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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

Kickstarter Monday: Gadget Edition

On the first Monday of the month, we take a little break from movie talk and turn our attention to Kickstarter. This month: gadgets I've backed.

Most people creating gadgets for the first time and with someone else's money get it all wrong. Physical objects are hard enough, and then some folks want to bring electronics into it... But now and then, I find one that catches my eye.  (And good thing too, because the long arc of this column is going to bend towards lists of books!) 

MaCO - Magnetic Cable Organizer - These were a bundle of little rubber straps with magnets on either end for tying up cables. They also came with 'base stations' that are little bits of metal. I think they've probably been mass-produced for less by now (Okay, that's another Kickstarter Sniglet needed: when your product gets ripped off, produced faster and cheaper, and beats you to market.), and I surely overpaid for them at the time, but! I use mine constantly. I got at least half a dozen of them, and I know it because that's how many I interact with most days and they make life easier.  A good buy!

The Linkmount - This is a silhouette-ruining hunk of metal and plastic that you glue to the back of your phone, and in exchange your phone gains a kickstand / keyring, a tripod mount, and a secure mounting point for a series of "base stations" that are strong magnets you glue to places you want to stick your phone. The Linkmount made me feel like a kid who has ordered from an ad in the back of a comic book, checking the mail everyday and wondering if the x-ray specs are ever going to arrive. It did arrive, something like a year behind schedule, but stuck faithfully to my iPhone 6 ever since. It adds tons of weight and the design of it probably makes Jony Ives' eye twitch, but it worked great and I wish I could still use the magnetic mount in my car. Another good buy!

Chaosmos - A board game that plays the way I always hoped Cosmic Encounter would. The way the YA book Interstellar Pig does. When last mentioned, I playtested it with the creators in Los Angeles. Since then, I did receive the boxed game. The standard edition, not the extra fancy versions for high-level backers, but the parts are all of high quality. It's a really well made and good looking game, and fun the times I've gotten to play it.  Unfortunately, none of the folks in my old game group speak to me anymore, so it doesn't get much use. Anyone looking for a new game group?