Boeing's new super secret "Black Phone" is the world's first self destructing smart phone.


Having bad credit doesn't mean you can't get financing on instruments anymore.


Scientists discover gene that maintains gender.


A shocking look back on the substances that were sold in pre-FDA America.


A shocking list of 33 facts that you've probably never heard about.

Unordered List

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Get a Keyboard or Digital Piano on a Payment Plan

No Credit Check Payment Plans on Keyboard Instruments
Having Bad Credit Won't Keep You From Financing a Digital Piano or Keyboard.
With the credit crunch in the US, it's never been more difficult to finance the things you want and need, keyboards and digital pianos are certainly no exception.

There are still some pretty amazing financing options out there that work for everyone though, in fact, they're so good that they may be alluring even if you have perfect credit.  While credit cards usually rack up interest, getting a musical instrument on a payment plan is often completely interest free.

While many music supply box stores have opted to go with big banks and only issue a store credit card, there are still some venues big enough to offer in-house-financing options.  I narrowed down the best in my previous article about no-credit-check music financing and found that zZounds offered the best options and features in their payment plans.

So if you need a digital piano, keyboard or synthesizer, don't let your credit stop you.  Get what you need right now and play it while you pay it off in convenient, interest free monthly installments.  You'll also have the comfort of knowing that zZounds guarantees the best price on everything they sell.  If you find a better deal anywhere else, they'll beat it.  They'll even honor sales that take place up to 45 days after you make your purchase.

To use zZounds' payment plan, you need a valid credit or debit card (not pre-paid) and an order totaling 249.00 - 3,000.00 USD.  Once you've added what you want to your cart, simply tick the 'I want to make 4 payments' option at checkout to apply financing.  zZounds also offers an 8 payment financing option, but for this, you'll need a credit check.

To get started, click on the big blue button below to visit the zZounds website.

Monday, June 16, 2014

How My Digital Cameras Have Evolved

Kodak C183, Kodak C340, Fujifilm HS20 EXR, Samsung NX 20,Kodak Z8612
From Kodak's C340 to Samsung NX20
I was recently looking through my digital photos on Flickr and realized from the EXIF information that I've had quite a few digital cameras since 2007.

I did some Googling to try and recall exactly what each of these had looked like and as the images came up, the memories surrounding these devices surged back into my conscious mind.

Image Demo Kodak C340
Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh, NY (Captured with Kodak C340, Photo © 2014 Benjamin F Sullivan)
The first camera I had used for Flickr uploads was the Kodak EasyShare C340.  I remember it seemed so modern and compact at the time I bought it, now it looks kind of like R2D2 from Star Wars.  It had a mere 5 mega pixel resolution (not bad at the time), captured a maximum video resolution of 640x480 (at a clunky 13 frames-per-second), and had a tiny CCD sensor.  Yet, I owe this funny looking little camera a lot. I had plenty of other traditional film cameras and a even few digitals before it, but for whatever reason, my love of photography just clicked with this one.

It was while using this camera that I realized there was a part of me that wanted to immortalize the ambiance of the moment.  I started to strategically plan my photography, watching for the perfect lighting conditions and analyzing my surroundings for artistic merit.  A foggy morning or a rainy day wasn't just something to take in from a distance anymore, it was a challenge to go out in search of the capture that would perfectly represent what I saw or felt, forever.

I started to play with shutter speeds and ISO settings and marvel at the different results I could get by adjusting them.

This little camera that once had a perfectly respectable retail price of 179.95, now sells on Amazon for a near insulting $15.  Just another piece of technology made irrelevant by progress - to me though, it will always have merit as the medium that I first discovered a passion through.

Image Sample Kodak Z8612
Mill Pond, Washburn, ME (Captured with Kodak Z8612, Photo © 2014 Benjamin F Sullivan)
Next was Kodak's Z8612 IS.  I remember I got it on sale. In fact, it was left over from an underwhelming Black Friday sale in Presque-Isle, Maine and had been marked down a second time for not selling during the event. It was in the last box on the promotion shelf. The original price tag was supposed to be $250.00 (I think) and I believe it was marked down to $150 and then to $80.  I gazed at the image on the box of the gleaming, German made Schneider Kreuznach lens, saw '8.1 Megapixels' Printed in bold font and couldn't resist.

As much as C340 brought me into photography, the Z8612 model solidified it.  Now I wasn't just some guy with a camera looking for a great shot, I felt like a photographer.  Taking shots inside without using a flash was no obstacle for my 35mm German lens and 1/2.5' optical sensor.  Even the 640 x 480 video resolution now captured at a smooth 30fps.

Sadly, my time with Z8612 was cut short.  The camera met a tragic end in the back seat of my car where it was dismantled by my two-year-old daughter.

Image Sample Kodak C183
Fargo, North Dakota (Captured with Kodak C183, Photo © 2014 Benjamin F Sullivan)
Even at 14 megapixels, Kodak C183 and it's 1/2.3' sensor felt like a downgrade.  By this time, Kodak was phasing out it's line of digital cameras and was focusing on low cost point-and-shoot models.

I bought this shortly after moving to North Dakota to accept a position at Microsoft.  Though I wasn't in love with this model at the time, in retrospect, the photos were markedly crisper than the previous two cameras.

With C183 I Captured my my initial impression of the Midwest.

Image Sample S290
(Broadway Street, Fargo, Captured with Fujifilm S290, Photo © 2014 Benjamin F Sullivan)
The Fujifilm S290 was also a 14 megapixel camera, but it more felt official than the Kodak I had before it. It was heavier, it had a rubberized grip and the manual settings were more readily accessible.  The sensor in this camera was ironically a 1/2.3' CCD (the same sensor used in my C183 and even smaller than my C340).

Image Sample Samsung HS20 EXR
Little Yellowstone, North Dakota (Captured by Fujifilm HS20 EXR, Photo © 2014 Benjamin F Sullivan)
The Fujifilm HS20 EXR was a landmark for me.  It was the first truly semi-pro level camera I had owned.

The heavy body and manual zoom made it feel more substantial and authentic, but it's tiny 1/2' EXR CMOS sensor was definitely outflanked by the large super-zoom lens.

This camera went through a lot with me.  It saw me through the loss of my four-month-old son and captured the only memories I have of him, it saw me through a divorce, and my transition into single parenthood.

Perhaps this camera only served as a stepping stone to my NX20.  The color rendering wasn't terribly accurate and some images seem a bit bleached, but this camera and I went many places and captured a lot together.

Image Sample Samsung NX20
Island Park, Fargo, North Dakota (Captured by Samsung NX20, Photo © 2014 Benjamin F Sullivan)
In February of 2012, Tore Thiis Fjeld (a pro photographer from Norway that I had come to know through Flickr) encouraged me to get a Samsung NX210.  Tore actually uses NX210 as an additional camera to his Nikon D800 and was taking some incredible shots with it at the time.  I decided go with Samsung NX20, which is basically the NX210 in a different style body with a built-in viewfinder.

I've been very happy with this 21.3 megapixel interchangeable-lens camera.  It's large 23.8' CMOS optical sensor captures everything in crisp colorful detail and all my photos are true to life.

Funny, but in some way, despite all this obvious technological improvement, I think some part of me misses the simple feelings of discovery and fascination that I had back in the Kodak C340 days.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

This is the Ultimate Website for Vitamins

Swanson is the Best Website to Buy Vitamins, Nutrition Supplements and Health Food
Swanson Has Some one of the Largest Vitamin Selections at Some of the Lowest Prices.
If you're looking for one place to buy ultra high quality vitamins and nutrition supplements at remarkably affordable prices, Swanson Health Products is definitely the 1st place to look.  With a 99.9% customer satisfaction rating on Google Trusted Stores, a swift 1 day shipping average, and phenomenal customer service, Swanson clearly aims to please.

To find the best single source for online vitamin and supplement sopping, 35 nutrition websites were reviewed and it was determined that among them, Swanson not only had the best prices, but some of the happiest customers as well.

Not only does Swanson have a incredibly broad assortment of Vitamins and nutrition supplements, they also offer a pleasing variety of health foods, organics, snacks and personal care products.  We even found that they had earth friendly cleaning products.

Right now you can get $5 free towards your 1st order at Swanson just by clicking the big blue button below.

Get $5 Free

NOTE: If you need help using your $5 Reward, please see our article "How to Use Your Swanson $5 Reward Coupon."

Saturday, May 10, 2014

You CAN Unfriend and Not Offend on Facebook

How to restrict a User on Facebook
You Don't Have to 'Unfriend' or Block People on Facebook to Keep Your Posts Private

If you don't really trust someone that you've added on Facebook, but want to keep things diplomatic and don't want to 'unfriend' or block  them, 'restricting' the person may be your best option. Restricting a Facebook friend keeps the friendship artificially alive while quietly hiding all but your public posts and securing your privacy.

Restricting a friend on Facebook can be done in just 2 easy steps:

#1Navigate to your friend's wall and find the 'Friends' dropdown in the upper right hand corner of the page.  Click on the dropdown and click "Add to another list."
Facebook Add to Another List
#2Now make sure to remove your friend from any other lists that they may have been added to, then tick 'Restricted.' You should see a check mark appear, confirming your selection.
add to restricted facebook

Congratulations!  You've just hidden everything you've ever shared on Facebook from the selected person.  Keep in mind that this person will still be able to view your public activity and posts you've tagged them in (if any) unless you block them.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

My Thoughts Tonight on Life

In life, it's the most simple things that bring the greatest joy.  They don't cost money and they couldn't be bough with all the money in the world.

You can search under every stone from the highest mountain top to the deepest, darkest reaches of the ocean and find only empty space.  You can gain all the power and wealth in the world and have nothing.

It's not in a building, it's not written in a book, it's not spoken.  The meaning you've searched for was and always will be right in front of you.

It's loving, feeling, being and embracing a fate that leads you into the unknown.  It's breaking the chains of preconception.  It's letting go of your fears, your doubts, your canned ideas of everything.  It's being one with the world you live and breathe in.  It's realizing life is finite.  It's assuming responsibility for your actions.  It's capturing the here and now.  It's refusing to see anything as boring or ordinary.  It's doing the right thing because everything in you has become free to want to.  It's trusting, believing, dreaming, feeling, seeing and relishing every minute of every hour of your day because you exist and you can.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Hello World's 1st Medium-Format CMOS Camera

Hasselblad H5H-50 is the World's First Medium Format CMOS Camera (Img source:

Swedish camera manufacturer, Hasselblad recently unveiled its H5D-50c which the company will retail at the announced price of $27,500.00 (USD).

While a price tag of roughly 27k may seem a bit much for most wallets, compared to the H4D-60 (which currently holds the title for the world's most expensive digital camera), H5D-50c could be viewed as somewhat of a bargain.

What really sets Hasselblad's HD-50c apart is that it's the world's first ever medium format CMOS camera.

In a recent press release, Hasselblad prodcut manager Ove Bengtson defines the H5D-50c as a new medium format Hasselblad camera that will "Offer a faster capture rate; longer shutter speed capability and much greater ISO performance. It will provide greatly improved Live Video in Phocus and will also be available with Multi-Shot functionality."

Bengtson went on to state that "We believe this [camera] will provide a highly compelling option for professional photographers who prefer a more versatile camera that enables them to immediately embrace a wider range of photo-disciplines but still encapsulating the exceptionally high-end image quality associated with Hasselblad...We are extremely excited about this highly adaptable new camera which will offer an even broader palette of shooting options for our high-end customers...This is a world-first and underpins Hasselblad's status at the forefront of camera technology. It will be the first of a number of medium format capture innovations we have planned for the coming months."

The 50 Megapixel, CMOS sensor equipped H5D-50c will outperform it's medium format CCD sensor forerunners and features faster live video, longer shutter speeds and a 14 f-stop dynamic range.

So if owning a piece of world's cutting digital camera technology is for you, perhaps it's time to take out a second mortgage and make H5D-50c your own.

The twenty seven thousand dollar camera was unveiled at the 2014 CP+, Japan and (according to PetaPixel) is expected to to have its next showing at WPPI, Las Vegas.

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Boeing Just Revealed a Self-Destructing Phone

The Self Destructing "Boeing Black Phone"

Boeing Company has created an ultra secret, self-destructing smart phone that requires a non-disclosure agreement to be signed in acquisition.  According to Boeing, their new "Black Phone" provides enhanced security features not found in today's smart phone arena and will be "marketed and sold in a manner such that low-level technical and operational information about the product will not be provided to the general public."

Boeing refers to their Black Phone as a "sealed device" which is designed to be impervious to hardware tampering for targeted use by "US defence and security communities."

"The Boeing Black phone is manufactured as a sealed device both with epoxy around the casing and with screws, the heads of which are covered with tamper proof covering to identify attempted disassembly."
 The filing goes on to state that:
"Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and make the device inoperable...Hardware media encryption and configurable inhibit controls are embedded to protect the device, its data, and the transmission of information, significantly reducing the risk of mission compromise due to data loss."
On the bright side, it appears the kind of self-destruct this phone is desinged for is purely that of data, rather than a massive Inspector Gadget like explosion.

Boeing's Black Phone supports an armory of security features including secure boot, disk encryption, hardware root of trust, as well as crypto engine.  The smartphone has on board dual SIM capabilities as well and the company lists the phone as having "embedded FIPS 140-2 key storage, hardware inhibits, trusted modules and configurable OS security policies."  It also has a modular expansion port so that extra hardware can be added for satellite connectivity and micro SD slot for additional data storage.

Other than weighing in at 170 grams, the remaining specifications on this phone are more or less average.  Black Phone features a dual-core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A9-based processor, a 4.3-inch qHD display with 540 x 960 resolution and 1590 mAh lithium-ion battery.