Cool App: ToothFairy

Tooth Fairy is for macOS:

Single click away from your favorite bluetooth device. Tooth Fairy helps you to switch connection of a selected bluetooth device, for example, AirPods, directly from menu bar or even global hotkey. You can do it with the system bluetooth menu bar but Tooth Fairy can save you a few clicks.

Recommended: Control + ESC to quickly connect your AirPods.

Hobbies, Work, and Everything Between (Encore Episode 141)

Encore 141

On this week’s episode of Encore I am joined by special guest Jacob Tender. This week we discuss AbsolutePunk.net, SpinMedia, UnderTheGun and a lot of behind the scenes chaos that plagued the music web community over the past few years. Then we move into a discussion about creating things and the balance between hobbies, work, and everything between. We look at what it’s like to create things, when to know if they’ve failed, and why it is we both feel a need to create and put things out into the world. There’s also talk about the new MacBooks with Touchbar, some thoughts on AirPods, as well as collecting media and how we track what we listen to, read, and watch.

How Jon Stewart Took Over the Daily Show and Revolutionized Late-Night TV: An Oral History

Vanity Fair has an excerpt from a recently released book with the oral history of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

My wildest dream for The Daily Show when I started was “This will be fun. Hopefully we’ll do it well.” Success for me would’ve been feeling like I figured it out. That I got to express the things I wanted to. It was never “I want this to be a cultural touchstone … but only for a very small portion of America.” And I was hoping to stay on TV longer than nine months this time.

What a great read. I’ve already added the full book to my Amazon wishlist.

World War Three, by Mistake

New Yorker:

President Jimmy Carter’s national-security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was asleep in Washington, D.C., when the phone rang. His military aide, General William Odom, was calling to inform him that two hundred and twenty missiles launched from Soviet submarines were heading toward the United States. Brzezinski told Odom to get confirmation of the attack. A retaliatory strike would have to be ordered quickly; Washington might be destroyed within minutes. Odom called back and offered a correction: twenty-two hundred Soviet missiles had been launched.

Brzezinski decided not to wake up his wife, preferring that she die in her sleep. As he prepared to call Carter and recommend an American counterattack, the phone rang for a third time. Odom apologized—it was a false alarm. An investigation later found that a defective computer chip in a communications device at NORAD headquarters had generated the erroneous warning. The chip cost forty-six cents.

A terrifying read.

Jason’s Favorites From 2016 Playlist

This week we revealed the Chorus.fm staff and contributor top albums of 2016 feature. Along with that a bunch of us put together our own individual lists and I decided to take some of my favorite songs from my list and put them into a playlist. You can find that on Spotify and Apple Music.

I figured this would be a good way to quickly check out any of the artists you may not have heard yet before diving into the full albums. Also I want any excuse to share “Drive It Like You Stole It” with more people. If anyone else has playlists they made of songs from their favorite albums this year, I’d love to check them out — feel free to send over a link.

Jason Tate’s Top Albums of 2016

The Best of 2016

I’ll remember 2016 as the year I migrated from AbsolutePunk to Chorus and the year where The 1975 pretty much dominated my music listening from start to finish. My goal this year was to try and spend more time with the music I loved instead of trying to listen to everything. In the end, I felt like devoting more time to each album let me discover more about each one without worrying about needing to move onto the next thing until I was ready. I’m glad I did it.

I included a bunch of movies, TV shows, books, and apps I enjoyed over the year as well.

Most Anticipated of 2017 (Encore Episode 140)

Encore 140

On this week’s episode of Encore I am joined by special guest Deanna Chapman. The main topic this week is all about our most anticipated albums of 2017. What made the list and what did we decide to leave off? Do we really have to mention Brand New … again? We also talk about movies we are looking forward to, discuss music on TV shows, and nerd out about comic books a little bit.

The Fidget Cube: A Vinyl Desk Toy

The Fidget Cube that started on Kickstarter is now up for order on their website.

An unusually addicting, high-quality desk toy designed to help you focus. Fidget at work, in class, and at home in style. Fidget Cube has six sides. Each side features something to fidget with: Click. Glide. Flip. Breathe. Roll. Spin.

This is devilishly clever.

OmniFocus Adds Global Search

OmniGroup have released OmniFocus 2.8 for Mac:

Happy New Year! After a quiet couple of weeks, we are back in the office today and releasing OmniFocus 2.8 for Mac, which includes one of our most requested features: Global Search.

Great new addition to the most important app I use.

HandBreak Leaves Beta After 13 Years

HandBreak, one of the best video transcoders out there, has finally left beta and hit version 1.0 … after 13 years.

After more than 13 years of development, the HandBrake Team is delighted to present HandBrake 1.0.0. Thank you to all of our many contributors over the years for making HandBrake what it is today.

Best of 2016 & Rogue One (Encore Episode 139)

Encore 139

This week’s super sized episode of Encore features a lengthy discussion about our favorite albums of 2016. We go through our top 10 and break down why those albums were important to us this year. The second half of the episode is all about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — it is filled with spoilers so you can pause if you haven’t seen it yet and come back to it later. We wanted to give you a jam packed episode for the last two weeks of the year.

Hope you enjoy and have a great holiday!

A Computer for Everything: One Year of iPad Pro

Federico Viticci, over at MacStories, has a killer article about using the iPad Pro for a year and how it’s become his favorite computer of all time:

Much of the iPad’s strength lies in iOS and its app ecosystem. If Apple were to stop making iPads, I’d still prefer to work on a device that runs iOS rather than macOS. iOS is where app innovation happens on a regular basis with developers one-upping each other in terms of what software can achieve; I also prefer the structure and interactions of iOS itself. The iPad Pro is the purest representation of iOS: it’s a computer that can transform into anything you need it to be.

And:

There’s an important difference between the old iOS automation kin and the modern wonders of Workflow. Four years ago, URL schemes were the only way to turn an iPad into a passable work device for advanced tasks. Automation was an escape hatch from Apple’s limitations and the immaturity of iOS. Today, iOS is a stronger, more capable platform that, for many, is superior to macOS. There’s still work to be done, but, for the most part, iOS automation today is an optional enhancement – a way to speed up tasks and make them more accessible. In four years, and largely because of iOS 8 and iOS 9, iOS automation has evolved from a workaround into a creative optimization.

The entire thing is full of great insights and it got me playing around with some new automation techniques on iOS. I realized I haven’t been using Workflow and Launch Center Pro to their full capacity.

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I wanted to steal an idea I’ve seen on other websites and put together a few gift ideas that I think are pretty great to give and receive. Since I already have recommendation posts for albums, movies, tv shows, books, software, podcasts, blogs, audio-equipment, and random miscellaneous tech and around the house items, this list is focused mostly on things not included in those posts and more geared toward things I’ve come across in the past year or so that I think are worth checking out and that I think would make good gifts. As always, I only recommend things I’ve personally used and loved.

I used my Amazon affiliate link when the product showed up there, which gives our website a slight percentage back if you make a purchase, and therefore helps fund our continued existence. I hope you’ll find something cool, and feel free to drop your own recommendations in the comments.

Quarter Life Crisis (Encore Episode 138)

Encore 138

This week’s episode of Encore has us making plans to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, talking a little bit about Thanksgiving, and then looking at A Day to Remember’s lawsuit, a screenplay based on The Menzingers, Brand New’s TDAG 10-year anniversary, and some listener questions about ticket scalping, Christmas/holiday music, and our favorite holiday cover songs.

Review: Yellowcard – Yellowcard

Yellowcard

With goodbye comes reflection. This reflection is often bittersweet as it drifts between that which has filled us with joy and that which has caused us pain. There’s a cauterization of once open wounds that necessitates a search for meaning in the steps that led us here. And it’s within this reflection that we try and attach understanding to our history. Why does saying goodbye make us feel this way? What is it about this specific action that leads to an emotional cluster-fuck? A perceptible and undeniable bond between love and sadness? I keep asking myself these questions as I prepare to say goodbye to one of the best bands that ever came from our music scene. A band that has soundtracked my highs, soundtracked my lows, and has been a constant musical mirror to the love, and sadness, that life has brought. As I walk into this realization, I can’t help but reflect on just how many of my goodbyes have been punctuated by a Yellowcard song. Goodbye to friends, goodbye to family, goodbye to relationships, goodbye to states, goodbye to innocence, goodbye to youth. And with that I realize that I don’t want to become numb to goodbyes. I want them to sting. I want them to hurt. I want the goodbye to be a remembrance of everything that led to that moment. Yellowcard’s final self-titled album is that pinprick. It’s that puncture against the consciousness that reminds me why I listen to music, it’s the melodic pull that has dominated my life for all these years. It’s between this intense feeling of familiar and new that I find the closing Yellowcard album lays itself to rest.

The Constitution Lets the Electoral College Choose the Winner. They Should Choose Clinton.

Lawrence Lessig, writing at The Washington Post:

The framers believed, as Alexander Hamilton put it, that “the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the [president].” But no nation had ever tried that idea before. So the framers created a safety valve on the people’s choice. Like a judge reviewing a jury verdict, where the people voted, the electoral college was intended to confirm — or not — the people’s choice. Electors were to apply, in Hamilton’s words, “a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice” — and then decide. The Constitution says nothing about “winner take all.” It says nothing to suggest that electors’ freedom should be constrained in any way. Instead, their wisdom — about whether to overrule “the people” or not — was to be free of political control yet guided by democratic values. They were to be citizens exercising judgment, not cogs turning a wheel.

I agree, but the odds of this happening are infinitesimally small.