Show and Tell: RIVER Mobile Power Station

Simone and Norm have a new gadget at the Tested office–a massive mobile power pack by EcoFlow. The RIVER has a capacity of over 400Wh, and can output 500 watts over AC and DC. We put it to the test by plugging in some heavy duty electronics and tools from around the office!

Comments (40)

40 thoughts on “Show and Tell: RIVER Mobile Power Station

  1. That t-shirt… really? Doesn’t really fit with Adam’s educational interests, in terms of site profile.

  2. That product would be a great upgrade for on-site photographers using Einstein lights. I currently, have the vagabond mini-lithium, but it is only 130 watt-hours. Though the cost jump is pretty sizable.

  3. Yeah have to agree. Its just not necessary for a channel which attracts interest from kids.

    To be honest I have never liked Simone – everything she is on she seems to go out of her way to curse needlessly and i tend to not bother watching videos with her in now.

  4. I wonder if it’s because you guys were brought up in the US, but overhere in the Netherlands or where she is from, Sweden, it’s really not that big of a deal. You’re not supposed to curse, but people can see in which context it happens and than it’s fine. Here it’s also the context, not attacking anyone, so I don’t really see that being so wrong it suddenly is a problem for the entire site. The most fun I always had with criticism like this is that the next video is Adam blowing stuff up and using automatic rifles and that’s all fine. 😉 And that’s also because I wasn’t brought up with those.

    Anyway, the only thing I noticed while watching was.. that’s actually not that many ports for such a high capacity battery. 🙂

  5. Well, I wasn’t brought up in the US…. It just strikes me as carelessly offensive, when being carefully offensive is so much more rewarding 🙂

  6. Haha, ok I get what you’re saying. But, I’m a bit with on this one, it’s just a shirt, it’s general. I have some offensive shirts as well which I wear at work, but I guess it’s a bit more of a normal thing among students anyway. 🙂

  7. +1 to your assessment. i mean, it’s not like sanitising every bit of media that a kid could ever encounter is going to change that they get exposed to profanity. there’s no ifs and whens to it, kids hear profanity, period. and it’s not like the statement is an outspoken offense against anyone. it doesn’t read ‘person/group X engages in maternal fornication.’

    also, didn’t simone mention more than once that she has a hard time assuming the mantle of being a role model? and frank seems to have had a bit of a buzz going on air more than once, and is at least as liberal in let’s call it ‘directness’ as simone is in airing her frustration.

    i dunno, when i’m faced with the choice between cursing vs nourishing a stomach ulcer, cursing always wins. 😉

  8. SIMONE – remember what ABBOTT & COSTELLO said WHOS ON FIRST & WATTS ON SECOND…….

    ( whats on second and i dont know is on 3rd)

  9. What exactly does “Adam’s educational interests” mean and why is it relevant to Simone’s choice of shirt? Who thought a Hanson joke would get people so riled up.

    FWIW Tested is not and has never been a children’s website, it is your responsibility as parents to ensure you are comfortable showing your kids the content, not the content creator’s responsibility to consider your kids.

  10. I spent a week last year partying in Jamaica with Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson. I think they’d be cool with Simone’s shirt.

  11. Adam’s interest in promoting children in the “maker community” (as highlighted by the various videos he’s posted of touring schools) does not go well with a T-Shirt that says “Motherfuckers.” Stop being pointlessly obtuse.

    I’m on the “the t-shirt is inappropriate” camp. Simone made a decision to come to the USA and to make videos for a primarily USA audience. The public vulgarity she’s used to is not the same in this country, and it’s rude and arrogant for her to expect everyone to “just adapt to her way of doing things.”

    Whether the Hanson boys, now grown up, like the joke or not, is irrelevant.

    For those saying “It’s just a t-shirt” – that’s a stupid thing to say. If she wore a t-shirt that said, “I hate Chinks” or “Homo-Hater” or something along those line, would you say “Hey, it’s just a t-shirt.” It’s obvious that what is printed ON the t-shirt matters more than the article of clothing. Again, stop being pointlessly obtuse.

    The context is important, and that’s what the original few comments was trying to point out. The context is this is a website that has made a concerted effort to involve children of late (in videos and in the “maker outreach” effort). That comes with a responsibility. To be vulgar for absolutely no reason other than to be vulgar is irresponsible and not compatible with how the website pretends to present itself.

    Being vulgar is not some sort of sacred right or virtue. The entire concept of social norms with regard to language was and still is the idea that one shows respect towards others by refraining from being needlessly vulgar. Yes, parents hold ultimate responsibility to raise their children, but that does not relieve others, especially public figures involved in outreach with children, from their own responsibility to act in a decent matter. It’s not as if Subscribing to the Tested YouTube channel gives you a “please don’t show my kids the vulgar videos” option.

    You can enjoy Tested without having to feel obligated to be a zealous apologist for every single thing the Tested team does or says (seriously, some of y’all come off worse than the most obnoxious of Evangelicals). Simone is way out of line on this one, and it was a stupid and absolutely unforced error.

  12. Is it crass? Sure. Is it racist? No. Is it homophobic? No. Is it misogynist? No. Does it promote discrimination against a group of people? No. It’s a shirt.

    Being vulgar is not so form of sacred rite or virtue. Neither is being offended.

    Nope, I disagree. As a parent, it’s ultimately my responsibility to teach my child how to act and behave. My kid knows what is appropriate and what is inappropriate language- because I have made careful consideration. She’s eleven, and she watches Simone’s videos. She has since she first hit YouTube. Olivia understands that when adults use profanities or are ‘rude’, that behavior has no bearing on her. I don’t allow Olivia to curse, but she knows that I do and quite often. Don’t place it on anyone else to have to explain their behavior to someone else’s kid.

  13. You are usually a level-headed debater, but arguing that this t-shirt is offensive because homophobic and racist slurs on a t-shirt would be offensive is remarkably weak logic.

    Again, just because Adam makes a handful of sponsored videos as part of his Nation of Makers initiative does not instantly make Tested into the Disney channel, nor does it or should it impact the content elsewhere on this site.

    When Adam and Jamie first joined, Will and Norm made very clear that the site was not for kids, and that any parents wishing to show their kids the videos should watch them first to make sure they were appropriate. There are some videos here that are clearly not for kids, Still Untitled for example quite frequently involves significant amounts of swearing, yet no one gives a…

    Yes Simone did decide to come to the US, and here I thought the US of A was all about personal freedom, not enforcing censorship to cater to absurd moral codes and lowest-common-potential-viewer-age-group. Commonly accepted wisdom used to be that if you make content a certain group of people didn’t like, you’d lose that audience. Based on the continued offering of political opinions and hiring a maker whose most watched video involves emptying a toilet and yelling the S-word two dozen times whilst almost throwing up, Adam and the rest of the team are very, very fine with that.

    By all means, do speak up if you find the t-shirt so horrendous, but don’t expect people to not disagree, or to necessarily be listened to.

  14. You’ve missed my point. I wasn’t placing the statements as equivalents. I was pointing out that the argument “It’s just a t-shirt” which you’ve repeated is completely meaningless in this context. It’s what’s printed on the t-shirt that is up for debate.

    I’m also a parent, and I think you’re truly under-appreciating how many things try to usurp, bypass, and under-cut parental authority over their children. It’s simply not a hardship to expect someone on a channel that has been catering itself towards children to wear one of the literal billions of other t-shirts in the world.

  15. Thanks. I’m actually still being level headed, although I’ll concede I started a little “hot” out of frustration with the absurdity of the responses to what were initially earnest criticisms (from bashful and richard).

    As I just posted, you also misread my argument. I’m not placing those offensive statements on a level. I’m pointing out that the statement “It’s just a t-shirt” is absolutely meaningless in this context. Would it okay if Simone wore a scarf with an offensive message on it? My point here is clear, please don’t make me belabor it.

    You’re discussion about what the website used to be is inconsequential. Regardless of Norm or Will’s intent in the creation or even what they said to Adam & Jamie, things have clearly evolved. It didn’t use to be “maker” focused. It used to not have so much science educational stuff (which I really enjoy and am glad it’s shown up). It didn’t used to have Adam going to tour schools and hang out with kids. They’ve clearly, of late, made an effort to interact and outreach with younger audiences. Out of respect for the children and for the children’s parents, certain steps should be made to recognize that effort (or maybe have Adam wear Simone’s shirt for his next school tour and then see how well that goes over).

    In fact, you could argue they’ve been making some of those steps as the swearing has dropped so low someone even complained about the lack of swearing in TiOAT.

    Even television still acknowledges, this, as crass as its become. Prime Time is for adult oriented shows. After school and Saturday mornings is kid oriented. If Tested wants to reach out to kids, it should take similar steps. Either clean up its act or make clear differentiation between what it’s marketing for kids and what it reserves for mature audiences. Perhaps even two separate Tested YouTube channels would be in order.

    What you think the USA is about doesn’t actually matter. Respecting cultural norms in a host country is not akin to censorship. Its respect. And anyone who thinks wearing a t-shirt that says “Motherfucker” on it is intrinsic for his or her personal expression needs to grow up. I’m not offended by what her shirt said (I served in the Navy, I could out cuss Simone any day of the week), I’m disgusted by the absolute thoughtlessness and disrespect it shows to choose that shirt, out of the billions of other options, to wear on a website that has been making a hard play for younger demographics.

    And trust me, after posting long enough on this website I’m very used to not being listened to!

  16. You know.. Tested’s comment section used to be a bastion of calm in the dumpster fire hurricane that is the rest of the internet.. Sad that it’s turned into this.

  17. * sigh *, indeed As if she thought about the shirt for 0.01 seconds, man this is so unimportant. It reminds me of The Verge running a story on how bad the shirt of a scientist was… when they were actually landing ON A COMET! 🙂

  18. FWIW, the disclaimer re: parents taking responsibility to check if the content is suitable for kids was not something said to Adam and Jamie, it was a disclaimer for the audience that prefaced most of the early videos following the BermanBraun buyout.

    Still holds true too, even if they’ve stopped including disclaimers in the videos…

  19. Typical. Someone respectfully voices an opinion contrary to my own = Dumpster Fire.

    I agree it’s not a big deal. Had Simone thought about it for 0.02 seconds, she could have easily picked a different shirt from the billions of available options. Other members of Tested have somehow managed to wear shirts that don’t say “Motherfucker” on them over several years and hundreds of videos. It’s a shame she couldn’t put forth even that much effort.

  20. I wouldn’t say it’s a dumpster fire, it’s what I would call a discussion in which we don’t have similar opinions. 🙂 That’s fine, I respect yours.

  21. I have 3 kids and no delusions about words they know already so I don’t quite get the hubbub.

    As others have stated it is on you to teach them what words to use and what words to shun. Wanting to prevent them from even seeing them seems pointless.

    On top of that, I highly doubt that the message is to promote intercourse with one’s next of kin but rather a vernacular expression akin to “son of a gun”. Most will be aware that the child referenced was not actually born by a firearm.

  22. The level of pompous indignation, mental gymnastics and verbiage over something so spectacularly inconsequential is *staggering*. I just don’t get what drives people to be like this.

  23. Simone is making Tested relevant to a larger audience and not just the boys club it used to be. If you don’t like that you’re probably part of the demograhic Tested wants to make less relevant.

  24. I should clarify, I don’t think it’s a Dumpster Fire, either. I’m just responding to berjb.

  25. You’re correct. I don’t understand why you’re so invested in defending what is so incredibly inconsequential. If I’m being pompously indignant or doing mental gymnastics, you’ll have to point it out to me. I don’t see it.

  26. What on earth does that have to do with anything? If Norm wore a “motherfuckers” t-shirt, I would be making the same comment. So, because I object to the displaying of (one-could-argue) chauvinist vulgarity I deserve to be less relevant? You’ll have to spell that one out, shipmate.

  27. If she had worn a shirt that said “son of a gun” I wouldn’t have had any objections whatsoever.

  28. Then perhaps they should bring the disclaimers back. Better yet, I wonder if Adam gives that disclaimer in person when they make videos of his tours of schools. “Yes, we’d like to shoot a video with your students for our website; however, be warned, don’t let your students watch any of our videos without parental consent.”

    I suspect that wouldn’t go over very well.

  29. all I posit is

    a. that a lot of the content is not geared towards kids and will include mature language.

    b. Motherfucker, albeit being not very articulate, is used in the same way as damn. Both are infantile but that is the whole point of this kind of language.

    So inconclusion trying to filter all of this out seems futile. Hence educating our kids on the use of language is the way to go as far as I am concerned.

  30. We probably don’t disagree as much as it might appear. My further thoughts are:

    a) – If one wants to say “damn” one should say “damn.” I am very much opposed to the modern trend and mentality that is stripping language of meaning. In fact, I believe that the laziness in casual use of expletives has more or less robbed them of all meaning and impact. If one wants to educate people on the use of words, we can start by taking them seriously again.

    b) – Regardless of Simone’s background or intent, cultural norms still exist in the USA. It is still unacceptable to use the worth “motherfucker” in front of children, regardless if one means it literally or as a casual expletive. If Simone had gone with Adam to visit a school while wearing that shirt, then she would be not be welcome. If Tested wants to honestly reach out to younger audiences, which it seems to be doing, its members have an obligation to meet those widely accepted cultural norms. They could do this by putting up disclaimers, partitioning the website clearly between youth and mature, making a separate YouTube channel geared towards youth, or clean up their act and stop using needlessly crass language. Or any combination thereof. There’s absolutely nothing in the title or context of this video that would have given anyone, parent or child, and indicator that “motherfucker” was going to appear. I don’t buy the argument that it is any type of hardship for Simone to simply wear a different t-shirt. She’s done it before without any apparent stress.

    c) – I agree we have to educate our children about language. However, that’s what cultural norms do – allow us to educate our children at the paces we deem appropriate. Does someone want to teach their 3 year old, 6 year old, or 10 year old about the word “motherfucker”? Fine, whatever that parent deems appropriate. But Simone is usurping that privilege by broadcasting that word in the public sphere. That puts a parent in one of two situations. Either one lets Simone dictate how and when one will educate one’s child, or one simply does not let their child view Tested. It’s a shame we can’t push for the third option which is Simone wears a different t-shirt and the issue disappears.

  31. it’s very nice to be having a polite discussion about this.

    I do agree that words are used too much without thinking about context and impact, especially on the Internet.

    Also, I would say that maybe the Disney channelification of Tested is not really working if this is indeed their intent.

    However, I would bet some money on our children unfortunately knowing all the words anyway if they are above 7 or 8.

    For me Tested is a very nerdy place where you can hang out with your drunk uncle Frank rather than a forum for the youth of the world to learn about science and enlightenment. I trust them to err on the side of humanity always though when it comes to the real issues. In short, one can use sanitized language and still be a sociopathic monster and vice versa.

    Then again I’m not from the US and view this whole discussion a mental mint to clean the palate to prepare for the real s”” that is going down one day after the next. You literally couldn’t make it up, motherloader.

  32. Honestly, I’ve never really considered Tested a kid’s site either (my impressions were admittedly formed during Will and Gary’s time, no genteel fellows they). It wasn’t until I read bashful’s original comment that I did realize how completely incongruent Simone’s shirt was with all of Adam’s maker school outreach efforts. It would be helpful if the Tested folks really sat down and figured out what, specifically, they want Tested to be. A lot has changed over the past year or so (Will left, Adam, Jeremy, and Kishore have taken on a more active roles, different shows are being produced,…etc.), so perhaps it’s a good time for a reevaluation. Having a vision of the goal I find always helps clarify what one needs to do to achieve that goal and how to identify those things that are to cross-purposes with that goal.

    I usually enjoy respectful disagreement. While I come to Tested because I enjoy the science stuff, the tech reviews, the VR news, and learning about different “maker” skills and tools, I likely disagree with the majority of the Tested staff on all things historical, philosophical, cultural, and certainly political. So long as it’s done respectfully, I enjoy hearing their very different takes on things. I go out of my way to seek out folks who disagree with me because I want to actively counter the echo-chamber nature of modern social media. I check both Drudge and Digg on a daily basis (and I don’t really agree with the general position of either of those two websites), and I listen and read to folks who are libertarians, atheists, Christians, philosophers, paleo-conservatives, classical liberals . . . etc.

    The more one spends time in truly diverse company (diversity of thought, that is, not just skin color) the easier it is to humanize one’s opposition. It’s the constant demonizing of one’s opponents that really drives me crazy. Mutual respect is worth bringing back into style, and, to bring it full circle, an effort to be respectful in language goes a long way in setting the right pitch and tenor for social interaction.

    So cheers to you, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day (or night, depending on where you live).

  33. I could not agree more. I do have to say though that sites like info wars etc. cannot be part of my cannon of sources. It is simply obvious that most of the stuff is crazy. A young acquaintance of mine actually asked me whether I had heard of pizzagate before the well-known incident and I had to use a lot of logical reasoning and explaining of how you can trace bs news easily by seeing where it is referenced (which is usually just redirect to the original site via a few blogs) to dissuade him. That made me really sad as I thought that basic process would be apparent to smart people like him… It’s like believing in Leprechauns and me selling you a map to their treasure.

    Regarding the site, a “tested classic” and “tested family” split?

  34. just my reading of things, but it looks like wetwired’s specific mention of simone wasn’t aimed at you or your line of argument, but rather richardwarriner’s general dislike of her.

    (see also the similar discussion of the merit of her more lighthearted approach in the comments to one of the ‘it might work’ episodes. iirc, it was about whether simone content was tested’s way of trying to get them idiot millenials on board, while alienating and pushing away the true tested community, which is all oldfashioned seriousface tech and engineering. or something more or less to that effect. ;))

  35. I don’t always read comments, but I opened them up this time because I knew it was going to be people going back and forth arguing about the shirt. I understand both sides, but at the end of the day, I’m betting that the chances are best that even if your child is watching this video and if old enough to actual READ that shirt, they have heard that word from somewhere else first. It for sure was unnecessary, but also pretty funny and seemingly fits Simone’s sense of humor.

  36. Thanks for the clarification, and that does make sense. I certainly wasn’t trying to pass any judgment on Simone as a member of Tested. I was just trying to focus on the shirt, which was problematic. If any member of Tested had worn that shirt in a video, I’m confident my criticism would have been the same.

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