Friday, April 18, 2014

Boston Firefighters are forced to destroy a brand new BMW, and nothing else cool happens all week - Friday Link Roundup

Best new EMS products

Dan White at EMS1 unveils the top 10 new EMS products of 2014. Seems a little premature for a best-of-the-year list, but maybe the dude has some insider info and knows the rest of the year is going to be a wash. (EMS1)

Police force uses Toughbooks

Panasonic's business blog profiles the Miami-Dade Public Schools Police Department, focusing on their use of Toughbooks. In other news, dog bites man, child does something cute in a video, and you'll never guess which common household item may be killing you. All this and more tonight at eleven. (Panasonic Solutions for Business Blog)

Illegal parking results in more than a ticket

If you park your brand new BMW in front of a hydrant, Firefighters might have to smash the hell out of it. (CBS Boston)

Hand signals can be confusing. Check out these two guides.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Girl Talk uses Panasonic Toughbooks

Every couple of days, I search "Toughbook" on Reddit to see if anyone has any questions I can help with, or if there's any breaking news on rugged laptops. I don't often find anything. That's why so many of the posts here are about non-rugged things. When I do find something, it's usually pretty dry (Toughbooks are awesome, but let's be frank, they aren't always the sexiest thing to read about). Today, however, I found something a little outside the norm: legendary mashup artist Girl Talk uses Panasonic Toughbooks in his performances!

What the heck is a Girl Talk? Mashup???

I suspect that the Venn diagram of hipsters and Toughbook enthusiasts shows very little overlap, so I'll explain. Girl Talk is the stage name of Gregg Michael Gillis, an electronic musician from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He's known for his mashups, which are something like musical collages, combinations of different popular songs to create something new. They have been the subject of some debate over copyright law. Gillis in particular was used as an example during a 2007 Congressional hearing on copyright law.

Here's an example of a Girl Talk mashup, but be forewarned -- 


Here's a safe-for-work example of a mashup, though not by Girl Talk

So, anyway, Girl Talk did an "Ask Me Anything" (or AMA) on Reddit. The format of an AMA, for the uninitiated, is basically a massive, public interview where users can ask a notable person any question they want. AMA participants in the past have included the likes of Harrison Ford, Bill Gates and President Obama.

Way down the page, a user asked Gillis how many computers he's gone through during his time performing as Girl Talk. This was his answer:
"i broke too many computers 2006-2010. not even sure. i havent broke a laptop in a few years. not trying to do a product placement right now, but those panasonic toughbooks are legit!"
Nice! Here are some photos I found online. Looks like he uses a CF-30 and a CF-74.
Photo by Flickr user Zoe, licensed under Creative Commons
Photo by Flickr user Monica D., licensed under Creative Commons
Photo by Flickr user Zoe, licensed under Creative Commons

Toughbooks are hip with the youngsters now! Spread the word!

Friday, April 11, 2014

New York's Finest and Bravest duke it out, burglars get caught in the zaniest way, and medical science keeps on being awesome - Friday Link Roundup

NYPD and FDNY brawl at charity hockey game

What's up with the weird feud between police and firefighters? I asked on Twitter, but no one responded. It's crazy! Anyway, things got crazy during a NYPD vs FDNY charity hockey game. Of course, it was captured on video. My main take away from all this is that the goalies seemed pretty un-involved -- not just in the fight (in the video, you can see them chatting and watching the fight together), but also in the game itself -- the score was 8-5! Did they block a single shot? (Newsday via PoliceOne)

Burglary suspects pocket dial 911 while discussing crimes

This is too ridiculous for even the most lazily written '80s cop TV shows. Two crooks are arrested after one accidentally dials 911 and leaves the line open while he discusses the crime with his partner. What?! (Associated Press via PoliceOne)

Scientists attempt 3D-printed, "bioficial" heart

Scientists in Kentucky are working toward making functional human hearts using 3D printing technology and the patient's own cells ("bioficial" is a portmanteau of "biological" and "artificial"). They are making good progress, and hope to have the technology perfected within a decade. (Associated Press via EMS World)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Link Roundup: April Fools' Edition

Tuesday was April Fools' day, otherwise known as the day where everything you read is a lie. The Internet is still saturated with the remnants (and consequences) of that, so it seems fitting to give this week's link roundup an April Fools' theme. That said, unless otherwise noted, all these stories are true.

Bob Johnson's Computer Stuff, Inc. wasn't actually sold to a hot sauce review blog

Sorry to disappoint you, but that was just an April Fools' joke. If you missed out, on Tuesday we posted on that we had been purchased by Eat More Heat, a very real hot sauce review blog. We said that we'd stop selling Toughbooks and start selling hot sauce. They made a similar post on their site. It was all a lie, and we were being a bunch of lying liars. We "did it for the laffs," and laughs laffs were had. If you want to see it, and maybe get a few laffs of your own, we archived our April Fools' page so that it may live on throughout the ages.

Cop "pranks" responsible drivers by giving them $100

So zany!

Firefighter in hot water over April Fools' prank

Albuquerque, NM: a firefighter, suffering from an underdeveloped humor lobe in his brain (or something else; I'm not a neuroscientist), is under investigation for a Facebook post about police killing suspects. Hilarious. Seriously, I'm all for the good-natured rivalry between cops and firefighters, but "good-natured" is the key phrase there. I'm all for pranks (as evidenced by our own prank on Tuesday), but jeez. (PoliceOne via Associated Press)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bob cries, Houston FD rocks, and I make an infographic about another infographic - Friday Link Roundup

Wanna see a video of Bob crying at his 12th birthday party? Of course you do

Bob's birthday was yesterday. If you missed the post on our Facebook page, here is a video of him crying at his 12th birthday party because he was unable to blow out the trick candles on his cake.

Houston Fire Department makes an incredible save

Captured on video: a construction worker narrowly escapes the 5-alarm fire that engulfed a Houston apartment complex on Tuesday. He leaps from a top-story balcony to the one beneath it before the rescue ladder reaches him. If not for luck and quick reactions, this story could have had a very different ending. All this was caught on video. (Washington Post)

After the blaze, Houstonians did their best to thank the nearly 200 first responders with free BBQ. (Houston Chronicle)

Panasonic's Olympic Legacy

For 25 years, Panasonic has played a role behind the scenes at the Olympics. They made an infographic about it. No Toughbooks here, though. I think whoever made the graphic might have been a little fixated on statistics about video cameras. Here's an infographic I made about their infographic. (Panasonic for Business blog)

Bob Johnson talks shop at Alliance Mid-Atlantic Small Business Procurement Fair

Left-to-right: Ken Anderson (Moderator), Robert DeGour, Darnyelle A. Jervey, and Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson served as a featured speaker Wednesday, March 19 at the 2014 Alliance Mid-Atlantic Small Business Procurement Fair held in Wilmington, DE. After opening remarks by Governor Jack Markell and Delaware Economic Development Office Cabinet Secretary Alan Levin, Johnson joined two other panelists to discuss proven strategies for small business success in the new economy.

Representing the longest-operating business on the panel, and the only business founded before the 2008 recession, Johnson fielded questions and offered advice about surviving economic downturns, finding a niche market, and adapting business strategies.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Better handcuffing method, a Lamborghini, and the answer to an age-old question - Friday Link Roundup

It's been a pretty slow week in Toughbook news (to be honest, most weeks are). Here are some fun, not-necessarily-ruggedized links for your Friday.

The martial art of handcuffing

Retired officer and developer of the L.O.C.K.U.P. system Lt. Kevin Dillon demonstrates a safer method of handcuffing a suspect. (Police Magazine)

The LAPD has a sweet Lambo

Joining the ranks of millionaires going through mid-life crises and the spoiled children of oil magnates, the Los Angeles Police Department now has a Lamborghini Gallardo. The supercar, which was donated by fiber optics industrialists Natalie and Travis Marg and painted in the traditional black and white, has its own Twitter and Instagram accounts. In response to this, our intern will make a Twitter account for his 2004 Dodge Neon. (LAist)

Why are firetrucks red?

If you are unfamiliar with Wolfram Alpha, it is a "computational knowledge engine." It's a bit like Google, but instead of crawling the Web to find relevant pages, it uses math, logic and databases of information to solve queries. Search "Why are firetrucks red?" in Wolfram Alpha and see the amazing result all that science and computational power returns.

I wonder if anyone has ever done a PhD dissertation on the Monty Pythonesque application of the principles of logic and etymology. (Wolfram Alpha)