Technology

baguette-incident-5251.jpgThis is not about making a Christmas list, although I should do that, I guess. It is about my need to check and monitor things constantly, as if I were the Chief of the Baguette Patrol for a supercollider. Not all things. I do not monitor the dust balls in the corners of my dining room, the balance in my checking account, or Sam’s grades.

These things I consider on a need-to-know basis; if company is coming, I vacuum, if I get a menacing call from Comcast, I check the bank account, and if Sam claims he has no homework for the third day in a row, I check his grades using the magic of Power School. I know people who are very concerned about one or all of the above, which is why they have cleaner houses, better cash flow and more disciplined children than I do.

The things I am compelled to monitor include my e-mail, Facebook, my blog stats, and (when I am away from my computer) my Blackberry. I cannot walk by the computer without looking at my Inbox, deleting all irrelevant items, and (unless I am dragged away by a raging family member) answering the legitimate messages.

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boardwalk_pedicabpage.jpg Yes, a pedicab.  That was my ride home last night.  Crammed in the back seat with two friends, and leaving a party far away from downtown, the pedicab, peddled vigorously by a bearded mountain man named Declan, was our only chance of getting back to home base (by the way, I’m now convinced that pedicabs are the most expensive mode of transportation on earth).

We were a few miles away from downtown at a party given by MySpace which featured Nelly as the headlining performer.  The crowd at all convention events always seems to be a mixed bag of ages and enthusiasm, which can make it hard to select a performer who resonates with everyone. I forgot, though, that every Nelly song has been in some sort of commercial and that as a result, even your grandmother knows at least one Nelly song (seriously, try it). 

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iphone-6-620x480I’ve had both the new iPhones for a little over a month and at this point I can safely say they are the best smart phones ever made and if you are eligible for an upgrade I give you the top reasons to pull the trigger adn perhaps get one for someone special (or yourself) this upcoming holiday season:

BATTERY LIFE:

It seemed that battery life was getting worse with each new phone advancement since the original iPhone debuted in 2010. Actually I think it’s more a case of how much we now use these devices to track weather, stocks, activity, traffic, etc. in real time causing the device to be “always on”. With the new 6 and especially the 6+ I’m shocked at how long I can go in my busy day before I even see 25% remaining.

APPLE PAY:

This is going to be huge!!! No more handing my card to someone who now knows my name, number and that “secret” security code on the back!! With Apple Pay you never give up any information, just enter your card numbers into the phone, it secures and stores the info only on the phone, and approves my purchase without anyone else knowing it was me.

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ooma-logo.jpgIf you haven’t heard of Ooma, you will soon. I discovered it because I was sick and tired of paying ATT&T for a landline we rarely ever used that cost us over $40 a month with no extras. We didn’t even have call waiting, which was nice for us, but the busy signal always freaked our friends out. At least they knew we were home even if they couldn’t reach us.

One day last fall I came across a message on one of my geek boards about a box that uses your current phone number and phones over the Internet. More research showed that everyone was talking about Ooma, a system that seemed to be as popular as Uma Thurman among the nerd community.  I was a bit skeptical until I saw over 75 positive reviews on Amazon. It seemed this system was exactly what I was looking for. Unlike Vonage a similar service that has a monthly fee, once you purchase the Ooma system (about $200), you never have to pay another phone bill again. That’s right I said NEVER.  Plus, getting to keep our existing home phone number (for a small fee) was essential. We’ve had it for 12 years and it’s the one number my wife can actually remember.

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ipad3It is no surprise to anyone who knows me, that I received a 3rd Generation iPad on Friday. One thing I immediately noticed in the media upon its release, is how so many people were quick to say it wasn't that big of an upgrade. They could not be more wrong. Late in the day, I heard people say they saw Walmart had them in stock so they must not be selling. People don't lineup at Walmart or Target for an iPad. They go to an Apple store. Smart people order it in advance and have FedEx deliver it right to their house. Why waste your gas and time?

Upon first perusal it looks the same as the iPad2. I say, why change perfection.  Under the hood I think there's a lot of amazing features that have been added to this version that make the upgrade worthwhile.

The Screen: It initially looks like what's on the iPad2; however, it will quickly make you remember the day when you first saw HDTV and realized you could never go back to a regular television. It's even more apparent if you compare the new to the old.  Even two days later it's amazing to see they were able to get such a crystal-clear screen inside this small device.

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