The MMT E-Strap Smart Module Watch Straps

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Ostensibly, something like the MMT E-Strap allows you to wear any old watch that you want and have some smarts (the aforementioned tracking) built into the experience. This is the “best of both worlds” compromise that I would consider a logical step, and something that could actually be adopted more widely within the watch-collecting world. At its most basic level, this is a replacement strap for your watch. One hopes that they have selected quality materials that will work to make a comfortable and robust watch strap. At least, they’re good-looking based on the images we’ve seen from MMT. Oh, and they must have some measure of water-resistance built in, as the MMT E-Strap carries a 30M WR rating as a whole. We can see how they hold up if you go for regular swims. For me, though, I would hold out for the second generation… More at A Blog To Watch.

That could work, it really could.

01 Dimensioning Instrument

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The InstruMMents pen uses the right kind of technology to upgrade an age old user experience. The pen replaces the trusty-old yet potentially-frustrating measuring tape, presenting itself as a vastly smaller, and infinitely more powerful alternative. Using a magnetic roller and a guiding light, the dimensioning pen can measure everything from straight lines, to curves and even corners. It doesn’t have an end, like a tape, so you can go on and on for meters (feet, if you don’t like the metric system!). The pen is accurate to the nearest 0.1mm, and syncs with your phone to display and even record measurements. The pen comes with a sensor that allows you to capture contours of the things you measure, so it doesn’t act as just a scale, it acts as a contour gauge too… More at YD.

Somehow I have missed this product in the past, but it looks amazing.

A Very, Very Strange Year At Uber

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After the first couple of weeks of training, I chose to join the team that worked on my area of expertise, and this is where things started getting weird. On my first official day rotating on the team, my new manager sent me a string of messages over company chat. He was in an open relationship, he said, and his girlfriend was having an easy time finding new partners but he wasn’t. He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn’t help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with. It was clear that he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR.

Uber was a pretty good-sized company at that time, and I had pretty standard expectations of how they would handle situations like this. I expected that I would report him to HR, they would handle the situation appropriately, and then life would go on – unfortunately, things played out quite a bit differently. When I reported the situation, I was told by both HR and upper management that even though this was clearly sexual harassment and he was propositioning me, it was this man’s first offense, and that they wouldn’t feel comfortable giving him anything other than a warning and a stern talking-to. Upper management told me that he “was a high performer” (i.e. had stellar performance reviews from his superiors) and they wouldn’t feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part… More at Susan J. Fowler.

Shocking, unless you are a woman in which case you have likely suffered some kind of sexual harassment in your life.

Battle of the buds

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Apple’s iPhone 7 isn’t the first phone to ship without a headphone jack. But the iPhone 7 is definitely the most important and popular phone to discard the headphone jack, and Apple is dragging the industry toward a wireless future, whether we like it or not. At least the company provided its own solution, eventually: its $159 AirPods are one of the newest truly wireless earbuds you can buy. By “truly wireless,” we mean they’re just two buds that sit in both ears without anything connecting them. Much like other Apple technology, AirPods are not the only truly wireless buds on the market. They’re certainly not the only regular wireless buds available.

But again, like other Apple technologies, AirPods have a unique spin that sets them apart from the competition. Apple hopes to convince consumers that its buds are the best to pair with their iPhones, but consumers have many options to choose from when it comes to competing wireless earbuds. I tested a handful of wireless buds to see how the AirPods stack up in terms of ease of use, comfort, music quality, and battery life. I’ve done an anecdotal assessment of music quality for all the buds I reviewed. I spent hours with each pair, listening to a variety of music including pop, rock, jazz, and classical in environments with different levels of outside noise… More at ars technica.

A really good round up of some of the best wireless buds currently available. This industry will explode very soon.