Tech Wiz, Cameras and little kids…

The why of a  digital camera that can be abused. By abuse, I mean one that can get wet, be dropped and so on. That way you can let kids take pictures. I first got the Tough series from Olympus when my kids were little. The utility of a camera that can be used underwater, with kids and one that takes good pictures (quality) makes it a must-have a camera around little kids. My little kids are all adults now, but back in the day, we needed a camera that could be dropped (ours was) and one that could go underwater (we have lots of underwater pictures). Waterproof cameras have to have gaskets and seals to protect the actual insides of the camera. They are normally rated to a specific depth.

It is 300 feet for the Olympus Stylus tough cameras. Not, mind you that I have ever used one that deep. I suspect the deepest ours has ever gone is about 8 feet in a pool. The fingers are from one of the young folk that joined us on the boat yesterday. They were hanging out down below with my daughter who had the camera. They asked to take pictures, and because the camera really can’t be hurt, she let them. Ergo the child view or child POV on many of the pictures. The initial pictures that I shared were of Lars. I took the Lars pictures and then that was that for me taking pictures. Of the 220 pictures taken yesterday, I think the boys and my daughter took roughly 200 of them.

You would never do that with your cellular phone. It would end up in the water or drop. With the Olympus Stylus Tough cameras, you can hand it to a child and no worry. It is like always having training wheels on the camera. Plus, most children are less than four feet tall so that maximum drop is 3 to 3.5 feet. The Stylus cameras are rated for 7-foot drops. We are well within the safety range with kids. Overall if you are around kids, this is the camera to have. They can take pictures (the kids), and you don’t have to worry about your cell phone dropping and ending up with a two week wait to get a new screen. Now if they would only find a way to do that for my actual cell phone. I’ve dropped mine three times in the past four years and had to use a cracked screen!

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Tech Wiz on some not so good trends…

I suspect that there is an issue on my end in my poll creation process and for that, I am very sorry. I’ve posted two polls recently that didn’t have the questions. As such, today’s poll is questions from my cellular upgrade poll a few days ago. My apologist for the missing questions, I reported the incorrect nature of the posts to the Virily admin team. I did also ask them to take 30 Virils away from my account because of the bad poll data.

For those of you who play along at home, I posted my monthly podcast blast. Http://

It is nearly the end of August. I am shocked by that. Lots of interesting things happening in the technology world right now. September brings the new iPhones. August brought the two new Samsung models (the Galaxy 9 and the Galaxy 9 note).

Lots of reviews are coming I promise.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed some alarming trends. The first is the whole fake/false news thing. That bothers me a lot because you see the Media has limits. People decrying false and fake news do not. They, people, decrying this do not have to carry any burden of proof. They can say whatever they want and simply walk away from what they said later. The media cannot, it replayed over and over. There is TV shows the focus on media gaffs, sharing them over and over (the newscaster standing by the ocean reporting on the weather is drenched by a huge wave and so on). It worries me that people don’t take responsibility for their words.

The other thing that worries me right now is the reality of the wage gap in the US. It continues to grow (the wealthiest Americas are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer). I worry that we are spending far too little time on that.

Finally, the increasing reality of pollution makes me more and more nervous. From climate change to the reality of garbage, it is time to do something.


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Tech Wiz on Connectivity

The ROV concept is one that I am very excited about. Fire, explosive and underwater ROV’s allow humans to examine more of what isn’t seen without risking a human’s life. In our case, we will be able to see what lies beneath the water, or more importantly if our boat needs to be cleaned.  The ROV world, which is a variation of the Drone world, continues to expand. I am very excited to share my Trident and get ready for her maiden voyage. I do need to come up with a name for the watercraft. I was thinking fish lair 1 in honor of our boat being named Labs Lair (too). I am not sure yet, and I am going to see what comes to me around the time of the first launch!

As an IoT connectivity person, I sometimes worry that we aren’t going to have enough available bandwidth. Not the carriers with huge networks, rather the home network. The nature of information is that for it to be current, you have to update it. The updating of data from IoT devices then has a destination be it another device on your home network, or a device located beyond your home network. That reality is what pushes your home network to the edge. I see the “fastest” in-home wi-fi advertised all the time. First off, the relevance of in-home wifi is high, if the only thing you are your Local area network for is things on your local area network.

Local Area networks or LAN’s are networks that can be self-contained. But, as far as I know, unless you are a Netflix hosting site, your house doesn’t have Netflix, Hulu or Amazon on it or your LAN. That means you probably aren’t using your Lan for your connection. You connect to your Wan, then head off into the wild blue yonder. The reality of that wild blue yonder is actually where the issues are. That makes that fastest in-home wif-fi, frankly useless at best. It is the connection beyond the router in your house that matters. From your house’s connection to the neighborhood connection to the central connection to the main office or switching station of the provider and off into the internet. Oh yeah and back to your computer using the same steps. Its all about the throughput after you leave your home network.

Connectivity is such an interesting problem.


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The devices are coming….

The Internet of Things, or Things that connect to the internet. It is a massive change in both the way we consider, evaluate and of course use the things around us. There was time; I remember when television didn’t have a cable connected to the wall.  It had, either an antenna on the back or on top of the set itself. Sometimes to improve reception, there would be an aluminum foil on the antenna. We used to sadly joke that the only way to get channel 8 out of Terre Haute Indiana during a storm was to hold the antenna and stand on one foot.

Now TV’s are connected (or they can be). Mostly to a cable that plugs into the wall  It can go to the roof and a satellite or off to a cable junction box. That is not the only connection your TV may have now. It can also directly connect to the internet. It is your TV, one of the internet of things or IoT devices in your home. It now, one of many such devices. If we do the math, there are 3 to 4 IoT devices for every single human being on earth. That number is going to grow to roughly 7-10 in just the next two years.

This is not to scare you, but connected; it is not meant to make you run around your house and unplug everything. But it meant to have you consider what it plugged in today. The security of your home is critical. You would never leave your front door open. Right? Well, you might if you lived in Mayberry USA (the town where the Andy Griffith show was set 40 years ago). The reality is you probably wouldn’t. Why leave your internet front door wide open? I highly recommend you get an internet security device to make sure your computers are safe. At the very least download anti-virus and Anti-Malware software on your computer regardless of windows, Mac or Tablet. Just have that protection for your devices.

You won’t be sorry on the internet for future things if you secure your things now!

.Tech Wiz

Tech Wiz on Change…

Empower and enable, that was the goal of technology. Well I shouldn’t say was, I should say is the goal of technology. If you got back 400 years technology was vastly different. Humans moved around the world on wooden boats and used sails to provide power. Tools are an extension of human ability, and technology is a tool. It is, however, a tool that has made some of the biggest changes in the past 20 years. Change in and of itself is neither good nor bad it is changing. Change is the adaptation of what is to something modified.

A few days ago I posted a list of 5 things I thought in the near term would change things a bit. The reality of change is that sometimes it runs and sometimes it crawls. Some of those innovations and cool new things take longer than expected. Never install a 1.0 product was something my very first IT boss told me, often. There were a couple of 1.0 products I wanted to install.  He made me a plan that installation very carefully.

But, change also means we say goodbye to technologies as well. There are some technologies that are fading. The stand along the camera market is declining. The technology isn’t “dead,” but it is not as strong as it was. Watches were declining, but smartwatches have revived the market a bit. Brick and mortar retail is struggling, declining and in some cases disappearing completely. Not because the stores don’t use technology, but because technology created a new path and they missed the path. Sometimes, despite what Robert Frost said “choosing the path less traveled” can get you in a lot of trouble if during your amble you miss a big change!


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Tech Wiz on switching phone carriers…

After a long discussion, my wife and I have decided to switch phone carriers. We were Cincinnati Bell back when we first had Cellular phones. We moved from Cincinnati Bell to Verizon when we first moved to Indiana. At one point in the process, we switched to Sprint, then to T-Mobile. We were on T-Mobile when we moved to Maryland and at that time because of other coverage issues we moved to AT&T. Now we are heading back to Verizon. Funny how things go like that sometimes.

By the way, getting your AT&T phone unlocked, and then moved over to a new carrier is far more painful than it should be. The process involves backing up your phone, completely erasing everything, installing the new sim and then restoring from backup. The whole process takes 4/6 hours. Way more effort than needed. I was not happy having to do that. I understand exactly what I was asked to do. I understand the concept and the principles plus the what and why of what I did, just wasn’t happy.

Back in the PPC phone days, the restore process was long. We are back to long restore process. However, in this particular case, using the Apple Backup process for my phone, everything was restored. Everything was restored. So huge kudos to Apple for improving the backup and restore process! Overall I was really happy with how easy the Apple part of the process was. Now I have to wait for the AT&T process to finish. That is another 24 hours of waiting. After six years I shouldn’t have expected more!


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Tech Wiz top five tech things available now (or almost now).

The five coolest technologies I have seen that are almost here. I won’t, as promised a couple of years ago, propose crowdfunding projects. Instead, these are the upcoming technologies that have been announced or are currently shipping ranked in order of my personal choice (based on my system and my experience) of what I think is cool. I will do a reverse order (5 to 1)

5. It has to be the two soon shipping ROV’s (OpenROV Trident is one of the two). These devices allow you to traverse the world under the surface of any body of water, without getting wet. See things from the grouper POV (grouper is a fish).

4. The Qoocam – currently shipping easy to use 365 camera that also does 3d. The next version of 360/3d cameras also includes the ability to scan 3d images using the camera.

3. Crowdstrike – the most interesting piece of cyber security software released in a long time. This allows companies to secure users computers, and servers. Plus, if the user is disconnected from the company network, Crowdstrike still monitors what the user is doing!

2. IR/360/UV camera add-ons for iPhones. The first two are shipping today; the 3rd is coming later this year. It allows you to share and experience more!

1. 5g, the future of networking is 5g. It is truly a game changer for cities, countries, and users! 5g opens up a huge pipe for the user to use wherever they are!

A lot of this tech is shipping right now. Some of it is coming in the next 12-18 months. Ok, in fairness a full implementation of 5g is a little longer than 18 months. But these technologies right now are all game changers!


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