Author and Wired columnist Clive Thompson [Cool Tools Show #002]

In this entertaining second installment of the Cool Tools podcast, Clive Thompson, author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better, discusses the problem with laptop calculators, a surprising use for uncommonly bad tools, and what we all can do to stop stock photos from ruining the internet… all while introducing us to some terrific cool tools. (Listen to episode 001 with guest David Pogue here.)

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Show notes:

Clive’s website

Clive’s Wired column, “Only You Can Overthrow the Tyranny of Awful Stock Photos

Here are Clive’s tool picks, with quotes from the show:

soulver
Soulver: $12-18
“The guys who made Soulver decided to create a calculator that actually didn’t try and look like an old calculator, and as a result it’s way more fun to use. You can type in semi-regular expressions like ‘this times that minus this’ and you can take a result from one column and drag it down into another so you can do dynamic addition and subtraction.”


dymoDymo DYM12966 Plastic Label Embosser: $14.84
“This is actually a sub-par labeler, but it’s fantastic for art projects!”


ifixitiFixit 26 Bit Driver Kit: $20
“I only use it once a month but whenever I use it it’s the only thing that will fix whatever stupid little electronic thing has fallen apart.”


live-scribeLivescribe Pen: $130 – $200
“I’ve been using this for five years and it has been incredibly transformative of my note taking as a reporter. I use it in face to face situations and it allows me to be as comprehensive or un-comprehensive as I want with my written notes.”