The sensorization of consumer tech

The big thing out of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas?  Biometrics.  Eye-tracking devices to see what ads you pay attention to.  Mood-sensing ear buds.  Pupil dilation sensors to see how much you are “aroused.”  And, what I’m trying to get my mind around, bras that analyze brain waves.

After the jump, read all about it.  But then I have some serious questions I want to raise. [Read more…]

Italy’s Fiat will own all of Chrysler

So if you want to buy an American car–out of a sense of economic patriotism, protectionism, or because you were moved by that Chrysler commercial about being “imported from Detroit”–does this mean buying a Chrysler product doesn’t count?  Does “buying American” allow for buying a Chevrolet made in Mexico?  How about a Toyota made in Kentucky?  From CNN:

U.S. automaker Chrysler will become fully owned by Italy’s Fiat under terms of an agreement announced Wednesday that also involves the United Auto Workers union. [Read more…]

Schism in the atheist church, already

The atheist church we’ve blogged about, the Sunday Assembly, has split over doctrinal issues, worship style, and fellowship controversies.  The breakaway denomination is calling itself Godless Revival. [Read more…]

Al-Qaeda takes Fallujah

My 2013 prediction started coming true the week after I made it.  This time my 2014 prediction started coming true the day after I made it!  Al-Qaeda has taken Fallujah, the site of the most intense fighting in the Iraq war, and the U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces are faltering. [Read more…]

Tax breaks that have expired as of Jan. 1

Fifty-five tax breaks have expired with the new year.  Some are clearly special-interest perks.  Others are time-honored staples, such as companies getting to deduct Research & Development expenses and tax incentives for wind power and energy-efficient appliances.  Others amount to broad-based tax increases. [Read more…]

Everly brother dies

Phil Everly, 74, died.  He and his brother Don formed the Everly Brothers, whose harmonies–characteristic of the “brother groups” in early country music–they  carried over into rock ‘n’ roll, serving as models for the Beatles, Beach Boys, the Byrds, and many others.  (Are there any contemporary groups that do much with harmony these days? I’ve lost touch.)

See Appreciation: Phil Everly, half of a duo with unearthly sound – The Washington Post.

I heard the Everly brothers in one of their reunion concerts a few years ago, and even in that late stage of their career their singing blew me away.  They have to be among the best singers in popular music.  Listen to them after the jump. [Read more…]