Yes, we still have to talk about Blacks in Tech

As the official Hashtagologist™ for the #NPRBlacksinTech hashtag being curated by Tell Me More, I’ve been asked to give you a recap of what’s been happening so far on social media. But I also think it’s important to at some of the discussions and comments that have come from readers and commenters like yourself in addition to official participants. #NPRBlacksinTech is an important conversation, not just for twenty days this month, but also for the coming weeks and years — though hopefully not for decades! To start, here’s a  quick quiz.

Read More

Find the best laptop for your budget at Staples!

Are you looking to buy a new laptop? Whether you need something ultra-budget or ultra-powerful, you’ll find the perfect laptop for your needs at Staples.


If your budget requires you to spend under $300 on a laptop, then you’re going to be looking at a Chromebook, which runs the Chrome operating system from Google. These laptops are light on the wallet but also light on features. They benefit tremendously from an Internet connection at all times, since Chromebooks are based around the Chrome browser, but Google Apps like Gmail and Drive will still work offline. If your home, office and coffee shop already provide Wi-Fi, that’s a good start. If you’re a heavy Google user and already know your way around Gmail and Google Documents, then you’re definitely ready. Just know that if you can’t do it on the Web, then you won’t be doing it at all with these machines, as they can’t run Windows apps like Photoshop or Office.

To see all of my best laptop picks, read the rest of this post at

Disclosure of Material Connection: Hey readers, this is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

App-titude Episode 5: Tablets

When it comes to the latest technology and electronic devices that can make your life more interesting and efficient, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices out there. App-titude, presented by Radio Shack, is here to help you cut through the static and clutter.

Tablets have a unique ability to bridge the gap between smartphone apps and the power of a laptop. Find out which of these great tablets can be the best fit for you and your family.

This is the last episode of App-titude a five-part series focusing on all sorts of great gifts and tech! To see all of the episodes, click here.

App-titude Episode 4: Mobile phones

When it comes to the latest technology and electronic devices that can make your life more interesting and efficient, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices out there. App-titude, presented by Radio Shack, is here to help you cut through the static and clutter.

Today’s smartphones handle all of our entertainment and communication needs. From talk to text to tunes to TV, it’s all right there for us. Find out some of the best pre-paid and contract phones available, and see which models fit your lifestyle best.

App-titude is an ongoing series! To see all of the episodes, click here.

Black Friday Deals for Small Business: Don’t Wait Till After Thanksgiving

The holiday season is almost here! But what you may not realize is that with Thanksgiving falling so late in November this year, the holiday shopping season has already started, and that’s why you don’t want to wait to take advantage of Black Friday deals that can be helpful for small business.

Generally retailers use the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas to really push deals hard. In the past years we’ve seen more and more focus on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But this year retailers have about one week less between Thanksgiving and Christmas to make their sales, so they’re starting early. There’s a reason it seems like Halloween just happened but Christmas decorations are already up in stores – I’m calling it Thanksmas!

blak friday deals starting early on amazon

Take Amazon for example. They’ve created a new “deals” promotion they’re calling “Countdown to Black Friday.”, one of my favorite online retailers, just held a “Color Week” sale (it’s the opposite of Black Friday, get it?). Many other retailers aren’t calling attention to the Black Friday part, but have already started offering special pricing deals. So if you’ve been waiting till after Thanksgiving to start shopping for tech deals for your small business, don’t wait — start looking now to see if there are deals on tech you’ve been meaning to invest in.

But remember: don’t buy tech just because you see a good price. Make sure it’s something you really need and more importantly have budgeted for! And if you’re not sure whether you need to upgrade now, ask yourself how long you think your current device will last, and whether the holiday “deal” price is worth pulling the trigger a little early: you may find that having the cash now is worth putting up with your device a little longer.

Have questions about buying tech during the holiday season? RSVP for my Holiday Help Desk – I’ll be answering your questions LIVE on December 4th. You can also submit your questions now in case you can’t make the live event: afterwards it will be available to watch whenever you have time!

Mario’s Top 3: How to shoot great video on your phone

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.

Read More

My Three Tips to Help You Give Better Presentations

Practice — and technology — makes perfect!

Having the right tools to give great presentations is one huge key to success in the small biz and entrepreneurship world. Getting the right slide deck and presenting it effectively in front of key players in your industry can make a huge difference for your brand AND your business. But not everyone is a natural at giving presentations, and that’s okay — I’ve got some great tips to make it easy!

By applying all three tips below, hopefully you can make the whole process seamless.

1. Practice public speaking.

If you’re having trouble with the actual part where you stand up and give the presentation, that’s okay—a lot of people are uncomfortable with public speaking, even when it’s just in small groups or one-on-one with strangers. But there are tried-and-true methods to get better at it, some of which I’ve covered in a previous article.

Read More