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7 posts from January 2011

January 27, 2011

Macworld Expo 2011 Jan 27-29 in SF - Conference Not To Miss!

Mw2011header_logo Fresh back from the Consumer Electronics Show (and still loading my pictures from that..), I am back in conference mode and heading to Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

For anyone that has any Apple products in their life, Macworld Expo is the place to be to see exhibits and attend sessions. To find out more about Macword, I talked with Paul Kent, Vice President and General Manager of Macworld about the conference. Here are some of the details we discussed:

  1. Macworld is for veterans & first-timers alike. It is a very inclusive environment focusing on discovery & education, ie. new products, new apps & new tricks on how to use them. I went last year and the only Apple product we had in our house was a MACbook for my son, but because I cover Apple products I wanted to learn about the product marketplace. I left with lots of important information.
  2. While Apple does not have a direct presence, Macworld Expo remains a vital showcase for the fast growing third party Apple products marketplace. Wikipedia has details on the history of the Macworld Expo. There is also a website called Macworld which is different from the Macworld Expo.
  3. FAQ's: Best way to learn more about the show is to stop by - it starts today in San Francisco! Here are some links to learn more about Macworld Expo:

Timing for the Jan 27- Jan 29 show: http://www.macworldexpo.com/hours

List of the more then 230 exhibitors for the show (over half of them are first time exhibitors): http://www.macworldexpo.com/expo

Here are some more details: Press releases that show events and announcements, Featured Artists, Mobile Apps Showcase, and the most important - Women in Technology session!

For PC folks that are curious about the Apple side, stop by!  I am packing my Windows 7 PC and iPad to head to the show, they do allow PC's in the conference!

RMXWWMDSTWD6

Chris Medina on American Idol - Why I just may start watching that show..

I have been too busy to watch much TV, but I do like the reality shows because they make my life seem less crazy (ehh, ehh Real Housewives). I don't really watch the singing/dancing reality shows that often, but happened to walk by when my hubby was watching American Idol last night. Chris Medina was auditioning - and it was so powerful that I may start watching American Idol (as well as Steven, JLo and Randy make a great judging panel). Here is Chris Medina's audition. It is especially touching to me because I have such ethical, caring boys of my own - but as my eldest is in middle school I see how mean kids can get. Chris Medina is a role model for boys - his mom should be so proud!

Click HERE to see the video:

Continue reading "Chris Medina on American Idol - Why I just may start watching that show.." »

January 17, 2011

Media Trip: Disney Dream

I am packed up and heading to the Florida for the Inaugural Sailing of the Disney's newest ship Dream. I will be looking into the technology and innovations to give a behind the scenes glimpse of the third ship in the magical Disney Cruise Line. I will also do my best to search out WiFi at sea so I don't have to wait to share the fun until I return.

Disney_Dream_3

Night fun:

Dd11

Disclosure: This is a media trip, my travel expenses to attend were covered. I am under no obligation to blog, just to experience this special event. But of course, I will want to share with my audience such an exciting adventure!

January 14, 2011

Whatz Up - CES edition

I just got back from CES and still decompressing from the 140,000 person 4 full exhibit floors full of consumer electronics.

I have lots of tech that I will be talking about over the next few weeks, but here are a few to start:

1. Hanging as one of the Logitech Guest Bloggers. I shared some initial perspective on the Blogitech blog on Connected TV - but I have another post to come.

2. My First Impressions of CES 2011

3. I posted with some CES tech picks for moms at Cool Mom Tech (just a start.. more to come). Check it out - and comment with what new tech you are looking for.

4. As I was packing for CES, I was also doing interviews for the Inside Source blog and the Wall Street Journal (About 4G - that I wish I would of had at CES because AT&T 3G was not so good). The article was by Don Clark, and I enjoyed ranting about how frustrated I have been that Silicon Valley did not have 4G until just recently.. I mean, come on - it is Silicon Valley!

Reena Jana interviewed me for the fun Inside Source blog about CES and which gadgets I would be bringing with me.. Sorely missing was a 4G Broadband card.

5. The LA Times discussed mom and dad bloggers at CES, and I was happy to get a shout out.

6. At CES, I spoke at a fun Tweethouse at a session called "Measurement and ROI: How To Quantify Costs and Results" with the fabulous Sheila Dowd of Clever Girls Collective and the busy Ben Parr of Mashable (who had just hosted a biggg Mashable party the night before). I shook things up by saying that building a relationship with the right bloggers (that fit a companie's niche) is a valuable part of ROI for social media campaigns. Check out the session at the Tweethouse link.

7. I had the honor of hanging with the fabulous crowd at MommyTechCES summit, a very valuable part of CES. Robin Raskin is someone I look up to as a trailblazer for getting the women and mom's voice out in the technology world. Robin Raskin and an impressive team pulled together the FashionWare high tech fashion show as well. I enjoyed being one of the announcers - but more then that was seeing the fun high tech fashion. I will post with some fun pictures from that. Big Shout out to the MommyTechCES sponsors.

8. Best of all there were about 30 mom/women bloggers that made their way to CES this year. I helped organize a breakfast for them with Sarah Kimmel and The Clever Girls Collective (thanks to SWAGG for sponsoring the breakfast). There were lots of fun meetups, but I always enjoy the Intel Women Bloggers meetups to connect with the fun techie gals. Talking about women, ChicaLogic also hosted a fun dinner for the gals.

9. Once again, I did not make it to all the exhibits at CES that I wanted.. Oh well, maybe next year!

10. Most important are my 3 beautiful boys and my fabulous husband that I missed lots but they know that mama needs her yearly CES fix!

January 09, 2011

CES 2011 - First Impressions

It is the last day of CES and I am ramping up to finish off as many booth visits as possible. Here are the trends I am seeing, I will write up the specific products that relate to this in the next weeks. Check out CoolMomTech over the next few weeks for my coolest CES catches!

1. Gadgets are morphing into all in ones: PC's can stream data to and from personal devices (many in 1080p).  Music can be  streamed from your PC to a tablet to a music player to speakers with wireless adapters or new wireless features in devices. The process of syncing music between devices can be done wirelessly where syncing is automatic.

Smart TV's also joined the line-up, participating in the trend that will offer consumers a simplified way to access many channels of content from one device - such as Google TV with Sony and Logitech as well as new functionality being built into TV's to interact with other devices. This new technology will enable consumers to have access to content across devices, so content companies are trying to figure out how to enable this by creating new business models.

PC's are sliding, flipping and converging with tablets as new multi-touch technologies advance. There are also new features added to Bluetooth headsets and GPS systems that provide multiple functions in one.

2. 3D: While last year the 3D TV's were eye candy, I did not think it was ready for prime time. This year, I am a 3D believer. Three technologies made me excited about 3D above the basic "wow" effect of the beautiful images that 3D bring:

  • First are the "passive" 3D TV's which means that they don't require a signal from glasses - and consumers can use regular 3D glasses that can be purchased for $30 instead of $150.00. The passive 3D technology includes some PC's that provided amazing 3D images. With a family of 5, $30.00 glasses lowers the barrier to entry to bring 3D entertainment in my house.
  • Second are the new 3D enabled PC's, cameras and camcorders.
  • Third are the new "Glasses Free" 3D devices.

But for those serious 3D'ers or Gamers - there are new 3D glasses that while they may be pricey - they will enable that fully immersive 3D experience. Each 3D TV manufacterer has their own 3D glasses that interact with the 3D tech on their TV's or PC's. But there are some sophisticated 3D glasses that also work with any TV (one is made by Monster Cable).

3. Accessories: I was thrilled to see more fashionable accessories and finally more with stands included for viewing content. Although the most fashionable accessories seems to be iPad,iPod, iPhone centric,  I did some some great laptop, general tablet and computer bags - I would of preferred to have seen a whole line of tablet covers that are in different sizes, colors and patterns (with detachable straps). Because tablets are generally around the same size, I imagine I use some of the iPad cases for other tablets. But the models that secure the iPad in place and allow access to the ports would not work with other tablet models.

I also saw interesting docking stations, including some that added "keyboards" to smartphones and tablets.

4. Processing power and Operating Systems: The Intel 2nd generation Core processors are more energy-efficient, faster performance and have improved graphics that are integrated into the processor. The Intel WiDi wireless display technology allows streaming of media from a laptop to a Netgear Push2TV box then through HDMI to a display (such as a TV). While Netgear announced a new 3D HD Home wireless system, they also announced an updated Push2TV box (with HD added). I also saw another gadget that works with the WiDi: Logitech Wireless speaker adapter. 

The new processors were in some great thin and light computers that made me think "I gotta have that - NOW!" (as I lugged my heavy cart with my current devices around CES).

Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows will support a system on a chip, a touch mouse and the next generation of Microsoft Surface.

5. Home Energy Management and smart devices: I am about to head to the home area of CES and will not have as much times as I would like to cover it - but I do know that Maytag, LG and Kenmore are using smart technologies in their home appliances that also are more energy efficient.. more to come. I also saw more home energy management systems and gadgets that not only automate the process but allow remote access.

4. Tablets, Tablets and more tablets. There were multiple new tablets at CES 2011. And while many were not as exciting as the iPad, I did see a good list of those that give the iPad a run for it's money with great interfaces and resolution that pops.

5. Apps and more apps. Many devices have related apps and there were also companies at CES that just had apps.

6. Retro: While I will mention specifics later - both Polaroid and Casio brought back their products with modern functionality that is very noteworthy.

7. Cars are getting smarter: There are new and exciting developments in car technology that provide seemless access to media and driving information. There are also new developments for energy management in Electric Cars (an area that is very exciting to me).. More to come..

8. eReaders: There are new features in current eReaders and new eReaders that are enabling a better overall interface and new functionality.

9. 4G: The new 4G enabled devices were not only interesting but made me want to buy one because the WiFi in the convention center was so bad. Next year I will have a 4G device with me on the floor. Maybe by that time I will have a super thin laptop that is 4G enabled? For now I can dream..

10. Celebrity obsessed gadget fans will be excited to know that entertainers such as 50 Cent, Lady Gaga and others came to discuss their consumer technology iniatives or new devices. Of course, I was too busy visiting booths to join in the celebrity fun (feeling very geeky as I type that).

11. Moms (and women) who tech were rockin CES: I was thrilled this year to meet up with fantastic mom and women tech bloggers that are rockin CES. This included some fantastic events such as breakfast hosted by Sarah Kimmel, The Clever Girls Collective and I (sponsored by SWAGG), blogger meetups, a dinner hosted by ChicaLogic, meetups with Logitech Executives and their CES team and the MommyTech at CES Summit which included a fashion show. More pictures to come.

13. Gaming - Talk of the Nintendo 3DS was buzzing as well as gaming on smartphones and advances in motion based gaming. Lots of fun gaming accessories were on display.

Off to sneak in as much of the show floor as possible before I head back to Silicon Valley and try to process all the exciting consumer electronics I have seen this week!

Disclosure: While Logitech sponsored my travel expenses to CES, I was under no obligation to cover other then what I was interested in. My words are my own. This is not a paid post.

Please excuse any rambling or typos - as many at CES I am sleep deprived and running on gadget bliss at the moment..

 

 

January 06, 2011

Day 1 of the Consumer Electronics Show - The Gadget Frenzy has begun!

Those that are following me on Twitter know that I am at one of my favorite conferences - the Consumer Electronics Show. The show is the venue for me to get hands one with the latest gadgets and accessories so I can share them with my community. This is my third year of attendance so am getting a good process down, but is always hard to fit everything in.

This year I am happy to be chosen as a Logitech Guest Blogger with two other bloggers Nixie Pixel  and @AndroidAshley. I have been buying Logitech products for years, recently even outfitting my house with an assortment of their updated computer accessories for my middle schooler son, husband and I. As a mom blogger covering technology I ended up connecting with them to cover their products. For CES, I was invited to share my perspective on the digital home, which is of strong interest to me. With all the new technology in our home, I am always searching for ways to simplify and streamline.

I starting my CES adventure here at the Las Vegas Convention Center at the Logitech booth (that happens to have a comfortable couch as part of the Logitech Revue demo).  Logitech’s Digital Living Room is displaying the Harmony remote, Revue with Google TV, Squeezebox and Ultimate Ears products.  For anyone at CES, they are doing give aways of Logitech Revues - check out their Twitter ID  @Logitech for details.

I have some pictures, but with thousands of techies in the conference hall, WiFi is not being photo upload friendly at the moment!

Disclosure: My travel expenses for CES are being covered by Logitech. I am under no obligation to blog about a specific topic, my words are my own. This is not a paid post.

 

January 01, 2011

Family Photo tips - from Merakoh

During the holidays is a time that many families take photos to capture the special moments. So I could not help but think of the tips that I learned from a talk I went to by photographer (and mom) Merakoh last year. Her site Refuse to Say Cheese has lots of hints and tips on photography, including capturing the story while taking photos of kids and families.  An exciting project she is working on is called "Soar Scholarships": "The SOAR! Scholarship helps three women each year to make their dream of building a photography business come true."

The 2010 winners will be announced mid-January so check back to the Soar website to see who they are. Here is more info from the press release:

Continue reading "Family Photo tips - from Merakoh " »

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