Type with your voice with this genius note taking app

Back in the ancient times of the 1980s, if you wanted your thoughts quickly translated into text and didn’t want to spend all day transcribing all those meticulously archived notes yourself, you either needed to hire a secretary or a stenographer.

Now, rather than spending thousands of dollars a year on an ultra-fast typist, technology and voice recognition has boiled that ability down to a trusty app. Dictanote (for the Chrome browser) lets you easily switch between using your keyboard and your voice to take any notes you want to keep.

Dictanote brings together the versatility of a fully-featured notebook with AI-based speech recognition, making it easy for anyone to let notes spill out in their own words while magically appearing on their screen.  Dictanote has built-in a Microsoft Word-type editor to help format notes, which are also downloadable as PDF or .docx files.

While we can all think of some time-saving practical uses for Dictanote, it’s especially useful for those who conduct interviews or sift through loads of information, like journalists, lawyers, podcasters, students or professional transcriptionists.

With Dictanote, it’s truly as simple as hitting the record button to dictate an email, meeting notes or even a to-do list. You can also just snap a picture of a sketch and then see that image translated to text with 90 percent accuracy. In fact, the makers of Dictanote claim their app outperforms most offline services, including the popular Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Dictanote even has a few tricks up its sleeve, like a set of voice commands that allow you to put some form and structure to your notes, all with the use of your voice. Read the rest

This Pro Photography and Photoshop training gives you a high-quality crash course in all things photo

If you’re invested in learning a new craft or even just elevating your abilities in a current skill, you likely want access to as much information as possible to help expand your talents. Different learning courses can definitely aid that pursuit, but it’s often tough to know exactly what’s included in any coursework and whether it adequately covers the topics you want to know. 

Because if you don’t know it, how do you know you’ll get to know exactly what you need to know, you know?

The answer is...volume. In The Pro Photography and Photoshop 20 Course Bundle, we’ll get access to a virtual avalanche of photography training that’s truly exhaustive and ready to help address any of their picture-taking questions.

Not three, not five, not even a dozen courses, this bundle packages together 20 separate courses housing a colossal 120 hours of photography training that should set you up to learn all the steps and methods to take great pictures with every click.

Of course, it all starts with the basics, which is why the Photography Master Class is the perfect introduction. First-time students grasp concepts like exposures, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and more so that by the end of the course, the Auto mode is off forever and they’re making the minute adjustments in Manual mode from now on that make all the difference.

Meanwhile, Photoshop, its Adobe companion app Lightroom, and open-source editor GIMP are industry-standard image editing software and these courses dig into every facet of how to navigate these feature-rich apps like a pro. Read the rest

Plungers are disgusting so the Toiletsaber is changing the toilet clearing game

Look, nobody wants to be talking about unclogging a toilet. There are few tasks more unsavory anywhere on a homeowner’s to-do list.

Unfortunately, everything that ends up swirling its way down your porcelain throne doesn’t always find its final destination in the sewage system below. If a child decides to flush half the contents of a bathroom counter, you’re likely looking at a call to a plumber and a bill that could end up topping $300

Or it could just be an incident so vile you don’t even want to get too close. Possibly ever again. We get it. So instead of dropping a huge chunk of change on a plumbing repair, the Toiletsaber lets you attack the problem yourself.

The Toiletsaber is a revolutionary new unclogging tool with a unique J-shaped, flexible head that makes maximum contact with tough visible clogs and swiftly and neatly clears the problem. And just like other sabers, the one is well over two feet long, assuring that you and your hands never need to get anywhere close to the scene of the crime.

The Toiletsaber head is designed to first rake any excess waste away from the waste trap, while the other side of the Toiletsaber can then snake through any remaining clog to clear the obstruction.

And as opposed to that disgusting plunger, the Toiletsaber wipes clean in seconds and its shatterproof, chemical resistant frame doesn’t become a breeding ground for gross bacteria.

The Toiletsaber is also lightweight and safe to use with any toilet without ever scraping or leaving any scratches behind. Read the rest

Watching these Maker Mind Meld Masterclass videos will have you ready to create

The masterclass concept is a simple one — get a foremost expert in their field to sit down and verbally walk through their area of expertise with a room full of eager young learners. It’s a sound practice...because how better to learn the true tricks of the trade than from an absolute stone-cold master of their craft?

Many tinkerers in the maker culture are in particular need of that guidance. With so many directions to take in DIY engineering and electronics, it’s easy to get lost or miss some simple, yet meaningful ideas. Last year, the 1st Maker Mind Meld Virtual Summit brought together 22 expert Makers to talk about how they turn electronics, software, wood, and plastic into entirely new creations.

If you’re interested in building and solving problems, but missed the summit, The Maker Mind Meld Masterclass is truly the next best thing.

This collection features the video presentations made by all 22 Maker Mind Meld experts, each focused on sharing their best advice and top strategies to help you become a better maker. Summit host and organizer Dr. Peter Dalmaris speaks with each expert as they explore their individual tech passions, including CSEduino, micro:bit. JSON, Internet of Things, and more.

Over more than 30 hours, you’ll go deep on everything, from electrical engineer Jon Evans talking about getting involved in open source projects, to creative technologist Gil Posnanski discussing why Making is important to humanity, to instructor Richard Park on how to teach IoT concepts.

Meanwhile, there are also several sessions that play more like how-to lessons for Making something cool of your own, including how Maker Mark Wilson created an Arduino version of the classic Flip clock or how engineer  Karsten Schulz made a computer processor with a B4 kit.  Read the rest

Underwater scooters are a hot new way to enjoy your summer under the waves

After being stuck in the house for months, you’ve got to be thinking about planning at least one summer adventure somewhere. If that plan calls for some aquatic activities, this could be a good time to try out one of the hottest and most entertaining pieces of watersports tech around, the underwater scooter.

When you go under the waves, just grab hold of the handles and the scooter will zip you through the water, cutting down all the time and serious exertion it takes to make a long swim.

Over the past few years, Geneinno has become one of the premier names in the aqua-scooter game, powered by their Trident model ($549.99; originally $699.99). Fire up the Trident’s mighty dual propellers and this scooter has a pair of speed modes that’ll have you cutting through the water at over 4 mph, which is essentially just a touch faster than a world-class swimmer. At home in freshwater, seawater, or even in a pool, the Trident can dive up to 160 feet down and runs for up to 45 minutes on its removable, rechargeable battery. It’s even got GoPro and light mounts to capture amazing underwater footage.

If you don’t need to move quite that fast, the Geneinno S2 ($359.95; originally $399) still humps up to an impressive 2.7 mph maximum speed from its deceptively small size. With up to 60 minutes of running time, it’s got enough juice to help improve any snorkeling, diving, or swimming outing. And in case you want to keep a close eye on the training of any young swimmers, the S2 has an app control feature that lets you change and record speed, depth, distance, and battery life, all from your phone. Read the rest

The LOFT Battery Base helps your Google Home go truly mobile

The world seems well on pace to putting a smart assistant in every home. Just during the first three months of 2020, over 28 million smart speakers were sold, a rise of over 8 percent from 2019. 

But while users all enjoy streaming music, getting information and controlling smart home functions through speakers like the Google Home, there’s still one standout problem these speakers haven’t fixed yet. They still need to be tethered to a wall, plugged into an AC outlet. 

For those who want to make their Google Home experience a little more mobile, the LOFT Battery Base for Google Home is like taking a dog off the leash, allowing you to tote your speaker virtually anywhere in your home effortlessly.

So far, customers are responding big time to the LOFT’s ability to cut the Google Home free, giving the LOFT an impressive 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.

The LOFT’s portable base packs a 4,200mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery, enough to keep the Google Home powered up for up to eight hours of cordless roaming. Just slide the Google Home right on to the top of the LOFT for a quick magnetic connection, unplug the unit and you’re ready to go in literally seconds. 

In fact, it’s easiest to just keep the Google Home on the LOFT base at all times. The power cord will keep your LOFT fully charged at all times while still powering the Google Home. That shouldn’t be a huge problem because the LOFT’s metal grill finish fits with virtually any room decor. Read the rest

The BentoStack PowerHub 5000 stacks all your Apple device needs together seamlessly

For those versed in world cultures, the bento box is a pretty familiar item. Used for centuries in Japan and exported to countries like Taiwan and Korea, the bento is a neatly arranged organizer for on-the-go meals. For adults going to work or kids going to school, your bento holds rice or noodles, fish or meat, and vegetables, all in one easy to pack and carry box.

That’s the overarching principle behind the creation of Function 101’s BentoStack collection, an array of tech organizers built around the Bento idea for packing, storing, and transporting all your Apple devices and accessories.

And the BentoStack PowerHub 5000 is the flagship of the line, a compact organizer that seeks to handle virtually all your Apple device needs in one minimalistic, cute little package.

At less than 8 inches long, the BentoStack almost looks like a pencil case from the outside, but once you pop the lid, it’s an Apple-ready service station, including an 8-port type-C hub, a Qi-enabled wireless charger, and power battery and several compartments for storing all your cables, connectors and other accessories.

The BentoStack cover is home to the 5,000mAh power bank with its own certified Qi charging pad for wireless charge-ups of any iPhone models from the iPhone 8 to the latest iPhone 11 and XR. And in case you’re rocking an older iPhone, no worries -- this also houses a USB-A port to traditional charging of all iPhones, iPad, and even Apple Watches.

Inside, you reach the Type-C hub, including room to attach...well, Read the rest

The Trainz Railroad Simulator will make you feel like a master of the rails

There’s always been something romantic about train travel. Whether it’s the connection to a bygone age or just the slower pace of life on the rails, the reassuring click of those steel wheels gliding over mile after mile of track through both cities and countrysides offers a warm and true taste of the complete world around you.

Of course, the only thing better than riding on a train is actually driving that locomotive yourself. And the only thing better than life as a conductor is life as a railroad deity, controlling the layout, conditions, and the entire environment for one specific train or even an entire railway system all under your control.

Whether you’re a driver or a world-builder, the Trainz Railroad Simulator Platinum Edition Bundle offers you the chance to live out your locomotive fantasies. 

If you’ve never tried a Trainz game before, they’ve been a premier train simulator for nearly 20 years — and with the Trainz Railroad Simulator 2019 edition, they’ve continued to add to the realism of both train operations as well as crafting a photo-realistic world outside the train windows.

Once you get the controls down, you can drive one of nearly 200 different steam, diesel and electric powered locomotives along hundreds of miles of track laid out along six meticulously cultivated routes.

While there’s plenty to see and do while wearing the conductor’s hat, your true mettle as a railroad legend will be tested in the Surveyor world-building, where you can build literally any railway system you can dream up. Read the rest

The Smart Beat monitor knows and studies your baby’s breathing as they sleep

It’s a silent tragedy that no one ever wants to even consider.  But the reality is that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) claims the lives of nearly 3,500 babies in the U.S. every year. It’s a horror no parent wants to face, yet the threat of this heartless killer has newborn parents keeping as close a watch on their infants while they’re sleeping as when they’re awake.

Nate and Sarah Ruben were those anxious parents when their first son was born in 2012. At a higher than normal risk for SIDS, Sarah got up five or six times a night for months to check his breathing, causing a lack of sleep that ultimately triggered severe postpartum depression.

Following those troubling days, Nate created the Smart Beat Video Breathing Monitor as a way to offer parents peace of mind whenever their child sleeps.

The system itself is incredibly simple — just sync the camera to the Smart Beat app, point it at your sleeping baby...and you’re done.

How the system works, however, is decidedly less simple. In fact, Smart Beat is so sophisticated that it’s proprietary algorithm is actually analyzing the Smart Beat's video feed and measuring a baby's vitals, all without any wearables. 

The camera can spot 16 million color shades and looks for shifts in any of its 2 million pixels 20 times per second. That analysis can tell if there’s movement from the baby and whether that movement is breathing. That data can detect any clinical apnea or any above or below average breathing rates, literally chronicling and studying a baby’s every single breath. Read the rest

Odds are, your grill is disgusting and a wire brush won’t help but the Q-Swiper can

At some point this summer, we’ve all got our fingers crossed that we’ll be out on a patio, basking in a gorgeous day and smelling the delicious char of burgers, steaks, chicken, and other succulent meats grilling to perfection.

But before that day happens, it’s probably time to consider the state of that grill. Actually, it’s likely well past time to think about what’s still seared into, caked-on and otherwise gripped to the grill that’s about to make contact with those raw meats and veggies.

Real talk...it’s a Petri dish. Since your old, grimy grill brush has certainly seen better days, it’s also a good time to look at an alternative like the Q-Swiper BBQ Grill Cleaning Bundle.

Men’s Health even speculates that your grill might be dirtier than a toilet seat, with old encrusted food-producing, gut-churning bacteria that can easily turn your next BBQ into stage 1 of intestinal distress, vomiting or even worse.

The Q-Swiper is a bristle-free, wire-free brush that helps efficiently sweep grease, grime, and virulent nasties off your grill grates for a clean, healthy grill every time.

You’ll get 65 Q-Swiper cleaning wipes to assure a fresh, clean wipe each time you attack the grill.  The powerful omnidirectional 3D cleaning nodules wipe away tough grime while the moist food-safe wipes clean and absorb greases from cooking surfaces.

The materials are all safe for use and the brush will never dislodge those potentially harmful steel wire bristles that can even end up in someone’s food. Read the rest

If you’ve had dreams of crafting your own video game, this training can make that dream a reality

We may not have Hollywood blockbusters back yet and the fall television season may be on hold until 2021, but somebody forgot to tell video game makers that COVID-19 was supposed to shut down the gaming world.

On the contrary, gamers have been feasting on announcements of huge events still to come this year, including the release of giant AAA Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Star Wars: Squadrons games as well as the expected late 2020 release of the PS5, our first new next-gen console in six years.

The gaming world never sleeps — and anybody can get involved. With training like The Hardcore Game Development and Animation Bundle, you’ll have the know-how to create your own amazing games that could spawn the new Peter Parker or Luke Skywalker of the 2020s.

Over six courses featuring more than 24 hours of content, you’ll get a full video game building education, focusing in on the character and environment creation tools and techniques that are now elevating the industry to constantly more dazzling imagery.

It all begins with Stylized Game Art: Character Sculpting for Video Games, learning the fundamentals of character creation and design as students get overviews of all the major gaming building software like Zbrush, PBR, Maya, Substance, Unity, and Unreal.

In Character Modeling and Sculpting in Zbrush, students model and sculpt their own characters, props, and other 3D assets using Zbrush, an industry-standard app for crafting three-dimensional game elements. Or you could try your hand at building your stars and their world in the Forger iOS app with iOS iPad Game Development 3D Character Sculpting and Modeling. Read the rest

Notebag appeals to note takers who hate getting distracted

Note-taking is more than just cribbing information so it’s easier to study for a test later. Notes are taken by active learners engaging with the information. In fact, the act of taking notes is actually internalizing that information with the learner. 

Students who take notes are actually seven times more likely to remember those facts a week later than those who didn’t take notes. So all that information you want to make sure you don’t forget actually stands a much better chance of being remembered without notes -- simply because you took notes. 

Of course, notations and stray thoughts are part of virtually any workflow. So Notebag is a note-taking app that seeks to make taking notes as easy and, most importantly, as unobtrusive as possible. 

A no. 1 Product of the Day on ProductHunt, Notebag creator Richard Blechinger built the app for modern note-taking with a sharp focus on making all your notation steps accessible directly from your keyboard. There’s no more opening up browsers or other apps to jot down information with Notebag. The app lets users access quick global keyboard shortcuts to automatically search for facts, drop links, categorize note topics, see instant previews, and several other features. 

Meanwhile, Notebag also brings a ton of other valuable tricks to the note taker’s arsenal, all without slowing down the creative flow. Markdowns can happen with their own instant previews (so no need for a preview pane to type) and all formatting is automatic, though editable.

Since notes often come about during a stream of consciousness diversion, they can also be easy to forget within a short time. Read the rest

This speed reading and memory training bundle will help you hotwire your brain for max efficiency

Back in March, when we were all being asked to stay in our homes for God knows how long, you probably thought about a whole host of tasks you’d love to accomplish with all this new-found downtime in your house.

Like many, maybe you thought this would be a good opportunity to plow through that stack of unread books that have been building up on your bedside table for the past few years now. So...how did that go for you?

If you got through even one, you can count that a success. But you can also consider it a missed opportunity because with the right training, you probably could have ripped through the entire batch.

Speed reading isn’t a superpower. It’s actually a process for onboarding information that anyone can learn. The courses in The Speed Reading and Memory Mastery Bundle can help you sharpen up those skills so you can read exponentially faster, retain more of what you read and even hone your memory to lock more of that information in your brain for longer.

The collection includes five courses that present sound strategies for boosting your reading speed, increasing your comprehension and retention, and improve cognitive function to recall and recite your new-found information even years after learning it.

First, The Ultimate Speed Reading Course is your introduction, breaking down your bad reading habits and teaching you new methods that can, in many cases, boost your current reading speed by at least two to three times. Guided by speed reading experts, the course lays out the five causes of slow reading, the four techniques you can use to reach your maximum reading potential, and even the secret to understanding everything you read the first time. Read the rest

Organize, power up and store all your tech in one simple, efficient desktop super station

In the new work from home world, you may still find yourself missing some of the amenities of your old digs back at the office.

Back at your work desk, you likely had a system in place, with options and equipment for keeping all your tech up and running. On the company’s dime, it was easy to make sure you had charging capabilities for each of your devices and never think twice about it.

That might be a little tougher to accomplish now in your hastily converted home office. However, there are methods for keeping all your devices organized, charged up, and instantly accessible without assembling a giant device tree of wires and connectors.

The iPM 3-in-1 Desktop Charging Stand 5-Port USB Charging Station can help streamline all that desk clutter at the same time that it’s handling a whole swath of your power and storage needs.

This stand is all about versatility. As a charging stand, it’s got open docks to easily line up to five devices while charging. Rather than laying your phone, tablet and all your other USB driven devices in a hodge-podge of wires and connectors, this dock maintains order and saves space while each device gets the charge it so desperately needs. 

The unit includes 5 USB 3.0 ports to handle all your charging, including Smart IC tech knows your gadget so it can deliver optimum power at just the right pace for your equipment. It’s also got built-in surge protection to assure your device won't ever be damaged by a short circuit, over-voltage, over-current, or over-charging. Read the rest

Learn how to optimize your site's SEO with the help of this analysis tool

If you create content for the web, you already know it takes time to build websites, write blog posts, create videos, produce graphics, and all the other steps that go into keeping a site healthy and flourishing.

But even once all that work is done, there’s a second job that needs doing — and it’s arguably just as important as the creation itself. Now, you have to play the search engine optimization (SEO) game to promote your content. You have to identify keywords, build relevant links, and trick out every page to attract users and search engine traffic alike.

Ranking high in Google searches can often be the only true route to getting your content the exposure it needs. Since SEO mastery is a skill not many of us possess, a service like Long Tail Pro can go a long way toward taking the headaches of SEO research off your hands.

Long Tail Pro is one of the original online keyword research tools — and after 15 years of perfecting their craft, they’ve assembled a full suite of analysis features and a step-by-step system for discovering thousands of profitable keywords while calculating how much work it’ll take to make you competitive for each of those keywords in your given industry or topic niche.

With Long Tail Pro, users can track their web ranking, analyze backlinks, and find the exact keywords that’ll resonate with their target audience. Users can search for the specific keywords they think will be effective, or get hundreds of keyword suggestions. Read the rest

This hub keeps up to 8 devices plugged in at once so you can keep grinding

Among Apple’s idiosyncratic quirks is a general discouragement when it comes to attaching peripheral devices. Sure, they aren’t vocally opposed, but through compatibility and other means, they don’t exactly make it easy to sync up your MacBook or iPad with all the various extra devices and formats you may need to access.

A MacBook itself may only come with ports for one or two USB-C devices...and that’s it. Instead, you can pick up this USB 8-port Type-C valet hub to get all your devices plugged in at the same time, while also keeping all your desk clutter to a minimum.

The first thing you notice about this hub is the full array of ports lining both sides of this powerhouse device. There are two USB-C connectors plus a third power delivery port; 2 USB-A 3.0 ports, plus ports for SD, Micro SD, and even 3.5mm audio devices to plugin safely.

With the nearly foot-long cable, the device plugs neatly into your MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, Surface Book, Galaxy Tab Pro, or other USB-C compatible devices for easy access, cleaning up your deskspace and eliminating that waterfall of cords and dongles dangling from your device.

Meanwhile, the entire setup is completely plug and play, requiring absolutely no software, drivers or installation of any kind to operate.

In addition to all of its connectivity goodness, Apple users will be pleased to see the valet bin on the top of the hub can hold all kinds of small accessories like pens, paper clips, earphones, and more. Read the rest

The Allbaro Air takes a new approach to fixing your bad posture and it doesn’t feel like a straitjacket

If your mother has been screaming at you for years to sit up straight, it might be time to finally take her advice.

That’s because bad posture does more than make you look like a slob at the dinner table. It creates muscle imbalances, puts added wear and tear on your spine, impacts your flexibility, and can even impair your breathing.

If it’s time to break those bad habits or just reinforce good posture, the revolutionary Allbaro Air Posture Corrector is tackling posture problems with a whole new approach.

Earning almost $250,000 in funding from fans on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the Allbaro Air is more than just a back brace. Using their own patented technology, the Allbaro Air uses an ergonomically-designed air pressure cell that forms to your body and lets you adjust the air pressure. That way, you get the most comfort while still receiving personalized spinal support to align, strengthen, and correct your posture.

The air pump twists easily on to the valve and you start pumping. A press of the valve can also release air if you overfilled, assuring you can always get an optimal fit for both the best comfort and effectiveness. With a resistance strength of up to 300 pounds, you’ll always get the reinforced pressure to readjust your entire body posture over time. 

Consistent pressure is what makes a system like the Allbaro Air work. Since you’ll only keep using it if it’s comfortable, Allbaro used quality material to craft the Air, including durable double fabric sewing, air mesh to prevent sweat and overheating, a soft, but firm neoprene wire band to cut down on any pain from prolonged use, and more. Read the rest

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