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Mother’s Day Tech Gifts with Andrea Smith

Mother's Day tech gift ideas

A National Retail Federation survey says Mother’s Day spending is expected to reach over $21 billion. Tech gifts are a popular choice to keep her up-to-date with the latest gadgets and trends. For everything mom does each day, she deserves the best! Award-winning tech expert Andrea Smith partnered with brands to share …

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What The Tech? Digital Dementia

New York, NY — It seems the father of the Internet, Vint Cerf, has a serious concern about our reliance on digitally documenting everything we do: will future historians be able to see anything we’re doing? You don’t have to think that far back to get an idea of what he’s worried about either… that CD collection you might have gathering dust, do you still have a CD player? In my house, I have two MacBook’s and a Mac Mini of which only two have CD/DVD drives. If I upgrade that Mac Mini to the current model, it lacks an optical drive. Sure my BluRay player will play the CD’s but if I want the data off them, my options are slowly becoming limited. Take a step back a few decades further to your cassette collection (if you remember or even had those). I had hundreds of cassette tapes containing everything from mixes carefully crafted for my long commute to me on the radio in the early days of my career. But you know what I didn’t have? A tape player. I got rid of that a long time ago because I had upgraded to CD’s and tapes were so cumbersome. And what of all those video games I have for my NES? Fortunately, I still have my NES and if I didn’t there are plenty of places I can go online to play the now-classic games for free. But the problem extends beyond our mix tapes and Mario Brothers

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TechBytes: Week In Review

New York, New York — This week was a good one for investors in a promising little computer company in Cupertino California. Not only did Apple hit an historic milestone in valuation, the new way to pay just took to the skies. And as much as you may love your Smart TV, it might not be the best at keeping secrets. Turns out if you can talk to your TV it isn’t just listening for you to change the channel. And a little story that nearly flew under the radar, a 100 year old company has a technology that will make those tiny screens on our Smart Watches and in our car dashboard look a lot nicer. iValue We found out this week that Apple is the most valuable company in history as the company stock hit $123/share [ 127.08 at market close Friday the 13th ]. That means Apple is worth north of $700B and “Activist Investor” Carl Icahn thinks they’ll hit the $1 Trillion mark soon enough. Apple stock did a 7 for 1 reverse split after it hit $700 a share, which had the stock tumble to near $90 as recently as November. Since then it has climbed slowly past the $100 mark and further. Many are speculating if it can go any higher and certainly the pending release of the Apple Watch may help push it higher or lower. And now rumors are surfacing of a Apple contemplating a self-driving car ? Siri may be doing more than telling you what song is playing or answering how much wood a wood chuck would chuck if it could chuck wood

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Buzz60: Apple Pay Takes Off

New York, NY  —  Apple Pay  is still in it’s infancy but has already been used at tens of thousands of retailers right here on the ground. But now, JetBlue will roll out the contact-less payment system on select flights starting next week. Since the service only works with  iPhone 6 and 6 Plus  users they’ll be the ones to enjoy it when it launches– but consider the sales numbers of the newer iPhone’s were record breaking, I’m sure that includes a lot of people. This move makes JetBlue the first airline to offer the new form of payment but it certainly won’t be the last. I mean, come on, when was the last time an airline made it  harder  to take your money? To make it work, JetBlue will replace those traditional swipe terminals with iPads able to accept Apple Pay. They’ll accept traditional plastic cards too so you won’t starve if you haven’t upgraded. The new iPad’s will also give the cabin crew more information about you like your name, birthday and other information that will be useful in flight– think connecting flights. That idea sounds pretty cool but considering my luck when flying I just hope it doesn’t include any complaints I’ve made or a running tally on the number of drinks I’ve ordered. When the Apple Watch comes out in April (We hope) you’ll also be able to use that to pay. Although, given the rumored battery life of the Apple Watch, you may want to keep that credit card nearby. Apple Pay will be first added to JetBlue flights from JFK to San Francisco and LA– which also happen to be the flights that feature the airlines  first class Mint  service

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Napkin 2 Now: The Digits

New York, NY  — Kids and technology, well, they literally go hand-in-hand. It should come as no surprise then when I tell you that since 2011, Internet enabled devices in the hands of kids up to 12 years old has grown 250% (According to the  IPSOS Kids and Family Center of Excellence ). With all those devices and all that connectivity, you probably want your kids to be learning something as they’re being entertained. Enter ‘The Digits’ an interactive show that let’s kids rock out while they learn math. It’s the creation of Funda, a company founded by Scotty Iseri. I sat down with Scotty in Portland Oregon to get the full scoop on Funda and ‘The Digits’ which was a few years in the making. The show “combines interactive learning” so parents can connect with their kids and watch what their kids are learning. Not long ago, in a very near galaxy, ‘The Digits’ started life on mobile devices and online. Because of it’s popularity the online show is going to TV and Funda will be making a second mobile app to go with the new TV series. Getting ‘The Digits’ into the hands of kids coast-to-coast was no easy task. The biggest problem: where are people going to find out about Funda? As Scotty said “When you create media for kids your user is not your customer.” So the goal is to try and get programming to be kid tested and parent approved— like Kix serial

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Astounding Apps: Gas Buddy

New York, NY  — Even though gas prices are dropping, you still don’t want to pay more than you have to when you’re at the pump. The difference of 30¢ a gallon on a fill up of a 15 gallon tank is $4.50. Sure that doesn’t sound like much once, but do that once a week for a month and you just spent $18 you didn’t have to spend. So why not find the cheapest gas around? Enter GasBuddy a crowd-sourced free app that will save you money when you hit the road. GasBuddy is crowdsourced from other users— similar to how Waze gets traffic spot on. Considering GasBuddy has been downloaded over 40 million times you can bet the prices you get are accurate. It’s easy to use: just open it, tap ‘Find Gas Near Me’ and you’ll be presented with a list of stations or a map of stations near you. You can sort the list by distance, price or fuel type. So whether you’ve got to put premium in your Porsche or Diesel in your Dodge or just the lowest price you can get into your Lexus, you’ll find it. When you find the station that fits your needs— likely the one furthest from you, not off the freeway and lacking a clean bathroom— just tap the name and you’ll get a map of where it’s located. A few more taps and you can get turn-by-turn directions from wherever you are to wherever your gas is. GasBuddy is free and available on every mobile platform (That includes  YOU  BlackBerry users) and online at  GasBuddy.com .

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Opening Day CES 2015 Sneak Peek with Mario Armstrong

Mario Armstrong, digital lifestyle expert

The latest technologies were unveiled when the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opened in Las Vegas on Tuesday, January 6. Mario Armstrong, Digital Lifestyle expert, gives a glimpse into this year’s line-up of electronics, gizmos and gadgets. The first CES took place in New York City in June of …

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Inside CES 2015

Inside CES 2015 with Mario Armstrong

Join Mario Armstrong, Emmy Award Winning TV Host, Media Personality and The Digital Lifestyle Expert® as he brings you an exclusive look inside the International CES® 2015 live from Las Vegas, where more than 3,500 exhibitors unveil the latest consumer technology products, trends and services across the entire ecosystem of …

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Hot Holiday Tech with Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith, Tech Expert

According to the Consumer Electronic Association’s holiday outlook, total tech spending during the holidays will reach a record $33.76 billion during the 2014 holiday season. But with so many tech gift options, it can be tough to decide what to buy. Tech Expert Andrea Smith worked with the following companies to …

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Our “Connected Life” with Smart Gadgets

Andrea Smith

The connected world is changing the way people experience information and entertainment. Now we can even control and monitor our home, cars and more…everything from appliances and security systems to air conditioning, lights and keeping tabs on our vehicles from anywhere using our mobile devices. Award-winning Tech Expert Andrea Smith …

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