How about a Computer Keyboard or Trackpad Made of Wood?

I have no idea how practical these products are, but they’re gorgeous. Check out the Orée Board and Orée Touch Slab, a keyboard and trackpad made from wood. The Board is portable and can connect via USB or Bluetooth. It’s designed to work with macOS and iOS, or Windows and Android. Each is made from a single piece of wood, making individual units unique. The Touch Slab is a multitouch trackpad that can also be used as a numeric keypad. Look closely and you’ll see the keypad outlined on top. It’s Bluetooth only, and works with macOS, and Windows 7 or 8. The Board is priced at US$129, while Touch Slab is $150. I haven’t tested them, but they totally caught my eye.

Turn $1 Into an Augmented Reality Tour of the White House

Forget Pokémon. A really cool use for augmented reality on your iPhone is an animated 3D model of the White House, complete with an audio tour of its importance and history. The new app 1600, released this week by the White House Historical Association, uses AR to build a fully animated 3D model of the White House on a $1 bill while White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest narrates a miniature history lesson. Users can also tap on various parts of the model to reveal additional information and a few hidden secrets. Check it out now for free on the iOS and Android app stores.

Watch Nature Rage and Man Sprawl with Google Earth Timelapse

Google Earth Timelapse is “a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years.” It’s not exactly new, but the project was just updated this week with new data and improved historical images. Head over to the Timelapse website, zoom into your favorite location, and watch the path of rivers change, glaciers melt, and cities spread from 1984 through 2016. It’s an incredible way to view the immense library of Google Earth’s satellite imagery.

Here's Why Computers Screw Up Color Blending

Blending colors on your computer typically doesn’t give the results you expect, meaning where they overlap ends up being some weird dark color. That’s because most apps take shortcuts with the math. MinutePhysics put together an awesome video explaining exactly what’s happening and why—and it’s totally worth watching. The downside is now all of the blur effects that are done wrong will really stand out. You’re welcome.

New Apple Campus 2.0 Flyover in 1080p

Check out the latest flyover video of Apple Campus 2.0, posted by Sexton Videography. It’s an HD tour of the so-called Spaceship HQ that shows just how far the architectural masterpiece has come. Complete with labels letting you know what you’re looking at, you can see side buildings, parking structures (with solar panels installed), landscaping, and how much of the main building has taken shape. It’s labeled “December 2016 Update,” but the video was posted November 25th. It’s a great tour. Adjust the resolution up to 1080p, as desired.

StallDesk on Kickstarter, Standing Desk Below $200

Check out StällDesk on Kickstarter. This project is for a standing desk made from high-quality—and very attractive—plywood called ApplePly. The retail price for this desk will be $199, but there are currently early bird funding options left at $129 that will get you one. The thing that first grabbed me about this desk is that it’s gorgeous. The shape is sleek and elegant, and the finish is beautiful. It’s adjustable, and you assemble/disassemble it without using screws. It’s also very strong, courtesy of ApplePly. Check out the project’s page for images of people standing on it. Also check out the closeup images of the StällDesk itself to see the fit and finish. The company is raising $20,000 for custom runs of ApplePly and new tooling, and the desks are being made in Colorado.

Apple Adds Australia to Black Friday Sale

A friend of mine let me know last night that Australian Apple customers were also emailed about a Black Friday sale. To my knowledge, this is the first time Australia has been included in Apple’s Black Friday sales, in part because Black Friday isn’t a thing in Aussieland. As with other markets getting this sale, the site has a landing page featuring an Apple Watch, with the message that, “Friday can’t come soon enough.” I’m noting this because it shows a push by Apple to make a splash with this sale. As I said, Black Friday isn’t a thing Down Under. Not only is there no “Thanksgiving” holiday weekend happening (there is a “Thanksgiving” celebration unrelated to our Pilgrims, of course), but holiday shopping has a more general ramp up than it does in the States. That said, American culture pushes out to many corners of the world, and the idea of “Black Friday” as a time for sales isn’t unheard of. It’s merely uncommon. Jeff Gamet and I discussed this on Wednesday’s Apple Context Machine. It’s possible that Apple is feeling the need to goose December quarter sales.

Glass iPhone Case Designed to Show Off Jet Black Finish

SwitchEasy has a new case for iPhone aimed particularly at Jet Black iPhone 7 owners who want to show off that Jet Black finish and have a case, too. The case is called Glass, and the back is made out of hardened glass (7H on the Mohs’ scale of hardness). The company says it has 90% optical transparency, and it was designed with a 1mm gap between the phone and the back of the Glass. That’s to minimize contact with the case to preserve that Jet Black finish. It has a retail price of $39.99.

Designed By Apple in California Book Leaps from Print to Video

Apple’s new coffee table book showing the history of its products in photographs is a beautiful representation of the company’s designs. Most of those products, it turns out, are in Stephen Hackett from 512 Pixels personal collections, so he put together a video showing his collection along side Apple’s photos. It’s cool to see the original iPod and iPhone, G4 Cube, iBook, next to their photos. It’s also proof Apple sold at least one set of iPod socks. You can check out Stephen’s video on YouTube.

Peter Cohen's 'A History of Hard Drives'

Peter Cohen has penned a fabulous “History of Hard Drives” for BackBlaze. He walks us through the earliest days of mainframe-related storage to today’s SSDs, with lots of historic photos to illustrate the timeline. I love lore of all sorts—particularly computer-related lore—and I gobbled up this post. That said,  I don’t often link to company blog posts as a Cool Stuff Found, but Peter talks about his employer very little—the focus is the history. If you’re a nerd, it’s a great read.