Google announced a new “research project” called Bloks, a wonderful concept that brings programming to very young kids with real-world block-like components. It’s an ongoing project that Google is opening up to the world, but the company is starting with electronic boards and programmable pucks. Brain Boards are built from Raspberry Pi Zero boards and can be used to power anything you could power from that device, like robots or switches for real-world devices. The pucks are essentially instructions, including on-off switches, directions, or volume controls. When used in sequence, they can send instructions to the Brain Boards. And it’s all hands-on for young kids. They can collaborate in ways they never could with any programming thing based on a screen and/or keyboard. I love it. It’s an entirely different approach from Apple’s Swift Playground, and I think they’re very complementary.
Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
Our friends at Stack Commerce have been putting their collective noggins to work with this deal. It’s a pre-sale on The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course with 80 hours of content on coding for Apple’s next generation iOS. It’s discounted to $29, and you’ll be notified when the course is ready to access—but in the meanwhile you also get The Complete iOS 9 Hacker Training immediately, included for the same price. Check out the details on the deal listing.
Shares of Apple Inc. shed 2.81% Friday in a broad market downturn sparked by Brits voting to leave the European Union, or Brexit for short. The selloff was part of a general panic among investors concerned about what Brexit will do to the global economy.
We have a deal for you today on G Cloud, a 5-year unlimited backup plan for iPhone and Android devices for $29.99. G Cloud allows you to backup and restore your device from within their dedicated app, and you’re able to view that content online, as well. It’s being stored on AWS, Amazon’s cloud service, using military-grade 256-AES encryption. You can get this 5-year subscription through us for $29.99.
It is with a mix of sadness, contempt, and relief that I offer you the news that Apple acknowledged it has put a bullet in its 5-year old Thunderbolt Display. The company issued a statement to The Verge confirming the news, directing customers to third parties for their external display needs.
Apple released Thursday Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.20, an update that adds support for 15 new DSLR cameras from Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony.
Check out Ingrein, a very interesting clock designed to help you detach from our devices. The clock is made of real (reclaimed) hardwood, and it has a built-in “LCD screen and light and sound sensors to interact with and display information from your smart devices and favorite apps.” The idea is that you limit what gets sent to the device to those things that are really important so that you can get your face out of your screen, especially when you’re with other people. It’s a very cool idea in theory, and I’m wondering how well it will work in practice. This product is funding through Kickstarter, where it already met its funding goals. Funding options starting at $299 are still available.
IK Multimedia announced iKlip A/V on Thursday. This is a broadcast mount for broadcasters and videographers to shoot with iPhone. It features an integrated high-quality mic preamp (with phantom power, too) and a built-in wireless receiver, which means you can monitor sound as you record. It’s powered by two AA batteries. We all know that iPhone is being used to take more and more videos (and photographs), but equipment like this really helps blur the edges between professional applications and the rest of us. The device is available now for $179.99.
It’s loud, wireless, will play tunes for up to 6 hours on a charge, and it has a handle. G-BOOM is a boombox for the iPhone era. It features a protective rubber base, and has a standard headphone jack in addition to Blueooth connectivity. You can get this device through our deal for $79.99.
Bryan and Jeff delve into some of the things they’ve learned about iOS 10, macOS Sierra, and watchOS 3.0. Spoiler, it’s all looking really good. They also talk about Differential Privacy and explain (loosely) how it works, what it means, and why it’s important.
We have a deal for you today on a 1-year subscription to Typed Plus, a blog publishing engine. With this plan, you can run up to 3 blogs with unlimited users and page views. The service hosts your images, you can do scheduled posting, and more. The price through our deal is $30, a massive 87% off retail.
Propellerhead shipped Reason 9 on Tuesday. The newest version of the digital audio workstation and sequencer adds two main features: Players automate and process MIDI input, and Pitch Edit, a pitch editor designed for vocals (think Melodyne or Auto-Tune). There are other new features, too, including Bounce In Place, new visual themes, and reverse MIDI clips. On the content side, Reason 9 adds more than 1,000 new “cutting-edge” sounds, and Pulsar dual channel LFO, a rack extension that was previously available only as a stand-alone $49 purchase. I love Reason, especially for sequencing. It’s powerful software, and Propellerhead makes it ever-more capable with each new release. Reason 9 is priced at €405/US$449, while upgrades from any previous version are €129/$129. Propellerhead also has a stripped down version called Reason Essentials 9 priced at €120/$129. The software shipped today and is available now.
I wanted to take a moment to wish The Icon Factory a happy 20th birthday! It’s an amazing accomplishment for any company to stay in business that long, but to transform yourself from an icon-designer to a major design firm, user interface consultant, and app maker is astounding. Icon Factory posted a company timeline/history that is a great walk down memory lane, especially for Mac users. I have a soft spot in my heart for this company because it was such a shining star in the Mac world when that company was at its nadir in 1996. Icon Factory made awesome icons that helped make my Mac more fun—it might sound like a small thing, but I remember it to this day. So thanks, Icon Factory, and happy birthday! May the next 20 years be even more interesting than the first. – Bryan
Check out the YoCam, a small camera that is waterproof up to 20 feet (IP68). It takes photos or video, and has video stabilization, too. It weighs just 1.9 ounces, and it has a companion app for iPhone and Android devices for processing images. You can get YoCam through our deal for $179.
John Gruber has posted the full video of The Talk Show Live from last week’s World Wide Developer Conference, where his guests were Apple senior vice presidents Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi. It’s a great interview, and I highly encourage you to watch it in its entirety, but there were six things in particular I learned.
Check out the Chatlight—I did a Cool Stuff Found during January’s CES show, and now Stack Commerce has put together a deal for this device. It’s designed to light you for selfies and video chats. It clips onto the edge of your mobile device and two banks of LEDs light your face. The bank of LEDs rotates, too, allowing you to control your lighting. You can get Chatlight through our deal for $19.