(You're reading all posts by Eli Milchman) When he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.
About Eli Milchman
Joining Belkin’s armada of WeMo home-automation devices today is the WeMo Insight Switch. Like the plain-vanilla WeMo Switch, the Insight Switch will let you power on or off whatever is connected to its outlet via the WeMo iOS or Android app. Unlike the regular Switch, the Insight lets you also see exactly how much money you’er spending on juice, and adds more control flexibility.
Meteor is a $1 app with a brilliant, simple solution to a common problem no one seems to have addressed until now — and it’ll almost certainly unclutter your phone.
The Inner Balance system pairs a $99 dongle/earclip sensor with an accompanying app with the goal of training its users to de-stress themselves (probably an over-simplification, but that’s the gist of it) through gamified breathing exercises.
To further this goal, HeartMath, the company behind the Inner Balance kit, has just launched a cloud-based service called HeartCloud to further gamify the Inner Balance sessions with the introduction of social aspects. HeartMath has also announced that new Lightning dongles for the earclip sensor will be available at the end of this month.
Just over a year after Drift Innovations dropped its impressively specced Ghost HD action cam, the company has upped the ante in the action-cam tech race by launching the improved Ghost-S, with big boosts in performance — notably low-light performance and a doubled frame rate — and a slew of trick new features.
Now that winter has hit the country, cycling has moved indoors for much of the U.S. That means straddling a stationary bike or throwing your trusty road or mountain bike up on a stand (or if you’re really brave, rollers).
That’s where the Xspin comes in. it’s a small box filled with sensors and a low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 radio that attaches to a crank arm and sends speed, distance and cadence data to an accompanying app — either one of two developed by its parent company, Pafers, or a handful of popular third-party cycling apps, like Strava or MapMyRide. It’ll also work with ellipticals (though it obviously attaches differently, since ellipticals don’t have cranks).
Sarcasm doesn’t travel well over text message — and I can say that through bitter experience. I’ve probably come close to being slapped, dumped, kicked in the crotch, fired, and/or run over by a riding mower because of some sarcastic text I’ve sent that was misconstrued as mean when it was supposed to be hilarious.
Or so I’ve imagined; I have no real gauge, because in each instance I couldn’t actually see the reaction on the face of the recipient. At least one of the developers behind React Messenger must have faced the same problem, because they’ve come up with a solution that snaps and sends a quick, expressive selfie along with each text.
I’m not a guitar amp nut; I have little appreciation for old-and-moldy audio components and purist babble (oh yes, I know! “Vacuum tubes! Blah blah blah!”) But a look at the promo video for Positive Grid’s new Bias iPad app has even me drooling.
Think your inbox is a dizzying mass of junkmail? The serial entrepreneur who started About.com wants to help you unclutter; not by getting rid of spam, which has been pretty much wiped out at this point — but by allowing you to group or unsubscribe from commercial emails with laser precision.
The big idea behind Looxcie’s video cameras is that they can live-stream video to a variety of audiences (including Facebook) by linking, via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, to an iPhone or Android phone running Looxcie’s free companion app.
But unlike the action-oriented $200, 1080p Looxcie HD, which is pretty expensive, or the lightweight Looxcie 2, which is only capable of 480p, the more social Looxcie 3 seems to have found a $100, 720p sweet spot. Plus it looks far less dorky when worn.
I’m a little on the fence about whether Toymail is a genius idea or an error that’ll have your kids talking to mailboxes.