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/I-should-have-bought-more-crap-New-Yorker-Cartoon-Prints_i8543390_.htm
  • 774 plusses - 79 comments - 582 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-28 08:37:07
    Why my next phone might not be a phone.

    About a month ago, I wrote a column called: Wait, so why do we need phones again? My point was that the "phone" inside smartphones is the most unnecessary part of the phone. After all, there are dozens of really good apps and connected services that replace nearly all aspects of phone-call making and text messaging.


    To me, the most important features of a phone are the camera, and also the ability to run all kinds of apps.

    So what's the downside of buying something like the Samsung Galaxy Camera EK-GC100, which is an Android-based, Android-app running, mobile broadband and Wi-Fi connecting digital camera that does not have a "phone" built into it. (Besides the bulk.)

    Am I missing something? Why not use this device, plus Google+, Google Voice and Skype to replace the phone feature?

  • 1287 plusses - 219 comments - 204 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-09-30 15:41:23
    Why Google+ is the best social anything ever.

    Google + is my favorite site on the Internet: http://goo.gl/aZECeb 

    I probably spend between six and 12 hours per day actively using it. I’m a certifiable Google+ nut and have been for two years.

    But why?

    The answer to that question is self-evident to anyone who really uses the site. Critics tend to be dabblers, non-users or people with some gripe against Google. To use Google+ is to love Google+, for most people. 

    In my first column for aNewDomain, I tell why I'm such a Google+ fan:

  • 1242 plusses - 101 comments - 276 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-17 20:37:47
    Why I'm looking forward to the end of the world Friday.

    The world ends Friday, according to idiots. 

    I love it when this happens. The first doomsday I remember was when I was a kid -- probably in the 4th grade or so -- and some Nostradamus-inspired hysteria gripped the nation. Two or three families left the street where I lived to head to higher ground (that end of the world involved flooding of some kind). 

    Since then, every few years or so, certain kinds of people get all worked up about some historical misinformation and convince each other that the world is going to end. 

    The most recent and the best apocalypse of my lifetime was last year. Radio preacher Harold Camping said he was absolutely certain that the Bible says the world was to end May 21. After realizing that the world didn't get the memo, he retreated into prayer and reflection and came back convinced he was wrong. In fact, he said, the world would end October 11. Again, the world stubbornly refused to end.

    Camping's cult headquarters were in the Bay Area, and there were dozens of billboards all over the place promising the end of the world. It was really funny to watch them take the billboards down after October 11th. 

    That doomsday was the best because the hysteria was spread by a single man, who genuinely seem to believe his own biblical numerology. Some of his followers quit school or gave away all their money, and were left undereducated and broke after their faith-based catastrophe failed to materialize. 

    I had stumbled across Brother Camping's program many times over the years while driving around, and sometimes gave it a listen out of morbid fascination. Pretty much everything I ever heard him say was wrong or at least misguided, though he gained millions of followers all over the world. How wonderful for him to be actually proved wrong so publicly. 

    And now another end of the world is upon us. According to believers, the Mayans predicted that the world would end on December 21, 2012. 

    In reality, their calendar ended. It had to end. There isn't enough stone in the whole of Guatemala to chisel a calendar that never ends. 

    Nevertheless, the ignoramuses are coming out in force. 

    The Chinese government has arrested nearly 100 people for spreading rumors about the Mayan apocalypse. (That nutjob who knifed 23 school-children in China last week was reportedly "influenced" by the doomsday.) 

    Russians are buying up all the candles, matches, salt and torches to ward off the end somehow. 

    People all over the world are buying or building bunkers or survival pods. 

    And, of course, Twitter won't shut up about it: http://goo.gl/pw7gB

    The reason I love the end of the world so much is this: People preach stupid, ignorant, emotional, ill-informed nonsense all the time, and you can never convince them otherwise. You can argue, persuade, use logic -- nothing works. 

    But in this one case, the small-minded, superstitious, anti-science, demon-haunted world believers actually get proved totally and utterly wrong, and even they have to accept it. 

    So point and laugh at the believers. Make the most of it. The end of the world only happens every few years, on average. 

    I always look forward to the next apocalypse, and I've been looking forward to the Mayan end of the world for a long time. 

    Thank God it's Friday. 





    (Pic props to the Mayans for this irrefutable proof that the world will end Friday.)
  • 1043 plusses - 457 comments - 235 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-07 20:56:24
    What the next four years is going to do to the president.

    Bloomberg BusinessWeek has done some unhelpful Photoshop aging of President Obama, predicting what the ravages of presidential stress will do to the First Face over the next four years. 


  • 1067 plusses - 438 comments - 226 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-10 13:56:05
    The Supreme Court to decide if it's legal for a farmer to buy seeds and plant them.

    A farmer named Hugh Bowman bought soybean seeds not from the seed store but from the feed store -- soybeans being sold for feeding to livestock. He planted them.

    Most of those feed soybeans were GMOs created by Monsanto. So Monsanto sued Bowman, saying they own the DNA in those soybeans, and therefore can tell farmers like Bowman what to do with the soybeans they buy.

    To over-simplify, farmer Bowman's argument is that when he buys something, he should have the right to do whatever he wants with it.

    Monsanto's argument is that when Bowman plants seeds developed by Monsanto, he is making an illegal copy of their invention.

    The case is headed for the Supreme Court later this month.

    What's YOUR opinion?


    UPDATE #1: Supreme court rules in favor of Monsanto. (May 14, 2013)

    The Supreme court ruled in the case this week in favor of Monsanto. They agreed with Monsanto's position that their patented GMO seeds are an "invention" and when a farmer plants them they are copying Monsanto's intellectual property and therefor may only do so according Monsanto's contract (which requires that new seeds be purchased for each planting). 

    They ruled that their decision affects only this case and not other "self-replicating products." 

  • 687 plusses - 434 comments - 446 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-03 23:23:31
    Wow. Photographer takes pictures from the exact place as famous photos, then superimposes the historical details into the photos.

    Photographer Seth Taras made a series of pictures for a History Channel ad campaign.

    I've seen this kind of thing before, but never this well done.

  • 1186 plusses - 109 comments - 282 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-03-02 23:25:22
    How Google Hangouts could rule the world.

    A dark cloud hangs over the future of mobile communication: the spectre of Facebook controlling it all.

    It’s not likely, actually. But Facebook’s intention to purchase WhatsApp for $16 billion or $19 billion dollars (depending on whether you factor in the stock-based bonuses for WhatsApp employees) involved some scary-big numbers.

    The biggest of these numbers happens when you add Facebook’s current user count plus WhatsApp’s projected user count (how many users Facebook believes the service will have if current growth rates continue). The number is: 2.3 billion users.

    Of course, the number is pure B.S.

    WhatsApp’s current growth probably won’t continue. Facebook’s current numbers are padded with duplicate users, fake users and non-active users. And there’s always going to be big overlap between WhatsApp and Facebook users — a dude who uses both is still just one dude.

    Still, when I ponder the number of people likely to be using Facebook-owned services (WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) for messaging compared to those using Google-owned Hangouts, I find myself astonished and confused.

    How did this happen? And what can be done about it? 


    #Hangouts   #WhatsApp  
  • 1134 plusses - 209 comments - 262 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-16 08:00:50
    Australian students learn about the battle bots of the Russian Revolution.

    Australian high school students were surprised recently to learn that BattleTech Marauder robots were deployed in the Russian Revolution of 1917. 

    A major history exam included a picture of a painting called Storming the Winter palace on 25th October 1917 by Nikolai Kochergin, which included said robot joining the people in the uprising. 

    And this is why you shouldn't grab images from the Internet. 



    Posted first on Google+ by +Michael Kalus. 
  • 1052 plusses - 251 comments - 283 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-06 11:35:22
    Why Pankration Must Be Restored to the Olympics

    The first modern summer Olympics, held in Athens in 1896, included events selected at the first Olympic Congress organized by French historian Pierre de Coubertin. Nearly all the events selected were modern sports actively practiced in countries in Europe and in the United States, but many with roots in the ancient games. (One exception was the Marathon, the idea for which was proposed for the Olympics by French philologist Michel Jules Alfred Breal as a way to capture the glory of ancient Greece.)

    The Ancient Olympic Games, which started in 776 BC and lasted for nearly 12 centuries, included the following events throughout most of its history: 

    Stadion (a roughly 200-yard running race)

    Diaulos (twice the distance of a stadion)

    Dolichos (7 to 24 stadions)

    Long jump



    Pentathlon (long jump, javelin, discus, stadion and wrestling)




    Hoplitodromos (medium-distance race run by athletes in armor)

    Plus, a variety of horse races. 

    All the ancient human athletic events (as opposed to horse races) have direct modern equivalents except the Hoplitodromos. They're very familiar to us -- track and field, as well as wrestling and boxing. Ancient Olympians viewing the modern Olympics would recognize these events immediately. 

    There is a good reason why both Pankration and the Hoplitodromos were excluded from the founding of the modern Olympics: They had both long since disappeared as fully-functioning competitive sports. And Hoplitodromos is totally obsolete, as it involves running with bronze-age helmets, armor, shields and spears. 

    But over the past few decades, Pankration has staged a come-back. 

    Pankration, which means "all powers," is roughly a combination of wrestling and boxing. It might have been the world's first "martial art." It may have even been practiced more than a millennium before the first Ancient Olympic Games.

    Ancient Olympic Pankration had only two rules. No biting, and no gouging the eyes out. All Pankration athletes were pardoned preemptively for murder, should any of them kill opponents in the contest. Knockouts were common, but many Pankration matches went to the ground, where joint-locks, pins, body strikes and other moves were combined with choking. An athlete could raise his hand to the referee at any time to concede defeat. 

    Pakration is the only ancient Olympic sport that is growing and flourishing internationally in the modern world but not included in the Olympics.

    Martial arts tournaments around the world include sparring events. Mixed martial arts and Extreme Fighting are among the most popular spectator sports ever. These are all, more or less, Pankration. But one of the fastest growing sports in the world right now is Pankration itself. 

    Ancient Pankration has been modernized for safety. Practitioners in Greece and around the world are reviving Pankration with new teams and tournaments, new rules and regulations. 

    So here we have a central sport to the Ancient Olympic Games. It has undergone an enormous resurgence outside the Modern Olympic Games. What's wrong with this picture? 

    The Olympics includes the Japanese martial art of Judo, and the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do -- both fairly modern inventions -- but not the Greek martial art. The Olympic martial art.

    The International Olympics Committee reviews a wide range of submissions for new sports to be added to the Olympic Games. Pankration is different from all of these sports. Pankration should receive immediate and automatic inclusion in all future Olympic Games.

    The creation of the Modern Olympic Games more than 100 years ago was a profoundly European idea. But Europe itself probably would never have existed without Pankration. The ancient Greeks used Pankration, among other skills and practices, to defeat invaders and defend Greece. And without Greece, there would have been no Roman Empire, no Europe, no Renaissance and no Modern Olympic Games. 

    Pankration should and must be restored to the Olympic Games.

    (Note: Nhis is a revised version of a post from The Spartan Diet blog in 2009: http://thespartandiet.blogspot.gr/2009/10/why-pankration-must-be-restored-to.html )

    (Pic props: http://arxaiopnevma.blogspot.com/2012/07/blog-post_9348.html )
  • 1043 plusses - 330 comments - 251 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-07-18 05:57:14
    Rotten Tomatoes shuts down Dark Knight comments as Batman fanboys overwhelm moderators.

    Movie criticism roundup site Rotten Tomatoes has shut down comments for the movie The Dark Knight Rises, saying that comment moderators just can't handle the volume of comments. 

    In a batshell, rabid Batman fanboys are verbally attacking the minority of critics who panned the movie, and doing so with so much volume, energy and negativity that Rotten Tomatoes decided that moderating the comments just wasn't worth it anymore. 

  • 1044 plusses - 293 comments - 266 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-10-25 20:42:47
    Google rumored to be building a floating seawater-cooled data center in San Francisco Bay.

    +CNET is reporting that this structure is "likely" a Google project and possibly a floating barge data center being built by Google just off Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. 

    "Google did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But after going through lease agreements, tracking a contact tied to the project on LinkedIn, talking to locals on Treasure Island, and consulting with experts, it's all but certain that Google is the entity that is building the massive structure that's in plain sight, but behind tight security."


    This picture was today's Mystery Pic. Props to +Anthony Schaef for being first with a generally right answer and +Lauren Egan for being first with a specifically right one. 

  • 1311 plusses - 156 comments - 163 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-28 20:56:04
    Is this iPhone 5 case worth $200?

    It's tactical! And it has an anti-glare privacy screen overlay, and other features. But is it worth the money?

  • 1012 plusses - 449 comments - 212 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-06-03 17:22:46
    How Bluetooth 4.0 will change your life.

    Wireless technologies have been transforming domestic life since the availability of home radios in the 1920s. Since then every new kind of wireless technology and every new application has brought more transformative changes to the home. 

    Television, for example, used to receive its signal wirelessly, which enabled its fast adoption in the 1950s. As the use of cable TV spread, transforming a wireless signal into a nonwireless one, wireless remote controls added another convenience. 

    Cordless phones changed when and where you could make and receive calls. Wireless garage door openers and other special-purpose wireless devices subtly improved people's lives in small ways. You probably have a Wi-Fi network in your home, which you use to connect computers, laptops, phones and possibly your TV to the Internet. 

    You probably also use another wireless technology called Bluetooth. If you have a wireless headset with your cell phone, or a wireless keyboard or mouse with your computer, you're using Bluetooth. 

    Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are geeky technologies working invisibly and behind the scenes to subtly and profoundly change homes all over the world. They've eliminated cables, reducing clutter. And they've freed you to place consumer electronics devices anywhere. 

    Here's how Bluetooth 4.0 is going to change your life: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/2515194/list/How-Bluetooth-4-0-Will-Change-Remote-Control
  • 1004 plusses - 196 comments - 312 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-10 21:53:27
    1 World Trade Center now the tallest tower in the US.

    The building constructed on the site of the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks today became the tallest tower in the United States. They finished putting the top on, which makes it 1,776 feet high.

  • 1207 plusses - 185 comments - 185 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-19 12:47:48
  • 1127 plusses - 449 comments - 113 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-02-26 01:00:32
    Can people in China get on Google+?

    I'm hearing some reports that say yes, and other reports that say no, they've blocked access again.

    A lot of people are saying that only a few regions can gain access. Others are saying that Google+ access is possible only with phones.

    If you're in China, can you post a comment and tell me what you know?
  • 763 plusses - 478 comments - 320 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-04-19 18:15:57
    Web site simplifies argumentation.

    Most people who argue and debate online, including here on Google+, commit standard, well-understood logical fallacies.

    The problem with this is that debates never go anywhere, and they take forever to get there.

    By calling people on their logical fallacies, you can shorten arguments, and everyone can learn from debate.

    Great site.

  • 753 plusses - 213 comments - 441 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-06-17 01:40:15
    Movie about the craziest bicyclists ever.

    The premier for _Line of Sight) is July 1. The movie shoots illegal and dangerous urban bike riding, called "messenger racing," from helmet cams.

    Wow. Even the trailer will freak you out!

  • 839 plusses - 227 comments - 381 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-03-07 16:04:14
    Have you seen your Google+ Timeline?

    +Jari Huomo created a Timeline view for Google+. Mine is below, sorted by popularity. Just plug your own Google+ ID into the URL to see yours.

    Props to +Miguel Rodriguez and +Jaana Nyström for telling me about this.

  • 794 plusses - 347 comments - 354 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-07 21:33:00
    Is Microsoft 2.0 going to be a kick-ass hardware company?

    Microsoft just might be evolving into a killer consumer electronics company.

    In the wake of two serial Apple announcements, the rumor mill has become an alien landscape. Instead of the usual chatter about amazing new Apple gadgets, everyone is now talking about even more amazing Microsoft hardware.

    Yes, they're rumors. But most of them originate with credible sources or plausible guesstimates.

    And these rumors are bolstered by hot hardware products known to be coming soon.

    Here's my column about what could, should and probably will be coming soon from Microsoft: 


    * * * 
  • 1031 plusses - 308 comments - 223 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-25 15:28:26
    Why Apple Sues

    Apple’s critics generously assign a variety of motives to Apple for filing lawsuits.

    Apple sues because it wants to control the market, overcharge for its products, exclude competitors from the market or punish competitors for daring to not think different. It’s all part of Apple’s quest for global tech domination.

    But these aren’t actual motives. These are appeals to emotion. They’re legitimate perspectives, but expressed to negatively encapsulate spectacularly complex technical, legal and ethical issues into sound bites that make you want to agree with the author that Apple is bad and wrong. 

    Apple has only one motive for patent lawsuits, and I’m going to tell you what that motive is: 

  • 932 plusses - 467 comments - 211 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-04-27 04:15:23
    'Brantrepreneurs' need your support!

    A few woman have invented this concept for a bra that can hold a mobile phone, as well as credit cards and other necessary items.

    It's a Kickstarter project to raise money to sell the concept as a product called the JoeyBra.

    Give them a hand!

  • 721 plusses - 448 comments - 343 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-01-06 18:51:32
    Don't be shy!

    Millions of people are on Google+, but not getting much out of it. Why? They're shy.

    Most people on Google+ have never posted anything publicly, commented, participated in a hangout, posted pictures of themselves or their lives or blocked anyone. Yet these are the very things that make Google+ enriching and enjoyable.

    Here's the problem: Google+ is massively powerful.

    On Twitter, everyone feels comfortable posting anything. I just searched Twitterfall for the word "dream," and up came these tweets:

    "I had a dream i guess it was just a dream tho"

    "Dream a little dream of me."

    "I wonder what that dream meant :/ lmaooo"

    And a thousand others posted within the span of a minute or so.

    Posting on Twitter is utterly without consequence. Nobody is paying much attention. A tweet is just a needle in a haystack. People tweet like it's a bodily function, and feel no pressure or embarrassment. A tweet is there for a second for the minority of followers who happen to be looking at Twitter, then it's gone forever.

    On Facebook, people feel pretty comfortable engaging, too. It's mostly just family and friends. And EdgeRank will prevent most people from seeing it anyway.

    But something about Google+ gives people stage fright. That something is: power.

    When you post something publicly, it's indexed and placed on the public Internet. When you comment, your comment will be "judged" by a lot of smart people. Doing your first hangout is like public speaking. Posting pictures feels exposing. And blocking people feels rude.

    That's why Google+ is "dominated" by journalist, celebrities, writers, musicians, bloggers and others who are used to being "out there," living and thinking in public.

    And that's the key to overcoming Google+ shyness: Understand that it's simply a matter of acclimation. Just do it, as the Nike ads say, and your shyness will soon fall away.

    Here's my advice to everyone on how to overcome Google+ stage fright:

    Public posting: Start by sharing other people's posts publicly (like this one). When you feel more comfortable, add comments to those shares. Eventually, graduate up to posting things publicly from scratch. Why post publicly? You won't know until you try it!

    Commenting: You don't have to become the Debate Club president to comment. Just do it. Remember that your comment can later be edited or deleted. Just be yourself, speak your mind. And if anyone attacks you or makes you feel lousy, block them (see below).

    Hangouts: Ah, now we get to the truly hard thing for shy people to do. Here's the secret to becoming acclimated to Hangouts: Be a lurker. That's right. Join or start hangouts, and turn off both your mic and your camera. Other people in the hangout will see a black screen and a red symbol indicating a muted mic. You can see and hear them, but they can't see or hear you. It's OK! Nobody minds. By lurking, you'll get to see how friendly, supportive, interesting and fun hangouts are. Eventually, you'll want to turn on your mic and your camera. But only when you're ready. UPDATE: +Amanda Blain has a great addition to this advice: If you do turn off mic and camera, at least communicate via chat: https://plus.google.com/107982618909749811163/posts/UtRXq2w7V5v

    Pictures: You don't have to post beauty shots or personally exposing pictures. Take a picture of anything with your camera phone -- your food, your dog, your workplace, or anything at all. Of course, you don't have to post pictures. But you shouldn't be avoiding it because of shyness. Pictures are fun, and people like seeing them.

    Blocking: Blocking people is one of the secrets to a great Google+ experience. And it's NOT rude to block someone. Think of your stream as a party in your home. Everyone there is by invitation only -- people are by default invited. Blocking is merely not inviting them to future parties. Block for any reason -- because people are rude, because they spam, because they're negative. Any reason is a good reason. Why? Because you're only going to interact with fewer than 1% of the people on Google+ anyway. Blocking and circling are the two controls you have on who those people are. Use them!

    I hope this advice is helpful. But ultimately, there's no substitute for just doing it. Post! Comment! Hangout! Share pictures! Block!

    Yes, Google+ is powerful, and that can be scary. But once you get into it, power = awesome.

    Pic props to TriStar Pictures
  • 474 plusses - 173 comments - 607 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-03-22 17:39:47
    I'll admit, the humor in this picture is a little unorthodox.

    (Props to Reddit)
  • 890 plusses - 248 comments - 313 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-07 16:59:31
    Why are US media ignoring GMO mosquitos in Florida?

    Officials in Florida intend to release hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes as soon as they get permission from the federal government. The mosquitoes are (literally) designed to reduce dengue fever in Key West. 

    The mosquitos have been engineered by the British company Oxitec to pass along a birth defect that kills their offspring before they can reproduce, thus reducing mosquito populations.

    The initiative carries all the normal controversy over GMO anything -- some fearing ignorant meddling with nature and the unintended consequences that could result, and others believing that genetic modification is better than, in this case, the horrible consequences of dengue fever. 

    What's interesting to me is that the story is being covered heavily by media in Canada, India, Russia, the UK and elsewhere, but coverage is practically non-existant in the US press, except for the New York Times, a couple of Florida papers and a smattering of natural-foods hippy blogs and rags. 

    WTF is the matter with the media in the US?

  • 833 plusses - 383 comments - 287 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-20 14:28:34
    New Dexter Season 7 Trailer Hits!
  • 888 plusses - 171 comments - 348 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-11 16:27:07
    Facebook charges you $100 to send a message on Facebook to a famous person.

    If you're sending a message to a random person on Facebook, they'll charge you $1 to skip the spam filter and actually have the email delivered into the inbox.

    But if the recipient has a lot of followers, Facebook will charge you $100.

    Facebook says they're just testing the service to see if they can get away with it.

    No, the recipient doesn't get a penny. The recipient gets the spam and Facebook gets the money.
  • 730 plusses - 393 comments - 329 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-13 12:54:19
    Jackie Chan calls America the most corrupt country in the world. 

    Action star Jackie Chan reportedly said on a Hong Kong TV talk show that the United States is the most corrupt country in the world, far more corrupt than China. He also called on Chinese people to stop criticizing China. 

    Interestingly, Chinese Internet users pounced on Chan for acting as an apologist for Chinese corruption. One wrote: "Please, if you want to tell a good lie, tell an educated one. Go learn some knowledge before you contribute to Chinese Communist Party's corruption."

    Other commenters supported Chan's views. 

  • 968 plusses - 464 comments - 150 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-06-12 16:17:31
    Spray-on tans may damage DNA.

    A chemical in spray-on tan products called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) can cause genetic changes and DNA damage, according to a report the US federal government was concealing until ABC News got a hold of it through the Freedom of Information Act.

    The chemical apparently gets into the bloodstream mostly through the lungs when the spray is applied.

    When the chemical was approved in the 70s, regulators didn't imagine it's use in spray-on form.

    Spray-on tans are just one part of the massive fake-health industry, which includes weight-loss products, make-up, hair products and more.

    Instead of spending money to create the appearance of health, why don't people instead pursue actual health by eating healthy food and exercising outdoors?

  • 696 plusses - 291 comments - 392 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-02 14:42:24
    Are transparent displays dumb or brilliant?

    A see-through iPhone hit the Google+ "What's Hot" list this week. One day later, a transparent-display iPad hit the list as well.

    Transparent-display iPhones and clear iPads don't exist, of course. They're "design fiction" -- drawings and videos created with the help of software to create the illusion of reality.

    But do transparent displays have a future in real life?

    Here's my column about see-through displays, where I say they're terrible for mobile devices, but fantastic for just about every other application. Plus, you can buy one now from Samsung!

  • 1118 plusses - 357 comments - 103 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-16 00:18:18
    The NSA says the Constitution does not apply to the agency.

    President Obama last week: "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls."

    +CNET headline today: "NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants."

    The National Security Agency told Congress in a secret meeting that the NSA does not need court authorization to tap phones and that "an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required." 

    Holy. Shit. 



    #prismgate   #nsa   #obama  
  • 552 plusses - 177 comments - 528 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-21 15:22:58
    What you really want for Christmas: A video arcade cabinet with a beer tap!

    The Arkeg Drink n Game combines video arcade game play with beer on tap. From the front it looks like a pretty standard two-player arcade cabinet. But on the left side, you'll find a beer tap. Inside is a powerful computer in one compartment and a refrigerated beer dispensing system in another. 

    The console comes with 69 games installed, including Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Missile Command, Paperboy — and even the original video game, Pong! 

    The system is PC based, so you can add more games from the Internet or get them on disc. The system can play up to 15,000 games, according to the company.

  • 919 plusses - 161 comments - 299 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-12 11:52:56
    Chinese pickpocket caught stealing iPhone. From a moving bicycle. With chopsticks.

    Someone snapped pictures of the (admittedly impressive) act. It ended upon the news. He later turned himself in.

  • 899 plusses - 216 comments - 284 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-02 10:29:20
    Samsung's Super Bowl Ad is not about Apple.

    Samsung's funny Super Bowl social viral campaign (on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) shows Samsung advertising executives (played by Bob Odenkirk, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd) trying to think of ideas for a Super Bowl ad, but without saying "Super Bowl" or the names of the teams playing, for fear of getting sued. 

    Many publications and blogs have said the ad is a slam at Apple and patent disputes: http://goo.gl/4RDRF

    The ad definitely makes fun of trademark litigation about the Super Bowl itself, which is real. 

    But it can't be about Apple for three reasons: 

    1. In court and in the press, Samsung has strongly said that they don't copy Apple, and instead invent their own designs and technologies. 

    But If this were an allegory about Apple, it would say that Samsung should be able to copy Apple, but ridiculous Apple lawsuits prevent them from being able to. That's not Samsung's position. 

    2. Referring to something is not the same as copying something. Apple has not sued Samsung for saying the words "Apple" or "iPhone." It's about copying designs and technology (or not doing so) -- it's not about referring to something with words. 

    3. Samsung is not at all against patent litigation, and sues other companies all the time over the same thing, including Apple, LG and others. So if this ad were about patent litigation, Samsung would be criticizing itself. 

    This ad makes fun of trademark litigation, not patent litigation. It's about the Super Bowl. Not Apple. 

  • 1055 plusses - 201 comments - 173 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-10-20 21:08:58
    What’s holding back Google’s iPhone-killer?

    Google is in the smartphone business, obviously. But are they in it to win it, or just f**king around?

    Sometimes I wonder.

    Google is obviously a visionary company with incredible technology and the capacity to build some of the greatest stuff out there.

    In fact, Google already has created all the elements of a monster, iPhone-killing super-phone. Yet some invisible, internal company flaw seems to be stopping the company from putting all those elements into an actual phone.

    The iPhone-killing elements are scattered all over different phones that Google sells, and some of the elements aren’t in the phones at all.

    As a result, Google’s fans are faced with an artificial choice between this feature or that feature — or just giving up and buying either a non-Google Android phone or an iPhone for a more compelling mobile experience.

    Here are the four actions Google needs to take to use what it’s got to create the ultimate iPhone killer superphone.


    #Google   #GoogleNow   #Android   #Aviatelauncher   #Motorola  
  • 999 plusses - 249 comments - 181 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-04-17 15:27:09
    Mini keyboard doubles as a wireless handset.

    Japan's Elecom rolled out this crazy all-purpose peripheral today. It's a wireless keyboard that works with just about any device via Bluetooth. And it doubles as a wireless handset -- you use it like a cell phone.

    Obviously, the best use for this would be with an iPad or an Android tablet. It fits in your pocket, gives you a physical keyboard and lets you use your tablet as a Skype phone.


    Sold only in Japan.



    Props to +Jiacheng Khoo
  • 741 plusses - 335 comments - 297 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-16 16:06:49
    The trouble with Facebook's Graph Search.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new feature yesterday called Graph Search.

    Graph Search magnifies everything good and bad about Facebook. It's Facebook on steroids.

    To the extent that Facebook is good for connecting with family and friends, Graph Search makes Facebook great for that purpose. To the extent that Facebook is an invasion of privacy, a playground for stalkers, snoops, spammers and scammers, Graph Search makes Facebook great for those purposes also.

    Here's my column that tells why if you love Facebook, you're going to love Graph Search. But if you hate Facebook -- oh, boy, are you going to hate Graph Search. 


    (Pic props to DC Comics)
  • 939 plusses - 209 comments - 230 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-22 21:23:20
    Extreme bike guy Danny MacAskill becomes the action figure of a boy's imagination.

    This is the coolest video you'll see all weekend. 
  • 628 plusses - 48 comments - 487 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-21 13:50:20
    Apple patents the iPhone parachute.

    An Apple patent application published today reveals several methods for protecting electronic devices, such as iPhones, iPods and iPads, from falls.

    One of them is basically a parachute. When accelerometers in the device sense that it has been dropped, it deploys an airfoil to slow the descent.

    The patent application says: "The protective mechanism may activate an air foil to change the aerodynamics of the mobile electronic device. The air foil may help to reduce a velocity of the free-fall of the device by producing a lift force. In this example, the air foil may help to reduce the force of impact as the device hits the surface, as the momentum of the device may be reduced (as the velocity of the fall may be reduced)."

    The other method involves a compressed gas jet to flip the phone over like a cat so it doesn't land on its screen.

    You can't make this stuff up, people.


    (Props: http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/03/21/apple-looks-to-protect-dropped-iphones-by-shifting-their-orientation-mid-flight )
  • 780 plusses - 317 comments - 270 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-08-11 12:33:02
    Is the Public Too Stupid to Understand Food Ingredients?

    There has been a lot of debate lately about food and beverage labeling. Should ingredients be listed? Or are people too dumb to understand, so it's better to conceal from the public what they're putting into their own bodies?

    I have to admit that I've been pretty shocked lately by public support for the latter idea. Many people will actually argue that certain ingredients should not be on food labels because people don't understand that the ingredients are safe.

    One example is genetically modified foods. California's upcoming Proposition 37 would require that GMO foods are labeled as such. Opponents to the proposition argue that people will falsely believe that GMOs are harmful, so they shouldn't be told.

    Another debate is raging in the wine industry. There are currently about 200 ingredients you can add to wine without having to list it on the label. Advocates for the status quo argue that some people will falsely believe that ingredients commonly added to wine (clay, acid, lab-cultivated yeasts, enzymes, sugar, gelatin, charcoal, a fish bladder extract called "isinglass" and many others) are harmful or undesirable, and therefore shouldn't know they're there.

    Now, I understand why food and beverage companies don't want labeling. They want to add anything they want without losing sales to people concerned about those ingredients. They don't want market advantages conferred on natural food producers who make foods without ingredients that are objectionable to some customers. Customer ignorance is more profitable than customer knowledge.

    What I don't understand is the acceptability of that argument among the general public.

    In fact, it's outrageous. Why? Because people are trying to win the argument through legislation.

    GMOs are controversial. Some people say they're fine. Other's say they might not be. We're all arguing about it. But some people who embrace the "GMOs are fine" opinion want to win the argument by removing knowledge about which foods contain GMOs. They want people who don't want GMOs to eat them without knowing it because they've already decided that their side is right, and the other side is wrong. Argument over.

    When food ingredients are controversial, it means by definition that the argument has NOT been settled. Don't let the advocates of ignorance end the argument in their favor by a legally sanctioned suppression of facts. Oppose the advocacy of ignorance argument, especially as it relates to food.

    Your right to know what you put into your own body is more important than their right to secretly slip ingredients and chemicals into your body that they've decided you shouldn't worry your pretty little head about.

    Californians: Vote YES on Proposition 37. And everybody: Harass your congressmen to stop allowing food and beverage producers to hide what they put into YOUR body.
  • 884 plusses - 284 comments - 220 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-21 00:29:34
    Who else is enjoying Elementary?

    I'm a huge fan of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series, and have read every story several times. As a result of my fandom, I've found the old black-and-white movies boring as f**k, and have a reaction of generalized nausea for Guy Richie's hideous kung fu fantasy supposedly related in some way to the Sherlock Holmes stories.

    As both a geek and a Holmes fan, I enjoyed the BBC series (of which far too few episodes were produced) staring the annoying but vaguely appealing Benedict Cumberbatch set in modern-day London.

    But the CBS version of Sherlock Holmes, called Elementary, is the best ever, in my opinion. It's based in modern New York City and Watson is a woman played appealingly by Lucy Liu.

    Holmes, played brilliantly by Jonny Lee Miller, is a recovering drug addict recently moved from London to New York, who plays the part with an incredible lack of self consciousness. (Note that the original Sherlock Holmes was a drug addict.) They dispense with all the superficial stuff about Sherlock Holmes (the funny hat, the pipe, etc.) but really nail the essential character -- his mind, his personality and his obsessions. The general temperament, attitudes and personalities of the original Holmes and Watson characters are faithfully reproduced in the modern era.

    Anyway, I'm really enjoying this show, and am wondering if anyone else is.

  • 1082 plusses - 324 comments - 80 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-03-25 02:30:39
    Which animals are OK to kill?

    Killing animals is an extremely controversial practice. By controversial, I mean it's an emotionally charged subject with disagreement about what the ethical "rules" are.

    For example, many people who eat beef without concern are horrified about the killing of horses for food. So the "rule" is apparently "food" animals are OK to kill, but "sport" animals aren't? Or is it that cows are ugly and horses are "majestic"?

    California Fish and Game Commission president Dan Richards is in trouble for killing a mountain lion on a hunting trip. It's legal in Idaho, where he killed, it, but illegal in California, where there's a huge public outcry, with many calling for him to be fired. Most of the people who are upset about this wouldn't have cared at all if he had killed, say, a wild boar. So the "rule" for these people is that "pretty" or "cute" animals shouldn't be killed, but killing ugly ones is OK?

    Many people who are OK with the killing of tuna are horrified by the killing of dolphins. Is there an unwritten "rule" that "intelligent" animals are to be spared, but "stupid" ones are OK to kill?

    What should the "rules" be for the killing of animals?

    Is the visual appeal of animals to humans the right criterion -- we can kill fugly animals but not cute or majestic ones? Is intelligence the right criterion?

    What are YOUR "rules" for which animals should never be killed?
  • 724 plusses - 443 comments - 239 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-07-13 05:07:08
    The coolest idea for a movie ever!

    The movie is called Oz, the Great and Powerful, and it's the Wizard of Oz from the Wizard's perspective!

    Here comes the trailer: 
  • 793 plusses - 181 comments - 314 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-12-13 14:46:33
    It actually snowed in Cairo, Egypt!

    Snow fell in Cairo, Egypt, today for the first time in 112 years. 

  • 924 plusses - 133 comments - 252 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-01-26 00:16:00
    Vet drug so toxic it's banned in China is fed to a majority of pigs in US.

    A deadly drug called ractopamine is banned all over the world, including in China. Yet it's fed to about 60 to 80 percent of pigs in the US.

    The drug makes pigs leaner and grow faster, but can make the animals sick. In fact, ractopamine has sickened or killed more livestock than any other drug.

    Farm animals in industrialized agriculture are generally so sick that California passed a law banning the slaughter of animals too sick to walk, but the Supreme Court struck it down this week.

    Instead of banning ractopamine in the US, the Obama administration is instead using America's economic power to pressure other countries into accepting US meat containing traces of ractopamine into their food supplies as well, so far unsuccessfully. The issue has strained America's relationship with Taiwan.

    Enjoy your bacon. ; )


  • 471 plusses - 219 comments - 483 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-02-08 06:15:48
    Wow. That was fast.

    There's already a t-shirt!
  • 916 plusses - 109 comments - 252 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-05-24 16:50:47
    Laptop stickers are stupid.

    I'm setting up a Samsung Windows laptop for my son, and, as I have done dozens of times before, I'm spending 10 or 15 minutes removing the stickers that Microsoft and Intel require their OEM partners to blight their hardware with.

    These stickers are stupid.

    Samsung and other companies actually design and build some really good-looking hardware. But then these garish, ugly, sloppily applied, visually annoying stickers are right there destroying the aesthetic of the hardware, and killing the out-of-box experience.

    I know, it's a small thing. But it's also a symbolic thing.

    As a consumer, the stickers tell me that the coalition of companies that contributed to the product are incapable of working together even on small details to improve my user experience. It tells me they have no respect for their own product. It tells me they don't appreciate aesthetics. It tells me they're stupid.

    The strangest thing about it is that the stupidity exists solely to tell me exactly who is so stupid.

    OK, so Intel: You're stupid. And Microsoft: You're stupid. It says so, right there on my laptop.

    Apple is trying to take over the market in large measure through aesthetically pleasing hardware and great out-of-box experience, and you're too stupid to even do the simplest and cheapest thing imaginable to compete in these areas.


    (Pic props: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pchow98/5895034009/ )
  • 898 plusses - 372 comments - 142 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-17 19:42:11
    Amazon loses control of another set of reviews.

    Every once in a while, a loony product on Amazon attracts the attention of the Internet's hecklers and sarcasm enthusiasts, resulting in hilarious Customer Reviews for the product.

    The latest victim is Amazon's page for the BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen, the ballpoint pen for ladies.

    Here's one example:

    "I love BIC Cristal for Her! The delicate shape and pretty pastel colors make it perfect for writing recipe cards, checks to my psychologist (I'm seeing him for a case of the hysterics), and tracking my monthly cycle. Obviously, I don't use it for vulgar endeavors like math or filling out a voter application, but BIC Cristal for Her is a lovely little writing utensil all the same. Ask your husband for some extra pocket money so you can buy one today!"

  • 941 plusses - 128 comments - 223 shares | Read in G+