My Greasy Face

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Lance Ulanoff at Mashable, tested the toaster.

You are going to hear about this from someone, so it might as well be me. You can now burn an image of your selfie on to a piece of toast. Just imagine, you can now smear butter all over your face every morning,

I have no idea why anyone would want this image-burner toaster that costs $75.00, but the Vermont Novelty Toaster Corp. reports brisk sales. I guess if you want a novel gift for someone, this is it.

You have to upload the portrait you want to use to the Vermont Novelty Toaster website. Then a rather tedious process takes place. Lance Ulanoff, editor-at-large at Mashable, actually outlined every detail. Click here to get a more detailed explanation,

This is a selfie my daughter Whitney took of all of us this morning. I am not putting it on a piece of toast. This blog is ego enough.

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Cell Phone Battery Myths

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Yesterday we talked about what to do if your cell phone was suddenly submerged in water. Many DigiDame fans sent me emails recounting their personal experiences. I have no idea why they were too shy to post them on DigiDame, but I thank them anyway for their feedback.

I also received a lot of funny remarks about Silica Gel Packets. For those of you who asked where to buy them, the answer is simple: Amazon.

Today, I want to share how to treat your cell phone batteries. As luck would have it, Mashable, a lifestyle/tech news site, ran a story about this today. I read it with great interest because I have been given misinformation on this topic over the years.

Here are the facts, once and for all. For more in-depth information click here.

Myth 1: Using off-brand chargers destroys batteries.

The truth: Off-brand chargers, while not optimal, are fine. It’s knockoffs you should avoid. (Knockoffs are brands that look like the popular ones. Off-brands have their own identify).

Myth 2: You shouldn’t use your phone while it charges.

The truth: Use it all you want, as long as you’re not using a sketchy third-party charger.

Myth 3: Charging your phone overnight kills the battery.

The truth: Your phone is smarter than you think. Once it’s fully juiced up, it knows to stop charging. That means the battery isn’t even in use at all.

Myth 4: You don’t need to turn your phone off — ever.

The truth: Your phone may be a machine, but it still needs to take a few breaks. An Apple Genius said that in order to maximize battery life, you should turn off your phone from time to time, especially when you go to bed at night.

Myth 5: Don’t charge your phone until it’s completely dead.

The truth: It’s better to charge your phone every day than to do a “deep charge” from time to time.

I urge you to read the Mashable post. It will provide you with the finer points.

#nakedbikeride hashtags

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Image: Leon Neal/APF/Getty

My friend Laurie asked me about one of my recent posts this morning at a Father’s Day brunch. She was curious why I wrote about something that wasn’t necessarily “senior” oriented.

Good question. The main reason I write this blog is because I want my readers to be aware of some of the hottest topics or innovative products in the digital world. I hope I’m delivering a service that makes everyone who reads DigiDame very much a part of one of the most remarkable periods in history. Trust me, I know that many readers are far more knowledgeable than I am. All I am trying to do is keep other seniors informed so they can appreciate the tech revolution.

Even a silly post like this one is meant to keep all those who are interested apprised of current Internet news. I can’t stress enough how hashtags (#) have replaced the town crier in ways we never thought possible.

In the last few days, thousands of bikers all over the world met In the buff because of the Twitter hashtag #nakedbikeride. Seventy cities around the globe participated.

This event first took place in 2004. The purpose is to demonstrate “the vulnerability of cyclists on the road” and to “protest against oil dependency.”

I don’t understand the “”oil” part, but okay, I accept it. This year, some of the more active cities were London, Seattle, Chicago and Guadalajara,

Thank you Mashable for publishing some of the sights

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14 Jun
Metmanph @metmanph
#wth #NakedBikeRide pic.twitter.com/FOTEfhWW20

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14 Jun
Friction Media @FrictionMedia
This definitely is 1 of the weirder walks 2 Waterloo station I’ve had recently #NakedBikeRide @BBCNews @ITV @MetroUK pic.twitter.com/6XcV94px79

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14 Jun
Yesica Ramos @YsiicRams
#nakedbikeride #bike #mexicocity pic.twitter.com/rVGS3ss6vJ

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We smartly voted to keep our clothes on at Father’s Day brunch. Laurie is to my left. Thank you Laurie.

Technology Closes The Gender Gap, Almost

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Nielsen, a leading global information and measurement company, released an international survey that says when it comes to desired features for a smartphone, both men and women almost want the same thing.

I was getting encouraged that men and women were finally seeing eye-to-eye.

Not so fast. Mashable, the tech site, reminded me there is still a difference,

While both sexes wanted some of the major things, the survey did show that men are interested in mechanical things and women are more cosmetic oriented.

The survey of 58 counties revealed that females were concerned about price, contract terms and camera capabilities and men focused on operating system, screen size and processor speed.

Both genders wanted the best price possible, intuitive features, and longer battery charges.

I guess we are headed in the right direction.

I’m in a Relationship With My Computer

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More and more Americans are becoming just like Joaquin Phoenix in the movie “Her.” They are spending a disproportionate amount of time with their computers or hand held devices. I am one of them. In fact, let me restate, I’m proud to be one of them.

I see nothing wrong with being on the computer for as long as I want to each day. I’m on it for work, play, and information. After taking the Mashable “computer.relationship” test, I realized that I probably like my computer better than I like most people. Yes, except for you, of course.

Think about the following points and let me know where you stand.

1) Do you remember how or when you first became so attached to your computer?

2) Suddenly, your phone knows you better than I do.

3) It’s putting a damper on other relationships.

4) But you don’t need them. Your phone will comfort you.

5) Its warmth will calm you down.

6) Your friends are getting worried.

7) You try to evade the issue, but need to look up a word that describes how you feel.

8) They just don’t get it!

9) Nothing is more panic-inducing than realizing you left your phone at home.

10) Your hand can’t even function properly at this point without it.

11) Losing your phone is as devastating as losing a loved one.

12) You consider your phone a lifeline and you couldn’t survive without it.

13) Then you wake up, grab your phone and start all over again.

Embarrassing Typos

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The first thing I do every morning minutes after I wake up is check to see if Susan Leigh Babcock has proofed my blog post. She normally wakes up around 5am so my copy gets corrected long before you read it. She always sends me the edited and unedited versions so I can see the errors of my ways.

I get real upset when I check my copy and see that the iPhone auto-correct changed some of my words. I always check my copy but somehow I don’t seem to catch those words. I am convinced that the words were right when I typed them but somehow auto correct snuck in and changed them again after I published.

My friend Steve frequently tells me that PR people in a hurry will often send him an email saying “photo shit” instead of “photo shot.” When I see Steve in person he will lean over and whisper “I got three shits today” or “Four shits.” For a long tine, I thought he was talking about his bathroom habits.

Mashable, the tech site, just published a list of words often misspelled.

1-Misspelled: seperate
Correct: separate
Tip: There’s a rat in sep-a-rate.

2-Misspelled: definate
Correct: definite
Tip: Take a close look at the final syllable: nite.

3-Misspelled: calender
Correct: calendar
Tip: You probably pronounce the last syllable as [er], so you have to think [ar] as you write it: cal-en-dar.

4-Misspelled: mispell
Correct: misspell
Tip: You know how to spell spell; add the prefix mis- to it: mis-spell.

5-Misspelled: privlege
Correct: privilege
Tip: You might be pronouncing this three-syllable word with only two syllables. Notice the second i: priv-i-lege. Another common misspelling is privilige. Note the e in the final syllable: priv-i-lege.

6-Misspelled: arguement
Correct: argument
Tip: The verb argue ends in e, but you must drop the e for ar-gu-ment.

7-Misspelled: concensus
Correct: consensus
Tip: The sensus in consensus has nothing to do with the word census. Our word census comes from Latin censare, “to rate, assess.” Consensus comes from Latin consensus, “agreement, accord, sympathy, common feeling.” Think SSS: Con-Sen-SuS.

8-Misspelled: pronounciation
Correct: pronunciation
Tip: There’s no “ounce” in pronunciation, but there is a “nun.” The verb is pronounce; the noun is pro-nun-ci-a-tion.

9-Misspelled: accomodate
Correct: accommodate
Tip: Two sets of double letters, cc and mm: accommodate

10-Misspelled: dependant
Correct: dependent
Tip: People who misspell this one may be thinking ofdefendant, which does end in -ant (although the -ant in defendant is also pronounced [ent].) Note the final syllable in dependent: de-pen-dENT.

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The In Crowd

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The most awesome place on Earth to be this week is SXSW, formerly and casually known as South by Southwest, in Austin, Texas. Running from March 8-12, SXSW features the brightest minds in emerging technology. It is also one big party where people drink and eat too much.

To get a proper perspective on what goes on here every year, click here. Lance Ulanoff, editor at Mashable, tells it like it is.

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Lance Ulanoff

Appy News

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If you watched the video I posted yesterday from Mashable, the tech blog, about International CES, you would know that smartphone apps are going to have a much stronger presence at the show. I am thrilled because apps make our lives so much easier.

There is even going to be a “appy hour” for everyone to meet each other. How cute is that?

The world of apps is amazing. What did we do before them? Some of them were available in hand-held devices. Now we carry one small unit that does it all.

A few days ago I saw a former client at the Miami International Airport when I was about to board my flight back to New York. Shane Samole, CEO of Excalibur Electronics, used to produce hand-held gadgets that did a lot of what we get now right on our smartphones apps, like word and sports games, dictionaries, mind teasers, and children’s activities. We never thought back then that all these little devices would be replaced by software on our cells.

Samole is now involved in the next evolution of consumer products but he wouldn’t reveal any details. Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur.

Meanwhile, thanks to Mashable, here is a preview of some of the apps we are going to see at International CES. Read the list and then click here to find out more about each app. Some of these are mindblowers. Most of them are available on all mobile phone formats.

1. Match Paint Colors

2. Use Your Phone as a Level

3. Start Your Car

4. Measure Stuff Using Your Camera Lens

5. Create Blueprints (or Design Your Dream Room)

6. Visualize Your Home Using Augmented Reality

7. Monitor Your Heart Rate

8. Use Your Phone as a Remote Control

9. Change the Color of Your Lightbulbs

10. Program Your DVR Remotely

.

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What To Expect From International CES

Every year when I attend International CES, family and friends ask me what I think will be the hottest trends at the show. There is no easy answer to that because the show is no longer just about consumer electronics. It’s about innovation. The show is attracting automobile manufacturers, health companies, smartphone apps, home automation and accessories that hit every category imaginable.

Gary Shapiro, CEO, of the CEA, the Consumer Electronics Association, tells everyone to call the show the International CES and not the Consumer Electronics Show, because many new product categories are becoming increasingly innovative and everyone is welcomed to exhibit.

The video below is a real treat for anyone who is not attending the International CES this year because Shapiro outlines what the show is all about. Produced by Mashable, a tech blog, the video is a great look at behind the scenes.

Be Prepared For The Next Weather Emergency

Ever since Sandy hit last Monday, I have been thinking about what our home should be equipped with in case of another emergency. I know that it is difficult to think about but we now know we have to take precautions. I combed lots of websites and publications to find the right answers and then I stumbled on exactly what I was looking for in a story in Mashable, a leading tech blog. I wanted to share the products they recommended.

Gas-Powered Space Heater, no electricity,required.

Jump starts your car battery back to life.

Loksak makes an airtight, waterproof bag in a variety of sizes to protect value gadgets.

The Camelbak’s All Clear water bottle uses solar power to purify your drinking water.

This portable solar charger can power your cell phone twice.

Mophie’s iPhone case keeps your phone charged up to 36 hours longer.

This external battery charger from Energizer can charge multiple devices at once and can add approximately six hours of laptop use.

Check out this solar power radio with a backup hand-crank and a flashlight.

Hands free headlamps have become very popular because you can see in the dark and others can now see you.