Spyder Bites (Feb. 26, 2015)

Spyder Bites logo (Credit: Mindy Weaver, IconBug, CC BY 3.0)
Spyder Bites logo
Spyder Bites is a carefully curated chaotic mishmash of generally nerdy stuff that I come across in a given week.

In this week's issue...

  1. Did hell just freeze over?
    Possibly, but I couldn't look it up on my weather app. NET NEUTRALITY IS A THING! ICYMI, Congress voted to treat broadband Internet as a utility. Which means that it will remain open, with equal access for all (well, and by free I mean subject to the exorbitant fees set by ISPs). If you're wondering why this is important, I wrote a very short primer on net neutrality (with a Canadian twist) that may help. <tl;dr>Internet WIN!
  2. Trying to decide on a smartwatch?
    Things just got harder. First of all the market is waiting with bated breath for the Apple Watch. But there are other contenders. And I'm not talking about the LG or Motorola watches. Check out Canadian-based Neptune Duo, a smart band and "pocket screen". No phone required. Or, if you loved the Pebble Watch but hated monochrome, they're launching a colour Pebble Watch next month.
  3. Worried about what the kids are watching?
    Humour yourself into thinking you can Control it with YouTube's forthcoming Kids App! Seriously, this is probably great for the 10 and under crowd. In our case, the Dude long ago discovered all sorts of insane YouTubers through his friends and unless this kid app allows us to delete all access to YouTube from his iPod, he's still going to surf for all sorts of stupidity videos using other means. 
  4. Is the barista giving you side-eye every time you surreptitiously plug your phone in behind that plant in the corner?
    You could try a Shakespearean insult but more likely it might be time to invest in a portable charger. This rollable solar charger from WAACS looks like an oversized battery and can be unfurled to charge in sunlight. And you won't be power-sucking pariah at your fave coffee shop. (via Inhabitat)
  5. Need a geeky way to get your shoes on?
    Then these superhero shoe horns are just the thing you need. I can't decide what's cuter: the flying super-guy handle or the cloud stand he's flying out of. (via Fashionably Geek)
  6. How do you hype a new phone?
    By making fun of the hype. Wait, wha? Samsung brilliantly built Is this the next? to showcase extreme interpretations of the rumours surrounding its new phone launch. It's absolutely perfect. (via The Verge)
  7. Should the Mars colony be allowed to make babies?
    That depends. Turns out that there are some very real scientific concerns and some very grey ethical dilemmas surrounding the concept of conceiving in a lower gravity environment. Particularly that point about whether Martian-born humans could conceivably visit Earth without experiencing physical consequences.
  8. Is the Hyperloop v1.0 essentially a monorail?
    Elon Musk is starting construction on his famed Hyperloop next year. It will be a short track and won't get up to the insane speed predicted for the final version. Which is probably OK because who wants to be the first human to jump in and test a train moving 1200 km/h? Hmm, which would be cooler: dying on Mars or in the Hyperloop? (Mars, definitely Mars.
  9. Do you need to watch this Death Metal Mary Poppins Supercalafragilisticexpialidocious?
    Yes. Because Internet. You're welcome.
Thanks for visiting, nerds! See you next week!

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