TMO Background Mode Encore Interview with Science Journalist Maryn McKenna

· · Background Mode Podcast

Maryn McKenna on Background Mode.

Maryn McKenna is a science journalist and author. In her previous appearance here, she described how she launched her career in investigative journalism and, eventually, she landed with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution covering the CDC. In time, Maryn became an expert in the over-use of antibiotics with animals and humans, and that has led to her latest book, Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats. Maryn told me about how antibiotics fed to farm animals seemed like a really good idea in the 1950s. Later, bacteria became resistant to these antibiotics—with disastrous consequence for humans. Early on, Europe understood the scope of the problem, but the U.S. did not. This is a great (and scary) work of science investigative journalism.

Pay What You Want for the Fab 5 Mac App Bundle, Including TechTool Pro 9.5

· · TMO Deals

The Fab 5 Mac App Bundle

Our friends at Stack Commerce have put together a new Pay What You Want deal for us called the Fab 5 Mac App Bundle. Pay anything, as little as a penny, and you’ll get MacCleans 6. But if you beat the average price ($11.34 as of this writing), you’ll also get TechTool Pro 9.5, RapidWeaver 7, Hands Off!, and AfterShot Pro 3. Make the leaderboard at any time, and you’ll be entered into a giveaway.

Want a Flying Robot to Monitor Your Home? Check Out Aevena Aire

· · Cool Stuff Found

Aevena Aire smart home drone

If you’ve been thinking “What my smart home really needs is a flying robot,” then you’re in luck because that’s exactly what Aevena is making. The company has a Kickstarter for its Aire, which is an Alexa-controlled robot that flies around your house monitoring for trouble or just snapping photos and video when you ask. It’s essentially a cross between a security cam and drone that uses multiple sensors and cameras to detect intruders and let you remotely see what’s happening. They say the Aire is quiet so it won’t distract by sounding like a swarm of angry flying machines. You can check out the Aevena Aire on Kickstarter and sign up to get your own flying robot to watch over your home.

XikiHub Could Make Terminal Friendlier and More Powerful

· · Cool Stuff Found

It doesn’t matter if you’re a command line cowboy or a total newbie to Terminal. There’s an awesome tool called XikiHub looking for funding on Kickstarter. The founder of XikiHub says it is the social command line, and the project looks really cool. It’s based on Xiki, a command line platform. XikiHub will give you a friendlier and more powerful Terminal. What’s more, the platform will get even better over time. Users can contribute commands for high-level interfaces like git and changing the desktop background. XikiHub will also support repeating recent commands and searching the community for help to remember which commands do what. This social repository for commands is also open source. The developer uses a multi-pronged security approach, and will have a low tolerance for abuse, spam, or social media marketing. This will be one of my rare backings on Kickstarter. Hopefully, you’ll back it, too.