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Doug and My Cool Inventions
Doug and My Cool Inventions
December 27, 2014

Doug teams up with Akos Jankura 'The Solutionist' and John Cremeans 'The Doctor of Shopology' from My Cool Inventions Radio in a search for America's Top Invention weekday mornings at 9am (Eastern)!

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

From Tom Parsons - Airfares Drop For Winter And Rise For Summer
From Tom Parsons - Airfares Drop For Winter And Rise For Summer
December 26, 2014

If you've got plans to travel in the new year, we have been seeing some amazing deals that will have you breaking out the bubbly.

These great deals are available for travel up until early March, when prices increase from March 6 through April 20 because of spring break and also Easter, which falls on April 5. We should see more good deals for travel April 21 through early June, but these fares will probably not be as cheap as winter 2015 fares.

Prices spike for summer travel, so you may want to avoid traveling during peak season, from around June 6 through August 24. For travel after August 25, prices will drop closer to the travel date, so don't buy unless you see a cheap deal. We do expect to see Southwest offer a blowout sale sometime around June 9, for travel that will probably begin in late August. That will be a good opportunity to purchase cheap fares for travel beginning around August 25 through November 19, then again from December 2-17.

Click the link below for the rest of the article and for Tom's deals!

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Posted by Ken at 6:49 PM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Xbox, PlayStation Networks Attacked, Hackers Claim Credit
Xbox, PlayStation Networks Attacked, Hackers Claim Credit
December 26, 2014

Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox Live and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Network, Internet services that video gamers use to play online, were hit by connection failures on Christmas Day, with the hackers Lizard Squad claiming responsibility.

The group, which took credit for an attack on Sony earlier this year, said on its Twitter account that it was behind the incidents. The group said it would "stop hitting" the services if users called attention to the hack by retweeting its statements.

The latest incident is an annoyance for Sony compared with the attack on its TV and film unit last month. A different group called Guardians of Peace claimed responsibility for hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment servers, destroying data, exposing Hollywood secrets, and forcing the movie studio to cancel the nationwide theater release of "The Interview." Both groups had threatened further disruptions on Christmas Day.

"It's not yet clear whether it's just an outage of the PlayStation Network or if some personal data has been stolen too," said Hideki Yasuda, a Tokyo-based analyst at Ace Research Institute. "From investors' point of view, a data leak won't bankrupt the company."

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

People unwrapped drones for Christmas and it's not going so well
People unwrapped drones for Christmas and it's not going so well
December 26, 2014

Thanks to the massive rise in of consumer drones, one of the most popular items under the tree this year is likely to have four rotors and a camera. The FAA even released a video this week that proposes best practices to help people "stay off the naughty list" as they play with their airborne gifts.
Drones are no longer specialty items, they come in all shapes and sizes. From DJI's affordable film-quality options to Parrot's toy-sized mini versions, they've practically become a stocking stuffer. And looking at social media, it appears some people are having a lot of fun with them already.
It's safe to say drones were one of the hottest topics in 2014. "Drone porn" became a thing, and the FAA spent so much time going back and forth on how to regulate them that we might not have legislation until 2017. So it's no surprise that the issue of privacy is actually on a lot of people's minds:

To my neighbors that don't feel the need to wear clothes outside, this is your warning.

My brother got a drone. He is 12. SAVE OUR EYES

- Jodi Samples (@JodiBrooke05) December 25, 2014

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Man In A Kayak Helps Nab Suspected Christmas Mail Thief
Man In A Kayak Helps Nab Suspected Christmas Mail Thief
December 26, 2014

A fast-paddling good Samaritan in a kayak helped sheriff's deputies in Washington state nab a suspected Christmas mail thief.

Q13 reports deputies received multiple calls on Wednesday morning that a man and a woman were going through mailboxes around the town of Sammamish (suh-MAM'-ish).

While deputies were on their way, residents spotted a car filled with mail and used their cars to block it in.

The suspected mail thieves ran off, and one was caught immediately. The other fled into a nearby pond with a kayak he grabbed out of a yard.

A resident grabbed his own kayak, caught up to the suspect and convinced him to return to shore, where he was arrested.

The sheriff's office says the suspect didn't get very far because he was using his hands to paddle.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

'The Interview' release marked by capacity crowds
'The Interview' release marked by capacity crowds
December 26, 2014

Hundreds of theaters made special arrangements for the highly-talked about comedy depicting actors James Franco and Seth Rogen assassinating the North Korean dictator to be shown in its theaters Christmas Day.

It turned out to be a mega hit.

Sony Pictures received a lot of backlash for initially calling off the release of the controversial film, "The Interview," but the turnaround made the movie available on digital platforms and in more than 300 theaters on Christmas making it a special event for families around the nation.

"We are taking a stand for freedom," said theater manager Lee Peterson of the Cinema Village East in Manhattan, where most of Thursday's seven screenings had sold out by early afternoon. "We want to show the world that Americans will not be told what we can or cannot watch. Personally, I am not afraid."

At Atlanta's Plaza Theater, a sell-out crowd Thursday hailed the film's release, washing down popcorn with beer and cocktails and uniting for a boisterous sing-along of "God Bless America" before the opening credits.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

ISIS governor of Mosul killed in coalition airstrikes
ISIS governor of Mosul killed in coalition airstrikes
December 26, 2014

The latest ISIS-appointed governor of Mosul was killed in coalition airstrikes on Thursday, according to Iraqi police.

Hassan Hassan Saeed Al-Jabouri, also known as Abu Taluut, was killed 18 miles south of Mosul in the village of Qayyara, according to Maj. Gen. Watheq Al-Hamdani, a senior regional Iraqi police commander who is leading the government's efforts to retake Mosul from ISIS.

Jabouri is the second ISIS-appointed governor of Mosul killed by airstrikes and had been in office for less than 25 days.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Nevada goats help eat, recycle Christmas trees
Nevada goats help eat, recycle Christmas trees
December 26, 2014

Goats are known to eat just about anything.

But until recently it didn't dawn on longtime Truckee Meadows volunteer firefighter Vince Thomas that they might go for Christmas trees.

Turns out, they do.

Thomas tells the Reno Gazette-Journal that when the 40 goats at his family-owned herding business are done with them, there's nothing left but the skeleton of a Charlie Brown tree.

Thomas says he researched it, and pine needles are OK for goats.

They're high in vitamin C, and they're a natural dewormer.

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful is among a number of groups that recycle Christmas trees.
Usually, they're mulched.

But piles of wood chips can dry out and become a fire hazard.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Fliers line up for a seat on this pilot's plane
Fliers line up for a seat on this pilot's plane
December 25, 2014

Holiday travel often comes with flights delayed by winter storms, mechanical failures, or schedule snafus. If your flight is hit by a lengthy delay, the pilot you want in the cockpit is Captain Denny Flanagan.

On a recent United Airlines UAL 3.92% flight from Houston to Los Angeles, Flanagan made a gate announcement, introducing himself and sharing flight and weather information.
Everyone looked up, expecting bad news, and when there was none, the talk turned to wondering who this captain was. A few minutes later, Flanagan stood at the plane door, handing out trading cards with stats about the Boeing 757 being boarded. After the unusual welcome on the PA, everyone buckled up, ready to depart.

However, when a routine inspection uncovered a small crack in the leading edge of a wing, Flanagan announced a 20-minute delay. That turned into an hour delay for maintenance, and another hour to complete the repair. Most folks got off the plane to try to rebook flights and find food. To the delight of those who stayed on board, Flanagan opened the galley doors and walked down the aisle, handing out free food as he asked the flight attendants to serve drinks.

During this season of holiday travel, when sniffles and delays run rampant, it was like getting an unexpected gift from Santa. "In the service business, the recipe for success is quite easy," the pilot says. "Choose your attitude for the day, anticipate your customers' needs, and exceed their expectations. I call the cockpit my sky office, and I'm the CEO. I run the airplane, and I take care of the crew and customers."

Flanagan, a former lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, said he flew C-130 transport aircraft in support of Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica and P-3 Orions (maritime surveillance aircraft) for 20 years before joining United in 1986. Since the Navy planes had crews of 14, the mission-oriented pilot routinely looked after those under his command.

Flanagan, who still flies in the Naval Reserve, kept that mindset when he became an airline pilot. After 9/11, when the airline industry was hit hard, 3,600 United pilots were furloughed. Flanagan, clearly a go-getter, decided to do what he could to build customer loyalty, hoping that as business came back, the pilots who had lost their jobs could also return to work.

Thus the gate announcements, the trading cards, and other little touches began. Whenever unaccompanied minors are on the plane, Flanagan calls the child's parents before take-off to let them know all is well. During layovers, he writes thank you notes on the back of his business cards for the next flight, adding passenger names from the manifest after boarding.

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Cards Against Humanity gives fans 'Hawaii 2' island
Cards Against Humanity gives fans 'Hawaii 2' island
December 25, 2014

The Chicago company behind Cards Against Humanity purchased an island, dubbed it "Hawaii 2" and doled out parcels to participants in a gift program.

The company purchased Birch Island in Maine's St. George Lake for about $200,000 at the end of October and sent out certificates to about 250,000 participants in its holiday gift fundraising program granting them each an "exclusive" license to 1 square foot of the island, which Cards Against Humanity renamed Hawaii 2.

"You may name your square foot of land. You may use the entire private island for passive, non-commercial, non-motorized recreational activities," the certificate reads. "You may tell people at parties that you own part of a private island."

Each participant paid $15 to enter the "Ten Days or Whatever of Kwanzaa" program, which involved the company sending out 10 mystery gifts during the month of December. One dollar from each purchase was donated to the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at promoting transparency in government.

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