st1719: 2017 – A SmartTech Year in Review [Podcast]

It is amazing how, when a year comes to an end, we tend to forget all of the things that have happened.  2017 has been a crazy year in a lot of ways, but it has been a diverse technology related year.  So in this episode I review some of the technological events of note through the eyes of the SmartTech podcast.  Be sure to share your favorite technology related events or gadgets in our comment section or on our Facebook page.

Illustration provided by Pond5

 

st1522: Your SmartTech Holiday Gift Guide [Podcast]

10 Tech Recommendations for the Holidays. Something for all price ranges.

In this episode I give you 10 recommendations for tech gifts for your loved ones or yourself.  A couple are a little out of the box!  Merry Christmas!


Chromecast Audio

Google Chromecast Audio

st1505: Amazon Echo – Hands on with the newest geek toy from Amazon [Podcast]

In today’s episode of SmartTech I get to play.  I love playing with new tech toys.  The latest from Amazon is the Amazon Echo, a black cylindrical bluetooth speaker which also has a Siri-like voice activated interface that actually works very well.

You connect the Echo to a a wifi network and using a key word, they preprogram “her” with the name “Alexa,” you can ask her all types of questions as well as play music from your Amazon music library with just a voice command.  You also unlock a lot of possibility if you are an Amazon Prime member in that you can stream what seems to be an almost limitless amount of songs from the Prime Music Service.  They seem to be using some Bose like technology in the cylinder to achieve decent bass response as well as crisp highs.

The price seems a bit high to me, $200, but you do get a very good bluetooth speaker for that price at minimum.  Right now, Amazon is offering $100 off for Prime members.  At a $99 price point this becomes much more attractive to me.  Is if for you?  Take a listen and then leave me your thoughts in the comment section.

You can get on the waiting list for one using this link: Amazon Echo

st1417: Save Your Family Memories, While You Still Can! [Podcast]

In July I had one of those Saturdays that was a paradox. The morning was spent mourning my Uncle. He was quite a character and could really spin a yarn. A few days before I had visited him with my wife and she noted how close to death he seemed. She was right. That afternoon I drove from the graveside of my uncle, to a park across town where I celebrated my grand daughter’s third birthday. It really was the circle of life in one day.

At my Uncle’s funeral they showed a very nice slideshow which included quite a few photos I had never seen before. Photos with my grandfather (who died before I was born) and also unseen by me photos of my mother. I so wondered about the details of those photos and other family stories and now I may never know them, because he is gone. And memories my grandaughter will also never know. And is is a shame, because, as I said, he was a great story teller and there was a time he could remember exact dates and times of all sorts of events. Not so much his last few years, but there was a time.

I started to think about how many memories are lost to time because we haven’t taken the time to record them. At one time, people were prolific letter writers and we know a lot about our history because many of those letters were preserved. But not so much anymore. InBox Zero causes us to delete our emails. Our excuse today is, just, TIME. Taking the time. But technology has allowed us all to have the means. Many of our cameras, tablets and of course phones, record audio and video. We just need to take the time. So this episode I want to encourage you to take the time before it is gone, before it is too late.

1. Modern technology gives us the means

2. You need to make the time.

3. Use what you have, a smart phone works if placed appropriately.  You can also spend a little money and improve the audio quality immensley.  See the Amazon links below.

4. Don’t know where to start, try these starter questions.  Just click the link to download a PDF version: tellmeaboutyourlife

5. Save the files to physical media (DVD, etc.) and in the cloud like to Evernote.

6. Share the Evernote link with interested friends and family.

7. Don’t put things off.  Enjoy these memories with loved ones while you can.

Although the technology in this article is a bit dated, you might get some good ideas from the following article: http://www.instructables.com/id/Record-Your-Familys-Oral-History-before-it-dies-/

st1325: 2013 – A SmartTech Year in Review [Podcast]

2013, an exciting year here at SmartTech as it was our first! Our goal was to publish 2 episodes a month and this episode exceeds that goal. We hope that you have enjoyed our slightly twisted take on technology!

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