Building The Perfect Beast

Reading, Writing, Wanderlust, and Commentary

Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Livescribe 3 Review

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Still a little bulky for my liking, the Livescribe 3 Smartpen system provides you with a way to capture and synchronize handwritten notes and recorded audio.

My Macworld review here.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

September 13th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Let’s Talk About Margins

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Consider buildings. Although you may not be an architect, you can be touched by a graceful space. The kind of space where you close your eyes and feel the gentle hand of the architect reveal itself in the way sound and air moves around you. Try it sometime. Go to your favorite space. Close your eyes and breathe slowly and intuit the goodness.

A book with proper margins says a number of things. It says, we care about the page. It says, we care about the words. We care so much that we’re going to ensure the words and the page fall into harmony.—Craig Mod

I often think about design when it comes to buildings and open spaces, but before reading this I had never thought about it when touching or reading a book. I suspect that I’ve enjoyed a “good” book without really understanding why it was that I enjoyed it. From this point forward I can’t imagine not noticing the design and layout of a good book.

Let’s talk about margins —Craig Mod

Written by Jeffery Battersby

September 3rd, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Posted in Asides,Featured


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iBetterCharge is a great little app that reminds you when your iOS device is running low on juice. Simple, free, and easy-to-use, it’s still in my Menubar today.

My review is at

Written by Jeffery Battersby

August 22nd, 2014 at 6:47 am

Why I’m No Longer on Facebook

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Matt Honan as an interesting article on Wired that illustrates exactly why I left Facebook a few months back. He spent two days “liking” everything he saw and the end result was that his entire newsfeed became a giant clutter of garbage. While that should come as no surprise, what is disconcerting is how Honan’s “likes” began cluttering the feeds of his Facebook friends:

While I expected that what I saw might change, what I never expected was the impact my behavior would have on my friends’ feeds. I kept thinking Facebook would rate-limit me, but instead it grew increasingly ravenous. My feed become a cavalcade of brands and politics and as I interacted with them, Facebook dutifully reported this to all my friends and followers.

That first night, a small little circle with a dog’s head popped up in the corner of my phone. A chat head, from Facebook’s Messenger software! The dog turned out to be my old WIRED editor, John Bradley. “Have you been hacked,” he wanted to know. The next morning, my friend Helena sent me a message. “My fb feed is literally full of articles you like, it’s kind of funny,” she says. “No friend stuff, just Honan likes.”

This is exactly what began happening to me. I “liked” almost nothing on Facebook, but my newsfeed was becoming increasingly cluttered with the detritus of what my friends liked. Less about their families and photos of their vacations, more and more about what band of the 70s they were and what shampoo they enjoyed.

I’d like to say I miss Facebook, but I don’t. I miss the real, personal updates that helped keep my finger on the pulse of my friend’s personal lives, but I don’t miss the trashed-up news feed at all. And I’m never going back…

Written by Jeffery Battersby

August 11th, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Commentary,Featured

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Briefly Review

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Next up for me in Macworld’s Mac Gems fest, Briefly, a tool that helps you combine hundreds of sequential photos into a single stop-action video. While iPhoto offers the same capabilities, Briefly makes quick work of what might otherwise be a tedious project.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

July 17th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

SnapNDrag Pro Review

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Not 100% sure on this yet, but SnapNDrag Pro may become my new go-to screen capture app. Simple and intuitive, it also offers annotation traction. Pretty slick app overall. My Macworld review, and my first entry in this year’s Macworld Gem Fest, here.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

July 16th, 2014 at 9:31 am

Posted in Featured,Macworld,Reviews,Writing

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Ten Things Everyone Should know How To Do With A Word Processor

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Fun new article now posted at Macworld on ten things your should know how to do with your word processor. Nothing too fancy here, but all things, other than typing, you should know how to do in your favorite word processor.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

July 16th, 2014 at 9:25 am