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Past Episodes

CES 2016: Belty Good Vibes Wellness Belt

Allison interviews Carine Coulm from Belty about their new line of Good Vibes belts. Belty Good Vibes communicates through vibrations that help you take immediate actions in real-time to improve your wellness. Suggested activities include increasing your walking pace, drinking more water and even taking a power nap along with several others. Belty is equipped with a mobile app that provides daily feedback. The app allows you to customize activities based on your preferences. The setting is the CES Unveiled show floor in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

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CES 2016: Ember Smart Mug

Allison interviews Clayton Alexander from Ember about their new smart mug. Ember will heat up or cool down your beverage to reach a temperature that you set by twisting the bottom of the mug. It also displays the actual temperature of your beverage on the front of the mug and will maintain your desired temperature for two hours on the go or all day when used with its charging coaster. Ember is a connected device that can be used on its own or with Ember’s smartphone or smartwatch app. Ember will be available in May, 2016. The setting is the CES Pepcom Digital Experience show floor in the Mirage hotel.

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What Would Make Allison Buy a PC?

Kangaroo w10 ipadEvery once in a while a gadget comes along that’s so cool you just throw your entire belief system in the trash. Or at least that’s what happened to me. I bought the first PC I’ve owned since 2004. Back then I did it just to see what it was like to build a PC, I had no intention of actually using it. This time I bought a Kangaroo PC because it had one wicked awesome feature.

The Kangaroo PC is very small, about the size of a plus-size iPhone and it can use an iPad as its display! How cool is that? I bought the Kangaroo for $100 on NewEgg. As much as it pains me not to give you an Amazon Affiliate link, it’s twice that price on Amazon so go for the NewEgg option or you can buy it via the Microsoft store.   Read More

CES 2016: Robo 3D Printers

Allison interviews Braydon Moreno from Robo about their new 3D printers. Braydon demod Robo’s first printer, the R1+, as well as their subsequent R2 with full 3D print capability, and the R2 mini. Robo differentiates themselves from other 3D printer companies by bringing content to the consumer such as kits to help users print and build useful objects. An example is a kit to 3D print and assemble a working guitar. Another example is a kit to print and assemble a functional prosthetic hand. Robo facilitates donations of printed prosthetic hands to people in need around the world. The R2 mini will be available in the May 2016 time frame. The setting is the CES ShowStoppers show floor in the Wynn Hotel.

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Smartbean Turns Any Headphones or Speakers into Bluetooth Devices

Smartbean front viewOn Chit Chat Across the Pond last week, Dave Hamilton and I talked about the repercussions if Apple removes the analog headphone jack. During this conversation we talked about Bluetooth and Dave mentioned a little device he uses called the Antec Smartbean. While I was recording with Dave, I bought my own Smartbean through Amazon for a grand total of $12 (with free Prime shipping).

Smartbean is a 1.25 x 1.25 x 0.5 inch device with a built-in clip that turns wired headphones and speakers into Bluetooth devices. It’s pretty close to the size of the old square iPod Nano, a little smaller but thicker.

I was especially interested in the Smartbean and in my conversation with Dave I mentioned how much trouble I have pairing Bluetooth devices and how I get audio dropouts with all of them. I figured the Smartbean wouldn’t be any different.
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CES 2016: Beam Smart Presence System

Allison interviews Arika Bunfill from Suitable Technologies about their new Beam Smart Presence system. Beam allows you to interact with remote locations by coupling high-end video and audio with the freedom of motion to move about a space. The Beam App connects you to all of your Beams, wherever they are, to call into and drive any Beam. The BeamPro (shown here) and the Beam+ are available for purchase now. The setting is the CES 2016 show floor in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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CES 2016: Ditto Wearable Notification

Allison interviews Neal Pecchenino about the new Ditto clip-on wearable device. Ditto is a simple and discrete device that provides vibrations to notify the wearer of incoming calls or messages. Using the Ditto app, the user pre-selects a unique vibration pattern for each caller or message sender. The app then notifies the wearer with the vibration pattern for the person calling or messaging. Ditto is durable, waterproof, and can be discretely clipped onto your clothing. Ditto is available now.

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NC #560 Apple Rant, Facebook Group, PIQ Sports Sensor, Brydge Keyboards, Ring Video Doorbell, ALLie Spherical Camera, SureCall Cell Booster

We start with an Apple rant about some “interesting” tech support calls I endured. I explain how I gave in and created a Facebook Group after all, but please don’t judge me. We have four interviews: PIQ Sports sensor to help you analyze your game, adorable Brydge keyboards for your iPad, ALLie Spherical Camera and SureCall cell phone booster (I think I might buy one of these). I also did an in depth review of the Ring Video Doorbell.

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NosillaCastaways Facebook Group is Live

FacebookOne of the dangers of asking people’s opinion before you make a decision is there is an expectation that you’ll take those opinions into account. A while ago I asked you whether you would lose all respect for me if I created a Facebook group for the NosillaCastaways. We got a ton of comments over on and I really appreciate the feedback. Opinions I heard included:

  • Over my dead body will I get a Facebook account (and no, it isn’t just Bart who feels that way)
  • I joined Google+ just so I could play in communities but I often forget to go there (several people said this)
  • Bart suggested the danger that if I divide the community in two by having Facebook and G+, we would be left with less than half a community. Others expressed the same concern.
  • It was suggested by a few that having a dedicated platform that wasn’t on any of these services would be the right way to go
  • Some people were worried that having both communities would be too much work for me
  • There were many people suggesting that resistance is not futile and that I should look to Locutus for inspiration

I’m really happy that so many people helped me noodle this. I’ll give you my thoughts in no particular order.
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Hands on With Ring Video Doorbell

Shaq head 2Steve and I had far too much fun setting up and testing the Ring Video Doorbell from Because it was so much fun I have way too much to say about it. I’m going to break this review down into segments that perhaps will help you understand the bits you care about and, if you read long enough, learn why we had to buy a Craftsman wood router. Oddly I’m going to start with the Bottom Line and then back into The Problem To Be Solved followed by Usage, and then by Setup & Troubleshooting. Installation is where I really start to ramble so we’ll do that last.

Bottom Line

Bottom line: the Ring Video Doorbell is really cool, it solves real problems and it only costs $200. Buy one. Here’s my Amazon Affiliate link. Read More