TVs really are like artwork in the house these days ~ when it takes up so much visual real estate in a room, bar, etc, you really can’t leave it off as a big black screen of nothingness! So the big question is, what do you leave on? And with so many apps and channels and dvd collections and everything these days, i’ve been bouncing the idea around with friends about what we’d possibly leave on in the background streaming while people were over and not actually focused on the TV… which things look pretty and interesting enough to glance at now and then… things you don’t necessarily need to be full engrossed in to have moments of enjoyment from… and yet, you could also plop down on the couch and lose yourself in them if that bored and trying to survive the holidays? So, we’ve pulled together a rather random smattering of films and shows that came up, as well as some apps that help you get the job done too! Check out our list on the next page!
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Gift Guide time! In addition to the NOTCOT Holiday Coupons and the many Holiday Giveaways that will be unfolding daily… this one is focused on PHOTOGRAPHY! as sponsored by Starbucks who is celebrating their 12 Days of Sharing with us, hiding fun goodies, which are popping out from behind NOTCOT.org posts! So, if you’re ready to see my Photography focused gift guide picks ~ check out the next page!
This sponsored post is brought to you by Samsung Electronics America - content is mine, and they are enabling me to do my thing! The amount and types of Apps available on Samsung Smart TVs vary depending on TV Technology and Model. Make sure to check www.samsung.com/apps to see a complete list of apps available on Samsung Smart TVs and which apps are available on specific models. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Samsung Electronics or its partners.
So i’m currently at Gramercy Park Hotel - actually just popped down 14 floors to their gym you see in the pic up there! Working out on the go is a challenge ~ and i’ve been ending up in a lot of conversations lately on how technology has helped/evolved the way we work out and find regularity in our schedules, especially while on the go ~ as well as many discussions about how apps and the internet on our TVs are changing our interactions in the living room. Combine the two, and when posed with a chance to explore the new Samsung TV Apps, it seemed only natural to see what’s available these days that can change the way we exercise. From literally using fitness apps, to streaming workout videos/dvds on youtube and netflix ~ from blasting pandora tunes to skypeing a trainer or a friend to work out with from just about ANYWHERE… take a peek at what i found!
This post is the first of three gift guides sponsored by Xfinity. Focused on themes of gifts and gadgets that help us push the boundaries of how and where we watch TV! As usual ~ content is all me, and they’re sponsoring me to do it! And for the official bit: “This post brought to you by Xfinity from Comcast. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Comcast or its partners.”
Partial Operation Window Seat post ~ that view is from today’s flight from LAX-JFK ~ as i worked all 5 hours on my Mac Book Air ~ even streaming TV shows in the background since this flight had no mini entertainment screen all of my own! It’s pretty amazing how a 5 hour flight felt more like a 1 hour flight when i had internet the whole way to work/chat my way through it! I guess we are pretty spoiled these days with the ability to get entertainment of all kinds in so many different ways! But it’s situations like this that inspired this gift guide which is filled with products that change and accessorize the way we interact and consume TV when outside of the living room… like while traveling! Take a peek at all my picks on the next page!
Blackbox Case has just launched! Beautiful wooden Macbook Pro cases hand made in Colorado and just sent over an awesome email with some great pics! Weighing in at a mere 1.5 pounds, its pretty light, AND apparently hard to crush… but most intriguing of all are the stunning details you have to see up close on the next page! Each is hand numbered, comes with a typographically stunning card welcoming you to their family by their Chief Dreamer! Each case is hand oiled with high end Tung oil finish that takes four days to complete. “It just feels velvety smooth.” Each case is precision cut, hand sanded, hand rubbed, and personally inspected throughout the crafting process. “Your case starts as two pieces of hardwood that are milled on our CNC machine. This means that your computer will fit in your case perfectly. Not tight. Not loose. Just right every time.” Stunning, right? Sadly only available for macbook pros right now, i could really use one for my air!
Here’s an excerpt from the email i received:
Why the name Blackbox?
~Because I am a flight instructor in my spare time and it will keep your computer safe like the infamous blackbox in an airplane.
Who the heck are you? Do you really make these?
~Yep. We’re serious. We have engineers, woodworkers, and artists handcrafting these full-time. We’re making these with love in Golden, Colorado.
What’s with the branding-iron-logo?
~I’m from a small cow town in Eastern Colorado, so I thought it was fitting. That and it just looks sexy.
Can it really survive being dropped from an airplane 20,000 ft. in the air?
~I’m pretty sure it couldn’t but I can’t wait to try.
What computers does it fit?
~It is designed to fit a 15 in. and 13 in. MacBook Pro. You could try shaving the sides off that old PC laptop, but I don’t think that’s gonna work.
Take a peek at more details of the new Blackbox Case on the next page!
P.S. Use code “givethanks” will get $20 off at Blackbox Case.
It’s 3:30am, so please forgive the random nature of the images for this post, but wanted to give you a peek from tonight’s launch before i went to bed… Here’s a look at the new Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG in addition to the new Ducati Diavel ~ and during the press event, Gabriele del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati came on stage together with Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG, they announced their new partnership to be working closely together! From AMG becoming one of the Moto GP team sponsors to starting to include Ducati bikes at AMG events and vice versa. It was interesting to see both machines in matte finishes, the CLS 63 in a matte grey, and the Diavel in a matte black/matte carbon fiber… both having such strong lines, the curves definitely stood out well in the lighting…
Ok, seriously, have to get some sleep before ending up at the press conferences in four or five hours, so sweet dreams, and there are lots of random picture details to feast upon on the next page!
Last in my series of posts about my adventures with smart TVs ~ sponsored by the fun folks at Intel’s smart TVs! As usual ~ content and pics and all that fun is all me and they are supporting me to do it!
So what ELSE can you do with a smart TV? Apparently be watched. Watch people. (and no, not the vid chat type we talked about before.) That sort of thing. Ok, so maybe it’s not THAT creepy, though i suppose it kind of is in the example i’ll show you! But really, what we’re talking about here are security cameras! Logitech’s in particular! Indoor, outdoor, night vision security cameras! I was amazed that visit to the Logitech Loft in LA ~ you could peek and see in to the kitchen and balcony of the Logitech Loft in SF! And vice versa! And all through the Google TV ~ with the Logitech Alert app. But ok realistically, this isn’t awesome just for co-loft-shenanigans… think about it as a home security system that you can check WHILE watching TV (or internetting, or whatever else you’re probably doing with your TV in the center of your home). There’s a beauty to not NEEDING the computer or external screens to check in on your security cameras ~ be it for the backyard, front door, or vacation home… why not just use the screens you have, including the TV? And while you’re watching TV you can even picture in picture it… so take a peek on the next page of the Logitech Alert system i saw in action on Google TV!
Lelo INSIGNIA ~ the Swedish brand’s latest line of luxurious pleasure objects launched this week, marked with the triple loop infinity symbol! Taking the pleasure out of the bedroom, they even include a beautiful INSIGNIA Brooch in each gift box, which can easily be worn in plain view, as if part of a secret society, where anyone who responds or reacts to it, you’ll know they too… love… pleasure… and beautiful objects? The symbol also houses the three buttons on each of the objects in the collection (Alia, Isla, and Soraya) and each has a void through the shiny metallic core that you can slip your fingers through to easily grasp them. All are waterproof, powerful, and discreetly quiet, and come in a gift box that looks topographically inspired when the object is removed. See a close up of the design details as i unbox the Soraya on the next page, as well as a peek at the Alia and Isla.
Ok ~ still waiting for files to transfer, so currently tethered to my desktop while the macbook air and macbook pro do their thing beside me… one is so tiny, the other now seems SO HUGE. So how about taking a peek at the actual Macbook Air unboxing? It’s lovely how streamlined the packaging is getting these days ~ this one could probably be slipped right into a shirt box! Also its ridiculous seeing the ipad stacked over 11” macbook air over the 15” macbook pro… honestly the iPad looks like its losing this war. Especially if the air can handle photoshop at least decently (my previous netbooks never quite managed this well enough to become a primary travel machine). And shaving a few pounds of my hand carry is something my back would LOVE. Also it opens up a whole new world of purse/carry on options… also lovely that the TSA is saying ok to not having to remove the 11” Air to go through security! I can’t even remember the last time i had the luxury of only having to remove my shoes and toiletries! As for why i had to try one out for myself ~ opening up a bunch of safari windows and loading up as many tabs as i could find for each simultaneously working wonderfully in the apple store convinced me… Keep in mind: air = .67 x 11.8 x 7.56 = 2.3 lbs vs ipad = .5 x 9.56 x 7.47 = 1.6 lbs oh and the mac book pro is just so much heavier and bigger, it’s no comparison. SO! Ready to see inside the box? And the size comparisons? To the next page!
Far too much excitement today ~ there’s the NotVentures launch for starters! Then Mr. FedEx showed up with a Mac Book Air 11”! And while i giddily have to sit back and wait for it to take over my MBP for a few hours parasitically sucking data ~ i’m way too amused by the adorableness of the USB restore key… and the packaging of it! Have you see this thing up close? Held it? It’s kind of awesome. And reminds you how silly it is that other USB keys are any bigger… you can see it above next to my SD/USB cards i always have in my wallet/cameras/etc. There’s really little need for it to be any bigger, other than to make a toy out of it or something? Though i suppose it’s cute they evened out all 4 contacts ~ instead of the rocker fist of my SD/USB one… Anyhow! Before showing you a proper unbox, i found myself taking too many pics of the key… so here’s an unbox of that! See the many pics on the next page…
Second in my series of posts about my adventures with smart TVs ~ sponsored by the fun folks at Intel’s smart TVs! As usual ~ content and pics and all that fun is all me and they are supporting me to do it!
Since the Logitech Revue unbox post - the question i’ve been getting non stop since i’ve started playing with the Logitech Revue GoogleTV is ~ “Really? How are you using it?” ~ and then i have to tell some silly story as if walking someone through how i watch tv… and how surprised i am to have found the Google TV integrating itself so easily in my day to day life. Unlike the way my Wii and PS3 never did… or the way an Apple TV/Roku/Boxee never did… Even with the limited number of apps on the Google TV platform, i’m surprised how much i’ve used it since plugging it in. The key? Perhaps HOW it fits into my media center ecosystem. I have a tendency to leave the TV on in the background when home, leave the DVR doing its thing collecting shows up while i travel/etc… and Slinboxing shows when i have downtime abroad and have a homesick moment… The key difference seems to be… it sticks itself right in between my DirecTV box and my TV… sure, i can play with the internet on my Wii and PS3 and such as well, but i have to switch sources, and boot them up… this just stays on, and is already connected when watching TV… so the transition is seamless to multitask while doing what i was already doing. SO since i got sick of trying to explain it ~ i’ve tried to make sense of it for you on the next page all in pictures! It’ll make more sense when you head there!
Dyson DC-26 Multi floor It’s the tiny vacuum… the one you’ve seen the ads for that fits on an A4 piece of paper! All the sucking power of a full sized… in a mini! Well, the rolling part that you drag along the floor anyhow. First impressions? AWESOME! and SO CUTE! It really does feel a bit like the chihuahua of vacuums though ~ especially as i pull it along while vacuuming… it’s just that tiny! And half the time while using it, i found myself just picking it up in one hand, while i was vacuuming and holding the extension/handle with my other! At those moments, i wish it had backpack straps, so i could just vacuum like a Ghostbuster. (Really, it’s that awesome and i’m that tempted to just put some straps on it!) There are also amazing faces that pop out of this vacuum while i was taking pics… doesn’t it look slightly evil up there? Very Marvin the Martian or Clamps from Futurama… On fun details to note ~ it has anti-static carbon fiber brushes! And like the other Dyson vacs, it has fully articulating heads, so you can easily slip it under the bed, desk, etc when cleaning, but it weighs in at a mere 12 pounds. Take a peek on the next page for a full unboxing ~ as well as a comparison of it to the dustbusting handheld DC-31!
Hard Graft’s Phone Fold Wallet in Grey is so lustworthy… for those moments when you can’t grab a full purse/wallet, and only need to run out the door with your phone, cash, and a few cards (key’s will have to be figured out separately!) ~ how cute is this nice grey version of the Hard Graft fold wallet (originally in brown). So tempting. I love the attention to detail: Metal snap keeps wallet closed (snap is not exposed to phone) and the headphone jack even has access! And it can fit your iPhone 4 with bumpers, albeit a bit more snugly… perfect to grab and toss into a clutch for a night out… see more pics on the next page!
First in my series of posts about my adventures with smart TVs ~ sponsored by the fun folks at Intel’s smart TVs! As usual ~ content and pics and all that fun is all me and they are supporting me to do it!
Google TV unboxing time! …with the Logitech Revue that literally disappears into my media center! As you saw earlier, amazon managed to get the Logitech TV Cam to me before the box itself, so you’ve already seen that unboxed. The Logitech Revue showed up the day after, so here’s the unbox/setup and first impressions… in usual Logitech fashion, the hardware is sleek, simple and feels great. So check out the unbox on the next page ~ as well as a peek at KidRobot’s new Simpson’s Mini Series 2…
First impression. Wow. I mean, i’ve heard ABOUT the Ultimate Ears Customs for some time now, but being custom, no one elses will ever really fit you perfectly… so you can’t know how incredible they can sound, until you try your own. And wow. They sound and feel amazing! Freshly arrived today are a set of Ultimate Ears 18 Pro Custom In-Ear Monitors, which i got molded for back at NAMM (but was bad and had trouble deciding colors/prints/etc ~ as you can see, i went with the smoke!) From the goo they stuck in my ears, out came these perfect fitting molds hand made right here in socal! I’ve never loved the feel of ear plugs or headphones very much, but i barely notice these after wearing them for a while… and they sound incredible. While i can’t exactly SHOW you how they sound, i can show you the thoughtful packaging and what you receive when your customs arrive… take a peek at the unbox on the next page!
This post is a sponsored series that takes a fun peek at the gorgeous details of modern life. The irresistible design details that enhance our lives… Gillette is the sponsor (Thanks, Gillette!)… but, as always, the post and ideas are 100% NOTCOT!
When we look at retro modern scenes ~ the future as imagined back in the 60s ~ the jetson’s styled stuff… i keep wondering where our gorgeous image of the future we’ll look back on in 50 years is, and will still wish we had (if we don’t already have it by then!)… then i saw this EVO-mobil design by Ora-Ito for Citroën… or even more impressive, i was won over by the photoshoot of it with actress Mylène Jampanoï for the stunningly artistic automotive mag, Intersection… and i wish i lived in that reality! Its so beautiful! “After more than 3 years of collaboration with Citroën on the development of architectural projects, Ora-ïto turned to the manufacturer to develop his first artistic project. The iconoclastic artist wasn’t dreaming about another concept car but a genetic transformation. An unusual creation reuniting more than 400 years of history, a reflection on the evolution of the mobility and the legendary know-how of Citroën. On the edge of the hypothesis and the contemporary art, this hybrid object is based on the fulfillment of child’s dream with an obvious commitment for the ecology. ” See more images of the beautiful futuristic concept shot in front of the architectural work designed by Oscar Niemeyer ~ as well as the making of video on the next page!
Don’t laugh. But on unexpected product reviews of sorts ~ while running around The Macallan estate and distillery, one of the most coveted tools we ran into was this Swiss made Socorex Pistol Grip Syringe… for everything from pulling samples when mixing our own whisky to using it to squirt just the perfect 10ml of water to dilute our drinks… and it’s SO fun… and as you can see, i had a bit too much fun taking pics of it in the dark while we were watching the trippiest animated/stop motion Macallan video from the 90’s (watch the insanity of ”Journey to the Center of the Malt” here on facebook). But, back to the syringes, they are awesome! The spring pulls back for you to load it up perfectly. It would make for some really fun, precise water wars… but imagine how fun they would be as a conversation piece on your bar when it comes time to dilute your scotch every so perfectly? See the pics on the next page!
Stunning!!! “Iconic British brand MINI unveils its MINI Scooter E Concept today in London. This new design study represents the MINI design team’s unparalleled expertise in recognising the challenges for mobility in major urban areas, and meeting these challenges with the development of stylish, innovative and sustainable future-focused vehicle concepts.” So pretty, it’s amazing to see where they hide the power cord ~ how you start it up ~ all the design details and more! You must check out the pics and video on the next page!
The more you travel, the more precise your packing strategies become. I have mine down nearly to a science ~ there’s a formula for tech, for toiletries, for shoes, for clothes… and which bags come with, and what expansion options are when unexpected shopping occurs… with all that precision ~ even taking in to account the order of packing based on getting through airport security with more ease, or having dslr handy during window seat flights… is all accounted for. So i’m incredibly excited that photographer, Ari Marcopoulos, got to make his DREAM photography bag with Incase, and they are nice enough to let the rest of us in on it too… especially since his demands include things like not only carrying a dslr and 2 lenses, but also a little digicam, iphone, ipad, moleskine, chargers and batteries… and how do all photography bags not have some secret panel of white balancing swatches printed on the outside? Genius! And i must admit, i love the idea of the rain fly, but the graphic freaks me out a little… however, the heavy-duty canvas already has a water repellent coating, so maybe that will keep you covered for most situations. Honestly, i’m totally dreaming about my perfect carryon and camera bag/purse right now, versatile enough to go from a safari to a cocktail party… and itcould have super fun little customized zipper details… but for now, lets lust after the Incase Ari Marcopoulos Camera Bag ~ lots of details, including the gorgeous box, on the next page!
I never thought sanrio would end up on NOTCOT ~ but when i saw the latest designs in the Sanrio x Mimobot collaborations for Sanrio’s 50th Anniversary, i LOL’d and couldn’t resist. Badtz-Maru make me think of… yea… a long time ago, and he was always my favorite, who can resist a disgruntled black bird?!?! And Hangyodon is just crazy… So check out these final characters in the 6 Sanrio x Mimobot collection on the next page!
This post is a sponsored series that takes a fun peek at the gorgeous details of modern life. The irresistible design details that enhance our lives… Gillette is the sponsor… but, as always, the post and ideas are 100% NOTCOT.
Dyson Pedestal Fan (Air Multiplier) ~ Freshly arrived from the land of Dyson ~ my first impression ~ AMAZING. While the first of the line was the desk fan (remember how awesome the launch was?), the pedestal is my favorite right now! Far quieter than the desk fan on low modes, but it feels like quite a bit more air circulating. But the best part? The design details you have to play with in person! The curved remote ~ that magnetically attaches to the top of the fan! The robotic feeling hinge to til the fan ring…. and to adjust the height? Simply lift! Or push down! And of course it swivels too… (Side note: Ok, don’t laugh, but i’ve named mine Watson. Every time see it, it makes me think of a magnifying glass, which makes me think of Sherlock Holmes, and somehow that lead me to Watson. It’s just what pops into my head when i see it!) Also, it’s so sculptural yet minimalist, it blends into a room, while still being a bizarrely intriguing object to everyone that has come by! Also, with both fans, anytime someone comes over and either is on… they still stand in front of it mesmerized and stick their hand inside it… have you tried it? You only feel the air coming out from the edges of the ring! Anyhow, go check out pics of the fun details up close on the next page!
So excited for our friends over at Hulger and their launch of Plumen! Back in the winter of 2007 they initially launched the concept of Plumen ~ designer energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs… and 3 years later, they are now in production! And ready for order! Sadly, they only work in the UK at the moment… “It’s strange that the bulb, an object so synonymous with ideas, is almost entirely absent of imagination.” ~ and for a few fun facts: “The name Plumen comes from ‘plume’ - a bird’s decorative feather, designed to attract attention to its’ prowess and beauty. We believe our designs do the same for the neglected low energy light bulb. The first Plumen concept design joined the very prestigious permanent collection at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York, while the second was featured at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. The Plumen 001 design was developed in collaboration with designer Sam Wilkinson.”
Best part of it becoming a real product? They’ve shared lots of pics of them in USE! … as photographed by Tom Mannion ~ so take a peek at the pics on the next page!
On fun new toys this long weekend ~ playing with the Pentax Optio W90 as a life-proofed backup camera to my big dslr. It’s cold proof to 14 degrees, showckproof to 4 ft, mud+sand+dustproof, waterproof to 20 ft, and heat tolerant to 104 degrees! Basically meaning it’s hopefully kidproof, adventureproof, cookingproof, poolproof, petproof, and more! And it even has a “microscope mode” which is basically a super close macro mode… so you can shoot from 1cm away from the lens. It can also shoot 720p HD video! (But no zooming while shooting, thought you can zoom before you start shooting) Hard to believe this is Pentax’s 11th generation of these everything-proofed cameras ~ i had one of the 2nd gen models back in the day ~ perfect for fishing/shallow water adventures! Honestly, i can’t wait to try this one out as my primary kitchen camera i dont have to worry about when getting messy! Perfect for my latest food project (Eep! Shhhh, more to come on that SOON!) Take a peek at closeups on the next page ~ as well as a few test photos of the super macro microscope mode, experiments in the shower, and some video tests at LAX while i was waiting to pick someone up…
p.s. It’s pretty cheap on Amazon relative to list price! I impulse bought it friday, and had it show up saturday!
p.p.s. i wish the design could be sleeker ~ and that i could peel off all the text on the front ~ but the rugged grippiness is awesome.
Still in moving chaos mode over here ~ but here’s a quick impulse buy i’m adoring from yesterday! Situation: peer pressure of a good deal with new Directv package… got a second receiver BEFORE second tv… thought it might be a good one to have dedicated to the Slingbox? But as i was itching to test it out, AND for some reason my ancient apple monitor (the pretty silver one!) broke (hoping it’s the adapter, haven’t confirmed yet)… while picking up an 8-port switch, fell for this gorgeous 23” SUPER thin Samsung PX2370 LED monitor ~ basically the monitor version of the TV i adore. And it’s SO thin and pretty with the clear edge… simple thin clearish black base… and LOVE that it has hdmi inputs as well as a headphone jack audio out! So its perfect as a second TV as well as a monitor for backup mac mini in the guest room! The details in the design are just so thoughtful and clean, had to take pics to share ~ take a peek on the next page!
p.s. just noticed i’m actually running Samsung LED ads! So maybe the ads worked. But the monitor is also the prettiest/awesomest option i ran into… so maybe both? awesome ads and awesome product?
After spending much of the day packing, moving, unpacking boxes ~ and spending quite a bit of time deciding what goes where… i’m loving the Wallee for subtle wall mounting of iPads, where you can easily hang it vertically and horizontally… and comes off easily to use it in hand too! Perfect for the kitchen!!! Or as they show it on their site and their blog - in bathrooms, by the phone, inside an old record player…. see more pics on the next page!
p.s. now if only they would release the Slingbox iPad app ~ it can nicely double for the kitchen TV?