Ignoble Cora Classic Rucksack

Ignoble Cora Classic Rucksack
Beautiful and super useful bags from Los Angeles based Ignoble Bags.
Pictured above is the Cora Classic Rucksack, a hand assembled sleek, all-purpose rucksack constructed from wear resistant 400D high density nylon. The first thing is the excellent YKK zipper across the back (a #10?) – if I had time I would replace every zipper in the house with one of these. I love them.
Made in the USA in small runs by a military-grade soft goods production facility the bag features padded straps, a padded airmesh back, a front stash-pocket, a hood stash-pocket, dual side utility pockets and a large main compartment with adjustable hood, draw cord opening, internal hanging-pocket and book-sleeve. The airmesh back would surely be appreciated in climates like ours.

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Infusion Rucksack

Infusion Rucksack
I love the colours in this rucksack from Infusion. Made with cotton canvas and a base of heavy hemp/organic cotton denim, this utilitarian bag features a top flap fastened with 2 adjustable leather straps, an interior with a large zippered pocket, a slip pocket, a pen slip and a clip for your keys. It’s a popular style but it’s hard to get tired of classic styling like this.
Infusion Rucksack

Landmarks and Lions Madison phone wallet

Madison phone wallet
Landmarks and Lions, based in Minneapolis Minnesota, is a newly established company specializing in handmade accessories for men and women. Their product catalogue includes cases for tablets (non-iPad) and smart phones, and wallets to carry your smartphone, passport or business cards. They show great taste in materials with their usage of lambskin, sleek goatskin, 100% wool felt, and/or cotton canvas.
Pictured above is their Madison phone wallet made of a sleek goatskin and cotton canvas. It features additional pockets for your business cards, credit cards, and/or money. As I like to keep credit cards and money separate from my iPhone their Atherton collection would likely be a better choice for me personally. The Madison collection looks even better.
Beautiful work and importantly made locally by someone who cares about the product.

BroadFeed for iPad

BroadFeed for iPad
As many bloggers who I relied upon for issue/knowledge aggregation have moved on to other pursuits Twitter has increasingly become an increasingly important information source for me. With the activation of their hugely confusing and expensive paywall it may also be the most convenient way I can skim articles from the New York Times. BroadFeed, a news reader app for the iPad by Organic, takes content shared by whoever you follow on Twitter and aims to shape your newsfeed around it in an easy-to-read format. Importantly, BroadFeed allows you to see what is trending amongst those who you follow vs. the almost spam-like trends that Twitter features in places like the “dickbar” and on their website.

Broadfeed offers several reading features and options. Users can read content in a number of ways, including Editorial View for quick browsing, Image View, Clean Article View and the original webpage view. Users can also access a directory of topic-based lists to follow.
The more an article is shared, the more prominently it appears – and you can quickly view who has been sharing what, by tapping the ‘tweet bar’. You can browse a photo grid that gathers all the pictures sources are sharing and look at the most popular stories shared over the previous week.

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Music video shot using FaceTime on an iPhone

An Ontario, Canada band called The Blue Stones has just released their first music video for “I’m a Stereo” using Apple’s FaceTime. The music isn’t my cup of tea but it’s interesting to watch how mobile tech is gradually incorporated into various facets of culture.

iPhone: Parenting tool or pacifier?

peek a boo
Michael Hsu writing for the Wallstreet journal shares his opinion on the best way to use an iPhone with children. I generally agree. My kids don’t use our iPhones much but when they do it’s primarily about sharing interesting photos, music, or at times video. A few educational games or narrated books come in handy for a 5 minute reprieve while I attend to a task.

Swiss writer Max Frisch defined technology as “a knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.” The description applies to a swath of kids apps that simulate basic activities which, when you think about it, really don’t need to be virtual.
These include jigsaw puzzles apps, variations on the card game concentration, apps where the task is to drag one shape onto a similar shape (the equivalent of putting the square block into the square hole) and any of the drawing apps (no matter how many New Yorker covers have been created with them). An eight-pack of Crayola crayons is inexpensive, easy to carry around and consistently a big hit. I don’t need an app for that.
The best way to use an iPhone with my kids, I’ve decided, is socially. Viewing photos of friends and family is our top iPhone activity. There are no prints to bend or get fingerprints on. And using the basic “Photos” app lets kids master those gestures of the future: pinch and swipe.

Baby’s First App Store Download

The death of blogging

mobile content creation
First the death of the phone call and now the death of blogging? I have to lighten up.
An article from last year found in my overflowing reading list – I’m that far behind.
Rumors of blogging’s death at the hands of Twitter, Facebook and other platforms are greatly exaggerated, according to British writer Warren Ellis.

When any medium starts getting ‘the death of…’ articles, it doesn’t mean the medium in question is dying, so much as that people are bored with it and are looking for the next thing,” Ellis writes in his column, “On the death of blogging,” from the U.K. edition of Wired magazine. “And while they were looking for other things to be interested in, Chicago street gangs started blogging to protest against police harassment. Remember Blogger’s original tagline? ‘Push-button publishing for the people.’ That looks alive and well to me.”

I think there is still value in curation with opinion but I’m not sure people have time for anything other than a link on twitter or Facebook. I’m old school so I still prefer regularly going to someones website to get my daily dish of links and opinion. But what about everyone else? I get the feeling that other than a few online personalities and brands most people don’t have much loyalty to a cadre of bloggers like I do.
That cadre of bloggers I have relied on for years for my online education has thinned to almost a handful. Its tough to maintain rhythm and people’s prorates priorities change. Lately with other activities taking more and more of my interest, my attention certainly has been on the wane. But it’s always been that way for me.
Warren Ellis: On the death of blogging

Rick Borovoy’s Junkyard Jumbotron project

Rick Borovoy’s Junkyard Jumbotron project, allows you to take laptops, tablets or phones in close proximity, arrange them in a layout of your choosing, to form a large singular display.
A project from the MIT Center for Future Civic Media. Via Core77.

The best street food in Beijing

Chinese New Year provides Beijing resident Sarah Keenlyside with the opportunity to sample the tastiest – and strangest – street snacks from all over the country. A wonderful short segment from The Guardian

No one talks on their mobile

No one talks on their mobile
Not only are people not using their landlines anymore, they are not talking on their mobile phones either. They may text, email, or use IM, but the phone call is increasingly too intrusive of a communication option for many.

“I literally never use the phone,” Jonathan Adler, the interior designer, told me. (Alas, by phone, but it had to be.) “Sometimes I call my mother on the way to work because she’ll be happy to chitty chat. But I just can’t think of anyone else who’d want to talk to me.” Then again, he doesn’t want to be called, either. “I’ve learned not to press ‘ignore’ on my cellphone because then people know that you’re there.”
“I remember when I was growing up, the rule was, ‘Don’t call anyone after 10 p.m.,'” Mr. Adler said. “Now the rule is, ‘Don’t call anyone. Ever.'”

Phone calls are one of the major reasons why I worked overtime for years. Interruptions add up. Now, unless the caller is my wife or my kids school I never answer the phone. I thought I was alone in this behaviour. I’m not surprised I’m not.
Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You (NYT’s Link). Via Kottke.

The death of the telephone

The death of the telephone
Not so long ago, it was the stuff of nightmares: you pick up the landline and there’s no dialling tone. Nothing. The phone is useless, dead in your hand. For most of the 20th century, this was a horror film cliche, a symbol of isolation and doom foretold. Now according to The Guardian the death of the landline is close to being a reality.

The death of the landline is a cultural shift that affects our personal and public lives. It has untethered us from our groupings – in the office, where email has disconnected us from what the people who sit three feet away do all day, and even more significantly, at home. In any household in the days before mobiles took over, the landline served as a switchboard for everyone’s connections outside the home. The phone rang, you answered it, you asked who was calling, and then you passed the phone over. Everyone knew who called you, and how long you spoke for. Within families, couples, flatmates, it was a kind of invisible knowledge map about the state of everyone’s romantic and social lives, and one we took for granted. Now, we are all freelance operatives. In my early teens, we had a kitchen phone and an upstairs phone – but even the act of transferring a call to another line spoke volumes. My children’s teenage dramas will never be as transparent to me in the way mine must have been to my parents.

Our cordless receiver gets lost for weeks on end.
Is this the death of the telephone?

Cell phones breaking relationship taboos in Pakistan

young woman mobile islamabad
The increasing prevalence of cell phone technology is exploding traditional barriers between young men and women in Pakistan and fueling a rapid decline of traditional, conservative values. The epoch times writes:

Cell phone packages in Pakistan are the cheapest in the world with companies making it very inexpensive for people to text message and talk. Between midnight and 7 a.m., texting, which is charged by the hour in Pakistan, costs four rupees or less than two cents per hour. A used cell phone can be purchased for as little as $10.

Before cell phones, there was little opportunity for men and women to interact with the opposite sex outside of family. Traditionally, young men and women were expected to refrain from socializing with one another and the parents of the two young people would arrange their marriage, with the family’s blessings being a must.

In the public sphere, people still appear to follow old traditions, but behind the scene cell phones have given rise to a world of secrets and l’amour cache (hidden love).

Read the full article.

UN01 – iPhone4 Photography Kit

UN01 - iPhone4 Photography Kit
Wonderful concept for a iPhone 4 case featuring design cues from traditional cameras. It’s a good fit I think; many people like to associate old analog conventions to modern devices and interfaces (hence the disease of superfluous references to the past in many iPhone app interfaces). Photography has been for me one of the primary use cases with my iPhone – the ability to shoot, edit and publish in one device is amazing. So it’s perhaps only natural to consideration a case that is an extension of that usage.
From their write-up:

We looked at the iPhone4, it was a camera hooked to a mobile network that allowed instant sharing of pictures and videos with friends and family. Clearly with this combination, the iPhone4 is potentially one of the most advanced cameras in the World but we feel this capability and potential hasn’t been fully celebrated or realized.
Starting with the camera function, we wanted to do something to enhance the photography experience, so by simplifying design cues from traditional cameras, a modern camera cover design emerged. Next was how to design this cover so it would remain tight and secure and could not snap off, hence we developed the two piece sliding design with locking ring mechanism. Finally, how could it be readily accessible and handy at all times for those instantaneous spur of the moment pictures, and for this we borrowed from the neck strap design of professional cameras.
The result is UN01, a functional cover designed to bring to life the iPhone4 as a camera.

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FLUD 1.1 for iPhone

Absolutely beautiful app.
I gave FLUD a try when it was first released and though impressed with how it presented feeds, found it too slow for the quick glance use case I envisioned it for. Since it’s update and my renewed interest in apps. like this I thought I would give it another try.
Result? FLUD is still a great app to use to follow your favourite sources of content in a highly visual, categorized format but unfortunately in my day to day usage it’s still too slow for more than a small handful of sites. It’s a pity as it’s a beautiful and easy to use app. One feature I would love them to add is curated content aggregation, like Pulse, which might also help solve some of the performance problems by reducing the need for so many feeds.
An impressive effort for two developers working part-time and fantastic if you just want to follow a few sources that feature rich imagery in their articles.
FLUD 1.1 for iPhone