The Astak Neos Touchscreen Smart Display looks like a very large iPad, but it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a backstand, and must be kept plugged into a wall outlet. It's got a USB port, a webcam, an SD card slot, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth network. I set my review unit on a shelf over the kitchen sink, and it's been in heavy use ever since.
Robyn Miller is one of the most interesting people I know. I first learned of Robyn in 1993 when I was an editor at Wired and I received an early review copy of a spooky and beautiful puzzle adventure game called Myst, which Robyn and his brother Rand created (Robyn also created all the ethereal music for Myst and its follow-up title, Riven). Myst subsequently became the best-selling adventure game of all time. (Read Jon Carroll's 2004 Wired article, "Guerrillas in the Myst," about Rand and Robyn, and check out Rand's successful Kickstarter for Rand's new adventure game Obduction.)
Streaming live from Kevin Kelly's house right now: the first Cool Tools Show and Tell meetup! A couple of dozen folks are demonstrating and talking about their favorite tools, and Kevin will show everyone his new book, Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities. Watch the live stream here or at the Google Plus event page.
I've seen the fantastic documentary, The Wrecking Crew, about the legendary group of studio musicians who played the instruments on a great many of the songs recorded by famous groups of the 1960s and 1970s. The documentary is finished, but the filmmaker (son of Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco) needs $250k to pay the licensing fees for the 120+ music cues in the film. He's launched a Kickstarter to raise the funds and is well over halfway towards his funding goal. I'm rooting for this to happen because this film deserves to be seen.
This is a documentary film about an elite group of studio session musicians in Los Angeles in the 1960’s who played on hits for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, The Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Mamas and Papas, 5th Dimension, Tijuana Brass, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Johnny Rivers and Phil Spector's Wall of Sound and that’s just a few! The amount of work in which they were involved was tremendous.
There's still time to start or join a Cool Tools Show & Tell Meetup in your town. But if you can't make it for some reason, you are invited to watch the live video stream of the Show & Tell taking place at Kevin Kelly's place tomorrow (December 4, 2013) at 7:30pm PT. I'll post a streaming video here on Boing Boing, or you can visit the Google event page here and watch the video.
To learn more about the Cool Tools Show & Tell Meetup, read Kevin's post about it here.
John Durant is a leader of the growing ancestral health movement. Durant studied evolutionary psychology at Harvard prior to founding Paleo NYC and Barefoot Runners NYC, the largest Paleo and barefoot running groups in the world. In his new book The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health, Durant argues for an evolutionary – and revolutionary – approach to health. Blending science and culture, anthropology and philosophy, Durant distills the lessons from his adventures and shows how apply them to day-to-day life. He blogs at HunterGatherer.com.
Here's my interview with John in the third episode of my new podcast, Incredibly Interesting Authors.
Bob Knetzger says: "The Akihabara Radio Center is closing at the end of November. Sure, there are still maid cafes, gundam shops and other otaku delights in Akihabra, but sadly a little piece of Maker Heaven is shutting down. So cool that the post-war headquarters for black market radio parts has survived for this long (and maybe it will sprout up somewhere else?) ...but where else in Tokyo will you go to geek out at bulk electronic parts, tools, and test equipment?"
I visited the radio center in 2010, and the array of stalls and items for sale was mind bending. I'm sorry it's going to close!
I saw All is Lost a couple of weeks ago. It reminded me of Gravity in a way - both movies are about trying to survive on a damaged vessel. (I liked All is Lost a little more, mainly because it didn't have a wisecracking George Clooney.)
Because All is Lost has hardly any talking in it, the sounds of the water, the weather, and the ship are very important. This excellent short film has comments from All is Lost's re-recording mixer, sound designers, supervising sound editor, and the music composer.
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MacBreak Weekly is one of my favorite podcasts so it was a nice surprise to see Andy Ihnatko and Leo Laporte review Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools book on it. Leo said the book is “the best Christmas present for everybody in your family ever!” (I'm editor-in-chief of the Cool Tools website.)
My friend AJ Jacobs (author of fantastic self-experimentation books like Drop Dead Healthy and The Year of Living Biblically) says, "My Esquire Google Glass experiment went up today. It's about how I put it to a series of grueling tests -- I used my little face computer to cheat at poker with friends. Watch movies while talking to friends and family. Read Moby Dick. Be a Cyrano to a young single dude. Overload my brain. And as a high-tech moral conscience."
I don't plan to drive while watching my Glass — I do enjoying living — but what if I tried to watch video every moment of the day that I'm not operating heavy machinery? My first plan was to stream a series of back-to-back epic movies on my Glass as I ran my errands and made my calls. Unfortunately, Glass isn't yet compatible with Netflix.
Instead, I had to settle for sixteen hours of YouTube. I watch Ali G while at the grocery. I watch a TED talk about bipolar disorder while scrubbing the dishes. While taking my kids to the Museum of Natural History, I creep myself out by watching the "Blurred Lines" video, squinting to make out the world's tiniest nipples.
Things start to spin out of control. How could they not? It's my childhood dream come true, this ever-present TV. My wife approaches me in the kitchen. I can see her mouth moving. I tell her, "I'm watching a Richard Pryor clip about the first black president. If it's important, let me know, and I'll pause." She walks away.
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