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Nomad Shell Cordovan Apple Watch strap and Moment lens case: Elegant leather Apple accessories



After making a move back to the Apple Watch Series 4 and finding great value in this smartwatch, I started to look around at band options. The new Nomad Shell Cordovan Strap looked like an enviable option so I spent the last few weeks breaking one in.

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Last year I also purchased a Moment wide angle lens and am currently testing out the latest Tele 58mm lens. Two of my favorite companies recently came together so I purchased a Nomad x Moment lens case that provides the greatness of a Nomad Rugged iPhone case with the functionality of a Moment lens photo case.

Also: Moment wide lens and photo case for Apple iPhone X: Enhance your creativity with a twist

Let’s take a closer look at the two new Nomad products I used over the past couple weeks.

Nomad Shell Cordovan Strap

My Apple Watch Series 4 came with a Nike+ sport loop strap and that is wonderful for working out and every day wear. However, it’s nice to dress up an Apple Watch and there is a massive market for Apple Watch bands.

Nomad recently launched the Shell Cordovan Strap in black and silver. The band sells for $149.95, which appears to be expensive for a third party band. However, Apple’s leather bands start at $149 and go up to as high as $539.

The Shell Cordovan Strap is made with Horween leather from Chicago. Horween leather is known for high quality and patina character developed over time. As described in detail on the Horween website, Shell Cordovan is:

Genuine Shell Cordovan is the art of tanning at its finest. More than just a color, it is a very specific leather, from a particular part of a horsehide. The irregular oval shaped shells are tanned, stuffed, shaved, and then polished – a process taking at least six months. Each shell is slowly steeped in gentle vegetable liquors. The shells are genuine hot stuffed then slicked onto glass frames to dry. Each shell is hand curried and shaved by highly skilled artisans to expose the shell. Dyes are hand rubbed on for a deep aniline finish. Finally, the shells are hand glazed to achieve the rich, glossy look and feel prized by fine craftsmen.

The exterior of the Shell Cordovan Strap is glossy while the inside has a matte finish with unique patterns. Nomad states, “The natural, raw finish of Shell Cordovan produces a variety of dark greens intermixed with orginal stamp marks from Horween’s tannery, ensuring that your Apple Watch stands out from the rest.” The band is rather stiff at first, but over time it softens and forms to the shape of your wrist. Over the past couple of weeks of use, the band has softened and is now very comfortable while looking great.

Over long term use, the leather will patina and develop its own unique character. The thread used on the band is a Fil Au Chinois beeswax linen thread while stainless steel lugs and buckle, in black or silver, are used to finish off the high quality design of the product. The black stainless steel model has a PVD treatment application to provide the black color.

The Nomad Shell Cordovan Strap is designed for the 44mm Apple Watch Series 4, but fits all previous 42mm Apple Watches as well. The buckle side of the band is 75mm in length while the adjustment side is 135mm. It is designed to fit wrist sizes ranging from 150mm to 210mm. When I wear the band on my wrist, I have three holes left in the band. There are eight total holes to use for adjusting the band to your wrist.

I’ve been very happy with the Nomad Shell Cordovan watch band and look forward to wearing it and watching it develop character over the next several months, and likely years, with this or future Apple Watch devices.

Also: Apple Watch Series 4 back on my wrist: Unnecessary, but indispensable

Nomad Moment Rugged iPhone Case

One of the first cases I purchase for my iPhones are leather variations from Nomad. While I would love to use a Nomad leather case for long periods of time so I could watch it develop its patina, I also love to use Moment lenses and you need to use a Moment Photo case to use these accessories.

I was very excited when Nomad and Moment announced a partnership that looked to be made for my exact needs. The Nomad Moment Rugged iPhone case combines the best of Nomad leather cases with the capability to twist and lock in Moment lenses. I order a case as soon as they were available and have been using it for the past couple of weeks.

The Nomad Rugged cases are my personal favorite since I like back and side protection, but am not sold on wallet cases. This new Nomad Moment Rugged iPhone case is just like other Nomad Rugged cases, but has the back opening where the dual camera setup is located altered to include a Moment lens mount. You can use the new Moment lenses with both cameras, just make sure to use the Moment iPhone app that gives you all the functionality to use the lens and dual cameras.

The Nomad Moment Rugged case has a high-grade polycarbonate body with a raised TPE bumper around the edges. The case provides a rated 10 feet drop protection and the raised side bumpers help protect the display when you set your iPhone XS face down on a table.

The back of the case is wrapped in Horween leather, rustic brown in color, that wraps around the curves of the back. It looks and feels great. The Moment lens supporting structure protrudes out from the back of the case just a bit, which also acts to protect the glass lenses of the rear cameras.

The interior of the Nomad leather case is lined with soft gray microfiber material with the Nomad branding on the inside. Your iPhone XS snaps securely into the frame and ensures the case will not fall off the iPhone. There are ample openings for the cameras, flash, Lightning port, speaker, and mics. There is also an opening for the ringer switch, but I had a bit of difficulty with flipping the switch because I have short fingernails and the case is a bit thick around this opening.

Wireless charging and Apple Pay is supported when your iPhone is in the case so you really never have to remove your iPhone if you want good protection, great looks, and Moment lens capability in one case.

The Nomad Moment Rugged iPhone Case is available now for $49.95. The standard Nomad Rugged case is $44.95 so there is only a $5 premium to add Moment lens support. The Nomad Moment case is also limited to rustic brown color while black is available if you don’t need the Moment lens support.

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Facebook’s stock shrugs off bad-news deluge – TechCrunch



After social media company Snap reported earnings last week, the value of its cohort of public companies fell sharply.

Snap shed more than 20% of its value after telling investors that it expects a far smaller fourth quarter than the street anticipates. Privacy changes to technology platforms and weak advertiser demand thanks to supply-chain issues are likely to weigh on Snap’s Q4 top-line expectations.

Facebook stock fell around 5% on the Snap news on Friday.

And then Facebook had a difficult weekend of coverage, a period that flowed into a Monday-morning news dump concerning the company as dozens of media organizations began reporting on a trove of documents released by a whistleblower. Facebook is in the midst of what is perhaps its most damning reporting cycle to date, a bit of a high-water mark given the social company’s history of scandal.

This morning, however, shares of Facebook are essentially flat, trading up or down 0.2% to 0.3%. Investors are shrugging off the reporting, it appears.

It would be easy to make a somewhat cynical comment that public-market investors were more concerned about potentially lackluster business results than they are about, say, the company’s inability to handle misinformation and political manipulation in India. But a good chunk of today’s reporting deals with things that do matter in business terms, like Facebook’s slowly declining grip on younger users. So, what’s going on?

It may be that today’s reporting was priced into Facebook’s stock already; the company, worth just under $326 per share this morning, is far from its all-time high of $384.33 that it set earlier this year, indicating that it has already given up quite a lot of value.

But it may be most fair to say that Facebook investors are simply reacting to new disclosures — like Snap’s bad news — more than historical documents outlining longer-term issues. That would explain why Facebook fell Friday and is flattish today.

Regardless of why Facebook’s shares are holding steady this morning, any gains in the wake of an ocean of negative reporting based on the company’s own descriptions of its problems — leaked documents are powerful for that very reason — must feel like a win inside of Facebook’s halls.

Facebook reports earnings today after the bell.

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Cameo buys fan merch platform Represent – TechCrunch



Celeb video site Cameo is making its first acquisition. The company will buy Represent, a marketing and merch company that helps celebrities and brands set up individualized online storefronts. It’s a natural fit for Cameo, which invites fans to pay celebrities of all stripes for short customized videos.

Represent counts Jennifer Lopez, Ed Sheeran, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey and Kendall Jenner among the members of its pool of partnered talent, so Cameo will be bringing those relationships into the fold through the acquisition.

The company is also bringing Represent’s leadership on board and the acquisition will double the size of Cameo’s team in Europe. Cameo did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Cameo says that its users won’t see changes right away, but in the future they might be able to purchase “gift bundles” that would pair a traditional Cameo video with related merch. The company also hopes that weaving merch into its revenue streams will boost the fundraising efforts that many on-platform celebrities do to raise money for nonprofits.

Most of Cameo’s users visit the celeb video site to procure gifts for friends and loved ones to celebrate birthdays and other occasions. The company said it facilitated more than 1.3 million videos last year, with the company’s top 150 figures earning north of $100,000.

The company has also added a few new products, including Cameo Calls — short one-on-one video calls with celebrities — and Fan Clubs, sort of a VIP section of the site that helps dedicated fans stay in the loop on the talent they follow.

Cameo has raised money from a number of traditional sources like Google Ventures and SoftBank, but also from celebrity investors like Snoop Dogg and Tony Hawk. In March, Cameo raised $100 million Series C, bringing the company’s valuation to upward of $1 billion.

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Internal Facebook documents highlight its moderation and misinformation issues – TechCrunch



The Facebook Papers, a vast trove of documents supplied by whistleblower Frances Haugen to a consortium of news organizations has been released. The reporting, by Reuters, Bloomberg, The Washington Post and others, paints a picture of a company that repeatedly sought to prioritize dominance and profit over user safety. This was, however, despite a large number of employees warning that the company’s focus on engagement put users at risk of real-world violence.

The Washington Post, for instance, claims that while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg played down reports that the site amplified hate speech in testimony to Congress, he was aware that the problem was far broader than publicly declared. Internal documents seen by the Post claim that the social network had removed less than five percent of hate speech, and that executives — including Zuckerberg — were well aware that Facebook was polarizing people. The claims have already been rebutted by Facebook, which says that the documents have been misrepresented.

Zuckerberg is also accused of squashing a plan to run a Spanish-language voter-registration drive in the US before the 2020 elections. He said that the plan may have appeared “partisan,” with WhatsApp staffers subsequently offering a watered-down version partnering with outside agencies. The CEO was also reportedly behind the decision not to clamp down on COVID-19 misinformation in the early stages of the pandemic as there may be a “material tradeoff with MSI [Meaningful Social Interaction — an internal Facebook metric] impact.” Facebook has refuted the claim, saying that the documents have been mischaracterized.

Reuters reported that Facebook has serially neglected a number of developing nations, allowing hate speech and extremism to flourish. That includes not hiring enough staffers who can speak the local language, appreciate the cultural context and otherwise effectively moderate. The result is that the company has unjustified faith in its automatic moderation systems which are ineffective in non-English speaking countries. Again, Facebook has refuted the accusation that it is neglecting its users in those territories.

One specific region that is singled out for concern is Myanmar, where Facebook has been held responsible for amplifying local tensions. A 2020 document suggests that the company’s automatic moderation system could not flag problematic terms in (local language) Burmese. (It should be noted that, two years previously, Facebook’s failure to properly act to prevent civil unrest in Myanmar was highlighted in a report from Business for Social Responsibility.)

Similarly, Facebook reportedly did not have the tools in place to detect hate speech in the Ethiopian languages of Oromo or Amharic. Facebook has said that it is working to expand its content moderation team and, in the last two years, has recruited Oromo, Amharic and Burmese speakers (as well as a number of other languages).

The New York Times, reports that Facebook’s internal research was well-aware that the Like and Share functions — core elements of how the platform work — had accelerated the spread of hate speech. A document, titled What Is Collateral Damage, says that Facebook’s failure to remedy these issues will see the company “actively (if not necessarily consciously) promoting these types of activities.” Facebook says that, again, these statements are based on incorrect premises, and that it would be illogical for the company to try and actively harm its users.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, has focused on the supposed collapse in Facebook’s engagement metrics. Young people, a key target market for advertisers, are spending less time on Facebook’s platform, with fewer teens opting to sign up. At the same time, the number of users may be artificially inflated in these age groups, with users choosing to create multiple accounts — “Finstas” — to separate their online personas to cater to different groups. Haugen alleges that Facebook “has misrepresented core metrics to investors and advertisers,” and that duplicate accounts are leading to “extensive fraud” against advertisers. Facebook says that it already notifies advertisers of the risk that purchases will reach duplicate accounts in its Help Center, and lists the issue in its SEC filings.

Over the weekend, Axios reported that Facebook’s Sir Nick Clegg warned that the site should expect “more bad headlines” in the coming weeks. Between the material available in the Facebook Papers, another round of Frances Haugen’s testimony in the UK later today and rumors of more whistleblowers coming forward, it’s likely that Facebook will remain in the headlines for some time.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Engadget.

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