Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Day From Hell

Yesterday was the day from Hell for me.

It started out fine, my daughter-in-law took me to TUS airport from Fort Huachuca, where they live. From there I flew backwards to LA, even though I was going east to Nashville. Oh well, it makes sense to someone. No problems on that flight, so far so  good.

That's when the problems started. Have you ever flown out of LA on Southwest? They have made multiple gates out of each existing gate ahd that means things are TIGHT! Oh well, I can live with that. Then pre-boarding started and the couple in front of me had a dog and at least 8 huge packages. What happened to the rule of one carry-on and one personal item? I asked the gate agent and he just mumbled something about they can take what they want. Why?

Then I got on the airplane, a full flight naturally. The person sitting next to me was a Mexican, female Sumo wrestler who wanted more room. My reply to her demand that I move my elbow was not well received. All I said was "it''s attached to my arm".

Eventually we got to BNA, it seemed like it took forever! And that's when it got worse! I got my baggage and looked for my ride, an InShuttle van to Clarksville. Nothing. I called their office and was told it would be hours before someone could pick me up. Did I want my money back? NO!!!!! I want to go home!

Eventually they won. I cancelled them out and got a hotel room for the night.

It was not a good day.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Smart Speakers

One in six Americans now own a smart speaker, according to
new research out this week from NPR and Edison Research –
a figure that’s up 128 percent from January, 2017. Amazon’s
Echo speakers are still in the lead, the report says, as 11
percent now own an Amazon Alexa device compared with 4
percent who own a Google Home product.

Today, 16 percent of Americans own a smart speaker, or
around 39 million people.

The holiday shopping season also seemed to have played
a role in the increased adoption of smart devices in the U.S.,
with 7 percent of Americans reporting they acquired at least
one smart speaker between Black Friday and the end of
December, and 4 percent saying they acquired their first s
mart speaker during the holidays.

Both Amazon and Google used the holiday shopping season
to their advantage in terms of acquiring market share for their
respective devices by slashing prices to encourage more
impulse buys, and by heavily promoting the items across their
storefronts. In fact, analysts believe that both Amazon and
Google likely lost a few dollars per unit during the holiday
season, where they were discounting their smaller form factor
devices to $29 for the Amazon Echo Dot and $50 for the Google
Home Mini, for example.

The end result for Amazon was that the Echo Dot became a
top seller across its site and by manufacturers through the Black
Friday weekend, and through the holidays, Amazon recently said.

The new report also delved into how consumers are using their
devices, which have a range of functions including things like being
able to stream music, control their TV and other smart home
devices, and more.

Monday, January 15, 2018


Just in time for holiday preparation, Ecovacs
Robotics displayed its next-generation robotic
vacuum, DEEBOT OZMO 930, at Pepcom’s
Holiday Spectacular in San Francisco. OZMO
includes improved mopping and a breakthrough
adaptive floor/carpet sensing technology. The
Ecovacs line of robotic vacuums is Deebot.
Their robotic window washers are Winbots.
Their air purifiers are ATMOBOTs. Despite the
large window area at the Holiday Spectacular
venue Metreon City View, no demo of a Winbot.

Ozmo 930 can vacuum both rugs and floors,
adjusting to the surface. It can also mop and
will automatically avoid rugs when in mopping
mode. Users can set virtual boundaries to
precisely define the area to be cleaned if there
are restricted areas, such as stairs or projects in
progress. Ozmo 930 uses laser mapping to
learn a home’s floor plan and build a model for
efficient cleaning.   
Ecovacs is primarily known for their consumer
robotic appliances. They’ve been around for
over a decade and continue to develop new
features. In addition to the ability to adust to
floor surfaces and to mop as well as vacuum,
Ozmo 930 can be controlled via smartphone
app or programmed to clean specified areas
on a regular basis. There might still be features
that a maid service does better, but the Ozmo
will never call you at the last minute to say it
can’t come, does away with concerns about
letting strangers in your home whether or not
you’re there, and never needs a 1099.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The End of CES 2018

This is from CES:

CES 2018 officially wrapped today, after dazzling the world with
a glimpse into the future.

More than 3,900 exhibitors showcased world-changing
technologies that spanned more than 2.75 million net square
feet of exhibit space across Las Vegas - the largest show floor
in CES' 51 year history.

There were 860,732 tweets about CES 2018 and 450,554 uses
of the #CES2018 hashtag.

From major international brands to the more than 900 startups
participating in Eureka Park, CES 2018 truly reflected the vibrant
global tech industry.

Watch keynotes and conference sessions from #CES2018 online

Then, save the date for #CES2019: Jan. 8-11, 2019, in Las Vegas,
NV. See you next year!


TiVo, a global leader in consumer entertainment technology,
took advantage of Pepcom’s October 28 Holiday Spectacular
in San Francisco to demonstrate several additions to the their
latest advancements in hardware and user experience. TiVo
introduced the TiVo BOLT VOXTM and TiVo Mini VOXTM.
TiVo VOX Remote™ is part of the new product line. Viewers
can search by voice across live TV, DVR, video-on-demand
and online streaming services.

The visually rich, on-screen TiVo experience  with enhanced
usability includes built-in personalized recommendations and
intelligent predictions based on viewing habits. to help users
sort through the ever-expanding array of TV choices.  VOX
Remote™ empowers a user to use natural speech to refine
searches. For example, you can ask to be shown, “Westerns
where someone says, ‘Make my day’.”
Users can also request the ever-popular Tivo SkipMode™
to bypass commercial breaks. Upon verbal request, OnePass™
will scan multiple outlets to have locate episodes of a series.
Spend your time engrossed in the shows of your choice instead
of searching for something to watch. The system is backwards
compatible: owners of previous versions of TiVo BOLT, TiVo
Roamio and first-generation TiVo Mini can upgrade to voice
control by purchasing a separate TiVo VOX Remote for just
The TiVo Mini VOXTM enables users to bring the same
viewing and voice control experiences to every room in their
home that has a modern television.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Notion is a complete home awareness solution, powered by a
multi-functional sensor and comprehensive IoT data analytics,
that monitors things like motion, water leaks, temperature, and
alarms, and delivers notifications about their entire home to
homeowners no matter where they are.

Notion has partnered with three of the top five home insurance
providers in the country to offer a cost-effective loss mitigation
system and home telematics solution. “At Notion, it’s our mission
to build products and services that give homeowners peace of mind
and ultimately empower them to live better, more present lives. That’s
what complete home awareness means to us,” said Brett Jurgens,
Co-Founder and CEO of Notion.
Notion’s starter packs have a bridge and either 3 or 5 sensors. Each
sensor is identical and multi-functional, from monitoring doors opening
and closing, to observing temperature, to detecting water leaks or a
sounding alarm. In the year preceding  Pepcom’s San Francisco Holiday
Spectacular, the company sent more than four million notifications and
has saved homeowners across the country over half a million dollars in
property damage.  
“We’re excited to work with Notion to materially change the way the
insurance industry operates, ” said d Toshi Otani, Co-Founder and
Managing Director at TransLink Capital, as he joined the Notion board
of directors.
Given than almost anyone can take a notion to do just about anything,
a cue to take a notion to go to could get you
there more efficiently

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Less Than 48 Hours at CES

I'm here for the shortest CES in history.

My flight arrived on Monday at 3PM and I leave on Wednesday at noon!

Saturday, January 6, 2018


Next week is the annual CES (formerly known as the Consumer
Electronics Show and the International CES) show in Las Vegas.

We’ll be there in force so watch this blog for the latest news!

Friday, January 5, 2018


PowerVision drones are for the serious outdoors person. The
PowerRay is an underwater drone that can help locate fish,
either for fishing or for marine management. The mobile app
can send information on fish distribution, underwater
temperature, depth, underwater landscape.

PowerEye provides a range of 3.1 miles of aerial
reconnaissance. A sensor will trigger an alarm when an obstacle
is detected within 33 feet, protecting both the camera and the
scenery. It comes with a 4K aerial camera and supports the ability
to change lenses. The module can be equipped with a flashlight,
loudspeaker, gas detection device, panoramic camera or tilt
The PowerEgg could also have professional and commercial uses.
The ease of deployment and operation makes it a perfect candidate
for getting a new perspective on your everyday world.  

While all of these were on display at at Pepcom’s Holiday
Spectacular in San Francisco on October 28, there were no
demonstrations in the Metreon City View Room. Despite the
proximity to both San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean,
even the PowerRay appeared in a video.

Thursday, January 4, 2018


By Bayle Emlein
Aura picture frames, that is. Just in time for the holidays, brought their style-conscious and feature-
rich digital photo frames to show off at Pepcom’s Holiday
Spectacular in San Francisco.

Fashionably designed Aura picture frames add light to
your photography. Aura digital picture frames come with
both a table stand and a wall hook. They even include
the nail for hanging the 3.2 pound frame. A cable tie and
4 cable wall mounts complete the package. The 10" by
11.75" by 0.75" display comes in choice of four color
schemes: cobalt with brass trim; charcoal with black trim,
crystal blue with silver trim; and ivory with rose gold trim.
For those who are concerned with doing good while
living good, Aura, in collaboration with charity: water,
has created a limited edition crystal blue smart frame,
producing only 500 frames, each with its production
number etched into the back. For every frame sold,
Aura will donate $60 to charity: water to fund the creation
of three wells. Each month, Aura will publish a new
collectible image to your frame taken by a charity: water
photographer, helping to keep you connected to the
cause of clean water.
Although once purchased, Aura charges no subscription
fee, owners have unlimited upload space to store photos,
rotate them through display, and even share with others
on their account. Think of sharing family photos with
grandparents or distant friends. Aura even allows you
to pre-select photos to appear on the frame as soon as
they receive it. The picture frame and the database are
private and secure. You can invite anyone to participate.
Aura offers even more organizational features that enhance
its value. Automatically create collections of the people
who you take pictures of most often. The Smart Selection
feature can be used to update the frame with new photos
as they are taken. No need to regularly do the dance to
find an app to select photos, upload, download . . .
The Aura Ultra-High Density Display promises that your
photos will look as good on the 9.7 inch back-lit LED
display at 2048x1536 pixels, as they do on your phone.
Slideshow Mode rotates through selected photos at the
speed you choose. Auto Dimming adjusts the display to
the perfect brightness, and automatically goes to sleep
when the room gets dark. If you read the Harry Potter
books carefully, you’ll remember that picture frames
with half these features were evidence of magic.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


As D-Link demonstrated at Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular
in San Francisco on October 28, the boundaries between
home automation and home security can overlap. At the
holiday extravaganza, D-Link featured four new devices to
make smart living in the modern home easier and possibly
more fun: AC3900 Whole Home Wi-Fi System, EXO AC 2600
MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Router-4-K streaming and Gaming with
USB ports, Mini indoor HD Wi-Fi camera, and Omna 180
cam HD.

Either the Mini HD and Omna is an enhancement to a
home security system. They each offer night vision and
two-way communication. In addition to telling the unexpected
visitor at your door, “Boo!” no matter where in the connected
world you are, you can tease your pets and watch your kitties
do silly things or sleep. When you are home and things go
bump in the night, you can check on them from a safe distance.  
D-Link’s Covr Wi-Fi System uses a premium AC2600 router
as the core of the wireless network to handle bandwidth
intensive activities like 4K streaming and lag-free gaming on
multiple devices. Combined with the seamless extender to
cover hard to reach areas, D-Link’s Covr delivers a Wi-Fi
signal to homes of any configuration up to 6,000 square feet.
The AC2600 EXO router features dual-band speeds of up
to 2,533 Mbps–blazing fast at this time--a high performance
dual-core processor that supports both wired and wireless
network speed, and AC SmartBeam technology which tracks
connected devices for enhanced Wi-Fi speed and range.
USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports simplify private storage for streaming
videos, photos, music, and files throughout the house. The
router includes the latest MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input
Multiple Output) technology. The goal of MU-MIMO is a high-
bandwidth Wi-Fi signal to multiple devices at the same time

All this and the legendary D-Link quality and technological

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Essential Camera

Essential showcased the Essential Phone and Essential
Camera at Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular in San Francisco
on October 28, The Essential Camera is the world's
smallest 4K 360◦ camera. The idea behind the Essential
phone is simplicity and empowering the user. To this end,
no duplicative services or preloads are coupled with the

The 360◦ Essential camera accessory changes how
photographers view the world. It is an immersive
experience tha captures the world around the user. You
no longer need to aim and frame: you get everything in
every shot.

For those whose telephone life extends beyond making
voice calls, some details about the pair:
Essential Phone
Titanium body
Ceramic back
Corning Gorilla Glass 5coverglass
2560 x1312QHD resolution
19:10 aspect ratio
5.71” diagonal size
4x microphones in 3D
ambisonic tetrahedral arrangement
60GHz wireless, SuperSpeed USB
2x accessory power pins
System Architecture / OS
Qualcomm® 8053
Front Camera
8MP resolution with16:9 aspect ratio
f/2.20fixedhyperfocal lens
Video: 4K at 30fps,1080p at 60fps or 720p at 120fps
Rear Camera
13MP dual RGB + mono
13MP true monochrome
f/1.85 lens
Video: 4Kat 30fps,1080p at 60fps or 720p at 120fps
USB Type-C
60GHz, 6Gbps wireless accessory connector
2x accessory power pins
Nano SIM tray with pin eject
Snapdragon™ 835
Fast charging via USB
Memory & Storage
128GB storage UFS2.1
360◦ Camera
Dual Cameras
Dual 12 MP fisheye imagers
f/1.8 lens
210◦ FOV (each)
360◦ UHD (3840x1920) at 30fps