BusyContacts Comes to the Rescue

One of the most infamous applications on the Mac is Contacts (formerly known as Address Book). Some power users find it stifling, while the everyday users just find it clunky. I have found myself between these two extremes, ultimately disappointed that an app like Cobook, which it all right I guess, feels better that Address Book when it really isn’t.

Contacts is basically the same today as it was in 2004. I’ve used Macs a long time, and for what its worth, it’s one of those apps that feels almost like a relic. Just a few apps feel like they belong to an almost outdated workflow—the way your Uncle Gary used his state-of-the-art computing device right after Y2K was considered behind us.

CoBook is powerful and easier to use than Address Book, but it still has a sharp learning curve. It’s so unique in the interface that its alien to the general user experience of Macs. It feels like an app from a long-lost alternate dimension’s version of Window’s Metro.

Well, we’re all in luck, because the busy developers at BusyMac, the same folks that make the powerful calendar tools named BusyCal, are developing what they are calling BusyContacts (I suppose they didn’t shorten the app’s name for the obvious reason). BusyContacts seems promising, offering sync over iCloud and the others that most people like to sync through. It sports a Mac-like user interface, and it comes with enough reliability and features to make The Mac Power Users proud, I’m sure.

It’s not very often I feel like noting an upcoming app release—one I’ve not field-tested—but seeing as how this is one app that millions of users have been waiting for (though they didn’t necessarily assume BusyMac would make it), I felt like it would be good to note that I support BusyMac’s effort to meet this ever-growing need.

This could spawn a new app era, where contacts apps start popping up at every corner of the app stores, much the way email clients have in the last few years.

If you’re not interested in waiting for BusyMac’s solution to be released, read this for further help.

(Via Cult of Mac)

Getting Upset About the Wrong Things in Disney Movies

Disney made the best animated films around, for pretty much forever (as far as the film industry goes), and stamped a lot of great values and memories into kids’ minds. But there are some legitimate parental complaints on the list, especially since these are children’s movies that act upon impressionable young people. But as a Millennial who grew up on these movies, I think our parents got upset about most of the wrong things and utterly missed the most fundamental way Disney was shaping their kids. While Mom and Dad were worrying about overt things that were realistic (Ariel dressing like a mermaid, a Native American revering nature) or a normal part of fairy tales (magic), Disney was installing a value system into us that was apparently too subtle for them to notice.

Nearly every Disney animated film for decades taught us the same core moral principle. In most contexts, it looked like “love is a feeling that must be acted on at all costs.” At a more fundamental level, though, it was “following your heart is always the right thing to do.” Disney didn’t make most of us a witch, or a pantheist, or a nude sunbather, but boy did it teach us to value nothing above our own desires. (In fairness, many of our parents were reinforcing the lesson.)

K-cups' Dirty Secret

Maddie Oatman for Blue Marble:

But critics warn that the packaging needed for these systems comes with environmental and health-related costs. By making each pod so individualized, and so easy to dispose of, you must also exponentially increase the packaging—packaging that ultimately ends up in landfills. (And that’s to say nothing of the plastic and metal brewing systems, which if broken, aren’t that easy to recycle either.)

Journalist Murray Carpenter estimates in his new book, Caffeinated, that a row of all the K-Cups produced in 2011 would circle the globe more than six times. To update that analogy: In 2013, Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion K-Cups, enough to wrap around the equator 10.5 times. If Green Mountain aims to have “a Keurig System on every counter,” as the company states in its latest annual report, that’s a hell of a lot of little cups.

I’m no tree-hugger, but I’m even seeing the price we’ll pay for K-cups as a disservice to the world at large.

Focused Creativity

I’m very skeptical about culture-driven art. Creativity is something we all use, whether we realize that we use it or not. But many creatives, in the exercise of self-aware use of creativity, dumb down their practice of creativity. They use it for the mundane, easy, obvious expressions of art that ultimately fall flat on their faces.

For instance, how many so-called works of art fall into this category?

It’s art, no? Can’t you tell? It makes you feel, think, and emote all kinds of… something? No, I’m not getting anything really, and I hope that you can see how amateurish this really is.

Now, having put forth that example, I don’t want to disregard the good work of many thoughtful artists and creatives everywhere.

I think that you can make a really clever yet simple work of art that stirs the creative juices. It may seem obvious, technically easy, and there might not appear to be much complexity. But if done well, a work of art that urges you to focus and explore something in a fresh and inviting way is truly helpful and feeds creativity.

Here’s an example:

(Source of the video)

This Apple Keyboard Comes in Black

Apple’s sleek aluminum bodied accessories are practically perfect in… so many ways. That said, maybe you just don’t like silver and white keyboards. Or maybe you don’t like the premium you will pay for an Apple keyboard, so you want to find a high quality, inexpensive alternative in black.

Well, Amazon’s "Amazon Basics" electronics collection has the keyboard that’s right for you. You can thank me after you’ve made your Amazon Prime order.

Things You Should Know About Your Caffeine

Pro athletes everywhere depend on caffeine—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 
“I used to race bikes, and we used to drink a strong cup of coffee back then before a race. When I work out, I still like to be somewhat caffeinated. I think it helps me work out more vigorously, and I think a lot of people do. The ethics of it are really fascinating; it’s definitely complex. What’s changed in the past 30 years, since I was racing bikes seriously, is that you have much more specificity now in how people are able to take caffeine. You can quantify your dose, and there are products like gels that can help give the athlete caffeine in very specific doses.”

Coffee and caffeine can be fascinating subjects. Good article.

Keurig cups—those little disposable, single-serve cups of coffee with a special dispenser—are here to stay. As Carpenter writes in Caffeinated: “The 2011 production of K-Cups, lined up end to end, would encircle the equator six times—a foot-wide belt of plastic, foil, and coffee around the planet.”

Source: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/201...