22 posts categorized "High Tech Fun"

February 06, 2009

Wired Post on TED Conference: MIT Students Go Tech With Sixth Sense

The post on Wired titled "TED: MIT Students Turn Internet Into a Sixth Human Sense -- Video" caught my eye not only because it sounded interesting - but it was MIT students at TED! Here is what they developed via the Wired post:

"Students at the MIT Media Lab have developed a wearable computing system that turns any surface into an interactive display screen. The wearer can summon virtual gadgets and internet data at will, then dispel them like smoke when they're done.

Pattie Maes of the lab's Fluid Interfaces group said the research is aimed at creating a new digital "sixth sense" for humans."

I already getting excited about touch screens, but "wearable computing" just sends me over the top. Instead of printing my sons homework, could he load it to his wearable computer jacket to display to his class? Or instead of booting up a computer or watching a small screen, could I project a movie on the back on my jacket while my kids and I are waiting in line at the grocery store? Forget about a sheet in the back yard and an expensive project, movie night can be anywhere anytime?

Maybe I am getting carried away, but it is an exciting development. Here is the video:

Past the fact that a wearable computing system has so many amazing applications, it was a bunch of students that developed it. As a mom of one (an maybe more) geeks to be - this is very inspiring. One of my sons is an out of the box thinking that creates the most amazing things. The other day he hooked wireless iPod speakers up with a boombox and then to a computer to make a home theatre extraordinaire (the YouTube videos come to life).

TED is one of the most dynamic and interesting conferences because it is brings together people from technology, entertainment and design. The MIT Lab designs technology for people to create a better future. Just a quick look at the MIT Lab website and I saw an article from Feb. 3rd that discussed a Chameleon Guitar that mixes wood and old fashioned electronics.

This is a tribute to TED for highlighting the MIT students, to the MIT students for their discoveries and for moms all around the world with young out of the box thinker kids to tell them to keep dreaming and creating, someday you may end up speaking at TED...

February 01, 2009

Super Bowl Ads Go 3D

I was at Safeway the other day when they asked if I wanted some 3D glasses for the Super Bowl.

At first I said "Whaaaaattt?" 3D glasses for the Super Bowl?

The cashier said "yes" and gave me a bunch.

Later I found out that Intel and DreamWorks took 3D Graphics to the Super Bowl (as reported by CNET News - CLICK HERE to read the details). The technology is called "InTru3D". Here is information on the movie coming out this March that will utilize this technology:

"March 27, 2009 marks the next leap forward in animation history, when audiences can take a seat and be immersed into the future of animation with DreamWorks Animation’s "Monsters vs. Aliens", the first-ever feature film using InTru 3D technology."
Here is the YouTube promo for the commercial to get a taste:



The NBC show "Chuck" (one of my favorites since I happen to like geeks) and some other commericals will be in 3D. All Things Digital summarized all of the fun ads that will appear this Super Bowl in their post: "Super Bowl Ads Web 2.0 Roundup: Watch, Tweet and Widget".

Back to the game, I need to get my glasses ready for the first 3D experience...

RELATED LINKS:

CNET NEWS "The tech that makes the Super Bowl super."  and a list of their other tech Super Bowl posts...

Even HULU had an ad on the Super Bowl (via TechCrunch). The TechCrunch post also mentioned some of the other interesting tech related ads, including the talking baby E-trade ad and a trailer for Transformers 2. 

GoDaddy on the other hand, is getting some negative twitters about their Super Bowl ads

December 24, 2008

Dell Computer Goes Artsy and does a giveaway (WINNER)!

I just used Random.org and put each comment in as one entry. For those that twittered or posted got another entry.. AND THE WINNER OF THE $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE IS:

Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama

True Random Number Service

List Randomizer

Here they are in random order:

  1. Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama
  2. Janel
  3. zmama
  4. Bill
  5. Thien-Kim

(I just showed the top five listed..)

Happy Holidays to ALL...

*******************************************************************************

Continue reading "Dell Computer Goes Artsy and does a giveaway (WINNER)!" »

December 22, 2008

Disney Donates Books To Kids In Need, And Has Books For Techies

I saw a tweet from Chris Brogan about a "call to action" post at the BookMark blog and wanted to share with my readers.  Here are the details from the post:

Now through December 25, post a comment below about your favorite bedtime story or memory and, in your honor, Disney will donate one new book to a child in need – just for commenting!

Please click over and comment! I commented that we read the Dr. Seuss sleep book before bedtime for many years between my three boys.

Currently, I am reading a Disney book to my twin 6 year old and 9 year sons that not only appeals to kids, but appeals to anyone who enjoy hearing about the "behind the scenes" and is interested in animation. The book is called: The Alchemy of Animation, Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age by Don Hahn.
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Here are details about the book from the Disney website:
The Alchemy of Animation: Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age is a step-by-step introduction to animated filmmaking from one of the foremost producers of animated features. By drawing upon more than seven decades of Disney's classic and beloved animated films, this stunning book explores the role of the directors, story artists, songwriters, and animators who each play an integral role in the creation of an animated feature. This book includes a special focus on the digital

The website (http://www.alchemyofanimation.com/) has audio, video and images from the book.

December 16, 2008

Disney's PhotoPass Service and Yummy Holiday Food

Today is Walt Disney's birthday, so what a better way then to be at a Disney Mommyblogger event.  I am here to hear about their holiday celebrations. Below are some notes from the presentation, there is lots more to talk about, but for now here are some liveblog notes.  Updates to follow, along with adding the names of those that spoke.....

Danielle Dubois is one half of the Disneyland Resort Ambassador Team. She is talking about the Disney's PhotoPass Service (DisneyPhotoPass.com). It is a new service a Disney that provides photographers around the park that will take family pictures at all the major spots - then the pictures can be redeemed online.

IMG_1609

What is the service? The first step is to take a picture with the photographers and get a PhotoPass cards. They have photographers in all sort of locations around the park. They take pictures then associate with that card. Guests have 30 days to claim photos online. Then you have 30 days to decide what you want to order - and share with friends and family. You can edit photos by adding borders (zoom, rotate or adjust). You can purchase prints or order .jpgs.

You can also use your own pictures for the PhotoPass service. Some of the products are holiday cards, cups, paper weights. All can be found on DisneyPhotoPass.com.

How to sign up? On the top right corner login (to DisneyPhotoPass.com)  or create a new account with your email. Your card will have a " 16 digit code" that you enter in. Once you pull up your photos you have three different types of photo to look at: Photo's the photographer took, photo's you took or photos from the Disney gallery.

Once you choose which photo is your favorite, you can edit your photo (zoom, adjust, rotate, add borders). At the bottom is the slide chooser so you can choose which photo's you want to edit. You can log in anytime during that period to see your photo album. Photo products tab on the site will show the products available, including the newest which is a calender (you start your calender on any month and control the calender layout).  There are also photo greeting cards and ornaments.

You can name products with a "project name".  The checkout is secured shopping and they accept any credit cards. If there are special offers, it will be applied at checkout.

Ride photos like splash mountain are not included in the ProjectPass card yet.

Disney said, don't be shy - go up to the PhotoPass photographer and ask them to take a picture. And ask them what "magic" they can put in the picture.  PhotoPass cards can be used at Disneyland or DisneyWorld (they are on one system). You can combine pictures on other families cards?

You can send a free "snowglobe" and will show up on the recipient's screen (with snow and magical music). Bloggers can link to it in their blog posts. You can also send a Disneyland Resort e-card to friends and family for the holiday.

Continue reading "Disney's PhotoPass Service and Yummy Holiday Food" »

December 12, 2008

HP Magic Giveaway- WINNERS!

A MOM and DAD HERO WON!!!!

I am excited to announce that HERO DADDY is the winner of the TechMamas HP Magic Giveaway and will be sharing the prize with THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE ( http://www.rmhc.com/ ) and some other agencies in need!! More details on Dec. 14.

And to show that Hero Daddy is an extra Hero - he agreed to share the HP HDX 18 series Premium Notebook PC with the Mom Hero Shellie - who had the second largest amount of votes. Shellie is a mom that will have her own computer now! So Shellie will be receiving the HP HDX 18 series Premium Notebook PC.

Please click back to the original post and check out all the heroes. I hope that if others have technology to share, they will share it with them. Happy to pass any emails on to them if necessary.

*******************************************************************************************************

CLICK HERE  (and go to the bottom of this post) TO SEE THE STORY BEHIND THE 20 LISTED ON THE POLL.

Here is a link to the initial post where all the mom and dad heroes entered the HP Magic Giveaway for $6K in hardware and software.  ALL who entered are heroes, just read their incredible stories!

I had the task of randomly chosing 20 to go up for the final vote. Please CLICK HERE to read their stories (at the bottom of this post) and vote for your favorite Mom/Dad Heroes

CLICK HERE to read the CNN Heroes Tribute - that inspired my theme.

Voting starts on Dec. 12 and ends on Dec. 13 (9pm pst 12pm est). Winner will be announced on Dec. 14.

Polls Powered By MicroPoll

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE STORY BEHIND THE 20 LISTED ON THE POLL

Continue reading "HP Magic Giveaway- WINNERS!" »

December 02, 2008

What's Hot and What's Not Hot - All Things Digital Video

I was reading one of my favorite technology blogs (All Things Digital) when I saw a video made by Kara Swisher From the Churchill Club’s “Sixth Annual What’s Hot and What’s Not in Personal Technology”. It was not only great to see Kara Swisher discuss the hot and not hot tech picks, but even better was some of the top rate humor from the techies in the crowd.

Some of the funny moments were:

  • When Kara Swisher was interviewing Twitter Co-Founder and CEO Evan Williams and asked: "What about just putting an implant in our heads and Twitter as we think?"  He quickly came back with "that will come out Q3 next year".
  • Greg Harper, co-founder of Gadgetoff, talked about useful and not useful products - one of which is a USB powered head massager.

Just watch the video to see all the yummy gadget discussions, including some picks from Walt Mossberg. But my favorite moment was seeing a demo of the Wii Light Sword, which helped me think that I will have my wish to play Jedi with my son in the near future.....


November 08, 2008

Nintendo Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia and A Real Ranger At Randall Museum

I had the pleasure of attending an Nintendo Event at the Randall Museum in San Francisco. The event was in honor of the new Nintendo DS game coming out next week, Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia. The first part of the event included a tour of the grounds around the Randall Museum and of the amazing animals inside. The Randall Museum has a mixture of science, nature and art.The next adventure was meeting a real Ranger and learning about what they do. Then we heard details about the new game.

Rangers:

We found out that Rangers protect people that protects people and animals. They do law enforcement, firefighting, rock climbing and cave rescue. The Ranger did an activity that showed how all in nature is inter-connected. The Ranger also talked about:

How to conserve water?
  Not use as much (when brushing teeth) How to conserve energy? Shut your lights out...  or get a flashlight without batteries (windup). How to use flashlights and compasses.

The Ranger Creed: Respect Nature and Wildlife, Always do what is right, Never play with matches & lighters, Garbage belongs in the trash not on trails, Expect the unexpected and plan ahead for safety and Reduce, reuse and recycle.

PokemonrangerNext we had the opportunity to hear about the new Nintendo DS Lite game coming out next week: Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia

Pokemon Ranger Game Preview

Summary for parents: This game is rated "E" for Everyone and is appropriate for kids, can connect via Wifi to get new missions and is a single player game. The themes include nature, being a ranger and helping to save others. The Nintendo website has a Pokemon Ranger Game preview with specific details on the game. All action is done with Pokemon, they "faint" if hurt or they are released back into the wild.

As we listened to details about the game, I realized my 9 year son and his friends were intently listening, making comments about the game details while I was trying to figure things out. At first I assumed that kids just pick up things quicker, then I realized they had played the older version before so they had a background in the topic. On the ride home they tried out the game, and all had fun - sharing strategy moves. My son said he liked the game because there was always something interesting to do.

Here are some of the details I liveblogged during the event:

Continue reading "Nintendo Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia and A Real Ranger At Randall Museum" »

November 02, 2008

Liveblogging - LeapFrog Blogger Party "See the Learning, See the Difference!" Party

I am here at the Four Seasons in East Palo Alto at a Silicon Valley Moms Blog Event sponsored by Leapfrog. I always have my own personal debates about technology as toys, but when it comes to instructional toys - I do find them relevant and very useful. My 5 year old twins love their Leapsters, fridge phonics, Tag and my 9 year son his Didj. My 5 year old twins learned addition alittle earlier then they would have otherwise because they were intent on playing the Leapster Star Wars Jedi Math game.

I am interested to learn more about Leapfrog's new community at "community.leapfrog.com" and Learning Path. The Leapfrog website also has useful sections for product support (including downloads) and parent guides.

I will hearing a discussion on the challenging topic of children learning to read (and loving to read), led by Dr. Anne Cunningham, University of California , Berkeley Graduate School of Education.

More to come....

Dr. Anne Cunningham is talking now. The points below are from her discussion and some audience comments:

  • Her area of expertise is reading development. She looks at why people read or don't read. She also studies avid readers, she has seen that it is important to get people to read early.
  • She looks at spelling. Those that are early readers are usually good spellers.
  • She got involved with LeapFrog around the time that the LeapFrog came out. She thought it was great to have something that is a portable a device - where the book could talk to the children. That young children had books that talked to them - that they could touch words and here what it is.
  • She looked at the reciprical effects of what abilities kids need before they enter school so they are ready to take advantage of Kindergarten.  Kids should be exposed to lots of language. There is a big difference between infants that were "bathed" in language versus kids that were not. Kids with a high amount of language exposure had a huge effect on their own language. Language requires rich and varied input - even though there is "hardwiring".  The projectory "explodes" for those kids that receive a high amount of language exposure.
  • Why is language exposure important? Nursery rhymes and poetry are great to expose kids to the rhytm of language. When we do games like nursery rhymes and finger games, they move away from the meaning of language to the structure of language.  The structure of language is small pieces of language (like "go to" are two different words).
  • We should read outloud to our children every day multiple times.  Rhyming and illertation books help children grow their language.

Continue reading "Liveblogging - LeapFrog Blogger Party "See the Learning, See the Difference!" Party" »

October 15, 2008

The Blogger Jet Needs A TechMama

J0400845 I decided to attend CES 2009 to have a first hand look at the gadgets relevant to families (since I obsess about that already daily). Being a mom of three boys, I am tight on money so I put off buying my plane ticket to CES..

Then I heard about this most excellent party organized by the one and only Robert Scoble and the Parnassus Group (do I sound cool or a geeky gal trying to be cool?). So I signed up for that and got on the official guest list!  I may be a mom but I partied hard at computer conferences BK (before kids) and AK (after kids) at BlogHer conferences and with my fellow Silicon Valley Moms Group bloggers- so I was looking forward to the geekfest.

Then I heard about a blogger jet (yes a jet full of gadget bloggers) that will be starting in Seattle, stopping in Silicon Valley and then heading to Vegas for CES. Because every blogger jet needs a mom gadget blogger on board. Even better that whole flight is eco-friendly thanks to ClearSky Climate Solutions.

Then I got notice that posting about this adventure is part of the "contest" to get on the jet. So here is my post to get one “ticket” in the virtual punch bowl.

Do I sound excited? I am hoping for some good blogger jet karma coming my way.... Otherwise, I will need to find another way to CES..

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