Reared on a Mac Plus, graduated to a Performa 6400/180, detoured briefly into eMate 300 territory (which still runs), and currently rocking several variants of MacBook, Aaron is steeped in arcane Apple lore and fluent in Reality Distortion™. Cybersecurity consultant by day and hopeless technophile with aspirations to be a low-grade foodie.
Over the years the traditional model of a single massive photo editor has been replaced either by canned in-app filters or by lightweight, specialized apps that provide the convenience of photo editing while on the go. Alayer combines the easy functionality of photo effects/filters with a more powerful, discrete, and layer-based image editor at a pretty phenomenal price.
It’s combination throwback, eco-nerd, and DIY. The Berlin Boombox is made of recycled cardboard in a pack-flat design, and in order to use it you have to put it together yourself. Oh, and if you know all the words to the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme song, chances are it will look strikingly similar to a sound system you once used to listen to cassette tapes, too, but it lets you rock out to the tunes on your iPhone rather than carting around magnetic tape.
The LensPen line of Smart screen cleaners has always been one of the best, but the company upped its game recently at CES. The LensPen Elite technology features an invisible carbon compound in place of the black carbon that was so prone to leaving black smudges on fingers when using the ScreenKlean and SmartKlear screen cleaners.
Harman, producers of some of the best audio gear available, announced several products that all shared a common theme: no cords. Bluetooth audio and other wireless streaming protocols are helping us ditch cables for listening to music, and Harman introduced three products to their JBL lineup and one stunningly gorgeous Harman/Kardon entrant at CES 2014.
Soundfreaq has been busy preparing for CES 2014, and the company’s newly announced crop of three wireless speakers certainly reflects that effort. From the bedroom to the living room to wherever-the-world-may-take-you, one of these new speakers can keep you jamming. In addition to an expanded designer-chic Novogratz collection, the Soundfreaq family of Bluetooth speakers has grown by three this year.
I love a slow cooker—whether it’s coming home to a nice meal waiting at end of the day or making a batch of pulled pork in the summer without heating up the house, a slow cooker is a vital tool in many kitchens. At CES 2014, Belkin has expanded their WeMo line of smart home automation products to include a smartphone-controlled Crock-Pot.
Apogee has just announced the next incarnation of their MiC digital microphone. Updating the original MiC, which launched in 2011, the MiC 96k ups the recording quality while still keeping the portability and self-powered advantages of the original; no batteries or external power required, as the MiC draws power for your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
I reviewed a crop of Adopted cases last year, and came away genuinely impressed by their construction and utility. For iPhone users who prefer a little less case and a little more iPhone, Adopted has added the Leather Frame Case, which is a very similar to my favorite Leather Wrap Case, but in a minimalist bumper-style case that features the luxury of leather while still showcasing your iPhone’s design.
Hyper has just bumped up the specs of their wireless disk adapters, adding some new features that make them more useful. The iUSBport is now on version 2.0 and includes a handful of new features, while the new top-of-the-range iUSBport HD is a combination portable hard drive and wireless adapter in one slim package.
The Gambit 17 Laptop backpack has pockets, zips, ties, and pouches for just about anything you could wish to carry, all wrapped up in well cushioned padding and super soft fleece to keep your gear safe. And it’s got so much room I was able to fit not only my electronic gear but also clothing and souvenirs during a recent trek across India.
Altego advertises the Polygon Sunfire’s “clean angular lines” and endorphine-inducing “aggressive looks,” but the real genius of this bag are the myriad thoughtful details that make it a great hauler for your MacBook, iPad, and other gear. I used the Polygon for over a month as my primary commuter bag, and I found each of the bag’s features to be well thought out, genuinely useful, and, most crucially, perfectly suited to the task at hand; helping me schlep all my stuff.
Picamerge aims to let you create double exposures or blended images quickly and easily, and for the most part it’s a really simple app to use. You can shoot or choose two images, then Picamerge lets you blend them together and apply a filter to make the final image really pop. Double exposures can be fun for anything from creating an art collage to spirit photography to high art, and Picamerge aims to provide an app for that.
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