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.
There’s a lot to keep track of during the holiday season!
First there’s the shopping part, which has already started for most of you (I hope!) and is a huge hassle by itself. Then you add holiday parties and decorating into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for getting stressed out.
Thankfully if you’re willing to download just a few apps you can save time, money and relieve a great deal of stress this holiday season.
Now the decision is whether to send an e-card, or stick with the old school version, the kind delivered to your doorstep.
Digital Lifestyle Expert™ Mario Armstrong suggests using well recognized e-card providers like Paperless Post, Punchbowl or Pingg to make sure your electronic message is delivered.
Read more at thelistshow.tv.
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.
Holiday shopping can be kind of a nightmare. You’ve got to find the best deals on everything, clip and save the best coupons, scour every ad for the best deals, comparison shop… and that’s just buying everything! After all that you’ve gotta hold on to receipts, track packages… It’s a lot to keep track of.
This holiday shopping season, take advantage of these 3 apps to make the experience easier:
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 »
When I was a kid, I figured out that Mom & Dad hid the holiday presents in their closet, so every December when I was home alone I’d do some sneaking around and figure out what was going to be under the tree. These days, kids or snooping spouses need to do even less to find out what gifts they’ll be getting because quick check through the shared computer’s browser history or your email and BAM—the secret is out of the bag.
Although we’re increasingly doing our shopping and purchasing online, there are some easy precautions you can take to make sure your holiday surprises stay a surprise. Here’s my top tips:
1. Set up a throwaway email address
You’re probably signed into your email on not just your computer at home, but at the office, on your smartphone and probably even a tablet. How vigilant can you be about making sure the kids or your spouse aren’t snooping on one of these devices when your back is turned?
To truly keep online gift purchases a secret you’re going to want to create a throwaway online email account that you only use to make and track your online purchases this holiday season. And every time you’re done you sign out of the address, and poof, it’s gone without a trace.
Starting on December 2nd and continuing until the 20th, African-American entrepreneurs and techies from across the country will be using the hashtag #NPRBlacksinTech on Twitter and Instagram video to share what they do throughout their days.
As the official Hashtagologist™, I’ll be watching the conversation on social media, then on December 22nd on NPR, I’ll jump on-air live to bring you highlights from the series.
‘A Day in the Life’ allows us to experience, in real time, the imprint that African-Americans are making on our country’s STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) engine. The series throws open the door to the worlds of these highly important, but largely invisible, individuals. And the engagement we’re already generating with #NPRBlacksinTech demonstrates this incredible appetite for knowledge about the lives of African-Americans who are on the cutting edge of innovation.
-Michel Martin, Host, Tell Me More
How YOU can get involved
But this isn’t something you should simply be paying attention to—NPR is opening up the conversation to include your questions, which the partipants will then answer on social throughout the course of “A Day in the Life”
Is there something you’ve always wondered about what it means to be black and in the tech world? You can share your questions on Twitter @TellMeMoreNPR or shoot your questions on video with Instagram using the hashtag #NPRBlacksinTech. You can also email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the participants, check out everyone’s bio on NPR’s introductory blog post.
I’ll also be joining in a special LIVE “Blacks in Tech” segment to kick off the whole event, where I’ll be joined by Michel Martin and guest Johann Schleier-Smith of Tagged in Silicon Valley.
Not only will we be talking about African Americans in the fields of tech, we’ll also be discussing the week’s tech news, so I’d love it if you’re able to tune in live onWednesday November 27th at 11:40 am ET!
The holidays are right around the corner, and you want to make sure you capture and preserve all those wonderful moments so you can enjoy them later. You don’t want your “Baby’s first holiday” video to be dark, grainy and super shaky, do you? Here are some really easy and basic tips for shooting video with your smartphone.
Watch out for “vertical video syndrome”
We’ve all done it. In the moment, we grab our phone and start shooting video without thinking about how it will look when we play it back on our TV at home for everyone to see. “Vertical video syndrome” is when people shoot video with their phones vertically. I think people forget and continue to treat it like a cell phone that you are going to hold up to your ear.
Remember: You’re no longer holding a cell phone! This is now your video camera.
The problem with vertical video is when you play it back on your TV, laptop or tablet computer. On these devices, your holiday memories will only show up on the middle of the screen with two giant black bars on either side. In industry speak, this is called “pillar-boxing” your video. You see this all the time when we play back someone’s web video on TODAY.
Be sure to preserve baby’s first Christmas, Thanksgiving with the family, or your next wedding or graduation by simply turning your phone sideways like a real camera and shooting your videos horizontally.