How to Use a Lego Kit to Measure Planck’s Constant

6:29 PM EST, Dec. 15th, 2014 · John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

Planck's constant is one of the fundamental constants in the universe. For example, it defines the relationship between the energy of, say, a photon and its frequency. It's widely used in the mathematics of Quantum Mechanics. Recently, using just a Lego kit and some other equipment, including a laser, Leon Chao at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, showed how to make this measurement. This is for real, and it works because the experimental technique simply requires a well crafted balance. It's all written up in the M.I.T. Technology Review. You could actually do the experiment yourself because the costs of parts is only about US$500. Very cool.

Martin Freeman takes The Hobbit to The Office on SNL

4:32 PM EST, Dec. 15th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

What do you get when you cross The Hobbit with The Office (the original UK version, not the US one)? A brilliantly wonderful SNL sketch starring Martin Freeman as a morph between Bilbo Baggins and Tim Canterbury. Tim, by the way, was the role Martin played in The Office. SNL did a great job of recreating the Ricky Gervais version of the series, and Martin had no problem at all slipping back into the role of Tim with a perfect splash of Bilbo thrown in. Bonus: Gollum as Gareth, and Orcs and elves as office mates.

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-15

2:06 PM EST, Dec. 15th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Apple's master plan for the television market may seem a bit murky, but John Martellaro thinks he figured it out. Along with John, Bryan Chaffin joins Jeff Gamet to dive into Apple's television strategy, plus they take a look at the company's new holiday commercial, "The Song."

Apple Ebook Antitrust Appeal is About Amazon’s Market Control

11:44 AM EST, Dec. 15th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Apple's appeal in Judge Denise Cote's ruling that it engaged in a conspiracy to artificially raise ebook prices goes to court today. For Apple, it's a chance to clear its name, but for the book industry the outcome represents a chance to end what amounts to Amazon's government sanctioned monopoly on the book market.

Apple Posts ‘The Song’ Commercial That Will Tug on Your Heartstrings

4:40 PM EST, Dec. 14th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Apple has produced a wonderful and powerful commercial called "The Song" embedded below the fold. It features a young woman who discovers photographs of her grandmother along with a 45 record the grandmother made to send to her boyfriend/husband. On the 45 record, the grandmother sings an a capella love song, and the young woman uses her iPad to put a guitar line to it along with backing vocals to make it a duet. Apple's tagline accompanying the commercial says, "With a Mac, iPhone or iPad you have the power to create thoughtful, emotional gifts and memories that transcend time. It could be a movie, a homemade card or a song that brings two generations closer together." I think this is a great ad that's as powerful as last year's "Misunderstood" spot.

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Get Free Bitcoins with 50 Website Faucets that Really Pay [Update]

10:29 PM EST, Dec. 12th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Link

Get Free Bitcoins with 50 Website Faucets that Really Pay [Update]

I've gathered 50 different Bitcoin "faucets"—websites that pay out free Bitcoins just for loading up a page full of ads—and tested them to make sure they actually pay out. I started off with eight sites, but this update adds several more and removes some faucets that have gone dark for a total of 50 different Bitcoin faucets that really pay. I've also added Dogecoin and Litecoin faucets, reformatted the list, and updated all the descriptions.

NetSpot Pro: Analyze and Troubleshoot Your Wi-Fi Network for $19

5:47 PM EST, Dec. 12th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

NetSpot Pro: Analyze and Troubleshoot Your Wi-Fi Network for $19

NetSpot Pro is a Mac utility that allows you to map your Wi-Fi network, identify the strong and weak zones in your coverage, see where competing networks or other radio signals might be interfering, and generally understand your network. It has a lot of features, and there's a video on the deal listing that shows more about how it works. It's regularly priced at $149, but through our deal it's just $19.