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Archive for August, 2010

Aug
26

The 70s!?!? Yep!

Posted By · August 26, 2010 at 7:16 am

Today’s forecast is perfect, in my opinion!  Highs will reach the upper 70s with mostly clear skies.

Overnight, temps drop to the low 50s, some spots outside the metro will drop into the upper 40s!

Still no rain in sight for the next seven days, but temps start to warm up again into the low 90s by the weekend.

Everyone talks about the weather, but today, I have nothing to say… we need the rain… but with none in the forecast… it’s a pretty easy one!

Indianapolis Seven Day Weather Forecast

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Aug
26

Where is my flying car?

Posted By · August 26, 2010 at 12:25 am

Wired magazine recently featured a cover
story called “The Future That Never Happened”.

We grew up with the promise of a fantastic
future full of dazzling inventions.

The Wired article explained why we don’t
have flying cars, food in a pill, self driving
cars and jet packs.

I asked my co-workers if they had any
unrealized futuristic technology.

Sunrise anchor Bruce Kopp said,
“Windshield wiper blades that never wear out.”

Kerry Williams from our promotions department
recalled the hologram TV from the Jetsons.

Sara Galer, our Senior Web Producer said,
“A hard drive that plugs into your brain,
like Keanu Reeves in Johnny Mnemonic.”

Photographer Kyle Duell wanted time travel…
to the past.

Every day in the kitchen, I think about my
invention-yet-to-be.

The smart refrigerator.

Not impressed?  Consider this.

All food will be scanned as it enters
the refrigerator. 

My smart fridge will keep an inventory
of all items and will warn you when
food is about to go bad.

The door will have a touch screen that
is connected to the Internet and your
personal video and music collection.

This screen will also show you the current
contents of your chilled food palace.

With a simple touch, the screen will then
show you various recipes that work with
your current inventory of food.

If you need ingredients, the smart fridge
will beam the list to your favorite mobile
device.

I went to Clark’s Appliance on the south
side to see if they had anything close to
my smart fridge.

The salesman at Clark’s said they once carried
a refrigerator with a built-in television.
It cost over $6,000 and did not sell well.

Downtrodden, I asked if there are any other
futuristic kitchen appliances.

He introduced me to induction cooking.

To quote from a GE brochure:
“Induction cooking uses a high-frequency
induction coil below the cooktop’s smooth
surface that heats the cookware by a magnetic
field.”

Please note the high-tech words:
“high-frequency”, “coil”, and “magnetic field”.

I immediately perked up.

The salesman put a paper towel on the cooking
surface. Then he put a pot on the paper towel.

We brought water to boil faster than any
gas or electric stove I have ever seen.

Even while the stove is active, you can
touch the cooking surface and not get burned.
In fact, the paper towel was totally unaffected
by being in direct contact by the “burner”.

I have never heard of induction cooking, but
the salesman said it has been around since
World War I.

So to find the future, I had to look to the past.

Maybe one day, I will have my smart fridge.
All I really need is the following timely message.

WARNING: BEER LEVEL DANGEROUSLY LOW.
Todd Donaldson
Please leave a comment. 

What invention or technology has
gone unrealized?   What are we missing?

I need to unplug my computer brain and go to bed.

Categories : 13 Tech Blog
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Aug
25

A Taste of Fall

Posted By · August 25, 2010 at 7:46 am

Highs today will reach the low 80s with decreasing clouds.  An isolated sprinkle is possible, but it looks like most spots will stay dry as a cold front moves through the state.  The positive side of the front moving through?  A taste of Fall is coming our way!

Overnight skies will clear and temps will drop to the mid 50s.

Thursday, highs will only hit the upper 70s!  And, early Friday morning, some spots outside the metro could drop to the upper 40s!

However, this cooler weather is just a tease!  We’re back into the low 90s with humidity by Sunday.

Indianapolis Seven Day Weather Forecast

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Aug
24

Slim Chance of Rain Moving In

Posted By · August 24, 2010 at 7:09 am

Today will be dry, so no need to worry about an umbrella.  Highs will hit the mid to upper 80s with partly cloudy skies for the afternoon.  Low humidity is in the forecast too, so it’s going to be comfortable.

Overnight, lows drop to the mid 60s with partly cloudy skies.

Wednesday, a 20% chance of rain enters the forecast as a cold front moves through the state.  Highs will hit the low 80s.

Thursday, dry with a high in the upper 70s!  Yes, you read that correctly!  Then, get ready for a huge weekend warm up.

Indianapolis Seven Day Weather Forecast

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Aug
23

Rain Chances Slim This Week

Posted By · August 23, 2010 at 7:25 am

Get ready for plenty of sun today!  Highs will reach the mid 80s with a light Northeast breeze.

Overnight, temps drop to the mid 60s with clear skies.

Tuesday, highs hit the mid to upper 80s with sunshine.  As we head into the late evening a chance of rain is possible.  A cold front is moving our way and could spark a few isolated showers into Wednesday.  At this time, not much rain is expected.

After that, the forecast stays dry through the weekend.

Indianapolis Seven Day Weather Forecast

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Aug
23

Sunday, Random Sunday

Posted By · August 23, 2010 at 1:04 am

A quick round-up as another weekend comes to an end:

-First, the “Observation of the Week” (coincidentally, also the “Animated Holiday TV Special of the Week,” because it’s August, we should start thinking about Christmas already!) goes to the co-worker who compared Colts back-up QB Curtis Painter to Hermey, the elf who wanted to be a dentist in the Rudolph special. Well done.

-Sticking with meaningless football games, NBC play-by-play guy Al Michaels made a curious comment at the end of tonight’s SF-Minnesota game. As the 49ers scored a safety on the game’s final play, changing the final score to 15-10, he laughed heartily and mentioned the final point differential moving from three to five points, and that “some people are not going to be happy with that, while others are going to be very happy” (paraphrased).

Obviously, he was talking about the betting line, which, sure enough, ranged from 2.5 to 3 points, favoring the Niners. First off, anyone who is betting preseason football games deserves to be kicked in the gut by a last-second safety.

But more importantly, how did Al Michaels know the betting line of a preseason game off the top of his head like that? Hmmm….

-In related news, I didn’t investigate the story too deeply, but I thought I heard that Pete Rose, who fought for 20 years to be allowed back around the game of baseball, then was finally given that right (in limited capacity), he says he can’t make a ceremony honoring him at a Reds game because of a prior commitment – at a casino.

Maybe he’ll run into Al Michaels.

-Week One of iPhone-ness has been a success. Possibly the biggest plus is the WiFi capabilities of the iPhone4, which means work at home is free and, occasionally, a signal pops up at work, making usage in the newsroom free as well. I still think I’ll come in on the high side of AT&T’s 200MB level, but it could be interesting if I can save $10 along the way.

I’m still working on making use of the phone as a work tool as much as an expensive toy, but the play side of it has been amazing so far. It came in especially handy this evening as a run through the Taco Bell drive-thru turned into a 10 minute wait in the parking lot.

Any tips you have to help me catch up to the technology are always appreciated in the comments.

On to Monday!

Categories : From the Web Desk
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Aug
22

Mayor of WTHR

Posted By · August 22, 2010 at 9:56 pm

CHECK IN: Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza “Love the pizza”

In just seconds, I expressed my love of Jockamo’s pizza though Foursquare.

Foursquare is social networking software which allows users to post their location to sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Foursquare also keeps track of each time a user checks into a location.

Users are rewarded with badges after meeting certain criteria.

For instance…

The Adventurer badge is given for checking into 10 different venues.

The Gym Rat badge is for going to the gym more than 10 times in 30 days.

The School Night badge is earned by checking into a venue after 3AM on a school night.
(one of my favorites)

In addition, the person who checks into a venue the most becomes the mayor of the location.

You may be asking, what is the point of all this?

With Foursquare, your friends can instantly see your location and meet up with you. (very useful for late night bar hopping)

Some users enjoy earning new badges.  It gives them a sense of personal achievement.

Everyone enjoys the bragging rights associated with being the mayor of a location.

Some locations have special offers for those who check in.

Scotty’s Brewhouse offers a discount on lunch and dinner on certain
days of the week, and the Mayor of Scotty’s always receives 10% off
their bill.

This is a nice benefit for the regular crowd and a handsome reward for being the Mayor.  The restaurant, in return, earns loyal customers.

While Foursquare is fun, I always felt like it is a feature, not a full fledged, stand-alone service.

Facebook agrees with me.

Facebook programmers took one look at Foursquare and (click, click, click) made their own location
feature.  (time elapsed to save time in this blog)

Last week, Facebook revealed “Places”.

It is a feature which allows users to post their location so your friends will instantly know
where you are.  (sound familiar?)

Foursquare has about 3 million users and Facebook has over 500 million users.

Eventually, most companies will focus on Facebook Places just because of the shear number of users.

Once Places adds fun features like badges, I can’t see your average user checking in to both Facebook AND Foursquare.

Unless Foursquare expands its service, it may be forgotten, in favor of Facebook’s location feature.

Until then, I’ll continue to check into Foursquare.

Maybe one day, I’ll be the Mayor of WTHR.

Todd Donaldson

(Below are a few screen shots of Foursquare)

Categories : 13 Tech Blog
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Aug
22

Dry Streak Begins

Posted By · August 22, 2010 at 6:22 am

Highs today will reach the mid to upper 80s across Central Indiana with mostly sunny skies.  A light breeze out of the North will bring “drier” air into the state.

Overnight, temps drop to the low to mid 60s with mostly clear skies.

Monday, we’re back to the 80s, and that will play out for the rest of the week.

There’s a slight chance for rain late Tuesday.  We’ll have to watch the forecast carefully, because as of right now, it doesn’t look too promising.  We need all the rain we can get.  In Indy this month we’ve only picked up .37″ of rain.  That’s 2.31″ below average.  With this week looking pretty dry, we could be well on our way to setting a record of one of the driest August’s on record.  The driest was in 1897 when only .42″ of rain fell.

Indianapolis Seven Day Weather Forecast

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