AT&T CLP99393

att_AT&T CLP99393

This post brought to you by Advanced American Telephones. All opinions are 100% mine.

About two years ago, we cut our landline at home. The reason?  The cost to benefit ratio: it was just way too expensive for the amount of use we got out of it.  Plus most people use their cell phones for all their calls, right? Well, yes and no. My wife still wanted a home line so that she did not use up our bucket of minutes on our AT&T mobile plan with her almost daily chats with her mom. So we got Vonage VoiP home service at their non-public $9.99 a month plan and she bought this HUGE old school 1989 brick landline phone to connect to it.  But here’s the thing: I NEVER used the home line - I’m always on my smartphone.

TV On The Go

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This post brought to you by Bright House Networks. All opinions are 100% ours.

Mobile devices have become ubiquitous with everyday life. Everyone from elementary school kids to senior citizens owns a mobile phone or a tablet. And going mobile isn’t limited to being out-and-about.  Most of us use our devices in the home (to email, text and/or stream video/music).  The fact of the matter is, we have become a mobile society.

Realizing this is no longer a phenomena but a way of life, cable companies won’t force you to watch TV on your TV. Take Bright House Networks for instance. Their Bright House Networks TV (BHTV) is both a free app and a website. You can use it to view live HD programming anywhere in or around your home (using WiFi) on your iPad, iPhone, most Android devices and your computer. You can also view an on-screen guide that shows the programming available on your television set and schedule a recording to be saved to your Bright House Networks DVR, if you have one. In other words, you can Make Any Room a TV Room!

Sony USM-SA1 Flash Drive

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Even with a microSD card installed, snapping a new photo every few minutes or regularly adding to your mobile music or video library can soon eat up the available storage on your smartphone or tablet. You could dig through the box of cables to offload some files to a computer, or even use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for your transfer needs, but now Sony has come up with another option. Its latest USB flash drives have a full size USB connector at one end and a micro-USB plug at the other.

Available in either 8, 16 or 32 GB capacities, the teeny flash drives can either be plugged into a full size USB 2.0 port on a Windows or Mac computer or laptop, or the cap at the other end removed and the micro-USB connector used to hook up the drive to a smartphone or tablet. The cap locks to allow for plugging and unplugging, while protecting the micro-USB plug from damage, and comes in a choice of three colors.

Revolv Home Automation

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Once you start automating your home with electronic locks, lights, switches, and other components, the number of apps on your phone can multiply very quickly. Worse, it seems like you should be able to easily link their behavior together yet can’t. After all, if you want the lights to turn off when you leave the house, shouldn’t the thermostat also turn down? The Revolv home automation system and associated smart phone app aim to simplify things with one centralized control hub that promises easy setup, no additional support fees, and an evolving lineup of supported devices and features.

Using Revolv is designed to be simple. Once plugged into a central location for optimal Wi-Fi coverage, the unit automatically adds supported devices from the home network, while others need to be added manually via a walkthrough on the Revolv app. The unit boasts seven wireless radios supporting ten different wireless protocols, with Insteon, Wi-Fi, and Z-Wave currently covered, and more including ZigBee to be rolled out later. What it doesn’t require is an Ethernet connection, creating an account, or monthly fees, with the system registering your phone simply by using the phone’s flash. Only iOS devices are currently supported, but Android, Windows Phone and others will follow.

Once devices are enabled, the fun begins. You can design different home "scenarios," such as coming home, vacation, relaxation, movie night, or bedtime, with rules being triggered by the phone’s proximity, motion sensors, or based on time. Currently the GeoSense proximity trigger is only enabled for one phone, though this will be updated early next year. However, multiple phones can control a Revolv system.

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The company is also working on more complex conditional rules, as might apply in households where not everyone has a smartphone. Also planned is a feature that recognizes when people are still at home, despite the GeoSense-linked user leaving the house with their phone.

Belkin WeMo light switches and electrical outlets, Philips Hue and Insteonlightbulbs, Kwikset and Yale locks, and wireless speakers from Sonos are just a few of the devices currently supported, with a full list that is being regularly updated found on Revolv’s website.

The Revolv system is currently available for US$299.

 

Makism 3D Printers

makism 3d printer

This post brought to you by Makism. All opinions are 100% mine.

3D printing, a novelty once reserved for science fiction, is going mainstream thanks to cheaper, more accessible technology. The printers blast out layer upon layer of plastic or other materials, forming 3-D objects. Imagine creating a solid, physical object from a digital 3D model. Well stop imagining - the technology has been here for while!

And the world of desktop 3D printing is rapidly expanding and new companies and printer models are emerging regularly.  With so many options to choose from, how do you decide what machine is right for you?

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The answer depends on your use potential and budget. Are you a tinkerer or do you just like to hit the ‘print’ button? Will your printer be used at home as a hobbyist and kid projects, or are you a designer or engineer who is considering a printer for work?  

Makism 3D Corp plans to target the home user, modestly priced professional and educational markets with its flagship offering, the Wideboy. Ready to be go directly out of the box, Makism 3D Printers is a family of printers designed to elegantly empower organizations and individuals to affordably create high-quality individually manufactured prototypes, parts, and objects, rapidly and with a high degree of precision. We here at GizmoAlley can see ourselves creating some cool pendant lighting fixtures or custom smartphone cases with one of these.

Wideboy family of printers are designed to make printing 3D just as easy as printing a document from an inkjet printer.   In a few years time, it'll be interesting to see how far 3D printing technology has come, and how commonplace it will be  in people's lives.

If you can manufacture useful things at home instead of waiting for a large company to make it for you, wouldn’t you? With reliable and user friendly 3D printer offerings like the Makism 3D Products, you’ll be able to print high quality 3D objects for work, school, or personal life at home!

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Copenhagen Wheel Electric Vehicle

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Looking for a portable electric vehicle? Superpedestrian today announced the first commercial release of the Copenhagen Wheel, a self-contained unit that snaps easily onto the back of any ordinary bicycle and turns it into an electric hybrid.. With extra power at the riders’ feet, regenerative braking, and advanced control systems, the wheel promotes cycling so that long distances or steep up-hills are no longer a barrier to a comfortable ride. The Copenhagen Wheel is available for sale starting today at Superpedestrian.com.

With more than 60 percent of the world expected to live in cities by 2020, transportation has an increasing effect on quality of urbanized living. Superpedestrian seeks to transform urban mobility by making bicycles even more attractive for commuters and city resident. The Copenhagen Wheel is the original “smart wheel” first conceived the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SENSEable City Lab. The inventors then joined forces as Superpedestrian, exclusively licensing the technology from MIT and working to perfect a user experience that enables cyclists to ride practically anywhere with simplicity and ease.

Amazon Drones

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As early as 2015, your Amazon purchases could be dropped at your door within 30 minutes courtesy of unmanned aerial drones. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed plans for the delivery service Prime Air (an extension of Amazon Prime which guarantees two-day shipping) in a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night.

The service would ship orders under five pounds (2.3 kg) after they are packed into small plastic containers and then scooped up by Amazon's custom-built "octocopter." The drone then delivers the package to customers within a 10 mile (16 km) radius of Amazon's fulfillment centers.

Boost Wants to Shrink Your Mobile Payments

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This post brought to you by Boost Mobile’s Shrinking Payments. All opinions are 100% ours.

In our time and age, everything is getting smaller, faster and in many cases, less expensive.  But not our phone bills.  To be sure, you can be NEXT with a new phone or JUMP on that mobile plan that allows for the privilege of upgrading your phone every year without a down payment in exchange for a small monthly fee. But you are paying full price for their phones and your service plan does not get any cheaper.

So it’s quite refreshing to see Boost Mobile unveil their “You Earned It” program.  It’s a prepaid (no annual contract), easy to understand, easier to save, $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan with Shrinking Payments. How does it work? Here’s the deal: For every six on-time payments, the cost of Boost Mobile’s Monthly Unlimited plan shrinks by $5, eventually getting down to as low as $40 a month for unlimited nationwide talk and text. Can you feel your leather wallet getting fatter with all that money saved?

Less money for the phone company means more money for other things. $15 a month saved equates to a free lunch or two or a new leather wallet.  That's $180 a year, which is the equivalent of two Boost Mobile Samsung Galaxy Prevails.

Now, you might be thinking, “But aren’t their  several wireless carriers that offer no contracts?” The answer is yes.  However only Boost  offers Shrinking Payments. Boost provides the  “highest in Purchase Experience among Non-Contract Wireless Providers” according to J.D. Power and Associates.  And this new plan enables them to continue to lead the way as a brand that puts the customer first by allowing them to Get Shrinking Payments

How much is that worth to you?

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Morgaw Shock Assorber Bike Saddle

morgaw saddle

Pain in the arse is a big complaint amongst cyclists, although many of them will tell you that getting a cushier seat isn't the solution. The theory goes that the extra padding will get pressed up into the rider's nether regions, ultimately just adding more pressure. Suspension seatposts are one alternative, although European cyclists Martin Moravcik and Slawek Gawlik have created what they claim is another, that's lighter and simpler – the Morgaw shock-absorbing saddle.

Saddles with steel-spring suspensions have been around pretty much as long as the bicycle itself. The Morgaw, however, utilizes elastomer inserts that sit between the saddle rails and the saddle itself, both in the front and back. These absorb much of the road shock vibrations that travel up the seatpost, plus they also allow the saddle to pivot with the rider's butt a little, both fore and aft, and from side to side.

This pivoting action should reportedly also help reduce discomfort, as the saddle will tilt slightly when pressure is applied, instead of just pressing back.

Help Launch a GPS Satellite

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This post brought to you by GOOD. All opinions are 100% ours.

It's been said that sharing is caring.  Perhaps that's why the Air Force Collaboratory was created.

For the first time, the Air Force has  opened up three real-world, unclassified projects for open collaboration.  It pools some of the best minds in physics and astronomy (students, teachers and professionals) to help solve real world problems. The projects range in scope and applications, but the idea was for those that qualify to work with a community of peers alongside real Airmen on real Air Force projects. For instance:

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