Happy Da Vinci day, everyone!

Jess, the photo looks nice. Great idea. Quite the omniumgatherum of people we are…. I enjoyed our brief IM chat last night.

Glad to hear Auntie Bea is so much better.

Congrats on cleaning up the computer Addo! That sounded like quite the education…

I should save this for April first, but I got a laugh out of it this morning and thought I’d share it.

Wired Gadget Lab

Imperial Death Star

[RETAIL: 7.68 quadrillion credits]

I used to hunt pesky rebels piecemeal — but with this fully operational battle station, crushing the spirit of the galactic populace is easy. Gone are the inefficient, gargantuan fleets commanded by jackbooted admirals. With this new toy, I can order my underlings to fire when ready and it’s as good as done. And don’t let the name fool you — it isn’t all about death. The amenities are first class, with all the modern comforts, plus excellent trash compaction facilities. And its eight lasers are great not only for destroying the home worlds of those who oppose His Imperial Highness, but also for cooking frozen pizzas in nanoseconds. It won’t set any records in the Kessel Run, but it’s completely indestructible. It has not one weakness! — Grand Moff Nguyen

[RATING: 9/10]

Voigt-Kampff Replicant Test

[RETAIL: 327,000,000 yen]

There’s nothing more aggravating than discovering that a seemingly human employee or friend is actually a robot. That’s why I was glad to find this Voigt-Kampff test kit. Just hook a “person” up to this device, ask a few dozen simple questions, and you can easily separate the real meat from the tofu. It sounds so promising; I’ve long suspected my housekeeper of being a scheming android trying to “pass.” I’m sad to report, however, that the test doesn’t work. I hooked myself up for a trial run, only to be labeled a replicant. Me?! Voigt and Kampff obviously need to spend more time debugging their software. I mean, if I was a replicant, I’d only be three or four years old, tops. And I distinctly remember idyllic childhood vacations frolicking around on grandpappy’s apple orchard. — C.B.

[RATING: 2/10]

SkyNet Defense Automation System

[RETAIL: $6.23 billion]

My entire battery of land, sea, and airborne nuclear defense systems used to operate independently, controlled by inefficient government and military bureaucracies. Not so now that I have SkyNet. It has interconnected and automated all of my thermonuclear delivery devices, and thanks to advanced imbedded artificial intelligence, it can even perform threat assessment. Though perhaps best of all, since it’s based on some highly sophisticated robotics technology I found under a metal compress in an old machine shop, I don’t even have to pay patent licensing fees. Some people think it’s antiquated to maintain a vast arsenal of megaton weapons in this post-cold war era. To them I say, pshaw! — Robert Capps

[RATING: 9/10]

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