Caboodle of the Week | SoundGecko | Sylvian & Sakamoto | Leo Babauto
Site | SoundGecko | Have the Web Read to You
Sometimes you just get tired of reading, or you want to catch-up on your reading when you’re driving. So what alternative do you have when it comes to browsing websites, news feeds and other web based material? I came across a really cool application that does exactly that – SoundGecko.
This is not the only application out there, but from the few I took a look at, this is definitely the most natural sounding and functionally rich. Although, I caution, it is still an artificial voice but you quickly get used to the sound; if you play around with the speed you can smooth out the edges a little.
The application works in conjunction with the desktop site. When you install the application, you create an account with a username and password. The desktop site is where you configure what RSS feeds you want to automatically show up in your playlists. You will find other settings as well like the ability to change the voice of the reader. There’s even a Chrome browser plugin that lets you send any page you’re browsing from your desktop right to your playlist (that is very handy). If you’re using your iPhone or iPad, you can easily share any webpage from your mobile browser to benefit from having it read to you. There is a free version to try, as well as a premium paid service that allows you to add in more feeds and sources. After using it a little, I took the plunge for the monthly subscription.
Song | David Sylvian & Ryuichi Sakamoto | Forbidden Colours
This song is one of my all-time favorite songs. “Forbidden Colours” is a song composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto with lyrics by David Sylvian. The lyrical version was the main theme from the Nagisa Oshima film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. The duo also released “Forbidden Colours” as a single in 1983. It’s an amazing composition, enhanced by Sylvian’s haunting lyrics and unique voice.
Person | Leo Babauto from Zenhabits.net
Anyone who has in an interest in simplicity or life optimization should follow Leo Babauta. Leo describes himself as the father of six children, a husband and a former journalist. Originally from Guam, he now resides in San Francisco. A prolific blogger, Leo Babauta has created numerous award winning blogs: Zen Habits, Write To Done and mnmlist. As of 2013, Zen Habits has over 200K subscribers and has been twice named one of the Top 25 blogs by Time magazine.
Leo is also a novelist and has written two best-selling books. The first book, Zen To Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System, is a number one best-selling productivity eBook. The second book, The Power of Less, made the Amazon best-seller list on its first day and remains one of the top selling business motivation books. His latest work is on focus; he is drafting a simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction.