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Lego Crazy Action Contraptions

We have three of these LEGO x Klutz! books now, but this is the best of the lot. All the parts and instructions you need for building the contraptions they mention. There's a science focused one, called Chain Reactions which is also pretty good but that's better for older kids and you need quite a bit of your own lego to make some of it work.

These books have been a godsend during lockdown and has kept the kids entertianed, so much so they are asking us to help them put these things together.

We've succeeded in keeping the pieces together but they're quite good for just experimenting with too. All the gears, sticks and rubber bands you need to get started.

They have a fourth book coming out in October which we'll get for sure.

Posted 11th Aug 2020 @ 14:00

Can killing cookies save journalism?

An experiment that showed real promise. Google's ad service before their DoubleClick aquisition was probably pretty invasive but it was complimentary to content and was far less creepy than it is now.

I'm fully aware I have such ads running here on 1 Thing A Week, something that I'll be reviewing soon. I may even be close to dropping Google Analytics too... so watch this space.

Posted 10th Aug 2020 @ 10:15

Wireless charging is a disaster waiting to happen

This is actually quite sad, convenience at the expensive using 47% more power. Is it really worth it? I even went to the trouble of converting my bedside so that it housed a hidden wireless charger:

The charger charges actually sites 3-5mm under the surface so it already has to compete with that and then I have a case on my phone too. I'm guessing the charger (and the phone) might be working even harder for it to charge as quickly as possible. And while it works really well for me as an overnight charging solution, I'm now tempted to switch back to a wired charger and use the wireless charger somewhere else for emergencies.

I hadn't given it much thought but assumed the energy consumption would have been about the same, just spread out over a longer period of time.

Posted 9th Aug 2020 @ 21:25

"The Boys" season 2 trailer

While you wait for this to be released, go watch The Umbrella Academy.

Posted 4th Aug 2020 @ 22:32

Google's top search result is Google

Interesting look at how Google's search results page has morphed from one directs you to the best result(s) into one that shows you the result then and there.

It is a great feature but from the perspective of a publisher it does feel very shady. If Google can scrape the answers and publish it to the user, you can't really make the experience any faster but the publisher has no knowledge of how helpful their content was.

Scroll down about half way to the How Far Down Are the Traditional Search Results? section and you get an annotated journey of how far you have to scroll until you get to the results. In the example given, it's 36%. I tried the same search on google.co.uk and it was far quicker. For me, google.com showed no 'knowledge panels' but it was still quite a scroll to get through all of the ads.

AMP is another feature Google offer. As I understand it, the publisher can at least be aware of their content being viewed with AMP so it has an ethical advantage over the other techniques Google uses... Although I don't understand why Google doesn't use their position to enforce better standards for speed and weight of a website. AMP addresses it, but does nothing to encourage developers to do better.

Posted 4th Aug 2020 @ 10:22

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