Every night at 10 o’clock I have a button I click in Safari. The moment I click this button, my browser is begins loading around ten “daily deals” websites. Woot.com was the start of it all but it seems to grow by a few sites each year. Most of the deals on these sites aren’t so much great steals as they are “turns out this thing sucks and we’ve gotta liquidate it” deals. Like the time I bought “OEM Apple Ear Pod Headphones” which translated to “OMG how could these sound so horrible” headphones.
But something you get awesome legit deals, like the time I got a sweet vacuum for 80% off. Yes, I have a thing for vacuums. It’s hit or miss and after a while you get an almost religious understanding of how these sites, and their wine compatriots, work things. To me it’s worth checking in at 10 o’clock, midnight CST, to see what’s new.
I’ve had the MetaWatch Strata for a few weeks now and thought it was about time that I share some thoughts on it. But first I’ll answer the question you’re probably asking, “What the heck is a ‘MetaWatch?’” It’s a smart watch, a watch that connected via bluetooth to your iOS or Android phone. “Oh so you mean a Pebble watch?” No. I mean a MetaWatch.
That is the MetaWatch I have, the Olympian Blue with Digital Camo Band. I’ve had mine for just under a month and I can confidently say that it has changed my life for the nerdier (and maybe even for the better).
MetaWatch was brought to life and into our lives via a successful Kickstarter campaign. It wasn’t quite as successful as the Pebble Watch campaign, not even close really, but it was a success none-the-less. In all honesty I don’t know why so many people got so excited about the Pebble. It got over $10,000,000 in Kickstarter funds and a second round of $15,000,000 after the campaign ended.
Pebble raised over $25,000,000 and yet they had issues getting them to customers. Meanwhile MetaWatch raised just over $300,000 and they were shipping to customers a month later. That’s impressive. Also the MetaWatch is both dorkier, cooler and just overall a better watch than the Pebble. I’ll never understand why Pebble won the money race. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago I was contacted by the people behind this speaker requesting I review the RockDoc Bluetooth speaker endorsed by Pitbull. When I got the email I nearly laughed out loud at my desk. Someone asking me to review a speaker by Pitbull, the rapper? I love rap music, more than most people would probably understand or believe, and I even like a few songs he is featured on but he’s never made my list of rappers I love.
Luckily for him, me, the RockDoc marketing team and VisionTek (the people that actually make it) the RockDoc Bluetooth is something I actually really do like to listen to. No one was more surprised than me. It isn’t a perfect speaker but at less than $60 on Amazon, the VisionTek RockDoc Bluetooth speaker over performs. At the end of the review I have links for a 15% discount as well as a way you can win one of these! Continue reading →
I sure did take my time getting to this review. My apologies. Nevertheless, here we go. A review of the FiiO E6 Portable Headphone Amplifier, $28 on Amazon.com and worth every penny if you have larger headphones or want to squeeze a little more sound quality out of your devices. You’re using an iDevice with a 30-pin dock, add on the FiiO line out dock adapter for just $7-10 more.
Apple Nano with FiiO E6 Amplifier
Right now you might be asking, “Justin, why would I buy the a headphone amplifier and line out dock connector?” Basically, everything sounds a little bit better and a lot louder and the benefits can be heard with even cheaper headphones. Here’s why.
A post showed up on Engadget this morning that caught my eye.
Laser projected virtual keyboards? So 2004. These days, tech firms are dreaming up completely invisible typewriters, or at least Syntellia is. By marrying a Leap Motion sensor with its own Fleksy predictive keyboard, the company has created a system that seems to let you type on thin air
Yet another crazy-cool thing coming out of SXSW this year. You might say I predicted this. Last week I wrote posts about each of these companies and how I was excited about the work they are doing. I ended my Leap Motion post remarking on the promising future the miniscule device has. I suggested it could read sign language and allow people with arthritis to control computers without the joint pain, to control of a television without a remote.
Then, in my Fleksy post I suggested ways Fleksy could make the move out of touchscreen devices and incorporated into computers. I wrote specifically how it could be used to speed up typing and allow a dramatic increase in accuracy.
But what I neglected to put together was what would happen if Fleksy worked with Leap Motion. Well, turns out they were already thinking about this and have announced Fleksy integration with Leap Motion, and it’s pretty brilliant. Imagine controlling your AppleTV with the Leap Motion, swiping in the air through videos and songs. When it came time to do a search in the Netflix app, you’d have the ability to simply type in the air using Fleksy integration instead of the traditional, and painfully slow, method of input with the AppleTV onscreen keyboard.
I’m not sure if I’m a genius for thinking abstractly of these two ideas or dense for not thinking of combining the two. Either way I’m even more looking forward to the delivery of my Leap Motion. Apple being the silo that it is, we might have to work with some XMBC hackers to get the above integration working but it would be worth it.
Wine aerators are a dime a dozen and to be honest, most are probably purchased by people who don’t know a whole lot about wine and are convinced an aerator or decanter will magically transform their $8 bottle of 2010 Bogle Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon bottle into an $850 bottle of 2006 Château Lafite Rothschild 1st cru classé, Pauillac. (As I gasp for post-rant air…)
Rest assured, this will never happen. On top of that, not all wine will even benefit from aeration. I’ll get into that a little later. Right now what matters is this, the HOST Adjustable Wine Aerator.
2009 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges with the HOST Adjustable Wine Aerator
I picked up this wine gadget up from Kenneth Wingard for $39. I chose this particular wine aerator because it claimed a unique feature. According to its claims, you can select the level of aeration by the hour. You can (theoretically) literally dial in how much aeration you’d like to accomplish in a matter of seconds instead of hours.
To understand how this could even be possible, it’s important to understand what wine aeration is, and why you might want to aerate your wine.
When you aerate wine, you are in theory doing two separate things; oxidizing the wine and encouraging evaporation. The following is an over-simplification that will annoy the hell out of my wine expert friends, which is half the reason I wrote it. Continue reading →
I believe that Apple created the iPad, at least initially, to be a content consumption device. It’s fabulous for reading magazines, watching video and playing games. However, when it comes to actually being productive, I found the onscreen keyboard practical only for short-form content like tweeting to friends, updating my Facebook status and short replies to emails.