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๐Ÿ”  ๐Ÿ’€  ๐Ÿ“ธ  ๐Ÿ˜ญ  ๐Ÿ•ณ๏ธ  ๐Ÿค   ๐ŸŽฌ  ๐Ÿฅ” posts about sponsors


Big thanks to this week’s RSS sponsor, Clutterpad, an feature-rich online project management and collaboration tool. They offer plans for individual users working on one project (which are free, BTW), small organizations with dozens of projects, or corporations with thousands of projects. Clutterpad’s feature set includes calendars, to-do lists, chat rooms, in-app messaging, time tracking, and file upload/download. Get started with a one-month free trial today.

The Masters of Professional Studies in Branding program at SVA

I would like to thank this week’s RSS sponsor, The Masters of Professional Studies in Branding at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. This is a new graduate degree program that will begin in fall 2010 focused on the study of “the art and science of branding”. More details about the program are available here and here.

They are having an open house tomorrow (that’s Saturday) at SVC in Chelsea from 2-4pm. If you’re interested in attending, contact either J’aime Cohen or Debbie Millman for details.

Haystack, new from 37signals

A big thanks to this week’s RSS sponsor, Haystack, a new site from 37signals that allows designers to put up a quick portfolio and for those in need of web design help to browse by style, location, or budget. Designers can list themselves for free or pay $99/month for a bigger listing, prime placement, and more portfolio images. There’s no charge for browsing or hiring via Haystack.

I get asked for web designer recommendations all the time and never know what to tell people. I think I’ll just point them to Haystack from now on.

Would you like a chance to let’s smartypants readers know about your wonderful new thing? iPhone app? Great old thing? Sponsor the RSS feed for a week!

Exploded Store

Much thanks to this week’s RSS sponsor, Exploded Store. ES offers t-shirts and posters featuring gadgets old (Atari 2600, keytar) and new (Xbox 360, iPhone) in “exploded” views that reveal their inner workings.

From the FAQ, here’s how the shirts are made:

These are internals of actual equipment. We buy items, usually via eBay or Craigslist, and we take them apart. Sometimes this requires special tools. Then we photograph the pieces and meticulously render them in Adobe Illustrator. Troy Paiva and Garry Booth are two of the skilled artists who have ‘exploded’ designs for us.


Thank ye to JNSoftware, this week’s RSS sponsor. They make software for the Mac and iPhone. Their main app is Dialectic, a scriptable phone tool that helps you wrangle your various phones, accounts, and address books into one place. It works with landlines, mobiles, Skype, Google Voice, Vonage, and many others and integrates with all sorts of apps like Entourage and Address Book.

Try Dialectic out for free for two weeks or head on over to their store to purchase. From now until May 30, 2009, get a 20% discount on any of JNSoftware’s apps using the coupon code KOTTKE20 at the checkout.

Many thanks to this week’s RSS sponsor, Radar is a service focused on easy-but-powerful mobile sharing of photos; basically trying to make it easy to take photos from your cameraphone and share them with friends, either on or a number of other sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. (If you’d like, you could call it a Twitterized Flickr.) Although they are currently promoting their iPhone app and the service’s recent integration with Flickr, they also have versions of the Radar app available for other phones, including the Blackberry and Sidekick.

To check Radar out, get the Radar app from the App Store and sign up for an account at

Stephen Voss

I’d like to thank this week’s RSS sponsor, Stephen Voss. Voss is a freelance photographer based in Washington DC who has traveled around the world shooting for magazines, organizations, and โ€” if you read between the lines on his bio page โ€” for himself. He’s shot Obama, the destroyed churches of New Orleans, the Fleet Foxes, Alan Greenspan, and in China. I could say more, but Voss’ portfolio speaks for itself. If your company or organization has a project that would benefit from Voss’ services, get in touch.


Thank you to the RSS sponsor for this week, Lawrence Shainberg, on behalf of his recent novel, Crust (@ Amazon). The main character of Crust is also a writer, afflicted with writer’s block until he starts picking his nose, at which point: pinpoint clarity. A movement is started, Nasalism, which counts among its adherents one George W. Bush. Sounds ridiculous, but most satires do. Jonathan Lethem had good things to say about Crust, as did the late Norman Mailer:

Crust is unique. I know of no other novel like it. The first words that come to mind are daring, daunting, irreligious in the extreme, an academic send-up, and a grasp with no small grin of the essential mindlessness and urge to power that beset humans and creates new ventures. It’s wild as sin and revolting as vomit and as exceptional as the lower reaches of insanity itself.

More information and an excerpt is available at Shainberg’s site. Crust is available on Amazon for just a shade over $11.


Thank you to this week’s RSS sponsor, Kindling by Arc90. Many small companies and groups don’t need the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink power and feature set of software like Outlook/Exchange Server, wikis, and enterprise blogging software…they often do too much and yet don’t quite do what you’d like them to. Kindling is one of a number of niche web apps that attempt to do one thing well; in this case, that one thing is small-group collaboration around ideas. With Kindling, you and your co-workers (or miscellaneous idea-mates) can suggest ideas, vote on them, and then take action on the best ones. Check out the demo to learn more.

The Alinea book

Big thanks to this week’s RSS sponsor: Alinea and their new cookbook, the Alinea book (available for $31.50 or $75 for the special slip-covered edition).

Here’s how the US restaurant industry works. Despite the existence of many other awards, best-of lists, and food magazines, it falls to Ruth Reichl to annoint the Best Restaurant in America. The previous title holder since 1997 was The French Laundry, but in 2006, Reichl’s Gourmet Magazine gave the top honor to Alinea.

A little more than three years after it opened, chef Grant Achatz and his team created the Alinea book, which basically gives away the store. Because the book includes the exact recipes and cooking techniques that they use in the restaurant, you could use it to open your own Alinea, provided you can get everything else right. But for most home cooks, foodies, and other food enthusiasts, owning the Alinea book gives the reader a glimpse into what it takes to run a restaurant at such a high caliber.

P.S. You used to have to buy the book to get access to its companion web site, Alinea Mosaic, but the site is now free for anyone to use.


Thanks to this week’s RSS sponsor, 20x200, a site that sells limited edition art for low prices…it’s “art for everyone”. Each week the site features two pieces of new art for sale in small-sized editions of 200 for $20, medium-sized editions of 20 for $200, and large-sized editions of 2 for $2000. This is real art โ€” all prints come with a certificate signed and numbered by the artist โ€” for about the same as you would spend for a poster or wall decoration at Target or Ikea.

The best way to enjoy 20x200 is to sign up for the newsletter or follow the site’s RSS feed and when something you like comes along, nab it. My wife and I have bought a few things from 20x200 this way, most recently a special edition $50 print of 132 Birds at The American Museum of Natural History by Jason Polan.

Glennz t-shirt shop

Big thanks to this week’s RSS sponsor, Glennz. Glennz is Glenn Jones, a New Zealand graphic designer and illustrator who began designing t-shirts for Threadless a few years back and became one of their most popular contributors. (You may have seen his genius Darth Vader trimming a shrub tshirt.) Now Jones has struck out on his own with a store featuring almost 30 t-shirts, a customizable desktop calendar, and gift certificates. According to their blog, a recent edition to the store is a shirt featuring the skeleton of a rocking horse (Equus Rockus).

Bonus: all Glennz shirts are currently on sale…get yours before supplies run out.

Fingeric, an iPhone game by 2px

Thanks to this week’s RSS sponsor, 2px and their iPhone game, Fingeric. Fingeric is a digital dexterity game โ€” digital as in fingers, mind you โ€” that uses several touchscreen gestures in concert to test how quick your fingers are. It reminds me a bit of Warioware crossed with Whac-A-Mole. Fingeric is mindless fun, perfect for zoning out on the subway or while waiting for a friend.

I checked out their other games too…Rolo, a puzzle game, ended up being fun and irritating (in a good way…like the Rubik’s Cube). Both Rolo and Mastermind, 2px’s game based on the board game of the same name, have favorable reviews on the iTunes Store.

Loan Shark iPhone app

A big thank you to’s first RSS feed sponsor, FoggyNoggin Software, makers of the Loan Shark iPhone App (check it out in the iTunes Store). Loan Shark is a tricked out loan calculator for your iPhone or iPod Touch. Here are a few capabilities from the web site:

One-tap Extra Payment
Making an extra payment on your loan each year can dramatically reduce the cost of your loan. With Loan Shark, you can easily see what that extra payment will save you over time.

Compare Loans
Want to compare loans to see which is best? Loan Shark lets you compare up to 9 loans side-by-side.

Nearby Banks
Using the iPhone or iPod Touch’s built-in location sensor, Loan Shark can retrieve a list of nearby banks, making shopping for a loan that much easier.

Loan Shark also helps you calculate how long it will take to pay off credit cards…almost a necessity in today’s slumping economy. Loan Shark is $4.99 at the App Store, an amount that would no doubt be offset by how much it saves you in future interest payments.