Workouts++

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If you enjoy the Workout app on the Apple Watch, you might want to check out Workouts++. Version 2.0 has just launched, and it packs a punch.

The biggest addition to the app is the ability to download podcasts directly to your Apple Watch. If you have the LTE watch, you can even download directly to the Watch and bypass the iPhone app. The app also adds maps for outdoor workouts (this wasn’t allowed until watchOS4). I also absolutely love the custom interfaces you can set up for different types of workouts.

It really lives up to the name. It’s just as good as the Workout app, and adds even more goodies. It’s a free app, so there’s no reason not to try it. Workouts will save right to the Health app and the Activity app.

Downloads Workouts++ on The App Store for free.

Update: The update to 2.0 is propagating to the App Store as of 16:00 CST

Download Now

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

‘Lake: Coloring Books’ App for iOS

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Coloring books are a pleasant way for kids and adults alike to pass the time, whether it’s for relieving stress, practicing a little mindfulness, or simply because you enjoy the act. These days, you don’t even have to have a physical book to color in; there are apps like Lake that do the job just as well, if not better

What Lake does is feature exclusive illustrations by an increasing number of awesome artists on Instagram, which you can color to your heart’s content. Each artist offers a “book” of 12 illustrations that you can purchase for $3 in-app, with one illustration from each book made free for you to sample, along with a daily free illustration. This is a super cool way to support artists at an individual level.

If you’d rather not pay by the book, they offer a few subscriptions to unlock everything:

  • $60/year
  • $8/month
  • $3/week

Aside from the in-app purchases/subscriptions, Lake is free to download from the iOS App Store.

Download

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

Retreev Mini Grappling Hook

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You could advertise that the Retreev mini grappling hook is actually meant for retrieving objects from hard-to-reach places, but come on, you know the real reason you want one: It’s the first step to putting together a Batman-like utility belt, right?

Okay, all kidding aside, this thing has a rare earth magnet built into the head meant to latch onto ferrous metal objects — such as drones, tools, and keys — and three removable spikes that come out of the body for when you need to grab something out of a tree, off a roof, over a ledge, or from a sewer drain. It’s also pocket sized, so you can keep it in a gear bag with no problem. You never know when it’ll save your butt.

Get it for $30 on Amazon.

Buy Now

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

Koss Porta Pro Headphones

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First released back in 1984 (a year before I was born) and still going strong 33 years later, the Koss Porta Pro headphones have stubbornly stood the test of time, and for good reason. These on-ear, open-backed headphones offer crystal-clear sound and a far more comfortable wearing experience than you’d think by just looking at them.

That comfort comes from a pair of “temporal pads” that rest on your head above your ears to keep the ear pads from putting too much pressure on them. For glasses-wearers like me, this feature is a lifesaver. It can even be adjusted between light → medium → firm pressure to suit your preference.

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As for the sound — and I know this is going to be a weird reference to some — if you’ve ever been to Animal Kingdom in Disney World and visited the Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, you may have sat in one of their “Song of the Rainforest” rooms, where you put on a pair of Koss Porta Pros and listen in the dark as Grandma Willow from Pocahontas guides you on an audio journey through a rainforest. Every noise heard through those headphones sounds incredibly detailed, from falling rain to animal growls and even to chainsaws.

They work just as well for music and gaming. Everything comes through punchy and clean without being overly bassy. As open-backed headphones however, they do leak a fair bit of audio, so I wouldn’t use them in a quiet public place or anything — but for home use and even jogging? Oh yeah, they work just fine. Plus they have a cool 80s vibe about them that you don’t get from a lot of headphones these days.

Get the Porta Pro headphones in black & silver or just black for $42 on Amazon. A great deal indeed.

Buy Now

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

Quality Linkage: Silent Comedy, Emotional Labor, and Weird Things Learned in 2017

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Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

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Women Aren’t Nags—We’re Just Fed Up »

Gemma Hartley of Harpers Bazaar offers some required reading for hetero guys who haven’t quite grasped the concept of “emotional labor” and how inbalanced many relationships are because of it (bold emphasis mine):

My husband is a good man, and a good feminist ally. I could tell, as I walked him through it, that he was trying to grasp what I was getting at. But he didn’t. He said he’d try to do more cleaning around the house to help me out. He restated that all I ever needed to do was ask him for help, but therein lies the problem. I don’t want to micromanage housework. I want a partner with equal initiative.


Jackie Chan: Master of Silent Comedy »

This video essay by Bradley J. Dixon presents an argument about Jackie Chan’s film career that I’d somehow never considered before: that he should be considered the fourth great silent comedian, following in the footsteps of greats like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. After watching the video, I’m convinced.


Postmortem: Every Frame a Painting »

On the subject of video essays about film, Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos of Every Frame a Painting are calling it quits:

When we started this YouTube project, we gave ourselves one simple rule: if we ever stopped enjoying the videos, we’d also stop making them. And one day, we woke up and felt it was time.

I’m sad to see this channel go. There are loads of great video essays on YouTube these days, but theirs was always the best of the bunch. Hopefully they’ll get to a place in their careers someday where they can take it up again. (A guy can hope, right?)

Anyway, their postmortem is worth a read if you are currently (or are considering becoming) a content creator online. Lots of great advice and hard-earned knowledge in there.

+ On a side note, I’d like to take this time to apologize to Taylor for never crediting her alongside Tony whenever I linked an Every Frame a Painting video in our Quality Linkage columns. I had no idea it was a two-person project until now.


Latest Parenting Trend: The CTFD Method »

David Vienna wrote a short/helpful/funny post for parents who stress about their kids a little too much:

I know many people want to stay current with the latest parenting trends—attachment parenting, minimalist parenting, Tiger Mother parenting, et al. Well, I’ve stumbled upon a new technique that will guarantee your child grows up to be an exemplary student and citizen. It’s called CTFD, which stands for “Calm The F*** Down.” And that’s not a message to give your kids. It’s for you.


52 Things I Learned in 2017 »

A year ago tomorrow, I linked to Tom Whitwell’s list of 52 interesting things he learned in 2016. He’s back this year with a similar list for 2017:

1:

Taco Bell spent ten years trying to develop a cheese-stuffed taco shell, helped by a cheese promotion group called Dairy Management Inc, known as ‘the Illuminati of cheese’. After a successful trial, they’re “figuring out how to get robots to pick up cheese and put it on tortillas” for a full-scale launch. [Clint Rainey]

Alrighty then…

2:

Vice media is worth more than the New York Times, Washington Post and Financial Times combined. [Matthew Garrahan]

↑ WHAT.

3:

An American TV viewer who watches Netflix rather than normal ad-funded television could avoid 160 hours of ads every year. That’s equivalent to a month of eight hour working days. [Dan Calladine]


Photo: Federico Viticci, MacStories

Photo: Federico Viticci, MacStories

iPhone X: A New Frontier »

We’ll conclude this week’s Linkage with a bit of Apple nerdery. Federico Viticci of MacStories has been using and studying the iPhone X for the past month, and wrote an in-depth review about the bigger themes he’s noticed:

I’m confident that, a decade from now, the iPhone X will be remembered as the iPhone that changed the course again for the most popular consumer electronics product of our generation. From an entirely gesture-driven interface with no physical affordances to an OS that adapts its features to our attention, the iPhone X is the purest expression of the union of hardware and software – a spectrum where we can’t discern two ends, but only one all-encompassing idea. The iPhone X is a triumph of design and a new beginning for iOS.

This is one of those pieces that has a chapter of contents and a few pages’ worth of reading. Save it to Instapaper and peruse it over coffee this weekend.


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Neat Stuff We Published This Week

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Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

Pre-order ‘Zen Pencils: Creative Struggle’ by Gavin Aung Than

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Gavin Aung Than of Zen Pencils has just announced an upcoming book called Creative Struggle: Illustrated Advice from Masters of Creativity. It collects Than’s recent series of comics on creativity, featuring advice from the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Ernest Hemingway, Frida Kahlo, Stephen King, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Akira Kurosawa, Nikola Tesla, Brené Brown, and more.

Zen Pencils: Creative Struggle is a call to wake up the creative spirit inside you. Through Zen Pencils cartoon quotes on creativity from inspirational artists, musicians, writers, and scientists, you’ll discover what inspired each of the subjects to reach the full potential of their creativity. In each comic, the speaker of the quote is the character in the story.

This is one of those books that’s sure to ignite your creative spark. It releases January 16th, 2018 and can be pre-ordered in these formats:

Pre-order

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

Prep & Landing Christmas Movie

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If you are looking for a new Christmas movie for your kids, you should check out Prep & Landing. It’s an adorable kids movie (at TV show length) about an elite group of elves who prep every home for Santa.

It’s not available anywhere digitally (it apparently used to be, but was removed a few years ago). Amazon has a Blu-Ray/DVD combo for $8.99. It also includes Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice. In this bonus movie, some classified North Pole technology has fallen into the wrong hands, and the elves must get it back.

Buy Now

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

Carbon Copy Cloner 5

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As a part of my switch to using iCloud Photo Library, I decided I wanted to have a direct clone of my Mac (on top of Time Machine and Backblaze), so I decided to pick up Carbon Copy Cloner 5.

This newest version is ready for macOS High Sierra (and the new APFS file format). Version 5 includes Task Groups, a Smarter SafetyNet, Guided Restore, new scheduling options, and much more. You might be wondering you’d want a direct clone of your mac’s hard drive? While Time Machine makes great backups, it cannot be booted from. In a pinch, you could boot from an external drive to get back to your data very quickly. I find it to be a useful part of a 3-2-1 backup strategy (3 copies, 2 formats, and 1 offsite).

If you have used CCC previously, learn more about the newest features.

You can buy Carbon Copy Cloner 5 for $39.99. If you have a previous version, you can upgrade for 50% off. There is also a 30 day free trial.

Buy Now

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

Elevation Lab MagicGrips for Apple Magic Mouse

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It’s a nice little upgrade to a tool that I use pretty much all day every day.

Shawn Blanc

As beautifully designed as the Apple Magic Mouse is, it’s not the most ergonomic device in the world to use. The flat top and those sharp edges can be a literal pain to work with day in and day out.

Enter Elevation Lab’s MagicGrips. They’re a pair of medical-grade silicone rubber grips that attach to the side of your Magic Mouse to make it way more comfortable to hold, whichever hand you use. They create nice concave surfaces on the sides for your fingers to rest on, and they’re super easy to stick onto the sides of the mouse.

Get them for just $13 on Amazon.

Buy Now

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

Elevation Lab MagicGrips for Apple Magic Mouse

elevation-lab-magicgrips-for-apple-magic-mouse

It’s a nice little upgrade to a tool that I use pretty much all day every day.

Shawn Blanc

As beautifully designed as the Apple Magic Mouse is, it’s not the most ergonomic device in the world to use. The flat top and those sharp edges can be a literal pain to work with day in and day out.

Enter Elevation Lab’s MagicGrips. They’re a pair of medical-grade silicone rubber grips that attach to the side of your Magic Mouse to make it way more comfortable to hold, whichever hand you use. They create nice concave surfaces on the sides for your fingers to rest on, and they’re super easy to stick onto the sides of the mouse.

Get them for just $13 on Amazon.

Buy Now

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net