Items of Interest #6

It has been a pretty busy past couple of weeks but I still have lots to share. Let’s get to it…

Writing and collaborative editing site Editorially is now open to the general public. I was invited to join up quite some time ago but have not had the chance to really play with it as I have been actively and happily using Draft for another project. That said, I’m really impressed by what I saw and especially impressed that Mandy Brown (the CEO) reached out to me personally to ask why I had signed up but not yet used it. That. my friends, is the sign of a product you should support. So, go check it out.

I had the chance to handle and briefly play with a ZTE Open Firefox OS Phone that a friend of mine purchased, carrier unlocked, for around $100.00 on eBay. Seemed like a nice enough little unit. I liked the build quality (think low end but sturdy Android phone), the hand-feel, and size (smaller than an iPhone but comfortable rounded shape). The Firefox OS has the advantage of being truly open instead of Android “open” which would make this a nice little Freedom Phone (carrier free, free as in open, free as in non-three letter agency compromised, etc.). That said, the OS itself was a bit clunky and laggy, the software keyboard almost painful to use, and the third-party apps are all webapps which all seemed to take a bit too long to launch. As my friend said, “If someone were to tell me that this were an unfinished prototype the original iPhone was based on about 6 months before it’s release, I’d believe it.”

While we are on the subject of smartphones and speed, if you really want to have a fast note taking option for your iPhone just get some of these Paperback Notes. Sticky notes that attach to the back. Way faster than launching Notes.app. Not nearly as elegant as DODOcase Notes but sometimes speed trumps beauty.

I really enjoyed the latest (and final?) installment of Put This On which was filmed in Milan. This episode discusses what happens when long storied artisan shops become multi-national brands and what is lost in the process. A whole lot of intersections here with the idea of Final Choices and choosing high quality and longevity over fast disposable fashion.

The Epic Privacy Browser is based on Google Chrome. Unlike Google Chrome it is designed to provide privacy from advertisers and others that wish to track and collect your online behavior. It has always-on Private Browsing, blocks trackers and third-party cookies, routes searches through a secure proxy, uses https whenever the option is available, and Epic clears all of your browsing data on close. It wont protect you from the everything but it will provide a measure more privacy that your current browser likely does not.

I recently went shopping (in that modern, online, sense) for a nice leather cover that would hold a Field Notes notebook, a few index cards, and some other essentials (business cards, stamps, etc.). After looking at many options I first settled on The E2 Field Gear Leather Pocket Notebook Cover because it looked good and the price, at $30.00, was pretty good. When I received it I was happy enough. Nice quality, seemed solid, and was up to the task. That said, with one side being a slash pocket the index cards and other items were less secure inside. Then, just a couple of weeks later I saw the Hellbrand Leatherworks — Chromexcel Field Notes cover for sale on Huckleberry for a decent price so I snatched it up. Turns out, with the full pocket on the opposite side from the notebook, it was better for my needs. So, now I have the first one I bought (the E2 Field Gear model) available for sale. I’ll let it go for $25.00 and will include the shipping in that to anywhere in the US. Please shoot me an email if interested.

That’s all for now. Over and out.

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