Coffee: Closest Thing To Magic Beans

Source:  MSN.

First, I like to stress that as with most things, moderation and self-control is key to food, drinks, and anything else we do in life or put into our bodies in order to live a long fruitful life.  Having said that, as an avid coffee drinker, I like to say this new report, coffee drinkers who consume three to five cups of coffee a day, showed less signs of heart or other cardiovascular trouble. 

And I assume, of course, the study is mostly about straight-up coffee, maybe with milk and light sugar, rather than the more popular jazzed up variants like mocha or the newer tiramusi latte from Starbucks (which I do allow myself in indulge in once in a while). 

The research centered on the 3-5 cups-a-day cofee drinkers who were less likely to have coronary artery calcium deposits, which is an early indicator for heart disease. 

Jackie Chan Probably Regrets Selling His Soul to Beijing and Not The Devil

Source:  LA Times.

There was at a time when I liked Jack Chan.  Huge fan of his earlier work.  Every chance I got, I would rent from a local video store of his latest movies.  The guy was simply a brilliant actor and there was nothing like his style of comedic fighting.  And his hit it off pretty big in Hollywood with a string of movies like Rush Hour.

But his anti-American view surfaced just as China's economic might began to assert itself over his native Hong Kong.  Dude sold his soul to Beijing.  Become their puppet.  And of course, that did nothing to help him when his son was convicted of trafficking drugs.

It likely made things worse for him.  Beijing now had leverage over his career as well as the life of his son.

I had tremendous respect for the guy but once it became apparent the guy is a sellout, legions of fans including myself just can't stand the guy anymore. 

Wearable War: It's Apple Watch Versus Others

Source:  9to5Mac.

The Swiss watchmakers are not just rolling over for the potential Apple Watch jugganaut.  In fact, Swatch among others will debut smart watches at Baselworld next month, weeks after Apple's March 9th event.  It'll be interesting to see if Apple Watch lives up to hype and whether Apple has a couple of more surprises up its sleeve.

Then the tech and watch world will have to see if the traditional watchmakers have what it takes to upstage Apple. 

Designs and features aside, there is one very important aspect with Apple and non-Apple watches:  only the Apple Watch has full integration with Apple's ecosystem and iOS devices.  Furthermore, Android watches have full integration with most Android devices but not necessarily all.  It'll be interesting to see what a Swatch smart phone will feature and how it'll work along side a smartphone market dominated by Android and iOS.

One very important thing to consider here.  The Apple Watch will compete in the mid to high end segment of the wearable tech. And with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus dominating the high-end market, it stands to reason that many of the watch makers will try to compete with Apple Watch there as well.  With Apple's closed ecosystem, will iPhone owners have uses for non-Apple Watches?

Alternatively, these high-end smart watches will end up competing for high-end Android users which Samsung, LG, and Motorola will try to integrate their watches with their phones.  So where does that really leave these traditional watchmakers?

Google, Sustainability, And Global Warming

Okay, if you ask the folks on the East Coast, they'd say what global warming.  Us folks in the West Coast are experiencing dry mild weather.  Great if you like the outdoors but bad for some if you have allergies and even worse for all if you need water to stay alive.  Which we all do.

I think it's climate change, global warming of the oceans if you will.  Why deny it?  This is why I'm so glad we have Google, flushed with billions, that will do something about it.  Slowly but sure, Google is investing billions in solar and other renewable energy sources. 

Case in point is this new $300 million contribution to Solar City's fund for residential fund of $750 million to put solar panels on 25,000 homes.  It may not sound like a lot but this is cumulative and we have to start somewhere, right?

The issue is that while we have companies like Apple investing in solar plants, they're largely for its own use.  That is good but I think Tim Cook and Apple can and should do more. 

Of course, Google does get something out of this.  My goodwill and I'm sure the goodwill of millions of Google users.  On top of that, they get a tax break as well.  (It has something to do with a business model called "yieldco" - Bloomberg.)

Personally, I've been looking into solar for my home but for various reasons, have not had much success.  Hopefully with Google involvement, I'll be able to get Solar City to work with me to get solar panels on my roof. 

Telsa Pulling Back Production To Create Illusion of Too Much Demand?

Source: Yahoo Finance.

Telsa's latest woes is feeding into Bank of America's assertion that Elon Musk's luxury electric car company is trying to hide falling demands for its cars by parring back production.  Of course, when Telsa's financial shortfall last quarter was blamed by management, of all thing, on customers going on vacation so they could not receive their Model S vehicles.

So, which is it?  Consider Tesla to be the Apple of the auto industry and Musk obsessed with being synomyous with Steve Jobs, I'm willing to give Tesla the benefit out of the doubt.  Plus, Tesla has more going on than a simple bad quarter.  If demand picks right back up and those vacationing customers take reins of their Telas, the SUV Model X ships on time, and everything else runs smoothly, then all will be as it was - sky high stock prices. 

What will be interesting to watch from Tesla is the announcement of the home battery system that Elon Musk teased (GCR).  Of course, the devil is in the details.  Musk promised production in "six months or so".  It probably means twice that.  But if 12 months or less from now Tesla can ship affordable battery storage systems for the home and business markets, it could be a huge win as the Apple of the auto industry shows investors that it can move beyond making money through government subsidies and carbon credits.

Loving, Not Quit So Anymore, and Loving Android Again

I like my Android devices all the way back to the G1.  I would wager most of you reading this have no idea that the G1 was the very first Android device to go on sale in the United States (possibly the world).  Since then, I've gone through variants of the Galaxies and a couple of Nexus tablets.  Now, I'm back on the Asus Memo Pad 7 after my Nexus 7 met an unfortunate end.

I like the fresh setting up process but I had assumed that my previoius profile on the Nexus 7 was backed up.  It was but when I tried to get that downloaded onto my Memo, it didn't work. That was fine.  I still enjoyed the whole set-up, doing a fresh profile and all.

I've used it all weekend and barely touched my iPad Air unless it was to harvest my fruits and vegetables on the Smurf game, do revenges in Star Wars Commander, and send a squadron of level 4 dragons against hapless cities in my clan war in Clash of Clans. 

As I started downloading apps from the Play Store, I suddenly realized I went through similar feelings about it:  making sure that I only downloaded apps from trusted companies like Google itself, Twitter, Facebook, and Yahoo.  I was hesitant about experiment and testing out interesting apps from smaller developers because I fear the security level between that of Android and iOS just are not the same.

Honestly, I don't have the same apprehension I did with Android as on iOS.  If anything, I would like to see Google place greater controls over its app reviews and maybe put up some fences around the Android ecosystem while not quite going as far as Apple's walled garden. 

Just today, I learned that even if you're able to deny apps access to location datas, some apps can still get that information through usuage and charging of the battery.  It's quite brilliant but also scary. 

So, I hope that Google will address security issues more frequently and better communicate it with users.  Personally, I have no issues with entrusting Google with some of my information.  I just like for Google to better protect it even more.