Staff Picks: Motherboard - Netted
Guide • October 18, 2017

Staff Picks: Motherboard

Check out recs from the staff of VICE’s leading tech website
  • Insight Timer

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    Ankita Rao / @anrao
    Associate Editor
    Favorite App/Service: Insight Timer

    “It’s probably cheesy to pick a meditation app, but Insight Timer is the one tool that has helped me meditate regularly after years of trying. It’s simple, free, and you can connect with your friends or do it solo. The crowdsourced guided meditations help avoid the Western mindfulness tropes, and the simple non-guided timer system is intuitive and comforting.”

  • OverDrive

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    Kaleigh Rogers / @KaleighRogers
    Staff Writer
    Favorite App/Service: OverDrive

    “I’m a major library evangelist. It’s free, better for the environment, and jives well with my community-minded sensibilities. So when I discovered I could borrow audiobooks, in addition to hard copies, using a simple app on my phone linked to my NYPL account, I was thrilled. OverDrive isn’t the prettiest-looking app but it’s easy to set up and use, and expands the offerings at my local branch to include reads I can consume in a moving vehicle without getting carsick. Total win.”

  • Ascension

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    Jason Koebler / @jason_koebler
    Favorite App/Service: Ascension

    “Ascension is a deck building card game that is similar to Magic the Gathering in lore and Texas Hold’Em in gameplay. The IRL version of it takes forever to set up and play, but the iPhone version takes just a couple minutes per game and is both addictive and relatively mindless. The game serves no productive purpose whatsoever, but is a good way to kill a few minutes and is completely unrelated to journalism, online content, or any sort of notification-adjacent tasks on your phone, meaning it’s a good way to ‘unplug’ without actually putting your phone down. I love it.”

  • oTranscribe

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    Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai / @lorenzoFB
    Staff Writer
    Favorite App/Service: oTranscribe

    “This is the simplest, easiest-to-use transcription service I’ve come across. It works inside a web browser, but your files don’t leave your computer. The interface is clean, intuitive, and does just the right amount of things—such as having keyboard shortcuts to control the recording—to help you transcribe audio files or YouTube videos.”

  • Merlin Bird ID

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    Brian Anderson / @thebanderson
    Features Editor
    Favorite App/Service: Merlin Bird ID

    “In these dark, uncertain times, I find myself looking up into the trees and then down at my phone, specifically at this easy-to-use birding app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which lets you instantly identity birds and do a little citizen science while you’re at it. Oh, wait, is that a Cooper’s hawk?”

  • IrfanView

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    Emanuel Maiberg / @emanuelmaiberg
    News Editor
    Favorite App/Site: IrfanView

    “When I need to do some simple image editing that’s too complicated for MS Paint and too simple to justify booting up Photoshop, I turn to IrfanView. It’s lightweight, straightforward, and a fast way to resize photos, make a photo collage, or pixelate certain parts of an image. I should probably just get better at using Photoshop, but IrfanView still looks more or less like it did when it came out in 1996, and I’m not ready to let that go.” 

  • Wayback Machine Extension

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    Louise Matsakis / @lmatsakis
    Assistant Editor
    Favorite App/Site: Wayback Machine Extension

    “This handy browser plugin is super helpful for reporting. If I click on a deleted or altered link, it immediately asks if I want to populate it with an archived version from the Internet Archive. The extension makes it much easier to find out the history of a webpage.”

  • Is DMX in Jail?

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    Daniel Oberhaus / @DMOberhaus
    Staff Writer
    Favorite App/Site: Is DMX in Jail?

    “I find this website very handy when I’m wondering whether or not American rapper DMX of ‘Party Up’ fame is or is not in jail. I wonder this almost daily.”

  • Sudoku 2

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    Caroline Haskins@carolineha_
    Favorite App/Site: Sudoku 2

    “Finger Art’s Sudoku 2 is more than an app: It’s sanctuary from the noxious fumes I inhale daily on the 14th Street subway platform. This app is a healing space of no-frills graphics, straightforward puzzles, and patient algorithms that forgive three errors each game. But even if I exceed three errors, I don’t lose the game—Sudoku 2 just lets me finish it as a ‘broken run.’ Unlike New York’s subway system, Sudoku 2 was clearly designed with the user in mind.”

  • Enter The Webbys!

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    Maybe your favorite app or site is something you’ve made—if so, now’s your chance to put your work on the world stage. Enter the 22nd Annual Webby Awards before the Early Entry Deadline on Friday, October 27th!