When it comes to tech gifts, there’s no shortage of options for music lovers, from streaming to speakers, and it’s easy to find a gift at any price point.
First up, let’s look at cool speaker systems that will let you take advantage of your phone to give you quality music options either at your house or on the go:
Phorus: Wireless music system that lets you stream to home stereo system you already own or build out a new one with their speakers. What’s extra cool about this is that the Phorus System now works with Apple devices too, so you can wire up your whole house with their system and control it remotely with an Android device or your iPod Touch, iPad or iPhone.
HMDX Jam: Portable Bluetooth speaker system that gets surprisingly good sound and recharges via Micro-USB, all for only around $35.
iFrogz Boost Near Field Speaker: This uses the Near Field ability built into your smartphone to play music and amplify it through the speaker. It runs off AAA batteries and doesn’t require using your phone’s Bluetooth, so it’s super portable and you can basically take it anywhere. The classic model is still only $19.99 from retailers like Amazon.
Check out Mario’s video for FUSE below where I break down how to choose a streaming service. Regardless of which one you pick, a premium subscription makes a great gift. Check out the websites for Spotify, Pandora, Rdio or Rhapsody for more info.
Airplay & Apple TV:
If you’ve got an Apple fan in your life, think about helping them build out their music streaming capabilities using AirPlay devices. It can get a little complicated, but I’ve already got a breakdown of how AirPlay works on the site here. A $99 Apple TV will let them play and control music wirelessly, with the added bonus of streaming TV and music too.
When it comes to giving gifts for the home, there’s nothing wrong with buying a blender or a toaster oven. But it might be more fun to give someone a gift they’ll love – but would never have actually bought on their own. These gifts are fun with a functional purpose – but four out of five of these gifts are actually under $100, and the fifth is under $200.
Sometimes the best gadgets are also the most low-tech. It seems hard to believe, but this is a portable humidifier that requires no batteries – just water. Just fill it up and the special paper disperses water into the air. It may not provide all the moisture a room needs, but it’s pretty and it’s unique – a perfect gift, and incredibly affordable at $22 plus shipping from Japan. Available at Japantrends.com.
Some people would say it’s silly to buy your pet a gift this holiday season. But if your dog, cat, bunny, iguana, fish or even elephant is truly a part of your family, they deserve the same loving kindness you show everyone else this season.
Here’s some great tech gifts I think you’ll love:
Sure, you’ve got the wristband that connects to your smartphone and the apps to track your runs and the heart monitor and the… But WAIT—Doesn’t Fido deserve some tech to keep him healthy as well?
The Tagg pet GPS system includes absolutely everything you’ll need to GPS location track your dog and also start tracking their activities as well! It’s a simple and easy way to make sure Fido isn’t just lounging around and putting on the pounds while you’re at the office. tracking for your pet. Useful even if your dog’s not a runner, and maybe lifesaving if he is! $99 for the device and three months of service from Tagg. Read more »
We all know that texting and driving is dangerous: according to the National Safety Council, over 100,000 accidents each year involve drivers who are texting. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3,000 people were killed in 2011 in distracted-driving related accidents, and texting while driving is the most dangerous distraction of all. That’s why the “It Can Wait” campaign was launched to remind people that no matter how important a text might seem, it’s not more important than safety!
As an extension of the “It Can Wait” campaign, AT&T has created a way for small businesses to show that they stand against texting and driving while helping their communities. They’ve created a “My Business Cares” sweepstakes so that small business owners and employees can take the pledge not to text while driving. When they take the pledge a local middle or high school (of the business or employee’s choice) will be entered to win $1,000, plus an in-school assembly educating students on the dangers of texting while driving. Given that 75% of teenagers say that texting while driving is common among their friends, that’s an important lesson for students to hear.
Many small businesses rely on the benefits afforded by mobile devices. But when those devices are used while driving, employees can put themselves and others at risk. “My Business Cares” is a great opportunity for small businesses to send a powerful message to employees about the dangers of texting and driving, and gives individuals an opportunity to show they care while encouraging others to do the same.
Small business owners and employees can enter the sweepstakes via the “My Business Cares” tab on AT&T’s Facebook page. Simply take the pledge, enter your contact info, and select the local school you’d like to help.
How PCI Compliance Helps Protect Your Business from Breaches
Sam Farraj is AVP-Content Delivery & Security Platform, AT&T Global Business Services. You can find more blog content from Sam and other experts on the AT&T Networking Exchange Blog, where this article originally appeared. AT&T has sponsored the following blog post.
Next time you are enjoying the ease of shopping online, remember this: Studies estimate that online retailers lost $3.5 billion to fraud in 2012. On top of that, add the cost of inconvenience to legitimate consumers who either had to notify their credit card companies, or who may not have even spotted the fraudulent charges when they paid their bills. Blogs and social media are cluttered with stories of people whose credit cards were used to make fraudulent purchases, leaving the victims to clean up their accounts.
How do online retailers work to prevent this fraud? Well, one way is to rely on technical partners who achieve compliance with the Payment Card Industry Standard – Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS.
PCI compliance ensures that credit card information is not stored on servers and storage devices that might be breached. It requires regular audits of data center practices, operations, customer service processes, and data retention rules. And PCI is the by-product of a consortium consisting of the five major credit card companies, American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, and VISA, so retailers can be comfortable that the standard meets the requirements of their most important credit partners.
It looks like the new Microsoft Surface models (the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2) may be gaining more traction this time around: since its debut at a New York event last week the company has announced that its first run has nearly reached sold-out status in their online store. However dubious some may find their claims, the new features on the Surface 2 may justify the hype. (And to be fair, it is unclear whether stock in other stores, such as Best Buy or even Microsoft’s retails locations, is affected by the pre-order mania).
Fall is when the big device manufacturers release their latest offerings in preparation for the holiday shopping season, and this year is no exception. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is out now, available for a contract price of $299.
Since its debut, the biggest selling point for the Galaxy Note has been its giant screen, and the new Note 3 actually has an even larger display at 5.7.” The screen real estate has been expanded by doing away with much of the bezel around the edges, so that the actual size of the phone is about the same as the Note 2, except slightly thinner and narrower.
The Galaxy Note 3 is still a powerful device, with a top of the line processor and 1080p HD screen that’s visible even in direct sunlight. The camera has been upgraded to 13MP, and can even shoot 4K video, though almost no one will be able to take advantage of that resolution for the time being.
Perhaps most importantly, Samsung has also upgraded their S-Pen, the stylus designed to work with the Note that comes free with purchase. The new Note 3 incorporates software updates designed to make using the S-Pen even more intuitive, and has greatly improved the handwriting recognition feature, making taking notes for use in Evernote a breeze.
If you’re in the market for a phablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is still the one to beat. The question is whether using such an oversized device (it’s difficult to use with one hand) works with your mobile workflow.
Whether you’re keeping track of your spending, your workouts and calories, or your billable hours, we’re all keeping trying to keep on top of all the data we generate. And if you’re anything like me, you don’t really know where to put that stuff except in some boring spreadsheet that you may or may not ever look at again.
Keeping the ugly out of your data is the job of mem:o—an innovative app for the iPad that will make you want to revisit your data and, who knows, maybe learn something from it.
The great selling point of mem:o is that it’s lovely. Put together by the design firm of c+y, mem:o uses an clean but colorful palette, organizing your personal information into a series of circles of different sizes and colors. You can add tags and text notes for more information and view your data either on a calendar or a board. Read more »
iOS 7, Apple’s newest edition of its mobile operating system, is coming to devices near you on September 18th. With a new, more colorful look and some pretty substantial changes under the hood, some people are calling this release the biggest change to the operating system since the release of the original iPhone. And, as with all the updates to iOS, the newest version is totally free. So whether you want the new look and feel, want to be on the cutting edge of the new features and security updates, or are just really excited about the new filters on the camera app, here’s what you need to know before you can make the change.
What Devices are Eligible?
Most of the Apple mobile devices released in the last few years are ready for iOS 7:
- iPhones: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S
- iPod: iPod Touch 5th Generation
- iPad: iPad 2, iPad with Retina display (you might think of it as the iPad 3), and the iPad mini.
But if you want to take advantage of every new feature, you still need the right device. Here’s our chart of what’s available for what: Read more »
All eyes (including ours) have been on Apple’s upcoming September 10th release announcements. But yesterday, Samsung debuted their newest offerings, including a smart watch that has a lot of people excited. Last month, we reviewed some of the more popular smart watches on the market, and at that time, we only just heard that Samsung had filed for a trademark for Galaxy Gear. But the watch is here, and it looks pretty amazing.
Smart watches have labored under the impression that they’re a needless accessory: it’s hard to imagine what we’d want on our wrist that isn’t better done with the phone in our pockets. The niche they seem to fill is as a kind of notification device: if you’re inundated by emails or text messages or phone calls or push notifications, your watch will let you know about it first before you feel the need to dig into your pocket and pull out your phone.
It’s understandable if this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to everyone. But maybe combine that feature with easy updates to the weather or stock tickers and maybe a couple of other apps, and the proposition becomes a little more appealing. Recognizing the limited scope of current smart watches, the Galaxy Gear packs in a few additional toys: there’s a 1.9-megapixel camera, a microphone, two speakers, and a gyroscope and an accelerometer to keep track of your workouts. Read more »