Our Review of the eGeeTouch TSA Smart Travel Lock

eGee TouchWe really live in an age where everything just has to be “smart”. I honestly believe that there will come a time when if an object can’t connect to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth or NFC, it will be classified as “useless”. It seems pretty obvious that the padlock will become smart, and we already reviewed the Master Lock last year. For those of you who want to have some kind of padlock when you are traveling, then you should consider the eGeeTouch TSA Smart Travel Lock.

This is essentially one of those padlocks, but without any combination for you to forget. Instead, you just give it a gentle tap on the eGeeTouch lock with an eGee Touch NFC tag or a Bluetooth device. As expected, there is an eGeeTouch App that is good for Apple or Android smartphones and tablets.

The set-up is easy enough, and it can use IDs to identify each paired device. By the way, you can set up the App to deny access of an old ID in an event of losing a mobile phone or a tag. Speaking of a lost device, there is a proximity sensor in the event of unintentionally leaving your bags behind.

By the way, the eGeeTouch is TSA-accepted, which means that it can bypass TSA authorized personnel at your airport. It is also rated for IP43 for protection of water splash.

In case you are worried about the battery, it is protected so someone can steal it and pick the lock. The battery is good for two years, and that is based on 3 time locking/unlocking. If you are worried about it running out, you can use the battery backup USB.

You should be able to get the eGee TSA Smart Travel Padlock on sites like Amazon for about $39.99 on sites like Amazon. You can find out more information about it on the eGeeTouch site, but you can’t purchase it from there.

The Top 5 Worst Ad Campaigns, Because You Just Got to Read This Obvious Clickbait!

Yeah, there are some days where I just write what I want to write, and so I wanted to write about ad campaigns that I am just sick of. Now, I am certain that there are some people who like these ad campaigns, but for me, some are so bad that I would not buy the product even if it were given to me for free.

5. The Kia Hamster Soul/Turbo Ads

As far as I can tell, this ad campaign started in 2009, as this one that I found on YouTube seems to show. The idea of hamsters spinning in their wheels while another pulls up in a Kia Soul makes its point pretty well, actually.

I think the one that most people remember is the one where the hamsters are dancing to the “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO, and this one came out in 2012. It features the hamsters showing up in the middle of what looks like to be a video game like Halo and dancing to the tune.

There is now one for the Kia Turbo with a hamster in diapers. Not only that, he is trying to escape from a hospital, and jumps off the roof of it. However, he saves himself by opening a piece of cloth as a chute. Yeah, here it is, and man, it’s terrible, and it’s over 1:40! What the hey?

Why do I hate these ads? Because I find these little hamsters to be simply creepy, not cute. I actually think that they have made several ads by now, with one per year, and they aren’t worthy of being the Energizer bunny for Kia.

Check out numbers 1-4 after the jump.

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The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman on National Geographic; Air Date and Time

Last year, we watched as Morgan Freeman traveled the world, finding out how different beliefs about religion came about, and how religion has shaped many in the world. The Discovery Channel is bringing Freeman back- this time in a documentary to discover the common binds that define humanity in The Story of Us.

According to the National Geographic press release:

“At a time when global events seem to be driving cultures apart, The Story Of Us aims to uncover the fundamental forces that keep our societies together, and to reveal the common humanity that lies inside each one of us. Each of the six hourlong episodes will explore a single fundamental force or topic, including love, belief, power, war and peace, rebellion and freedom.”

Morgan Freeman’s smooth voice makes him the perfect narrator. I would love to have him be the voice on my GPS navigation.

Tim Pastore, president of original programming and production, National Geographic says about Freeman, “It is no surprise that our global audience has warmly embraced Morgan as part of the National Geographic family. The beauty of this franchise is that Morgan represents all of us on his personal quest to understand these topics.”

The first and second episodes will contain an episode with Morgan Freeman interviewing former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, according to Entertainment Weekly. The season will premiere Wednesday, October 11th on the National Geographic Channel.

The Good Place Season 2 Release Date, and Why Does It Have One?

THE GOOD PLACE -- "Most Improved Player" Episode 107 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kristen Bell as Eleanor, Ted Danson as Michael -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

THE GOOD PLACE — “Most Improved Player” Episode 107 — Pictured: (l-r) Kristen Bell as Eleanor, Ted Danson as Michael — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

It is difficult to be a new fall TV show on the networks, as your lifespan is not going to be long, statistically speaking. Television has changed a lot in the past decade, and how we view it online has affected how shows are marketed and distributed. Most shows rely on being a hit from the get-go, such as last season’s incredibly popular This is Us. However, some shows, like the mediocre The Good Place, somehow receive another season, and this is what is known about The Good Place Season 2 with its release date and why it even has one.

If you aren’t familiar with The Good Place, it is a TV comedy series from creator Michael Schur, who also had his hand on such modern-day hit comedy shows like Parks and Recreation and The Office. The show stars Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, who ends up being in the highest heaven, even though she has spent her life in constant selfishness. As it turns out, her presence in the blissful afterlife is some kind of celestial clerical error, and the first season was Eleanor facing the truth in this “liar revealed” plot. You can read my review of the pilot on another site here.

I started watching The Good Place last season, and I just lost interest after the tenth or eleventh episode. As I said before, TV watching has changed, and if you just forget to TiVo it or stream it online, you just really forget about it. I didn’t really hear about the show at all last spring, and just assumed that it had been cancelled. When I saw the first season on Netflix, I decided to catch the last few episodes, including the finale, which I assumed was the series finale.

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Accell USB-C to DisplayPort Cable and UltraAV Mini Dual Display MST Hub

It has been a while since I reviewed a good Accell product, and I really liked the Powramid. They make a lot of excellent accessories that are good for the office, and I was pleased to review two of them.

Accell 6-Feet USB-C to DisplayPort Cable

Accell 1This first device takes advantage of two ports that have become very popular: the USB-C and DisplayPort. Since there are many displays that have that DisplayPort port, and many devices with USB C (MacBook Retina, MacBook Pro 2016, and Chromebook Pixel, as well as the HTC 10 that I use and have reviewed), it just makes sense to combine the two.

In this case, this is one nice 6 foot cable made to support 4K at 60Hz resolution, at up to 5.4Gbps per lane, which is good for games, video, or just about anything that you want on the screen. Best of all, it works from all operating systems like Mac, Windows, or Google, provided it will support DisplayPort Alternate (ALT) mode.

All that, and it is compliant to VESA DP Alt mode on USB-C ver. 1.0. If this is something that you want or need (or both), head on over to the Accell site and lay down $31.99 for it.

UltraAV Mini Dual Display MST Hub

Accell 2Now, if you are looking to expand your device into two monitors, you can use the UltraAV Mini DisplayPort 1.2 to 2 DisplayPort Multi-Display MST Hub. Yes, that is a long name, and this particular device is ready-to-use for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, or Surface Pro 2, but will also work for a DisplayPort Windows PC.

The setup of this particular device is simple allowing you to plug it in to Microsoft’s favorite all-in-one PC/laptop, and there is a scan button that refreshes . It uses a multi-stream transport (MST) protocol, which supports up to 2 displays independently at 2560 x 1600 at 60Hz or 3840 x 2160 at 30 Hz with DP 1.2.

For those that don’t have two DisplayPort Monitors, the MST Hub has Dual Mode or DisplayPort ++. This is where it directly outputs with single-link HDMI, VGA, and DVI signals using either an active or passive adapter.

For those that want to get in on this, head on over to the Accell site and lay down a good $79.99 for it.

Rumor Has It- Lies,Rumors and Internet Myths in the Wake of Hurricanes

 

 

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When I first saw the picture of Donald Trump carrying two cats, and the caption, “More Trump heroism that’s being willfully ignored by the mainstream media!” It was in a post warning that it was a fake picture. I kind of scoffed at it, thinking,”Who would believe that picture is real? I don’t see the physique matching that of Trump, and the skin tone is a bit off.”

Low and behold, a couple of weeks later I see a very sincere person sharing it on their timeline.

The picture on the right was taken by David Greedy in June of 2008, and was posted on Getty Images.

This is not the only fake photo floating around the internet after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, though.

Red Cross Meal?

This picture has been floating around Facebook as a meal that Red Cross served to hurricane victims. The actual source of this is a school lunch served in Oklahoma in 2014. Many other rumors about the American Red Cross have been spread, as well.

The American Red Cross posted on Facebook on Tuesday, urging people to stop the “onslaught of baseless claims, rumors or outright lies that do nothing more than undermine our critical relief efforts.”

“On this page, we embrace the exchange of different ideas and points of view. And during times of disaster, we know that emotions run high and misinformation is quick to spread. But these accusations (theft, charging for services, denying assistance) not only derail the efforts of so many workers providing aid, they divert resources away from our core mission: to deliver relief. The countless hours spent addressing malicious falsehoods ultimately risk hurting those we’re trying to serve.

So for those of you who doubt our credibility, we have one thing to say to you: Join us. Sign up. Put on a Red Cross vest and volunteer at one of our shelters, blood drives or events. We welcome your service.”

sharkswim

This picture has circulated through many hurricanes and other flooding since 2011. This is fake news, and has not happened ever. It’s a digital composite.

ObamaThanksgiving_fb-865x452

This photo, while it did happen, did not happen in shelters after the hurricanes. It was taken during an event in November of 2015 when he served Thanksgiving dinner to homeless veterans.

So, friends, before you share something because it fits your narrative, take a little bit of time to research the photo. If you see it on Facebook, click on the picture from the source it was shared, and many times you will see that the photo/meme has been debunked. Check Snopes or other fact checking sites to see if something has been said. Numerous people have told me that they don’t care when they’ve been called out on their erroneous sharing. Some even get upset. If you’d like to be taken seriously in other things, it really is imperative that you pay attention.

IOGEAR GearGuard for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8

IoGear GearGuardWell, since we have relaunched our website, I feel it is time to do something that I haven’t done in a while: a review of a tech product. In fact, we are going to do a lot of tech reviews in the next few months due to it being the holiday season and all.

Most of you know that I have reviewed a lot of screen protectors. Most of them are basically the same, and I was pleased to review the GearGuard from a company that I am pretty familiar with, IOGEAR.

Like most screen protectors, you don’t really know it is there. This is pretty interesting, because it has about 5 layers of protection. So it is good for stopping cracks, grease, water, dust, fingerprints, and all of them.

However, one of the best selling points of this products is that it is easy to install. It has one of those pre-installation tools that will insure that you get it right. So if you have a fear about not installing this correctly, I hope that I have assuaged it.

In fact, the price is very small at $10.95, and it can be found on the IOGEAR site at certain stores. By the way, this was made for the iPhone 7, but I’m assuming that it will fit the iPhone 8, because I have heard that the iPhone 7 accessories will fit the iPhone 8.

Apple unveils new Apple Watch Series 3, AppleTV 4K, iPhone 8, and iPhone X Release Date and Price

iPhone 8 1As part of their annual event, Apple announced their new version of the iPhone. It was a little bit different this year as what should have been the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus has become the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Their was also a surprise with the iPhone X (X being a Roman numerial 10, which marks the tenth anniversary of Apple’s smartphone).

The Announcement at the Steve Jobs Theater

The announcement came from the brand new Steve Jobs Theater, which is located on Apple’s big spaceship campus of Apple Park that they have been working on for quite some time. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive took the stage after an audio file from Steve Jobs, Apple’s former and late CEO had words to say. The room was completely packed with reporters, and the entire two hour event can be watched here on the Apple site.

Before Tim Cook spoke about the new products, he said a brief word about hurricane Harvey and Irma. He talked about giving for relief, and then talked about the new Apple campus. The park is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and there is a visitors center inside with augmented reality and a brand new Apple store.

Apple Watch Series 3

It was strange that Tim started with the new Apple Watch, as he usually leads with the newest iPhone. The sales performance of this product has been shrouded with mystery as Apple doesn’t seem to give its numbers about how much it has actually sold. The smartwatch market never really “took off” like the smartphone one, but Apple was pleased to say that their Apple Watch is the number one smartwatch.

For what it is worth, the Apple Watch has built-in cellular, so you can talk with your watch without the phone. Apple music will also allow for “40 million songs on the wrist”. There is also a new dual-core processor, complete for Siri to talk to you.

Apple TV 4K

Next was the announcement of Apple TV 4K, which will “bring cinematic quality to whatever you watch”. They made a comparison of 4K and their new 4K HDR, for the highest picture quality ever. They took the time to show off a new video game for Sky from thatgamecompany, and it looks pretty spectacular.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

It took an hour before Apple finally got to the iPhone. The announcement of the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus was expected, but it looks like Apple is leaving the “S” thing behind (a pattern of a new number every two years, with an “S” model in the second year). The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is essentially the same size as its respective iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus predecessors, even though its bigger battery makes it slightly heavier.

This model will have glass on the front and back, which is the most durable of a smartphone. It is microscopically sealed for dust and water, and the Retina Display with 3D touch technology. It has a new chip with the A11 bionic.

They really went off on how the phone’s cameras are set up for augmented reality. Also, wireless charging is going to be happening. If you aren’t familiar with that, it is just putting that device on a Qi-enabled device, and this flat device just powers it up.

The iPhone 8 will have 64 GB and 256 GB options starting at $699, while the iPhone 8 Plus will have the same options for $799.

The All-New iPhone X

Tim Cook took the stage with his “one more thing” catchphrase, and it wants to re-create the experience of an iPhone. Of course, the big thing is the iPhone X, which is going to be the most expensive phone that Apple has ever put out at $999.

What makes this different is that the iPhone X comes with a huge Super Retina Display screen (5.8 inches), which is thinner, lighter, and brighter than the usual LCD screen. It is also an edge-to-edge display, and it has no home button.

It also has some advanced technology known as Face ID, which could become something that could easily be a standard on all phones. The odds of one person just using your phone with this FaceID is one in a million. By the way, you can use your Face ID to make Animoji to express yourself via face, and this was demonstrated with recorded messages.

New Apple Announcements Release Dates

The iPhone 8 can be pre-ordered on September 15th, and will be available on the 22nd. The iPhone X will be available for pre-order on October 27th, and will be available on November the 3rd. The Apple Watch, Series 3 will be available for order on September 15th, and available on the 22nd, which are the same dates for Apple TV 4K. The newest version of the operating systems will drop on September 19 with iOS 11 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod and watchOS 4 for the Apple Watch.

How Apple’s New iPhone X will Change Smartphone Technology in the Next Ten Years

iPhone XIt is hard to believe that it has been ten years since Apple unveiled the iPhone. Of course, none of us really thought ahead, but it was pretty clear the easy-to-use smartphone technology was the wave of the future and has yet to crest. Now almost every smartphone has a touchscreen that goes from edge-to-edge, with minimal buttons, as even Android has just a few.

Improvements over the last decade have made the original iPhone practically a dinosaur. The idea of an edge-to-edge phone that has no home button is probably going to be the new standard, as well as huge advancements to the display.

Unless someone comes up with some kind of easy-to-use holographic interface or some big new thing, I’m not certain how smartphone technology is going to change, really. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple is the one who makes the tech possible for the typical consumer.

Reverend Robert Wright Lee IV’s Amazing Sermon on The View

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock (9028016bw) Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV MTV Video Music Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, USA - 27 Aug 2017

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock (9028016bw)
Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV
MTV Video Music Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, USA – 27 Aug 2017

The great, great, great, great nephew of General Robert E. Lee, Reverend Robert Lee IV, spoke up at the VMA’s after the riots in Charlottesville in relation to people wanting to preserve the monument of his ancestor. He received much hate and threats from fellow Christians, and so he stepped down as pastor of his North Carolina parish.

He told the ladies of ABC’s The View that he had to speak up because,”If you are silent in these issues, you are complicit in these issues.”

One of the hosts, Sarah Haines, expressed her confusion that Christians were rejecting him when they should be applauding him.

“White Christianity is having trouble dealing with what’s going on in our nation today. We’re having problems talking about these issues of race, of reconciliation, of reparation, of redemption. We have trouble coming up with the vocabulary to speak about these issues.”

He went on to talk about why monuments and other tributes to  Robert E. Lee needed to be removed because of the significance of what they stand for- the white privilege and white supremacy.

This whole segment was very moving, and what really needs to be said, as he stated,”We need to treat each other with respect and dignity, and if we can’t do that, then we’re not being Church at all.”

Whoopi told him that she could almost go back to church because of him.

Sunny Hostin said that Christianity has become a bad word today, to which the reverend replied that we have done it to ourselves, and that we have to say that,”This is not the Church that I know. I know a Jesus that is liberating, and offering us hope.”

Here is the thought provoking discussion:

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma- Here are Ways to Help

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Thoughts and prayers are all well and good. They often offer a sense of doing something in a time of not knowing what to do. When people are trying to rebuild after a natural disaster of this magnitude, however, thoughts and prayers aren’t going to help them. So now is the time to help. What can you do? What are scams to look out for, and what should you NOT do?

There are many charities accepting donations. American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and United Way are probably the more well-known charities. They have made it easy for people to donate.

To donate through American Red Cross, you can simply text HARVEY to 90999, and $10 will come out of your next cell phone bill. Redcross.org allows you to donate on their website as well, or you can call  1-855-999-GIVE. Of course, they are always taking blood donations as well, which is needed during these kinds of disasters.

You can also text UWFLOOD to 41444 to donate to the United Way Flood Relief Fund, and donations to support The Salvation Army’s hurricane relief efforts can be made at helpsalvationarmy.org.  1-800 SAL-ARMY is the number to call for them.

Be careful of scams, though. E-mails should be approached with caution, and there are chances of getting viruses from visiting websites. Scams can also come over the telephone. Find the reputable ways to give through sites that rate charities such as Charity Navigator, GiveWell, and Better Business Bureau.

Many charities prefer that you send money, as opposed to donations of clothes and such- as it can tie them up in sorting things out, and they have a better idea of what is needed. Some charities may have lists of items that they are accepting, so check with them before giving actual items.

If you are able, check local charities for ways to volunteer and give physical help- as that is always needed.

Tonight on all the major network channels such as ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, and even Premium channels like MTV, Oxygen and HBO, a one hour telethon will be happening to benefit the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Guest appearances from celebrities include: George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Julia Roberts, Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx,  Rob Lowe, Matthew McConaughey, Dennis Quaid, Oprah Winfrey, Blake Shelton, Reese Witherspoon, Karlie Kloss, Matt Lauer,  Norah O’Donnell, Kelly Rowland, Adam Sandler, Ryan Seacrest, and Michael Strahan. Check your local listings for start time.