Isabella and Chromecast

Chromecast costs $35. In a 24-hour span last week, I became more convinced than ever that I'd have gladly paid 10 times as much (and sort of did, once) for this sort of device for what it's done to my living room.

See, my 3-year-old daughter has discovered Space. (Self-Editor's Note: I've always loved the idea of treating Space as a proper noun. Something that's so vast we can't really comprehend it deserves at least that much. It's my website and I'll capitalize what I want.) Isabella is fully aware of the sun, moon and stars, and when I remember to check the schedule she happily escorts me to the backyard to watch the international space station fly overhead. (That's more than I can say for my 7-going-on-17 daughter. And if you've never seen the ISS before, it's something I highly recommend catching.)

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I'm not sure when and where Isa learned about "Space" itself, but she asked to see it. So, on goes Chromecast, YouTube, and a whole lot of videos of the space shuttle taking off. And landing. And docking with the ISS. And then some spacewalks. 

I know I'm getting my hopes up, but my dark nerd heart simply melts of the idea of my youngest daughter being the least bit excited about Space. And the day before, on the ride to school, 7-year-old Mia was telling me about how they did experiments on rocks in science class and came to the conclusion that they're made of minerals. Chicks who dig science are cool as hell. (Yes, even when they're my daughters. But seriously, guys, don't even look at them. Ever.) And using Chromecast to nerd out with them on the couch to watch a couple launches and landings made my week. It's a shame we can't do it live anymore.

That's to say nothing of the music. Not a day goes by when we don't listen to something through Chromecast. Watching my monkeys bounce through the living room to Stevie Wonder or Daft Punk or Grace Potter and the Nocturnals does so much for the soul. Or playing old YouTube videos of The Muppet Show.

But just as often I've found myself turning on Chromecast (I use a Logitech Harmony remote to make switching easy, by the way) — and just leaving it be. The photography being showcased as wallpapers is beautiful. Some of the names I know — usually folks with ties to Android. Many I don't, and end up following on Google+. (And major kudos for giving conspicuous credit to the photogs.) Chromecast has become that sort of picture-frame TV of the future that I used to long for. Apps like AllCast have made showing off my own pictures that much easier.

And all for $35.

A few other thoughts on the week that was:

  • Our CMS upgrade (that's all the back-end stuff that makes this site go) last Sunday night went pretty well. We're still feeling things out a big and finding bugs — some apparent to you folks, and some that nag us behind the scenes. We're also identifying even more things we want to change in the long-term. Thanks for your patience as we continue to fix what's broken, and improve on what's working.
  • We head to Barcelona next weekend. Expect the live Mobile World Congress coverage to start Sunday, but obviously we've already got stories coming in. Find them all at our MWC page.
  • And since we're a week out from a few major launches, the leaks are growing. Yet I still prefer to go to these things and see and use the phones myself. I'm funny like that, I guess.
  • I love how NBC now treats tape-delaying the Olympics for prime time like it's a feature, and not a bug. And by "love," I mean "It's 2014. This is ridiculous." Oh, well. I have cable.
  • Why is curling a gender-specific sport?
  • Fruit and yogurt is good. But not as good as bacon and waffles.
  • Coffee's still good though.
  • Did I mention I'm trying to eat a little more healthy?
  • Apparently I've digressed.

That's it for this week. Catch you next weekend from Spain.