All posts by John Skrhak

John Skrhak | Gadgets, Sports and Toys Fanatic | Read about them all here.

Mavericks give Seth Curry an opportunity to get the point

Mar 24, 2017

DALLAS — You might want to get used to Seth Curry starting at point guard for the Dallas Mavericks. He certainly aced the first night of his audition.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle opted to insert center Nerlens Noel in the starting lineup Thursday night, bumping rookie point guard Yogi Ferrell to the bench and sliding the rest of the starters down a position. Curry responded to his new role by more than holding his own against perennial All-Star Chris Paul to play a key role in the Mavs’ 97-95 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

This wasn’t a case of going big to match up against the Clippers. It’s a matter of figuring out whether this is the starting five of the immediate future for the Mavs.

“We’ve got to look at Curry at point with a really conventional team out there,” Carlisle said after Curry scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting and dished out four assists. “We’re going to give this a look. I don’t know how many games it’s going to be. It may be the rest of the year, it may not.”

If Curry has his way, this experiment will extend into next season. He’s proud of his ability to play both backcourt positions — and has played well as Dallas’ starting shooting guard the past couple of months — but Curry embraces the opportunity to have the ball in his hands every play.

“I like being involved in plays,” said Curry, who had cooled off recently after a sizzling scoring stretch coming out of the All-Star break. “At certain times when you play the 2, you can not touch the ball for four or five possessions. That’s not getting me going energy-wise. I like bringing the ball up the court, feeling like I’m involved, then getting off the ball some, too.”

To be clear, the Mavs aren’t asking Curry to morph into a pass-first point guard like Jason Kidd.

“Our system is meant for the 1 to be really aggressive,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “That’s when Yogi was great, when he came off making all those shots when we got him. The 1 has the ball in his hands a lot. Obviously we run some plays, but some of those plays only work if the 1 comes off and looks to score and sucks the big up and makes plays for themselves or others. We always want the [point guards] to be aggressive and score, and [Curry] was fantastic for us tonight.”

Can Curry be consistently good enough for the Mavs to be comfortable going into next season as their starting point guard? They plan to find out.

Article source: http://www.espn.com/blog/dallas-mavericks/post/_/id/4706746/mavericks-give-seth-curry-an-opportunity-to-get-the-point

Baby got back! April the Giraffe’s livestream has returned

You can stop all the calming breathing exercises, fans eagerly awaiting the birth of April the Giraffe’s calf. The live cam is back!

Yes, the live feed showing the world what’s going on inside April’s maternity suite at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, went down on Friday, but it’s back up and running again.

The animal park tried to calm its frantic fans during the downtime.

“Cam Down,” read a message posted on the park’s Facebook page early Friday evening, a message we keep reading as “CALM DOWN.”

“We are aware,” the post continues. “Receiving 2,000 emails to tell us it’s down, only slows us and the computers down. Please refrain.”

giraffecamoffline.jpgEnlarge Image

Thankfully, this is an old image, and April’s baby watch is back on.


Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

That’s easy for them to say, but Twitter was impatient to tune back in to April’s edition of “A Baby Story.” The YouTube channel was linking to other streams, but savvy April fans reported in the comments that those feeds were reruns.

April, age 15, is expecting her fourth calf, and it’ll be the first for daddy Oliver, who’s 5. Giraffes are pregnant for 15 months. The calf will weigh around 150 pounds (68 kilograms) and will be about 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall at birth.

It’s Complicated: This is dating in the age of apps. Having fun yet? These stories get to the heart of the matter.

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team reminds us why tech is cool.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/april-the-giraffe-live-feed-back-animal-adventure-park-webcam/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Netflix thinks people still like Adam Sandler movies

Adam Sandler’s recent output has been… well, it’s probably best not to talk about it. Regardless of how you feel about his work, Netflix and its viewers seem to be fans and as such the streaming juggernaut has inked another four-movie deal with the Saturday Night Live alum. The first, romantic comedy Sandy Wexler, debuts April 14th and stars Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, and Sandler’s usual suspects: Kevin James, Terry Crews, Nick Swardson and Rob Schneider among others.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/24/netflix-thinks-people-still-like-adam-sandler-movies/

Amazon Prime Air drone completes first US public delivery

Amazon Prime Air said Thursday it shipped its first package out in public in the US this week, marking another small step toward its goal of filling the skies with delivery drones.

The e-commerce giant’s drone delivery arm has been testing flights for years, though due to federal regulations hasn’t undertaken any US flights outside of its private land until now.

On Monday, an autonomous drone delivered several bottles of sunscreen, about four pounds in all, to MARS 2017, an Amazon-hosted conference in Palm Springs, Florida. The entire flight took place in the controlled airspace of the Palm Springs Airport.

Amazon, UPS, Google and others are developing drone delivery technology, in hopes of bringing shipments faster and cheaper to customers. However, these companies still need to answer tough questions about the drones’ safety and effectiveness before they can reach the public.

Amazon’s goal has been to ship items within 30 minutes, though for now is mostly testing its technology. Last year, it started a small pilot program for customers in the UK, but it’s been limited in bringing autonomous drones to the US because of tight government restrictions.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-prime-air-first-drone-delivery-us-public-sunscreen-mars/#ftag=CAD590a51e

The RS badge might be coming to a Ford crossover near you

It’s unlikely that the Focus RS would be the only Ford to grace the road wearing an RS badge, but would you believe that one may end up on a crossover?

Ford might be working on RS variants of its crossover lineup, Car Dealer Magazine reports, citing a conversation with Ford performance boffin Dave Pericak. Pericak referred to the idea of an RS crossover as “an opportunity” that could benefit both the automaker and the consumer.

“I think customers love performance. I think the definition of what that means for an SUV might be different than what it means for a Focus or for a Fiesta,” Pericak told Car Dealer Magazine. “[T]hey like sporty, they want the power and pick-up and engine improvement, so I think the answer is yes. SUV customers would appreciate performance, for sure.”

2016 Ford Focus RSEnlarge Image

Just imagine this, but with an Escape.


Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Car Dealer Magazine believes the most likely crossover to receive the RS badge is the Kuga, which is known in the US as the Escape, as “its underpinnings [are] especially capable of a performance upgrade.” Other vehicles in the running include both the Edge and EcoSport, the latter of which is soon to go on sale in the US.

Pericak told the magazine that he doesn’t believe that many automakers have really nailed the idea of a performance crossover. Sure, you’ve got some high-horsepower models like Mercedes-AMG’s lineup and Audi’s SQ vehicles, but Pericak says that are “no real credible [performance SUVs].”

Considering both of those performance crossover lineups are actually pretty fun to drive, any sort of RS-branded crossover will have to possess something that the others don’t. That might mean additional track capabilities, but it’s anybody’s guess.

Right now, the only Ford bearing an RS badge is the Focus RS. It’s a beast of an economy hatchback, boasting a 350-horsepower turbocharged I4 engine and all-wheel drive. We tested one against the M2, one of our favorite new BMWs, which shows you just how high the Focus is swinging. Any car to earn this badge would really have to earn it.

2016 Ford Focus RS

Shootout: BMW M2 vs. Ford Focus RS

It’s German rear-wheel drive against American all-wheel drive in a battle for bragging rights.

by Emme Hall

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/mHpI/~3/6m03FtQ3D28/

The Morning After: Friday, March 24th 2017


Roll ’em back.Senate votes 50 – 48 in favor of letting ISPs sell your private data

Yesterday, the US Senate voted for “congressional disapproval” of an FCC rule that prevented ISPs from selling their customer’s personal data without getting permission first. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) wrote the resolution, claiming the rule made for an unfair burden on ISPs compared to companies like Google and Facebook. He is apparently unbothered by the idea that consumers have less choice in what ISP they can use than whether or not they maintain an account on those sites. In response, the ACLU argues that “The House must now stop this resolution from moving forward and stand up for our privacy rights.”


The convertible dream will never die.Apple explores using an iPhone or iPad to power a laptop

Apple has filed a patent filing this morning detailing how an iPhone, or an iPad, could be used to power an ultraportable laptop. One diagram features a slot near the trackpad area where you can drop in an iPhone, which provides all of the hardware necessary to run the Macbook-looking ultraportable. And, in a truly unique spin, the iPhone would also serve as the actual trackpad.


This is not a drill.Hackers are threatening to erase iPhones if Apple doesn’t pay up

A hacker group claims it has accumulated credentials for hundreds of millions of iCloud and Apple ID accounts (likely due to leaks on other services where people used the same passwords). While Apple maintains that its systems have not been breached, ZDNet has been able to authenticate a few credentials provided by the group. Now the group claims it will use the Find My iPhone tool to wipe devices unless it’s paid a ransom. What does this mean for you? If you have an Apple account (or Google, or anywhere else, really) make sure you’re using strong, unique passwords, and enable two-factor authentication — right now.


Would you pay for Twitter?Twitter floats the idea of a $20 subscription version of Tweetdeck

As a service, Twitter is indispensable for information addicts but still struggles to make money. One thing that could bring cash in is finding new ways to profit from heavy users like businesses and news outlets, and it looks like Twitter has an idea: subscription Tweetdeck. It’s currently surveying users to find out how they feel about the plan, which could run $20 per month for things like personalized news summaries and alerts, priority customer support, an ad-free experience and more.


The right clothes for you are out there, but you might not find them in stores.What the internet taught me about dressing like an adult

Nicole Lee bought a pair of jeans from Uniqlo — and that was the only time she’d purchased clothing from a brick-and-mortar store in all of 2016. For the past few years, her clothes shopping has happened online. Not just because it’s convenient, but because the internet provides her with fashion alternatives that she said she would have never have discovered otherwise. She explains how and why.


Brands are upset over their ads appearing on content related to terrorism and hate.ATT, Verizon join companies pulling ads from Google and YouTube

YouTube video creators are fighting against the video service’s filter screening out LGBTQ+ voices, while on the other end, advertisers are worried about a different type of content. In a movement that started with several UK brands (McDonald’s, BBC, Channel 4, Lloyd’s and others), companies and regulators have become concerned that ads are being placed by Google on websites and videos promoting extremist and hateful views. Although Google has promised new tools will give partners more control over where ads appear, it may not be moving fast enough. Now, ATT and Verizon (parent company of AOL, which owns Engadget), are pulling online ad campaigns.


A series veteran and a newcomer walk into a bar…What we love and hate about ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’

How does Andromeda compare to previous Mass Effect games? Does it stand on its own as a worthy addition to the sci-fi genre? Are the animations always this messed up? In the following conversation, Tim and Jessica discuss Andromeda’s highs and lows from two vastly different perspectives — and somehow, they end up with similar conclusions. There might be a few narrative spoilers, but nothing too awful.

But wait, there’s more…

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/24/the-morning-after-friday-march-24th-2017/