This week in Gadgets, Gareth Branwyn, author of Borg Like Me, joins Xeni and Mark to discuss Rasta-colored earbuds, a music-based brain app for increasing one’s attention/focus, a scratch-resistant iPhone protector, and a free reverse phone number lookup site.

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Check out our awesome picks this week, below:

Gareth Brawnwyn:

earbudsHouse of Marley "Smile Jamaica" In-Ear Noise-Isolating Headphones ($(removed)) "Bought these in an airport mobile tech store during a lay-over after I left my regular buds on a plane. I asked the woman running the shop what were the best low-priced phones she had and she sold me these. I love them, especially the braided cloth cord (in Jamaican/rasta colors!) which resists tangling. Surprising good sound quality for the money. As you might expect from Reggae phones, they're most at home on the bottom end. They've never met a dread beat they didn't like. The phones are made as much as possible from recycled, natural materials (wood, recycled aluminum, cloth, recycled cardboard and paper packaging). And, for your… um… buds, there's a lovely woven drawstring bag (also with Rasta colors)."


Focus@will is a music-based brain app for increasing one's attention/focus. I just started playing with it. Might be fun to use it as an excuse to touch on some of the brain apps we've tried. I've used a couple and liked them (AmbiScience Brain Power, Brian Eno's Bloom). But I don't know how deep the benefits of any of them actually go, beyond general relaxation. Here's a nice article on Wired's Brainwatch that does a good sci/common sense analysis of some of the claims (and competing theories about what actually helps sharpen one's attention.


Bodyguardz ScreenGuardz Pure iPhone screen protector ($(removed)) Not only is this glass screen protector easy to install, it's very tough and even better, smudge-resistant.

Whocalld is a free reverse phone lookup site!

I'm conducting a free live streaming video workshop on August 4-5 called DIY Projects for Dads to Do with Kids. You'll learn everything you need to complete projects with the whole family. You'll learn how to whip up a mixture that makes enormous bubbles, and how to get started with polymer clay — a medium you can use to create custom toys, shapes, and figurines. You'll also learn the more advanced magic of constructing a Drawbot – a simple robot that can make abstract art all by itself. My daughter Jane and will show you how to make 12 cool things during the two-day workshop. RSVP for the course today!

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