Friday, January 30, 2015

Microsoft Outlook for iPad

Here's another option for accessing your email accounts from your iPad.  In addition to Microsoft's email systems, you can also define Apple iCloud, Google Gmail and Yahoo Mail accounts.  While I personally like the Divide app to separate work and play, the Outlook app has a nice look and feel, better swipe gestures and a cool feature that allows you to easily send times you're calendar is open, so finding meetings times becomes less a chore.

There's an Android version available for preview, but it appears a bit buggy at this time.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 Sci-Fi Movies

While I do take in the occasional non-science-fiction movie (American Sniper was brilliant), I prefer super-powers, lightsabers, people that fly and crazy technology.  2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year with a reboot of the Fantastic Four, the continuation of the Star Wars franchise, the introduction to the world of Ant-Man and my personal I-can't-wait-for movie, the second Avengers.

May 1
Avengers: Age of Ultron

July 17

August 7
Fantastic Four

December 18
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Fiber Four

Google has just announced the next four cities, and some of their surrounding areas, to get their one-gigabit (i.e. really super-fast) Internet service, all clustered in the southeast U.S. as shown below in purple. Also shown, in gray, are five more cities that might also be so blessed in the near future.

Why the need for speed?  Well, 20 megabits is needed for a single Ultra HD Netflix video stream (think House of Cards), which exceeds my current has-always-been-fast-enough 15-megabit service from Time Warner.  And while I can upgrade to 50 megabits, it will cost about the same as Google Fiber, but still 20 times slower.

Google, can you hear me?  O-H!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

TEDxDayton 2014

All the presentations from the 2014 TEDxDayton conference are now available on YouTube.  My favorite was "An Alien Experience", followed closely by "Seeing Our Next Reality" and "Creating Something Timeless".  This link will take you to a playlist with all the videos.

Monday, January 26, 2015

NFL Channel on YouTube

The NFL and Google have reached an agreement that brings NFL highlights and previews to YouTube.  Subscribe to the NFL's YouTube channel and cozy up with your favorite streaming device (e.g. Roku, Chromecast, AppleTV) and big-screen TV.

Amazon Echo

I pre-ordered the Amazon Echo at half price ($99) with my Amazon Prime membership.  The Echo, which responds to its name "Alexa", is a voice recognition device that plays music, is an alarm clock and can answer questions.  It's nine inches tall, must be plugged into an electrical outlet and have a good wireless Internet connection to work.  Wish I didn't have to wait until April.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Opus Single Serve Brewer

I've been a huge fan of my Keurig coffee machine.  Not the cheapest cup of Joe, but for a quick shot of great tasting wake-up in the morning, it couldn't be beat.  But their K-Cup patent expired a couple years ago and they responded to the injection of competition by releasing Keurig 2.0 which only works with their new K-Cups containing their proprietary microchip technology.

In other words, you're screwed if you buy a new Keurig machine.

But there are alternatives, like this iCoffee Opus machine.  It's available at Bed, Bath and Beyond, which also happens to have a large collection of K-Cups at the best price I've found.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Viper 4105V

The latest edition to my (sometimes) overwhelming collection of technology toys serves the noble purpose of eliminating the manual chore of scraping ice off my Jeep's windows on frosty winter mornings. Thanks to my wife for this wonderful Christmas present!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Iron Horse Bikeway - Stroop and Wilmington to Delco Park

Assuming this project moves forward in 2015, we'll have another piece of the Iron Horse Trail completed.  From the map below, between the red lines, you can see the lines of trees where to old short track railroad used to run.  Houses were built on both sides of the track, forming the outline.  

If you look closely you can see another line of trees a few block west of the intersection of Wilmington Pike and Stroop Road, heading northwest.  That's the southern, undeveloped portion of the bikeway that begins at Wiltshire Blvd, between Acorn Drive and Candlewood Drive, crosses Shroyer Road, goes underneath Patterson Road and finally crossing Irving Avenue to end at the southern edge of the University of Dayton.

MOT-Iron Horse Bikeway. PID 90822 – The City of Kettering proposes to extend the Iron Horse Trail from its existing terminus at Stroop and Wilmington to Delco Park off Dorothy Lane.  The majority of the trail will extend along the former railroad.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

10-in-1 Universal USB Combo Charger Cable

Did it ever drive you crazy that you had every cable imaginable except the one you needed?

For $8.50 this bad boy might just be your answer.  Ten of the most popular connectors in one octopus-looking cable.  Sweet!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Replacing Socks

One of the more useful, albeit unusual, habits I have is to replace all my dress socks at the same time with only one type, Gold Toe Men's Cotton Fluffies.  I buy nine new pair and throw away what I have left from the last purchase, which has been thinned out one sock at a time, usually due to a hole in the big toe.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Connected Cree LED Bulb

I'll have to buy a couple of these new network-connected light bulbs, which will be available at Home Depot later this month for $15.  I'll also have to invest in a $40 Wink Home Automation to control the bulbs, but I doubt I'll stop there.  There are also network-connected door locks, thermostats and water sensors, just to name a few.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Magnetic Stud Finder

There really is an app for everything.

You can turn your smart-phone into a stud finder, courtesy of its magnetometer sensor, and some clever programmers.  I never realized that a stud finder doesn't find studs, it finds the nails which are driven into the studs.  Nails are metal, which the magnetometer can sense.

One more magic bubble burst.

There are a number of different apps available, with the links below just a starting point.

Android >

iOS >

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Google Translate

Google's various translation solutions are pretty impressive, but I like the smart-phone version the best since it includes spoken translations along with the text.  Useful for world travelers, students practicing their language lessons or just a few moments of fun listening to phrases like"good morning" in Dutch.

Web >

Android >

iOS >

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chrome Remote Desktop for iOS

Not that I would want to do this a lot, but being able to access my home MacBook Air from my iPad will come in handy at times, now that Google has an app for that in the Apple App Store.  You also need the Chrome browser and its Remote Desktop extension loaded on your Mac or PC.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lenovo LaVie Z

This laptop (HZ550), just announced last week at CES (Consumer Electronics Show), won't be available until May, is pretty sweet at 1.72 pounds, making it more than a pound lighter than its 13" MacBook Air competition.  Expect to pay 3-4 times that of a decent laptop.

Friday, January 9, 2015

iPad at Work

If you're considering using your iPad at work and curious to see what's available, I suggest downloading this free (I love free) eBook via iTunes.  Only 35 pages long, so it's not complete, but it hits the most common usages.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cable Modem

Time-Warner is putting through a price increase this month, which includes raising the rental fee for a cable modem from $5.99 to $8.00 per month.   To hell with that, I say.  I just ordered my own cable modem, which will pay for itself in under one year.  I bought more than I really need for now, but if I ever upgrade my Internet speed, I'll be glad I did.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pocket Drive

iOS Only:

Just ran across this potentially very useful app and will be checking it out, particularly the "wireless portable drive" function.  It would be nice to use my iPad to move files around during those times I don't have a flash drive handy.  It's free for up to 512MB, and then tiered for more storage up to $4.99 for unlimited.  Nice to try it for free and then decide if a few bucks is worth it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

iTouchless Bag Re-Sealer

The Amazon Prime delivery fairy, whose initials are UPS, will be leaving a new kitchen toy on my doorstep today.  Should be very useful in resealing chicken, vegetable and other bags to keep out the dreaded freezer burn.  But every time I say iTouchless, I want to break out into MC Hammer's biggest hit song and shuffle across the floor.  Something's wrong with me...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Flagstaff House

Dining is about good food and beverage.  But add the view you'll find at the Flagstaff House, located a short drive from Boulder, Colorado up into the mountains, and the experience goes off the charts. If you haven't been there, I suggest adding it to your Bucket List right now.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Twisted Vortex Beams

In my best (most likely poor) layman's interpretation of crazy physics:

Wireless transmissions use technology akin to bouncing a basketball at different heights.  A new breakthrough increases bandwidth by adding twisting of the basketball to the bouncing.  What really matters, if this becomes a practical reality, is blow-your-doors-off wireless speeds.