Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]

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.

Making Weather, a Levitating Speaker that Looks like a Cloud

· · Cool Stuff Found

Making Weather Levitating Cloud Speaker

Check out this remarkable project Richard Clarkson is working on. It’s called Making Weather, and builds on Smart Cloud, a combination lamp and Bluetooth speaker designed to look like a cloud. As noted by The Verge, Mr. Clarkson is working with Crealev to turn this idea into an actual levitating cloud. Crealev has the levitation technology, which uses magnets to achieve the levitation effect. This isn’t a shipping product (yet), but the original Smart Cloud is ($3,360). But the demo video for Making Weather is intensely cool, and I wanted to share it. You can find more images and information on at Crealev’s site.

Yo Samsung: Give It Up, Bro

· · Editorial

Samsung ArtPC Pulse

Samsung…Samsung. Yo, dudes. We gotta talk, like, for reals. Listen and Ima give it to you straight. You have a problem, Samsung. And it’s time for some change.

PDF Expert 2.0 for Mac for $24.99 One Day Only

· · TMO Deals

PDF Expert 2 for the Mac

Readdle’s PDF Expert 2 is a great PDF reader and editor that goes far beyond OS X’s Preview app at a price that doesn’t put the squeeze on your pocketbook. The app lets you edit text, images and links in PDF files, annotate documents, merge files into a single PDF, complete PDF forms, add document passwords, and more. PDF Expert is regularly US$59.99, but Stack Commerce put together a one-day sale for just $24.99.