There isn't anything wrong with watching the popular Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series in the order the episodes were released, but it turns out that isn't exactly chronological order. Now that the series is available on Netflix Streaming, StarWars.com had released a list showing exactly which order to watch the episodes to show how they really fit in the overall Star Wars timeline. You won't miss out on anything by watching in order of release, but for die-hard fans it's nice to see just how each story fits into the Star Wars universe.
Check out this Kickstarter project called Micro Phone Lens 150x, a tiny lens and light combo that turns your iPhone, iPad, or other smartphone and tablet into a 150x microscope. it works a little differently than other lenses—you place the Micro Phone Lens on your device's camera, shine a special light at it, and then place what you want to examine in a slide on top of the lens. Talk about bringing science to your desktop! Thomas Larson is looking to raise US$50,000 to bring the product to market, and he's alrady raised $39,772 with 28 days to go. Funding options that get just the lens start at $29, while the lens and light combo starts at $39.
Resize Image is a handy little free app for your iPhone. It's exactly what it says on the tin, you can scale images down from their current size, either by file size or by pixel measurement. Bonus: You get to determine what those pre-set sizes are, so if you need something particular just adjust the preferences. As noted in an iTunes review, this is great because you don't have to send full size iPhone photos over iMessage/MMS. Second, this is fab for those working with a blog platform or other web service where you want to send a smaller version of your picture from your phone instead of having to email it to yourself for further jiggery-pokery on your computer. It's ad-supported, but the US$1.99 IAP removes them if you prefer. [Via TUAW]
Snowman's just released Checkmark 2 for the iPhone and iPod touch is a cool task list manager for keeping track of pretty much anything at your desk or on the go. The new version includes iCloud Sync support, date-specific reminders based on locations, easy to set recurring reminders for daily, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly tasks, one-tap rescheduling, and more. You'll need iOS 7 to run Checkmark, and it's currently available through the App Store for half price at US$2.99.
Have you seen Automatic Link? It's a device that connects directly to your car's onboard computer and relays the data to your iPhone or Android device. The app can then give you feedback about your driving—if you then act on that feedback, your mileage could improve. You also get detailed diagnostic information, the kind of information normally available only to your mechanic, including decoding your Check Engine light. Cool, right? The device is available now for US$99.95 (no subscription required), it works only in the U.S., and it works with, "just about any gasoline engine car sold in the U.S. since 1996." See our review for more information.
There was a time when the Flying Toasters screen saver from After Dark was a stunning thing to see on your trusty old Mac Quadra. Or Centris. Or Performa. At the time, that took native apps and some serious processing power to render those screen savers and save our CRT displays from image burn-in. Bryan Braun has brought Flying Toasters, along with other After Dark screen savers, back to life, and he did it all with CSS. That means you can relive Fish, Spotlight, Rainstorm, Warp, and more right in your browser -- and you can do it on your Mac, iPad or iPhone. No kidding.
If you've ever wondered what it was like working for the late Steve Jobs, check out what Allison Johnson has to say. Ms. Johnson was Apple's Vice President of World Wide Marketing for Apple from 2005 to 2011, when she left to found advertising company West. During her tenure at Apple, she oversaw the launch of marketing campaigns such as "Mac vs. PC" and "There's an App for That," and she often worked directly with Steve Jobs. She was recently interviewed at the 99U conference by Behance’s Scott Belsky, and the topics of discussion included her time at Apple and Mr. Jobs. Among the interesting quotes, she said, “He spent as much time in my world as he did in Jony’s world. Those were the two parts of the company he cared a lot about.” Check out the full interview in this video. [Via Cult of Mac]
Wow, talk about a Kickstarter project aimed directly at me! Evan Balster has developed software for the Mac and PC called imitone that takes the notes you sing and turns them into MIDI signals. I can't tell you how many songs I've started by humming something only to forget it before I sit down with a guitar. In fact, I've taken to recording Voice Memos on my iPhone where I sing various parts and offer notes to myself on what I'm thinking. With imitone, I could sing them to my Mac (note to Evan, bring imitone to iOS, please!) and import the MIDI data directly to Logic and put together a quick demo. I say Logic, imitone's MIDI data works with any MIDI software. The software is fully functional, but the Kickstarter money will be used to better refine the Interface with a professional designer for commercial release. Evan has already raised more than US$18,600 of his $20,000 goal, and funding options that get you a copy of the software start at $25.
I have something for musicians today, a Kickstarter project called the Amperage Pedal. It's a stompbox that gives guitarists, bassists, and keyboardists, 2 foot switches and 7 banks of 7 knobs for MIDI-capable apps on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC. That's a lot of control for the growing legions of musicians who use mobile devices and computers to control and shape their sound onstage, though I can also see studio and in-your-living-room use for it. The device will work with any MIDI-capable software out of the box, but the folks behind it said they'll release a utility for Mac and Windows that allows tinkerers even greater control over the device. Funding options that include a finished product start at US$225, and the company is looking to raise just under $10,000.
I found a super cool Kickstarter project that will exercise your history, math, cryptography, and gadget nerd all at once! It's called the Open Enigma Project by S&T Geotronics, an open source recreation of the German Enigma encryption device from World War II. Enigma was an incredible mechanical encryption machine that was cracked by the allies only through a remarkable combination of luck and mistakes on the part of the Nazis. Better yet, assuming you're not a Nazi, it was exploited by the Allies to remarkable effect because the Nazis knew it to be uncrackable. OK, so enough history: this Kickstarter project will allow you to get or make your own (depending on your funding level) electronic Enigma reproduction that will allow you to create your own encrypted messages. It can interface with your computer through USB, and future options could include WiFi and the ability to encrypt your router traffic. What?! Too cool!
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