Spyder Bites (Mar. 27, 2015)

Spyder Bites logo (Credit: Mindy Weaver, IconBug, CC BY 3.0)
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. First thing's first: Spielberg will direct Ready Player One
    OMG OMG OMG. Can't. Wait. If none of these words mean anything to you, we can't be friends anymore. Just kidding; it means you have homework: get reading. (via Geek Tyrant)
  2. Periscope just made everyone a citizen journo
    ICYMI: Twitter just launched live-streaming under the name Periscope and tweeps beat news outlets to the punch in covering the East Village explosions. Is this the beginning of the end of news outlets? (via @MattNavarra)
  3. What gadget caused a collective gasp at our dinner table this week?
    This Remote Control Tie Interceptor. It's as awesome as it sounds. (Via Geeks Are Sexy)
  4. What other gadget caused "Awwwws"?
    This adorkable posable Baymax lamp. A definite must-have for the Big Hero 6 fans. (via Nerdist)
  5. Do you need to be drunk to do UX testing?
    No, but it certainly helps with the entertainment factor. The fine folks at Gizmodo discovered a service wherein a UX-er will get drunk and test your website, and of course they had to try it out. It's not only a lot of fun to watch, but it does show that the Gizmodo site is pretty confusing to new users. Question is... will your Accounting Department approve an expense from a site called "The User is Drunk"? (Via @librarylinds)
  6. If you're avoiding the switch to Android due to fear of malware...
    Fear no more! This week Google announced that it will be clamping down on the Google Play Store and validating apps with more rigour than before. Which is pretty much the last excuse you iThing users had for moving to the robot platform, so what are you waiting for? (via Android Central)
  7. When can a necklace keep a phone out of the landfill?
    When it's made from the recycled silver contained within. Jeweler Ashley Heather mines old gadgets for their silver and then produces beautiful jewelery. It's more of a statement on the re-usability of the contents of our e-waste than a truly practical way to get silver: imagine how little silver there is in each device and the sheer number of devices required to generate enough to produce, say, a necklace. However, it's a pretty striking statement that we throw away enough of our devices that it wouldn't take long to get enough material to make one. (via Android Central)
  8. How do you thank that tweep for recommending your blog?
    Try KudoBox. Type in your message and Kudobox will generate a little post-it style image that you can share via social media to your intended recipient. It's simple and can allow you to convey a message that exceeds the character limits of a platform like Twitter. (via @nomine_artemis)
  9. TomTom is back.
    Remember them? Back when personal GPS became a thing, everyone had a TomTom in their car. Well, they've been around in app form for a while but have to compete with the native versions we get with our phones. This week, TomTom announced a big update to its Android app. Might be time to give them another try. (Via Android Central)
  10. Want to play with Lego and be productive?
    Don't we all?? Try this productivity hack: take one brick per task you have on your to-do list and then build something. Take it apart as you knock stuff off your list. A great little trick for us visual types. Check out this post describing to use this method day-to-day. Smart and fun :)
  11. Prefer not to be productive AT ALL?
    Then check out Windows93. And click. on. everything. If you used computers in the early 90s (or earlier), prepare yourself for the ultimate flashback. You're welcome.
  12. Got a 3D printer? Want to do good?
    Print a kid a hand. Seriously. This week I learned about E-Nable, a non-profit that connects owners of 3d printers with kids around the globe who need prosthetic limbs. The schematics and instructions are open source, and the site connects those in need with those who can give. Incredible.
  13. And speaking of 3D printers...
    Check out these incredible projects: Last week you probably heard about Tony Stark showing up to present a boy with his new 3D printed Iron Man hand. But did you also hear about the grade 8 class who made a Frozen-themed hand for a young girl? Kids did this! And how about this slick futuristic prosthetic hand which is not only bionic, but it's also open source. Which means that for $300 anyone who needs one can have one.
Technology is a truly wonderful thing.
See you next week!