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An Open Letter of Consumer Despair 

Dear Lenovo: On February 6, 2014, I ordered a new Thinkpad 8 tablet from your online store. I was rather excited by this new product as it was very well received at CES, and the early hands-on reviews were unilaterally positive. By all reports, it was a device that would fit remarkably well into my current computing life. I happily placed my order on your online store without a hitch. But, when I received the standard automated confirmation email, I discovered that the estimated shipping date was actually a few days later than was listed on your website. This was, as you can imagine, a little disappointing. I had already steeled myself, building...

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Posted on March 19th, 2014 in ExamForce's Blog » Binary Nation | Comments (0)

CES and Desist 

I’m not entirely certain why Vector and I continue to go to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) every year. I’m also not certain why they continue to let us in every year, since the two of us always inevitably end up getting thrown out at some point, often numerous times, depending on the quality of each consecutive disguise we employ. I think our CES visits and the accompanying eviction from the conference center, hotel, and city/state limits have become something of a tradition for all involved parties, really. Not a particularly beloved tradition, not like decorated evergreen trees or chocolate bunnies, but still something kind of special tha...

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Posted on January 28th, 2014 in ExamForce's Blog » Binary Nation | Comments (0)

I Spy (with my NSA eye) 

As I reflect on the key technology stories from 2013, the one that stands out as the most significant would have to be the leaked revelations from former security agency employees that confirmed (and in some cases exceeded) our worst fears about governments spying on our online lives. This is creepy, tinfoil hat, X-Files conspiracy plot kind of stuff, the grist for primetime dramas and self-published paranoia paperbacks. Where are “The Lone Gunmen” when you need them? We aren’t talking about tracking the email accounts of known criminals, or looking at the browsing records of an accused pedophile, without a properly-issued warrant. We’re tal...

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Posted on December 12th, 2013 in ExamForce's Blog » Binary Nation | Comments (0)

I Wonder Sometimes Who’s Paying For These Visits 

“I’ve often thought about becoming a therapist, except I would only see other therapists. Like, I would be a therapists’ therapist, you know? All of my clients would be therapists. But then I thought, who would I go to when I needed therapy? I would have to find a therapist that specializes in treating the therapist of therapists. Where would you even start to look for someone who does that? Maybe on craigslist, I guess. Seriously, you’re really out of coffee?” I asked. “Yes,” my therapist sighed. “Do you use puppets?” I asked. “I’ve heard that some therapists use puppets to facilitate treatment.” “You usually see tha...

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Posted on October 11th, 2013 in ExamForce's Blog » Binary Nation | Comments (0)

Not The Movie Gotham Deserves 

“Superman and the Dark Knight” A movie treatment by A.J. Axline The film opens with Superman (Henry Cavill) standing in his Fortress of Solitude. On a monitor powered by Krypton technology, he is watching events from the past couple of years, specifically his battle with General Zod. Superman rewinds and plays Zod’s death scene over and over. He is clearly disturbed by what he sees on the monitor, and is obviously conflicted about what he may be called upon to do in the future to protect the people of Earth. Appearing beside the monitor is the projected image of Jor-El (Russell Crowe, collecting his guaranteed sequel pay). Jor-El attempts...

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Posted on September 4th, 2013 in ExamForce's Blog » Binary Nation | Comments (0)

Contestant, Please Enter the Isolation Booth 

This wasn't the first time Vector and I had made a presentation to the City Council. Two years previous, we had made a pitch to legalize gladiatorial competitions in concordance with the plans the city had to build a new arena. Last year, we had asked for a new bylaw to ban double-wide baby strollers at farmers' markets; this motion had nearly passed, 4 votes to 5.

But this year, we had bigger fish to fry.

"Gentlemen, am I reading this correctly?" the Mayor asked. "You are proposing to take the 500+ free standing telephone booths in the city, and convert them into... 'self-termination booths'?"

"We specifically avoided...

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Posted on July 23rd, 2013 in ExamForce's Blog » Binary Nation | Comments (0)

Hot Diggity Dog Day Afternoon 

"So, how many hostages does he have?" I asked cheerfully. "At least a dozen. Maybe more," the police captain told me grimly as he handed over the megaphone. "You say he asked to speak to me?" I asked. "Well, first he asked to speak to the new Pope. Then he asked to speak to the President. Then Boris Karloff, Isaac Newton, Betty Rubble, Optimus Prime, and then you. You were actually in the phone book, and available." "I see. Well, I'll talk to him." "Appreciate it." The captain turned, and went back to conferring with the SWAT team. I held the megaphone up to my mouth and pressed the trigger. "Hey! Vector! You there, buddy?" I said...

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Posted on April 10th, 2013 in ExamForce's Blog » Binary Nation | Comments (0)

Horrorscopes – now with all new signs! 

Turducken (Mar 17 - April 30) A profound realization will come to you this week, but by then you will be incapable of calling for an ambulance. Stripper Pole (May 1 - May 5) Your Moon is in retrograde, and Mars is calling you from inside the house. You didn’t know that not only is your life a horror movie, you are the “Final Girl”. El Guapo (May 6 - Aug 19) You will bravely test the theory that solid matter is made up of mostly empty space, and wow, there’s yet another sexual harassment lawsuit to deal with. Spotted Leper (Aug 20) Some things never get old, like the rotating circle of abducted children you keep in the room under t...

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Posted on March 5th, 2013 in ExamForce's Blog » Binary Nation | Comments (0)

Windows 8 Tablets: a discussion 

With the release of Windows 8, which features a touch-centric Start screen built over a traditional Windows desktop, manufacturers have been throwing a ton of different form factors and configurations at the wall to see what will stick with consumers and the enterprise. In this mad rush for new SKUs, there are a couple of dominant trends which have emerged:
  1. Laptops that occasionally pretend to be tablets.
  2. Tablets that occasionally pretend to be laptops.
In the first category, you’ll find fairly-standard ultrabook spec laptops that use an engineering trick to enable some form of tablet use. The Lenovo Yoga 13 uses...

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Posted on February 25th, 2013 in ExamForce's Blog » Binary Nation | Comments (0)

Therapists for $800, Trebek 

"So, my father once told me, 'Stop crying, or I'll give you something to cry about!' When you're a kid, you can't parse a statement like that," I said. "You have to wait until you're an adult, when you can afford therapy." "Hm hmm," my therapist remarked. "The thing is," I said between taking bites of a pancake I'd brought along for the purpose of taking bites of pancake between saying things, "that statement is really messed up. When you unfold it further, what you end up with is, 'I can hear you crying, but it is my opinion that you have not yet been given just cause to cry. This contradiction disturbs me in some core, fundamental way that requ...

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Posted on January 18th, 2013 in ExamForce's Blog » Binary Nation | Comments (0)