Monthly Archives: March 2015

R.I.P. Inventor Gary Dahl

Gary Dahl, Inventor of the Pet Rock, Dies at 78

It was a craze to rival the Hula-Hoop, and even less explicable. For a mere three dollars and 95 cents, a consumer could buy … a rock — a plain, ordinary, egg-shaped rock of the kind one could dig up in almost any backyard.

The wonder of it was, for a few frenzied months in 1975, more than a million consumers did, becoming the proud if slightly abashed owners of Pet Rocks, the fad that Newsweek later called “one of the most ridiculously successful marketing schemes ever.”

Gary Dahl, the man behind that scheme — described variously as a marketing genius and a genial mountebank — died on March 23 at 78. A down-at-the-heels advertising copywriter when he hit on the idea, he originally meant it as a joke. But the concept of a “pet” that required no actual work and no real commitment resonated perfectly with the self-indulgent ’70s, and before long a cultural phenomenon was born.

It was as unbelievable now as it was back then when it happened.

Rest in peace.



Filed under R.I.P.

Jolla Tablet: US$2.5M Raised, About To End

Jolla Tablet – world’s first crowdsourced tablet

At post time, they’ve raised US$2,547,064. The campaign ends at midnight (local time?).

I thought this bit was interesting:

You say that the up to 128GB memory cards are not supported for Windows computers. Why is that?

We’ve decided to move forward with an open source memory card solution. This enables you to use memory cards up to 128GB on your Jolla Tablet for back-ups and additional storage, but due to Microsoft’s licensing limitations, cards over 32GB will not be directly compatible with Windows computers. We apologize if you were expecting full Microsoft support here, but we feel that this suits best to our community’s wishes and Jolla’s values.


Previously here:

Prior Jolla posts


Filed under iPad Mini Clones

ZTE Zmax To Get Android 5.x

Update July 15 2015: I see lots of people coming to this post. This is the latest word from ZTE: ZTE Zmax: Android 5.x? Ermmmm

From XDA Developers:

There is a Lollipop update coming for the ZTE Z max soon a least that is what one the reps told me he said they are working on some bug fixes and stuff but as so as there are done they will release it!!!!

And someone else at XDA Developers replies:

I honestly done know why everyone seems to be pooping themselves over the new lollipop update. I work in a testing environment and from my experience lollipop has more compatibility issues, battery draining, and laggy loads than kitkat. It feels like a bloated mess in comparison. =/

Meanwhile, they’re still trying to snatch root out of the greedy paws of ZTE/T-Mobile.

If they were to gain root — and ZTE were to also unlock the damn bootloader — it’d be no contest. The ZTE Zmax would win over the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra. It has 2GBs of RAM and 16GBs of internal storage versus 1GB and 8GBs for the T2 Ultra.

Previously here:

Sony: T2 Ultra Will Get Android 5.0!


Filed under Android

Reminder: April Fools’ Day-Free Zone

See here: April Fools’ Day-Free Zone

I will be verrrry careful about what I read and post tomorrow.

Teclast will be announcing something tomorrow. They should have picked a better date!

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Filed under Blog Notes

Thunderbirds Are Go: FOUR!


That’s an actual screensnap from the first two minutes a spy sent to me.

Previously here:

Prior Thunderbirds Are Go posts


Filed under TV

Tech Pump And Dump

Meerkat is dying – and it’s taking U.S. tech journalism with it

How is it possible that people who have witnessed the lightning fast collapses of hype vehicles like Secret and Path in the recent past have learned nothing? How can we still have the same dysfunctional folie à deux playing out between credulous tech media and even more credulous VC investors?

Corruption. Period.

Previously here:

FTC Disclosure

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Filed under Digital Overthrow, Fraud

Xiaomi’s Fifth Anniversary Products

I’m not wading through Weibo for this. Nothing appeals to me. And no MiPad 2 announced, either.


Xiaomi celebrate 5 years with the release of 5 new products
599 Yuan Leadcore Powered Xiaomi Redmi 2A announced

The super cheap Xiaomi Redmi 2A smartphone is official! Costs just 599 Yuan
Xiaomi Mi4 Price Officially Reduced by 200 Yuan
Pink Xiaomi Mi Note Ladies Edition announced for 2499 Yuan

And I was wrong about Xiaomi adopting USB-C. That too-clever clue was for a power strip!


Filed under Android

Sony: T2 Ultra Will Get Android 5.0!

Continuing our Android 5.0, Lollipop rollout: Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

We’re also pretty excited to confirm that Xperia T2 Ultra and Xperia C3 will also receive Lollipop… stay tuned, as we’ll be sharing more on timings soon.

Wow. That is really a fundamental shift in thinking at Sony and I give them a great deal of credit for it. They’d usually abandon T2 Ultra users. It’s basically a clearance item at Best Buy for half its original price. Instead, they’ve given people a reason to want it now.

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Filed under Android

Hisense Sero 8 Pro Still MIA In USA

But there’s a new review in Africa.

The Sero 8 Pro ships with Android 4.4, but the introduction of obnoxious, full-sized movie, app recommendation and social widgets on three homescreens is a travesty. The movie app simply collates movies and TV episodes for you to watch (albeit more obscure titles), while the social widget aggregates Instagram photos and the app recommendation widget is self-explanatory.

It’s one thing to introduce obnoxious widgets, but it’s another thing to make these widgets uninstallable though. I tried holding down on these widgets to bring up a removal option but to no avail. I then went into the app manager and disabled the widget, then remove the empty widget box. I still couldn’t use the empty screen for anything else though. It turns out that the option to disable these screens is buried under “widgets” and then “custom”. And you still can’t actually remove the apps anyway.

In fact, the Sero 8 Pro has a ton of bloatware/installed apps anyway, such as two simple games (Burger and Bubble Blast 2), Vevo (this one is uninstallable), DU Speed Booster, HiShare, the MoboGenie app store, Netflix (which isn’t available here yet so counts as bloatware for now), Playboard, Spotify (same as Netflix), theScore, Umano and WPS Office.

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Filed under iPad Mini Clones

Thunderbirds Are Go: FIVE!

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Filed under TV