The Jot 8.5 eWriter brings notepads into the digital age [Reviews]

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Still better than a "smart" refrigerator.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Nowadays it seems like we’re ready to replace just about every standalone device with a smartphone app or add a Wi-Fi connection to it, when the reality is that plenty of these devices work perfectly fine already. (I’m looking at you, Wi-Fi-enabled refrigerators.) So it was refreshing to be able to review a product that’s confident in what it is and what it isn’t: the Boogie Board Jot 8.5 eWriter.

The Jot 8.5 is an ultra-thin display that lets you write or draw whatever you want on it, then instantly erase all the contents at the push of a button. Think of it as a practical Etch-A-Sketch that doesn’t suck.

Photos capture just how much our phones disconnect us

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Family time at the table.
Family time at the table.
Photo: Eric Pickersgill/Removed

Quick – how often do you check your iPhone when you’re around other people? When you’re out dining? At home on the couch, maybe watching TV? At the bar? At parties?

If you’re anything like the rest of us, the answer is somewhere between “often” and “far too often.”

Photographer Eric Pickersgill noticed this phenomenon while sitting at a cafe one morning and decided to make some art about it. He calls the project Removed.

Clever sensor tells your iPhone whether your favorite restaurant is full

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The Density sensor can be mounted to a door frame to track people moving in and out of  a businesses, like a restaurant or your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Density sensor can be mounted to a door frame to track people moving in and out of a businesses, like a restaurant or your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
Photo: Density

Your iPhone can help you find a good brunch place, with reviews on Yelp that indicate a restaurant’s best dishes. But there really isn’t any real-time help, except maybe calling or taking your chances and just showing up, to find out if you and your friends can get a table at a local hot spot.

A company called Density has developed a door-frame sensor that monitors the coming and going of people and then reports to an iPhone app whether your favorite place is full. It collects data on people’s movement at various hours of the day and recommends windows of time when you can get right in.

James Bond goes rogue to catch his Spectre

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Why so introspective, Mr. Bond?
Why so introspective, Mr. Bond?
Photo: Columbia Pictures

Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as famous super spy James Bond looks to take a darker, more roguish turn than ever, with Bond looking to “disappear” from the British spy agency that gives him the “00” license to kill rating.

The new trailer has all sorts of dramatic moments interspersed with the action, gadgetry, cars, women, overly-confident villains and explosions fans want to see.

Check it out below and be ready to see your first glimpse at the big bad behind the scenes of anti-spy organization, SPECTRE, which seems to be aimed squarely at Bond, James Bond’s broad shoulders.

These 3-D-printed Apple Watch stands will show off your shiny smartwatch

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Tossing your Apple Watch on the table just doesn't feel right.

After spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your new Apple Watch, it’s hard to justify tossing the device on the table to charge like discarded jewelry. If you’ve got a 3-D printer, it’s easy to class things up by printing out an Apple Watch stand.

These 3-D-printed Apple Watch stands will protect your high-tech timepiece from scratches and, more importantly, provide a platform to show off your new smartwatch to friends and family — even when you aren’t using it.

A variety of 3-D printing files are available to download completely free of charge, and they get the job done just fine. Take a look at some of the best designs out there — all of which cost nothing to download.

Learn to make hot wet rice with a $2,000 gadget on the funniest cooking show ever

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The Katerings are ready for their close up. Photo: Lead Balloon TV
The Katerings are ready for their close up. Photo: Lead Balloon TV

If you’ve been longing for a cooking show with smart writing, attractive hosts and a ton of sexual innuendo, look no further than The Katering Show, where Aussies Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney smile for the camera while comparing too-expensive German multi-mixers to gangbangs.

“So, ‘What is a Thermomix?’ I hear anyone under the age of 33 ask,” says the perky McLennan. “It’s a blender, a microwave, an ice bucket and a set of kitchen scales. It’s a gangbang of kitchen appliances that’s created a futuristic robot saucepan. It’s the kind of appliance that your rich mother-in-law gives you as a wedding gift because she doesn’t think you can cook. Or something that you buy yourself because you’ve always wanted to join a cult, but you don’t have the energy for the group sex.”

Right? Now you need to watch the funniest cooking show I’ve ever seen, with the episode about making risotto (hot wet rice) in a gadget that looks like (and costs like) it might have come out of Jony Ive’s design shop.

These clever gadgets bring email into the real world

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Oliver silently displays the state of your inbox using a simple light system. Photo: Brendan Dawes
Oliver silently displays the state of your inbox using a simple light system. Photo: Brendan Dawes

Email has become somewhat of a necessary evil lately, with a attempts like Google’s recent Inbox to use software to corral the over-abundance of the technology into something that makes better sense for us humans.

Designer Brendan Dawes worked with email marketing provider Mailchimp to come up with these fascinating single-use gadgets that bring email into the real world. Nim, the gadget named for a famous chimp in linguistics, is a light switch that lets you turn your email off. And on again, assumedly.

“Email is an interface we’ve been using for years,” Dawes told Wired, “so why not leverage its power some more?”

Dawes has several other gadgets he’s designed in concept. Each one tries to make the digital real and interactive. Some are more successful than others, of course, but they’re all fascinating.

This amazing machine can brew the perfect drink in just 60 seconds

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Photo: PSFK
The BKON Craft Brewer can make up to 60 cups of perfectly-brewed tea or coffee per hour. Photo: BKON

Are you looking for a high tech, upscale beverage maker to go along with your brand new 5K 27-inch Retina iMac?

If so you could do a lot worse than this revolutionary BKON Craft Brewer, a machine that allows you to make the perfect cup of loose-leaf tea, coffee, cocktail, and a variety of other drinks from your home, without the need for an intensive training course and plenty of spare time.

How does it do it? In one word: physics.