JFK Can Track Cellular Phones to Predict Wait Times

Blip systemsMost of us have been told that we should arrive at the airport a few hours early to catch our flights, because TSA lines take a while to go through. Personally, I never lost my patience, because I never wanted the TSA to take me out.

New York’s JFK Terminal 4, there is some new information in the form of some screens that show how long the wait time will be. The screens use Blip Systems’ wireless beacons that can record, encrypt, and timestamp a device’s MAC address. Then the system counts the number of mobile devices, and figures out an accurate wait time down to the minute.

In case you might be worried about privacy, the information is promised to be very secure, and it cannot be tied back to the user. It also uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to track mobile devices, so what about people with multiple mobile devices?

Well, if this works at JFK, I would imagine that we will see these at amusement parks, where we really want to know how long it will take to wait in line.

Source 1 and Source 2

The Helmet from iFamCare

iFamCare HelmetWhat you are seeing here is not necessarily a helmet, and I am not really certain why it is called that. I guess it kind of looks like one…anyway, the iFamCare is a good way of watching your connected home.

The iFamCare Helmet has 360 degree coverage on the horizontal and 70 degrees of vertical. You can install the Wi-Fi to your home network and view anywhere on 3G, 4G, and WiFi. It shoots video in 1080p, and you have a MicroSD card for media storage. You can communicate to whoever is on the other end via two-way speakers, and there is something made for you pet as well.

The helmet has a three laser movement patterns so you can play with your pet from a distance. There is an application so you can “go public and let the world see your video feed”.

I don’t really see a place where you purchase the Helmet, but I see that it has had a successful Indegogo campaign. You can also find some more information on it on the iFamCare site here.

The speeC-EZ from iCreation

speec-EZI recently had a chance to get to know a company called iCreation, and I would highly recommend checking out their products if you haven’t already. They now have a Kickstarter project that is called the speeC-EZ.

In case you are stumbling on the pronunciation, it is pronounced “Speakeasy”. You know, those places during Prohibition that sold illegal alcoholic beverages. In this case, the speeC-EZ is made to prevent car accidents, specifically those caused by distracted driving.

I think we all know that people being on their smartphones have caused some serious accidents, so the speeC-EZ is made to pair with the smartphone so you can control it with your voice. This means you can keep your phone in your glovebox with all the gloves, and you can send/receive texts, make/receive calls, send/receive emails, play tunes, and get some navigation.

As you can see, it mounts in the car’s charging port, and this is what powers it. Then there is a noise cancellation microphone that will turn on as long as it is plugged in.

If you want this, you can pledge for it on the Kickstarter page and help them achieve their $50,000 goal. I have no idea when it will be available to the general public for purchase.


TYLT Flyp DuoYes, I’ve had the privilege of reviewing TYLT products before, and I was pleased to try out some new ones with the FLYP-DUO and the Y-CHARGE [QUIK].

I’ll start with the FLYP-DUO, that is named for lots of flipping and duo-able action. I’ll start by saying that it has both a micro-USB as well as a Lightning connector. This means that it is good for both Apple and Android devices, but it can’t do two at once.

The USB is also reversible, meaning you don’t have to fiddle with the USB plug anymore. It is also max speed charging, so it really is just plain handy to have one of these around. You can get the FLYP-DUO on the TYLT site for $24.99.

Tylt Y ChargeThis leads to the next product, the Y-CHARGE [QUIK]. I believe that when I first saw a Y-shaped product at TYLT booth at CES years ago, it was the first TYLT product that I was interested in reviewing. It connects to the car’s charging port (what used to be a cigarette lighter until…I don’t know) and then branches into two USB ports.

I am not certain why it is called the QUIK, but perhaps it has the SmartDetect Technology senses the device’s power needs to provide maximum rapid charging. According to the box, it charges up to 75 percent faster, and charges Apple devices up to 2.4 x Faster.

So that is why it is QUIK, as my favorite comic critic states: “because poor literacy is…kewl”. I guess that the 4.8 Amp circuit rapidly charging factor charges so fast that it got the “C” out of there. You should be able to purchase the TYLT Y-CHARGE [QUIK] for about $39.99 on the TYLT site.

Review of the addictive game “The Bridge” Game

The Bridge 1Please don’t let the monochromatic nature of these screenshots fool you, as The Bridge is one of the most advanced games that you will ever play. The issue isn’t why it isn’t in full color, but why no one has ever thought of a game like this before.

The Bridge is inspired by the works of M.C. Escher, and if you haven’t heard of him then you have probably seen some of his works. They are black-and-white representations of odd buildings with impossible architecture, not to mention impossible-to-exist shapes.

The game is about a character who is wandering through odd worlds, and the object is to simply get to the exit door. The issue is the door has to be standing up straight like a normal door in order for you to open it. Why is that important, you say? Because in this game, you have the power to spin the world on its axis! Seriously, you can spin the room so that the wall is the floor, and even more to walk on the ceiling.

The Bridge 2The issue is that when you spin the room, gravity still applies. It is possible to spin until you fall of the edge of the weird limbo world that you are in. Also, there are levels where there is this evil ball that will roll over you if you are not careful. There are also evil vortexes, and this inverse thing that I won’t bother to explain.

By the way, if you miss up somehow, you don’t have to start the level all over again. Instead, the game actually has a rewind button so you can start off at the last second where you messed up.

Also, there is one level called “The Intersection” that I must have spent hours on. My son solved it in less than a half-hour. I’m not going to analyze that.

Anyway, I highly recommend The Bridge as my son and I were addicted to it. You can get it on the Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Ouya, but you’ll have to wait until August 20th before it comes to the Wii U. You can read more about The Bridge on the official website.

Wind-up Knight 2 comes to the Wii U

Wind Up Knight 2Normally, when I get a chance to try out video games, it is for Steam or the PS4, this time, I got to try it out for the Wii U, and I have to say that I was quite pleased with Robot Invader’s Wind-up Knight 2 for Nintendo’s Wii U. Unity Games recently brought Wind-up Knight 2 to the Wii U, and it was pretty popular on the Android and iOS, and it has an exorbitant amount of 5-star reviews on Google Play.

I have to admit that I never had the pleasure to play Wind-up Knight, the original, but I found Wind-up Knight 2 to be quite a pleasure. I have to admit that it is a type of game that I don’t like to play, as it is one of those where you are constantly running and can’t stop. This isn’t like Temple Run as it is a side-scroller, and you play Sir Sprint, a literal clockwork knight.

wind up knight 2 Wii UWhat is interesting is how Sprint goes through a course with things to jump over, spikes to avoid, and so on. This isn’t just your typical go to the right, but sometimes you have to bounce off and go the other direction. Like most side-scroller platform type games, you collect a lot of games and there is some double-jump actions.

What is interesting that you can go through levels again in order to do things like collect diamonds, capture fairies with a net, or sometimes not even kill any monsters. Yeah, there’s some weird monsters like hippogriffs and goats with flaming flatulence. It is pretty difficult to roll under certain things and use your shield to block obstacles that fall on you.

As you might notice, they reuse a lot of backgrounds, and there is a tournament section as well with even more challenges. What I like is that before you start a level, you see these tweets from a princess and other medieval characters. It’s pretty funny.

You should be able to get Wind-up Knight 2 at the Nintendo eShop for $7.50 USD. You can find out more information about it here.

Speculative Fiction Saturday: Batman and Robin, and yes, it is a good movie

Batman and RobinI realize that this film is known as being one of the worst ever made, but here is the deal: I actually think it is good. Maybe even pretty good. Sure, there are better Batman films made, and this was the problem with it.

The reason why Batman and Robin was so bad might have something to do with the expectations of the audience. The 1989 Batman film was a huge success, and it was a superhero movie that began to take superheroes seriously. It wasn’t campy, and Tim Burton’s dark yet whimsical style really gave a film that audiences of all ages could appreciate.

Now, when it came to the sequel, Batman Returns, it was somewhat weird. Audiences kind of liked it, but it was perhaps a little too dark. Warner Brothers decided to go a different direction with the third in the series, Batman Forever, with director Joel Schumacher. Schumacher’s first foray into Batman was dark, but it also had a lot of colorful lighting and setpieces in it. Since that was a big hit, Warner Brothers rushed a fourth one into production, and perhaps this was the biggest mistake.

The reason why this film failed so much with audiences in 1997 is people wanted a serious Batman film. At the time, Batman: The Animated Series was really presenting a serious version of the Dark Knight, and this film was giving a campy version of Batman that would make the 1960’s series look serious.

If you go into Batman and Robin believing that you are going to watch a campy cartoon that greatly resembles a silver age comic book story, then watch it and have a good time. This is what I did when I watched it with my son. My son is eleven years old, and he was pointing out the many frivolous things that is the world of Batman and Robin.

I’m only going to cover a fraction of the frivolous. One of the things that Batman: The Animated Series had established was making Mr. Freeze, a very silly villain from the 50’s and 60’s, into a serious and sympathetic figure. Then Arnold Schwarzenegger was given the role, and he had a sympathetic origin. Unfortunately, he also had dialogue that was nothing more than a serious of puns about cold, ice, and anything of that nature.

To that I say: so what? Remember how Robin used to say “holy (insert something relevant here)”. It is obvious that the Batman series invented that campy quality that was deliberately so bad it was good.

Mr. Freeze also has a suit powered by diamonds, so he has to steal diamonds to power his suit in order to live. He is trying to take over Gotham City to hold it for ransom until he can get money for research so he can save his wife, who is suffering of a deadly disease. Freeze keeps her in cryogenic storage until the day where he can find the cure, but if money is a problem, can’t he just rob banks while he is obtaining diamonds.

Yes, I’m going to steal a line from Linkara, a comic book reviewer when I say: “Of course, don’t you know anything about science?” I think we can safely say that gaudy style was chosen over substantive science here.

In the opening scene of the film, Batman and Robin suit up in a dressing scene that should be dramatic, but comes off as silly. If you want it to be silly, and you’re prepared for it to be silly, it’s a laugh every second.

Batman and Robin are called to fight Mr. Freeze in a museum, where he’s stealing a diamond that is at least one hundred times bigger than the largest diamond, for sure. Batman jumps through a skylight because this is what Batman did back then, and Robin crashes through a museum door leaving a perfect Robin symbol opening, because this is what he does. Even my eleven-year-old could not wrap his head around why this could have happened.

Then, Mr. Freeze escapes from the museum in a rocket ship. Someone was paid to write this, and it was Akiva Goldsman, one of my favorite screenwriters. He wrote A Beautiful Mind, and sadly, Winter’s Tale. If this were a Silver Age Batman story, this would just be another Tuesday in Gotham city.

However, this is a film that was given a big budget and was supposed to be a blockbuster. It is easily one of the silliest films ever made, and that is why it is so enjoyable. I haven’t even discussed how dumb it got with Batgirl and Poison Ivy, two serious characters that got the campy treatment.

Yeah, it is so bad, but it’s just fun to watch.

Hands on with the D-Link mydlink Wi-Fi Water Sensor

D-Link WiFi Water SensorI believe that there is a term for “The Internet of Things” IOT, made to describe any device that is hooked to the Internet to do its job. In the case of D-Link mydlink Wi-Fi Water Sensor, it is a device that is connected to you Wi-Fi network to let you know if you have a water leak.

If you have a water heater or pipes that could leak, wouldn’t it be good to have something that could detect it? Not only does this device have an alarm built within the device, but it will push notifications through your Wi-Fi network so you can receive an alert on a mydlink Home App so you can see if there is something wet that shouldn’t be wet.

Set up is pretty easy, as you just plug in the Wi-Fi Water Sensor into an outlet, and then dangle the 3.5 foot sensor cable into the place where you might have a dampness problem. Push a button to join it to the network, and you have a way of preventing minor water damage before it gets really serious.

If you are a home-owner who is afraid of things like this, then the D-Link Wi-Fi Water Sensor is available for about $59.99 on the D-Link site.

ITG Patchworks Level Case and Tempered Glass for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Patchworks Level CaseIt’s been a while since I have reviewed a Patchworks product, and I am very pleased to do so again. Today, I got a chance to try out four products from them for two separate mobile devices: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

I’ll start with the ITG Level cases for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The ITG Level can meet or exceed U.S. Military standard drop testing requirements, which is good enough for 26 consecutive free fall drops from about 4 feet. It is a dual layer case made of premium polycarbonate and TPU which is this web-like mesh with a shock absorbent air pocket.

It is good for some protection on the inside, and it also has a better grip and anti-slip texture. It is pretty cool and you can get it for the iPhone 6 here for about $29.95, for the iPhone 6 Plus here for about the same price.

Patchworks GlassIt should be known that the Level Drop Protection cases are optimized for glass protectors, and fortunately, Patchworks makes glass screen protectors. I also reviewed two different tempered glass screen protectors for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

I’ll start by saying that I reviewed a different type of screen for the ITG Glass known as the Privacy Impossible Tempered Glass screen for the iPhone 6. That is, if the view-angle exceeds 30 degrees, the screen goes dark. So if you value your privacy, you can get it.

As for the iPhone 6 Plus, I just tried the regular ITG Glass which has about the same amount features for the regular clear Glass. For example, it has 9H hardness, optimized for the Retina display, Bubble-free installation, and real tempered glass for an original touch feeling.

The Privacy Tempered Glass for the iPhone 6 is available here for $38.00, and the Tempered Glass for the iPhone 6 Plus can be purchased here for $36.95.

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC33iS QuietPoint Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphones

ath_anc33is_1_sqIn addition to the turntable that I got a chance to try out this week, I also had a chance to try out the ATH-ANC33iS QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones from Audio-Technica. I have tried out a lot of Audio-Technica products before, and this one is as good as the others that I have reviewed.

The ATH-ANC33iS can reduce distracting background noise by up to 90 percent, and then there is a QuietPoint control module that creates a noise-cancelling wave that is 180 degrees out of phase with the ambient noise. Seriously, with these earbuds, you should be able to pretty much block out the rest of the world.

Also on these earbuds is an inline microphone and controller for controlling music as well as answering calls. It is made to support all kinds of mobile devices like iPads, iPhones, iPods, and smartphones. The microphone has an omnidirectional pickup pattern made so you don’t have to speak directly into the microphone. Oh, by the way, there is a clothing clip, but don’t most microphones come with this?

Other features include Comply Foam Tips for comfortably fitting in the ear canal, and they have audio functions that work without the included AAA battery.

All in all, it is pretty terrific, and you can get the ATH-ANC33iS on the Audio-Technica site for about $79.95.