Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]

iKlips Dual-Interface Drive 32GB: $55

· · TMO Deals

iKlips Dual Interactive Drive

We have a deal for you on the iKlips Dual-Interface Drive. It has a Lightning port on one end to connect to your iPhone and iPad, and a USB port on the other to connect to your Mac or PC. It’s MFi-Certified, and you can get a 32GB model for $55 through us. If you click the Type/Color links, you’ll find 64GB units for $71.

Science Finds Way to Turn CO2 Into Ethanol

· · Cool Stuff Found

Whoa, check this out: scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have discovered a way to turn CO2 into ethanol. This could have huge implications for the fight against anthropogenic global warming, not to mention the entire energy sector. Mind you, this is a new discovery and it’s still in the lab, but if we can capture CO2 and convert it into a fuel, it could be a game changer. The video below talks about how the method was discovered, as well as some of its practical applications. In a world where a steady deluge of depressing news has become the new norm, this is a delightful breath of kick-butt. Popular Mechanics has an article on the subject, too.

How Apple Uses Rule 44(d) to Hide Trademark Applications

· · Cool Stuff Found

Chart showing trademark application using Rule 44(d) by tech companies

Quartz has a very interesting piece [Via 9to5Mac] on how Apple and other tech companies use a U.S. Patent & Trademark Office rule to register trademarks in semi-secrecy. The rule is designated 44(d), and the crux of the matter is that allows multinationals to more or less hide a trademark for 6 months. That rule gives a trademark filer 6 month-retroactive priority on a new trademark application to filers who can prove they already filed it somewhere else.  Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Intel have all used this method to keep a trademark under wraps, but Apple is king of this method. Quartz cited legal experts who said only companies with enormous legal resources can afford to do it. Check out the full article for more.

Bryan Chaffin Will Discuss 'Apple vs. Samsung' in Live Webinar Thursday

· · News

Man on a Soapbox

Bryan Chaffin will be doing a live webinar/discussion called “Samsung vs. Apple” on Thursday, October 20th, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT. Moderated by patent attorney Gene Quinn, the discussion has a subheading of, “Is A Single Patent Infringement Worth all the Profit?” Robert S. Katz, an attorney with Banner & Witcoff, will also be participating.

PDFpenPro 8: $62

· · TMO Deals

PDFpenPro 8 Icon

PDFpenPro 8 for the Mac from Smile Software is one of our favorite PDF creation and editing apps. I’m pleased as punch that Stack Commerce has put together a deal on this app for $62, half off retail. Check out the deal listing for more details.

Apple Reportedly Scales Back 'Titan' Apple Car Project For Now

· · The Back Page

Apple Car has been Bob Mansfielded, according to a report from Bloomberg. Citing unnamed sources, the report said that Apple has reassigned employees and is focusing solely on developing an autonomous software system. Furthermore, the company’s executive team has imposed a deadline of the end of 2017 to determine the viability of that system. But, Apple Car isn’t necessarily dead, and Bryan Chaffin explains why.

New Pixar Short 'Borrowed Time' Is Not For Kids

· · Cool Stuff Found

Pixar has a new short called Borrowed Time. Right up front, this 6 minute film is not for kids. It’s intense, emotional, sad, and—as SFist called it—lovely. Two of Pixar’s animators spent five years making it in their spare time, and according to a behind-the-scenes film, they made it specifically to dispel the idea that animation is strictly for kids. I’d love to know what you think about it.

SainSonic Wireless HD Stereo Earphones: $15.99

· · TMO Deals

SainSonic Wireless HD Stereo Earphones

We ave a deal for you today on a pair of SainSonic Wireless HD Stereo Earphones for $15.99. They’re powered by Bluetooth 4.1 and last up to 6 hours of talk/play time without having to recharge. They also have a Multifunction Button to play/pause, answer/end calls, change volume, and change tracks.

macOS Sierra: Resetting Your System Sound Effects Output

· · Quick Tip

Every macOS/OS X update has its own quirks, and those quirks can be amplified by whatever peculiarities existed on the Mac being upgraded. For instance, when I upgraded to Sierra, that setting got changed so that it was independent from my System Output. Fortunately, putting it back is easy.

Google Offers Ballot Information Tailored to You

· · Cool Stuff Found

Google is adding U.S. ballot information to search results in the run up to the presidential election in November. It starts with the ability to search for “who’s on my ballot” in the main Google search engine. Users who do so will be asked to provide the street address where they’ll be voting (i.e. it will be added to Google’s profile on you if that was somehow missing). Google Maps users will be prompted to use their Home address. You’ll then be given all the candidates on your ballot, as well as quick access to information on how to vote in your state and where to vote in your district. In my opinion Google is performing a huge service to the country with this feature. Watch the video for more information.

KlikR Universal Remote Control: $19.99

· · TMO Deals

KlickR Universal Remote Control

Check out KlikR, a device that serves as a go-between between for your iPhone and any device with an infrared receiver. Put it onto or next to the receiver and you’ll be able to control it from the companion app on your iPhone or Android device. You can also use voice controls, designate rooms and multiple devices (if you have multiple KlikRs), and more. It’s the kind of device that helps bridge legacy electronics with the Internet of Things, and we have a deal on KlikR for $19.99.

macOS Sierra: Method 2 For Watching Videos Picture-in-Picture

· · How-To

Sierra Contextual Menu on YouTube Video

macOS Sierra supports picture-in-picture (PiP). Melissa Holt showed us how to access PiP using on-screen controls, but she’s some kind of wizard and the rest of TMO’s staff don’t have those controls. Fortunately, Dave Hamilton found a second method for watching in PiP mode. It’s a touch—curious?—on how to get there, but Bryan Chaffin will walk you through it.

Braven 705 Bluetooth Speaker: $49.99

· · TMO Deals

Braven 705 Bluetooth Speaker

Check out the Braven 705 Bluetooth Speaker. It features a shock-absorbent thermoplastic exterior and IPX5 water resistance. it also has a built-in mic and speakerphone for taking and making calls. Sound comes from two drivers, and it has a 12-hour battery life. You can get it through our deal for $49.99.

Last Day for Cloop XL Magnetic Cable Keeper 2.0 on Kickstarter

· · Cool Stuff Found

Cloop Magnetic Cable Organizer

After I posted the SHAPES Kickstarter on Wednesday, Father Gabriel Mosher tweeted me another cool cable organizer called Cloop XL. This is a different approach for cable management in that it’s a rubber strap with neodymium magnets that snap together and stay there. This particular Kickstarter is for a new, larger version called Cloop XL. It’s 115mm (4.6-inches) long, and can hold sturdier cables. This project has already raised $66,000, well over its $10,000 goal. Funding options that get you three or more Cloops, including a Cloop XP, start at $11 as of this writing, but you only have today to participate. There’s a ton of information there, too.

Tame Your Cables with Spheres and Pyramids on Kickstarter

· · Cool Stuff Found

SHAPES Cable Organizer

Check out SHAPES on Kickstarter. I’ve seen a lot of cable organizers and tamers and whatnot cross my desk. Most of them are quite clever and useful, but they tend to rely on me putting the end of a cable onto a magnetic base when I’m done with it. There’s a Kickstarter project called SHAPES that takes a different approach. Rather than being a catch-all for multiple cables, SHAPES is more of a holder for one cable, as shown in the video below. Each sphere or pyramid (I prefer the spheres, FWIW) holds one cable in place while allowing it to slide about when you’re using it. The company is trying to raise $20,000 with 28 days to go.