A Guide To Buying American-made Wardrobe

We all like to be able to say we’re supporting American businesses. Sure, American Apparel is the classic example, but many disagree with their ethics and think the quality of their clothes is sub-par. Here is my collection of the best quality American-made clothing.

Underwear
Flint & Tinder (PA) is a company which recently completed Kickstarter funding and will start shipping in late August. Using SUPIMA cotton, a solar powered facility in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania is making the boxers, briefs and boxer-briefs now. The business also also sells white t-shirts and v-necks.
T-Shirts
Everlane [AL] (CA) sells t-shirts aiming to compete with designer brands for a reasonable price. Made in Los Angeles, these shirts are composed of 100% combed cotton, pre-shrunk. The company also sells tote and weekend bags, along with belts and bow ties.
Dress Shirts
Taylor Stitch makes button down shirts in California. While some might suggest a slightly different route pursuing custom dress shirts with a company like Blank Label or Indochino, neither of those state where the products are made.
Pants
Jack Donnelly makes khaki pants and shorts in the USA. Imogene and Willie makes jeans, khakis and pajama pants (not to mention dress shirts, shoes and posters). Tellason also makes jeans.
Ties
General Knot & Co. makes neckties, bow ties and pocket squares. Wood and Faulk makes handkerchiefs, along with F R E E / M A N
Leather Goods & Accessories
Tanner Goods (OR) makes belts, dog leashes, lanyards, wallets, and some other items. Kaufmann Mercantile (CA) makes a leather tool pouch in California. Artifact (NE) makes some neat bags, and CYDWOQ (CA) makes some equally interesting shoes. Here’s a handcrafted leather flask made in North Carolina by Fleet Co (NC) who also makes a large variety of other handmade leather products. Makr Carry Goods (FL) makes iPhone and eyeglass cases along with other products like keychains, wallets, and bags. Wood and Faulk (OR) makes watch straps along intricate silk screened handkerchiefs, camping stools with the usual suspects (bags & belts) also in attendance. LAYERxlayer crafts pouches, bags, and a quirky wooden tree for hanging items. Capital handmakes their sunglasses in California. Ugmonk sells a handmade, premium leather wrap-around journal. F R E E / M A N makes bags, dress shirts, shoes and pocket squares. The Hill-Side has a nice collection of USA made clothes as well.
Glasses
http://www.arborglass.us/burlingame.html
The one thing I really wish I could find is plain white cotton socks. Or black ones for that matter. A solid color, American made sock that wasn’t poorly made.
Posted in Squeaks | Leave a comment

The Future of Google Play

It looks like Google is out to start competing with the likes of Amazon and Apple. The trouble is they have a fledgling store in a marketplace of two excellent, massive stores and everyone has already chosen a side. They believe they can change that with a shift to producing excellent hardware.

But in the end, Google is still the same company it always was. A company driven by data, not by products. They’re losing that edge. Steve Jobs’ advice to Larry and Sergey have made an impact. Google is trying to focus. They’re trying to become Apple. It’s a bold move, but I’m afraid they won’t succeed until they return to their roots.

Thing is, they still can. With podcasts.

Stitcher has the right idea. In fact, I’d advice Google to snatch them up. Then integrate with Google’s voice library. And allow publishers to start uploading their own podcasts to  Google. Start transcribing the podcasts. Establish the largest database of podcasts in the world and put them everywhere, phones, computers, the web. Establish the most popular way to create, record, upload, live stream, listen to, discover and talk about podcasts.

Even integrate Google+. Very simple chatrooms to talk about podcasts, while they’re recording and after the fact. Use the podcasts to build the community.

Don’t worry about music or movies too much. They might follow if you gain popularity. But don’t count on it. Focus on integrating the PC with the cloud. Give users ONE application to install on their computer that will integrate Google with everything. All your music available to you in the cloud. All your movies, all your TV shows, all your podcasts, all your playlists, all in Google Play. But that one application should allow manage all your photos, all your documents, anything else on your computer should be available in the cloud if you want it to be. Easily.

Google is driven by data. You are driven by the stuff on your computer. When the stuff on your computer melds with your Google account, you can do anything, anywhere. It’s the kind of hope Dropbox tries to build. (Oh, Google? Please buy Dropbox and ask them to fix your Google Drive.)

Google? Become the way people consume information. Apps like Pocket need to be part of your system. Users need to know that Google is the best way to read or listen to something. Become the user’s memory. Help them remember what article they’re thinking of, or where the hell is that document from five years ago. Assist me in finding that photo of my grandpa, or which lecture from my history class contains the information on Henry Clay and I’ll be forever grateful.

Posted in Squeaks | Leave a comment

12 Ideas for Web Apps, Sites and Other Things

Blippy for the Browser

In this age of oversharing, what’s one more stream of data? I’m thinking you should be able to create a profile that keeps track of the websites you visit, and you can rack up a leader board for the sites you visit the most…

Radio Acting Company (Podcast)

A Prairie Home Companion has a radio acting company that is awesome. But is that the only one out there? Let’s create another, better one, that you can actually subscribe to in the form of a podcast. I’d be interested in writing and doing voice work for the team…

Online Bus Stop

Where are you going? Where would you like to go? Figuratively and literally. A simple, nice break from the day. Inspired by this Radiolab short.

An Online ‘Moth’

Everyone loves telling stories. The Moth is a great show. But it’s limited. An online ‘The Moth’ could let everyone submit and tell stories, and there could even be shows created live as people went on to waiting lists to become part of a night’s stream.

Help with Schools

An application that parses education information, school ratings, teacher news and ratings, testing results etc. per each school using public information (more information here)

Public Radio for Podcasts

Public radio for podcasts- one eternal publisher live stream, tune in for interested “syndicated” podcasts, could have ads.

Blogger meet Doodler

A network set up where doodlers team up with bloggers to create posts with awesome drawings attached. Bloggers put out a better post, and doodlers get recognition and press. (also posted here)

Tees for All

Some people come up with great tee-slogans and never get recognition, or the shirt made. The site could open up to all submissions, and people could run through lists and choose tees they like. If a certain number of people are interested, the shirt is printed, and shipped.

Shorts or Not

Website/iPhone app that answers the simple question shorts or not using the ‘real feel’ weather temperature… (also posted here)

Comics Only

The back 0f every newspaper with comics. An online place that simply pulls together a nice sheet on your iPad of comic strips for your daily enjoyment.

Project DIMP

A network for people who love to create apps, websites and services. The projects people come up with are built through crowd sourcing.

(like Quirky, but for internet ideas)

Key Features:
Project pages, with way to join/follow a particular project
Project pages must have a way to upload information, including designs and code
Profile pages with way to contact person and see what projects they’ve joined

Ideas for names:
DIMP (designers, idea-ers, marketers, programmers)
Thinkist
crtr (creator)
prtnr/partnr (domain is available for part.nr)
Buzzing Bees (bees work hard, and different bees have different jobs in one big hive)
root

Never ending music…

Very simple web application that basically creates 1 never ending, community created music playlist that anyone can add a song to. (Might have to limit # of songs added per day per IP.) The uniqueness of this idea would be based around not actually looking for similar music to what you like, but exposing visitors to a hugely diverse list of songs that would allow people to find new and completely different songs that they might not ordinarily listen to.

Bonuses:

 

Posted in Squeaks | Leave a comment

Why Amazon Needs to Buy doubleTwist

Long before this post, many have argued that in fact the battle is not truly waged between Apple and Google, but truly Apple and Amazon, a dark horse in the race to the throne of the tech world.

Google, meaning however well, produces lackluster products (with a few exceptions granted). Apple produces arguably the most consumer-oriented products out there. Amazon is moving into place to compete.

But Amazon needs to be especially mindful of one key thing: software. Amazon Instant Video does a perfectly fine job of streaming video, but it has failed to placate its Mac users with an option to download video. Heck, the whole experience of purchasing more than one song on Amazon MP3 is less than ideal. Amazon needs to deliver on software if it wants to be a contender.

Amazon needs to buy doubleTwist. Imagine if it did. Amazon would be large enough to propel doubleTwist into the position oposite iTunes. An Amazon-backed doubleTwist would be strong enough to put up a fantastic fight against Apple and its prized iTunes.

But Amazon and doubleTwist could only pull this off if they truly integrated their products. doubleTwist would have to be able to sync music between computers, storing all the music in the cloud, as Amazon has done, but in addition, it must enable easy download and streaming through the program. That goes ditto for TV shows and movies purchased, or for that matter, rented on Amazon Instant Video (streaming is nice, but I want to be able to watch offline and without buffering).

What else… Well, since Amazon has already rolled out an Android app store, and a Mac app store, integrate those as well, like Apple has done. Oh, and what the hey: throw in a Kindle reader.

Amazon: you can take on Apple in this one move. You can make the fight a fair one. Please, for the sake of all of the consumers out there, do this.

Posted in Squeaks | Leave a comment

Give to the Jimmy Fund, Get a Google Plus Invite

I’m sixteen, and every year, for the past eleven years, I have raised money for the Jimmy Fund. Every year, it’s been a bit different.

A few years in the past, I have donned a costume (or three) and “performed”, raising money. A few more, I simply send out emails to all who I know. Last year, I auctioned off Google Wave invites to raise money.

This year, Google has not disappointed my faithful watch, announcing the much hyped Google Plus, which is still (thankfully) in the invite-only stages. Thus, I’m going to revert to a familiar approach.

For each person who donates hereand sends squealingrat [at sign- you know the squiggly thing?] gmail.com a request for a Google Plus invite (incredibly, some people are just donating because they want to feel good about helping the fight against cancer!), will receive one.*

Thank you. Donate here.

*I’m using a method that may be considered a hack, and eventually shut down to save Google Plus from the stampedes of people running to the service. If it is in fact shut down, I cannot guarantee the receipt of said invite, and you might just have to deal with the warm feelings of generosity pumping through your veins.

Posted in Squeaks | Leave a comment

Three Networks

5by5– Most beautiful network out there. Favorites are Back to Work and The Pipeline.

TWiT– Most famous network out there. Favorites are TWiT and Macbreak Weekly.

ThisWeekIn– The only other network out there that I’ve heard of.

Posted in Squeaks | Leave a comment

Tutoring Tools

Technology can be incredibly helpful for learning. Here are some of the more helpful resources.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is one of the most popular places for quick videos on various subject matters. Other favorites include iTunes U and MITOpenCourseware. If you’re just looking to learn something new, try TED (some of the best TED talks here).

FlockDraw

FlockDraw creates a nice digital whiteboard for a virtual study session.

Tinychat

Tinychat is one of the best places to create a quick video chat. Other favorites include Google Talk and Skype (which require downloads).

Posted in Technology | Leave a comment

A List of Torrent Trackers

http://tracker.torrentbay.to:6969/announce
http://inferno.demonoid.com:3392/announce
http://tracker.openbittorrent.com/announce
http://tracker.publicbt.com/announce
http://opentracker.umunu.com:80/announce
http://222.171.190.184:7000/announce
http://tracker.thepiratebay.org/announce

Posted in Squeaks | Leave a comment

A Quest To Sync Google Docs With Computer

Since the dawn of time, I’ve wanted to sync my Google Docs with my computer, and my Dropbox. Actually, the dawn of time would be around 2007, the beginning of Google Docs. It was a quaint idea with possibilities.

Back then, I had a crappy old Dell. I found DocSyncer (PC only), and began its use immediately. It died a year later. I plodded on. (Speaking of the deadpool, cloudseed tried to do the same and died as well.)

Then I got a Mac. My search became even harder.

Google announced something to sync Word with Docs. It wasn’t available for Mac, and it only did things created with Microsoft products. Lame.

People BEGGED. PLEADED.

Earlier this year, Dropbox announced they were working on Google Docs sync. That was six months ago.

There are programs for PCs, like Syncdocs.

Syncplicity does this, but often screws up badly. To be fair, so does the other major player in the Mac space, Insync, which I’ve tried, and stopped using because of the duplicates and lost files created.

A few Google Chrome extensions allow editing of Dropbox easily. SourceKit directly saves files to your Dropbox live, while cloudHQ integrates Google Docs and Dropbox.

(Oh- I only looked for free products. Here’s a paid one.)

So what am I doing now? Actually, through my research, I discovered a new product that I haven’t yet tested. So I’m going to try cloudHQ and see how it goes. In the meantime, please Google, make this an official product.

UPDATE: Joukuu Lets You Manage Files Across Google Docs, Dropbox And Box.net | TechCrunch

Posted in Squeaks | Leave a comment

Amazon Loses Rights To Movie Purchased Less Than A Year Ago

Ocean’s 11 is one of the best movies ever made. Which is why I purchased the film using Amazon Instant Video on October 31, 2010. Here’s the receipt:

 

 

 

Now, in my world, when you buy something, you generally keep it. Until you explicitly get rid of it. Or, the repo man comes. But even he gives notice. So imagine my surprise, when less than an hour ago, I go to rewatch the movie, (I bought it. I didn’t rent it.) and found it, to be, well, not there:

 

 

 

What. The. Duce.

A few hours later, my video returned to being watchable. Then it went back to unavailable. Then it went back to available. In short, the monkeys at Amazon need to stop pulling wires.

Posted in Squeaks | Leave a comment