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LanceList - Issue #12

My Bad, A New Space Man, Hello, Toys Not Us, Tip-o-Matic


March 15 · Issue #12 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

My Bad, A New Space Man, Hello, Toys Not Us, Tip-o-Matic

I can do better. Okay, I know, some of my recent newsletters have been less-than-perfect. You’ll be glad to know I fired my editor. With that done, I’m certain all future LanceList editions will be much, much better. As for me, I’m still recovering from SXSW. I met so many interesting people, saw so many oddball things, and heard such good music, but this is one of the first SXSWs in recent memory where there wasn’t one product or technology everyone was talking about. Instead, this became the Elon Musk, Westworld, and Ready Player One show. I kind of miss the weird.
Not science fiction. Astronaut Scott Kelly is no longer, exactly, Scott Kelly. After spending a year in space, Kelly’s DNA showed some noticeable changes, setting him apart from his twin brother, Mark. Over time, most of his DNA has returned to normal, but not all of it. Mostly this proves that space is still very hard and that humans aren’t built to live in it. No one seems very concerned about this, but I’m pretty sure it’s the premise for a pretty intense sci-fi horror novel. 
Astronaut's DNA changed by time in space - CNN
Ding dong. The long-promised and eagerly-awaited Nest Hello doorbell is finally for sale, along with a Nest Yale door lock. These smart devices put control on your smartphone and, in the case of Nest Hello, your eyes on the front door. I have a bunch of Nest products in my home and have been waiting a long time for Nest Hello. I do wonder, though, if Google, Nest’s parent, took a little too long here, leaving the front door (get it?) open for Amazon, which just bought competitor Ring. Regardless, I like to build out on a single ecosystem, so it will probably be hello, again, to Nest for me.
Nest's video doorbell and smart lock are on sale now
Goodbye Geoffrey. Children’s toy retailer Toys R Us is officially done. The Giraffe-fronted retailer couldn’t turn it around and will now close stores (including Babies R Us) here and in the UK. A lot of toys will go unsold and thousands will lose their jobs. Who to blame? Amazon for one. It undercut Toys R Us at every turn, especially on price and fulfillment. But you also have to lay some blame on Toys R Us, which was slow to respond to the Amazon juggernaut. By the time it did it was too late. So many childhood memories gone.
Toys R Us, Game Over: Chain Closing All U.S. Stores : The Two-Way : NPR
Random iPhone Tip
Scan it. You probably don’t know it, but you now carry a pretty decent document scanner right in your pocket. Apple hid it in iOS 11, under the updated Notes app. Just start a new note, select the “+” option, choose “Scan Documents” and position your iPhone’s camera over the document you want to scan. Notes will do the rest.
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