SEARCH: First Look

First Look: Web Whiteboard

Web WhiteBoard Logo

Every day I’m amazed by the kinds of tools people create. Sometimes they’re small free projects, and other times, they’re just tools that solved a specific problem. Thankfully, like me, developers love giving them away for everyone to use.  Today I stumbled across a cool whiteboard tool that lets you collaborate with others for free[1].

First Look and Interview: Generate an Email Signature for Free

Email Signature Generator in Outlook 2010

Email Signatures are those small self-promoting snippets that you usually see at the end of an email message. They’re generally good for signalling who you are and providing details people might otherwise not know. Since you might be creating this by hand, you may not know it can be nicely generated by online tools such as in today’s First Look. Today I’m taking a look at Email Signature Generator and speaking to the author of the tool.

First Look: Foldio2 – A Kickstarter-Funded Pop-Up Studio


Foldio on Kickstarter

There’s always an excitement when something new arrives. The feeling like this is the first time anyone has ever seen a thing; Like I’m part of an exclusive club. That exclusive feeling gets even stronger when the product is Kickstarter funded Foldio2. After making an initial version and funding that on Kickstarter, makers Orangemonkie came back to successfully crowdfund the second iteration: Foldio2. Join me as I take a look at this new product and share my thoughts about its usefulness.

First Look: Microsoft’s Office 2016 Preview

Office16 Preview WebsiteToday, I noticed the public preview for Office 2016 is available on Microsoft’s site. The downloaded file is very small and goes out to download the rest of the application by way of “streaming” [1]. On a 25mbs Internet connection, I had the application installed in about 10 to 15 minutes. Given that a new version of Microsoft Office is a major milestone (and something everyone will a computer will eventually need to use), I thought I’d take a look at what’s new.

First Look: Upgrading the USB Cable With BelayCords

BelayCords Reversable USBBacking Kickstarter projects can be iffy at best. I learned that when backing the The FreedMan Chair in late October of 2013. Now 527 days later, the project has yet to materialize, though they are close. The benefit of backing smaller projects appears to be how much faster they can turn a pledge into a real product. This was the case with BelayCords; A USB cable replacement for the stock Apple cable (with support for others too). With a pledge date of September 9th, 2014, the BelayCords I ordered took 210 days to arrive.

First Look: Emojli – Chatting Only in Emoji Characters

Emojli - The emoji-only chat serviceCommunication is a challenge on the best of days, but what if we communicated only in small graphical characters? How would that change the way we talk to each other? A new service called Emojli opened up to invitees that only allows its users to talk with small graphical characters called emoji. These small characters are generally reserved for expressing a happy face, a kiss, or a pile of poop. Emojli is a chat service that forces us to talk in only these characters. Yes, really.

First Look: Google Domains

Google Domains Search BoxGoogle’s bread and butter is search and advertising. While that will likely not change for some time, Google seems to be looking for ways to converge some of its services into a kind of super offering. One such case is Google Domains; hosting, DNS, mail and registrar services all on Google’s infrastructure. For a cost. Here’s what the service currently offers and a first look at what you can expect from this invite-only offering.

First look: Blackberry Messenger On iOS

Blackberry Messenger LogoWith all that has kept Blackberry from releasing its Messenger tool (BBM) on the iOS and Android platforms, it might be no surprise to see the product scrapped. To get from an expected launch to an eventual install  it would take almost exactly a month. Blackberry has publicly blamed all this on a re-release version of the tool on Android, but little else is known. Now that I have BBM, I can share my thoughts on this new tool, and how this may affect the future of other related applications.

First Look: Bitmessage – Email for the Paranoid

Bitmessage LogoToday’s environment of heavy Internet surveillance has spawned all sorts of secure options, but one of the more difficult-to-secure services is email. We use it often, but the nature of centralized email servers is often too open for those that wish to keep conversations private. Even in cases where the email services appear secure, we’ve seen the central authorities shut down in the face of apparent government involvement. While the options are currently very thin, one that is gaining attention is Bitmessage. I’ll take look at this new messaging tool and what promises to be a new way of sending messages.

First Look: Fitbit Flex

FitBit Flex with its sensorThe allure of combining technology with the need to stay healthy and fit has kept engineers busy for decades. Over the years, I’ve seen very interesting products that purported to help us measure and gamify an active lifestyle. As technology has improved and sensors have become smaller and cheaper, we have all sorts of different things we can do. When I read more about the Fitbit Flex wristband, I knew this was something I had to try out. This or the Flex’s direct competitor, the Nike FuelBand.  Many questions lingered as I unboxed the product: Would it motivate me to be more active? Would it appear accurate? Would it measure things that were truly relevant? All this and more would be answered as I look at the Fitbit Flex.