Look Who I Found In Synagogue

Pokemon

Well, this was quite a surprise in the hip Magen David Synagogue today.


I captured this amazing Pokemon. 


I can’t say that I actually saw him davening (praying) in shule. 


But he was on the way down to the kiddush (blessing and meal) after services. 


No virtual apps needed for this Pokemon.  


He was right there over the chulent (bean and meat stew)–Oh, that must’ve been another week. 


Anyway, this Pokemon is ready to defend in the next battle of good and evil. 


Thanks to Nintendo, Pokemon goes these days where the rest of our leaders are afraid to endeavor. 


Hence the search for Pokemon far and wide…it’s a true craze. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Answer Your Watch

Watch

So I did it and took the plunge into a smartwatch. 

For over a year, I thought the technology just wasn’t there yet. 

Too clumsy, too difficult to use with such a small device. 

First, I considered just a Fitbit for tracking activity, but I quickly ruled it out, since you can get so much more with a full smartwatch.

Then, I looked into the Pebble, in particular the latest model the Time Steel, which runs between $200-$250. 

But I watched a review that pointed out the the Pebble does not have a touch screen, and everything are the buttons–okay, I immediately ruled that out. 

Next, I looked to old trusty, Apple…they have never failed me yet, and I tried on their various smartwatches. 

I settled on a simple sports model, since I figured as the technology continues to evolve or as the watch gets beat up in daily use, I could simply upgrade to the next great thing. 

Also, I figured if I really don’t like how it works, it wouldn’t be such a great loss monetarily. 

Well, the verdict is in–I really like it!

Easy to set up by simply syncing with the iPhone. 

And then all your major apps just show up on the colorful apps panel. 

In no time, I was checking the 10-day weather forecast, reading news headlines, tracking my activity, using the GPS locator, looking up calendar events, checking email and replying with easy voice dictation, sending text messages, and even calling family and talking to them into the watch!

I even started the music on my iPhone from another room by using the smartwatch. 

Oh yeah, I almost forget, it tells the time too!

Except for taking photos, which would be really cool with the watch, but it doesn’t do–it did most of the basics that I wanted it to. 

For not a lot of money, I felt that I was getting a lot of convenient functionality, and I am now encouraging my wife and kids to get it too. 

Apple, you still got it–so even though Google surpassed you in market value this week, I am still hopeful that you got some decent mojo left in you. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Smart Glasses Are Really All About

Glasses2

Sorry, but Google botched the Smart Glasses it called, Google Glass. 


Why?


– Geeky-looking

– Privacy issues (e.g. videocameras in bathrooms)

– Apps lagged with practical applications


However, I am certain that computers wearables or implants will take off–although probably not through this first iteration of the Apple Watch either–still don’t know a soul who bought into this!


Until then, what about really smart glasses?


No, not the type that will provide apps and virtual reality superimposed over everything you see.


But rather, glass that medically allow you to see under any and all conditions. 


– It’s a “one time prescription”–that adjusts with you as your eyes change. Like the machine the optometrist uses to change the prescription this way and that asks you which is better, only these glasses automatically adjust to whatever your prescription is that moment, day, or year. 


– Autofocus and zoom–want to see what’s going on from the bleachers at the game or can’t see the sign in the distance, simply focus on the person or object and voila you can see in zoom. 


– All Terrain–and no more bifocals–wherever you look–near or far–that is where the prescription adjusts to.


– All Weather–sunny days or cloudy skies–the glasses adjust to the light and conditions automatically–no more polarized shades. 


If you ask me, these are functionally smart glasses–and you don’t need to go to the likes of Pearl Vision and get gouged on new glasses every year. 


Hey, and if your fashion conscious, you can still pop ’em out and fit them snuggly into another new frame with some designer’s name on it, all made in China for about a buck! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Snapchat, Eat Your Heart Out

Disappearing Ink
As so many of you app users know, Snapchat allows you to send texts, drawings, photos, and videos, but with privacy, knowing they will disappear in a few seconds.



Disappearing messages is certainly not a new idea–in spycraft or for kids. 



Remember the disappearing ink (or maybe you’ve forgotten because it disappeared)?



Well, this is a photo of disappearing-disappearing ink!



Someone apparently stole the disappearing ink right out of the packaging in the store–it has truly disappeared. 😉



(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

Apple Watch M~A~N~I~A

Apple Watch Mania

The Apple (Smart) Watch doesn’t go on sale for another 2 weeks…


But the Apple stores are streaming with excited customers already.


There are displays lined with the watches from the sports model to the stainless steel and even the 24-karat gold ones.


Ask the Apple salesperson and they’ll set you up at the next table for an associate to help you try on the watches including the 38 cm and 42 cm displays and various fashionable bands. 


They have this cute little rag to shine up the watch displays before you try them on over these black mats, just as if you are in a fancy jewelry store sampling diamond rings or something. 


I’ll tell you, while there is plenty of well-founded skepticism about these ranging from their not being a killer app to their inherent obsolescence (the battery is like 6 quarters thick on this version), and the watches are NOT intuitive to use, people are STILL going to buy these just to be stay current with the changing technology. 


Right now, I’m pressing down on the display (in my mind) and sending my heart beats to Apple for another transformative technology move.


One of my favorites on this watch is using the voice control to send text messages…Dick Tracy eat your heart out. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shining A Light On Your Privacy


Check out this special report…



~Half a billion~ downloads of the top 10 Flashlights Apps–the ones we all have on our smartphones–and guess what?



All/most are malware/spyware from China, India, and Russia that are spying on you!



Your contacts, banking information, even your location, is being intercepted by hackers abroad,



The cybersecurity experts Snoopwall (that conducted this study and are offering a free opensource “privacy flashlight”) are recommending that you don’t just uninstall these flashlight apps, because they leave behind trojans that still are functioning behind the scene and capturing your information.



So instead doing a backup of key information and then a factory reset of the smartphone is advised.



Pain in the you know what, but these flashlight apps are shining a light and compromising your personal information.



Snopes points out that the flashlight apps may be no more vulnerable to spyware than other apps you download and that perhaps the screening process from the app stores help to protect us somewhat.



When the cyber hackers decide to exploit those apps that are vulnerable, whether for political, military, or financial gain, it will likely be ugly and that flashlight or other app you use may prove much more costly than the download to get them. 😉



(Thank you Betty Monoker for sharing this.)