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Topics - Babyfacemagee

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1
(Hint, it's much more than just digital money)

Up until a few months ago, like a lot of people I'd heard of 'Bitcoin' and 'cryptocurrency' but frankly while it seemed mildly interesting, I didn't feel any overwhelming urge to figure out how to get some or use it.  It sounded like a less secure, new fangled, roundabout way of paying for things 'electronically' and since so few places accept them for payment vs. the dollar...I didn't see the point. Why bother, right?

Wrong. Boy was I wrong. Because what I didn't understand...and most of you reading this probably don't either...is that many of these new 'cryptocurrencies' that we see in the news are not 'currencies' at all...they are actually a new technology utilizing a structure called the blockchain that are creating the next version of the internet, an internet 3.0 right now...and the vast majority of people have no idea this is going on.  How is that you ask?  Because many of these digital 'coins' are actually more like programming languages that let you build decentralized applications.  What the heck is that you ask?  Let me explain.

Let's say you want to buy a product off of Ebay, or Amazon like a pair of shoes.  Or perhaps you want to rent a room for a weekend through Airbnb, or get a car ride to the airport through Uber.  All of these businesses utilize a middleman that you have to pay a fee to for their service.  Think about it. You buy something from Ebay or Amazon and they take their little cut out of the seller's gross.  You book a room through airbnb or a car from uber and again...they take a little cut out of the seller's piece or charge a fee to the buyer...either way there's a middleman.

But what if you could get rid of the middle man?  What if there was some kind of company that did each of these things...sold goods..rented homes...drove you around....and there was no middle man?   What if transactions were peer to peer...you to the seller direct...without the middle man's fee?  Well that is exactly what the blockchain allows programmers to do.  Create decentralized applications, businesses, markets, etc.  It does this by utilizing the blockchain as a way of keeping everyone honest.  How?  Well, this video does a nice job of explaining it. 


But the important thing to realize is that what we are looking at here is basically the dawn of a brand new internet.  Just like in 1992-94 nobody could have predicted that Amazon or Uber or Facebook or Google could become the behemoths we see today.  Twenty years from now people are going to look back and say the same thing about decentralized, blockchain based companies that will be just as big...or bigger.

It's very likely we'll have decentralized search engines without advertising, we'll have decentralized selling with brand new 'amazons' or 'ebays'. We'll have decentralized banking without the bank taking fees and we'll have virtually every kind of business you can imagine from insurance to education to manufacturing to distribution and it will be done through decentralized applications and companies that basically 'live' on the internet and don't require a middle man taking a fee.

Once you understand this concept the next thing to understand is that the cryptocurrencies that we see today...and the new ones being introduced...are all representative of different kinds of decentralized  businesses and these digital 'coins' are being used to fund the development of these businesses. Now there are some like Bitcoin and Litecoin that are still just digital money.   But others like Ethereum, Golem, Stratis, EOS, Factom and others each represent a new type of decentralized company or platform that are part of this new internet 3.0.  And in order to use any of these companies or platforms you'll have to know how to use these new 'digital currencies'.

Some of these new kinds of decentralized companies are already in operation.  For instance http://steemit.com is a hybrid of reddit and facebook where you use Steem coins as a way of rewarding content.  Instead of Zuckerberg and staff at FB choosing what to show you...it's more democratic and the use of Steem coin rewards content makers.

So how do I begin getting into this world?  What's the first baby step I can take? Open a Coinbase account.   

Coinbase is the oldest and most reliable and safe of the online wallets to start buying your first digital 'coins' with.  You can buy a bit of Bitcoin or Ethereum or Litecoin...the three coins they currently support...and begin to learn how to use them.   For example, you can purchase some 'Steem' at Steemit.com by opening an account there and sending some Bitcoin to yourself from Coinbase to Steemit.  Then you'll convert that Bitcoin to Steem to use.

As you become more comfortable with these currencies you might want to open a trading account on a site like Poloniex...which just like a stockmarket trading site allows you to buy, sell or just watch all kinds of digital coins and see their values fluctuate just like a stock.

But frankly the very first step you should take, just so you can get started and start to explore is to open a Coinbase account.

Right now Coinbase has a promotion where they're offering $10 in free Bitcoin to you* if you open an account with just $100, which is exactly what I did to start.  Then you can start playing with it. 

Want to learn even more and become a cryptocurrency expert?  Start reading sites like Cointelegraph.com and Coindesk.com and TheMerkle.com to learn more about all these new currencies and what they do. 

Look, I know it seems intimidating at first.  But trust me, this is not just the future of money, it's the future of the internet being built right in front of our eyes.  This is an amazing opportunity.  Don't miss out like you did the last time.  Just think how many times you've told yourself 'if i had just invested in Facebook or Netflix or Amazon back in 199x...well this is your next chance...because the next version of the internet...the decentralized internet is happening right now, today.  Open your Coinbase account and take your first step into that world today.  You'll thank me later.





*I get a referral bonus but you get your $10 in free Bitcoin and it's the place I recommend to start on your journey to learn about this brand new internet 3.0

2

We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!

Now that the holidays are here, many major retailers are holding their annual'After Holidays', 'End Of Year' and 'New Year's' deals and specials for online shoppers for anything related to technology and for non-tech categories as well such as household items, clothes and more.  These are some of the deepest discounts and sales of the year as stores try to clear inventory before Dec 31st.  This is a great chance get great deals on all sorts of gifts and items you've been putting off to buy, just waiting for those 'best of' sales and discounts.  We've included links below to some of the most well-known large online sale participants so use these links to check out the great deals and enjoy saving some cash!. 








3


Xiaomi stormed the bluetooth speaker world this past year with its amazing pencil box Xiaomi Mi hit the market.  Raved about by reviewers such as ClavinetJunkie, Javi's Boombox, Jim's Review Room, Cnet, PortableAudio and more it features amazing bass response and solid mid-range and highs in a small, sleek metal body the size of a pencil box.  Available in three colors here in the U.S.; gold, blue and pink, we typically see it priced at between $39-$60 but it's on sale now for the lowest price we've ever seen with free shipping as well...just $32 at the link below.   Also for sale are the Xiaomi Mini which typically sells for $15...now on sale for $9.99 and also the Xiaomi Round speaker also on sale for $21.45.  The older Xiaomi Square Box speaker is also on sale for $14.75, but we think the 'Original Xiaomi' speaker on the far left above sounds better.  We've placed links below to the page so make sure you grab a few to give as gifts while the sale is going on.


4

If you've been waiting to buy a really top-notch audiophile quality bluetooth speaker then today is the perfect day to grab an awesome deal on one of two Denon bluetooth speakers. 

First up is the Denon HEOS 1.  This is the smallest member of Denon's audiophile multiroom system that can be used either independently or networked with other HEOS speakers such as the HEOS 3, 5 or 7.  This is the newest version of the HEOS 1 and includes bluetooth built-in.  It offers awesome sound from its two drivers and while it is a plug-in unit, you can purchase the optional 'Go Pack' which includes a rechargeable lithium ion battery.  This new version of the HEOS 1 also includes high resolution audio support as well as support for streaming services such as Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, SoundCloud, TIDAL and Rhapsody.  Normally priced at $199, there's a special sale going on right now for $100 off!  That's right...the HEOS 1 is just $99 for a limited time.  You can grab one at the link below.


Ok, so say you want an all-in-one unit that includes a built-in lithium battery and will provide you with knock your socks off sound in a portable package and you plan on using the speaker exclusively with your phone or tablet to stream music and don't care about multiroom networking.  If that's the case then the Denon Envaya DSB200 is the speaker for you.  This speaker will literally knock your socks off.  It has some of the most powerful bass and the fullest 'soundscape' and depth of sound of any portable bluetooth speaker i've ever heard.  Don't believe me?  Just read some of the reviews and they'll back me up.  This thing ROCKS.  It has a 100mm bass radiator in addition to two 57mm full range drivers and has all kinds of special electronics voodoo added in from high resolution aptX® CSR decoding, MaxxAudio® technology and even includes 4 different colored grill inserts to customize the look of the device.  Normally the Envaya DSB200 would set you back $199...and in fact that's the price it's still selling for on the Denon website...but it's on sale on Amazon right now for just $79.99!  That's an amazing deal.  If  you've been looking for a bluetooth speaker that has AWESOME sound quality...you need to grab one of these right now.  I'm serious...this thing will blow away any other portable bluetooth speaker even 3x the price.


5

An interesting controversy involving the iPhone and Apple Computer has sprung up over the past few weeks as I'm sure many of you are well aware.  The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has asked the company to create a tool that would un-encrypt the iPHone used by one of the San Bernadino terrorism suspects that killed 14 people a few months ago in California.  While at its surface this would seem like a simple request, the company has refused to comply stating that while it understands the specific noble intent in this situation to unlock the phone and gain any valuable information from it that might help in the investigation, the larger issue of creating a 'back door' to the iPhone poses too dangerous a risk long term to the greater user base of iPhone owners.

Tim Cook issued his statement and was quickly supported by other tech leaders such as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and others.  Not everyone has been so quick to support the company however with Presidential candidate Donald Trump calling for Applel to unlock the device and even Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates seeming to be at odds with Apple's decision.  So what do you think?  Is the benefit of possibly accessing valuable information of the terrorists device worth it?  Would the company be able to keep such a 'back door' secret and prevent this instance from creating a precedent where perhaps thousands of phones from now on could be accessed in a similar way?  Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

6

Ever feel like going on adventure and wish there was a resource that could instantly tell you all the cool stuff around you to do?  Well that's what Local Guru does.  It's an amazing new app...really more than an app...a great resource...that let's you instantly see what cool adventures, activities and interests are close by and hooks you up with a 'guru' to lead you on your adventure or activity.  Using your location you can see a list of adventures led by a local expert or 'guru'.  Perhaps you want to take a hike, or learn to surf or go horseback riding or a mountain biking adventure.  It's a great tool to explore wherever you are and geared to the outdoors adventurer in us all.  Even better, it lets you filter for price and proximity to your location.  You also can click on the map to any location and do a search in that area to see what is available in other areas.  Just think of the possibilities of planning a trip or vacation and being able to tap the location on the map and book a cool adventure where you're going to be. 

Now the founder of 'Local Guru' is a great guy named Joseph I had the pleasure of meeting recently in Santa Monica.  Joseph and his team put a lot of effort into procuring only quality adventures and activities led by knowledgeable experts in whatever the adventure is.  The app is constantly being improved and refined and new features are being introduced all the time to ensure that the adventures you go on are of the highest quality.  Give 'Local Guru' a try and if you have any ideas to make it even more useful feel free to send them a note.  Make sure any local experts and 'gurus' you know sign up to offer their activities through Local Guru's app and help spread the word and make Local Guru the national sensation it deserves to be.  Grab the free app at the link below.


You can also learn more about the Local Guru app at their website: www.localguruapp.com


7

Wireless charging company energous has a cool technology it calls 'Watt Up' and you can see it demonstrated by their CTO Michael Leabman above.  Part software and part hardware innovation it works by having a power receiving chip inside your phone that the Watt Up transmitter then sends power to through the air using RF technology.  So how does it work?

The system consists of two parts...a wireless transmitter called a 'Power Router' that transmits power via radio signals in a similar way to how your wifi router works.  A chip inside the device to be charged, whether a phone, tablet or anything that is no more than 10 watts received the signal and that power charges the battery.  Up to 12 different devices can be charged simultaneously with the current system.  Now there's certainly more complexities to the technology than this and you can read about it at the company's website at the link below.  Apparently, according to some internet sources the company has been working with a large tech company (Apple maybe?) and could lead to their technology being a mass consumer device sooner than later.  What do you think?  Pretty cool, eh?

energous[/color]


8

Proving yet again how creative some iPhone owners can be, Nicolas Vuigner, a 25 year old ski aficionado from Switzerland wanted to film himself while taking on the slopes with his iPhone.  His solution?  He put together his own iPhone stabilizing apparatus he dubs 'Centriphone' and consisting of a series of strings tied to the corners of the iPhone which he then proceeds to swing around him as he skis.  The result?  Pretty amazing!  By utilizing the slow motion setting at 240fps on his iPhone and doing some nifty editing to music the result above will surely inspire others to try and emulate his feat.  Nicolas says he didn't break one iPhone during the entire process of testing or shooting, but we'd probably think it would void his warranty if he had.  Want to make one of your own?  Nicolas says he plans on making a 3d printable template available soon so others can do so.  We just hope people don't start swinging their phones around while walking down the street...it could get dangerous out there!


9

A new wireless MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) lets you use two different numbers on the same iPhone.  This could be a boon to those who have both a personal and business number and they'd prefer to have both numbers go to the same phone rather than having to carry around two.  MAST is a new wireless provider that uses the Sprint network to offer you unique two number on one phone features.  For instance, depending on who you are calling the phone will intelligently know which number to use and which image and info to show the receiver.  You can also use one voicemail for both lines, simplifying message retrieval.  Of course perhaps best of all you have just one bill...and one expense for both personal and business instead of having to have two phones and two accounts. 

Now there are ways to have a second number forwarded to one phone or to use a virtual number such as Google Voice, but this seems like a more elegant...and full featured solution all around.  If you live in New York City, where the service is initiating service and you're one of the first 250 people to sign up they'll even give you a free iPhone as part of your subscription.  Plans start as low as $50/month but if you're one of these first 250 it's only $20/month at least for now.  Find out more at the MAST link below.

MAST Wireless

10

A new Apple patent uncovered by the site Apple Insider hints at a 3D Touch enabled 'home button' that seems to lay the groundwork for possible use without a physical button at all.  The patent, which can be seen below, shows how an additional layer that would perceive 'force' could be implemented below the 'Touch ID' layer that currently identifies fingerprints.   The images seem to suggest this could be implemented not only in a physical version but in a button-less version where the 'button' would simply appear on screen and be 'pressed' by a user with varying force to emulate the function of a physical home button.

If true and if the company can perfect the technology this would open up the possibility of having a true edge to edge, top to bottom display on the iPhone where the 'button' would appear in certain scenarios such as locking and unlocking the phone or when used for certain app functions, but could also 'disappear' completely when watching a movie, web browsing or playing a game.  Of course Apple files lots of patents that never make it into products but this is one that seems a sure bet to be implemented in some form in the future considering the company's push to enable 3D touch in multiple devices.

US Patent Office

AppleInsider


11

A flood of leaks filled the iOS-phere today about Apple's next product launch event.  Tuesday, March 15th is the date we're told that the company will introduce a 4 inch iPhone, rumored to be named the iPhone 5se.  Also on tap for introduction is reportedly a new iPad, the first in two years and tentatively named the iPad 3.  Finally, some other possible intros include some new fangled Apple Watch bands and perhaps even some additional colors of the Apple Watch and maybe some other surprises. 

What we know about the new hardware is of course speculation and rumors at this point but all signs point to the iPhone 5SE to resemble the iPhone 5 but with a more rounded look and featuring the innards of the iPhone 6, including an A8 system on a chip.  The iPad 3 reportedly will feature some of the new features of the iPad Pro such as multiple speakers as well as an LED flash on back and possibly a new smart connector.  Official invites have yet to go out for the event and as usual it'll be interesting to see if the artwork of the announcement hints at any other surprise introductions.  We'll give you the latest as soon as we hear...

12

A new report came out today regarding the iPhone 7 design and from what we're hearing it seems the company is looking to listen to some of the complaints of having a protruding camera 'bump' where the lens is and is looking to make the back flat with the new model.  In addition the company will reposition the unflattering antenna band lines more to the side, leaving the back free of clutter. 

Now the above 'mockup' by MacRumors is of the a single lens iPhone 7 but as many of you know if you've been following the news reports lately, Apple is thinking of producing a dual lens design, but perhaps only offering it on the larger, iPhone 7 Plus model.  This would make sense as it would enable the company to upsell current iPhone 6 owners to the more expensive and larger screened plus model and use the upgraded camera with dual lenses as a differentiator to justify the greater cost in addition to the larger screen.   

Of course all this won't play out until later this year in the fall when Apple traditionally introduces its new flagship iPhones.  In the meantime on March 15th it is expected that Apple will hold an event where it will introduce a smaller, 4 inch 'iPhone 5se' as well as a new iPad, the 'iPad 3'.  We're of course give you all the latest info as we find out right here.  What are your thoughts on the iPhone 7 rumors?

13

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple could come out with its own wireless charging solution for iPhone as soon as next year.  The analyst reports that Apple has not come out with a wirelessly charging iPhone as of yet, even though the technology is widely available, because it has decided that current wireless charging through a mat or similar close-contact protocol such as Qi is simply not a big enough convenience.  The company is reportedly working on 'wireless charging from a distance' which is something that has been experimented with before by some other companies but faces some technical challenges to be effective. 

In theory the idea is to work similar to a wireless signal where as long as an iPhone was within a certain distance...perhaps a meter or two...of a power transmitting device or station the iPhone could be charged.  The company has suggested in a filed patent that an iMac computer could possibly be used as a power transmitting station as one example  This would mean the phone could be left in a person's pocket or simply placed in a room or on a desk somewhat near the power transmitter instead of precisely set down on a specific spot or mat as is now the case with such charging stations using Qi. 

There are a few different technologies which are being developed for this 'at a distance' wireless charging.   In fact Nicola Tesla himself experimented with this tech.  Some of the modern companies and technologies besides Apple related to this work include include Witricity and MIT's MagMIMO. If Apple can pull this off and create a safe, but effective wireless charging from a distance technology in the iPhone, it could be a real game changer.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that they perfect it.

Bloomberg
Extremetech


14

The iPhone 6 and 6S have two of the best cameras in the smartphone world.  Many an amateur and even professional photographer has taken spectacular shots with the iPhone's camera.  But as with any smartphone camera there's tradeoff's to be made with the camera tech to fit in the slim profile of the iPhone.  One of these tradeoffs is the inability to get a truly wide-angle view which can be truly useful in a lot of situations from landscape and outdoor shots to crowd shots or close ups to large objects such as a building where you're trying to fit everything in.  One great solution is the Aukey Wide Angle Optic Pro Lens which you can see above and below.  This lens, which features aluminum construction together with a 5 element, 4 group HD lens lets you either clip the lens directly over your iPhone 6/6S camera or to be mounted on an included case which then fits on your iPhone.


Now without the case if using the clip you have to be careful to line up the lens with the existing iPhone lens but once you do the results are pretty outstanding.  When using the case with the lens mounted it's a little easier, although the case itself doesn't really provide as much protection around the display as Apple 'Made For iPhone' cases so you'll probably just want to use it while using the lens and then revert back to your old case.  Regardless...it's a pretty elegant solution to achieve some really great wide angle shots with your existing iPhone camera.  Above you can see two shots...one with and one without the wide angle adapter....there's quite a difference.

Having this ability can really open up your photo potential on vacations or around town.  Normally priced at $99, you can get the Aukey Wide Angle Lens along with the case and clip all in a kit for just $49.99 on Amazon at the link below.  Aukey also offers other kits such as a telephoto so we've put a link to both below.  Definitely worth checking out if you're a photo aficionado and want to make your iPhone's great camera even more great.






Forbes

15
The next models of Apple's iPhone are expected to be introduced in 2016 with the tentative names iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.  A number of new features, upgrades and improvements are rumored to be coming along and this board is for all topics related to these as yet to be introduced future models.

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