Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]

Nanodots GYRO: Bigger Balls to Play With

4:50 PM, Nov. 15th, 2013 · Dave Hamilton · Cool Stuff Found

We first heard from Nanodots two years ago when they came around to tell us about their original Nanodots: small neodymium magnets that you can mash and put together to build all kinds of things. We loved them and raved about them on Mac Geek Gab. And frankly, we haven't been able to put them down since. In addition to using them to craft cool shapes, Nanodots just feel good to play with. They're the ultimate stress relief toy, way more satisfying than all those other balls. Well, it turns out some folks just don't like the idea of kids playing with small magnets (and potentially swallowing them). Good thing for Nanodots that they had a new idea: GYRO. GYRO hasn't shipped yet, but will in December if you order soon. GYRO solves the swallowing problem by making the magnets bigger – golf-ball sized – and way cooler: the balls are plastic and the magnets are inside... in a gyroscope configuration. The video is worth watching and, if our bets are right, we'll have new, bigger balls to play with just in time for Christmas.

Coin is Disruptive, Polarizing…and Awesome

11:54 PM, Nov. 14th, 2013 · Dave Hamilton · Cool Stuff Found

Earlier today, Coin announced the pre-sale of their upcoming credit-card consolidation device. Shaped to be the size (and thickness) of a credit card, Coin is actually a battery-operated, low-energy Bluetooth device onto which you can store up to eight (8) different credit cards (its companion iPhone app can store the rest of your cards if you have more than eight). When you're ready to make a purchase you select which card you'd like Coin to become, and the mag stripe on Coin spits out the info from your selected card. Simple premise, and you get to carry just one card instead of eight. Cool Stuff Found, indeed. I ordered one. But what impressed me more was just how many people stood up and found all the reasons Coin wouldn't work. That's my metric for something that's bound to be a success, and this one tweet stream is enough to convince me these folks have a winner on their hands. Cool, indeed!

The Bridge of Star Trek Enterprise NCC-1701-D at MacTech (Photo Gallery)

9:10 PM, Nov. 6th, 2013 · Dave Hamilton · Conferences

ST: TNG

As a "perk" for MacTech attendees, the non-profit organization, New Starship, setup a full replica of the Enterprise NCC-1701-D bridge from Star Trek: The Next Generation. According to New Starship Founder and CEO Huston Huddleston, these props are partially from the (now defunct) Vegas experience and mostly from the touring production thereof. A dozen images and more details await... after the jump!

Obduction: Coming from the Creators of Myst and Riven

5:42 PM, Nov. 1st, 2013 · Dave Hamilton · Cool Stuff Found

Cyan, creator of immersive-world games Myst and Riven, has been hard at work for the past few years bringing their existing library of games to iOS. But they've also had a few new ideas kicking around, and they're kicking one of them, Obduction, to Kickstarter. This isn't a sequel to the Myst storyline, but it does find them going back to what they do best: creating another world in which you play the game. They started with a question: "What happens to a person who is abducted?" You, the player, are taken to a faraway planet. In the middle of the bizarre landscape you find an old farmhouse with a white picket fence... and you find you're not the only one who's been abducted. You can fund Obduction via Kickstarter or PayPal (and they'll refund PayPal payments if the Kickstarter doesn't fund).

Sonos PLAY:1 Lowers Price Barrier to US$199, Keeps Quality Superb

1:00 PM, Oct. 14th, 2013 · Dave Hamilton · Cool Stuff Found

Over the past few days I've had the pleasure to play with and listen to the latest offering from Sonos, the PLAY:1, and I'm amazed. They've either discovered magic or decided to lower their margins because, at US$199, the PLAY:1 now opens the door for many more prospective Sonos customers than before without sacrificing any quality at all. Yes, compared to the now middle(-sized) Sonos child (the PLAY:3) the PLAY:1 sounds different, but to my ears neither better nor worse. The new PLAY:1 has a bit more midrange than the PLAY:3 but that's just fine. The size and the price of this make it either a perfect entry point for someone into the Sonos world, or a perfect add-on for the kitchen or bedroom where you're wishing you had a Sonos unit. Buy two and you're in stereo mode. Or add 'em to your Playbar for true rear-channel surround sound. We went into a longer discussion about it during today's Mac Geek Gab #470 if you want to hear more (along with the story of how I set them up).

Sponsor: PDFpen Scan+

2:56 PM, Sep. 26th, 2013 · Dave Hamilton · Weekly Sponsorship

I am happy to welcome Smile back as this week's sponsor here at TMO, and especially so this week because they've asked me to talk about their brand new product, PDFpen Scan+. Your iPhone's got a great camera, and it also has a really killer processor. Put those two things in the hands of the smart folks at Smile, and they turn out an app that will use the camera to scan documents and the processor to perform optical character recognition (OCR) on the text contained therein. The result can be a PDF with real text, not just a picture, or the raw text itself for you to edit.