All posts filed under “Tech Stuff

Innovative and cutting edge technology

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BOOM! Goes your volume.

There is one common thread when it comes to my consumption of music, podcasts, videos and every other form of media… I WANT IT LOUD! Not just loud enough to hear but loud enough to feel. As much as I love my MacBook Pro it has always left me in the volume department. This isn’t just and indictment against Apple but every PC and Chromebook I have ever owned. The volume sucks. Yes, I could plug-in my headphones but I am the definition of an American I don’t want to have to do more. I could buy a speaker but…. you know….. money.

Today I am proud to share an app with you and I don’t often feel pride, per say, in this area. I know I am not alone in wanting more out speakers that we all know they can handle.  Most modern laptops, just like the one you own have speakers that are not being fully used. When it comes to MacBooks and MacBook Pro’s this is painfully clear. This is also where the fine folks over at Global Delight come in and flat-out change the game.

Boom has been around for a little while but the newest incarnation, completely redesigned to take advantage of all the new Yosemite goodness, is a must own. Boom is a system wide volume enhancer that doesn’t just make the volume louder but rather makes it sound better and more clear.

Upon initial launch of Boom the app calibrates your Mac for optimal sound quality. The process is painless and took my 2009 MacBook Pro less than a minute to finish. After this one time task is completed you greeted with a  screen that is visually stunning and inviting. You can adjust the system wide volume and mess around with EQ settings. Boom creates a custom EQ for your computer but also features settings from Pop to Rock to Acoustic to Hip Hop for your personal music preferences.  Based on my personal preferences I have found the custom EQ created for my MacBook pro to be quite nice but I do change between the other settings on occasion.

Another nice touch is the addition of one click audio effects. The first option is called Ambience and it uses some sort of musical MacBook sorcery to really make the music feel like it’s all around you. Honestly, the best way to describe it is it is like your music is giving you a hug and let’s all be honest, everyone loves a hug. The second effect is called Fidelity and it adds a layer of crispness to the sound that you just have to hear.

Boom! is available on http://GlobalDelight.com/boom for $14.99 with availability in the Mac App Store coming soon. There is also a fully functioning 7-day trial so you have no excuse to not see if it’s for you.

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Current for Mac gives Facebook a more enjoyable experience

My name is Josh and as much as I pretend to hate Facebook I can’t get away from it. Remember that scene in “Brokeback Mountain” with the famous line, “I wish I could quit you.”? That is my current status with Facebook.

The Facebook suite of apps for iOS and Android are decent. I have found myself really enjoying Paper, the modern take on Facebook the company released last year but I can’t say the same about the website. I rely on Messenger a ton but I don’t want to stare at the website to do it. This is where Current comes in.

Current takes Facebook, chops it up and turns it into an experience that is actually enjoyable on your Mac. By breaking up the service it becomes more accessible.

My favorite part of Current is how it makes Messenger feel at home on OS X. A quick tab is added to the menu bar allowing for a quick way to glance who is online and what chats you have recently been involved in. Tapping on a chat session opens and new window that can easily be moved to whatever section of the screen you want for a better user experience.

The photo experience becomes better too. You can open a photo album and simply swipe thought it while you continue to browse the inter webs for those cat .gifs you have to share with your friends. Wait, I am the only one who does that? Never mind.

Current for Mac is beautiful, powerful and feels like something Apple had in mind when it added Facebook integration to its operating systems.

Current for Mac is a steal at $1.99.

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Ember is Pinterest for design

I am kind of embarrassed to admit that I have taken a liking to Pinterest as of late. It allows me to organize recipes for dinners, home-brew beer recipes and funny t-shirt designs. That however is where it ends for me. In a very similar fashion I use Pocket to save all the stories I don’t have time to read or want to save for future reference.

But what about design work or websites I like? Well, that is where Ember comes in.

Created by the same folks who brought us Clear (the easiest and best looking list app ever), Ember is the digital scrapbook for those who need one.  Ember is all about making it easy to collect, organize and share the things you care about. It is the Pinterest you have always wanted and probably need. More than random boards it is a system that allows for things to be moved around and actually be used.

From full website screenshots to organizing gifs, PDF’s and PSDs the app is a powerhouse. It also allows for easy annotations and sharing.

The bottom line is the app is pricy. Coming in at $49.99 on the Mac and $4.99 for iOS the price is the only reason it isn’t for everyone. As much I find Pinterest useful it is all deeply lacking. If you work in design or want to share a well displayed project Ember is the only way to go.

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GoodTask, More Like Great Task [Review]

Get things done. GET ALL THE THINGS DONE!

This is my mindset almost everyday. Even though I don’t balance the most hectic schedule I do find myself busy more often than I want to admit. Like many other things our phones and tablets have opened up new avenues of keeping our schedule held together.

Not surprisingly, there are many options when it comes to getting things done. Some of the major players in this category have rightfully earned their place atop the mountain. Omnifocus and Things are very popular and both work well. What about the other options though? Today we are going to explore one of them in the form of GoodTask.

At GoodTask’s core is the idea of being light weight. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Omnifocus or the design polish of Things but it doesn’t really matter. It works. When I first opened GoodTask I was blown away by how simple it is. Both the Mac and iOS apps bring your focus to your todo list and that inevitably helps knock those items out.

GoodTask allows for calendar items to be shown below your todo list — in a way, almost similar to what Swingnow’s suite of apps offers with Swingcal. This view takes the things that Fantastical and Calendars5 are doing and slightly turns them on their head. Your day is laid out before you and that is refreshing. GoodTask allows for filters to be used so one could choose to display only their dated items. I found this to be extremely useful when looking at the Day view. I don’t want all the clutter just the stuff that matters. Another nice feature is the ability to use special lists that group together undated and recurring tasks. This allows for an ease of use in managing these items that the others don’t offer.

GoodTask is light but not so light it has little to offer. As I guy who spends a decent amount of time looking at his to-do list little things like an automatic dark theme makes the experience that much more enjoyable. Living somewhere between the power of Omnifocus and the pretty that is Things, GoodTask may just be the tool the average person needs.

GoodTask is $9.99 on the Mac App Store and now on sale in the App Store for $1.99, down from the normal $4.99.

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Women read more eBooks than Men, both like Kindle and iPhone more [Infographic]

Everyone knows that technology is taking the world by storm, changing the way we do things day-to-day. Nothing represents that change more than mobile technology such as smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and etc. A survey conducted by Publishing Technology, an Infographic shows the way women and men satisfy their e-book appetites.

The infographic shows that women read far more e-books than men, and that the preferred devices of choice is Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPhone. Samsung smartphones came in second behind Apple.

What’s your go to device to read on?

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Feature Image: Karin M (Flickr)

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Injections to be replaced by a new drug-delivery capsule?

People hate needles. In fact it’s a universal feeling shared by most around the world. The science behind using injections for certain medicines isn’t rocket science. It’s simple: some things need to be shot in you and not ingested by way of a pill.

Well, until now.

Research is being done to change that old way of how we take injections, with needles inserted underneath the skin. A special drug-delivery capsule with tiny needles has been devised to inject drugs directly into the lining of the stomach after the capsule is swallowed. This new method is being tested on animals (notably, pigs), and has already proven to be more effective than injection under the skin.

No harmful side effects have surfaced. Scientists believe the capsule will be best used to treat cancer, arthritis and Crohn’s disease. MIT researchers want to make the process as safe and seamless as possible for how the drug is passed through the digestive tract.

Ultimately, the plan is for the capsule to issue needles made of degradable polymers and sugar that would stick to your gut lining, where they would slowly disintegrate and release the drug.

Of course, with this kind of research, it takes years to perfect. Time and money are big deciding factors when it comes to something like this getting passed through the government.