“The List” of “Must-Have Photo Apps”

Today, people are practically attached by the hip to their social media profiles.  It is no good for one’s profile therefore, to not be up to par.  In this short video, Donna Ruko talks about 4 photo apps that can “take [one’s] social media game to the next level!



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Media Technology Institute

broadcastersAt the end of last month, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association marked the Media Technology Institute’s fifth anniversary.  Between June 20 and June 23, the Radisson Hotel and Convention Center was home to the celebration.  The actual Institute is known for its “practical, instructional courses” that it offers to “prospective, beginning, intermediate, and senior broadcast/media engineers.”

A day before the celebration begun, WBA Engineering Day held sessions on these subjects: dealing with risk management within broadcast enterprise; FAA lighting changes and tower site security; Information Security and Broadcasting’s ambient noise.

WBA will also be offering two scholarships for those who wish to attend the Media Technology Institute

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Travel with a Smart Suitcase this Summer

Going on vacation in the summer? What are the plans for transporting clothing and accessories?  It seems that in a world in which everything is smart, surely luggage should not be relegated to some third world option.

Now it no longer has to be.  Thanks to the Bluesmart Smart Suitcase, one can travel smart as well. Featuring a built-in GPS that can be tracked anywhere around the world, one need not be too worried about lost luggage – an all too-regular occurrence these days with interconnecting flights.

The technology can be controlled by a mobile app and there are no worries about the phone running out of battery power as the smart suitcase also features a built-in power bank that can charge phones up to six times.  As well, the built-in scale ensures the contents of your luggage are not overweight and a digital lock that deters thieves.

Of course, it’s also a great suitcase and has easy access to belongings as well as a section that is perfect for laptops.  For around $399 the Bluesmart case is not a bad price for peace of mind!

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The Ozo Broadcast Camera

camera-1272791_640The Ozo Broadcast Camera – created by ESPN and Foglight Entertainment (founded by Jeff Bowler) – is the “first Virtual Realty device to capture 360° spherical video and 360×360 surround sound.” It has eight microphones which record 360×360 surround sound. Each of the interchangeable digital cartridges it comes with provide 45 minutes of recording time, and then saves all video and audio to one file, eliminating the need for numerous SD cards.

Now, the camera is being used by ESPN. Carson Wentz (former North Dakota State quarterback who is expected to be one of Chicago’s top 2016 NFL picks) will be showcased on TV and throughout social media in ESPNs first ever 360-degree video segment. Talking about this new method, ESPN’s Associate Director of Original Digital Video, Lindsay Rovegno explained:

“We saw 360-degree video as one of the next big opportunities for storytelling. In the past we’ve experimented with 360-video clips, but have yet to use the medium to tell a narrative story. 360-degree video allows us to place the viewer in the environment in which we filmed and experience the story as if they were on-site, in this case in the FargoDome with Carson Wentz.”

In 2001 Jeff Bowler founded Foglight Entertainment where he remained CEO for five years. This bi-coastal film and TV production company “believe[s] in truth, integrity and clarity: clear storytelling, clear communication and clear messaging as we bring bright ideas to life on any screen.” The Ozo Broadcast Camera fits perfectly with this philosophy.



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Parental-Child Bonding with Electronics

computerIn theory we might idealize the notion of our kids playing outside in the dirt, collecting desert tortoises and taking their little brothers to the park until dark, but in practice, the reality is kids these days engage in a lot of screen time. Therefore, the trick is to maximize that time to make it as educational and positive as possible.

With that in mind, Kano – the “computer and coding kit for all” – gives kids the opportunity to put together a computer from the beginning and then learn basic coding skills. Even adults can benefit from this; anyone who is anyone knows how important a skill like coding is, especially in today’s job market.  Plus, it’s a great way for kids to bond with their parents. Featuring a Raspberry Pi, case, cables, Wi-Fi dongle, speaker and wireless cables, kids will love this for its similarity for building Lego pieces and parents will get a kick out of learning such a useful skill for their office together with their offspring.

And then there is an old toy that has been reinvented; the  View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack .  Based on the View-Master that was first commercialized in Oregon back in the late 1930s that our parents and grandparents will remember, today, Mattel has joined up with Google to make a virtual reality version of it.  In other words, users can now also interact with the virtual reality world, as well as benefit from traditional, old-school enjoyment.  And, the good news is, it only retails at $29.99 – probably not that much more (in today’s money) that it was back in those days!  Pair it with your smartphone and enjoy an old childhood toy with your kid but in his language!

So gadgets and gizmos are not all bad for kids; they can provide some great bonding experience!

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Starting Your Car with a USB Port

technologyHow many times have you gotten to your car and found the battery dead?  And there’s no one around to help you jump it?  And it’s late and you just want to get home?  Well, that problem could soon be a thing of the past.  A 12000mAh battery with 600A peak output from Nekteck, prices start at $49.99 (using a $30 off Amazon coupon code).

It has the capacity to jump start both a 3L diesel and a 5L gas engine, up to 12 times on just one charge! It also comes with two USB ports that can be used to charge other gadgets.  Featuring an LED flashlight, a 12V charger, a MicroUSB cable, and jumper cables that plug into the power bank, it seems like Nekteck have thought of everything.  For those moments when you’re in the dark trying to deal with a dead battery, the flashlight is particularly welcome.

Coming with a full year guarantee and getting a 4.9 star rating, what more is there to be said?

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Self-Building Gadgets?

hardwareMake your own gadget? What will they think of next. That is the idea behind Nascent’s new products which can be “tweaked and built to [the consumer’s] hearts content.” This renders the device less expensive as well as having the capacity to be “personally crafted for your own life.” All modules (HD camera, speaker, computer device recording real time water use) feature plug and play and work with each other.

It’s all about hardware. Everything made via the Nascent Objects platform starts with a shape. For example, if you want to build a security camera, you start by “uploading a 3D form into Nascent Object’s software, and then drag and drop modules to any location on the object. The software then calculates exactly where the circuitry pathways need to be, and prints those pathways onto a plastic chassis, which forms the skeleton of your gadget. From there, you simply click the electronic modules into place, then add external shell. It’s product design gone automatic.”

The brain behind Nascent Objects – Baback Elmieh (who used to work for Google) – explained that while there is so much versatility with software, hardware is not used in the same vein. Thus a year ago, together with his team, Elmie “took apart 600 products released since 2012 and found that 80 percent of them could be built from just 15 common electronic components.”

The ultimate goal of the product is: “to create a platform that empowers consumers to create products themselves, but the company is launching with a handful of fully-baked designs.”



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Earbuds Going Wireless

swim-422546_1280Ever wanted to go swimming, or workout and listen to music at the same time but kind of ended up in a tangled mess? Now, Bragi is offering Dash earbuds that achieve exactly that. In addition, it features In-ear biometric sensors, gesture controls and live activity feedback, for sports lovers who want details of how long they have been active for, their heart rate and the amount of steps taken. For swimmers these are perfect as they are waterproof up to a meter.

Stream audio through Bluetooth and enjoy the integrated 4GB* Dash music player. You can also silence any surrounding sounds but still hear the environment around you with the audio transparency feature. You know you’ve put them in correctly when it lightens up. Tap on the earbud to get it started. No on-off button and no wires!

These earbuds retail at $299.

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Last Minute Grandparent Gifts

grandparentsChristmas is round the corner, well, it’s here actually. And you’re taking the kids to mom and dad for dinner tonight. Problem is, apart from a lousy bunch of flowers for mom and a poor drawing etched by your 4 ½ year old, you’ve got absolutely nothing in the way of gifts.

So what is there that’ll make mom and dad smile? Is there anything in the way of gadgets for the older generation? Apparently there is. The gift may not be ready quite in time for the turkey dinner but when everyone sobers up by New Year’s, you should have it if you order fast.

Here are some top rated grandparent gizmos. A FitBit Charge is good to get mom and dad out of their couches and moving again. Yes they are designed to track movement, but think about it, they also – by default – track lack of movement. It’s a good way to encourage them to get a bit more active if the record from the FitBit indicates the need.

Next up is the TV Fire Stick. This is great for the older generation who “don’t want to bother” with all that smartTV stuff. A little stick converts their comfortable old TV to a smart one! In addition, you don’t have to call in Harry the Handyman as no installation is required. All you need to do is plug the stick (a bit like a USB stick) into the HDMI port of a standard TV and voila! Netflix, Amazon Video and more are easily accessible. It’s very user friendly too.

The Power Bank is a cool gift for anyone. What’s great about this is that you can re-charge your phone no matter where you are. You don’t need an outlet and it’s small enough to fit into mom’s purse.

So don’t worry if you’re not bringing anything but your gorgeous little offspring to mom and dad’s for Christmas….help is at hand and their cool new gadget will be in their hands if you place your order now.

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Gizmos for Kids

With Christmas just around the corner, here are some great ideas for educating kids through technology. At the same time, they will have a blast with some of these cool, new, gizmos. A win-win for everyone.

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