Posts Tagged ‘just for fun’

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Tech Toys for Today’s Modern Tot… with a Traditional Twist

New technology is constantly changing and evolving the way we live. This new technology is perhaps most profoundly affecting younger generations born into this new tech world. Dolls now come with USB ports and toddlers can operate iPads better, faster, and more effectively than their adult counterparts.

Here we’re taking a special look at toys for today’s tech-driven tots with a traditional twist. These toys aim to familiarize children with the thought process behind technology without bombarding kids with the technology itself.

Traditional toy blocks in iPhone form

Photo courtesy of technabob.com

 

  1. Laurie Ipsum” is a children’s book written by Carlos Bueno, a Facebook engineer. It does not attempt to teach children any specific technical skills, but rather, how to think like a computer programmer. The main character, Laurie Ipsum, is lost in Userland and she must use logic and reason to overcome challenges and find her way home. Naturally, Laurie Ipsum is available in digital form for Nook, Kindle, and iBook, as well as in paperback.
  2. The wooden iPhone is the modern mother’s answer to the pacifier. It’s the perfect size to chewed on but not ingested—and best of all, it’s not actually the expensive technological device. The techy baby can slobber all over his/her stylish smartphone without worry that Mom might be upset.
  3. Russian dolls take a turn for the techy with this set that teaches children the sequencing from a terabyte down to a bit. The exact same form and function of a traditional set, the 6-piece tech Russian Doll set will help lay a foundation for children to think in technological scale.

What tech-inspired toy would you have liked as a child?      

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Celebrating “National Inventor’s Month” with a Salute to Sven Mattisson and Jaap Haartsen, Inventors of Bluetooth

May is a month for celebrating. We recently commemorated “Better Hearing and Speech Month” with a post describing five useful smartphone apps for hearing and speech impaired individuals. Now we’d like to recognize “National Inventor’s Month” with an ode to Sven Mattisson and Jaap Haartsen, the inventors of Bluetooth technology.

Exploring the History of Bluetooth Technology

Photo courtesy of gandhiappliances.com

This illustrious Bluetooth history takes us back to the mid-1990’s. The leading technology companies agreed to the need for a standard way to connect devices wirelessly, regardless of their make and model. Representative of IBM, Intel, Toshiba, and Nokia, converged on Lund, Sweden, the home of Ericcson, to form Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).

Mattisson and Haartsen, both of Ericcson, developed the Bluetooth specification, which is based on “frequency-hopping spread spectrum,” and are thus credited as the inventors. The most compelling part of the story, however, is how Bluetooth came to be known as Bluetooth.

 

The Viking King Harald Bluetooth is the inspiration behind Bluetooth technology.

Photo courtesy of neatorama.com

According to Jim Kardach, who ran Bluetooth SIG until 2001, Intel called their short-range wireless technologies program “Biz-RF.” Ericsson’s program was “MC-Link,” and Nokia had “Low Power RF.” These different—and unremarkable—names created confusion, and it became clear they needed to develop a single name.

Bluetooth allegedly came to be during a pub-crawl on a blustery Toronto night. Mattisson and Kardach, who represented Intel at the time, were drowning their sorrows after early proposals of “Biz-RF” and “MC-Link” were rejected by the early SIG, when Mattisson shared a story about the Viking King Harald Bluetooth.

Bluetooth had united warring factions in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, much like Bluetooth technology would unite different technology made by Intel, Ericsson, Nokia, Toshiba and any of Bluetooth SIG’s 16,000 current member companies. Marketing men threw around different names, including “Flirt—getting close, but not touching,” but Bluetooth stuck.

So, today, we pay homage to the pioneers Vikings of Bluetooth technology. Without these fearless nerds, the ZOMM Wireless Leash could not exist and you and your phone would be forever-warring factions.

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

March Madness and Technology

March Madness is here—the NCAA tournament kicks off this week with 64 teams battling it out to be crowned the best college team in the country. While they fight it out on the court, thousands of people in homes, offices and school across the country will fight it out with their brackets.

 

Photo Cred: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As with sporting events like the Super Bowl, there are lots of ways technology helps make March Madness that much more enjoyable. Here are just a few of them:

Bet it all on a Brilliantly-Built Bracket

No longer will you need to handwrite a bracket or draw names out of a hat—check out RunYourPool.com to make the office contest a breeze.  There are also lots of option on sites like ESPN, NCAA and Yahoo!, to make your bracketology a breeze.

Don’t Miss a Play

Last year, IMRE Sports revealed that 1 in 4 Americans would be using social media to follow the tournament. Of those, 27% said they would be using a mobile app to view games and 31% said they’d be watching via YouTube.

Other stats IMRE discovered were that 62% of people using social media would be doing it just to check the scores, while 44% of them would be watching the games.

———-

So, if you’re looking for the perfect app to keep up with all the games, try one of these: ESPN Scorecenter (free), March Madness Mania ($0.99) and Office Pool Picker 2012 ($0.99).

How do you use mobile and/or social media to stay up-to-date with March Madness?

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Win ZOMM Personal Concierge Service for a Year!

The ZOMM Personal Concierge can add time back into your day by handling tasks from the mundane to the insane. Let us plan your family trip, get flowers to your mom on special occasions, provide hard to get concert tickets, make last-minute dinner reservations, and much more—all for free!

That’s right, during the month of March, you can enter to win a free one-year subscription to the ZOMM Personal Concierge. All you have to do is provide your name and email address. Click on the image to enter!

win zomm personal concierge

If you win a one-year subscription to the ZOMM Personal Concierge, what will you do with it?

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

7 Tweetable Facts about Americans’ Cell Phone Usage

PEW recently did a study on Americans and their use of cell phones. The results are interesting, although not all that surprising. We’ve condensed the report into our seven favorite facts, and made them perfectly tweetable for you!

tweetable cell phone facts

 


Which fact do you find the most interesting? Click the link after it to automatically tweet it!

  1. 40% of mobile phone owners have found their phone helpful in an emergency situation. [Tweet]
  2. Sometimes we need a break. 29% of Americans turn their cell phone off just to take a break from it. [Tweet]
  3. 27% of Americans have had trouble doing something in the last month because they did not have their cell phone at hand. [Tweet]
  4. Do you take photos or send text message with your phone? You’re not alone—so do 90% of American smartphone owners. [Tweet]
  5. Bored no more: 42% of Americans have used their phone to defeat boredom. [Tweet]
  6. 44% of phone owners (cell or smart) use their mobile to access the World Wide Web. [Tweet]
  7. Cell phones allow us to avoid human interaction—13% of owners have used a phone to avoid awkward situations. [Tweet]

Did any of these facts surprise you?

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

February is Pull Your Sofa Off the Wall Month

Each February is Pull Your Sofa Off the Wall Month, and while we think you should probably check behind the sofa more than once a year, we still think it’s a clever idea. There are a few reasons why you should shift your settee:

 

To clean up.  Do you clean your sofa regularly? (You don’t have to answer that) But take this opportunity to give it a good scrubbing. Fluff the cushions, get new throw pillows, and maybe even make a few bucks by gathering loose change.

To try a new look.  How long has your living room been arranged the same way? Now is the time to move things around and shake it up a bit. Adjusting the layout of the furniture in a room can make if feel like a brand new space!

To find lost things. Remember all those things that “grew legs and walked away on their own”? You just might find them in the sofa. Your car keys, favorite bracelet or even a cell phone might just turn up in there (remember, if you had a Wireless Leash, your phone wouldn’t have been lost in the first place… just saying).

Do you plan to pull your couch off the wall this month? Let us know if you find any lost items in there!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Top 3 Super Bowl Commercials – Do You Agree?

Super Bowl XLVI was an exciting one. In the end, the New York Giants came out on top, edging out the New England Patriots by four points. While thousands watched the big game go down, they also got to see one of the most exciting parts of Super Bowl Sunday: the commercials.

We watched them all and chose our Top 3. Take a look at our choices below, then let us know if you agree!

3. Audi – Vampire Party

Taking on the vampire craze that’s swept the country over the past few years, Audi created a hilarious spoof, while truly showcasing their new feature. Plus, we really want those headlights.

2. Honda – Matthew’s Day Off

If you love Ferris Bueller, you can’t help but love this one. The reprise of the 80s flick is full of more references than we could count.

1. Best Buy – Innovators

Without mobile phones, where would we be? There’d definitely be no need for a Wireless Leash—and that’s why we chose this as our favorite commercials. Highlighting innovators in the mobile world, Best Buy did it right.

 


Do you agree with our top three? If not, leave a comment below with a link to your favorite Super Bowl Commercial!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI: Giants vs Patriots – Social Media Edition

The New York Giants and New England Patriots first met during the preseason this year. Now, they meet again in the final game of the NFL season—the Super Bowl. Both teams have already landed in Indianapolis, home of Super Bowl XLVI, and are preparing for the big game. On Sunday, they will fight it out until only one team is left standing as NFL world champions.

super bowl giants patriots

Photo Cred: NY Daily News

Today we’re going to have to two teams face-off, not based on their football skills, but on their social media skills. Let’s take a look at how they compare:

Twitter:

  • New York Giants — @Giants, 215,434 followers
  • New England Patriots– @Patriots, 301,714 followers

Facebook:

Notable Social Media:

  • New York Giants—This past August, Mashable did a story about the social media initiatives within Giants’ MetLife Stadium. During their preseason game against (ironically) the Patriots, they Giants integrated life tweets from fans into NBC 4’s live broadcast. According to the article, the Giants were the first NFL team to “embrace Twitter to this magnitude.”
  • New England Patriots—Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has built a significant Twitter following—more than 3.1 million followers—including President Felipe Calderon of Mexico. If you follow @ochocinco, you know that he likes to interact with fans by taking them to dinner, offering dating advice and provide lots of inspirational messages.

We’ll let you decide who wins this battle. And speaking of social media, why not check out ours? You can find us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube!

Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Go Techy (and even a little Geeky) With Your Holiday Décor

When you decorate for your holiday celebrations, you likely incorporate things that are meaningful to you. Perhaps that’s a piano-playing Santa that has been passed down generation to generation, a handmade ornament your son or daughter made in pre-school or the Christmas star you picked out with your spouse for your first holiday together.

However, do your holiday decorations include meaningful technologies? Think about it—technology is a part of our everyday lives, so why not let it be a part of the holidays, too? Here are a few ways to incorporate tech into your holiday décor:

Blackberry Ornament 

It’s attached to your hand 24/7, so why not attach it to your Christmas tree, too?

blackberry ornament

Computer Parts Wreath 

Pay homage to one of your best friends, the computer, with a wreath of disk drives, CPUs and floppy discs.

computer wreath

Santa USB Stick

Story your nice and naughty list on this festive USB drive.

santa usb

Snowman with an iPhone Ornament 

Subtly incorporate your favorite pastime with this hand-painted Snowman ornament.

iphone ornament

Motherboard Menorah (or Christmas Tree) 

Add a bit of holiday cheer to your desk with a beautiful motherboard.

christmas motherboard

What kind of techy things do you incorporate into your holiday décor? 

Monday, December 5th, 2011

[CLOSED] Holiday Fun: Complete this “ZOMM Lib” and Win a Wireless Leash!

**Congrats to Kelli Stephenson,  the winner in our ZOMM Lib holiday contest! 

Happy Holidays!

As you might have seen on our Twitter Page, we’ve been running a “Spot the ZOMMs” contest. However, if you’re not on Twitter (or you didn’t win over there) we want to give you another chance to win! Here are three simple steps:

  1. Copy and Paste the “ZOMM Lib” below (all the red text) into a new comment under this post.
  2. Complete the “ZOMM Lib” – each hyperlinked phrase is a clue, and you can find the answer on the linked page.
  3. Submit the comment
That’s it! Here’s the ZOMM Lib – get started now:

Dear Santa,

As a self-proclaimed “person who is scared of losing his cell phone” I’m hoping for a very special gift this year. My friend “video spokesperson told me about a small device that can prevent me from ever losing my phone again—ZOMM. Have you heard of it? The creator of ZOMM, “ZOMM Mom’s real name,” is brilliant! She saw a common problem and created a simple-to use solution.

 Santa, I will be happy with any of the color options ZOMM offers – “three color options.” Since ZOMM works with any “technology that powers ZOMM”-enabled phone, it doesn’t matter what kind of phone you put in my stocking, but ZOMM does have apps for “one OS that supports myZOMM” and “another OS that supports myZOMM,” so one of those would be best. 

Thanks Santa!

Your Name

We’re taking entries until December 20, so complete your ZOMM Lib and share it with your friends! Any questions about how to enter? Tweet us @theZOMM or leave a comment below!

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