There’s an App for That Department

Is This Really Necessary?

Sure, it’s in the best interest to consume adequate amounts of water on a daily basis. You know the capacity of whatever container you’re consuming from (or can easily figure it out). So, how hard is it to remember how many times you’ve refilled it during the course of a day?

Need a reminder? Set one on your phone, computer, watch, or whatever.

Behold, the Hidrate Spark 2.0 Intake Monitoring 24 oz. Water Bottle.

“Track how much water you drink and be reminded of when to hydrate.  A sensor in the bottle syncs via Bluetooth to the Hidrate app in your smartphone and/or your fitness tracker for optimum daily hydration.

  • Internal sensor monitors how much water (ml or oz.) you drink throughout the day
  • Glowing light reminds you when to drink more water and signals that you’ve met your intake goal
  • Customizable daily intake goal
  • Sends push reminders to your phone
  • Syncs to Hidrate app on your iOS or Android Bluetooth device
  • Integrates with fitness trackers including Fitbit, Apple Watch, Apple Health Kit, Google Fit, Under Armour Record and Nokia/Withings”


And it’s only $54.99!  But hey, shipping is free!

Reboot Your Router – NOW Department

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning that a new malware threat has rapidly infected more than a half-million consumer devices. To help arrest the spread of the malware, the FBI and security firms are urging home Internet users to reboot routers and network-attached storage devices made by a range of technology manufacturers.

The data is/are sketchy, but most reports recommend, at the very least, rebooting your router.

Firmware updates may be in order for the following presumably targeted devices:

  • Linksys E1200
  • Linksys E2500
  • Linksys WRVS4400N
  • Mikrotik RouterOS for Cloud Core Routers: Versions 1016, 1036, and 1072
  • Netgear DGN2200
  • Netgear R6400
  • Netgear R7000
  • Netgear R8000
  • Netgear WNR1000
  • Netgear WNR2000
  • QNAP TS251
  • QNAP TS439 Pro
  • Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software
  • TP-Link R600VPN

There’s no easy way to know if a router has been infected by VPNFilter. For more advanced users, Cisco provided detailed indicators of compromise in Wednesday’s report, along with firewall rules that can be used to protect devices. Ars has much more about VPNFilter here.

The advice to reboot, update, change default passwords, and disable remote administration is sound and in most cases requires no more than 15 minutes. Of course, a more effective measure is to follow the advice Cisco gave Wednesday to users of affected devices and perform a factory reset, which will permanently remove all of the malware, including stage 1. This generally involves using a paper clip or thumb tack to hold down a button on the back of the device for 5 seconds. The reset will remove any configuration settings stored on the device, so users will have to restore those settings once the device initially reboots. (It’s never a bad idea to disable UPnP when practical, but that protection appears to have no effect on VPNFilter.)

A Concert to Sleep Through Department

This is most definitely not for loners. It’s an 8 hour performance of “Sleep,” Max Richter’s eight-hour soundtrack engineered, with the help of scientific consultants, to provoke a relaxing night.

Tickets cost $250, including individual Beautyrest mattresses,  to be donated later to a charity for children who have trouble sleeping, as well as linens, sleep masks, swag bags, etc., all bearing the Beautyrest branding.  TAlk about the ultimate in product placement!


Satire Department

If I hadn’t seen this article from VPR I probably never would have known about The Winooski.

Apparently, it was launched about a year ago.

From VPR:

“Locally sourced, organic Vermont satire” — the goal, of The Winooski, according to founder Adam Hall.

Hall, who also writes most of the articles on the site, says the idea for the satirical publication came while he was working on his blog, Tenor Dad (Hall is an opera singer, conductor and composer in addition to satirist.)

“I had noticed that some of the hyper-local articles that I had written [for Tenor Dad] had done the best, had gotten the most views,” Hall said Monday in an interview with Vermont Edition. “And I thought, ‘People really want to read about what’s close to home.’

“They want to read about what’s going on in town and I wanted to be funny,” Hall said. “I thought, ‘How can I combine those two things, where people can read about what’s going on in town and I can be funny? What if I started a Vermont satire site where I could take local issues and Vermont things that I’m seeing and talking to people about, but putting my own spin on them?'”

And so Hall started The Winooski.




Strolling Department

May the FARMS be with you! Strolling of the Heifers Parade and weekend of events is almost here! Don’t miss the fun June 1-2-3 !

Strolling of the Heifers Weekend 2018 is June 1-2-3, and this year’s theme is “May the FARMS be With You”!

The parade kicks off at 10 am sharp with scores of lovable heifer calves, groomed, decorated and led by future farmers. The heifers are followed by farm animals, bands, tractors, floats, clowns and surprises.

Vermont’s most challenging dirt road rides! The seventh annual Tour de Heifer happens on Sunday, June 3, 2018!

The Tour de Heifer’s 60 and 30 mile challenge routes follow dirt roads with minimal pavement.

Both entail significant elevation change — that is, hill-climbing, and lots of it! Both the 30 and 60 mile challenges are loop rides with opportunities for bailing out.

New 60-mile route for 2018 :
The new route is 61 miles, with 7119 feet of climbing. This is about 200 more feet than previous years. The ride is entirely in Vermont this year.

Conspicuous Consumption Department

As publicity stunts go it’s not exactly a new one. But, in the current Instagram age, where some people are more concerned about how good photos of their food look, rather than how it tastes, or the pleasure of dining with friends, I suppose it’s to be expected.

The Ainsworth, a restaurant with locations in cities including New York, Hoboken, and Newark, is offering 24k gold dusted hot wings at forty-five dollars for ten or ninety dollars for twenty, or you can drop a thousand dollars for a pile of fifty plus a gold bottle of Armand de Brignac champagne.

If you have about 5 minutes that you’re looking to kill, there’s  a video of the wing preparation and promos for the restaurant.  It features Jonathan Cheban, who calls himself Foodgōd (which pretty much speaks for itself, eh?), munching on a few.

Then again, with the stock market up and the Lamborghini-buying bitcoin millionaire  buzz (note: the Lambos parked outside the conference were rented by the organizers), what’s not to like?

Spring Is Finally Sticking Around Department

Warm, sunny days and cool nights sleeping with the windows open. The lilacs are in full bloom



and I was planning on snipping a bunch of blossoms and placing them in the living room. As it turns out that hasn’t been at all necessary. One of the lilacs is right in front of a living room window and, with the windows open and the breezes blowing, the scent naturally permeates the whole house.

Too bad there isn’t a Smell-O-Vision for the Web. But wait, here’s a Brief History of Smell-O-Vision.

Maybe next year?

Boring (as in tunnel) Department

Elon Musk is drilling his very own underground commuter tunnels.

“First Boring Company tunnel under LA almost done!” he wrote on Instagram, with a video taking viewers through the tunnel. “Pending final regulatory approvals, we will be offering free rides to the public in a few months.”

Map of Musk’s proposed tunnel from earlier this year. The route is depicted in a video animation released last year but not the video released Thursday. That video is of a small section of tunnel in Hawthorne. (Los Angeles Times)


Age 65 is the new __? Department

Vermont Skier Aims for World Record After Skiing 6.4 Million Vertical Feet

For Scott Howard, skiing 35,000 vertical feet is just another day on the mountain. In fact, it’s even less than his daily average over the 170-plus days he has skied this season. For this 65-year-old skier hailing from Bridgewater Corners, Vermont, bagging insane amount of vert is the name of the game as he hopes to set the record for the most lift accessed vertical feet skied in a season.

While the current official world record was set by Canadian Pierre Marc Jette, who skied 6,025,751 feet between November 22, 2014 and May 10, 2015 in Whistler, Howard says there are some rumors floating around of a guy who hit 6,575,000 feet in 177 days. Currently sitting at 6.4 million and change himself, Howard hopes to break the 6.6 million feet mark before his season comes to an end on May 31.