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Artbreeder/AirPod cleaning kit/Tally | Cool Tools
Translate this, always
I am finding the new Google Translate mobile app to be indispensable when traveling. About 100 languages are available, including Kazakh, Igbo, Maori, etc. About 60 of those languages can be downloaded to your phone so you can translate offline when your phone is off, not working in the country, or out of cell range. (Instructions here.) The offline translation is text only, but surprisingly smart enough for touring needs. Having a language downloaded offline (about 40MB) also seems to help when translation is online as well (like using your phone camera to read menus and signs.) It’s all free and one of the best bargains in the world. — KK
google  language  translation  download  cool_tools 
26 days ago by rgl7194
Coghlan’s 12-in-1 Scissors | Cool Tools
Do-it-all tool around camp
I am a long time tent camper who camps on the cheap at primitve camp sites where I haul in my own water and haul out my own waste. I camp with either a 4X4 truck or Subaru Outback. My approach is minimalist, and I look for tools that have multiuse and are hopefully inexpensive. I’ve used the Coghlan’s scissors for many years, and found them to be well worth having.
The Coghlan’s 12-in-1 scissors is a silly looking and cheap ($5) tool that is surprisingly useful. It will cut fairly heavy material, has a bottle opener, screwdriver, and will come apart so you can use it as an awl or hole punch in an emergency. Granted, it is not elegant but it is surprisingly useful. I have two pairs of these in my camp gear, and end up using them for stuff like gripping needles to pull through heavy fabric, and other unexpected uses. They are cheap to buy and a useful addition to any kit.
-- Stephen Young
08/12/19
Excerpt
A multi-purpose stainless steel tool with 12 useful functions: scissor, knife, screwdriver, magnet, can opener, wrench, fish scaler, nut cracker, jar wrench, wire cutter, wire stripper and bottle opener.
(This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2012 — editors)
Comments (0)
Buy on Amazon
Coghlan 12-in-1 Scissors ($5)
cool_tools  tools  gadgets  knife  camping  cars 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Future Fonts/Terrain Maps/Gottman Card Decks | Cool Tools
Terrain maps
On Google Maps: in between the standard street view, and the realistic satellite view, lies another hidden view called Terrain. Terrain is an almost artistic rendering of a physical place without all the distractions of an aerial photograph. Its crisp clarity is tremendously useful as a base map — and beautiful. To get to Terrain mode, go the “hamburger” (stack of 3 lines) in the upper left corner of Maps in a browser, and click on Terrain in the pull-down menu. — KK
google  maps  cool_tools 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender | Cool Tools
Better than a blender
I hate most kitchen gadgets with a passion. Seeing things like an avocado slicer, mango corer, or left-handed inverted egg whatsizinger give me the hives. For the longest time, I prided myself on being able to do the most with the least in the kitchen.
I’m saying all this because I wanted to convey just how hard it was to buy the Smart Stick a year ago on the recommendation of my wife. Normally blenders are hard to clean, bulky, loud, and can only be used for low-viscosity liquids; if the mixture is too thick, the blade just whirs uselessly.
The Smart Stick solves all that. It takes up virtually no space. It is easy to clean. Instead of scrubbing out a blender, you just pop off the Smart Stick’s head, so it can be cleaned in eight seconds under running water. It’s impressively powerful and can be jammed full force down into a glass of ice to chop it up quickly. Yet, it’s still much quieter than a blender. The measuring cup it comes with is also well designed to break up the vortex the blender creates.
The Smart Stick is the cheapest and most basic hand blender I could find. Others come with whisks and choppers and brushed metal finishes, but I think the regular head works just fine. I found that the Smart Stick did 150% of what I’ve used a blender for and 75% of what I used a food processor for.
It’s very versatile. No more “pour boiling hot broccoli soup into blender to cream it, then pour back into pot.” You can use the Smart Stick right inside a stockpot on the stove. You can use it on thicker foods because you can stir and mash while blending, continuously bringing new material into the blade as opposed to a stand blender’s reliance on gravity to find unblended parts.
Making hummus, salsa, applesauce, and pesto went from “giant mess” to “easy.” Making smoothies went from “big production” to “two minutes.” Guacamole and whipped cream turn out wonderfully smooth. Margaritas can be made right in the pitcher. Almond butter can be made without too much trouble. I imagine this would also be a lifesaver for making baby food.
There are some downsides: It only has one speed (high!), so you have to be careful and use it in bursts if chopping ice, as it will happily sling iced coffee circumferentially around your kitchen in a ten-foot radius if you get too enthusiastic. You also have to be careful using it with plastic bowls as the metal head can punch through the bowl bottom if you push it too hard. The blade is SHARP. It’s not really suitable for use by children (or klutzy adults). If you need to clean around the blade’s backside with a finger, REMOVE the head from the motor first.
Again, I really really wanted to hate this thing and didn’t buy one for the longest time because I considered it useless. Now it’s the only electric kitchen tool that remains permanently plugged in on my counter other than a Kitchen-Aid six-quart mixer.
-- Jon Braun
04/2/19
Comments (11)
Buy on Amazon
Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender ($33)
kitchen  food  cooking  gadgets  cool_tools 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
Online figure drawing/Renting tools/Tunefind | Cool Tools
Renting Tools
Reminder: Your local Home Depot or other big box building store rents an amazing array of tools. Not just carpet shampooers, but carpet dryers, concrete cutting saws, pipe locators, ditch diggers, stump grinders, wallpaper removers, cherry pickers — all kinds of tools you will use only once in your life. Check out their selection. It’s a great way to try out a tool. My rule is if I want to rent a tool a second time, it’s worth buying. Last year I rented an electric power-washer. This year, I bought one. — KK
Figure out what song was playing
Whenever I’m watching TV and a song catches my ear, I often don’t have the chance to ask Siri what it is. Tunefind is great for that, because the next day I can just look up whatever show I was watching and listen to clips of all the songs that were played during that episode. Once I find the song, I can be redirected to listen on Spotify or search for the song on Youtube. — CD
Touring by bicycle
I’m a huge fan of bicycles as the ideal way to tour. You see more than in a car, but you cover more than walking. Inexpensive, too. The Adventure Cycling Association is dedicated to encouraging bike touring in the US and offers very detailed maps and guides for many routes, short and long – including those paths without cars. I used their fantastic maps to bicycle 2,000 miles from Vancouver to Mexico along the Pacific coast with minimal traffic, hills, and hurdles. Plus tons of other help for bike touring. — KK
tools  cool_tools  renting  songs  ID  apps  bicycling  maps 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
Under the Influence/Book Freak/Death checklist | Cool Tools
Death checklist
I came across this checklist and immediately bookmarked it. It’s a list of what to do after a death occurs. I compared it to other lists floating around online and liked this one best because of it’s practical reminders to take care of unpaid bills, contact the post office, etc. May be a bit morbid, but I like to be prepared. — CD
legacy  cool_tools  RIP  legal  family  reference 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist of Canva | Cool Tools
Configure your own old MacBook
I own a 2018 MacBook Air, a 2018 MacBook Pro, and between those two computers, there’s a total of six ports. Four USB-C in the Pro, two in the MacBook Air. So that just drives me crazy. One day, on a total whim, I take a picture of my 2012 MacBook Pro, and I say, remember the good old days when you had two USB ports, your SD card reader, HDMI, headphone out, all that? And lots of people commented that, yeah, I’m still using a 2012, ’13, ’14, ’15 MacBook Pro, and I wouldn’t switch. And I said, how can this be, that people are using four, five, six year old computers? … Then I’m on an airplane, and I read an article about this company that takes old Datsun 240Zs, and guts them, changes the engine, just soups them up, and how happy people are with this. And I thought, why don’t I do that? Then I have a friend at Mac Sales/OWC named Larry O’Connor, and I say, “Larry, am I crazy? Can you actually do this?” And he said, “Yeah, no problem!” So I said, “Get me the latest MacBook Pro that has all the ports, and put in 16 gigabytes of RAM, and whatever SSD you can.” So now I am so happy with a MacBook Pro that’s four years old that I can see when it’s charging or not, that I don’t have to carry really any dongles or docks or anything, and I never would’ve thought I’d be happy. So I call this Mac to the Future. I would recommend people go to Mac Sales and go configure one. NOTE FROM MARK: Your pick also should include OWC.com, which is Other World Computing, because that’s where you buy the SSD upgrade kits.
cool_tools  macbook  MBP  config  upgrade  evangelist  apple 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
E-Z Foldz Step Stool | Cool Tools
A cinch to store stool
I have two of these nifty folding stools ($16), one for my garden shed, and one that (mostly) lives in the kitchen. They’ve been kicking around my house for 2-3 years now, and I’m incredibly impressed with their sturdiness. The cool thing about these step stools is that they fold to a flat package only 2-1/4 inches thick. It will support up to 300 pounds, and you can tuck it between the fridge and the wall or under the sink or in a broom closet.  Folding them involves pushing in the hinged short ends and pushing the wider sides together. It’s a fantastic option for small spaces, where storage is at a premium.
The step stool in the kitchen lives under the sink, where it takes up remarkably little room.  They’re sturdy enough to kick around like a soccer ball, which I do pretty regularly. If it gets dirty, you can take it outside and hose it down. The plastic is soft enough to be non-marring to floors, and the top surface is roughened to prevent slips. It has a clever carrying handle in the top which works really well when folded and nearly as well when opened up.  It comes in 2 heights, 9″ and 12″. I have the 12″ high stool, and the top is nice and roomy,  It costs between $10-$20, depending on where you find it. I picked ours up at a local hardware store. A quick web check shows that this is a pretty widely available item.
-- Amy Thomson
08/9/19
(Note: We first reviewed the E-Z Foldz Step Stool back in 2008.--OH — editors)
Comments (0)
Buy on Amazon
E-Z Foldz Step Stool ($16)
home_stuff  gadgets  cool_tools 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
WoofTags | Cool Tools
Jingle-free dog tag, clips on collar
I’ve owned these clip-on dog tags for nearly a decade across two dogs and never had a problem with them. The design prevents the jingle that most standard tags make practically every time your dog moves (which is especially annoying at night). I got the clip-on style which works with quick release collars I use; but if you use a standard buckle collar, get the slide-on style. A simple, elegant solution, and only $11.
-- Dave Cortright
08/5/19
Comments (10)
Buy on WoofTags
WoofTags ($11+)
dogs  ID  accessories  cool_tools 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
YKK Plastic Belt Buckle and Plastic Belt | Cool Tools
Fully adjustable extra long belt
As I became fat(ter) finding long enough belts started to become a problem. At first, I used cloth belts with military-style metal buckles but as those buckles wear down the belts and cause them to fray so I’d have to replace the cloth belts a couple of times a year. Also getting the buckle to release could be difficult as they clamp down hard on the belt (which also caused the fraying).
Then I read a post somewhere about a plastic belt and buckle that you could wear thru airport TSA inspections… I was leery of “plastic” because my weight really puts a load on my belts. However, I now have 11 months of use without any problems at all; even the belt fraying problem doesn’t exist. I learned the buckles are made by YKK, the quality zipper people. The belt material is some sort of plastic too and holds up very well, no sign of wear at all yet. The black belt I bought was from Drizzte ($15) who also emboss their brand on the buckle.
You can find the same buckles from other suppliers, with other colors, without any brand. Drizzte’s advantage (for me) is they offer belts long enough for my waist; the other Amazon sites didn’t have long enough belts I could use. There are no holes or ratchet positions; these belts are infinitely adjustable as the belt can clamp down at any position along the belt. The belts can be easily modified by cutting off excess length and the end sealed by melting the cut end with a flame (like you’d do when cutting plastic rope). I haven’t flown for a long time so I haven’t been able to verify that original TSA claim. The Amazon page has several pictures showing how the buckle fastens to the belt
-- Russel Brooks
05/29/19
Comments (24)
Buy on Amazon
Drizzte Plus Size 51-79'' Men's Black Nylon Military Tactical Plastic Buckle Belt ($15)
men  clothing  accessories  cool_tools 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
AmazonBasics Electronics Travel Case | Cool Tools
On-the-road gadget organizer
I’ve been using this simple but well-designed electronics case ($11) for 5 months now. I travel a lot, usually 2 – 3 weeks a month. I also work in IT, so you can imagine all the gadgets I have to carry with me. This case makes the hassle of traveling with electronics a dream!
In the rigid plastic case, I safely store my iPod, cellular modem, portable router, backup Lithium Polymer charger, voice recorder, and all of the cables for them and other devices I have on me. They all stay together in a nice neat package. So I never lose them or forget one when I go on the road.
To be honest, I had never used anything even remotely like this before I found the one from AmazonBasics. None of my other packing solutions come close, and after looking around for a month I still can’t find anything that compares to it. Normally all of my devices have a case of their own, which I’ve tried to use, but that means there are 5 separate cases with cables, etc and I always end up misplacing something. This case allows me to keep everything I need in one neat little case, and for $14, a better tool is hard to come by!
-- Jeremy Pavleck
05/8/19
(This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2011 — editors)
Comments (8)
Buy on Amazon
AmazonBasics Universal Travel Case for Small Electronics ($11)
amazon  travel  gadgets  storage  cool_tools 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
Tomato Shark | Cool Tools
Tears through tomatoes
I have dozens of tools and gadgets in my kitchen. Years working in the restaurant and catering world left me with an inventory of items that I bought for this job or that party. Some were quite expensive and most were probably only used once or twice (I’m looking at you, Mother of Pearl Caviar Spoon!).
But there’s one tool that cost me less than $2.00 at a restaurant supply store over 10-years ago that I still use on a fairly regular basis, at least during the summer. Anytime I need to core a tomato or hull a strawberry I reach for my Tomato Shark ($8).
It’s a simple little metal spoon with sharp teeth that digs into your tomato or strawberry, removes the core or hull cleanly, and leaves you with just the fruit to work with. Unless you have super sharp knives and great paring knife skills you are probably used to coring a batch of tomatoes for sauce being a time-consuming and sometimes messy job; the Tomato Shark makes this job easy, tidy and quick.
This is one of those items where you should buy the actual Tomato Shark brand. I’ve found similar items just don’t hold up over time: the teeth get dull quicker, and you just don’t need to spend the extra money on a fancier version (unless you have problems with your hands and need a plastic handle for ergonomic reasons).
-- Caryl Shaw
06/10/19
(The original Tomato Shark is remarkably difficult to find online, and your best bet might be hitting up a restaurant supply store. With that being said, Amazon reviewers have good things to say about these off-brand stainless steel tomato corers being sold for $10 a dozen.--OH
This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2011 — editors)
Comments (2)
Buy on Amazon
Tomato Shark ($8)
kitchen  gadgets  cool_tools 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
How to be a better writer/Best USB-C cables/Unconsenting Media | Cool Tools
How to be a better writer
My friend Gareth Branwyn has been writing books and articles for top-tier publishers for decades. He recently wrote an article called “How to Be a Better Writer: Tips, tricks, and hard-won lessons: from creating drafts to working with editors,” and is a gold mine of treasure for anyone interested in improving their writing. — MF
Best USB-C cables
Cables matter. Despite the name Universal in USB, USB cables are not universal, especially the emerging new USB-C style. Ones with the same plug can charge at different rates, and transfer data (or not) differently. Cheap generic ones are not always compatible, which I have learned the hard way. Wirecutter has researched recommended USB-C cables with clarity.— KK
Unconsenting media
Unconsentingmedia.org is a searchable database of movies and TVs show for the purpose of finding out whether or not sexual violence is depicted. You can filter by rating. Green means there is none. Orange means it is implied and Red means it is on-screen. — CD
Long read on future of retail
I recommend this deep reported dive into the precarious state of grocery chains in the US, and why their future is moving away from transactions (owned by Amazon) and into the realm of experiences. This move toward experiences is not just about grocery stores. It applies to all products. services, and businesses. — KK
Portable fold-up hammock
I recently went camping in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park and was so happy we brought along this Mac Sports portable fold-up hammock. I fell asleep staring up at the giant redwoods and napped so comfortably. It’s really easy to put up and take down, and it comes with a sun shade. — CD
Powerful tiny amp
“Class-T amplifiers” have been around for over 20 years. They are tiny, cheap, and look like toys. But they sound amazing. I bought a Bluetooth model for $40 (Nobsound G3 5.0 Amplifier) and hooked it up to a pair of old speakers. The sound is very clean with zero buzz or distortion. Anyone in my family can play music through the amp right from their mobile phones. — MF
-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson
cool_tools  writing  tips  USB  cables  movies  database  retail  camping  music  speaker 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
Tear-Aid | Cool Tools
Quickly fixes tears and holes
Tear-Aid ($10+) is watertight and airtight adhesive repair tape marketed for use in repairing outdoor products. I first found it when I was looking at options for repairing a tear in a self-inflating sleeping pad and read a recommendation of Tear-Aid from a former bouncy-castle operator. That real-world endorsement was enough to get me to try it and it has performed well for me.
I didn’t want to experiment with a liquid patch because I couldn’t be sure if the solvents would interfere with the composition of the sleeping pad, so this option was attractive. The instructions are clear and application was simple. After prepping the area with alcohol, I peeled the backing off and pressed the tape over the problem area. The tape is tough but flexible and is transparent. It sticks very well and the sleeping pad now stays at pressure perfectly.
Tear-Aid Type A is for fabrics and Tear-Aid Type B is for Vinyl only. I have tried Type A, but not Type B. My local sporting goods store stocks the small repair kits for around $10, but the product is also available in rolls or by the foot from some vendors online.
The small repair kit I bought includes a 30 cm length of the 7.5 cm width material, as well as some small patches and a length of monofilament provided to add durability in making edge repairs.
This tape is useful, versatile, and compact, and I plan to keep it on hand for emergencies. You can get it from their website but it is widely available in stores that cater to camping, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.
-- Erik Hoover
08/2/19
(This PDF instruction manual from Tear-Aid is helpful, and also includes a thorough list of materials that Type A and B work with. --OH
This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2007 — editors)
camping  tent  repair  cool_tools 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
Dan Shapiro, Founder of Glowforge | Cool Tools
Mobile Passport App
I have to travel internationally for my job, and our family went to Asia on vacation. Every time nowadays I go through these lines and there’s the global entry, which is a big fuss and you have to get signed up in advance and it’s good to do it. But the weird thing is you’re standing in line, and they’re like, “Okay, here’s the forever line of chumps with paper, and here’s the global entry of people who planned ahead, or you can install this app,” and you think to yourself, “Surely this cannot be this simple,” but in my experience you can install the app before you leave, or you can do it when you touch down, you fill out everything in the app and you can do it while you’re walking to customs, and then they let you right through. It is the shortest line. It’s shorter than global entry, which you have to pay for. I’ve had friends who are not U.S. citizens who used it successfully. So I think it’s the intersection of it’s streamlined and quick because you can enter all the data there, and people don’t know about it just makes it really fast.
mobile  travel  apps  cool_tools  passport 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
Book Freak #15: The Benefits of Listening | Cool Tools
Advice for becoming a better listener
Book Freak is one of four newsletters from Cool Tools Lab (our other three are the Cool Tools Newsletter, Recomendo, and What’s in my bag?).
Most people tell me I’m a good conversationalist, but in truth, I’m more of a listener than a talker. I don’t learn much by talking. But I’m good at asking questions about things I’m interested in.
I’ve also found that an effective way to talk someone who is argumentative or upset is to never interrupt. Instead, actively listen to them as they talk and absolutely don’t interrupt them until they are done talking (you can say OK, m-hm, or nod your head). Wait until they are silent for a couple of seconds. Then, and only then, reply with your thoughts. If they interrupt you, stop talking immediately, and wait for them to finish. They will soon cool down and listen to you. — MF
In this issue of Book Freak: advice on listening.
Focus on nothing but what the other person is saying
“Instead of prioritizing your argument—in fact, instead of doing any thinking at all in the early goings about what you’re going to say—make your sole and all-encompassing focus the other person and what they have to say. In that mode of true active listening…you’ll disarm your counterpart. You’ll make them feel safe. The voice in their head will begin to quiet down.
— Chris Voss and Tahl Raz, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
Understand the other person’s hunger
“Understanding a person’s hunger and responding to it is one of the most potent tools you’ll ever discover for getting through to anyone you meet in business or your personal life.”
― Mark Goulston, Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone
Do nothing, expect nothing
“Being relevant simply consists in paying close attention to the point that is being talked about and saying nothing that is not significantly related to it.”
― Mortimer J. Adler, How to Speak How to Listen
listening  cool_tools 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
Book Freak #11: Decluttering Tips | Cool Tools
Three pieces of advice on decluttering
Book Freak is one of four newsletters from Cool Tools Lab (our other three are the Cool Tools Newsletter, Recomendo, and What’s in my bag?).
In each weekly issue of Book Freak, we offer three short pieces of advice from books. Here’s the advice from our latest issue.
Clutter fills the future with the past
“An interesting thing about records is that we tend to see them again. That’s what they’re there for, after all. There’s something about looking backward, however, which seems to damage the soul.
Reactivating dead thought patterns, over and over again, we can feel old desires like ghosts, moving us this way and that as we put ourselves under their sway again. A 15-year-old boy remembers wanting to become an astronaut. A 23-year-old man laments a lost girlfriend. Even the little things carry ghosts: a shopping list never fulfilled for an old project, a half-finished drawing, a story idea in a line.
If the bad memories nag, happy memories can be even worse. Winning a medal in sixth grade. Old soccer trophies. A special love letter. To be sure, we remember these times with love and fondness, but there is also something bad there. There can come to be a strange gnawing feeling and a dissatisfaction with a present that can never live up to the polished memories of old expectations.
Be careful of what you force yourself to remember. Be mindful when sending messages to your future self, because it might not want to be bothered so much.”
― Lion Kimbro, Mind Performance Hacks: Tips & Tools for Overclocking Your Brain
Should you keep it?
“If you have it, use it. If you don’t use it, don’t have it.”
― Nagisa Tatsumi, The Art of Discarding: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy
Think twice before you buy
“Decide before you purchase anything where you are going to keep it and what you are going to use it for. If your answers to either of these questions are vague, then you are about to purchase clutter. Desist from buying.”
― Karen Kingston, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui
uncluttered  organizing  books  cool_tools 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
Finance advice/Find the best product/Sounds True | Cool Tools
Finding the best products online
Google’s algorithm is not working as well as it once did for product recommendations. It could be that spammy websites have gotten better at gaming the algorithm, pushing their search results to the top. My friend Rob Beschizza shared a wonderful tip. He tweeted, “a search for ‘best cordless hedge trimmer’ gets 400 identical top lists of amazon referral links with smarmy PR copy. But “‘best cordless hedge trimmer reddit’ gets the best cordless hedge trimmer.” Try it, it works for any product! — MF
products  search  comparo  cool_tools 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
Stephen Wolfram, Founder at Wolfram Research | Cool Tools
Wolfram|Alpha
Wolfram Alpha is a thing for answering questions using computational knowledge. And I use it every day for all kinds of things. If I’m going to walk outside I go to Wolfram Alpha, usually on my phone, and just type in sunburn. And it will figure out based on where I am predictions for UV index and so on. Plus, skin type data and so on and will tell me what the expected time for me to get sunburned is. It gives you sort of an information presentation. Here’s another thing you can do. You can just go to Wolfram Alpha and type in some first name. Like Kevin, for example. And this is a good party trick. Because it knows how many people called Kevin have been born every year since the late 1800’s, and it knows mortality tables and so on. It can figure out what the distribution of Kevins in America is. And it says, “The most common age for a Kevin in America is 47 years.” And there are about 1 million Kevins in America. And it’s a good guess when you’re talking to somebody, particularly with a slightly unusual name, that they will be an age that’s really close to the most common age age. Wolfram Alpha powers kind of the knowledge component of Siri, and now also of Alexa. And so, we’ve sort of been the unique place that’s been trying to make knowledge about the world computable. From my point of view, I end up using Wolfram Alpha every day to figure out sort of things that are either I’m curious about, or that I need to make some decision about.
cool_tools  search  AI/ML 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
Ziya Tong, Author of The Reality Bubble | Cool Tools
AFP FactCheck Twitter Feed
This Twitter feed is by AFP, the news organization, and it comes in French, in Spanish, and in Portuguese. What I love about it is, we live in the era of fake news of course as we all know. But not all of us have time when we come across something to immediately go to Snopes, unless we’re super keener nerds which some of us are, but at the same time, it’s nice to have this through your feed. In this instance, you have AFP using reverse Google Image search to look at a lot of the postings that are going through and going viral on all these Facebook news sites that are patently false. So there’s an image that I saw the other day and it was of a pig that is in Hungary. It says, “Here’s how Hungarian border police keep Muslims from crossing their borders.” And they have a giant pig there and a cop holding the pig and a whole bunch of refugees fleeing the border. And it’s just bullshit. And so, right next to it, they’ve got the image and it’s actually a doctored image from the Philippines of just somebody who’s with their pig and some piglets and a sow with some piglets and some people playing in the background.
Signal
Signal is a wonderful messaging app that has end-to-end encryption on it. It’s just a really great tool if you’re talking to other activists because it gives you an opportunity to feel safe and free, and a free space with which to speak. So, a long time ago, think it was Hakim Bey who came up with the term TAZ or Temporary Autonomous Zones, and this notion of free space. And we live in a time now where there’s very, very little free space in the world. We’re not very aware of how little space there really is for us to freely communicate. In places around the world, of course, censorship is increasing, places like America, places like Asia. And so being able to communicate around the world with a tool like this is really wonderful.
signal  messaging  security  privacy  encryption  cool_tools  twitter  factcheck  news 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194

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