Monthly Archives: December 2015

Star Wars The Force Awakens SPOILERCAST Banner Image

Ep. 61 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens SPOILERCAST

Star Wars The Force Awakens SPOILERCAST Banner Image

This week the guys talk all about this little movie – you probably haven’t even heard about it. It’s an indie flick called Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Here Be Spoilers…

The guys polled their listeners, and they overwhelming agreed that Jeff and Jacob should spoil this movie like milk left out on the counter.  And once the guys were done, the results were about the same; ugly, stinky, and not something you’d want in your house.

But go ahead and listen (if you’ve seen the movie) and see if you agree with Jeff – who is *way* more knowledgeable about Star Wars than Jacob ever hopes to be – or if you’re going to end up screaming at your podcast player as these two dorks completely miss the nuance and history that is Star Wars.

Does the movie deserve the praise that’s been heaped upon it so far? Is it worth the BILLION dollars it’s already earned (in just 12 days, we might mention)? Is Disney going to make a kajillion dollars flogging this franchise like a red-headed stepchild?

If you haven’t seen the movie yet; do yourself a favor and just save this episode until you have.  Unless you really want to learn the horrible, horrible truth about Jar Jar and Yoda’s love affair and resulting force-baby.  Trust us, you really don’t…

IMAX Facts

Not content to just talk about a movie that’s only broken, like, every financial record in cinema history in just 12 days, the guys also find some amazing facts about the IMAX projection system to share.

They’re some of the lucky few who live in a city that was screening an actual, honest-to-goodness-larger-than-life 70mm celluloid print of the film! In fact, only 15 IMAX theaters in the world can make such a claim. There’s nothing like seeing a movie on a six story tall screen, and some of the details about how the IMAX people make that happen is truly amazing.

What we love

Jacob loves his Weight Gurus Smart Connected Scale. A little bluetooth gadget that not only tells you how fat you are, it also provides proof in the form of your BMI, percentage body fat, water, and muscle. And then it shoots it all directly to your smartphone:

Jeff loves his BB-8 remote controlled droid, he just wishes it was a little bigger.  You know, like life-sized!

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Christmaspisode - The Christmas Clip Show Extravaganza

Ep. 60 – The Christmaspisode!

Christmaspisode - The Christmas Clip Show Extravaganza

This week the guys cop out to the pressures of the holidays and presenting their first Christmas Clip Show Extravaganza! That’s right, the holidays are upon us and Jeff and Jacob are celebrating the Christmas holiday in the best way they know how; by re-running some of their favorite “things they love” so *you* can get your consumerism on!

Episode 31: For a Good Prime Call…

Jeff loves his new earphones and Jacob loves an Internet video sensation!

Episode 22: Down the Rabbit Hole

Jeff loves his new iPhone case and Jacob loves Soundcloud’s mobile app for letting you listen to Soundcloud content on the go:

Episode 3: Dirty Job

Jacob loves his Fenix 2 AA battery powered flashlight. Jeff loves his Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ tablet:

Episode 11: Richard Holdman

Richard Holdman joins the guys & talks about his Baofeng HAM radio. Jeff loves This American Life’s podcast; Serial. Jacob loves his Nexcon magnetic car mount for his cellphone:

Episode 17: Lou Mongello

Lou Mongello joins the guys & talks about what he loves, and a hint; it’s Evernote. Jeff loves TV Food Maps – an app that lets you find restaurants that have been on TV shows as he plans his cross-country road trip with his son. Jacob loves his new LED lightbulbs:

Episode 8: I’m coming for you, Lucas!

This week Jeff raves about the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Jacob grooves to the year’s catchiest pop songs as remixed by DJ Earworm and Daniel Kim’s Pop Danthology:

Episode 43: Chris Eliopoulos

Chris Eliopoulos joins the guys & talks about what he loves. Jeff loves his new USB hub and Jacob loves his new showerproof, Bluetooth speaker:

What we love, Christmas edition

Jeff loves VistaPrint for all of their printing services for short money – specifically he loves their Christmas card printing service that his family used this year for their Christmas cards:

Jacob loves his Vizio 5.1 channel soundbar with wireless subwoofer & satellite speakers. Is it as good as a high-end home theater setup with a dedicated receiver? No. But it has a high wife acceptance factor (WAF), was a snap to install and configure, and sounds pretty darn good, actually!

As a bonus thing, Jacob also loves his Field Notes Flight Logs for his quadcopter. It’s created based on a design from Adam Savage at and they are awesome. You seriously can’t go wrong with any Field Notes products, but if you fly any UAS you need these in your flight kit:

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Apple Battery Case - Slap A Case On It!

Ep. 59 – Slap A Case On It!

Apple iPhone Battery Case - Slap A Case On It!


This week the guys talk about the new Rambo TV series being developed by by Sly Stallone and FOX – and they get deep down a rabbit hole about TV and movies in general.

The FAA finally announces the details of the new Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) registration requirements.  Basically, they’re calling anything that flies without a person physically in the craft a UAS – drones, quadcopters, multirotors, R/C airplanes… You name it.  Predictably the Internet has gone nuts and people are frothing at the mouth, but it’s actually pretty reasonable.  It’s a $5 fee – covers *all* UAS fliers a person has, and is good for three years.  Registrations open December 21st, 2015 an you can register at the FAA’s web site:

The FTC just fined Tommie Copper – purveyor of snail-oil copper cure-all garments – $1.35M USD for claiming their products can take away all of your pain.  Good on ya’, FTC, we need more smackdowns of these kinds of companies!

Double Down

Netflix just announced that they’re doubling down on original content in 2016.  Literally! The streaming giant announced that they’re going to produce 31 original series shows next year, up from the 16 they produced in 2015.

They’re also going to be producing 10 feature films, 12 documentaries, 10 stand-up specials, and 50 children’s programs! Look out HBO and Showtime – it just got real.

Between this new announcement from Netflix, and the original series that Amazon is producing, the networks and premium cable channels need to be very afraid!

Can’t Get Enough of that iPhone Stuff

Apple just launched a new iPhone 6S battery case.  Yep, you read that right… The cell phone giant is getting into the battery case game for some odd reason.  It’s only available for the iPhone 6 and 6S, and it’s only available in white or charcoal grey.  It also sports a very un-Apple-like hump and is made of a soft-touch silicone.

As Jeff points out, unless you have a VERY small headphone plug, you’ll need some type of adapter to use your headphones with this case on. It’s also one of the only cases on the market with a Lightening connector that is fully functional.  Very odd of Apple on this one – are they just trying to get people used to the idea that they will need a battery case so the next iPhone can be even thinner?  Or are they just wanting a cut of the profit-margin-heavy battery case market?  Either way, this baby will set you back a cool $99

Other Apple rumors… According to Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac, Apple is going to be announcing a new Apple Watch – the Watch 2 – *and* a new iPhone model next spring. Dubbed the iPhone 6c by the rumor mills, it’s said to sport the speedy internals of the iPhone 6 line, with the form factor of the 5S – or at least the screen size at a teeny 4 inches.  Apparently there is a big enough market – Jeff read in the 30% range – of people who want a *smaller* iPhone screen, but also want the upgraded internals and speed.

And it’s going to be interesting if Apple does release a new watch next spring since most people figured that would be on an every-other-year cycle.  What say you, NBTA fans? If Apple releases a new watch, will you be on board for version 2.0?

That ol’ Popcorn Lung…

A new study out from Harvard shows that vaping might not be as safe as everyone thought!  Apparently there’s a pretty nasty chemical called diacetyl that’s found in a lot of the “sweet” flavored e-cig and vape juices.

Chronic inhalation of diacetyl can lead to a fun-sounding-but-not-fun-having condition called Popcorn Lung.  Also know as bronchitis obliterans, a degenerative and irreversible respiratory condition that often requires a lung transplant.

So… yeah… you might want to re-think that whole sucking-clouds-of-stuff-into-your-lungs thing.

What we love

Jeff loves his (free) Google Cardboard.  If you missed out on Google’s free offer on December 11th – well – too bad.  But for about $20 you can get your own from

Jacob loves his Rough Rider 1387 Barlow pocket knife.  At under $15, it’s razor sharp and built incredibly well.  It definitely punches way above it’s price class:

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Ep. 58 – It’s (not) so hard to say goodbye…

Episode 58 - It's (not) so hard to say goodbye... - Flash

Hey all you tech podcast fans, the J’s are back with another installment that is guaranteed to be No Better Than Average.


iFixit has torn into the new iPad Pro and revealed its guts for all the world to see.  A teeny, tiny motherboard sports an impressive new chip, 4gb of RAM, and all the other bits ‘n pieces needed to make the iPad Pro sing.  The giant, flat case also packs a whopping 10,307mAh of battery pow-ah to keep everything running.  3M-style removal tabs look to make swapping the batteries easier than ever before, but still, iFixit scores the iPad Pro a dismal 3/10 on their repairability chart.

Google and ASUS have teamed up to release an $85 HDMI “computer” that promises to turn any old TV or compatible monitor into a full-fledged (and cheap) Chrome OS computer.  They seem to be aiming it as a kiosk solution, but it could usher in cheap and easy Internet-terminal-type access for low-income homes and groups.  Either way, cheaper and easier access to technology is always a good thing.

OnePlus releases a $20 iPhone case and each one comes with an invitation to purchase an new OnePlus X phone. A few will come with invitations to purchase a rare ceramic-backed model and even fewer will come with a coupon for a free phone.  The case is made of OnePlus’ “sandstone” material and might actually be a nice case.

An FAA task force releases drone registration recommendations and says that anything heavier than 250 grams (8.9 oz) should be registered so that the bird can be linked back to the owner. There are no details yet on when such registration might become required, but we’re betting on it happening sooner rather than later with the exploding popularity of “drones” and other aerial flight platforms.

Alas, poor Flash! I knew him, Adobe…

Adobe has just announced that they’re recommending that content creators give Flash a pass and just start using HTML5 already (not that most content creators aren’t already doing this).  The CPU-munching, memory gobbling, Flash isn’t going away per se, but Adobe is going to start only updating it from a security vulnerability standpoint. They’re also renaming their animation software to “Animate CC” and making its default output HTML5.  All we can say is, it’s about time, Adobe!

Smile for the camera, kids!

VTech has some egg on it’s proverbial face as news has come out that not only did they have millions of parent’s accounts (and hundreds of thousands of kid’s accounts) hacked, but now they’ve been caught storing pictures and chat logs online – in some cases for over a year – between parents and kids who were using VTech’s Learning Lodge app which lets parents message their children between the parent’s smartphone and the kid’s VTech “tablet”.

The company isn’t responding to any comments about the hack, but they have disabled the Learning Lodge app and dozens of VTech web sites “as a precautionary measure” for a “thorough security assessment and fortification.”  Yikes! We wouldn’t want to be VTech’s CEO right now.

Better late than never…

So they guys were a little slow on the draw to talk about it, but Apple Music is finally available to Android users. The same free, three-month trial applies and according to Apple big-wig Eddie Cue, “It’s a full native app, so it will look and feel like an Android app. The menus will look like Android, you know the little hamburger they use on the top. It’ll definitely feel very much like an Android app.” So rejoice, Android fans, and give it a shot; even if it’s just for the free trial.  Then you can listen to all of the No Better Than Average listener playlists that we’ve featured!

Spooky action at cold temperatures

A science two-fer! Yeah, this should have been in our Sciencepisode, but it’s new news so you get it now.  Scientists have just made two major breakthroughs with science that’s so odd it’ll make your head throb.  First, a group of researchers at Stanford have successfully demonstrated that quantum entanglement works to send messages at a distance of 1.2 miles.  Yep, it’s been theorized, but never done at such a distance before.  Could this be the first salvo into a faster-than-light form of communication due to the weird way particles can become entangled at the quantum level?  Sci-Fi stories have been using it as a plot device for decades, maybe it’s not such a crazy thought after all?

In the same vein, another group of researchers has just created entangled particle pairs at room temperature.  “Big deal!” you’re thinking, but wait!  That’s a lot easier said than done.  Previously to get particle pairs to entangle, scientists had to drop temperatures to almost absolute zero to get entanglement to happen at any sufficient scale.  But now they can make “thousands and thousands of entangled pairs” at normal room temperatures using infrared lasers and electromagnetic pulses. This could also lead to spy-proof security where the nature of quantum physics prevents anyone from observing what you’re doing, so there are very real-world applications that could quickly grow out of this discovery!

What we love!

Jacob loves his Cheeta Articulating TV Wall Mount – just $56 from Amazon (cheap!): He also loves the birthday present his amazing wife just gave him; a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced quadcopter.  Seriously, it’s amazing.  Go get your own here:

Jeff loves his new, {PRODUCT)RED iPhone 6S+ case from Apple:

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