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I am just clever enough to get myself in trouble…

It’s the end of an era.

Pixelbook Go; Image by Author.

I’ve been using Chrome OS for a long, long time. I started with a cheap Samsung Chromebook (their original one), and I loved it so much that I even traded my trusty iPad for that computer.

That was back when there were no Android apps, no Linux support, and barely any offline features other than Google Docs. But that was fine for me, despite having much more limited access to the internet at that time, as writing in Google Docs was all I really wanted it for.

But times have changed… and so have I.

I never intended to give…

A few short reviews for things I might have missed.

Image Credit: Disney

Unlike 2020, there’s a lot of new content coming out right now. And frankly, it’s been hard to keep up with writing reviews for each and every one of them. Some of them I had thoughts on, but not enough to write a full story. Others simply got away from me and no longer seemed relevant. So here they are, in a heap, all at once.

Dig in. (SPOILERS ahead)

Black Widow

What do you get when you cross a Trickster God with a Time Lord?

Image Credit: Disney

As River Song would say: “Spoilers!”

I knew I was going to enjoy Marvel’s Loki series. But dammnit, I didn’t realize I was going to love it this much.

Loki Laufeyson has always been an intriguing character in the MCU. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Tom Hiddleston’s performance as the God of Mischief, from his first appearance in his brother’s titular movie to his tussle with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, all the way through his jaunt on Sakaar and his eventual demise. But for having had so much screen time and so many pivotal roles to play, Loki always seemed to be just

Man, I missed the popcorn… but not the crowds.

Black Widow now in theaters; Image Credit: Disney

Until the COVID-19 pandemic began, you would have easily found me in the movie theaters constantly. In my early 20’s, I would often go see movies every week, sometimes viewing more than one movie a day. And even as I got older and started having more “responsibilities” (full-time jobs, bills to pay, etc. and so forth), I would still find time to see the movies that I wanted to see, usually more than once in the theater; my record is 9 times for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and for movies like Guardians of the Galaxy I went twice…

It’s a good update, but not a thrilling one.

iPadOS 15 as it appears on my iPad; screenshot by Author.

I’ve been testing out iOS- and iPadOS- 15 ever since the developer betas hit the street. And I’ve been trying to write about them ever since. But I was struggling to find the words.

Despite the fact that I was so intrigued by the updates to iPadOS 15 that I was ready to install it the instant Apple’s Keynote was over, once it was in my hands and I was using it, my excitement seemed to evaporate.

Now, don’t get me wrong; iOS and iPadOS 15 are absolutely worthwhile updates to their respective platforms. …

ARM wrestle?

Surface Pro X; image by Author.

Ok, let’s try this one again.

I say that because I’ve started, stopped, and restarted this story about ten times now, trying to decide if I was writing a review of the Surface Pro X, a comparison to other Surfaces, or a comparison to the ARM-based M1 MacBook Air. It’s gone through favorable and less-favorable reviews as I’ve tried to settle on my opinion of this device. But maybe first we should look at how I got here.

It all started when I fell out of love with my MacBook.

Look, I didn’t mean to fall out of love with…

Three Computers, three new takes.

Surface Laptop Go; Image by Author

I spent a considerable portion of 2020 looking for a new computer. I went back and forth… and back… and forth… … and back and forth again before I finally settled down with the M1 MacBook Air. And I haven’t looked back since.

Ok, that last sentence right there might be a bit of an exaggeration; I haven’t looked back for a while. You can read all about my backs and forths if you go through my Medium catalog (many are titled “Battle Royale with Cheese”); today, however, I want to talk about the one(s) that got away.

And it…

Let the Best Franchise Win.

Image Credit: Disney

I’ve never been one to hate a movie franchise because I love another; in my opinion, it is much more fun to enjoy them both.

That said, I don’t view them all equally. And if I one day find myself in some weird post-apocalyptic Facebook-driven world where I’m forced to choose one movie franchise and let the other disappear into oblivion (seriously, why do those Facebook posts seem to believe there isn’t room for all of the movies to co-exist?), I’d like to have my answer straight.

Now, no movie franchise is identical, so I won’t be comparing apples to…

Do you get what you pay for?

Anker Soundcore Life Tune XR; Image by author.

When reviewers got their hands on AirPods Max, a lot of them did the exact same thing: they compared them to the “standard”, the headphones that people were already spending hundreds of dollars on. Sony’s XM4’s, for example. Most of them were asking the same questions, too: which sounded better? Or, more aptly, were the AirPods Max worth their high price tag?

That’s not what I’m doing here today. Not at all. I mean… what more could I possibly add to that conversation?

No, today I’ve decided to compare the AirPods Max to two of the cheapest over-ear headphones I’ve…

Curse of the Blue Apple.

Apple? (Image Credit: Disney)

The other night, I sat down to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl- as one does- and I noticed something odd. When Barbossa offered Elizabeth Swann an apple, it looked blue.

Now, I knew this was wrong for a number of reasons. Firstly, I remembered that the apple had been green originally- and I had memorized this movie, having seen it eight times in theaters and countless times on DVD and Blu-Ray. Secondly, I knew that blue apples didn’t exist… at least, not back in the 1700s. …

Joshua Beck

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