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What's up, dock?

THE Twelve South HiRise for iPhone5/iPad mini is a sturdy aluminum stand with a Lightning cable dock connector for the newer Apple devices supporting that connection.

Twelve South is a company that not only makes great and useful products, but seems to have the system down to match the Apple culture for the modern look on accessories that are well-constructed.

The HiRise doesn't come assembled, but only takes a few minutes to get it standing.

After you dock your iOS device, it rises several inches for easy viewing and will charge and/or sync, depending on your preference.

Since the charging port is on the bottom of your device, it only works in portrait mode when docked on the HiRise. The dock doesn't block the microphone or speaker, allowing hands-free use.

The stand was able to hold an iPhone 5 (I'm sure the 5S as well) and an iPad mini without a problem.

Along with the stand, they include a dock adapter to support your device with carrying case. No one can guarantee every case will work, but the few I tried were problem-free.


Seal the deal

KEYSTONE has launched a watertight SealCase for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5/5s.

All functions are available in the single piece case including talking, texting, photos, videos, all your apps and charging.

To get your phone sealed, just unlock the latch, put your phone in and close it. The latches and seals keep everything intact.

Just like any waterproof device, I always recommend testing it out in a sink before taking it to heavier use.

It's waterproof up to two metres, but makes great protection on land from dirt, dust and sand.

-- Gregg Ellman /

The write stuff

ONCE in a while, you run into a tiny gem of a website. Letters of Note (, says its compiler, Shaun Usher, is "a blog-based archive of fascinating correspondence, complete with scans and transcripts of the original missives where available." Here you will find everything from a letter penned on his deathbed to his newborn grandson by Second World War pilot Clyde S. Shield, whose military career spanned Pearl Harbor to the testing of the delivery system for the atomic bomb, to an explicit memo sent by Matt Stone to the Motion Picture Association of America on adjustments he and partner Trey Parker would make to their film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut to qualify for an R, rather than NC-17, rating.

Each letter is preceded by a few paragraphs setting up the circumstances under which it was written. If available, a scan of the original is included, as well as the source of the document. You can browse the site's archive, which includes more than 900 letters written by, to or about such disparate notables as Abraham Lincoln, Agatha Christie and Al Capone to Walt Disney, Walt Whitman and Wil Wheaton. The archive can be searched by six different parameters, and a sidebar includes the most popular letters.

Although Usher welcomes contributions, he stresses he has "a seemingly endless supply of correspondence to plough through" and that "fakes will be sneered at."

-- By Ronnie Gill / Newsday

Stay on track

ANDROID/iOS: You have a lot of options for apps that will track your run, but few of them help you train and improve your times. My Asics is an app that features an adaptive system that looks at your runs and helps you improve your times.

Where a number of apps out there want to log your runs, My Asics wants to make you better at running. You start by setting a goal (a 10K or marathon or whatever else), and your current times. Then My Asics builds a distance, pace, and training plan around that. As you log your runs, My Asics changes your plan to push you harder. During runs it sets the pace for you and will have you run harder when it tracks your improvements. The end goal is to shave a few minutes off your overall times, and My Asics seems to do that pretty well. It's lacking some features of other running apps, such as a full-on map, elevation, and (weirdly) kilometres, but it does a great job of training you to improve your times nonetheless.

-- Thorin Klosowski /

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 20, 2013 A12

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