Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why does the Red Cross keep calling?

The Red Cross, though they do good things, has a problem. Their computerized phone system has a glitch and continues to call my cell phone multiple times a day at all times of the day. Always from the same phone number, 800-733-2767, which is the main number for the Red Cross. When I try to answer these random calls there is just dead space. No messages have ever been left from 800-733-2767. When I tried to call the number back, it just goes to the main menu system for the Red Cross which I didn’t have time to deal with.
Finally, I got tired of the incessant calling and called the main Red Cross number, 800-733-2767, and waited through the menu options. I pressed ‘2’ for blood donations because I assume that is how they got my number. Waited on hold briefly and a nice female voice answered. I explained the problem with the relentless calling. She had heard this before and explained that the call system is glitchy and they are in the process of fixing it. She verified my information and flagged my phone number so the system would stop robo calling me. So far I haven’t received any more calls from them. Time will tell…

NASA Spots Old Mars Landers

On  Jan. 29, 2012, using the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the space agency spotted the lander from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit mission. The rover drove off after landing and explored its corner of the red planet for 6 years! The little rover is quietly resting now on the surface having done it’s duty. The Phoenix Lander was also found by NASA. Check out NASA’s site for some amazing color Mars images. (link below)

spirit-mars-lander-from-mars-orbiter
Spirit Mars Lander spotted from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter--Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
phoenix-mars-lander-from-mars-orbiter
Phoenix Mars Lander spotted from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter--Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Where is the planet Mars now you ask? Look up tonight to the left and above the bright Moon and you’ll see the red planet shining a bright, ruddy red in the night sky. Mars will be getting closer to Earth these next few weeks and will be at it’s closest in early March. Be sure to check it out!

mars-moon-google-sky-map
The Moon and Mars high in the sky on Google's Sky Map app in ICS--Image credit: SiliconCali.com

Full image from NASA at the link. Full story from NASA here.

Google Chrome for Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0

ice cream sandwich android 4.0Google released a beta version of their fast Chrome browser for Android on February 7th. Here’s a quick rundown using the Samsung Nexus Android 4.0 powered phone.

Download in the Android Market. You’ll have to accept Google’s new privacy policy to continue.

When you first open the Chrome browser you are greeted with two floating pointer buttons: “Search the web directly” and “Switch between open tabs”
chrome-android-screenshot.png

Another screenshot:

chrome-android-siliconcali.png
SiliconCali.com on chrome for Android running on the Samsung Nexus

And Chrome for Android in the news:

image

Google’s new chrome for Android browser displays Google news quickly and sharply. While I haven’t done any scientific speed tests yet, the new chrome browser is faster than the default browser that comes with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Google-Ice-Cream-Sandwich-Eclair-Gingerbread-Honeycomb-Statues_SC
Google's Ice Cream Sandwich and a few of his friends enjoying the Mountain View sunshine.

Virgin America-Tech Friendly Airline

Three things you can do on Virgin America that you can’t do on most other air carriers; watch live TV, surf the internet via Wi-Fi, and plug in your AC and USB devices so you can stay juiced up on the flight.

Superbowl_postgame_on_the_plane
Superbowl postgame on the plane

The moving Google map is nice too.

Google_Maps_Virgin_America
Google Maps on Virgin America with purple moodlighting

Google honors 125th anniversary of largest recorded snowflake with doodle

Despite the lack of winter weather here in the valley, Google brings another snowy themed doodle to their home page. This creative animated art piece honors the 125th anniversary of the largest recorded snowflake that fell on this day in 1887 in Montana. The flakes were said to be 15 inches across! Nothing like that has fallen on the slopes around Lake Tahoe this season.

google_doodle_125th_largest_snowflake

Enjoy this digital remembrance of snow. The forecast doesn’t call for any real snow in the near future.

Musings on the Eve of 2012

2012 is a year which already has so much in store. It is the year of a monster U.S. presidential election. Though these days the presidential election has become more like choosing between a wolf and a coyote to determine who will watch your chickens. Both will devour your poultry, but the wolf has better hair. It is a leap year of 366 days in which to make a difference. It is a London Olympics year. 2012 is a year that will see the introduction of Google’s ‘iPad killer’ Android tablet. What will it be called? The ‘DroidTab’ or probably something more creative like ‘Tungsten Primavera’. 😛 It is also a year widely predicted by pseudo researchers to be the end of the world. But there appears to be no real reason for the apocalypse yet.

What will 2012 bring us? Will technology save the planet? Or just make the crumbling of society more entertaining? Lets hope the new year brings a chance of prosperity for many families that were hammered by 2011 and a positive sense of innovation for the betterment of the planet.

Raise your glass of Coke Zero or Peet’s Coffee or whatever you’re drinking to toast to a prosperous 2012!

SiliconCali

 

Internet Explorer 10 Testdrive

In an attempt to inject some buzz into their upcoming IE 10 browser, Microsoft has created some fun ‘testdrive’ pages that will measure your PC and browser’s performance.

Highlighting HTML5, Canvas, CSS3, and SVG, the “Let it Snow” page lets you adjust the number of snowflakes falling on your screen while measuring your FPS. Is this a snowball in the face of Google from Mr. Softy?

If you want to take a dip into the world of HTML 5 possibilities, try the “Fishbowl” testdrive page that lets you adjust the number of swimming gold fish and graphics layers. (These features are too new for IE 8 and audio does not yet work with Firefox 8, you’ll have to make your own fishbowl sounds)

There’s also a New Year’s Eve countdown page for different cities that displays your browser performance information at the bottom.

Seattle

Washington DC

New York

And if you’re ready for 2011 to be over, click on the “Can’t Wait?” button to watch the clock tick down to 2012 and trigger a fireworks display over the city of your choice.

Happy 2012 from SiliconCali.com!