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Mother’s Day gift list: Tech toys made by indie entrepreneurs for your indie mom

(TECH NEWS) Awesome tech toys from The Grommet, an indie entrepreneur tech site, just in time for your indie mom’s favorite holiday.

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tech toys gift wrap mother's day

You’ve got less than a month

We’re here to help you win the Best Kid award with some awesome, meaningfully crafted tech gifts this Mother’s Day. And no, this list will not be full of obvious suggestions like smartwatches and chocolate.

You already know these things exist.

For all of the cool moms

Instead, check out our gift ideas from The Grommet, a product launch platform that focuses on unique products created by innovators. All their featured products are built on strong values, including small-scale crafts, sustainable efforts, local manufacturing, and new takes on technology. Get the moms in your life something you can both feel good about this year.

1. MIST


Screen Cleaner & Microfiber Sponges by Mist $12.95

Is your mom constantly wiping off her phone after each use? This screen cleaner features a microfiber sponge and built-in antibacterial cleansing spray all in one tiny portable device. The cleanser is free of harsh chemicals, is great for sensitive skin and devices, and can be refilled.

2. Sensor Bag light


Sensor Bag light by SOI $24.95

Okay, bear with me. This looks like a useless enchanted glowing orb, but it’s actually quite practical. Throw this lightweight, magical sphere into the depths of a bag and never lose an item to the shadows again. Next time your mom is fumbling around her purse in the movie theater for contraband candy, this will ensure you get the right color Sour Patch Kids. She won’t have to waste battery using a phone flashlight. This little thing is automatic, hands free, and sustainably produced.

3. Marquee Lightbox


My Cinema Lightbox $29.95+

Available in mini, original, and extra large, the Marquee Lightbox provides a vintage way to showcase your thoughts. Mom can change it out as often as she likes, giving any room a cool retro vibe. The low voltage LED light doesn’t wear out, and is powered by either batteries or the included micro USB cable. You can even get extra symbol and letter packs for ultimate customization.

4. Charging Station


Universal Charging Outlet by thingCharger $39.95

Give mom a way to free up counter space, cut back cord clutter, and streamline device charging with this minimalist charging station. Featuring two standard outlets, two built-in USB ports, and a charging dock on top for phones or tablets, it powers a wide variety of devices. Lightning and micro-USB tips are included as well, allowing multiple devices to charge at the same time.

5. Charging handbag


Charging Clutch by Mighty Purse $84.95+

Whether your mom has an Android or an iPhone, this nifty handbag has a hidden battery inside so she can recharge on-the-go. The lightweight internal charger provides two recharges for each charge of its own. There are compartments and pockets for other things too, as well as an LED battery level indicator. Now mom can text you the whole day without worrying about her phone dying.

6. Wireless Scanner


PocketScan Wireless Scanner by Daduca $149.95

Technically this could be a present to yourself since it means even more tagged cute childhood photos surfacing on Facebook. Mom can wirelessly scan any text or image and upload it directly to her phone or tablet via Bluetooth. Even images that aren’t totally flat can be scanned. Bonus: scanned text or tables can be edited with Microsoft Office software.

7. Digital picture frame


Gesture Controlled Digital Art frame by Meural $595

The one picture frame to rule them all. This digital frame features anti-glare technology, making artwork look like it’s on a canvas. Load up your own pictures or feature any of the 30,000 works of art on Meural’s database. Change the display with a gesture of your hands or the phone app.

Wow your mom this Mother’s Day with these awesome tech toys by indie entrepreneurs. Take a look at The Grommet’s full offerings for even more ideas and get to snatching that Best Kid trophy.

#MothersDay

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

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Tech News

Daily Coding Problem keeps you sharp for coding interviews

(CAREER) Coding interviews can be pretty intimidating, no matter your skill level, so stay sharp with daily practice leading up to your big day.

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Whether you’re in the market for a new coding job or just want to stay sharp in the one you have, it’s always important to do a skills check-up on the proficiencies you need for your job. Enter Daily Coding Problem, a mailing list service that sends you one coding problem per day (hence the name) to keep your analytical skills in top form.

One of the founders of the service, Lawrence Wu, stated that the email list service started “as a simple mailing list between me and my friends while we were prepping for coding interviews [because] just doing a couple problems every day was the best way to practice.”

Now the service offers this help for others who are practicing for interviews or for individuals needing to just stay fresh in what they do. The problems are written by individuals who are not just experts, but also who aced their interviews with giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.

So how much would a service like this cost you? Free, but with further tiers of features for additional money. Like with all tech startups, the first level offers the basic features such as a single problem every day with some tricks and hints, as well as a public blog with additional support for interviewees. However, if you want the actual answer to the problem, and not just the announcement that you incorrectly answered it, you’ll need to pony up $15 per month.

The $15 level also comes with some neat features such as mock interview opportunities, no ads, and a 30 day money back guarantee. For those who may be on the job market longer, or who just want the practice for their current job, the $250 level offers unlimited mock interviews, as well as personal guidance by the founders of the company themselves.

Daily Coding Problem enters a field with some big players with a firm grasp on the market. Other services, like InterviewCake, LeetCode, and InterviewBit, offer similar opportunities to practice mock interview questions. InterviewCake offers the ability to sort questions by the company who typically asks them for that individual with their sights targeted on a specific company. InterviewBit offers referrals and mentorship opportunities, while LeetCode allows users to submit their own questions to the question pool.

If you’ve really got your eye on the prize of receiving that coveted job opportunity, Daily Coding Problem is a great way to add another tool in your tool box to ace that interview.

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Tech News

Making Slack actionable makes you productive

(TECHNOLOGY) Slack is an amazing productivity tool, but of course can add more to your plate – this feature puts you back on track.

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You know when you’re using Slack and you’re having a conversation with your teammate about whether or not you should grab lunch or go to Soul Cycle, but before you can answer, your editor Slacks you about deadlines and your design partner messages you proofs and suddenly you snap back to reality and remember that you’ve been working on a blog post for an hour and your concentration is completely shattered? You know, the exact moment when your productivity is officially derailed?

Well, Slack now offers Actions to help make sure that doesn’t happen. Your day may get busy, but at least nothing will slip through the cracks, work-wise.

Integrated with project management tools like Asana, Zendesk, and Jira, Actions allows users to create and comment on tasks, tickets or issues within conversations. That means no clicking through tabs or apps until you can no longer remember why you started clicking in the first place. More importantly, Actions keeps track of the work you need to do and when you need to do it.

So, how do Actions work?

1. Need to create a deadline or set up an appointment? Anything you see in Slack that needs a follow-up can be turned into an action when you click the ••• icon and choose an “action.”

2. When you’ve completed an action, a message appears in your Slack channel and lets your team know you’ve flagged it for follow-up.

3. Whichever app you’ve integrated with will alert Slack at which point you and your team can determine the next steps.

Bottom-line, Actions help keep your workflow moving. While it may not stop the onslaught of Slack messages from breaking your concentration, at least you’ll know what you should to be concentrating on.

If you’re curious to know more about Actions, the company has ample info on their API pages for your perusal.

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Tech News

Freezetab streamlines how you save tabs in Chrome

(TECH NEWS) Freezetab is the newest chrome extension that allows you to organize saved tabs in a myriad of ways.

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Internet made easier

With the browser becoming more and more of a workspace than merely an application, the built in bookmarks tool may leave you a bit hungry for more.

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Chrome users who need better tools to organize and manage bookmarks may find the power they need in Freezetab.

Bookmark’s cooler, hotter younger brother

Freezetab seeks to answer the questions of “what if I could organize my bookmarks by website” or “I only want to save all but two of these tabs on zen office designs.” It seeks to give you more options beyond the “one or all” choices in chrome. Here is the lowdown:

  • The calendar feature remembers WHEN you saved a tab – so if you can’t remember the title you can just go back to the day.
  • Chrome either lets you save one or all tabs. Freezetab expands those options to include: all, current, everything but current, right of, left of, or pick and choose.
  • If you are sharing a collection of tabs with a workgroup or a partner, it exports as a nice textbox that is easy to share in integrated messaging, IM, or email. Or even social media!
  • Sorting is robust, and there is a solid search feature that searches as you type.
  • That quick save feature saves all the tabs and closes them – and you can adjust that quick save feature to meet your needs.
  • There is a handy little star feature to note important bookmarks (i.e. recipes and excel techniques).
  • Enhances your close tab capability to close everything to the left and specific tabs – this great if you work in chrome and have 75 tabs open that have one letter names.
  • It is easier to sort tabs after you save them – you can search for them and then sort into folders you create rather manually organizing them into folders.
  • As a bonus: for those who don’t want to have to sort bookmarks – unlike Chrome which requires you to pick a folder or risk turning your bookmarks to an unorganized mess, the extension automatically organizes it for you.

Freezetab findings

After spending a few moments with Freezetab, it does fit in nicely with a workflow. Solidly reviewed, the developer did solve an issue with “pinned” tabs in the 1.2 update. – so it doesn’t remove or add them. The features are nice and easy to use, and it doesn’t require more than five minutes of playing around.

One complaint – if you choose to the right or left of the current tab to close, it did close the active tab as well – which was a little funky. But once you get comfortable with the nuances, it’s easy to use.
The interface is function over form, but you won’t have any problem using or customizing this extension. Now Bookmark smart y’all!

#FreezeTab

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