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July 4th Weekend Edition | What We’re Reading

What We're Reading

Welcome to a special 4th of July edition of What We’re Reading, Marxent’s weekly series featuring staff members highlighting the best articles, videos, music and more they saw over the prior 7 days. This week, those finds included stories on fireworks safety, holiday travel, discount deals and much more. Up first, it’s …

The Best Holiday We’re Celebrating This Week …

It’s been 240 years since the Founding Fathers threw off the yoke of English oppression (i.e., too much taxin’, not enough representin’) and declared a new nation’s independence from the British crown. A brutal war was fought, our fledgling nation claimed victory, and now we all get a Monday off in July to eat bad food, drink beer renamed “America,” and risk our hands and those of our children by igniting flimsy explosives of questionable origin purchased under the shadiest of circumstances. Is this a great country or what?!!?

The Best 4th Of July News and Tips …

The Independence Day holiday usually makes for one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, and the 2016 celebration could be the worst ever on the roadways. Of course, there are things you can do to stay safe while behind the wheel this weekend.

So you’re hitting the airport instead of the highway this weekend? Expect increased security and delays, with the holiday and the recent terror attack in Turkey combining to put TSA officials on high alert.

The business community loves to get into the July 4th spirit, and this year retailers are offering big deals and savings to mark the holiday. Macy’s, Old Navy, Wal-Mart and Chipotle are among the brands offering discount codes and offers this weekend.

The Best Fireworks Video We Saw This Week …

That’s New York Giants defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul, who lost part of his hand in a fireworks accident just last year. Pierre-Paul made it back onto the field, but his career has been altered forever thanks to a little bit of paper and some gunpowder.

And it’s not just people who get hurt by fireworks. Many freedom-loving dogs and cats have a rough night of it on the 4th. Think of the pets!

But hey, it’s America, right? Freedom! Risky behavior is our birthright! But if you’re going to light off fireworks, at the very least follow these safety tips to mitigate some of the danger. You’re not being safe to protect yourself, you’re doing it for the children!

Why not hit up a professional fireworks displays instead? There will be hundreds of local fireworks shows lighting up the night sky all across this great country of ours. Here’s 10 of the best.

Enjoy the holiday, and be safe out there!

Best Robot We Want Immediately …

Marxent Unity Developer Brian Turner shared this video of SpotMini, the latest robot cybernetic creation from Boston Dynamics. “It’s their first robot intended for indoor use — primarily for helping with tasks around the house,” Brian says. But is it as creepy as some of the other Boston Dynamics bots? “It looks like a freakish dog if you ask me,” he says. “But don’t worry, it won’t put service dogs out of a job anytime soon.” At least we now know our future robot overlords will also have pets …

Best Thing We Wrote This Week


Project Tango

Google’s Project Tango has been among the buzzier tech offerings making a splash in 2016. But is Tango — a new Augmented Reality platform that allows a smartphone or tablet to understand and keep track of its location in physical space, map the world around it, and embed 3D images along with the real ones — going to be a boon for businesses? I took a look at the new technology and how it’s already saving businesses time and money in the piece, “Project Tango: 3 ways Google’s new Augmented Reality platform is an upgrade for businesses.

But wait, there’s more …

The grill at a Fourth of July cookout is usually dominated by burgers and dogs, but there’s no reason you can’t pull off the above recipe for smoked ribs. No smoker needed!

Robots run amok! A.I. battling humanity! Are you worried about our future yet? No? Marxent Sales Associate Nick Pfeiffer is, now that he read, “4 Must-See Tech-Related TED Talks That Excite and Scare Us About the Future.” These videos will leave you pricing real estate at the top of a mountain. Watch at your own risk.

Marxent’s St. Pete office ended up having an impromptu group discussion about a piece in National Geographic titled, “Rare Dinosaur-Era Bird Wings Found Trapped in Amber.” CEO Beck Besecker led the charge, calling it “nuts” that the woman who found the one-of-a-kind wings at first was going to make them into jewelry!

The world continues to track the fallout from England’s now-infamous vote to leave the European Union (aka, Brexit). The Economist weighed in on the potential economic fallout from the results, which seem to range from scary to outright horrifying. Or it may work out great. Time will tell …

Freedom of the press — it’s one of the nation’s bedrock right … or is it? The Intercept reports that secret rules are making it very easy for the FBI to spy on journalists.

But it’s not all bad news: Remember the ozone hole over Antarctica that freaked everyone out in the 1980s? Turns out banning chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was a great move, and the ozone layer is on the road to recovery.

And Finally …

Game on: Theme parks are shaping up to be a major player in our Virtual Reality future.

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