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Are you in need of some last minute ideas for Valentine's Day presents for your sweetheart? Our Fox 11 Daybreak Tech Expert Andy Taylor has you covered. Here is his latest column!
GETTING CHIC WITH CHIC BUDS
Back in 2008 We featured some very cool products from a startup company that was created by women for the idea of creating products that appealed to the female sense of design and usability. Chic Buds is that company and since our interview with one of the founders Nikki Carlson, the company has gone through some changes which has increased the product line and continues to innovate with a focus on the user wanting a fashionable accessory for smart phone, tablet or PC/Mac.
We are taking a look at several products that could make really nice gifts for Valentine's Day! ChicBuds refers to these products as Fun, Functional and Fashionable. One of the most requested products on the website at http://www.chicbuds.com is the Porta/Party Bluetooth Wireless Speaker. Easily pair up and play with your wireless device the Porta/Party is set for up to a 10 hours of play time and a design created by girls for girls, the floral or plaid design can fit just about anywhere and recharges with a USB cable, No buying of Batteries required! The Porta/Party sells for $49.99.
One of the products I found on the ChicBuds site that I had to take a look at is the creative and functional Gurl Power device. No doubt this was developed by somebody with girls in the household that are always needing a place to plug in and charge their phones or tablets! Gurl Power is a small shape with floral design and features two USB charging ports! Two devices can be charged at the same time eliminating the headaches of tying up an outlet with bulky chargers. The product itself receives a charge which can be done from an outlet or a PC/Mac. The device can then be carried with you and if the need to charge your phone arises, plug into the portable GurlPower back and in some cases, a full charge to the phone in about 70min. This device sells for 39.99
As a dad to two girls, now grown up, I can see them still really enjoying the Chic Buds Luv/Buds In Line Mic and Earbuds. With the Chic Buds Luv/Buds you not only get the sound but you get the style with a flat cord design allowing for some actual pattern or design on the cord. Gel Tips on the Luv/Buds make it comfortable for listening longer and one button microphone allow for using your earbuds and still having the ability to accept incoming calls on the iPhone. This product sells inexpensively for 14.99 on the ChicBuds website.
If you like to use your iPhone while on the go, the folks at ChicBuds have a solution for you. The Chic Physique armband allows you to strap the soft housing, currently only for the iPhone 5 series, to your arm via a Velcro wrap which can be adjusted for just about any size arm. The material is reflective which can aid in safety on jogs and is machine washable! The pricing for the Chic Physique is 14.99 and comes in different designs.
Finally, we looked at a really nice little carry all called the Onsie. The ChicBuds Onsie features a space for your phone, a strap to carry the Onsie and cool looking designs available. Inside, a mirror to check the makeup, the ability to hold a couple of credit cards and have easy access to your phone screen. This Onsie sells for about 24.99
These are just some of the products we looked at, the entire line can be found at http://www.chicbuds.com. Many of these items could be shipped in time for Valentine's Day and could even be thought of for Mothers Day. It's nice to see another company focus on making Tech fashionable and friendly for a large market of the consumers. ChicBuds is certainly a strong brand with outreach to other areas such as its website http://www.chicblvd.com which features articles on not only tech gear but also tips and tricks for everyday life, marriage and family and dating. http://www.chicexec.com also branches to the area of innovation and business with a great site for learning of trends and practice in start ups. http://www.chicexec.com can provide public relations services as well as channel management for distribution of products when developed to investor relations to assist in funding the dream.
Everyday there is another App that will handle needs we may have from Organizing to Business to Home Repair to fixing your iPad or Smartphone broken screen. Yes, it has happened to me to! I found an App in the Apple App Store called iFixIt. This app gives you an easy menu to find solutions for becoming the do it yourself for just about any project. While many businesses have cropped up to repair Smartphone's and tablets opposed to paying an insurance replacement the cost can still be somewhat of a surprise. A couple of years ago I dropped my iPhone 4S and the screen shattered. The phone itself still worked but looking through the shattered glass was a pain and a reminder of my clumsiness.
After applying a coat or clear tape over the phone to keep the glass from splintering and falling out. I sought out a company at the Tucson Mall that repaired phones. After a cost of about 90.00 my phone was like brand new. For those not technically inclined, this can be a great solution however for those wanting to DIY, kits can be purchased. The key is patience and attention to detail. The iPhone itself features a abundance of tiny screws so setting of the workspace is so very important. This is just the beginning however the full walk through of the process can be found with the iFixit App or on the Website at iFixit.com
TECH TIP FOR THE WEEK
I recently had a television that was about 7 years old begin to malfunction and frequently jump to the menu screen of the television. Often we would turn the TV on and have to locate the proper HDMI source as the source button would drift out to channels and we would have to bring them back to the proper source. After noting the picture didn't appear as good we ordered a new replacement television and would put this in the guest room. One of my friends even suggested that it was on its way out and we really should just take it in for electronics recycling.
I decided instead to see what might be causing some of the problems and after some easy treading through some forums on the manufacturer website it didn't take long to realize I wasn't the only one that had faced this issue. The manufacturer even had a solution! A Firmware Update..Firmware!! Who would think that a TV could benefit from an update to the firmware which basically will tell the TV how to operate. A far cry from the old black and white television with 13 channels! I did as the manufacturer suggested and downloaded the Firmware update to a Flash Drive, when to the TV and powered off, put the flash drive in the USB Slot on the Television and powered up the TV. The firmware update was located and run. Within a few minutes my television was back to operating without the menu interruptions and surprisingly a better picture. So before you chuck out that TV, see if the company has allowed firmware updates and if that might just fix your problem. I will caution though, check to see if there will be benefits from the update - if it isn't broken though, don't try to fix it.
SOME LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
A Symphony of Drives - Remember the Old Floppy Drives? The Big ones? This YouTube Creator in Germany has created music using the start ups and sounds from 13 Floppy Disc Drives and one hard drives. See the Video here
She has traveled the world AND she was a runner up in last year's MasterChef, Natasha Crnjac has started a website with blog which highlights our love for food, travel and even parenting. The Married mother of a young boy identifies and shares some of those ideas and insight to the everyday life of the family. Ever wanted to know which countries are good for food? Natasha has the answers all on her fun and growing blog.
Thanks for checking out the Column. Have a Question? Need to see how something is done? Send it in! email@example.com Follow his Twitter @techtalkradio
Andy Taylor, based in Tucson, is host of the TechtalkRadio Show heard and viewed on the Internet at Ustream.TV and TechtalkRadio.Com. He is also a regular guest on Radio shows across the country talking about Technology. To see more on the products featured during visit the website at http://www.techtalkradio.com