Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Weekend Gadgets - Showcased on CNN


Here is the CNN vid too! > Click

1.) Underwater Scuba and Snorkel Goggles LiquidImage Co. $99- $350
I use to think it was so cool to have an underwater disposable camera – this kicks it up a notch. Two different models available for both snorkeling and scuba diving.  Now you have the capability to take up to 720pHD video and 5MP stills, hours of video and thousands of pics!















2.) Rock-It, $50
Turn anything in to a speaker.  Super small and portable perfect for the beach our outdoor gathering.  Once you stick the sticky pad on to any object it turns it in to a vibrating loud speaker.  Stick it to a surfboard, snack box, cooler, you name it for serious jamming out.  Works best with things that are hollow.


No gadget segment would be complete without something from an infomercial. A summer favorite got less messy. Put in the oven or on a grill and make tasty treats in up to 5 minutes.  

4.) Cruizin Cooler, $349-$1,399
Cooler that fits up to 24 cans and goes at speeds up to 13mph.  Comes in a number of different colors and you can choose from customized rims, gas and electric models, etc.  Trailer hitches are also available so you can tow your dog.


5.) TanningBooth App, $0.99
Not getting away this Memorial Weekend but want to fake that you had an amazing vacation?  Fake and bake with the TanningBooth app.  For just $0.99 you can add a tan to any photo and control the level of extreme.

 


And I'll leave you with my tech travel tip!  


DONT STEAL HOTEL TOWELS OR BATHROBES!

That's right better think twice about the five-finger discount for that luxurious towel. Two companies Linen Tracking and Fluensee paired up to create the new technology that embeds RFID tags, in other words a tracker chip, to make sure you don't run off with it. Now you might say that seems a little ridiculous and cheap on a hotel's part but understand a hotel bath towel can run around $8-9 dollars a piece.  Monthly lost can range from 5-20%.  

One hotel in particular reduced towel loss from 4,000 a month to 750 a month, which turns into about a $16,000 monthly savings.  Each hotel handles the approach different in getting their linens back - some might just add it to your bill others could implement that embarrassing phone call. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Polaroid at Bloomingdales NYC

It's amazing to see a product come to life and hit the retail shelves. 

Yesterday, Polaroid in conjunction with Haus of Gaga and Lady Gaga launched the first product in the Grey Label line, the Grey Label Instant Mobile Printer, or in short the GL10.

To celebrate the launch we've taken over some Bloomingdale's windows creating one of the largest interactive displays celebrating consumer electronics!

If you're in the New York City area we invite you to check them out!  Every two minutes a photo is taken and displayed in the window.  All you have to do is stand in the Polaroid pixel on the sidewalk, wait for the countdown clock to hit zero and smile!

The product itself is truly unique and practical.  It's amazing to have a 15oz printer that gives you tangible photos in your hands once again.  You can print 3x4 pics with a full bleed or Polaroid border in 45 seconds.  And no ink!  The inks in the specialized paper.  We also have apps available for adding effects.

A limited supply of the GL10 is in Bloomingdales NYC.  Next, we will be selling at HSN.  And finally we will add to Costco locations.  And of course it is available on Polaroid.com as well.



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Geek Pride Day!

I found this press release interesting and thought I would share!

Modis Geek Pride Day Survey Reveals Majority of Americans Believe Being Called a “Geek” is a Compliment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 23, 2011) – Geeks across America have a lot to celebrate on May 25, National Geek Pride Day.  Long gone are the days when the title of “geek” carried with it a negative connotation. Today, some may argue it is in fact “chic to be geek,” as a majority (57 percent) of Americans believe being called a geek is actually a compliment, according to a survey by Modis, a leading provider of information technology staffing.

Modis’ survey, an omnibus conducted in honor of Geek Pride Day by Opinion Research Corporation, supports the fact that there has been a cultural shift in the way Americans perceive geeks. Today, Americans most closely associate the term “geek” with favorable attributes such as being extremely intelligent (45 percent), a reliable source for technology advice (56 percent) and a first adopter of technology (45 percent). But perhaps one of the most interesting findings that supports this point – and also puts high school stereotypes to rest – is nearly twice as many Americans today would prefer to be called a “geek” (41 percent) rather than a “jock” (22 percent).

With all of these positive attributes associated with geeks, who wouldn’t want to be called a geek today? It turns out – older generations. Two-thirds (66 percent) of Millennials (respondents aged 18-34) think being identified as a “geek” is a compliment, while only 39 percent of respondents aged 65 and older agree. The cultural shift in the way Americans perceive geeks is further evidenced by the findings that eight out of 10 (82 percent) respondents feel it is more acceptable to be a geek today than it was 15 years ago.
    
“It might be Americans’ increasing dependence on and comfort with technology or the prevalent images of former ’geeks’ who now successfully lead multi-billion dollar technology companies, but being a geek has gone mainstream, said Jack Cullen, president of Modis.  “In fact 65 percent of Americans think that everyone is a geek about something.  So on Geek Pride Day, we want to celebrate the innovation and advancements geeks have made to our everyday life.”

Additional findings from Modis’ Geek Pride Day survey include:

·         Proud to Be a Geek! Nearly one-fifth (17 percent) of Americans self-identify as a geek.

·         Geeks Are Shaping Technology through Their Work.  Geeks are typically associated with being well-suited for IT or technology industries. Survey respondents felt the professional fields geeks are best-suited for include video game designer (65 percent), technology engineer (50 percent) and professional blogger (37 percent).

·         Who Are You Calling a Nerd? The terms “nerd” and “geek” are not interchangeable. The survey showed Americans are much more wary of being called a “nerd” than a “geek” – even geeks agree! A majority (87 percent) of self-identified geeks were more comfortable being labeled a geek than a nerd (61 percent).

·         Information Technology Appreciated in the Workplace.  When asked which department at work is most valuable to them, 16 percent of employed Americans said IT – comparable to the 17 percent that said marketing and 18 percent that said accounting. Human resources slightly outweighed other divisions – likely because of the personal nature of the function - with 25 percent of Americans valuing it most.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Camera+ - A Must.

Love Camera+ App.  It's an absolute must and makes any photo look way better with the number of edit options like cropping and borders and the amaze filters like grunge, hipster and 70s.  And yes, super easy to use.

Here is a cool before and after I took of Whippy. 




 


































Here is a screen shot of the app > choosing one of the many filters.






E-Readers 101 - A Basic Guide.

This morning Barnes and Noble unveiled a new 'Simple Touch' e-reader due out June 10th. Barnes and Noble has had success with the Nook Color which was released in November, but the Simple Touch is an easier, less frills model that uses e-ink, sports a touch screen, weighs only 8.5oz and is only $139.  In short it's a lot like the Kindle and will give it some decent competition.

E-readers continue to pick up steam. As a matter of fact Kindle e-books are outselling print books on Amazon. And an e-reader is really one of those devices that once you pick it up you "get it".  I get a lot of questions on e-readers so I wanted to provide a 101 Rough Guide for anyone interested in looking to pick one up.

What you should first know is that there are a lot of e-reading devices in the market but the two big players are Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
  • Barnes and Noble makes the Nook Color and now the Simple Touch
  • Amazon makes the Kindle
If you've wanted to pick up an e-reader but were overwhelmed by the choices I've broken it down by user.  This is subjective of course!

User: The Real Reader - wants an e-reading device only for reading books, no extras.  Reads as a hobby, picks up a book when he or she commutes, probably would take on vacation or keep in purse or briefcase.

Go with the Kindle.  Its a reading device and nothing else.  It's inexpensive at only $139 and weighs only 8.5 oz. It holds up to 3,500 books and can download them in under 60 seconds. Plus, the battery life is great - it can go nearly a month on a charge. It uses e-ink which is easy on the eyes and also lets you read in direct sunlight - perfect for summer pool lounging.  The Kindle also has a new feature too that allows you to check out a Kindle book from the local library - this will be out later this year. 

I haven't had a chance to get my hands on the Simple Touch Reader, announced today, but it appears fairly comparable to the Kindle.  It too weighs 8.5 oz, has an e-ink screen.  The e-ink screen is also a touchscreen which is interesting.  It goes two months with one charge which is generous.

User: The Average Reader/Tech User- Interested in an e-reader, okay with tech, likes magazines, maybe has grandchildren and free time on their hands, would enjoy simple games.

Go with the Nook Color.  The biggest difference is obviously the 7" color screen which adds a unique hook of being able to purchase color magazines (which is actually luring in more females) and colored kids books.  With the kids books there is an option for them to be read aloud with the touch of a button.  The Nook Color is touted as an e-reading tablet because it has internet capabilities, access to email, app selection as well as a few games that can be played, etc. It only weighs around a pound, holds 6,000 books but is a bit pricey at $249 so make sure you want all those extra frills. 

The User: Wants it All. If you want it all; access to your photos, videos, internet browsing, hundreds and thousands of apps, and even on board cameras for taking pictures and video then go with the iPad.  It's going to run you a bit more starting at $499 but its a one stop shop including e-reading.  To use as an e-reader you simply download the Kindle or Nook app and read books without having the devices or you can use Apples iBooks app and access e-books that way. (These apps are free.) The downside is it's a bit heavier at 1.3lbs and compared to the Kindle will feel like a mammoth.  It's also is heard to read in direct sunlight so forget taking to the pool.  But on the flipside its truly a one stop shop for having it all.

Bottom line? It's really is all about preference.  My sister is a reader and loves her Kindle.  I got my mom the Nook Color and she returned it for the iPad.  And I prefer the iBooks app on my iPad.

If you have any questions at all on e-readers feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment below.  I've also attached a past segment from The Early Show where I showcased a number of e-reading options. 

The Best Baby Apps - Parents.com

Oh the world of apps!  Over 350,000 Apple IOS apps alone and counting!  And would you believe that over 200 apps are downloaded every second?! 

Apps are great because they appeal to everyone; young and old.  And as I've discovered first hand from my niece Ruby, some are better than others.

Check out my favorite picks on Parents.com.

I've also attached a pic of my geek in training below >> Ruby is regularly accompanied by her blanket and binky iPad, Bacon Stuffed Animal, "No, I will not fix your computer" t-shirt, and of course touch of pink that says nerds can be stylish too :-D

Monday, May 23, 2011

Let's Shake Up This Monday - ThinkGeek Style

My apartment is oh so ThinkGeek.  I have a Darth Vader Toaster, Star Trek Pizza Cutter, Pac-Man Potholder, Binary Doormat in 1s and 0s that reads "Welcome", Mini Donut Factory, random Mario Decals on doors and the list goes on....  It's also probably why I am still single.

So today, I'd like to share with my awesome followers the joy I receive when a ThinkGeek package arrives.  I will choose 3 Twitter followers at random to win one of the prizes below.  All you have to do is RT my last Tweet and be following me :) I'll contact you if chosen!

This is the start of many contests to come, so stay tuned ;)

BatMan Money Clip
Fresh on the market.  I always think its a little 1920s/tool when a dude busts out a money clip but  I realize there aren't a lot of alternatives, until now.




















Heat Changing Pac-Man Mug
The happy feeling of coffee just got even better. Want. Need.
















Jumbo Angry Birds Plush
This is a must for any home or office.  And the real bonus is it comes without the time burglary.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dear Parents, It's Time for a Facebook Talk.



If you're a parent, please hear me out. Talk to your kids about Facebook!  Kids need to understand that whatever they post online will live digitally forever.  If they say something somewhat dicey it could reap some serious repercussions. 

Just last week two kids realized the magnitude of their social media outbursts.  A 13-year old girl in New Hampshire posted on Facebook that she wished Bin Laden would kill her math teacher.  She was suspended from school for 5 days.  A 13-year old boy from Washington state recently made a status update on Facebook warning Obama that suicide bombers were after him due to the Bin Laden raid. He was interrogated by the Secret Service.

Kids often don't think about their postings being visible to the whole world.  It should be explained to them that if they if they are posting something they should be okay with it living on a billboard in Times Square with their name attached to it, if they're not okay with that, then they should think twice.

Mark Zuckerberg stated last week that he thinks kids under 13 could benefit from Facebook.  And while the law currently prohibits anyone under 13 from participating on sites of this nature, get ready for it!  Later in his interview Zuckerberg said, "That will be a fight we take on at some point."

I give lots of kudos to parents in this digital age - it's harder than ever.  My challenge to you is to stay on top of technologies and understand them.  That way, when you talk to your kids they will realize that you understand the technology which will give you huge credibility in their eyes.  They will be more likely to heed your advice if you learn to understand the social media landscape.

Nerd T's I Like.

This weekend on CNN I rocked my new HTML5 tee (see below).  I am pretty obsessed with fashion but am also often inspired by my passion of IT nerdage.

Here are my next few t purchases all from ThinkGeek and perhaps a few for you too and or a lady friend.














I'll Kill You With My Brain, $20
















Green Lantern Hockey Stripe, $20















I'm Here Because you Broke Something, $20

Saturday, May 21, 2011

ReCommerce - CNN

As discussed on CNN Saturday here are several online and retail sites that have programs set up for cashing in your gadgets. 


And here is the link to the vid.

ONLINE TRADE-IN SITES
AMAZON.COM - trade in for Amazon.com credit                
GAZELLE.COM - most popular site has 22 categories & in many cases pays top dollar
ECOSQUID.COM - kind of like the Orbitz/Expedia of reselling sites
NEXTWORTH.COM - partners with Target
FLIPSWAP.COM - tailored specifically for phones
RECELLULAR.COM - tailored specifically for cashing in phones or donating to a good cause; also a great site for telling you how to clear your phone data no matter what the model
   

RETAIL TRADE-IN STORES
BEST BUY – Trade in gadgets for a Best Buy giftcard (or check of lesser value) in over 20 categories.  Best Buy also now offers a buy back program that you can purchase at the check out when you buy a new gadget.  If you return the item in X amount of months you can get cash back.  Though in many calculations you would be better off trading online. 
TARGET – Over 850 Target locations now offering in store trade ins – get a Target gift card.
RADIO SHACK – Locations offer instant Radio Shack credit on trade ins.


GETTING THE BEST PRICE FOR A TRADE-IN
Obviously you want to have the device in the best working condition possible.  Also, you should think twice about personalizing anything; ex. engraving it or putting stickers on it.  "Engraving an iPod or an iPad could drop the trade-in price by as much as 20-30%", said Gazelle's Director of Marketing Kristina Kennedy.  Also use a screen protector and case where possible.  And keep all the cables, manuals, and anything else that comes with including the box (if you have the space).  It will add value at trade-in.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Look out Gargamel!

If you know me you know I like to bust out some crazy moves.

Hence, I cannot WAIT for Wii Smurf Dance Party!

A kind Twitter follower photoshopped this gem in the place of Smurfette and I just had to share!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Google Chromebooks - Cloud Computing - CNN





Here is the link to our CNN discussion from Sunday.  

++++

Add yet another computing machine to the influx in the marketplace. Tablets, netbooks, notebooks, now... Chromebooks.

Last week at Google’s annual I/O conference they announced Chromebooks.  Pairing with Samsung and Acer for the first two models to be released in June, the netbook-like units can be rented as low as $20 a month students and $28 a month to business individuals.  But that’s not what has everyone buzzing.  It’s the fact they are computers running completely off the cloud.    

Chromebooks have no hard drive, zero storage space.  It’s Google's hope to drive everyone to do everything online – and of course use more Google applications.

PROS
  • Units will update themselves in the background
  • You can log in from any computer to access your data
  • IT managers can easily control and manager users
  • 8 second boot up
  • Anti-virus built in

CONS
  • Do we really want to give even more data to Google servers?
  • No company is immune to a hacker attack.  (Think Sony and Amazon Could Services)
  • $20 a month adds up - $240 a year you can buy a full netbook - plus add a few more dollars a month for 3G access which I feel would be a must
  • Limited amount of programs and applications

The idea of a full cloud netbook is subjective.  It also is confusing to people that don’t understand the cloud to try to explain that with a Chromebook they can’t access things like Microsoft Office or iTunes or just save pictures to their desktop.

Most do however use the cloud a lot more than they realize.  Email, data storage, etc. and in many cases we are putting a lot of trust in to these companies with our information.  But, I personally am not ready for 100% leap.  I think its forward thinking but don't like the idea of having EVERYTHING online and also having to always be in wi-fi or 3g network every time I want to do something. 

What do you think?  Would you purchase one of these units?  


Monday, May 9, 2011

Top 3 Crazy Gadgets of the Month...

And there's still more than half a month to go! Not sure what's in the air but tweets weren't enough for sharing these gems - had to put together a roundup!

Robotic Cat Ears
A furry set of ears (currently in proto form) have embedded sensors that monitor your brain activity. When you concentrate ears perk up. When relaxed they fall back down.
And so on.



Nose Stylus

There's 20 minutes in a day where you can't exactly access your phone... well now someone has stylishly solved that dilemma.



Kiss Transmission Device
Long distance will never be hard again, only awkward.





Sharing Your Browser History


I was recently asked which sites are up and coming. I forgot to discuss the category of ‘sharing your clickstream’ to the bunch that are gaining traction.


Sites like Dscover.me, Voyurl.com and Sitesimon.com allow you to share your browsing history with anyone and are becoming increasingly trendy.


The idea is to share articles and places you navigate online as you surf the web and we all know the power of a personal referral.


While you have the capability to decide what you do and don’t want shared, I’m still not comfortable with it. Sure I think it could be cool to see what my friends are reading and buying but personally, this is way too intrusive for me. I shamelessly think I would like to access their data but not let them access mine. It’s like downloading to uploading.


Maybe it's just that I feel like I’m holding on to every last bit of digital privacy I can get these days.


What are your thoughts?



Pic ctsy of dscover.me

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Shake it like a Polaroid... Printer?


Ah! Only a few weeks until we unveil our new Grey Label GL10 Instant Printer. It is the first product in the Grey Label line designed by Lady Gaga and Haus of Gaga.

Here's the deal - when was the last time you received an actual photo in hands? If there is anything we're seeing less of these days its a physical picture print. Pics go on to die a digital death at the hands of Facebook, our computer's hard drive or a lost memory card. But with the GL10, you can print out 3x4 pictures in under a minute. And print them with a stylized gadget that only Gaga could design.

Plus, you can ditch the cables - the printer syncs to your phone via Bluetooth and is ultra portable at only 15oz. If you want to print from your computer or digital camera you can do that too via USB or PictBridge.

I'll be providing more details and tips before launch so stay tuned! ;)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day Apps - CNN

Houzz, Free (also a website Houzz.com)
It's like the wikipedia of home design. Moms love to look at design magazines, catalogs and websites clipping out ideas and bookmarking favorites but now this is like having everything you could want in one place. Over 125k photos uploaded by over 20k professionals. There are over 5k photos of bathrooms alone. Plus you can save favorites to your Ideabook and share with others to get their opinion.


Wurdle, $1.99
Let the games begin. This is easily the most addicting word find game so much in fact that everyone in my family is in a high score battle with their iPad. It's a lot like Boggle in the sense that you have 2 minutes to find as many words as you can. New multi-player game coming in a few weeks!


iCookbook, $4.99
Includes more than 2,000 recipes from accredited editors and nutritionists. All of the recipes come from family friendly food brands and use easy to find ingredients. Plus you can use voice command while viewing the recipe to switch the next step while keeping the screen clean.


Talking Larry or Talking Lila the Fairy, $0.99 - up
Great for the grandkids. Everything you say is repeated by the character. Plus each character comes with additional animations - with the touch of a button they react by like singing a song, whistling, or eating. And you can record messages and send them in email. There are a lot of other popular Talking Apps out there from Talking Lady Bug HD to Talking Tom Cat as well.



Camera+, $1.99
This one is must for iPhone users. It allows you to take any photo and apply a number of effects, filters, borders or edits like crop to it. Antique, Pinhole, Toy Camera, Nostalgia, etc. Here is a pic I took of a barn and then in like 10 seconds gave it some flavor.



ZocDoc, Free (also a website ZocDoc.com)
Mom's are usually the ones in the family booking all the appointments and it can be time consuming. ZocDoc allows you to search for a doctor or specialist in your area. You can search by insurance, read user reviews and see their calendar allowing you to choose an appointment time right then and there. 40% of patients that use ZocDoc are able to see a doctor within 24 hours and 60% of patients see the doctor within three days.



8mm Vintage Camera, $1.99
An absolute must for taking videos. By taking video through this app you can make clips look like the beginning of The Wonder Years with filters like Siena, 1920, 70's.

video

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day Tech - CBS The Early Show

Flowers die and mom deserves an upgrade.

Here are my hand-picked Mother's Day Tech favorites as showcased on CBS ! I always hated when I would see holiday gadget segments on TV programs that featured obvious choices - I always test my products thoroughly and try to mix it up. Plus these are approved by my mom who is very hard to get gifts for!

Here is The Early Show video -> Click here.

Here is the corresponding article - > Click here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Blackberry Smartphones + Updates.

Here is the short and sweet of BlackBerry announcements today courtesy of a press email. Will it be enough to save the dropping RIM marketshare?

· Two New BlackBerry® Bold™ Smartphones and BlackBerry 7 OS -- RIM unveiled two new BlackBerry® Bold™ smartphones. The new BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones are the thinnest and most powerful BlackBerry smartphones yet -- featuring the renowned BlackBerry keyboard together with a brilliant touch screen and the new BlackBerry 7 OS.

· BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat -- The PlayBook video chat application is an easy and fun way for PlayBook users to make, take and share video calls with their friends and family over an internet connected Wi-Fi® network.

· Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook -- This new application provides the most popular features of Facebook optimized for the 7" high resolution, multi-touch LCD display of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

· Multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution (BES) -- This solution will make available the market-leading management, security and controls of BES and BES Express for BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook and is expected to incorporate secure device management for Android and iOS based devices and tablets, all managed from a single web-based console.

· BlackBerry Mobile Voice System (MVS) 5 -- BlackBerry MVS 5 brings together the desk phone and smartphone, and RIM announced plans to make it available to more corporate phone systems and unified communications applications.

· BlackBerry® Balance™ technology -- RIM is advancing work-life balance on BlackBerry smartphones with BlackBerry® Balance™ – new technology that makes possible the convenience of using a single BlackBerry smartphone for both work and personal purposes without compromising the security of company content and the privacy of personal content.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Social Media Aids Tornado Victims- CNN


In the wake of natural disasters people are really turning towards social media. We discussed this last night on CNN but was cut due to the breaking news. So, I thought I would post here.


Two particular Facebook pages have gained a lot of attention over the past few days. The first is Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes. The page created does exactly that – it serves as a central place for people to turn things in that may have showed up in their yard and tries to connect them with their owners. In many cases the photos and documents being posted on the page have traveled miles. The site has doubled users daily and is at nearly 75k likes. And at last count over 600 items have been posted.


It's also remarkable the items that are being turned in.

· Warranty deeds from 1974

· A license

· Wedding and holiday photos

· Unopened mail that traveled miles to another persons lawn

· A lot of old photos which are just priceless – those are the little things that can’t be replaced.


Hit the like button, but be careful what you post.

If you have found something and want to post it try to block out any personal information that you have to think twice about: social security numbers, addresses– we don’t want this to be a haven for identity theft.


I've seen a lot of people posting personal phone numbers and addresses to connect too - I know their intentions are in the right place but if you've made a connection with someone I recommend getting in touch digitally (email) not directly on the page.


Another Facebook page is Toomers for Tuscaloosa which is up to 70k likes – Auburn and Alabama have put the rivalry aside and they are in full force organizing volunteer efforts, letting people know where assistance is needed and where they can drop of materials, clothes and even donations.

They are working to create a website from this page as well.



 

Copyright © 2012 Katie Linendoll