Happy October! This month’s issue is a great mixture of products and weird shit that I’m into. I hope you enjoy it.
Have a great month and don’t eat too much candy,
Pocket Casts: My (new) favorite podcast app
You’re probably using Overcast. Yes, it’s a great app, but the UI/UX leaves much to be desired. Recently a friend introduced me to Pocket Casts.
A few features I love:
- Great interface: simple and intuitive coupled with an easy to browse podcast directory.
- Smart audio features: adjust audio speed (.5 to 3x), trim silence, and volume boost.
- Episode filters: instantly see what’s new, what’s in progress, and what you’ve favorited. Or create your own customer filters based on your ruleset.
Barefoot running shoes that aren’t ugly
Remember the Virbram 5-fingers? I purchased a pair a few years ago but rarely wore them, mainly because my wife forbid it (she thinks they are ugly as hell).
The few times I did wear them, I loved them. It’s a novel experience to feel every pebble and crack in the road. Your feet actually get tired and sore after a day without padding. But that’s a good thing. Within a couple weeks the muscles in your feet build up strength and become stronger.
Recently I started running again and wanted to go as minimal as possible. Given that the Virbram 5-fingers are banned in the Rose household, I started looking for alternatives.
My research led me to the New Balance Minimus. The Minimus gave me everything I was looking for: Vibram soles, barefoot friendly internal construction (don’t wear socks), and a lightweight design (7.1oz). I’ve had mine for over a month now and continue to enjoy them.
New Balance Minimus 10v4 ($114.99)
How being alone may be the key to rest
How much rest do we think we need, who is getting the most, and what are the most restful activities? The results of the world’s largest survey on rest indicate that to feel truly rested, a lot of us want to be alone, reports Claudia Hammond.
I’ve decided to add start slowly adding in some daily “alone time.” Time where I can leave my cell phone behind and reflect on the day by myself.
Full story here (BBC, 10 minute read)
23 things you can do in iOS 10 you couldn’t before
Sorry Android folks, I’ll try to keep iOS only posts to a minimum :)
As geeks, you’re likely aware of most of these features, but it’s worth checking.
A few gems that were new to me:
- Turn read receipts on or off for each conversation
- Find out where you parked your car
- Run smarter searches in photos
- Change the intensity of the flashlight
See all 23 things (Gizmodo, 12 minute read)
My technology addiction (plus Fred Rogers on information overload and the importance of silence)
If you’re reading this newsletter you’re likely a fan of technology, like me. I’ve clicked more like/digg buttons than most, and I’m addicted to the constant stream of incoming information.
Professionally, this craving for new information has many positive benefits. Staying informed helps me form internal opinions, which help shape my investment decisions. Testing the latest apps gives me inspiration and best practices when building new products. But, of course, too much of anything comes at a cost.
In taking some time to step away and reflect (hello from New York), it’s now clear to me that this constant information onslaught creates a craving for new stimulation. Ride a subway car, wait in a line or walk down the street and you’ll notice almost everyone is unaware of their surroundings. Heads-down, face-in-phone, looking for that next hit of information.
I’m no saint, I myself still struggle with this. My wife lovingly reminds me to put away the phone at dinner and nudges me to put away the laptop if it’s too late at night. I’m slowly introducing new measures to give myself technology breaks during the day and at night (more on that in a coming newsletter).
As part of this quest to figure out proper balance I’ve begun researching teachers that lived in the present moment, looking for their sage advice.
Enter: Mr. Rogers. At first glance, it seems silly. I mean, he’s a children’s television show host (oddly enough, I didn’t watch his television show as a child). But I believe Mr. Rogers was one of the enlightened ones, a person that tapped into the present moment.
I recently stumbled across this video which was recorded in 1995 and 1997 (two Charlie Rose interviews with Fred Rogers, spliced together). It’s important to remember this was pre-mainstream internet, pre-iPhone!
Mr. Rogers (speaking about the importance of silence):
“I don’t think we give that gift anymore (the gift of silence). I’m very concerned that our society is much more interested in information than wonder. In noise, rather than silence…how do we encourage reflection? Oh my, this is a noisy world.”
“I get up every morning at least by 5AM. I have a couple hours of quiet time, reflect about what it is important.”
“What can we do, to encourage people to have more quiet in their lives, more silence? Real revelation comes through silence.”
I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did. If you have other wisdom you’d like to share, please respond to this email with links. Now, back to techmeme…
Mr Rogers and Charlie Rose (Video: 15:18)
New album from Tycho (released yesterday)
I’m a big fan of ambient rock. Not too distracting. Great background music for pretty much anything.
See you next month, be well.
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