Relive the golden age of writing with these leather notebooks and journals

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In the digital age, it can seem as though the life of the physical notebook or diary has come and gone. But most serious writers will tell you that there’s a special connection that comes from putting pen to paper, and these Leather Notebooks & Journals will help you bring that magic back.

Relive the golden era of writing down your thoughts and ambitions using good old-fashioned pen and paper with these elegant, handmade notebooks and journals.

With unique designs and hand-stitched embossed leather patches, these notebooks are great gifts for lovers of the written word.

They come in a variety of styles, feature durable hardcover backings, and come loaded with 50 sheets of handmade, tree-free cotton paper that can be used to record anything your creative mind can dream up.

They’re also light and compact enough to take with you without weighing you down.

Embrace your inner storyteller with these Leather Notebooks & Journals, starting at just $35.10. Read the rest

This Cybertruck-inspired iPhone 11 Pro costs $15K and isn’t made by Tesla or Apple

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Phones are rounded rectangles now. Have been for years — ever since the iPhone killed the QWERTY slider dead. They’re getting rounder and rounder, in fact, as manufacturers continue to figure out how to bend OLED screens and raw metals to their will. They’re far too samey, unless you count an array of sci-fi inspired foldables that are so far basically just recreating the flip phone.

I want something edgier to exist in the world. And now, just as Tesla’s Cybertruck shook up the world of automobile design, a Cybertruck-inspired phone has emerged to maybe, possibly, OK probably not inspire the same sort of design in phones.

The exorbitantly priced Cyberphone, which is effectively just a fancy shell around an Apple iPhone 11 Pro, was…

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Amazon’s Echo Show can now scan barcodes to flesh out your shopping list

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Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

In our review of the Amazon Echo Show 5 smart display, Dan called it the “smart alarm clock to get.” But I think I might move mine to the kitchen, right next to the garbage can.

That’s partly because Amazon has just added the ability for the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8’s camera to scan barcodes, and automatically add those items to your shopping list (via VentureBeat). I might do that when I’ve got an empty package I’m about to toss in the trash.

You start by saying “Alexa, scan this to my shopping list.” Up pops this screen:

Image by Sean Hollister / The Verge

I just tried it with a milk carton, orange juice, and a New Balance shoebox, and it seems to work fine in each case, adding each to my Alexa shopping list….

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Twitter adds threaded replies to iOS to make it easier to see ongoing conversations

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Twitter announced a subtle design change to its iOS app today that may go a long way in both making conversations easier to parse and to join. The change, which looks like it’s a change on Twitter’s end that does not require an update, is to the threading feature in the Twitter timeline, which currently does a poor job of differentiating between standard tweets and replies.

The update now draws a concrete line between a parent tweet and the replies, with the replies indented slightly and connected by the series of vertical and horizontal lines. It makes a Twitter conversation look effectively like thread of connected notes. The feature was first demoed in the company’s experimental twttr beta app back in spring of last year. It only…

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Podcast app Overcast adds automatic intro skipping and overhauled Voice Boost feature

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

App developer Marco Arment has a new update out today for his popular mobile podcast player Overcast. In a detailed blog post, Arment says the new version of Overcast now comes with a totally overhauled volume normalization feature, called Voice Boost 2, that relies on “dramatically more sophisticated methods, leading to more consistent results and much better sound quality.”

“Voice Boost 2 is a mastering-quality audio-processing pipeline that applies broadcast-standard loudness normalization, light compression and EQ, and a true-peak lookahead limiter to your podcasts, in real time, without sacrificing quality or battery life,” Arment explains.

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Fine-tune your spelling and grammar with this Chrome extension

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Nothing is worse than firing off an important email only to realize later on that it was riddled with typos and plagued with poor sentences. This WhiteSmoke Chrome Extension ensures that you’ll never have to endure such post-send woes ever again, and a 5-year subscription is available for over 90% off its usual price right now.

Whether you’re a professional writer or simply want to tighten up your grammar and spelling, this simple browser extension has your back.

WhiteSmoke uses a series of advanced algorithms in order to scan your writing for a wide variety of errors ranging from grammar and spelling mistakes to punctuation slips and overall sentence structure, and it includes a 50-language translator to boot.

Your subscription even grants you unlimited access to a huge database that you can use to check your work for inadvertent plagiarism.

Take your writing to the next level with a 5-year subscription to the WhiteSmoke Chrome Extension for just $39.99—over 90% off its usual price today. Read the rest

Interview with Douglas Rushkoff

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Douglas Rushkoff is one my oldest and dearest friends. He’s also one of the sharpest media theorists and cultural critics I know. It’s always a thrill to have a conversation with him because he makes me question my opinions and I alway end up with a changed brain. So it was great fun to have him on the Cool Tool podcast.

Douglas is named one of the “world’s ten most influential intellectuals by MIT. He’s an author and documentarian who studies human autonomy in a digital age. His twenty books include the just-published Team Human, based on his podcast, as well as the bestsellers Present Shock, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Program or Be Programmed, Life Inc., and Media Virus. He also made the PBS FRONTLINE documentaries, Generation Like, The Persuaders, and The Merchants of Cool. He’s a professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at Queens College, a columnist for Medium, and his novels and comics, Ecstasy Club, A.D.D., and Aleister & Adolf are all being developed for the screen. You can find him on Twitter @rushkoff and Youtube.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page

Show notes:

Written language
Written language is definitely a tool. It’s a medium. It’s an environment. There’s all these ways to think about it, but I love thinking about words as a tool. Because particularly, when I’m mad about something or I feel like there’s something that people don’t get, once I can put words around it, once I can articulate what’s happening, what people are feeling, or the dysfunction, or the paradox, I feel like it empowers me and so many other people to then go do something about it. Read the rest

The history of bending spoon tricks

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It’s important to learn as much as you can about trick spoons. Fortunately, here’s a brand new article by Philip Treece, “Stressful and Startling Sugar Spoons,” that will get you up to speed on the basics.

If you require more information, you can sign up for “Stressful and Startling Sugar Spoons” mailing list. I suggest subscribing to the digest version to avoid clogging your inbox, as it is quite active. Read the rest

Hackaday Podcast 052: Shorting Components, Printing Typewriter Balls, Taking Minimal Time Lapse, and Building a Makerspace Movie Prop

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Hackaday editors Elliot Williams and Mike Szczys recap a great week in hardware hacking. There’s perfection in the air as clever 3D-printing turns a button and LED matrix into an aesthetically awesome home automation display. Take a crash course in RF modulation types to use on your next project. Did …read more

Daily Crunch: IBM names new CEO

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The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Arvind Krishna will replace Ginni Rometty as IBM CEO in April Krishna, IBM’s senior vice president for cloud and cognitive software, […]

I love this cheap, mechanical gaming keyboard… and it lights up too!

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This Redragon 10-keyless mechanical gaming keyboard has increased my gaming enjoyment.

I moved from controller to KB+M gameplay and things are better! I mostly wanted the insane update that moving to a modern graphics chipset, ram and storage would bring but the increased control of playing games with a keyboard and mouse are a huge bonus.

I settled on this Logitech gaming mouse.

The Redragon keyboard is a tactile delight. Solid and well made it is pleasing to rest my hand upon. The keys offer good resistance and click. Keys also are firmly in place and I do not feel any wiggle or give under my fingers, there is no side-to-side torsion to worry about.

The keyboard itself sits firmly on my desk and doesn’t want to slide around as I am pushing W and constantly driving my character forward.

For less than $40 this keyboard is a winner, and helps me be one.

Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, RGB Rainbow Backlit, 87 Keys, Tenkeyless, Compact Steel Construction with Cherry MX Blue Switches for Windows PC Gamer (Black)by Redragon via Amazon Read the rest

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