View Post

Framing Your Life, Digitally – Review of the Nixplay Seed Digital Frame

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

My kids have been taking the same route inside the house to the front door for years. But recently, this trip seems to be taking a lot longer. They are getting distracted by something new along the way. I just installed a new digital frame, a Nixplay Seed, specifically. Now, sitting on the bookshelf is a portal to times past, a quick glimpse at history. (*Disclosure below.)

Over the years, digital picture frames have evolved. I remember setting up one and having to connect it to a computer via a USB cable to move over only a handful of photos due to limited storage source. Later versions allowed for SD cards to be used to pull the photos from. But still, the process took some work. And if you had of these frames like I did, the process was enough of a pain in the butt that updates to the photos were fairly infrequent.

Nixplay Seed Digital Frame Review - on the shelf

Read More


View Post

Those New Connected Holiday Gifts May Be Spying on You!

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Safety, Security, Sponsored, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that many people this 2017 holiday season will be getting or giving some sort of connected device. When you think about it, with electronics becoming smaller and less expensive, more and more manufacturers are figuring out creative ways to add connectivity to a wide variety of devices. From toys to speakers to smartphones to home automation to appliances to just about anything, the Internet of Things is here, and there is a huge push to connect everything with anything. And while connected things open up new opportunities and capabilities, it also potentially enables companies to do things you might not want them to do, like have access to private data, location information, or even audio and video. And you might not even know this is happening. But while some gadgets are clearly labeled with “batteries not included,” not many are showing anything like “privacy not included.” Mozilla is doing something about this, you’ll be happy to know, with their appropriately named holiday buyer’s guide: *Privacy Not Included. Read on to learn more! (*Disclosure below.)

Connected gadgets spying innocently

When it comes to the world of connected gadgets and devices, there truly isn’t that much regulation from privacy and security standpoints. And often, it is up to the consumer to understand what devices connect to what services and know how their data is being used. Often, companies make it difficult to know how information is shared, or they may not disclose it at all. While smartphone and tablet apps do have increased scrutiny by Apple or Google, for example, in terms of how the data is accessed and used, and the types of services used (location, media, data, etc.), outside of the app itself, it’s a wild, wild world.

Read More


View Post

Ring Floodlight Cam Review & Install Tips – An Easy & Smart Security Upgrade

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, How To, Review, Safety, Security, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I love security cameras! As does my wife. My kids, however, are a bit on the fence about things. While they like being protected and knowing who’s coming or going, one of my daughters complained, half-jokingly, that she can’t sneak out at night. “Dad, you guys had it easy before all of this tech. How am I supposed to sneak out when you are always watching?!” Ah, the miracles of technology – preventing the life passage of being a teen! Now, she has one more security camera that she will have to sneak around, and good luck with that! I just installed the Ring Floodlight security camera. (*Disclosure below.)

The reality is, she’s a good kid. And, as far as my tech will tell me, isn’t sneaking off anywhere. I’m much more concerned about the “strangers” that happen to be in or around my property. And while some people may think it is an invasion of privacy, I have had numerous occasions where I have caught someone late at night testing the car doors on my driveway, or even crouched by a window hiding and making a phone call. I have captured many nocturnal creatures making their journey around my home (raccoons, skunks, rats, cats, etc.). I feel that when it comes to home security, you can’t have enough technology to protect your family.

Ring Floodlight Cam - mounted

Read More


View Post

Here’s What Logitech is Showcasing as 2017 Holiday Tech Gifts & My Thoughts

In Audio, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

A few week’s ago, I got an exclusive press preview of some of the tech goodness coming from Logitech, Jaybird, Astro, and Ultimate Ears for this 2017 holiday season. From cameras to speakers to headsets to remotes to mice and keyboards, just about every possible drool-worthy home tech gadget was on display. And while I know many of the previous iterations of many of these products fairly well, the upgrades and new products are just as drool-worthy as their predecessors. Also, Logitech continues to fold new companies into their brand, each with compelling products for a variety of lifestyles. In this article, I will go through a few highlights for each. Do note, I haven’t had that much hands-on with the new stuff apart from some demos at the event (or from experience with a previous version)! (*Disclosure below.)

As I visited the various booths set up in the swissnex offices on Pier 17 right next to the San Francisco Exploratorium (great venue to have a media event, by the way), I realized how many older Logitech devices I was actually carrying with me (a true testament to the fact that I enjoy their products). I carry and use a Logitech MX Master wireless mouse, I use a pair of the previous generation Jaybird Freedom, and I have an old Logitech Bluetooth keyboard case for my iPad mini. Coincidentally, this past weekend I just hooked up a Harmony Ultimate remote control and hub.

But this isn’t about the past. This is about the new products coming for the 2017 holiday season, some of which are already available! Let’s take a quick look at the devices that particularly got my attention at the holiday media preview event. (And note, I have provided Amazon links to many of the items as well as the current Amazon price as of this writing – they are affiliate links.)Read More


View Post

How To Protect Your Breathing Indoors – Blueair Blue Pure 211+ & 411 Air Purifier Review

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Sponsored, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

For the past week or so as of this writing, just 40 miles north of where I live in Northern California, tragic and devastating wildfires have been burning out of control. There has been a horribleBlueair Blue Pure Family air purifiers in box loss of life and property, and countless numbers of lives have been completely upturned. And while I do know people who have been affected, for the most part, our family has luckily been spared. But every time I walk outdoors, I’m instantly reminded of the devastation just an hour away. The air in the San Francisco Bay Area is filled with smoke and ash, causing respiratory problems and itchy eyes. In fact, some have said that our current air quality is equal to super-polluted China. While masks and outdoor activity can help, these solutions can’t really stop the smoke and smog that is actually occurring IN my home. As luck would have it, just a week prior, I received two Blueair Air purifiers to review. And I instantly turned them on to start cleaning the smoky air from inside our home. (*Disclosure below.)

A quick note, Blueair is currently offering a 20% discount (directly through their site) on Classic and Pro filters for residents living in California and Oregon. Use “WILDFIRE2017” at checkout. I’m not sure how long this discount will be active though.

Blueair has an extended family of air filtration and purification products. A few months ago, I reviewed the Blueair Aware and Blueair Classic 205. Since then, Blueair has launched a new line of air purifiers simply called “Blue Pure.” They have a much cleaner and modern look than previous models. And they require less energy to run and produce less noise, all while filtering the air. You can check out the new Blue Pure family at in-store at your local Best Buy.

Read More


View Post

How To Easily Apply Multiple PowerPoint Slide Designs or Themes to a Single Presentation

In Application, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Microsoft, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

One of the biggest mysteries of Microsoft PowerPoint for me has been working with themes and design. While I had figured out how to use Slide Master editing instead of making formatting changes to each and every slide, for what seems forever, I couldn’t figure out how to have two different slide designs in the same slide presentation.

Here’s the scenario. You have two presentations from different companies or departments or people. Each deck has its own formatting or design. And you need to combine them and even mix and match some slides. As soon as you paste slides from a different deck, they immediately assume the style and formatting of the other presentation. Does this sound familiar at all? It’s unbelievably frustrating!

HTD PowerPoint Design - two in one

Read More


View Post

Archeer A320S Bluetooth Speaker Review – 2 are Way Better than 1!

In Audio, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Back in March of this year, I reviewed the Archeer A320 portable Bluetooth speaker which completely impressed me with the power of its bass as well as its design. Just as soon as I got used to thumping bass and loud music coming from my daughter’s room, Archeer came out with an upgrade to the A320. Honestly, I wasn’t too sure how they could improve on this already nice portable Bluetooth speaker. But they came out with some innovations which made me believe there is room for improvement, or better said, enhancement. I got a pair of the Archeer A320S to review and wanted to share what those little enhancements did to an already great sound. (*Disclosure below.)

First, let me outline what the Archeer A320 and the new Archeer A320S share in functionality. Both speakers have:

  • Two 5 watt drivers for the mid and high sounds
  • One 15 watt subwoofer
  • 25 watts total output power
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: Bass ? 75DdB; Treble ? 80dB
  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
  • Natural bamboo wood with a grey fabric wrap around the sides
  • Controls for playback on the top
  • Rechargeable and portable
  • Carrying bag, USB cable, 3.5mm audio cable

Read More