Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]

Laurene Powell Jobs's 'The Atlantic' Magazine Goes on Hiring Spree

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Laurene Powell Jobs

Laurene Powell Jobs invested some of her immense fortune in The Atlantic magazine in 2017. If you’ve been wandering what she’s been up to since, Politico (via Philip Elmer-DeWitt) reported a major expansion of The Atlantic’s political coverage, including 10 new job openings. From Politico:

The Atlantic is posting 10 new jobs today, including three White House reporters and two Pentagon reporters. There are also new openings to cover the State Department, intelligence, immigration and politics. The Washington hiring spree is part of a broader expansion announced in February under new majority owner Laurene Powell Jobs and Atlantic Media chairman David Bradley.

IK Multimedia Ships UNO Synth: Analog Synth with Triggers, Pads, Presets

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IK Multimedia shipped UNO Synth, a monophonic synth with triggers, pads, presets, and analog sound. Designed by Italian boutique synthesizer maker Soundmachines and IK’s synth guru Erik Norlander, this baby comes with “100 presets and an easy-to-play keyboard with selectable scales and an arpeggiator.” Announced in May for US$/€199.99, it’s available now. You can read more in our original coverage, watch the movie below, or check it out on IK Multimedia’s site.

USB Wall Charger with Hidden Camera: $49.99

· · TMO Deals

LizaCam USB Wall Plug with Hidden Camera

Here’s an interesting device called the LizaCam USB Wall Plug. It’s a wall charger—and looks like one with a USB port—but it also has a hidden camera and a motion sensor. It will alert you when it detects motion and record HD video to an SD card—not the cloud. You can access that video from your smartphone, too. It ships to the U.S., and is $49.99 through us.

Top Websites Are Part of Bad Password Security Problem

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Unknown Criminal

We talked about password security during Thursday’s TDO, including the need for people to unique passwords at every website and a password manager (I love 1Password) to keep track of them. Another thing we mentioned was how baffling it is when a website forces us to use bad passwords. Timing is everything, because a University of Plymouth study found that top websites are a big part of the problem when it comes to password security practices. Here’s a quote from the study taken from TechCrunch‘s excellent writeup on the subject.

It is somewhat disappointing to find that the overall story in 2018 remains largely similar to that of 2007. In the intervening years, much has been written about the failings of passwords and the ways in which we use them, yet little is done to encourage or oblige us to follow the right path.

Check out the Apple Music Ed Sheeran Documentary Trailer

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Apple Music has an Ed Sheeran documentary coming on August 28th. Mr. Sheeran is one of the biggest stars in music today, and this documentary focuses on the creation and recording of his newest album, ÷ (Apple Music link for ÷ Deluxe). I love behind-the-scenes documentaries for album creation, and this one looks to be good, including concert footage.

Disconnect VPN 1-Year Premium Subscription: $14

· · TMO Deals

Disconnect VPN on an iPhone

We have a deal on Disconnect, a VPN service that specializes in tracker blocking and encrypting your data. Our deal is for a one year subscription for $14, and it’s good for use on up to three devices. There are longer subscriptions available on the deal, page, too.

Apple Interface Consistency, Storage Permutations, Walmart Streaming Video - ACM 471

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

In this age of different devices and platforms, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet talk about the lack of consistency in Apple’s interfaces compared to the days when “Apple” meant “Mac.” They also go over some listener feedback (read criticism) about their rant last week on Apple’s storage pricing for new MacBook Pro models. Lastly, they discuss whether not Walmart can make a go in the streaming video market, and how that might actually work.

Ginger Page Premium 1-Year Subscription: $29.99

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Ginger Page Premium

We have a deal on a 1 year subscription to Ginger Page Premium, a writing platform that aims to help you write better. Ginger Page can read your sentences back to you, has its own grammar checker, can help you explore different ways to phrase your text, and more. There’s an iOS app, and on the Mac it will work in Safari. A 1 year subscription is $29.99 through us, with longer subscriptions available on the deal page.

Apple Seeds tvOS 12 Developer Beta 4

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tvOS 12 beta

tvOS 12 includes new features like Dolby Atmos audio support, the ability to auto-fill passwords from user’s iPhones, and Zero Sign-on for cable TV services. Zero Sign-on lets Apple TV detect which cable service you have and automatically sign in and download apps for available channels.

Waterlilly Turbine Can Charge Your Batteries with Wind and Water

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Check out the Waterlilly Turbine, a generator that can charge your devices with either wind or water. Aimed at campers, this device can be submerged in flowing water or suspended in the wind, turning that energy into stored electrical energy. You can charge an iPhone 7 in 2-4 hours, or you could charge a portable charger over a longer period of time. Like, say, while you’re out hiking, fishing, or otherwise getting your nature on. It comes with its own portable 2,600mAh power bank, or you can charge a separate device. It’s 7-inches square, regulates its power output, and is pretty cool. Waterlilly Turbine retails for $159.99, and it’s $159.00 at Amazon.

Check out this Robotic Pot that Can Move towards Light or Shade

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Check out this nifty robot called Sharing Human Technology with Plants. I know, it’s a weird name, but it’s a modified 6-legged robot that carries a potted plant on its head. Better yet, it’s been programmed to seek out light when its cargo needs it, or shade when it doesn’t. Plus, it does a little dance when it needs water. Oh, sure, it looks a lot like a spider, and it will wave you off with its forelegs if you get to close, but come on, it’s so cool! Unfortunately, it’s not a shipping product, or at least not directly. It’s a project by Vincross CEO Tianqi Li, who modified his own company’s HEXA, the six-legged robot itself. He was motivated by a dead sunflower he saw lying in shadow, and it made him think about how it might still be alive if only it could have moved into some light. It’s a cool prototype, even though it’s only minding a low-maintenance succulent. Mr. Tianqi described the project on Vincross’s forum, where it was picked up by The Outline, and then The Verge. There are several moving GIFs showing the pot in action. I suspect it won’t be too long before pots that can do this sort of thing are common (with much smaller footprints). These times they are a changin’!

Check out this Robotic Pot that Can Move towards Light or Shade