Smartphone Photography Basics Bundle: $29

· · TMO Deals

Smartphone Photography Basics Bundle

We have a deal on the Smartphone Photography Basics Bundle, a collection of four training course to learn how to take better photographs with your iPhone. There’s more than 7 hours of training videos in this bundle, and it’s $29 through our deal.

How to Use 1Password's Demo Mode

· · Quick Tip

For today’s Quick Tip, we’re going over a little-known feature of AgileBits’ 1Password—the so-called demo vault that you can use to show off the iOS app without revealing your own data. We love 1Password for features like this one!

Compare Original Version of Bilbo Getting Ring from Gollum to the Revised Version We Know Today

· · Link

The Hobbit

Check out this great side-by-side comparison of the original version of a key scene in The Hobbit to the version we know today. It’s the scene where Bilbo meets Gollum and steals the One Ring in the bowels of the Misty Mountains. Each paragraph of both versions is laid out side by side, with changes highlighted in blue. I’m such a huge Tolkien nerd, and this is intensely cool. Here’s a passage from the introduction:

The following is a side-by-side comparison of the two versions, presented in order to provide insight as to how the smallest of details can affect the overall themes of Tolkien’s work. Of particular interest is the characterization of Gollum, who in the revised version is much more malevolent and treacherous, and yet also more pitiful, echoing the later role that he will play in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Astronomers Have Discovered a Massive Rogue Planet

· · Cool Stuff Found

A rogue planet is a planet that’s not in orbit around any star. It’s by itself, in orbit around the galactic center.  It may have formed around a star and perhaps some severe gravitational perturbation ejected it into the space between stars. In any case, only a few are known.  In this discovery, a very large one was detected via its radio emissions. Fascinating.

Astronomers Have Discovered a Massive Rogue Planet

So, It Might Not Have Been an Asteroid that Killed the Dinosaurs

· · Cool Stuff Found

Most of have heard about the big asteroid (6 miles long) that smacked the Earth 66 million years ago and created a nuclear winter that killed the dinosaurs. It’s pretty accepted, though it remains a theory. Well…maybe not. Professor Gerta Keller is leading the charge gathering mounting evidence that the timeline doesn’t match up. According to her, the Chicxulub asteroid hit 200,000 years before the extinction event that killed the dinosaurs. And what she thinks did it is the same thing blamed for other extinction events, massive volcano eruptions that lasted—in this case—60,000 years. There in a part of India called the Deccan Traps today, though we don’t know what the dinosaurs called them. Those eruptions do line up with the extinction event nicely. Apparently, all this evidence is causing quite the hubbub in academia, and The Atlantic has a very long and detailed story about the whole thing. It’s fascinating. The image included is from the Deccan Traps.

So, It Might Not Have Been an Asteroid that Killed the Dinosaurs

TMO Background Mode Interview with Host of The Carson Podcast Mark Malkoff

· · Background Mode Podcast

Mark Malkoff on Background Mode

Mark Malkoff is a comedian, filmaker, and the host of The Carson Podcast in which he talks with guests about legendary talk show host Johnny Carson. His guests include stand-up comics who debuted on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, individuals who worked on the show, and entertainers who were influenced by Carson. I chatted with Mark about his early jobs on various TV shows, sketch comedy, and video projects. As a comedian, he’d always been fascinated by Johnny Carson. It was Peter Jones (PBS) who encouraged Mark to do a podcast all about Carson’s Tonight Show. Mark told me about how he lines up guests and how he prepares. In 180+ podcasts, Mark has learned a lot about Mr. Carson’s personal life and the details of show’s production. Mark enthusiastically shares it all.

The Story Behind Sci-Fi Infographic Untold AI

· · Link

There’s a sci-fi infographic called Untold AI that examines artificial intelligence, and we now have a behind-the-scenes glimpse from the creator.

Sci-Fi Interfaces is one of those websites the Internet was (originally) built for. It’s a passion project focusing on an incredibly niche subject, created and maintained by someone with real subject matter expertise.

Much of Chris Noessel’s professional work, academic study and enthusiasm for science fiction has come together in the creation of the Untold AI infographic. It’s breathtaking in both its scope, and as a graphic design achievement.

This Watch Wants to Curb Ocean Plastic Pollution

· · Cool Stuff Found

There’s a watch that wants to help curb ocean plastic pollution. Awake Watch’s mission is to prove that there is a smarter and more sustainable way to consume goods. It wants to show that it can create objects with innovative design and very high quality, while still limiting its environmental impact as much as possible. And give people the opportunity to make a difference. The fabric the company uses for the strap is made from plastic waste, which has been collected from South East Asian seas and Japan. It turns the plastic into pellets, and then into nylon yarn. It creates the straps directly from rolls of this material, which is made using no chemical dyes, and is certified by the Global Recycled Standard label. The leather straps are made by a French company that uses Italian leather tanned in a vegetable tanning process. The Kickstarter was fully funded in an hour. To get a watch, rewards start at US$229.

This Watch Wants to Curb Ocean Plastic Pollution

Should Apple Create a Video Platform for Creators?

· · Link

In 9to5Mac‘s Reddit-esque Change My View series, Ben Lovejoy writes that Apple should have a video platform for creators.

What I’m proposing is that Apple create a platform for creators of original content. Like YouTube or Vimeo, but with greater control and focus…I’d love to see someone do YouTube properly. Take it back to its roots as a true platform for original content providers. And there are two reasons I think Apple could be the right company to do it.

I can’t decide if I agree or not. I don’t think Apple needs to do everything, and if there’s already a size-able contender like YouTube, it would be hard for Apple’s platform to compete. This is similar to why Apple doesn’t have its own search engine. It might be easier for Apple to just buy Vimeo than create a platform from the ground up.