Trick kicks, breathtaking quadcopter video and more in this week’s Staff Picks

Staff Picks 4-13

bill-robersonBill Roberson: Two minutes from now you will want a quadcopter

Had a long week? Chill out to this short video clip from Robert Macintosh. Using a remote-controlled quadcopter and a small POV camera, he takes us on a relaxing – and then amazing – trip around and through an amusement park as the sun comes up in Santa Monica, California. Music is “How Does It Make you Feel” by Air. It makes us feel great.

andrew-coutsAndrew Couts: Red Bull, stop being awesome

Super-caffeinated drink maker Red Bull is one of those companies I just really want to hate. Overpriced energy drink that tastes like crushed up Sweet Tarts? Whatever – bugger off. I’ll just have some coffee. But then I take a look at all the complete badassery they sponsor, from wicked airplane races to Felix Baumgartner’s skydive from space, and I can’t help but love the company’s marketing strategy.

Red Bull sent me another wave of positive vibes this week with its Red Bull Illume project, and its LED wakeboard creations. Basically, Red Bull hooked up pro wakeboarders Mike Dowdy, Adam Errington, and Dallas Friday with photographer and “light painter” Patrick Rochon to create some of the most amazing photographs I’ve ever seen. Damnit, Red Bull — this is why I can’t quit you! 

natt-garunNatt Garun: Can you name all the memes in this poster?

Anyone who knows me knows I’m all about the Internet. The culture, the memes, the jokes, the GIFs. It’s every reason why I adore this CollegeHumor poster of “The Internet,” encapsulating past and present Web celebrities into one giant Where’s Waldo-esque screen. All your favorites are there: Overly Obsessed Girlfriend, Rage Faces, Psy, planking, various iterations of cats, advice animals, and more. It’s too bad for Bad Luck Brian though. Gets made into a meme, doesn’t make it to poster about popular memes. The cycle is complete. Someone print this out on a map-sized matte poster for me please?


ryan-flemingRyan Fleming: Not every superpower is great, but some are profitable

Norwegian Internet phenom Havard “Kicklicious” Rugland has been blessed with an oddly specific mutant super power. Rather than being able to fire optic blasts or teleport, he has been given the far less sexy – but probably more profitable – ability of kicking footballs.

Rugland, a former amateur soccer stand out, began his road to the NFL with his “Kicklicious” YouTube video (below), showing off his ability to kick trick shots. He displays his range by easily nailing 60 yarders, then casually kicks a few like he can barely control his power. Perhaps his attempt to head Stateside stems less from his desire to play in the NFL and more from his horrifying habit of accidentally kicking small, Norwegian pets into orbit. Maybe in Norwegian, “Kicklicious” actually translates to “dog punter.”

The video was filmed and circulated in September of 2012, which landed Rugland a tryout with the Jets. The Jets passed, which makes you wonder how horrible that tryout must have been for the lowly Jets to pass. Really, really bad. Just awful. Like, maybe he murdered someone. Rugland then spent the year working with a former NFL kicker and it paid off. After a successful tryout, the Detroit Lions signed him to undisclosed terms. He will still have to compete for the job against two others, including the legendary David Aker who just turned 129 years old (roughly), but the 28-year old will have his shot.

caleb-denisonCaleb Denison: Oligobble this, Comcast!

This morning, I woke up a free man. The air smells fresher, the sun is shining (hey, I’m in Oregon), and this obscene pile of biscuits and gravy I’m about to go to town on is lookin’ biscuitier and gravy-i-er than it has in years. That’s because this morning, I cut the cord. Hey, pass the Cholula, will ya?

Technically, I wielded my big machete in Comcast’s general direction last night when I called the company and canceled my TV and Internet phone service; but the change actually took place this morning, evidenced by the fact that what was once Nat Geo Wild is now just a beautiful blue screen. I still have Comcast’s Internet service because, as a self-identified cord-cutter, Internet is essential and Comcast’s is the best in town. But I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to flip my cable company the bird – they’ve been screwing me for years – now that I’m saving $110 a month.

I’m not singling out Comcast here – it isn’t any more or less evil than any other cable provider. But that’s really the problem, isn’t it? They’re all shitty. There’s a reason all cable customers complain about the same things – unnecessary channels, endless surprise fees and taxes, no custom channel packages, outrageous rates – it’s because they’re all in cahoots!

The good news is, this is all about to change. Numbers are coming in that show delivery of content via the Internet is exploding in popularity. Content providers must now hop on board the Ark of Internet TV delivery or face certain extinction, and that’s going to change the way cable companies operate. And the best way to hasten that change is to send a strong message by canceling your cable TV service – just like I did.

If you’re not sure whether cutting the cord is right for you, check out the video below produced by the Wall Street Journal which discusses the pros and cons to cord cutting. And if you are ready to pull the trigger, check out our Cord Cutting 101 page to learn how you can do it. Now excuse me while I hunker down on my couch, fire up my Roku box and watch just about any damn thing I please.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Home Theater

Budget TVs are finally worth buying, and you can thank Roku

Not all that long ago, budget TVs were only worth looking at if, well, you were on a budget. Thanks to Roku, not only are budget TVs now a viable option for anyone, but they might even be a better buy than more expensive TVs.

Turn your desk into a command center with the best ultrawide monitors

Top of the line ultrawide monitors have the deepest curves, the sharpest colors, and the biggest screens on the market. You’re going to want one, sooner or later. So why not sooner? These are the best ultrawide monitors you can buy now.
Home Theater

Got a long plane ride ahead? Here's how to download movies from Netflix

If you want to watch your favorite Netflix films and TV shows but don't have a data connection, you need to download them to view offline. Here, we show you how to dfownload movies and TV series from Netflix in iOS, Android, or Windows 10.

Still have money in your Flexible Spending Account? Head to the FSA online store

Don’t panic if you still have money sitting in your FSA and no doctor's appointments on the horizon. The FSA store has plenty of cool, useful gizmos you’ll want to purchase for your home and your health.
Emerging Tech

Whether you fly for fun or filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.

Smartphone makers are vomiting a torrent of new phones, and we’re sick of it

Smartphone manufacturers like Huawei, LG, Sony, and Motorola are releasing far too many similar phones. The update cycle has accelerated, but more choice is not always a good thing.
Home Theater

The Apple AirPods 2 needed to come out today. Here are four reasons why

Apple announced numerous new products at its October 30 event, a lineup that included a new iPad Pro, a MacBook Air, as well as a new Mac Mini. Here are four reasons we wish a new set of AirPods were on that list.

Do we even need 5G at all?

Faster phones, easier access to on-demand video, simpler networking -- on the surface, 5G sounds like a dream. So why is it more of a nightmare?

Razer’s most basic Blade 15 is the one most gamers should buy

Razer's Blade 15 is an awesome laptop for both gamers, streamers, professionals, and anyone else needing serious go in a slim profile, but its price is out of reach for many games. The new Blade 15 Base solves that problem with few…

Going to hell, again. The Switch makes 'Diablo 3' feel brand-new

I've played every version of Diablo 3 released since 2012, racking up hundreds of hours in the process. Six years later, I'm playing it yet again on Nintendo Switch. Somehow, it still feels fresh.

‘Fallout 76’ may have online multiplayer but it’s still a desolate wasteland

"Is Fallout 76 an MMO?" That depends on who you ask. Critics and players often cite its online multiplayer capabilities as a reason it qualifies. Yet calling the game an MMO only confuses matters, and takes away from what could make…
Digital Trends Live

Microsoft has #*!@ed up to-do lists on an epic scale

Microsoft has mucked up to-do lists on a scale you simply can’t imagine, a failure that spans multiple products and teams, like a lil’ bit of salmonella that contaminates the entire output from a factory.

As Amazon turns up the volume on streaming, Spotify should shudder

Multiple players are all looking to capitalize on the popularity of streaming, but it has thus far proved nearly impossible to make a profit. Could major tech companies like Amazon be primed for a streaming take-over?

Throw out the sandbox. ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ is a fully realized western world

Despite featuring around 100 story missions, the real destination in Red Dead Redemption 2 is the journey you make for yourself in the Rockstar's open world, and the game is better for it.