Smartomi U8 ERA Running Headphones Sport Wireless Earphones Review



The folks at Smartomi sent me their U8 ERA Running Headphones Sport Wireless Earphones to review.  This review is well overdue but I have for many years have a history of having wireless earphones fail on me. So when I told the folks at Smartomi that I was going to wear them to the gym for a month I think they were a little surprised.  First and foremost after a month of sweat, abuse of being in my gym bag, being charged in the sun and everything else I could throw at these earphones they are still working just like the day I took them out of the box.

Even more incredible is that they have lasted longer than earphones that cost as much as 6 times as much from a well-known manufacturer. Priced at an incredible $25 I would have never believed it if I had I not wore them to the gym for 20+ workouts. Not only that I was able to get 8 hours of play time on them between charge with the volume cranked to about 80%. Another big surprise to me was that the sound out of them while will never match my studio headphones was incredibly good. But because these earphones actually stay in my ears while I am working out without having to mess with them they get another thumbs up.

I will be honest I really did not have great expectations on these earphones but they really exceeded my expectations in a big way. For workouts and or running at an affordable price you can pick up a couple of pairs of these to give to your kids as well.


Q-Hub Type-C PD Hub – Power Trend – Review



Power Trend sent me their Q-Hub Type-C PD Hub to review. Over the past year, I have purchased no less than 4 hubs for both my Macbooks and for a Dell PC that have USB-C as their primary interface. I will be honest some of the hubs look really slick but I have broken no less than two of them for poor USB-C connector design at the computer. The hub from Power Trend does not, and will not have that problem as the cable you connect to the computer is very robust.

One of the tests that I do on all hubs of this type is to see how well the HDMI port works. This has been a bit of an issue on other hubs, and we found on both PC and Mac that the monitor synced up within 5 seconds of plugging the hub in. What I really like about this hub is that you can connect your standard or third-party charger to the hub, to power pc and then allow you to hook up and additional USB-C device. Or it can be used to run two USB-C and two USB 3.0 along with an 4k external monitor.

The performance of this hub meets all of the specifications they lay out on their website with a price of $75 on Amazon you cannot go wrong with this hub. The build quality is just superior to all other hubs I have used to date.


Kodak Photo Printer Mini Review



The team at Kodak sent over the Kodak Photo Printer Mini to review. I want to talk a little bit about the build quality of this printer. Frankly, as a geek, I was totally intrigued on how the all-in-one-cartridge worked. The print cartridge which holds 20-50 credit card sized prints is an engineering marvel at how they have been able to package this (see image below) not to mention the app and phone integration.  Overall I was very impressed with integration and print quality while it prints relative small prints it’s perfect for quickly sharing prints and scrapbook projects and the like. Need an ID photo it looks like the perfect printer for that as well.

The first thing you do is download the free app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Once the App is installed you turn on the printer and within 30 seconds you can connect to it via NFC or via Wifi. Once you have done so you simply select an image from your photo library, edit and crop, and print. The printing process was the second big surprise it prints in 4 stages. A single picture takes about 60 seconds to print to go through the 3 color stages and then the applying of a final coat.

I must admit I was pretty impressed with the print quality, and with the final coating at the end of the print, you can be assured the color is locked in for a lifetime. I grabbed a selfie I had posted to Facebook a few days ago from my iPhone and printed that. Overall from unboxing to printing was less than 5 minutes. The printer has its own internal battery that can be recharged via a USB Cable.  Priced at $69 you really cannot go wrong with 30 print cartridges going for $22 with several purchase options this is the perfect mini printer to use at a moments notice. A little smaller than the iPhone 8+ it will easily travel in a computer bag.


Kodak Printomatic Review



The folks at Kodak sent over the Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera for me to review. The instant this arrived my 21-year-old who is simply crazy about old school Polaroid cameras was hovering around me when I set this up. The camera prints to 2×3 Zink Paper and also saves pictures to a 32gb Micro-SD card.

I shot both black and white and color photos with it. The printed pictures had nice consistent color and the black and white photos were reminiscent of an age gone by. While the pictures did look better in daylight shooting the 5-megapixel sensor does a nice job for the size of the picture being printed. You can peel the back of the photo and have a stick surface to stick the photo to something as well. The camera retails at $69.00 with a 50 pack of 2×3 inch Premium ZINK Photo Paper retailing for around $23 on Amazon. It contains an internal battery that can be charged with a USB Cable.

This would make a fun gift for a teenager and a quick and easy way to point and shoot and then share a picture with a friend while retaining the original image on the micro SD card which can then be used with the Koday Photo Printer Mini.

At this price point, it’s a fun product that can be used at parties or used as a way to help aspiring photographers frame their shots. My daughter is happy to be able to have a device that she can actually buy photo paper for.


The holiday season in perspective [Infographic]



It’s that time of year. While thoughts should turn to things we are thankful for, they seem to more often turn towards what we lust for or want for our loved ones. It’s a bit petty, but it has been slowly ingrained in us over the years. Black Friday kicks everything off with near riots as those present fight for what they want – sometimes taking extreme measures.

But what does all of this mean for the retail business? Google took a look at it, mostly, as it could have been guessed, from an adsense perspective. In other words, not just what it means to consumers, but what it means to their bottom line.

The company expects staggering numbers with an 18 percent increase in spending over last year’s $21.6 billion. It then proceeds to lay out a plan for companies to get noticed.

It isn’t something the average consumer sees on a daily basis, but it provides some insight into what is behind the purchases made – the driving force that powers the wallet.


Pokémon GO is Doing a Global Catch Challenge



Pokémon GO started a Global Catch Challenge on November 19, 2017. It will conclude on November 26, 2017. There are global rewards that can be unlocked after players collectively catch a certain number of Pokémon.

Ever since Pokémon GO launched, we’ve loved hearing stories of Trainers venturing abroad and playing together with new friends from different countries. That’s what inspired us to create Pokémon GO Travel, a new video series to see the world through the eyes of a Pokémon Trainer. To kick things off, Pokémon GO Travel is taking a diverse group of Trainers from around the world to Japan to host our first-ever Global Catch Challenge.

The potential Global Catch Challenge rewards and bonuses include:

Bronze: 500M catches
2X XP
6 Hour Lure
More Pokémon appearing globally

Silver: 1.5BN Catches
2X XP
6 Hour Lure
2X Stardust
Even more Pokémon appearing globally

Gold: 3BN Catches
2X XP
6 Hour Lure
2X Stardust
Farfetch’d available worldwide (for 48 hours)
Kangaskhan available in East Asia (for 48 hours)

Some progress has already been made. On November 20, 2017, the Pokémon GO Twitter account announced that the Bronze level of rewards and bonuses has been unlocked.


Airline Tips #1242



Some Airline Tips in case you run into trouble on the holiday travel. I have been getting my butt kicked on some very finicky Windows 10 Machines and their networks. I swear sometimes teh thought of going 100% mac is sitting there with me as I just do not see these issue with the Mac machines.

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Roku announces Element Ultra HD 4K smart TV



The new generation of tiny set-top boxes have opened up a whole new world of entertainment in people’s living rooms, or whatever room has a TV. There are several models on the market, but Roku is perhaps the best known.

Recently Roku opened up its platform to TV manufacturers allowing them to create their smart TVs based off of it.

Now Roku is announcing a brand new TV that will be hitting the market very shortly. “Element will first offer a 50-inch screen size featuring 4K Ultra HD picture quality enhanced with HDR for lifelike clarity and contrast technology enabling deeper blacks and brighter whites. And as with all Roku TVs, the new Element Roku TVs will run the Roku® OS which gives customers access to 500,000 movies and TV episodes through 5,000+ streaming channels”.

The TV will automatically be upgraded to Roku 8.0 when it’s released later this year. The new version will contain an upgraded guide that integrates Roku offerings plus over-the-air channels. The TV will hit Wal-Mart on Cyber Monday, November 27th. Pricing has not been announced.


Aliens in 20? #1241



NASA says we will find Aliens in the next 20 years. I would be happy with just having software updated from Adobe that does not break everything I have. It simply drives me crazy that they can break something so bad from release to release. Got myself in a jam this go around with Premier. May be time to go back to final cut (shudder)

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Beyerdynamic’s Aventho Wireless is a CES 2018 Innovation Award Honoree



Beyerdynamic has over 90 years of experience in developing audio electronics. They stand for innovative audio products with the highest sound quality and pioneering technology. Beyerdynamic has been named as a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree for its Aventho wireless headphones.

For the Aventho wireless, beyerdynamic uses Bluetooth 4.2 protocol with the aptX HD codec from Qualcomm. This way, the best possible sound is guaranteed, even without wires. Additionally, beyerdynamic is working together with Mimi Hearing Technologies to allow for a truly personalized sound experience.

Mimi’s sound personalization technology makes it possible to create a personal hearing profile. This profile is based on the soundcheck in the “Make it yours” (MIY) app and then uploaded directly to the Aventho wireless.

This new high-end model also offers innovative operation: the right side serves as a touch gesture control pad. All functions can be activated using simple touches and gestures: next track, louder, take a call, hang up, lower volume, pause… it’s never been so easy to control your headphones, smartphone and music player app.

Via the MIY app, the sensitivity of the touch control can be adjusted to suit your individual preferences. There is also a tracking option within the app to gan an insight into your listening habits and measure duration and intensity of your daily listening. Further customization options will be made available via updates.

The CES 2018 Innovation Awards nomination comes with many benefits. The Aventho wireless will be displayed proudly with the rest of the Honorees in the Innovation Showcase at CES 2018. Beginning January 9, 2018, the Aventho wireless will be on display in the Innovation Awards Showcase within the Venetian Ballroom at CES Tech West.