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Kevin Smith

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Kevin Smith

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There is a ton of research that tells us using a computer for extended amounts of time is bad for our vision.

There's free app called f.lux that softens the light computer screens emit, helping you look at the screen longer.

And it actually works.

F.lux automatically adjusts your screen's color each evening based on the sunset time in your location. It's perfect for dark environments.

Users can tweak the color based on what type of light is present in a room like candlelight, Tungsten, Halogen, Fluorescent, Daylight, and custom lighting. You can even suspend the feature if you need to see true colors.

We've been using f.lux for a few weeks on a Reina MacBook Pro, and can't imagine going back. The transition is subtle and takes a bit getting used to, but if you use it regularly, your eyes will thank you later.

LED computer screens emit a blue light that f.lux's maker Stereopsis says is bad for us and affects our sleep. The blueish light that comes from LCD screens was designed to be used during the day, but at night our computers can't adjust to a more acceptable temperature.

Here's what a screen looks like with and without f.lux:

f.lux

F.lux is available for Mac, PC, and jailbroken iOS devices.

SEE ALSO: What The Heck Is A Dongle? >

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Driverless cars may be coming sooner than expected.

With companies like Google and Audi already working on ways to make our vehicles more autonomous and safe, we're left wondering what the future will look like once every car has that ability.

Today we found a simulation via The Atlantic Cities that answers how a four-way intersection could work in an era of driverless cars.

...driverless cars will make intersections much more efficient. Right now, you may wind up sitting at a red light for 45 seconds even though no one is passing through the green light in the opposite direction.

But you don’t have to do that in a world where traffic flows according to computer communication instead of the systems that have been built with human behavior in mind.

The cars zoom and twist through the intersection, miraculously avoiding each other. While it seems quite scar,y there is much more to consider than red lights, green lights, and stop signs when computers are in control.

Now Watch: It Will Become A Lot Easier To Grow Produce In Your Apartment Thanks To These Futuristic Plant Pots

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obstacles xrt app iphone

You want to get in shape but you don't have time to go to the gym. I get it—I don't have time to go to the gym either. That's why I was excited by the premise of Obstacles XRT, a new fitness app.

This innovative app, made by Chicago-based Barracuda Partners, turns anywhere with a floor into an obstacle course, no equipment necessary. There are three levels of intensity: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

If you want to up the ante, Obstacles XRT also allows you to compete with friends on the same courses.

"The idea is that we would like users to wear a heart-rate monitor or check their pulse to get a general idea of what their heart rate is, and no matter what difficulty, the challenge is to see who has the lower heart rate," Brian Atz, Barracuda's chief marketing officer, told Business Insider

Atz says he uses Obstacles XRT whenever he has the time and the notion. He's always on the road and was sick of doing jumping jacks and sit-ups in his hotel room. 

The beginner courses are only 20 minutes including a cool-down and warm-up.

We tested the app ourselves and were thoroughly impressed.

Obstacles XRT is available for the iPhone in Apple's App Store. It's on sale for $1.99 for the rest of January 2013. Barracuda's considering an Android version.

Obstacles XRT is available only for the iPhone. The first thing you'll want to do is head to the App Store.

Once you've downloaded, go ahead and tap to open.

You'll be greeted by a graphic of two individuals working out. Results may vary.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Here's Kevin Smith discussing his success as an independent, and rebutting critics who say that his go-it-alone strategy for his Red State (which is, by the way, excellent) was only possible because he'd made a name for himself:

Anyone that tells you "oh he could do it because he's Kevin Smith"—tell 'em horseshit, man. That's somebody who's trying to tell you "don't try, you can't try, he did it, he can do it, you can't do it." Don't listen to that shit man. Think of life and progress as a game—I always think of it in terms of a game of hockey. When you're skating with the puck towards the net there's always a motherfucker trying to hook you from behind, just to slow you up enough, 'cause nobody wants to see anybody succeed. So don't listen to that. When you hear somebody go "well of course he could do it, he's Kevin Smith"—those same assholes, before I did it, were like "it's never gonna work, it's dumb, he crazy". And then when it worked, they didn't go like "you know what? we were wrong"—instead they say "well only he could do it because he's Kevin Smith" and I say horseshit. Kevin Smith wasn't always Kevin Smith, nor was Kevin Smith the little kid that pulled the fucking sword from the stone.

Now am I going to say like, this is the only way it should ever be done forever? No but you're always looking for alternatives, because the old method doesn't so much work anymore. You can't just put a commercial on TV and expect a bunch of people to show up and see it at the movie theatres. They have too many choices. They can just stay home and surf porn on the internet. Why would you want to go see The Avengers when you can watch like three people having sex from the privacy of your own home? You're competing for attention, and in a world where you're competing for attention, you have to figure out ways to make it more interesting for the audience to come out. It's no longer enough to be like "here's the movie, come see it".

Techdirt's Mike Masnick relates this to Masnick's Law: "in any conversation about musicians doing something different to achieve fame and/or fortune someone will inevitably attempt to make the argument that 'it only worked for them because they are big/small and it will never work for someone who is the opposite,' no matter how much evidence to the contrary might be readily available."

Kevin Smith On Why You Don't Have To Be Kevin Smith To Try Innovative New Things

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On CNN, Doug Gross has a good account of Kevin Smith's SXSW presentation on how he became a podcaster and weaned himself off the "heroin" of movie studio money, going direct to his fans instead for advertising, merch sales and sold-out houses when he toured. This being CNN, they've got a lot of [expletive] marks where Smith is saying "fuck" in his charmingly innocent way.

Smith said he decided to take advantage of his access to celebrities and gift of gab to launch a new project. And he deployed a technique he said has always served him well: do what you love and what you're good at, then figure out how to make money doing it.

And that led to "SModcast," a weekly podcast that he and friend/co-producer Scott Mosier launched in 2007 and do to this day.

It was free. But as its online audience grew, the opportunities to make money arose.

"People would tweet left and right: 'You put out so many free podcasts; how can I pay it back?' " said Smith, who has more than 2 million followers on Twitter. "I was like, 'Go buy a T-shirt' and they were like, 'Cool.' "
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Then came paid advertising. (The first sponsor notoriously being adult product Fleshlight). Then a paid version of the podcast, "SModcost," which contains bonus features but no ads.

Filmmaker Kevin Smith: Podcasting saved my career

(Image: Kevin Smith in Vancouver, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from shaynekaye's photostream)

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The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition lets us see beyond the capabilities of our unaided eyes. Almost 2000 entries from 70 countries vied for recognition in the 37th annual contest, which celebrates photography through a microscope. Images two through 21 showcase the contest's winners in order, and are followed by a selection of other outstanding works. Scientists and photographers turned their attention on a wide range of subjects, both living and man-made, from lacewing larva to charged couple devices, sometimes magnifying them over 2000 times their original size. -- Lane Turner (38 photos total)
Wim van Egmond of the Micropolitan Museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands photographed a Leptodora kindtii (giant waterflea) eye from a living specimen using the differential interference contrast method. (Wim van Egmond)

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