gear

Throwback Thursday Review: Waterfield Design’s iPod Gear Pouch circa 2005

This review was originally published at PocketAnywhere in October 2005. Over the years the Waterfield iPod Gear Pouch, now available as the Waterfield Padded Gear Pouch for $59, has evolved with the gadgets and gear of the modern enthusiast and has a great new design. The Waterfield gear pouch that I still use today from 11 years ago looks just as good as it did the day it arrived on my doorstep in 2005. What hasn’t changed with the product, is the durable quality.

Without need for more words, here is the originally published review of the Waterfield iPod Gear Pouch.

IMG_4896

2201_image1Review By Jim McCarthy
Category: cases
Published: October 2005, PocketAnywhere

If a picture says a thousand words than I don’t need to write any more. Just take a minute to look over the photos of the Waterfield ipod Gear Pouch and ask yourself if this isn’t something that you need to have. For me there was no question. My iPod goes with me just about everywhere from house to car to office to picnics to gym and the Gear Pouch just makes sense for any iPod user because it keeps everything you could possibly need to hook-in your iPod anywhere.

Made from durable, yet fashionable Ballistic Nylon and a black, soft-lining, the iPod Gear Pouch is strong and protective when using the suggested way to pack the pouch (as shown in illustration at right). With this packing strategy, all iPod accessories slip into the pouch like matching puzzle pieces so not a cord or plastic knob bumps into the other causing additional friction or perhaps even scratching when rubbing against each other. This makes it safe to drop the iPod Gear Pouch into a bigger backpack or suitcase for travel.

From the photo it is obvious to where things go for maximum protection and fit. However, I found that placing all the cords in the center pocket, where the FM Transmitter and power pack are located in the photo made it easier to grab what you are looking for while driving. For example, I would keep the Belkin 12-volt DC Adapter as well as the USB/Firewire cable in the pouch area. If it fit, I also placed the Belkin Tunecast on top of the cables. It isn’t that large of an accessory and squishes well too. In the outside zippered pocket, the original and trend-setting white iPod earbuds and the remote wind up nicely and slide conveniently into the pockets. I tend to also carry an extra pair of small headphones and a splitter with me in case I need to share my iTunes with anyone.

Not just for the iPod
Waterfield may not be the first to advertise this, but the iPod Gear pouch can also be used for other gadgets and gizmos. Before my iPod arrived I used the Gear Pouch to store multiple PDAs and sync-n-charge cables. I also tossed in a digital camera and stored a few small SD (Secure Digital) cards in the outside zippered pocket. In fact I comfortably fit a PalmOne Tungsten T3, hp iPAQ 2215, and Toshiba PDR-T20 digital camera into the three inside pockets and then also packed a Belkin Wi-Fi CF card, sync-n-charge cables for each device and the Toshiba’s awkward power-supply into the middle pouch area. It wasn’t light weight, but fit three complete gadgets into one case that made it easy to carry. There are plenty of other uses for the Waterfield iPod Gear Pouch that you will come to discover when the time is right.

Anticipating the wide variety of use of the iPod Gear Pouch, Waterfield also has a more generic Gear Pouch (shown in the photo to the left) that is crafted with the same uniqueness and durability, but also available in three different sizes.

These generic Gear Pouches start at $19 and increase in size to just under the iPod Gear pouch. To learn more about Waterfield’s other products visit them on the web, http://sfbags.com.


Today’s gear pouches, as shown below, start at $39 and are available in four different sizes. You can buy your gear pouch, as well as other Waterfield Design bags, wallets, laptop sleeves and gaming cases at http://sfbags.com.

tz_mbW6X12ehcfu7VQV7Aptreewg7Lu9laqmzB-0WHw_grandewaterfieldgearpouch

Where To Find Tech News for IoT, Wareables, Smartphones and #yourlifeintech

The Internet is a big place and finding tech news online about #yourlifeintech isn’t hard but finding good, interesting, news sources is another story.

Maybe you want to read more about IoT, or perhaps you’re more interested wareables than Internet security or you’re just interested in how technology is tangling itself throughout culture or just looking for the latest news in the war on encryption.

Now it’s your turn to share! Below is a list of online news sources that we used to discover news, reviews and articles for the #yourlifeintech weekly digest. Each morning take a quick browse through the headlines and if you discover something fun, interesting or absolutely amazing share the link with us on Twitter @binarybound or post it to the binarybound facebook page.

#yourlifeintech /news, articles

#yourlifeintech /reviews

#yourlifeintech /art, music, fiction

Oh, and here are some of Today’s Headlines

*If you’re a content publisher and would you like us to consider your site for #yourlifeintech then please send an email to /editor/at/binarybound/com/ with the URL.

Why I Threw Out My Skinomi TechGlass for Apple Watch After 24 Hours

When I found the Skinomi TechGlass was going to be available again the end of March I didn’t hesitate tapping the “Buy It Now” button on Amazon, but after the first 24 hours with it on my 42mm Apple Watch Sport I am extremely disappointed. So disappointed in fact that I am replacing it with their film based Skinomi TechSkin product or just not using a watch face protector at all.

There is an old saying “you get what you pay for” and for only $5.95 on Amazon, why did I expect anything better? I think that I expected something better because of my great experience with Skinomi’s film-based TechSkin product. Despite the clarity isn’t as good between the two products, the TechSkin fit edge to edge and didn’t leave a dusty looking ring. It didn’t change the design feel of the Apple Watch and provided an added level of scratch resistance without blurring the display.

20160330_170148119_iOS

I actually tweeted my tech-bud @bryanlewis “first look: @bryanlewis the @Skinomi TechGlass is so ugly &about 2mm too small that I almost threw up a little. ” And, there’s that dust ring.

Skinomi did the best they could with design. If you look at many other tempered glass screen protectors they all have one design criticism in common: they are not an edge to edge fit. This makes sense because many devices from the Apple Watch and iPhone to the Samsung S7 have beveled and curved edges. This would require the glass protector to be precisely curved during manufacturing, which practically zero are, so therefore they can only cover the device’s flat surface area and often end up looking, well, awkward.

The awkwardness of the glass, however, was not the breaking point for me. It was the dust ring. You can clearly see it the photo above. The strange part is that this ring was not there when the glass was first applied to the watch face. It gradually appeared. And, to answer the obvious question, yes, I followed the very simple directions when applying, even though the instructions included were for a smartphone device (see image below). Between using the TechSkin film skin to first pick up all the tiny dust particles and then wiping down the watch face with the included Alcohol pad I expected to have no issues with clarity. The TechGlass dropped on perfectly the first time, without any need for adjustment or air-bubbling. I have to admit that I was initially very impressed with the TechGlass up until the dust ring appeared.

IMG_4834

I considered returning the product through Amazon, but as I started the process I noticed a “Return Policy” link. Here is what it said:

Customer satisfaction is our top-most priority. Skinomi.com offers a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee on all our products for any reason, as long as the item is returned within 30 days from the date the item is received. Items must be returned with the original packaging and order invoice.

Unopened items can be returned for a full refund within the 30-day period. Opened items can be returned for a refund of the purchase amount minus a minimum of $2.95 restocking fee within the 30-day period.

Is it just me or does the second paragraph contradict the first? They offer a 30Day Money Back Guarantee but if you’re product is opened, which mine is, there is a $2.95 restocking fee. Considering that I the purchased the Skinomi TechGlass from Amazon for only $5.95, less the $2.95 restocking fee, my estimated refund after also paying for return shipping be would cost me an additional $1.

Unfortunately because of Skinomi’s wacky Return Policy as well as the poor quality of the product, including shipping it with incorrect instructions, I’m going to toss my $5.95 in the recycle can alongside the packaging and order invoice and have to unfortunately not recommend the Skinomi TechGlass; even for the small price $5.95.

I Survived Two Days Without My Apple Watch And It Didn’t Bother Me

Having forgot to drop my Apple Watch on the charger Friday night, I woke up Saturday morning looking at a 3% battery alert. So I ughed and shrugged and snapped it onto the magnetic charger then enjoyed the first day of Spring sitting in the warm sun reading a Paulo Coelho book over a cup of coffee for a few hours. I could you give you the old-school Twitter play-by-play update of the rest morning, but it ends with me standing in Home Depot after lunch realizing that I completely forgot about my charging Apple Watch and it didn’t bother me. Why is this I wondered? and then I started thinking about what I actually use my $399 Apple Watch for.

Date & Time + weather
Outside of the obvious date and time, the weather complication on the watch face was the first feature of my Apple Watch that I missed most. Although, I did have my iPhone in my back pocket, just a quick twist of the wrist and seeing the current temperature is a really awesome convenience. Plus, with a quick tap on the temperature I can view the hourly forecast for temp, precipitation, hourly and 10-day outlook.

Watch Faces
The next feature that I absolutely missed about my Apple Watch are the watch faces. Even though they are just “okay” compared to some of the faces I have seen for Android Wear devices and the Apple Watch Hermes edition, I like having the option of matching a face to an outfit, event or function. Lately weather has been crazy and making that the focus of my watch has been invaluable, where as other times, a simple clock face has reduced stress by putting less emphasis on time, appointments and activity circles.

Activity Rings
I have to admit that I am addicted to these little colorful rings. Being at a desk all day long as a programmer I tend to forget to stand, stretch and walk as much as I probably should, as well as eat sometimes, and my Apple Watch does a terrific job keeping me on track. It’s not perfect, but it keeps me a bit more motivated than when I didn’t have it around for the last two days.

Text Messages
Yes and no. I did miss receiving text messages, but because Siri has her challenges I rarely use my Apple Watch to actually respond or initiate messages. At times I try and try again with her, but the user experience of replying to messages trips itself up with too many options that eventually require me to interact with the watch face using a finger. I feel these small issues are defeating the spirit of wearable technology requiring me to still depend on my iPhone to successfully reply-to or send a text message.

Apple Pay
Ha. Usually by the time I realize the merchant accepts Apple Pay, I already have my credit card in my hand ready to swipe and it’s more work to put the card back in my wallet just to use my watch. I have a friend @bryanlewis who absolutely loves Apple Pay and uses it all the time without any hiccups; just has not been my experience.

Siri
She never even crossed my mind. LMAO! “I’m sorry James, that’s not very nice to say.” Unfortunately Siri on my Apple Watch is just as bad as Siri on my iPhone 6. Half of the time “Hey Siri” doesn’t work and the other half when it does work she doesn’t understand what I am saying or is pretty slow interpreting my words.

Third-party Apps
I honestly haven’t found many third-party apps very useful. The reason for this is the communication delay between the watch and the iPhone. I have found this to be a problem in watch apps like MLB AT-BAT, 7-minute workout, LoseIt! and Strava. The data just doesn’t keep in sync between the too devices reliably, for example MLB AT-BAT sends a notification to my phone of a game lead change. I see it on my phone, tap my watch face and the MLB At-BAT complication is a few innings behind. I tap it and open the watch app and the score is still not accurate or in sync with the iPhone notification.

Do I like my Apple Watch? Yes. I love how it looks, the watch faces are polished and fun and the complications add value to the user experience, but did I miss it? No.

Pope Blesses Instagram, McDonald’s Happy Meal VR Box #yourlifeintech week 12

Today was a big day in tech for Apple enthusiasts, but as an Apple fanboy, Apple’s “Loop You in” event honestly felt a little flat. Maybe too many rumors are getting out, or maybe the announcements just don’t have the same innovative bang as they once did. A smaller iPad, smaller iPhone, new OS, watch bands, price cuts and AppleTV: lather rinse repeat.

So in a quick glance, Apple announced a new smaller iPad Pro starting at $599 (32GB) running iOS 9.3. Maybe it’s just me, but until that amazing 9.7 inch tablet runs either OSX or a more powerful iPad edition of iOS, I won’t be trading in my MacBook anytime soon. They dropped the Apple Watch price to $299 (from $349) and introduced a new line of nylon bands ($49) and also a black Milanese Loop ($149). iOS 9.3 will be heading to your device soon and adds the color-temperature changing Night Shift, Notes with Touch ID and password support. They also mentioned a few new updates for AppleTV including folder support, Siri support for the AppStore, as well as CarPlay and updates to CareKit. Wait, what is CareKit? Anyhow, they also revealed the iPhone SE, a smaller 4-inch iPhone starting at $399 which includes many of the bells and whistles of the iPhone 6s. Unfortunately, both the new smaller iPad and smaller iPhone are missing a few features I still hope for in the iPhone 7: inductive, wireless power, or even magnetic charging like on the Apple Watch and a microSD card. It may just be me, but Apple’s events the past few years have felt a little routine and predictable, reminiscent of the Palm V/Claudia Schiffer days from 2002.

For all the hype the technology world generates, there are few truly revolutionary products anymore. But someone came very close today: Get ready for the first handheld computer [Palm Computing’s Palm V] named for a supermodel. –cNet, January 2, 2002

On another #yourlifeintech note, the Pope joins and blesses Instagram, if you live in Sweeden you can turn your McDonald’s Happy Meal box into a VR headset. Oh, and Microsoft’s new edge web browser finally supports extensions.

Also, because of Easter weekend, and I’m going on a short vacation, there is a strong possibility that there will not be a #yourlifeintech week 13 update.

Top headlines from Week 12 of 2016

As Apple vs. FBI looms, WhatsApp and others look to increase encryption
Skype for Web upgraded, now supports dialing mobile phones, landlines and more
Now an F-16 can launch a swarm of 3D-printed carbon fiber drones
Instagram is switching its feed from chronological to best posts first
Chevy’s new Malibu keeps teens safe from themselves
Waze helps you plan future trips based on expected traffic
Nixon’s Android Wear smartwatch is water resistant up to 100 meters and Michael Kors’ Android Wear smartwatches can change faces
A Clever New Strap Brings EKG Readings to the Apple Watch
Western Digital’s 314GB drive offers RPi a low-power solution
10 Apple signs deal to power part of iCloud with Google Cloud Platform
11 Google Is Reportedly Selling Its Crazy Robotics Lab, Boston Dynamics

Our favorite article for week 12

1 On the outside, this gizmo looks identical to a regular book of matches, but tucked inside you’ll find eight tiny, waterproof and magnetic flashlights the size of matches.

Apple Event, GoT S6 Teaser and Bezo’s Blue Origin Reusable Rocket #yourlifeintech week 11

Up in the sky, look! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, wait … no, it’s just a U.S. military drone flying over your house but the Pentagon maintains all of them obeyed laws restricting the use of these drones at home, and yeah, if you let us have a master key to your iPhone’s encryption we promise we won’t abuse it. Meanwhile, also flying the friendly skies will be 20 recently leased Boeing 767s for Amazon.Com that will be used to ship packages to customers in North America and save Amazon lots of money, but will not necessarily get your packages to you any faster if you’re not a Prime customer. Also, did you know that half all Americans believe the Zika virus is fatal (spoiler alert: it’s not). Facebook recently acquired Masquerade, an app that allows to easily swap your face with a monkey, zombie or maybe Leonardo DiCaprio and post it to all your friends which is way more interesting to share then a potentially deadly-plague-like virus spread by Mosquitos (we’re kidding). Just don’t forget the bug spray this summer.

Oh, and winter is coming, Game of Thrones releases Season 6 teaser.

Top headlines from Week 11 of 2016

1 Jeff Bezos and his space company Blue Origin plan to launch manned space missions by 2017, tourists trips by 2018 as the competition with Virgin Galactic and SpaceX heats up. In fact, Blue Orgin’s New Sheperd rocket quietly and successfully became the first rocket to fly above the Karman line and return to Earth with a vertical landing and repeat, beating Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

2 Twitter offers stock and cash bonuses to keep disheartened workers. However, I’m confused, wasn’t it back in October 2015 when Jack Dorsey returned to Twitter and  laid off 8% of its staff and now it’s trying to hold on current talent by offering stock and cash bonuses. This poor bird keeps keeps flying into windows.

3 Apple sends out invites for March 21 event. We aren’t popular enough to get one of ourselves (yet) but there seems to be a lot of exciting rumors for upcoming Apple releases, such as the iPhone 6c, iPad Air 3 and the next-generation Apple Watch. The new Apple Watch is rumored to include a front-facing camera with FaceTime support and a better Wi-Fi chip so it could be less dependent on the iPhone. It still be rectangular though, with no rumors of a round edition.

4 A recent Department of Defense report revealed that the Pentagon admits to deploying military drones over US cities. Although it was “less than 20 missions” between 2006 and 2015, the documents don’t state their purpose or what happened despite a current policy which forbids spying on U.S. Residents. And, the government wonders why Apple doesn’t want to build a back-door for them.

5 Whole Foods will add rooftop solar farms to more stores, 100 more stores to be exact and, it would be nice to think this is part of a sincere sustainability move for the organic food giant, but as more organic food markets are moving in on Whole Foods market with lower prices, it appears it’s more of a cost-cutting move.

6 After buying the fitness trackable company Misfit, Fossil announces $95 Q Motion activity tracker that also tracks sleep and looks a lot like Misfits latest trackable, which being a Q Reveler owner, is a serious disappointment that Fossil would even consider putting it’s brand on that device’s design.

7 New MIT code makes web pages load 34% faster in any browser by creating a dependency graph. The software, which is titled Polaris, is written in JavaScript making simple to implement, however, in order for a web site to benefit from the system, the site’s servers must run Polaris’ dependency-tracking measurement platform. Read the white paper by James Mickens to learn more about the technical details. This is exciting news for web development  community, but unfortunately we couldn’t find any software to download to try Polaris or the dependency tracking measurment platform for ourselves.

8 Facebook pays out $15,000 bounty to close but that allowed access to any users account, and targets 25% of the web with new WordPress plugin for Instant Articles. On April 12th at Facebook’s F8 conference, we will open up the Instant Articles program to all publishers—of any size, anywhere in the world.

9 A new bionic fingertip allows amputees to feel rough and smooth by using a series of sensors to detect undulations in the surface beneath them, converting the physical feel into electric signals. These signals can then be injected into the nerves of a patient. We wonder at what point will cyborgenetic technologies like this will become an enhancement to the human body providing us with additional capabilities, perhaps even for a job or just for the fun of doing it.

10 Microsoft’s SQL database now runs on Linux. Honestly I never thought I would be writing anything with the words Microsoft, open source and Linux in the same sentence, but since the departure of Gates and then Ballmer, the Redmond based company with CEO Satya Nadella’s leadership is making a new Microsoft.  The company is even working with the creators of key Linux distribution, Red Hat and Ubuntu to get the program running smoothly. SQL Server for Linux won’t officially ship until mid-2017, but there’s already a preview for corporations that want a peek.

11 Google’s Go-playing artificial intelligence has claimed victory in a historic match against Korean grandmaster Lee Sedol winning a three straight games in this best-of-five series, but computers have been beating humans in games like checkers and chess for the last 25 years, so I guess humans kind of suck at board games anyhow.

Our favorite reviews & articles for week 11

1 Amazon’s latest series will be based on the cyborg short-film, True Skin. It may be a little too Fifth Element for some, but the 6 minute short-film is worth watching and with a good plot line it has great potential.

2 I bet you didn’t know the Macbook power-block has an obvious design flaw and Ten One Design has a genius fix for just $20

3 Review: Hoverdock for Apple Watch @thegadgeteer