05 Headphones: Bang & Olufsen also got in on the wireless headphone action with the B&O PLAY H5. It seems everyone is shipping products ahead of the rumored removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. I like the wireless charging dock for these headphones, but at $100 over the Bose, I hope they are that much better.
06 Books: On a recommendation from a friend, we picked up the Thing Explainer for our daughter. It’s an awesome illustrated book from Randall Munroe (XKCD).
07 Tools: I really want to get a set of linesman’s pliers. Probably these from Wiha, a german tool maker.
11 Beach: I backed these micro fiber beach towels and just received them. They are amazing. So compact and the same size as a normal towel.
12 Solar: Deep into the solar production season here in Seattle, I continue to be impressed with how well our solar array is doing. I don’t think I’ll be paying for electricity for a few years. From the looks of things, Solar is just going to get cheaper and more common.
13 Wifi: I can’t wait to get my Luma devices. Luma is a competitor to Eero. I decided on Luma due to their better parental control features. they should arrive by the end of the month
14 Elon Musk: You can now purchase the awesome Elon Musk Blog Series on Kindle by Tim Urban. Elon Musk is currently the most impactful human being I can think of. I highly recommend reading this series.
14 Apps: Streaks is a cool goal oriented app for iOS and Apple Watch. It’s good for setting goal setting if you are disciplined enough to do that. It’s got a nice complication and built in integration to the Activity and Health apps on iOS.
15 Education: Osmo, the awesome iPad educational tool I reviewed released a coding kit. I’ll be getting this.
02 Apple: Small is back. I personally love love love my big, giant, all day battery lasting with every feature turned on and GPS draining the battery iPhone 6s Plus. Many people still love them small phones and Apple now has you covered.
03 Apple: The big news in my opinion is the new USB-C to Lightning Connector cable. Why? Now you can charge your iPad Pro 2x faster. You see today, you are limited to what USB 2.0 can support which is 2.4A @ 5V of power or 12W. USB-C can deliver up to 100W of power, making it a universal replacement for all laptop power adapters, but also a universal docking cable allowing USB or Thunderbolt to travel to a dock or dongle supporting HDMI, USB, Power, SD cards and so on. Anyway, I ordered one so that my Macbook 12 and iPad Pro can share the same charger. The MacBook charger supplies 2A @ 14.5V or 29W
04 Cables: If you want to geek out on USB-C charging, you can read up here. I find this stuff fascinating. Here is the thing. I cannot wait till USB-C replaces all those pesky Micro USB cables. CAN’T HAPPEN SOON ENOUGH.
05 Writing: Ulysses, an incredible app for writing is now available for the Mac.
05 Technology: The Hootoo HT-UC001 is an incredible USB-C Hub. Perfect for travel. Has everything you need to import photos from SD, project and keep power connected.
09 Tesla: The last piece in the Tesla chess game was unveiled today. The Model 3 is a $35,000 car with a 215 mi range, auto pilot, seating for 5, super charging and it's beautiful. 115K people pre-ordered. That must be a record for any car company. Simply amazing. I put down a deposit just to keep my options open. When my Model S lease is up in 2018 I might decide the smaller / sportier Model 3 is a good replacement.
08 Amazon: The Amazon Echo gets better and better every week. Spotify was a huge addition and the integration is better than Sonos as you can control playback from the Spotify app - Stream Spotify via your Amazon Echo
09 Toys: Swoop Bags, made in Seattle, are a great way to store Legos or have a travel set.
11 Apps: This new Quartz iOS app has to be one of the best new Apps I've used in a long time. It's pretty addictive.
12 Photography: The Leica Q is one of the most amazing cameras every made. It is my first Leica and this review is one of the best camera reviews I've ever read. Warning, this is one hell of an expensive camera, but consider that Leica lenses are often more expensive than this camera.
01 Technology: It's impressive to watch the world of TVs and Projectors evolve. It's no secret that the best TV on the market is this LG OLED Flat TV. But at $5,000 for the 65 inch and $3,000 for the 55 inches, the best comes with a steep price tag. Sony however, it doing some interesting stuff with these Ultra Short Throw Projectors. You may not know what a Throw projector is. If you have visited an middle or high school lately you will see them in classrooms as they can be placed on a cart and wheeled around placed right in front of a wall.
02 Engineering: We all want our kids to be engineers right? Just kidding. But seriously, like Math and Science, every child should have a foundation in programming and making. My buddy Scott has written about these awesome electrical kits that teach kids how electricity works. His latest review covers littleBits that makes even cooler maker kits to basically design computers and robots.
03 TV: Kids love video. So it's no surprise that HBO has a dedicated Kids section for HBO Now and HBO Go. After years of sucking, HBO finally has their shit together. Yay for progress. Now if only Amazon could make this easy across Fire TV / Amazon Video on iPad / Kindle Fire / Kindle Reader - it's a hot mess. Do the Amazon parents with kids who work on all these products talk? Ok that was a low blow - I'm sure they are working on it (Hi friends!).
04 Luggage: These collapsible hard case luggage look pretty neat. Not buying but I'm interested. I love my Rimowa and Victorinox products. Also since I'm going 13 months strong on my Kickstarter diet, I won't be backing this.
01 Home Automation: These integrated iPad mounts for the home look incredible. Lots of options including magnetic mounts, low voltage power and so on. The cost of an iPad Mini 2 + all the crazy awesome home automation apps for iPhone make this a pretty realistic wall mount / control solution. Need to investigate more. Thinking about it more I wish they had iPod mounts like this. Would make for a nice Sonos/Ecobee controller no?
02 Tools: The Tool Pen Mini looks like a really high quality tool for small screws and such.
03 Kitchen: While in San Francisco this past weekend my wife and I visited Heath Ceramics and fell in love with their products. On our wish list, Chez Panisse Soup Bowl and Coupe Dinner Plate + Cereal Bowl. As an added bonus, the Heath Ceramics showroom in the Mission has a Blue Bottle Coffee in the store. Yumm.
04 Home Automation: My Keen registers arrived and I installed 2 of them (out of 5 that I ordered). So far, super happy. I will review soon. These are registers for your heating/ac system that can open/close using an iOS/Android app. They can operate automatically to, opening and closing to ensure the right temperature in a room. Since our house is 3 stories with only 1 zone, these are the answer to the problem of hot and cold spots in your house. They already integrate with Nest and SmartThings, with ecobee coming soon. Here is a link for $40 your order.
05 Advertising: Ever wonder how Facebook shows you ads for Amazon stuff that you recently searched for, or is in your cart? My friend Dare details how. I personally need no assistance with what I want from Amazon since I visit their site more than some of you visit Facebook. I also happen to find this creepy.
06 Home Automation: I continue to be impressed with the Lutron Caseta system. I have now replaced 10 loads in my home, with 2 more to finish. I've got a half dozen or so pico remote controls and I can now program all sorts of awesome things to happen. For example, when I go upstairs (I'm usually the past person to go to bed) I can press a button at the bottom of the staircase to illuminate my path to my room... when leaving my home I can tell Siri to turn all the house lights off. I'm addicted. And the Lutron tech is incredible. My hope is that Lutron keeps cranking out new products.
01 Tesla: with each month that goes by, my Robot Car gets a bit smarter. I awoke this morning to a car that would automatically close and open my garage door for me (saving me the strain of reaching to the touch screen and pressing a button). Small feature, but hella cool. The car shows a distance count down as I approach the garage allowing me to "skip" opening it, and if I do nothing it just opens. The car will also drive itself (without me present) in and out of my garage. Mind blow. It can park in a perpendicular spot like most public garages. And of course, they improved the auto rain sensor wind shield wipers, auto pilot, auto steer, cruise control, and a few other things. I'll tell you what. Waking up in the morning and having an upgrade for your car is a world I am getting used to.
02 Cooking: Lora and I just got this Bluetooth enabled Instapot. Never mind the Bluetooth. I have never owned a pressure cooker. Can you say rice in 8 minutes? This thing is amazing. It makes rice better than our previous rice cooker and it's a really high quality product. Also made in Canada. Special thanks to our friend Kelsi for opening our eyes to the world of pressure cooking. And now I have an app on my phone that can make food.
03 Travel: I'm always looking for cool travel accessories, this roundup has some good recommendations.
04 Star Wars: It was a big deal for my daughter that the main character and interest of the latest Star Wars movie is a bad ass woman. Sadly, our entrenched 'machine' or "the man" or whatever didn't represent this reality in the merchandise that was first available. Thankfully this is being corrected.
05 Legos: First the Ghostbusters fire station in all it's glory. Now the classic Batman series I watched as a kid. I can resist the fire station. Not sure I can resist Batman given how much Miles loves Batman. Even more than Star Wars.
06 TV: Since the advent of Netflix and Amazon, it's been hard for me to keep track on what I've watched and what I want to watch. Certain apps like HBO are piss poor about telling where you are in a series or even what you have seen. Netflix and Amazon are pretty competent. But there are still gaps. Television Time is a great, high quality app for tracking shows you want to watch or are watching. Highly recommended. I wish they had a Movie app.
07 Education: My sister pointed this out to me, and it's brilliant. Osmo is a physical / app based learning tool for kids to lean words, numbers, shapes, puzzles and drawing. Incredible value for $79. We got one for the kids to share and they are already fighting about it.
08 Photos: I may try out this service to turn your Instagram Photos into magazines you get.
04 Furniture: If you have a kid that loves Legos or trains, Nilo makes incredible tables. We purchased the N34 (small) table for Sarah when she was 2 and then got her another one when she was 7. This gives her a lot of room to play with her Lego sets. Miles is interested in one and we're thinking of getting him the large one.
05 Tech: For the past few years, Steven Sinofsky has written the best CES Trip reports. Added to Pocket to read when I have the time to dedicate to this :-).
02 Declutter: I recently had some old newsletters and magazines scanned by Blue Leaf Book scanning. They did such an amazing job, I'm now planning to send them all my high school and college yearbooks to scan so I can throw them away. They scan all sorts of stuff and send you PDFs.
03 iPhone: Your next iPhone won't have a headphone port and I say good riddance. I love that Apple is constantly challenging the status quo, including everything they didn't invent. The 3.5mm headphone port has served its purpose and it's time to move on.
03 Cooking: How do you know a baked potato is done? Use a thermometer to check the core. Should be 205 degrees. Cook at 450 degrees for 45 to 60 min. Oil skin a few min before done. Hopefully you have picked up one of these Thermapens.
04 Productivity: I fulfilled my threat to dump Evernote this year. I used the Evernote2OneNote tool to migrate all notes. Was easy. And just like that life is simpler. And there is a new vacancy slot on my iPhone screen.
05 Tesla: Today my Tesla was serviced for the first time. They needed to replace my driver's seat since it developed a ticking sound while driving due to a defect in the seat rivets. When the car was done they drove it to my Office. That is a first for me.