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10 Most Influential Gadgets in 2014

10 Most Influential Gadgets in 2014

I’m pretty much the geekiest person I know, and as such I usually keep track of some of the more unusual and/or useful gadgets being released at any given moment. For the most part I stick to technology related stuff, but I’ve been known to branch out a bit as well. Below you’ll find a list of things I feel are cool, unique, useful, and fun to use. Just remember: these aren’t in any particular order, it would have been much too difficult to actually rank them in any fashion!

10. Aeropress

MIG2014#1

    Imagine if you could take a Keurig machine, fuse it with a french press, and then shrink it down to about the size of the average male fist. That, my friends, would give you the Aeropress. It’s one of those things where you see it and go, “huh, why didn’t I think of that?” It makes it easy to get the one or two cups of coffee you need in the morning without forcing you to waste plastic k-cups or complicate things with a larger drip maker or french press.

    9. iPad Air 2

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    MIG2014#2

      Perhaps this isn’t the most original thing to put on a list like this, but there’s no denying how influential Apple’s line of tablets is. Though it probably isn’t worth it to upgrade to this if you have an Air, anything older than that will be crushed by the Air 2. It’s also a nice preview of the kind of performance you’ll see with the iPhone 6S, as it uses a triple core processor that’s likely to be used in Apple’s next smartphone…

      8. Waterpebble

      MIG2014#3

        Have you ever asked yourself, “boy, I take too long in the shower, what can I do to save some precious water!” I’m here to save the day with the Waterpebble, a handy little device that will let you know when you’ve been in the shower too long by flashing angry lights at you. Just set it to however long you want to be in the shower, and it will let you know if you’ve gone overboard.

        7. Mophie Space Pack

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        MIG2014#4

          For some reason Apple has chosen to make their phones comically thin instead of giving them the big batteries they deserve. Well, luckily for you Mophie is here to bring you the multi-day battery life you desire. It’s a case, and an extra battery, all in one! What more can you ask for? I’ve used one and can answer that question: not much.

          6. Oculus Rift

          MIG2014#5

            Virtual reality is here! Well, almost. Based on how quickly the software development for these little electronic visors is coming along, we should be seeing some cool virtual-reality related stuff within the next few years. I haven’t used one of these things yet, but I have seen some of the kinds of software they run. Though it’s not quite on the level of The Matrix yet, we’re well on our way.

            5. Misfit Shine

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            MIG2014#6

              I almost bought one of these when I was running every day, and for good reason. They’re a stylish and unobtrusive way of gauging how active you are on a daily basis. It basically looks like a watch, with little lights encircling it. The lights blink on depending on whether or not you reach your activity quota for the day, and its settings can be controlled by your smartphone. Nifty.

              4. Apple Watch

              MIG2014#7

                I’d be remiss not to include one of the bigger item announcements of 2014. It’s basically an iPhone for your wrist. I’m not sure if they’ll catch on, but I have no doubt that some of the cool kids will adopt them the day they’re released.

                3. Nest Learning Thermostat

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                MIG2014#8

                  Control the temperature of your home from the comfort and familiarity of your smartphone’s screen. Supposedly this will help you cut down on your heating/electric bill, since I guess most people are too lazy to get up and manually adjust their thermostat (not being sarcastic, I’ve seen it happen; it’s basically human nature). I’m not sure if it works with air conditioning systems too, but I’d imagine it does. From what I’ve read you’ll probably be able to connect it to the internet in the future and have it adjust automatically based on the weather outside, which is pretty cool.

                  2. Pillow Talk

                  MIG2014#9

                    Are you in a long distance relationship? Well, luckily for you you’ll soon be able to spice things up just a bit through the use of a new product dubbed “Pillow Talk.” It’s simple enough: you and your significant other wear a ring (or it might be a band, I read conflicting reports) that monitors your heartbeat. When your heart beats, your girlfriend or boyfriend’s pillow pulses with a soft glow. It’s almost like they’re right there with you! I’m not sure if this will work too well for light sleepers (the constant glow might become annoying), but I’d give it a try at least.

                    1. iPhone 6

                    MIG2014#10

                      Wouldn’t be much of a gadget list if it didn’t include an iPhone! I know what you’re thinking…there’s three Apple products on this list. Trust me, I’m no Apple fanatic, it’s just that compared to the competition they’re usually the most influential products in their category. Once again, the iPhone has taken the globe by storm, and it’s doubtful that any gadget will ever exert as much sheer influence as this thing does (at least for the foreseeable future). Do you own one of the more eclectic items on this list? Share your experiences with it in the comment section below!

                      Featured photo credit: Anna Bashmakova and Oculus Rift/ Sergey Galyonkin via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on May 14, 2019

                      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                      Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

                      1. Zoho Notebook
                        If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
                      2. Evernote
                        The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
                      3. Net Notes
                        If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
                      4. i-Lighter
                        You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
                      5. Clipmarks
                        For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
                      6. UberNote
                        If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
                      7. iLeonardo
                        iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
                      8. Zotero
                        Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

                      I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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                      In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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