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The Tesla Model 3 is Here

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On the evening of March 31st, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors, took to the stage one more time to reveal his company’s latest futuristic marvel. It was the long awaited Tesla Model 3. An electric car that is supposed to bring the technology to the masses due to its low price and high end features. From what I saw, I would say Tesla has delivered.

The Model 3 is, at first glance, a luxury vehicle that has wonderful sporty and futuristic design elements. To me, the coolest thing about the look is the single piece of glass that acts as the front windshield, roof and the rear windshield. Then, you get to the features. For $35,000 you get an electric vehicle that has a range of 215+ miles, goes 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds, seats 5 adults comfortably, sports a 15″ touchscreen control panel, has Tesla’s touted auto pilot features, is able to be supercharged and has a 5-star safety rating. This all comes on the base model. You will be able to add more features when the car is available for purchase.

You can reserve a Tesla Model 3 right now for $1,000 on the Tesla website. As of writing this, there have already been over 130,000 reservations for the EV. The Tesla Model 3 is going to be released sometime in 2017.

Wintergatan – Musical Marble Machine

I’m sure just about everyone has played with marbles at some point in their lives. Musical artist Martin Molin has gone quite a few steps further by creating an amazing machine that produces music using nothing but crank propelled marbles (ball bearings if we are being technical). The machine was constructed by Martin, and the song the machine plays was composed by him as well. Watch the video to see how it all works and be amazed.

Starbucks Rewards Fail

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Photo by Daniel O’Neil

As a frequent Starbucks customer (and a Gold Level Rewards Member, I’ll have you know) I was very surprised to receive an email from the company outlining a new rewards program. I was surprised because the previous one has been really good (at least for me). In case you aren’t familiar with the current reward program, I’ll explain the gist of it: Starbucks will give a customer one reward star per transaction, and after you collect 12 stars, they give you one free drink. The email outlined what appeared to be a great new change to the program. Instead of earning one reward star per purchase, you would get two per dollar. “That meant I could get my 12 stars for a free drink super quickly! How can they afford to do that?” I thought. But, boy was I wrong. I read a little bit further into the new program and discovered that it no longer takes 12 stars to get a free drink, but a whopping 125. If you do the math, you have to spend roughly $62 to get a free drink now at Starbucks—as opposed to the minimum of about 24 currently—if you just got one coffee per trip. This new reward scheme will probably be popular with people who buy multiple drinks at once, but I think it makes much more sense to just give a star per item purchased rather than two per dollar spent and maybe raise the amount of stars to a free drink by four or five. The change has been met with a lot of criticism on social media by Starbucks customers. I tend to agree with the majority of criticisms. This seems like more of a cash grab, thinly veiled as something customers really want.

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Getting the Right Balance: Pebble Time Round Smartwatch Review

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Courtesy of Pebble.com

In previous years, many companies have started producing what is now known as a smartwatch. One of the very first to enter the market was the original Pebble smartwatch. It was an e-ink display smartwatch that enabled people to interact with their phone through things like notifications, phone calls and text messages. Many other companies have contributed their own versions of smartwatches including Samsung, Motorola, and Apple. In my opinion, none have been able to hit the perfect balance of what I think a smartwatch should be. They either are far too bulky and ugly, or they are basically mini smart phones on your wrist with a screen the size of a postage stamp.

For my birthday this year, I received what I consider to be the closest to what I think a smartwatch should be. It’s another entry from Pebble, called the Pebble Time Round. Below is my review after using it for a couple weeks. read on

Building My First PhoneGap App

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Continuing your education as a developer is very important if you want to maintain your desirability in the job market, as well as your value to your company. At Taylor Design, we are encouraged to take on new challenges and learn new things to benefit us personally, as well as Taylor Design itself, so I decided to figure out how to build a mobile application. Over the course of a few days and nights, I finally put the finishing touches on version 1.0 of my first app. Read on to find out what I learned, and hopefully some of it will be valuable for other developers looking to build their first app. read on

Artists of Korea Bring Life to These Hot Toys

When you browse the toy aisles in Target or Wal-Mart these days, you see many action figures in varying degrees of detail. However, most of the time, the details are very lacking. That lumpy blob of plastic is supposed to be Iron Man? For over 15 years, one toy company has been producing some of the most detailed toys you can buy. They go by the name “Hot Toys” and cost hundreds of dollars each. Why so much for a toy? Well, you might as well call them works of art as each one is hand crafted by South Korean artists with the utmost care. read on

The Next Dimension of Horror Lies Within Virtual Reality

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One of my favorite genres of movies, books, TV shows and video games is the horror genre. I love the feeling of dread watching creepy and spooky things happening to the protagonists until the point where you can’t stand it anymore and a ghost pops out making you jump. Well, that feeling is about to get 100 times more intense with the impending consumer release of virtual reality goggles. read on

Have You Heard? Sitting All Day Will Kill You Slowly. My Solution.

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There have been many studies coming out in recent years that all indicate one thing: sitting all day will slowly lead to your death. It has been equated to “the next cigarette,” and it affects a huge portion of our population in many countries. If you sit all day at a desk, you are at risk of developing serious health problems later in life, such as type II diabetes. Over 90% more likely than normal to get diabetes to be exact. You may think you are safe if you exercise a few hours after you get home, but that has very little effect if you already sat down for over 8 hours in the office.

All is not lost. You can fight this damage being done to your body if you get up and walk around every hour for 5 minutes. This helps keep your body moving and gets your blood pumping through your previously stationary limbs. Only problem is, it can be hard to remember to do this every hour, on the hour.

I found an app that helps you easily remember to do this. It is a Mac app called “Time Out.” It runs in the background and grays out your screen at set intervals and reminds you to get up and walk around for a few minutes. It prevents you from doing anything on your computer screen until the notification goes away to deter you from remaining seated. Of course, if you are in the middle of something on your computer, you can delay or cancel the break with a button press so you aren’t locked out of your computer completely.

If you happen to be on a Windows computer, there are plenty of break reminder apps for you as well. In particular, the app “Workrave” looks particularly good with similar features to the “Time Out” Mac app.

Mac or PC, give these apps a try today to prevent long term damage to your health!

Beautiful Kinetic Sand Drawings

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Artist Bruce Shapiro is responsible for the beautiful sand drawing shown in the photo above. How does he create such amazing works of art? He invented a machine that does all the hard work for him. It is called the Sisyphus Machine and it uses magnets to drag a steel ball through a thin layer of sand. The ball displaces the sand and creates a line. The magnet can be moved in any direction, so with the help of a computer, the ball can be dragged in incredibly intricate patterns and create some incredible designs.

If this looks like something you’d be interested in owning, Shapiro seems to be constructing table-top versions of his Sisyphus Machine that will be sold to consumers. You can find out more on his website.

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