Touchscreen Gloves

In the age of iPads and smartphones, it’s surprising that there aren’t that many options for attractive, touchscreen-friendly gloves. Many are overdesigned and too techy looking, like something that would come out of an REI store.

I recently came across this problem while I was searching for a pair for my cousin, who received iPhone for Christmas, but also lives in Canada, where gloves are a winter necessity. On the casual side, there’s iTap and Etre, although neither of them are particularly attractive. Muji and Isotoner have plain, simple designs, but I was afraid the acrylic composition wouldn’t be warm enough.

The best I’ve found are leather gloves, which in recent years have come with various gadget-friendly solutions. The simplest are by Pengallan and Land’s End, where there’s a slit in the index finger that allows you to operate your devices. The Pengallans are nice in that they’re made with a horizontal slit instead of a vertical one (which is what the Land’s End model features). This allows you to more easily pull the leather back when you need to push the tiny buttons on your cell phone. There are also gloves that are conductive through leather. You can purchase those through Isotoner or Dents (the second being also available at Mr. Porter), or have them custom made through Chester Jefferies. Chester Jefferies makes great custom gloves if you send them a tracing of your hand, but for better results, I recommend submitting a photocopy. That way, you won’t get any errors from changing the angle of your pen as you trace.  

If you’re daring, you can also try to hack your current set of gloves so they become conductive. There are a number of YouTube videos that show you how, as well as posts at Fashioning Tech and Instructables. It might be wise to be extra-careful if you’re working with leather, however, as you won’t be able to hide poked holes, so mistakes will be costly. 

(Pictured above: Pengallan gloves)


How do you keep old electronics out of the trash? One answer is a simple hack: Stick a newer gadget inside an old shell. These classic Macs from the late 80s have been fitted with iPads inside, making them a hybrid of recycled Apple parts.

The project came about by chance when a Dutch designer stumbled on the old computers. “When I helped my buddy with moving last month, he was going to throw out his nerdy Macintosh SE from 1989,” recalls Fredo de Smet, a principal at a creative firm called Fisheye. “There were six of them, and I saved them from destruction.”

The company pulled out the old image tubes, and 3-D printed a frame to hold a 7-inch iPad inside. So far, they’ve used the hacked computers at a trade show and occasionally bring them to meetings, though De Smet notes the obvious: “The old Mac is not truly mobile.”

More here.

Byrd & Belle Tech Sleeves

A reader just emailed us, looking for a recommendation - he wanted to buy a sleeve for his iPad, but wasn’t sure where to turn.

I bought my first-ever Fancy Laptop a year or so ago, a Lenovo ultrabook, and I didn’t want to throw it unprotected into my unpadded shoulder bag. I spent hours combing the web and Etsy, looking for something simple and reasonably priced. I ended up at Byrd & Belle, a Minneapolis-based Etsy storefront. I emailed a question to the owner, Angie, and she replied with a question of her own: was I the guy from Put This On?

I ended up trading a few pocket squares for a sleeve, which Angie made to the specifications of my computer (she’s happy to do this, by the way). I’ve been using it for about a year, and I couldn’t be happier. I was a little worried about the light color, but it still looks and works as well as the day I got it in the mail.

Byrd & Belle’s prices range from about $30 for phone wallets to about $75 for computer sleeves. I think that if you’re looking for a sleeve, they’re a great choice.

Introducing the Holding Court Issue, October 2013

Get a subscription already!

Sometimes our friends will ask us why they should subscribe to the magazine—pretty much everything that appears in print also appears online, they say, and print is a dying medium anyway. Then they ask to borrow our car, because our friends are fucking assholes.

If you want to know why the physical copy of the magazine is worth it, locate a copy of this month’s Holding Court issue (a map of selected distribution points can be found here) and take a look at the cover by Marcel Dzama, which you can check out above in its ones-and-zeros version. Online it looks pretty good, but in real life the halo around the dude-with-a-baby-for-a-head’s head/baby shimmers in the light and you can make out the subtle muddy bloodstains on the arrow-filled body hanging from the ceiling. It’s the kind of strange painting you’d want to cut out and put on your wall, only you can’t if you’re just looking at it on your computer like a putz.

Other stuff that’s worth seeing in print:

The pictures of Irving Zisman, a.k.a. Johnny Knoxville, as the horny septuagenarian parties with some young lasses 50 years his junior. 

War correspondent Robert King’s photo essay on Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp, which is home to 120,000 displaced Syrians.

Kevin Site’s travelogue of Afghanistan as the US military finally prepares to leave for good (spoiler: the country ain’t doing so well).

These never-before-seen photos from Nirvana’s 1989 European tour

VICE editor Wilbert L. Cooper’s examination of the thriving culture of scrap metal thieves in Cleveland

If all that stuff doesn’t convince you that a paper version of the magazine is worth getting, look out for our iPad edition which is chock full of amazing extras including exclusive videos and pictures…

We're all better off when what we need is socially acceptable

One of the best things about iPads is that they make it possible to do things people with disabilities need without invoking disability stigma. Because iPads are just iPads. They’re not special technology that only Really Disabled people are allowed to use.

And that’s better. That means a lot of disabled folks can use them who were never able to use adapative technology before. Because they didn’t fall into the categories they and others read as Allowed To Use Disability Equipment.

Other things are like that too. Stimming being more popular and socially accepted would be good for us. Gatekeeping about who is allowed to do it hurts us.

Everyone should be able to type rather than speak if they want. Everyone should be able to rock and move and think.

I suspect this is true for a lot of other access issues too.

In schools where they are used, iPads are a great motivational tool but also harm concentration, as one study of 6,000 pupils in Canada found. Even the students themselves – more than 99% of them – reported they found the tablet a distraction. As for teachers, just one out of the 302 surveyed didn’t mention distraction as a ‘major challenge.’

from “Let’s Chalk Up Some Rules Before iPads Enter Every Classroom”


So at our school we bring our ipads for school work, and everybody at my school has been obsessed with this game ‘Trivia Crack’, I rented an iPad from the school so I cannot get any apps I can only use the apps they provided for me, but every one else in the grade is playing it and your not allowed to play games during school so my principle wrote this:

'It has come to my attention that many students are using the Trivia Crack app during the school day. This is not an authorized use of your iPad. Our internet filter is being adjusted to block this app; however, even if this or any app works, you are not permitted to play any games during class and if you continue to, we will strip you of your privileges to use the iPad.'

And I was like: bruh, we bought a $200 electronic for ourselves, and we are FORCED to bring it to school or we are FORCED to BUY a $200 iPad from you, because if we don’t, we will fail all of our classes. We are not allowed to play games, we are not allowed to text, we are not allowed to do anything unschool related and if I do MY $200 iPad, that I paid for, WITH MY OWN MONEY, will be taken away from me and all of the apps that i paid for, WITH MY OWN MONEY, my music, my videos…my tumblr… WILL ALL BE TAKEN AWAY, And I have to change my passcode share my passcode, do EVERYTHING on my iPad, get annoying emails from teachers, my iPad can be looked at ANYTIME by ANY TEACHER, and I have to BUY all the apps that you FORCE me to buy, WITH MY OWN MONEY, or else I will fail school, even though we only use like half the apps, and if you take away my $200 iPad that I bought, WITH MY OWN MONEY, because I was using apps that I payed for for entertainment in this God forsaken house of hell, WITH MY OWN MONEY, and that once you do, since I need my iPad because all my textbooks, homework, classwork, and notebooks are on there, since you have taken it away I will fail THE REST OF MY CLASSES that I enter today, because I used something I bought