Amazon Echo Look – Teardown

Amazon Look - Teardown - All Parts - Top - YouTube Cover - Attempt 01 - 1080p

The Echo Look I’m working on a full review-type-thing of the Look, but who really cares about that? I’m sure people will want to see the insides of it, though. The most interesting two things on it are an Intel RealSense SR300 module (minus its visible light camera), and what’s basically a full Intel PC motherboard. In fact, here are the main specs: Intel Atom x5-Z8350 (SR2KT) @ 1.44Ghz (1.91Ghz burst) 8GB Samsung eMMC Flash NAND Storage 8GB Elpida LPDDR3 RAM Broadcom 802.11ac + 802.11b/g/a/n + Bluetooth (Not sure of the version) The hardware is fantastically made and well put together, and overall is very clever considering they stuffed all of it into a diminutive cylinder! The Reassembly I did … Continue reading

Like Bees, the Yellow Jacket Power Strip (by Coleman Cable) is Terrible

Another sh*tty power strip

Welp, they’ve done it again. Any by “they”, I mean people that make poor quality electrical devices. Specifically Yellow Jacket, which is a Woods brand, which is a Coleman Cable brand, which is probably somehow owned by either Warren Buffet or the Koch Brothers.

I got this for $16.22 during an Amazon lighting deal, and even though that’s not a terrible price, the poor quality construction and the basic lie about the materials is what really angers me.

Join me as I disassemble and then curse at this poor excuse for a power strip, in my newest installment of first world problems.

Enterprise Network Switches for the Home: Ramble feat HP Procurve 5406ZL

The HP Procurve 5406ZL and…

…a whole lot of other crap, vis a vis my opinions on used enterprise-grade networking hardware for the home (or small-ish business).

I purchased an HP Procurve 5406ZL on eBay mainly because I “need” 10GbE on my home network, which is almost recursive because it’s for editing 4K video, which I need for editing this video.

The bottom line for me is that you can’t beat the feature/price ratio when it comes to equipment like this. That is, if you can afford the resultant power bill.

The Keurig HOT 2.0 K575 Plus is a Disappointment

YouTube Cover 01 - Screengrab - 1080p

First World Problems I gotta start off by saying that I know that this is an extravagant waste of time and resources. I didn’t make this video because the K575 was slightly annoying, but rather because it baffles me that they became worse at designing coffee machines than before. It’s doubly confounding because Keurig has based their marketing on the K575 being a “2.0” brewer. As in a (supposedly) new-and-improved follow-up to their original line. Yes, it has a couple of advantages over the older B70 Platinum that I used for comparison. However, it seems that they increased the features without increasing the cost. That says to me that they designed these new brewers on a budget. A schizophrenic software … Continue reading

Cadiz – Rental Car Rally 2017: Los Angeles to Lake Havasu

Rental Car Rally 2017: Los Angeles to Lake Havasu

You may ask, “What in the shit is this?”

This is a chronicle of my experiences at the Rental Car Rally.

It’s both easy to explain: It’s a costume-party-road-trip-photo-hunt-food-fight.

And it’s rather hard to explain: You form a team, rent a car, buy some eggs, decorate the car, decorate yourselves, and then follow vague clues through random parts of the southwest for 12 to 18 hours. I guess it’s not hard to explain. But it’s hard to put into words why it’s such a damn good idea.

One thing is for certain: It’s nothing like real life.

Anyone can do this. The more people, the more fun it becomes. Sign up now (unless you’re an asshole). If “YOLO” could ever be used for a substantial purpose, it’s this.

(And no, I’m not getting paid to say anything here.)

Power Strips Whatever Something Something: Furman SS-6B vs. Belkin Surge Protector [G9S12FG9]

Oshkoshbegosh!? Another long ramble about power distribution thingies for the home and/or office?!

Well it’s true. Hopefully my next video will not be about this subject.

This compares the relatively-generically-branded Belkin Advanced Surge Protector (which actually bears the handy model number of BE112230-08, like it came out of some kind of dystopian nightmare) to the easily-spoken Furman SS-6B (which itself sounds shockingly dystopian anyway).

EBL AAA Battery Capacity Comparison

This is a follow-up of sorts to my NiMH Battery Roundup video, except this time I’m looking at triple-As, and only one brand.

I was vexed by the fact that Amazon had EBL AAA cells with an 1100mAh capacity for only 7 cents more per cell than the otherwise-identical 800mAh variety. That didn’t make sense to me, and besides, 1100mAh is rather high for a AAA package size. Hence I bought a bunch of each and tested them.

The Bottom Line

The 1100mAh cells appear to be a big fat lie. The average capacity for those clocked in at 980mAh, with one cell showing as low as 946mAh and the highest at 1005mAh.

The 800mAh cells were respectable at an average of 809mAh, and less of a variance between cells.

Despite the fact that the “1100mAh” units were well under capacity, they are of course the better deal coming in at 852mAh per dollar with the 800mAh cells giving 749mAh per dollar.

I wish I had the time, inclination, or money to pit a whole bunch of AAA brands against each other, but I’m satisfied in imagining that quality scales from my AA cell results.

Solderable LED Xmas Tree Ornament – Christmas the DIY Way

DIY Tree

I got this because it looked like a cool little project, and a neat (if tiny) gift for the missus. So that’s about the extent of my motivations. If you’re trying to put one of these together, I’m hoping that this video might answer a couple of your questions. It’s not really meant to be an educational video, though; More a demonstration of what’s involved in assembly for anyone considering a purchase. Speaking of which, if you want one you can pick one up for about 5 bucks over at banggood.com.

And in case you were wondering, this is not a paid advertisement. I actually paid them for this thing, so it’s pretty much the opposite. (If this kit were complete crap I would tell you.)

2D Version

3D Version

For viewing with Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Rift, etc.

A couple of people have rightly told me that you can just set a 3D video to 2D viewing mode, and therefore don’t need to upload 2 versions of the same video.

There are a couple of problems with simply uploading one 3D video, however:

  • Because the two sides of the video are compressed horizontally, viewing it in 2D stretches one of the “eyes” to full screen. That means it’s much lower quality with half the horizontal resolution versus a regular 2D version.
  • As far as I can see, YouTube defaults to anaglyph (red/blue) mode when browsing 3D videos on a regular monitor. That’s a potential turn-off for any viewer that doesn’t know about the switch to view it in 2D instead.

If I’m off base here, please let me know. I’m still learning this whole 3D creation process.

Switched Port USB Hub from AliExpress

This one went up on the ol’ Extras channel because, to be completely honest, it’s not a very good video.

I know you might ask, then why bother uploading it at all? Or, why not re-shoot it?

Good questions, and ones I ask myself. But I figure that a) there’s a lot of worse crap on YouTube anyway, and b) it’s not really worth re-shooting because the subject matter is never exactly gonna be thrilling. This is a bit of a tangent, but here’s why I’m making YouTube videos in general: Because I like making videos.

I don’t so much like being on camera, though. I like planning, lighting, camera setups, editing, and all the little stuff in between. So reviewing a random piece of crap from AliExpress is just a vehicle for video production.

I also used to be a big-time perfectionist, and that would stop me from getting anything done. A few years ago I’d never have been able to release this video, and I would have driven myself crazy over it.

So now you get to sit through a sh|tty video in the interest of my self-improvement. And that’s the internet.