Monday, September 03, 2018

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith:
This book does a decent job of pairing interesting emerging technologies (like augmented reality, space elevators, and bioprinting) with straightforward explanations and cute cartoons. It starts to lose its luster when it gets too jokey, like the authors think the tech is too boring on its own and readers will lose interest unless there's a neverending selection of humor and bad analogies. These aspects actually reduced my interest in the material and I barely finished the book.

Final Grade: C+

AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack:
Everyone says Amazon is going to take over the world, but no one ever talks about how high quality the AmazonBasics line is for the price. This $24 laptop backpack is sturdily constructed with enough pockets and individual sections for the most organized nerd. I bought it when my Novetta swag tote bag started to wear out and am very happy with how rugged it is.

Final Grade: B+

AmazonBasics Wired Keyboard:
I dislike most "innovations" in keyboards over the last ten years, especially the stupid Dell keyboards at work that have swapped the orientation and position of the Insert / Delete / Home End / Page Up / Page Down area. This $15 keyboard keeps the basic layout intact for maximum muscle memory with only a few minimal additional buttons for those crazy millenials (no one really needs a button to open Windows Groove Media Player). This has been my primary keyboard for gaming and working since that tragic accident with a full tulip of Belgian beer on my keyboard and router back in February, and I like its low profile. I even purchased a second one to leave at work.

Final Grade: B+

Safe, Season One:
This limited miniseries thriller starring Michael C. Hall starts with such a promising build-up of kooky, suspicious characters that I was very worried it would all fall apart in the second act as these shows often do. It doesn't always work -- there are some trite twists and inconsistencies in character ages and times -- but it works more than it doesn't. What I appreciate most is that there is a very workmanlike setup to the main murder mystery that's actually solvable using the clues provided -- no deus ex machina in the last episode for the sake of being edgy that no one would have seen coming. Also, the miniseries definitively ends without a cliffhanger. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

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