All Your Favorite Weed References in One Glorious Supercut

Turns out, the American motion picture and music recording industry loves weed just as much the rest of us do. For more than 60 years, weed’s been getting name-dropped in pop culture—from early propaganda videos like Reefer Madness to more recent celebrations of stoner culture like Half Baked. Eclectic method integrates both viewpoint extremes (and everything in between) in his latest mashup—just in time for Sunday’s Holy High Holiday, 4/20.

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A remote-controlled machine gun riot dispersal tool installed on a wall near Bethlehem, just near th

A remote-controlled machine gun riot dispersal tool installed on a wall near Bethlehem, just near the border of Palestine and Jerusalem. Spotted by several Palestinian news outlets, the weapon—which is equipped with cameras and is located very close to a mosque—was reportedly installed by Israeli forces on Sunday.

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How Apple could release a really expensive iWatch and prime the market for the wearable revolution

Just as they were late getting into the smartphone game, Apple has not rushed into the wrist race with iWatch. Check out Smartwatch Fans and you’ll find no less than 14 smartwatches that are either available now or will be early this year. Some are from major companies like Samsung, Sony and Qualcomm. Others are from startups like Pebble and Neptune that are hoping to compete wrist to wrist with the big boys and win. So how could Apple capture not only the mind share, but make the market?

From my observations, 2013’s most highly regarded smartwatch was the Pebble. The most marketed — and the one that has hit the most wrists to date — is the Samsung Galaxy Gear. The Gear is also the one that’s probably been returned the most. 

Prior to 2007, the smartphone industry had already been plodding along for years. Predictions were that within a few years every phone would be a smartphone. Smartphone sales began moving from the early tech adopter, enterprise customer and prosumer to mainstream consumer, and the companies selling smartphones on the market began to see their sales spike. BlackBerry’s share price skyrocketed as the company saw massive quarter over quarter growth in sales and revenue. BlackBerry was on the hockey stick ride to riches — they had passed the inflection point and could barely keep up with the growing levels of demand.

Then Apple announced the iPhone, and the rest as they say, is history. The success of the iPhone as a tech product is, to date, unrivaled.

Will the same be true for the wearables market if Apple announces an iWatch as as early as this year? Well, the mainstream demand for smartwatches has not yet hit that same inflection point as the demand had for smartphones when Apple entered the market. In other words, we’re still on the blade and haven’t hit the handle. 

The average person who owns a smartphone doesn’t yet know why they’d want a smartwatch.

Browse around the web and you’ll find plenty of people suggesting that smartwatches are just having a moment of glory, but that it’s just a fad and it will soon fizzle out. That the demand will never move beyond the early tech adopters who are the ones reading this with a smartwatch already on their wrist. The average person who owns a smartphone doesn’t yet know why they’d want a smartwatch, and even if they understood its full benefits, may still be reluctant to go out and buy one.

I firmly believe Apple has the ability to accelerate the mainstream demand for smartwatches, pushing it from the few million early adopters who want a smartwatch now to the 10+ or even 100+ million who are going to own an iWatch in just a few years.

Personally, I think a bracelet or band-style device makes the most sense and neatly sidesteps the entire watch and fashion debate. However, I also think the idea of a premium, high-end iWatch is also worth considering.

The Pebble retails for $150, the Gear for $299. Whether you personally consider those prices expensive or cheap, they are prices affordable to most people who really want to own one.  In other words, this is mainstream consumer pricing in a product category still in the early adopter phase.

In the case of Samsung, they’ve put their marketing might behind the Gear as they would their latest Galaxy S phone. There have been some great commercials (some awkward ones too) and they have blanketed their advertising around the globe. As a Pebble owner, I get asked frequently if it’s a Gear on my wrist. Despite the awareness for the Gear, the mainstream demand just isn’t there yet. It’s selling, but it’s not flying of the shelves. And the new and improved Gear 2 and Gear Fit won’t likely change this. 

Apple has the ability, in two product generations, to build incredible mindshare and marketshare for their iWatch.

Apple however, has the ability in two product generations to build incredible mindshare and marketshare for their iWatch, especially if they cater the first generation of iWatch to early adopters who are willing to spend more money than the average mainstream consumer. In doing so, the first iWatch will become the marketing tool that creates the demand to sell the second iWatch to the masses.

If Apple created an iWatch that sold at a high price point — say $1000, or $1500, or heck, even $3,000 or more (think of it as wearing a Mac Pro on your wrist), it would be difficult to justify and be priced out of reach for the vast majority of people. Yet, people would definitely buy it, and everybody would want it. Luxury watch aficionados may at first scorn such a watch, but there’s still a large contingent who would run out and buy it. The tech fiends. All of the Valley. Everybody who’s made their money in tech. And then even the luxury watch crowd will go out and buy one, because they’ll just have to try it.

The iWatch would instantly, overnight become the most recognizable and sought after wrist watch on the planet (sorry Rolex). People who get spotted with one on their wrists will get stopped on the street — “Is… is that an iWatch?”

At a high price point, the iWatch goes from being a tech product to being an aspirational product. An object of desire. A luxury item. And people love luxury items. Apple has experience with this too. Look no further than the gold iPhone 5s. It wasn’t even real gold — just change the color to gold and limit supply and you have schmucks out there (like me!) willing to pay $1500 or more just to get their hands on one.

Apple could definitely build a wrist-wearable product worthy of a high price tag

Unlike a gold iPhone 5s, however, Apple could definitely build a wrist-wearable product worthy of a high price tag. People have often likened the precision and design of Apple’s latest generations of iPhones to that of luxury Swiss watches. I’ve never been a fan of that comparison, but do agree that Apple has the ability to create great hardware with extremely tight tolerances and elegant finishes. There is no doubt they could develop amazing hardware around an iWatch.

Looking at the luxury watch market as a proxy, there is a lot that can be done to a watch to build value into the hardware, from both a design and functionality perspective. Apple wouldn’t go all Virtue and bling up the iWatch with gold or diamonds, but they could put a sapphire crystal on it (makes it scratch proof) or create an iWatch that is submerssible to 300 meters. They could, finally, do something amazing with LiquidMetal.

Of course, an iWatch could take sensors to another level as well. Looking at what Apple has done with Touch ID, it’s not hard to imagine the bottom of the iWatch monitoring temperature, pulse, etc. in addition to all the usual motion trackers you’d expect.

It will be a watch that Jony Ive would want to wear.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook made the point that if you asked a room full of teenagers to raise their hands, that you wouldn’t see many watches being worn today. That’s true. The first iWatch won’t be for a teenager to wear though. It will be a watch that Jony Ive would want to wear.

The software will have to be good, but since Apple will own the software end to end from iPhone to iWatch, you know the integration will be better than anything a third party company can do that works with iOS.

With the success and learnings from their first iWatch, and with the mainstream market now educated about what the iWatch can do and everybody wishing they too could have an iWatch like those limited people who had the first one, Apple will take the experience in their next iWatch mainstream with a less expensive version.

It’s not dissimilar to the iPod model. A high-end starting point that appeals only to the high-end aficionados, but with less expensive and more mainstream models following on.

Will it play out this way? I have no idea. What I do know though is is that a person who’s spent more on their luxury watch collection than they did their university education, if Apple did release an expensive iWatch I’d be standing in line to buy one the day it goes on sale.

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Transformer Book T100 review: This hybrid fills both its tablet and notebook roles well

Asus has been in the tablet and keyboard dock game for a while now. After several generations of Android based tablet and keyboard dock combinations, the T100 brings the sometimes schizophrenic interface of Windows 8 to its logical home on a hybrid tablet/notebook.

The tablet looks and feels like so many other slates. It’s a 10-inch slab of screen with a few ports and buttons on its edges. The buttons are hidden behind the curve of the tablet so you can’t see them when you look from the front. It makes for a clean look, but they can be tricky to find by feel. On the left side of the top edge, you’ll find the lock button. Moving around the corner to the left edge there’s a volume rocker and a start button. The Windows logo in the center of the bottom bezel does nothing.

ROBERT CARDINDon’t bother pressing the Windows logo on this tablet’s bezel: It’s nonfunctional.

The ports and other slots all live on the right edge of the device: There’s a MicroSD card slot at the top and Micro HDMI, Micro-USB (for charging the tablet), and a headphone jack near the bottom. Two large slots on the bottom of the tablet line up with guide posts on the keyboard dock and the dock port itself. A button on the hinge of the dock releases the tablet when you don’t need the keyboard. It also partially blocks the Windows logo, which explains why touching it doesn’t deliver you to the Start screen.

The 10-inch screen runs a rather low 1366 by 768 pixels. Many higher-end and even mid-range tablets now come with 1080p screens. Despite the low pixel density, the only time I noticed pixels in regular use was when reading while lying on my stomach, putting the screen pretty close to my face. The screen was very clear on the desk or in my lap. The panel is bright and has excellent viewing angles. The brightness also turns down enough for reading comfortably at night without the need for sunglasses.

ROBERT CARDINThe Asus Transformer T100 is a tablet when you want one and a notebook when you need one.

The tablet feels solid despite its cheap-feeling glossy plastic back. The curved edges and back are very comfortable to hold in two hands, but the 10-inch widescreen is too wide in landscape mode and too tall in portrait mode for me to feel comfortable holding it in one hand for any length of time. Like most hybrids in this class, the Transformer T100 comes with 64GB of storage and 2GB of RAM (Asus also offers a 32GB model for $349). But Asus chose Intel’s new quad-core Atom Z3740 processor (from the Bay Trail family), and I was impressed by the smooth responsiveness of the system. I felt no slowdowns or stutters in average use, including Netflix streaming and some light gaming. Benchmark tests confirm the improved performance, with the Transformer Book scoring 10 to 20 percent higher on most tests compared to tablets based on Intel’s older Clover Trail CPUs.

Battery life is also much better. The average 7 to 8-hour run time of the previous generation didn’t need much improvement, but the Transformer Pad T100 lasted 11 hours and 9 minutes in our rundown test. On top of that, Bay Trail-based machines are also capable of running in connected standby, which means the machine draws almost no power while sleeping yet resumes to an up-to-date state (with email and other updates) almost instantly.

ROBERT CARDINThe hinge on the keyboard dock allows you to position the T100 to just the right angle.

That long battery life is all the more impressive considering that unlike Asus’s Transformer line of Android tablets, the docking keyboard doesn’t harbor a second battery. The extra weight would be a welcome addition, because the tablet-and-keyboard combo is fairly top heavy. I feared it would tip backwards while I was typing on my lap. The hinge rotates down as it’s opened, giving the keyboard a nice tilt, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the top heaviness.

The keyboard’s keys are a little more stiff than I like, and their short vertical spacing made even my tiny hands feel a little cramped. It’s still usable for long typing sessions, but it’s just not as comfortable as some others I’ve used.

The keyboard dock has a USB 3.0 port and a little touchpad on the keyboard dock, but it’s barely worth the space it takes up. It frequently didn’t pick up both my fingers for multitouch scrolling or other gestures, and I frequently found myself just reaching for the screen rather than fighting with the touchpad.

The Asus Transformer Pad T100 delivers on the hybrid promise of providing a good tablet experience and a solid notebook experience in one device, for a reasonable price. The keyboard is something of a compromise, but it’s not a deal breaker. And if you want to use this hybrid on a desktop, you can plug in a full-size keyboard and display.

Editor’s Note: This review is a head-to-head comparison with the Lenovo Miix 10. You’ll find the introduction to the story here and the review of the Miix 10 here.

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I worked at Blockbuster off and on all through high school and college.

I worked at Blockbuster off and on all through high school and college. It was easily the best minimum wage job I ever had (admittedly, that’s a fairly small list). The people I worked with were always cool, and managers were usually okay. I mainly worked in a college town, so it wasn’t tough to hit our numbers. It was just a generally chill place to be, working with movies and games. The best part of the job was easily when someone asked for a recommendation, and you got to help them pick out something they’d like.

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Bottle Opening Watch Focuses On the Most Important Hour of the Day

Bottle Opening Watch Focuses On the Most Important Hour of the Day

If the only thing that gets you through a long day of work is drowning your sorrows at quitting time, this enabling timepiece is the watch for you. Five o’clock is the only hour that’s clearly labeled, as far as the Ish watch is concerned the rest of the day is a fuzzy blur. But if you squint hard enough, you can make out the two moving dots that make up the watch’s hour and minute hands.

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Soaring Personnel Costs Threaten Readiness, Hagel Warns

On ‘Morning Edition’: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talks with NPR’s Steve Inskeep

Health care and retirement costs that already account for a large part of the U.S. military’s budget and are on a path to go even higher could leave the nation with “a military that’s heavily compensated, but probably a force that’s not capable and not ready,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tells NPR.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“That’s where it’s going, that’s not a subjective comment,” Hagel told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep during an interview that aired Wednesday.

The Pentagon chief noted that personnel costs — including spending on health care and retirement — account for about 50 percent of the military’s budget. “We know we can’t afford it,” Hagel said, and still be able to spend on equipment and other things that are vital to national security. He hopes that the administration and Congress can work together to make adjustments soon that “deal with it, now, in a fair way that doesn’t hurt anybody. It’s like Social Security reform and Medicare reform, if you start adjusting now.”

Hagel also spoke about the effort to bring women into combat roles, saying it has to be done “in a way that makes sense to give women a fair and equal opportunity,” without establishing quotas or other numerical goals.

NPR visited him on a day when he hosted six enlisted personnel for lunch.

An enlisted man himself during the Vietnam War, Hagel said that if he had been given the chance to meet the secretary of defense when he was in the Army, he “probably would have stuttered my way through my chocolate chip cookie” to ask “what is our objective in Vietnam?”

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