Bullsh*t Product EXTRA – Boost Oxygen (Reviewing the Reviews)

I get it. At this point you’re probably thinking “What the hell is this guy’s problem? Two videos??

It’s not like I’m obsessed with Boost Oxygen. In fact, I’ve already moved on to my next fecal-laden product. But when I was shooting the Boost video I decided to go over some of the incoherent ramblings of idiots reviews on Amazon and Sports Authority that I found while doing research on this product. (Yes, I did a modicum of actual research believe it or not.)

Bullsh*t Product – Boost Oxygen (Supplemental O2 in a Can)

What is This Thing?

Hopefully you haven’t heard of Boost Oxygen. Hopefully you haven’t been tempted to plunk down your hard-earned cash on a useless tin can containing 95% pure nonsense.

Did I say “nonsense”? Sorry, I meant that’s it’s full of 95% pure oxygen. According to the manufacturer it’s the “source of life”, so you better go out and buy it now!

The manufacturer also loosely implies benefits to sports performance, general health and wellness, hangover recovery, and altitude sickness. That’s all bullsh*t, of course. Watch the video to find out why.

And Another Thing…

The video discusses two main reasons why this product is unadulterated B.S., but one thing I didn’t mention was the Food and Drug Administration.

You see, supplemental oxygen is used in medicine for all sorts of valid and useful reasons. In fact, it can save the life of someone if they’re ill. But medical oxygen requires a prescription, and Boost Oxygen, LLC is more than happy to point out that they can now sell oxygen in a convenient and practical manner — over the counter.

Yet they fail to mention that oxygen can be used to help you if you’re sick.

If they made a claim like that, then they would be selling a medical product and the FDA would be entirely up their ass about it. Instead, they can only make vague and unsubstantiated claims about the product’s benefits. The FDA exists for a good reason, and although they might be poorly funded and their enforcement powers may have been robustly castrated, they prevent companies like Boost Oxygen, LLC from promising life-saving effects that they can’t deliver. And that avoids killing the suckers that might buy it instead of their prescribed O2.

The bottom line here is this: Do your own research into any “health and wellness” product before you buy it. Hopefully that’s why you’re here, reading this post.

Don’t Forget the Links

I referenced some research papers, reviews, and websites in my video. You can find all of them here, which I’ll try to keep up to date when I get more information.

http://plr.io/1rb

And last of all, please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes or left anything out either in the comments below or on my YouTube video.

Bullsh*t Product – Defiant 6-Outlet Metal Surge Protector from Home Depot

Apparently I was so distressed by the non-metal “metal” Defiant power strip from Home Depot that I made a video about it.

If you hate videos but love text, then mosey on over to my previous post about this travesty of a product, and follow my adventures getting pissed off about their HDX Whatever Something Light.

How to Choose the Right “4K” (UHD) Monitor – Featuring the Crossover 404K

If you want to see a man in a basement ramble on about monitors for over an hour, this is the video for you!

I cover a wide variety of monitor specification-related topics, and how they all come together with the Crossover 404K. But don’t worry, even if the 404K is obsolete by the time you find this, it should still be helpful! (Maybe.)

Amazon Dash Button – Review, Rant, and Teardown

The Amazon Dash Button: Stupid or Dumb?

If you’re not an avid Amazon shopper then you may have missed their latest foray into consumer electronics: The Amazon Dash Button. It’s basically less than you can imagine: You press a futuristic garage-door-opener-type-thing and Amazon orders some crap to your door.

I’m not exaggerating. It’s a small device with a single button, and its only purpose is to order a single product of a single brand. My comparison to a garage door opener is quite apt, except that instead of opening a door you’re spending an arbitrary amount of money. Maybe it’s more like a reverse raffle.

And hey! If you did already hear about the Dash Button, then maybe you want to know what makes it tick, eh? Well, here’s your chance because I cracked one open and showed you the gooey, creamy center.

Crossover 404K – Unboxing and First Impressions

Here’s Part 1 in a three two part series of videos covering the Crossover 404K and off-brand Korean monitors in general.

It’s nothing fancy, but somehow I spent 20 minutes unboxing this thing. And yes, I did edit it down. So put on your best tray of popcorn, and hold onto nothing at all for this mildly unexciting voyage into a 40 inch “4K” (actually UHD) monitor.

Thanks in advance for watching, and please subscribe to make me feel better about what I’m doing with my life to catch the next videos in the series!

Making the Opening to the Project Fi Review Video

Hopefully you’ve already checked out my other video: Project Fi – From 1996 to Nexus 6. In that video I discuss Project Fi, the Nexus 6, and the cellular industry in general. It started out with an opening shot of twelve Nexus Sixes (or Nexus 72, if you prefer).

In another blog post and video I showed off my motion control slider project. I’ve been looking for excuses to use it in particularly “motion-controley” ways, and so I decided to composite a bunch of passes of the camera over my one Nexus 6 to make make many of them.

As you can see, it’s done in front of a green screen. That let me isolate the Nexus 6 in each pass, which I then layered on top of each other in Adobe After Effects. I just used a mirror effect in Adobe Premiere to create the left side of the “wall”.

I thought that this was a good use of motion control for compositing because it would have been nearly impossible (or at least very difficult) to make each of the 6 passes of the camera happen at exactly the same speed if I did it by hand.

My green screen and the holder for the phone (just a mini light stand covered in green masking tape) weren’t perfectly uniform, either in texture or lighting, so the matte came out a little rough and you can see some artifacts around the phones.

I’ll admit that I’m a lazy man, so rather than re-light and re-shoot the entire thing I used a garbage matte to get rid of the worst of it. With the footage having been sped up 3x and the white-to-normal dissolve thing, it’s not overly noticeable in the final product. (Or at least I’m hoping that you didn’t notice it.)

If you have any questions about how I put it together, or any advice for me on how to get a better result next time, please let me know in the comments!

Google’s Project Fi – From 1996 to Nexus 6

Why Project Fi?

I’ve been a Verizon customer since back when they were called Bell Atlantic back in The Year 2000. Lately their service has been terrible in my area. When I’m lucky enough to get an LTE connection, it’s slow and high-latency.

Project Fi lets my phone choose the best of two providers for my data service: Sprint or T-Mobile. And so far, it’s just plain better.

I go on at some length about it in the video above.

The Intro

In a previous blog post and video I showed off my motion control slider project. I’ve been looking for excuses to use it in particularly “motion-controley” ways, and so I decided to composite a bunch of passes of the camera over my one Nexus 6 to make a wall of Nexus Sixes.

Please check out my new post about the intro!

DIY Motion Control Camera Slider

Motion Control Slider - YouTube Featured Image 01

Introductory Video This video is and introduction of my motion control slider project, showing the basics of what it can do and how it’s used. Time Lapse Assembly Video I figured that I’d record the entire assembly process of the MC slider from start to finish. This video shows about 24 hours of real time in 15 minutes, and in it I discuss some of the problems I faced and design choices I made. Feedback If you’ve got any comments or random abuse to hurl, please post it here on the ol’ blog. Seriously, I’d appreciate any and all suggestions and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. As promised in the videos, various downloads and a parts … Continue reading

Amazon Echo – Unboxing and Review (Exasperation with Alexa)

Background

I should point out that I knew next to nothing about the Echo when I pre-ordered it. I knew next to nothing about it when it arrived. I figured I’d take the approach of someone that just got this thing as a gift or something.

Amazon Echo Unboxing

I unbox the Echo and spend some time setting it up. It did not go well.

Then I attempted to interact with Alexa. I suppose I’m just accustomed to Google, because I can ask it a variety of free-form questions and most of the time it comes up with the correct answer. Alexa seems to be far more finicky about phrasing and command syntax. Which is just what you want from a user-friendly tube that ominously glows at you from the center of your living room.

Then the Rest of the Review

I just don’t get the Echo. Fine, it can play music and it can control all of your lights a limited number of brands of lights.

For home automation though, I’d want something more discrete. Something integrated into the house, not an obvious cylinder that I have to explain to everyone.

For listening to music I’m fine with a Bluetooth speaker.

If I have extemporaneous questions for the internet I can always ask the Google that’s in my very pocket (or glued to my hand).

I am Hopeful

Amazon does publish an API for Alexa. After making the video I signed up for their developer program. It’s been about a week, and I still haven’t heard back.

However, I’m hoping that the community will come up with some killer apps, and that home automation compatibility will increase.

But in the meanwhile of my daily life, Alexa remains a novelty. My living room and my workstation in my basement already have better speakers than the Echo’s. So she doesn’t do me much good for music, and she still can’t answer questions better than my phone.

Amazon Echo (New in Box)