(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
BloomThat is a unique flower delivery service that harnesses the power of the bicycle to deliver a bouquet of flowers “in under 90 minutes” — pretty fast. But before you read on, there’s one big catch to using the brand-new BloomThat iPhone app to order roses on Valentine’s Day: Your sweetheart must be in the Bay Area — specifically in the tech (and bicycle)-rich towns of San Francisco, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View or Sunnyvale.
No one but actual, honest-to-God bicycle messengers had the authority to wield a Timbuk2 messenger bag. If you were an iron-assed hard case living life on a bike, you’d probably earned the right; though you might still have found yourself the target of diluted messenger disgust.
That was the pervading vibe 15 years ago when I bought my first Timbuk2 bag, a Bolo (back then, each size had a name; the Bolo was the large version). Make no mistake, these were Messenger Bags: simple, voluminous, virtually indestructible black holes, able to swallow an inordinate amount of awkwardly dimensioned deliverables, specially stabilized for use on the bike exclusively. The only grudging nods to civility were a couple of pockets sown onto the outside of the bag and an optional padded shoulder strap.
And apart from a few minor changes, it’s stayed that way. Like the coelacanth, the Classic Messenger has remained a living fossil, unchanged, while other Timbuk2 species have evolved and developed around it. Until now.
Just like the old Trapper Keeper, the STM Dux iPad case keeps all your notes (which are actually inside your iPad, safe within the Dux’s covers). You can plaster photos all over the inside of the clear plastic back. And it even has a little flip-open clasp that keeps the front cover from opening.
Ever wished there was a way to make Pandora (or iTunes Radio) play little snippets of news, tailored to your tastes, just like it does with music? Free app Swell Radio does just that, and does it perfectly.
We’ve gone on and on about the merits of Flowboard, a web-based platform that lets users easily create media-rich stories or presentations and publish them onto its servers. Until now, the service has only been available as an iOS app — but that’s about to change, as a Flowboard authoring app hits the Mac this spring.
LAS VEGAS — Audiofly has been busy since we last visited them at CES two years ago. This year they’re finally ready to ship their long-promised AF140, albeit with a radical redesign, and are introducing the quad-driver AF180. The Aussie crew also showed us the over-the-ear set of cans they’ve been working on.
LAS VEGAS — You know those convertible, touchscreen Windows laptops with screens that flip around and do all kinds of twisty tricks? iHome has a new keyboard case that turns the iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini into one of those.
LAS VEGAS — Eton has improved the wedge-shaped, solar-powered Rukus Bluetooth speaker it introduced just over six months ago, and are now calling it the Rukus II; they’ve also built a second, bigger, badder (and more expensive) version they’ve naturally dubbed the Rukus Xtreme.
LAS VEGAS — It’s a bit odd to be thanked for cussing; but that’s exactly what STM Bags owner Ethan Nyquist did when I walked over to the STM table during a press event at CES. Apparently he was considerably impressed with an enthusiastic exclamation I made about STM’s bags, in response to the announcement of one of their new backpacks*. Hey, what can I say — I’m a bag junkie, and I get passionate about stuff I like.
So here then, is a prediction: STM’s new Drifter will deepen the outfit’s rep as a maker of stellar bags.
LAS VEGAS — There’re a lot of seemingly brilliant, sexy tech here at CES. razor-precise, slightly annoying miniature flying drones! A case for your iPhone that gives it weird, infra-red Superman eyes!
Wonderful. But would we really end up using this stuff? I mean, yeah, we probably would. But not every day. Probably not every month. On the other hand, TYLT’s Energi 2K — a wall charger with a USB port that also houses a battery — is the kind of brilliant idea that we imagine we’d actually want to use every day.