Skip to main content

Smashing speed records, the best selfie ever, and more in this week’s Staff Picks

Staff Picks 07_06_2013 header
Image used with permission by copyright holder

ryan-fleming-6-94x94Ryan Fleming: Best selfie Ever

Smartphones and digital devices make life better, but they make things dumber as well. If you have a Facebook account, then you probably know all about the dreaded selfie – a picture that a person takes of themselves on their own camera, or more commonly a smartphone, either by extending their arm and looking back at themselves, or by taking a shot of their reflection in the mirror. It’s common, it’s understandable, and like the dreaded “duck face” it is almost always unflattering and needs to end … or at least jump to the next level.

Kayleigh Hill knows how to up her selfie game. During the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, Hill decided to take a selfie of herself while running on the field during a game. The look of sheer joy contrasted by the frantic look on the security guy’s face is classic (and was captured and reposted by Buzzfeed). Hill claimed that it would cost her $1500 in fines, and she did interrupt an important game for the college baseball fan … but look at her. Look at that look of joy on her face even as she is being tackled. Well played, Kayleigh Hill. Well played.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

natt garunNatt Garun: Shut down the Internet, it’s Flash Shamu time

I have been staring at this website for about 15 minutes. Staring, scrolling, slowly wiping drool from the corners of my mouth. I don’t know how to describe this but absolutely mesmerizing. Who the heck knows where this Flash orca came from, why it looks so angry and pixelated, or if it has more intentions than just following your browser pointer – all I know is this thing is my new best friend and no, that’s not creepy at all. When everyone comes back into the office on Monday after your holiday break, just send this out in a mass e-mail and see how many colleagues you can catch staring at Shamu for longer than five minutes. Can’t promise you won’t get fired, but if they’re as cool as I’d like to think they are, they’ll thank you for it. Come on, guys, a personal pet orca! Who can be mad?

Staff Picks 07_06_2013 Flash Shamu
Image used with permission by copyright holder

amir iliafarAmir Iliafar: Rudely interrupted

I don’t even know where to begin but I’ll start by graciously tipping my hat to arch-nemesis and Social editor Molly McHugh for this find.

Russians love dash cams and we love Russians that use ‘em. Why? Well, we get crazy shit like this, that’s why.

As you can see from the vid, some Boris is driving along, minding his own business – on what seems like a normal country road – when BAM! Out of nowhere a pair of horny cows enters the roadway busy getting their Marvin Gaye on. In less than a split second the unsuspecting driver plows into the cows while the bull plows into the other. One cow goes flying, shattering the windshield while the other has his week presumably ruined.

It’s a whole mix of crazy and awesome with a little bit of WTF sprinkled in. But that’s not even the best part. Look at the timestamp on this vid; it’s from the freaking future! Russia already beat us into space, now they are perfecting time travel?! Well played, Putin.

molly mchughMolly McHugh

Disclaimer: I’m a horrible person. Usually I use Staff Picks to mock or shame someone or something. But not this week. No, this week belongs to you, Lentil. I don’t know if it was the three whiskey gingers before bed or the fact that I’m pretty sure my mom call-screened and hit ignore on me last night, but when I happened upon this story, I got a big rush of all the feelings.

Meet Lentil: He’s a tiny French Bull dog with a cleft palate. All the puppies in Lentil’s litter had serious facial defects … and … they all died. Except Lentil. Because Lentil is the chosen one.

Lentil used to have to eat from a tube but had surgery so now he can eat or drink on his own more easily. However, Lentil’s owner chose not to fix the aesthetics of his face, because that would have been for purely cosmetic reasons.

In case this isn’t all heartbreaking and adorable enough, allow me to really drop the hammer: Lentil is an “ambassadog” (I wish I could claim responsibility for making that title) with a pet therapy program where kids meet and play with animals that have the same conditions they do.

So now that you’re feeling bad and good and happy and sad and confused, I leave you with this video of Lentil. He has wiggled his way into my heart and I’ll never be the same and have to go cry and laugh into my keyboard now.

caleb-denisonCaleb Denison: Try this on your Huffy

For this week’s staff picks, I’m sticking to my bike theme. Last week, I shared a look at one of the most bad-ass bike riders I’ve ever seen. This week’s bikers, however, get my pick because they reach incredible speeds under their own power. In fact, you could say they are the fastest humans on earth.

 This September at Battle Mountain, Nevada, the World Human Powered Speed Challenge (WHPSC) will take place. There, Canadian cyclist, Sam Whittingham, Scottish cyclist, Graeme Obree and a host of other speed-demons from all over the world will climb into light-weight contraptions that look more like rockets than bicycles and do battle along a five-mile stretch of desert highway.

Whittingham, who is featured in this video (skip to 7:45 for the goods), is the current record holder, having reached an incredible 82.819 mph. But Obree thinks he has what it takes to take Whittingham down.

Like many of the bikes that will compete at the event, Obree’s is a recumbent design. But his cycle is unique because, in order to ride it, he must face the ground. What could possibly go wrong? You can see Obree doing a test-run in his uniquely designed cycle here, but be sure to hit the video below to get a feel for just how crazy things can get on two wheels.

Digital Trends Staff
Digital Trends has a simple mission: to help readers easily understand how tech affects the way they live. We are your…
JPEG vs. PNG: When and why to use one format over the other
A person using Adobe Lightroom CC on an iMac.

In digital imaging, two image formats prevail above all else: JPEG (or JPG) and PNG.

At first glance, a single image shown in both formats might seem identical, but if you look closely enough and dig into the data, there is quite a difference between them. One format isn't always better than the other, as each is designed to be used in specific circumstances based on your needs for image quality, file size, and more. Here's what you need to know about both formats to make the most of their strengths and weaknesses.
What is the JPEG format?
Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group -- the team that developed the format -- JPEG has become the standard compressed format in digital photography and online image sharing due to its careful balance of file size and image quality.

Read more
Is there a Walmart Plus free trial? Get a month of free delivery
Walmart logo.

Take a moment and think about how often you shop at your local Walmart. Is it weekly? Daily? If either of those is the case, it might be time to upgrade your shopping experience. The Walmart Plus free trial is your chance to check out what the retail giant has to offer. Walmart Plus is basically Amazon Prime for Walmart. You get free shipping on most orders, early access to deals and new product drops (like PS5 restocks), the best grocery delivery, and more. If Walmart is your go-to option for the best smart home devices or the best tech products in general, you should get a membership. If you want to test out the service, you can sign up for a free trial. We have all the information you need right here.
Is there a Walmart Plus free trial?
There is a Walmart Plus free trial available, and it’s one of the best free trials we’ve seen in terms of how many great features and conveniences you’re able to access. This is really a reflection of how great the Walmart Plus service is, as the Walmart Plus free trial is essentially a 30-day experience of what it would be like to be a paid Walmart Plus subscriber. A Walmart Plus membership can help you save over $1,300 per year, so taking advantage of the 30-day free trial is a great way to get in there and see what those savings will look like. And if grocery delivery is what you're really after, an alternative you might consider is the Instacart free trial -- they have more than one program to try!

As part of a Walmart Plus free trial, you’ll get free shipping with no minimum order, so even small orders will qualify for free shipping. You’ll get fresh groceries and more with no delivery fees, and all at the same low in-store prices Walmart shoppers are used to. Walmart Plus members, and Walmart Plus free trial members, get exclusive access to special promotions and events, as well as a savings of up to 10 cents per gallon on fuel. A new addition to the perks of being a Walmart Plus member is free access to Paramount Plus, a top-notch streaming service with more than 40,000 TV episodes and movies. All of this is accessible for 30 days through a Walmart Plus free trial, and once those 30 days are up, Walmart Plus is just $12.95 per month or $98 annually.

Read more
The 13 best early Black Friday deals you can shop this weekend
Digital Trends Best Black Friday Deals

Even though Black Friday is still a couple of weeks away, we're already starting to see a lot of great deals on several different types of products. So, if you can't wait for the upcoming Black Friday and need to grab a few things now, we've collected some of our favorite deals across products and budget ranges to make your life a little bit easier. Below, you'll find deals on cordless vacuums, laptops, TVs, headphones, and phones, so it's a great collection of stuff that we think you'll find useful and want to grab. That said, if you can't find what you want, be sure to check our main Black Friday deals page for even more great offers.
Wyze Cordless Stick Vacuum -- $98, was $150

While budget cordless vacuum cleaners can sometimes not be that great, we found the Wyze Cordless Stick Vacuum to be surprisingly good for its price point. At just 2.8 pounds of weight, it's light enough that you won't feel like you're doing a workout every time you use it, and it is great for those who might have issues with arm weakness. Just because it's light doesn't mean it's not powerful, though, with two motors providing 24,000 pascals of suction, which is quite a lot at this price. It also has a HEPA filter to keep the air you breathe clean while vacuuming, which is impressive, but sadly, it does have a big downside in that it only lasts for about 50 minutes of vacuuming. That's not necessarily a dealbreaker, and you can buy a backup battery, but it's an important thing to note.

Read more