Adding HomePod to Sonos System

While it's true that AirPlay 2 will enhance Apple's multi-room support by bringing multi-speaker output to AirPlay apps on iOS, you can already tap into some AirPlay multiroom action using a Mac and iTunes. From the AirPlay logo on iTunes you can select multiple speakers and have them all playing in harmony.

You can also add an Apple TV in this multi-output arrangement and this is the magic ingredient for getting your HomePod playing in tandem with your Sonos speakers…

How to add your Apple HomePod smart speaker to your Sonos system

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Your Guide to Cutting the Cord

“Cord cutting” is the term people use when they refer to cutting off their cable or satellite subscription. Most do it to save money. TV subscription pricing has continued to tick higher year after year. For me, it has become less about saving money and more about reallocating that cash into specific services. I’d rather have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Apple Music vs. a single cable package.

With three young children at home, my wife and I don’t have time to watch nearly as much TV as we used to. The shows that we do watch are available for free using an over-the-air antenna. Between the antenna and a few streaming services, we felt like we could get away without paying the large cable bill. Five years later, we are still happy without it.

All that said, let’s get into The Sweet Setup Guide for Cutting the Cord.

The Sweet Setup Guide to Cutting the Cord – The Sweet Setup

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Apple’s New Mac Book Pros....Finally

Apple just unveiled a new MacBook Pro. And I've got some good news and some bad news.

Bad news first: Apple has done practically nothing to address the major concerns about the current MacBook Pro design that debuted in October 2016. There's still a questionably practical Touch Bar in place of the function row. The laptop still relies solely on four USB-C ports and a headphone jack for connectivity. And the butterfly keyboard — which many consider a step down from the previous "chiclet" design and can often be notoriously inconvenient to repair — is still there (although Apple made it slightly quieter).

The good news is this isn't just a spec bump, like the 2017 refresh was. The 2018 MacBook Pro, which goes on sale Thursday, is a serious upgrade over the previous generation, bringing new features, hardware, and integrations to what was already a powerful machine. Where the specs go up, they go up a lot, and in doing so address some of the biggest requests from creatives — Apple's primary customers for the MBP.

There’s some solid reasons to finally upgrade my machine now. Even though the SSD hard drive prices are high...I’d be tempted to go with the 15” with 1TB SSD.

Apple upgrades the MacBook Pro, but ignores the elephant in the room

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Is This the Perfect Backpack for Your Adventure Photography?

As a frequent traveler who often needs to bring a lot of camera gear with him on his adventures, finding the right backpack for a trip can be a real challenge. My natural inclination is to always go light and fast, carrying as little as possible. But since I need to capture photos of my journey to share in my stories later, bringing heavy camera gear works counter to those instincts. Lugging around a camera body, a couple of lenses, extra batteries, a charger, and possibly even a drone can really slow you down, particularly if you don't have the proper bag to carry all of that equipment – not to mention your laptop, tablet, water, food, snacks, and other gear you need to survive on the go. After years of searching however, I think I may have found exactly what I've been looking for at last in the form to the new Fjord 36 from a company called NYA-EVO.

After I wiped the drool off my mouth, I had to restrain myself from buying this backpack that combines two of my favorite things to do...Or maybe I won’t restrain myself.

Gear Closet: NYA-EVO Fjord 36 Photography Backpack Review

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How 21 Van Life Experts Make Money

Let’s face it, we all want the freedom to travel when and where we want. But it all sounds unrealistic and the question about money is the most daunting and difficult one to answer.

Well, luckily for you, being a trust fund baby isn’t the only way to fulfill your adventurous dreams.

And in hopes to prove this, we interviewed 21 of the biggest and most well known nomads and asked them…

“How do you make money while travelling the world in your home on wheels?”

21 Van Life Experts Share How They Make Money While Traveling!! - ProjectVanLife

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Omnifocus 3

There are few applications I use more than OmniFocus. I started with the beta before OmniFocus version 1, and I’ve used it continuously since then. While I’ve flirted with other task management applications, OmniFocus is my one and only, and now it is up to version 3. So what’s new? Quite a lot.

MacSparky is THE source to go to for all things Omnifocus. I was able to get in on the beta and I have never gone back. Love it!

OmniFocus 3 for iPhone and iPad

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AirPod Hack to Help Them Stay in Your Ear

Over on the MacRumors forums, AirPods owner NewZealandMatt walked us through his creative process. After finding that the earbud kept falling out of his left ear, he tried a few of the currently recommended solutions. Adding a foam cover over the AirPod kept it in place but wasn’t very comfortable, and putting on a slippery silicone cover just made things worse.

The best solution, he found...

huh. I love my AirPods and they don’t stay in very well...maybe I’ll try this.

Keep Your AirPods in Your Ears With This Hack

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How to Take the Ultimate California Road Trip

Still, arriving in Santa Cruz, I smiled as we pulled up to Outwesty Camper Vans, where we were greeted by the shop's mellow owner, Dave, and his terrier, Benny. Dave, a self-described Westfalia addict who's been restoring vans for a decade, introduced us to Georgia, a burgundy "89 automatic. "Can we pop the top?" Bennett called, swinging from the van's crossbar. Unfazed, Dave showed us the cubbies and the kitchen, the fold-down bed and the pop-up roof. We packed our not-so-minimalist life into the tiny spaces, and Dave waved us off.

First, renting one of those old Westfalia and sounds cool. Second, this trip sounds amazing.

How to Take the Ultimate California Road Trip

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10 Most Useful Backpacking Knots

This classic knot is useful in situations where you're connecting two pieces of rope. You can always add more pieces of rope, and this knot can be used almost anywhere, especially when you need to tie something loosely to your pack, or make extra line for a tarp or rain fly. Bonus: It's easy to untie, even with a lot of stress added to it.

I used to use the knot below a TON.

The 10 Most Useful Backpacking Knots

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Learn to Build the “Quad” Climbing Anchor

The “quad” offers a strong, fast, redundant, simple anchor when distributing forces between pieces is a high priority. Note that the quad will extend slightly should either side fail, making it best suited for routes with modern, two-bolt belays and/or ice routes when using two screws at a stance. The quad also works well on multi-piece gear anchors, though it requires more consideration...

Huh. Not sure why I never thought of this kind of anchor when I was climbing a lot. Be sure to check out the 3 piece quad anchor this article talks about at the end.

Learn This: Build a Quad Anchor

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Climbers in Yosemite Say Goodby to Jim “the Bird” Bridwell

On Saturday, May 19, climbers from around the country gathered at the Lower River Amphitheater in Yosemite Valley to share their remembrances of Jim Bridwell.

Love this last bit.

Mike Graham, a member of the Stonemasters and the early Yosemite Search and Rescue team (YOSAR), for which Bridwell was a driving force, reminded the audience that "a man dies twice: once with his last breath, and then when his name is last spoken," prophesizing that as long as there are climbers in Yosemite Valley, Jim Bridwell will not die.

Dude is probably going to live forever. Rest In Peace.

Many flock to Yosemite to say goodbye to Jim 'the Bird' Bridwell

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History Matters Too...

The title of this post is a nod to my wife who is currently getting a Masters Degree in History. I give her a hard time about her love of all things history related, but I caught this article below and it struck a chord with me.

One of those cognitive scientists spoke on the Tuesday panel: Daniel Willingham, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia who writes about the science behind reading comprehension. Willingham explained that whether or not readers understand a text depends far more on how much background knowledge and vocabulary they have relating to the topic than on how much they’ve practiced comprehension skills. That’s because writers leave out a lot of information that they assume readers will know. If they put all the information in, their writing would be tedious.

But if readers can’t supply the missing information, they have a hard time making sense of the text. If students arrive at high school without knowing who won the Civil War they’ll have a hard time understanding a textbook passage about Reconstruction.

I’ve always felt fortunate that in my younger years I didn’t have TV. My parents could only afford to pay for cable whenever the summer Olympics came around, and we never got the free network channels (lived in a valley). This meant that I read a TON as a kid. My reading comprehension was always years ahead of my peers as I got further in to my school years and was reading books meant for adults almost before I was a teenager.

The implication is clear. The best way to boost students’ reading comprehension is to expand their knowledge and vocabulary by teaching them history, science, literature, and the arts, using curricula that that guide kids through a logical sequence from one year to the next: for example, Native Americans and Columbus in kindergarten; the colonial era and the American Revolution in first grade; the War of 1812 and the Civil War in second grade, and so on. That approach enables children to make sense of what they’re learning, and the repetition of concepts and vocabulary in different contexts makes it more likely they’ll retain information. Not to mention that learning content like this can be a lot more engaging for both students and teachers than the endless practice of illusory skills.

I look back on all those things my mother had me do as a child during summer breaks. Keep a journal. Read certain books. Write about those books.

After reading this, I appreciate that now more than ever. Looks like I’ll have to start siding with the wife when she wants to take the family to all those historical sites now.

Why American Students Haven't Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years

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These are the North American Mountains You Want to Photograph

For many landscape photographers, mountains represent the pinnacle of subject matter.

Not only can you photograph gorgeous mountain peaks covered in snow, but there's also plentiful opportunities to capture things like forests, lakes, rivers, glaciers, wildflowers, wildlife, and even the Northern Lights.

The question, of course, is what mountain ranges should you photograph?

Here's a few landscape photography tips for the next mountains you need to photograph.

Top Mountain Ranges in North America That Photographers Love to Photograph

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