Weekly Round-Up - Feb 24

It's Weekly Round-Up time yet again, where I pull together an eclectic sampling of items from the past several days that I hope are of interest to you. 

Light up your house for less - guide to LED bulbs

18 personal safety devices for women - no firearms, of course - mostly apps and noisemakers

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Bonus - I believe it was security writer Graham Cluley who said you can effectively replace the term "The Cloud" with "someone else's computer". 
Try it - and get a bit of perspective to our current state of security and privacy.


Second Life Gives Just That For Some Hurting People

Second Life is a virtual reality computer game that is, or can be, more than a game - particularly for those who may be disabled in some way in real life. For some of them, Second Life has actually become just that; a place to enjoy things they cannot in the real world.
In 2007, Krueger joined Second Life with a few disabled friends she knew from online chat groups.
At the time, she was becoming more isolated as her multiple sclerosis progressed. She’d lost her job, had to drop her volunteer work, and couldn’t even attend her children’s school events. Her friends had stopped coming to see her. She was 58.
“I basically was stuck in my room,” says Krueger. “I’m not that kind of a boring person. I was looking around for, ‘What can I do if I can’t do anything in the physical world?’”


Super 8 To Digital Gadget

Those of us who are old enough to have home movies and the like in a format that is now effectively "obsolete" sometime struggle to find ways to preserve those memories in a way that can be easily viewed by current technology.

For Super 8 movies (those little reels of narrow movie film), you might use this gadget from Hammacher Schlemmer that allows conversion to a digital format that is supposedly faster than previously existing methods.

The conversion device looks like an old Super 8 projector, but with a small video screen. It converts the Super8 film at about 2 frames per second onto an SD card, and you can then move the files around as needed.

It's pricey at around $500 (and does not convert sound), so if it were me I would probably use one of those conversion services - unless I had a treasure trove of memories and plenty of time to oversee the conversion myself.

I realize that for some of you, this may as well be a papyrus scroll...


Still Drone-ing On

I finally succumbed and purchased an inexpensive camera drone, and am posting this "first flight test" as a way to show potential quadcopter purchasers what to expect. Quadcopters are probably the most popular form factor for the current crop of consumer drones.

The one I purchased is an L6056, it's inexpensive (less than $50 on Amazon) and small enough not to require FCC registration. It comes "ready to fly", meaning you get everything you need except the four AA batteries for the transmitter (the remote control pad). It even comes with a 4GB memory card for the camera.