Check out the Radmo car phone mount

Using your phone in the car is a dodgy proposal, you don’t want to talk or text, but many of us use it for our GPS device. This generally requires some sort of mounting system, keeping the screen always in front of you and preventing the need to pick it up or look down. The item most of us think of is the traditional windshield mount, but some states restrict these items.

A new type of mount called Radmo aims to change the way we display the smartphone in the car. The holder does require a CD player in the stereo, but that shouldn’t be a hurdle for most customers.

The makers promise “Radmo literally takes seconds to assemble with no need for any tools. It’s 100% adjustable for any phone size up to mini-tablets”.

The project is on Indiegogo, and has already far surpassed its intended goal, with still more than a month left. Quantities are limited, so you may wish to grab it now. The price is right at only $20.

GNC #981 Apple PR Nightmare Week

Your geek here had his hands full tonight folks. One of those shows where you wish you could call a mulligan.. Quite the mix of content tonight…

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Robot Underpants: 09.24.14 (171) “Bend It Like Apple”

Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, Eric Rice, and “Starman” Michael Gaines bring you this week’s hot topics, including: Apple “Bendgate”, new Blackberry, AppleTV, Terry Crews, Gotham and more!

 

*  Bendgate
* Blackberry Passport
* AppleTV Home?
* Terry Crews Waze
* Onesie Suit

Massdrop Raises $6.5 million

Massdrop LogoMassdrop have announced that it has raised $6.5 million in a Series A round of financing, led by Mayfield Fund. This new funding brings the company’s total funds raised to about $8 million, which includes existing investors Kleiner Perkins, First Round Capital and Cowboy Ventures. Massdrop will use the cash to fuel its rapid growth and deliver on its vision for a new wave of community-driven commerce.

If you haven’t come across Massdrop before, it’s a bit like a social version of GroupOn. Massdrop supports a range of communities from automotive to in-vogue vaping. A poll product category is put forward and enthusiasts suggest different models in the product category, before everyone votes on their preferred one. For example, there might be a poll for external battery packs with models from Anker, NewTrent, Mophie and Satechi put forward and then voted on. Once there are some top choices, Massdrop approach the vendor(s) to see if they would be interested in a bulk sale, potentially with a range of price points based on volume. If agreeable, the product is put on sale with the different points shown thermometer-style. Purchasers can either buy regardless of price point or else commit to buy when it reaches a particular point.

It’s a cool idea that seems guaranteed to get savings. There are some downsides, the main one being that you have to wait until you get your hands on the product. First, the purchasing window has to close, then the whole shipment is delivered to Massdrop who finally re-ship the individual items. Definitely not for goods you want in hurry, but where it scores is that you potentially get the best product in the class at a good price.

On this basis, it’s not hard to see why Massdrop could be big. It combines the benefits of a crowd-sourced product recommendation site with the power of group purchasing to reduce prices while keeping quality up. For vendors, it’s no longer a race to the bottom; there’s an incentive to make good products.

Further, unlike Kickstarter and Indiegogo, you’re buying a real, existing product and not gambling on the design and manufacture of an unknown product which takes months to deliver.

I think that the financiers have made a canny investment in Massdrop as there’s lots of potential here and I’ll be looking out for a bargain on the site too. What do you think?

Promoted Pins are Coming to Pinterest

Pinterest logoIt was only a matter of time. Pinterest is going to start adding Promoted Pins into their website. This idea has been floating around since May of this year but has not gone into effect across all of Pinterest yet. The Promoted Pins are intended to be “tasteful, transparent, relevant and improved based on your feedback”.

Pinterest is going to update their Privacy Policy on October 19, 2014. You can view what that update will include right now. These changes will only affect Pinterest users in the United States.

There are changes coming to how Pinterest uses the data it collects from Pinners. Most notably, they will start showing users ads that “you might be interested in”. Another change says: “Online advertisers typically use third party companies to audit the delivery and performance of their ads on websites and apps. We also allow these companies to collect this information on Pinterest”.

Would you like to opt-out of having Pinterest share your information with online advertisers? They suggest that you can do that by opting-out of Google Analytics by installing Google’s Browser Opt-Out Add-On. Or, you can change your account settings by shifting two boxes from “Yes” to “No”.

Opt Out of Promoted Pins

Pinterest notes a few things you should be aware of. The Promoted Pins can include “a pixel or similar technology” that can be used by companies to find out how well their Promoted Tweets are doing.

GNC #980 T-Minus 20

It’s not all mobile news today. A great mix of tech, science and even a little Pink Floyd. Enjoy the podcast! A big than you to all our new GNC 1000 Supporters. Support the upcoming National Podcast Day. Note: I am looking for a couple of additional writers here at Geek News Central reach out by email if your are interested.

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Creators Must Complete Their Kickstarter Projects

Kickstarter logoKickstarter has updated its terms of use to emphasize that those who use Kickstarter to fund their project must actually, you know, complete the project. Creators are also expected to fulfill each reward. It is only after a creator has done so that they’ve satisfied their obligation to their backers. Of course, this is referring to projects that have been fully funded by backers (not the ones that didn’t raise enough to get fully funded).

A key point is that the creator of a project has a legal obligation to the people who back the project on Kickstarter. Unsatisfied backers can potentially take legal action against a creator who raised funds but never produced the product. This isn’t new, it is simply being pointed out in an extremely clear way.

The new terms of use clarify the obligations that creators have to their backers. If a creator of a fully funded project fails to complete the project and fulfill rewards, they are required to “make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers”.

They are also going to be held accountable in other ways. Creators who are unable to complete their project must post an update that explains what work has been completed, how the funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned. Other requirements include being able to demonstrate that they used the funds appropriately and that they made every reasonable effort to complete the project on time. This would be helpful in situations where a person had something tragic and unexpected happen that prevented them from finishing the project.

It also sounds to me like an attempt to ward off scammers. One cannot simply create a Kickstarter account, and then abscond with the money after the project is fully funded, without producing the product. I believe these new terms of use are a push for honesty and transparency from the people who use Kickstarter to fundraise a project that they are hoping to create.

Leuchtturm1917 v Moleskine Notebooks

For all today’s gadgets, there’s a great deal still to be said for pen and paper. It’s cheap, reliable and you don’t need to worry about the battery life. Setting those practicalities aside, I find great pleasure in a beautiful notebook and a fine fountain pen, though my handwriting still leaves much to be desired. I’m not a alone in this pleasure with a resurgence in paper notebooks and the legendary Moleskine has pushed to the fore. Is it the best? Here we have two lined notebooks, one from Leuchtturm1917  and the other from Moleskine – let’s take a look and find out.

Leuchtturm1917 and Moleskine Notebooks

Both Moleskine and Leuchtturm draw on their heritage. Moleskine’s dates back into the early 20th Century name-checking Picasso, van Gogh and Hemingway. Although originally French, it died out in the 1980s, only to be resurrected in the late 90s by an Italian publisher. On the other hand, Leuchtturm goes back to 1917 (hence Leuchtturm1917) with roots in Hamburg, Germany and a reputation for stamp collecting albums, which continues today. These stories are laid out by both companies in small cream folded inserts that accompany each book. The message is clear; you aren’t buying only a notebook, you are continuing the traditions of culture, history and travel.

Physically both notebooks are very similar but there are subtle and useful differences. I’d call them medium or A5-sized notebooks though strictly the Moleskine isn’t wide enough for A5. Both are 21 cm tall with hardcovers but the Moleskine is only 13 cm compared with the the Leuchtturm‘s 14.5 cm. Each has an elastic enclosure band, page marker and an expandable pocket inside the back cover. They also come in wide range of colours and pair well with 7″ tablets, such as the Nexus 7.

Leuchtturm1917 Moleskine

Opening the notebooks shows that both have lined pages with the same line spacing, but with the Moleskine, that’s about it. Although both have an Owner page at the front, the Leuchtturm goes further with three Contents pages and each page is numbered for easy reference. In addition, there are eight perforated pages towards the back that can be removed, along with some stickers to assist with archiving once the notebook is full. The Leuchtturm1917 is for those who want to be organised! “Datum / Date” is printed at the top of each page too, which may put people off but suits me fine.

Ink BleedBoth notebooks have lovely paper which is a joy to write on with pencil and ballpoint. However, the Moleskine has a problem with pen ink bleeding from one side to the other, particularly with black ink, which makes the Leuchtturm a better choice for fountain pen writers.

Overall, both the Moleskine and the Leuchtturm are stylish notebooks with a great feel both in the hand and under the pen. For me as a fountain pen owner, the Leuchtterm wins out by default, but the contents pages and page numbering make it my choice for those reasons too. Pencil owners and people looking for something a little neater may prefer the Moleskine. Whichever you choose, you’ll never go back.

Available from all good stationery retailers, the Leuchtturm1917 retails for around GB£13 with the Moleskine for a few pounds less.

GNC #979 Apple Locks out the Law

In what can only be described as a bold move, Apple has locked out law enforcement from being able to access data on any device running iOS 8. I have to give them kudos for doing this as I think it has taken the legal folks by surprise. It was a decisive move to bring some sanity back to privacy and our lives. I also discuss selling Podcast Awards and what that means to this audience.

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Robot Underpants: 09.17.14 (170) “You Too?”

Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, Eric Rice and “Starman” Michael Gaines discuss this week’s hot topics including: iOS8, Minecraft, U2, Podcast trolls, and more!

* Groot Texts
* Liam and Bono Movie
* Dan Akroyd’s Next Ghostbusters Plan
* Tiny Radio
* “Vacation” Movie News
* Back to the Future Shoes for $99
*Tronify Thread