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$17 third party Apple Watch Sport Loop Review - Thumbs Up!
Wed, Nov 29th 2017 13
Why I'm excited for the upcoming Apple HomePod
Mon, Nov 27th 2017 6
Shure MV51 microphone - thumbs up!
Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 8
Ommegang 20th Anniversary Ale 2017 Review - Thumbs Up!
Mon, Oct 23rd 2017 12
Apple TV 4K review - thumbs up!
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 6
Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite Smoker Review - Thumbs Up!
Wed, Sep 27th 2017 11
Dashlane password wallet - thumbs up!
Wed, Sep 20th 2017 13
Top 10
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Fri, Feb 21st 2014 14
Dashlane password wallet - thumbs up!
Wed, Sep 20th 2017 13
$17 third party Apple Watch Sport Loop Review - Thumbs Up!
Wed, Nov 29th 2017 13
2016 Technology Year in Review
Sat, Dec 31st 2016 12
Ommegang 20th Anniversary Ale 2017 Review - Thumbs Up!
Mon, Oct 23rd 2017 12
Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite Smoker Review - Thumbs Up!
Wed, Sep 27th 2017 11
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Tue, Oct 14th 2014 10
Tap to speak time on Apple watchOS 3.0 beta
Tue, Aug 2nd 2016 10
Google Chromebook for Back to School
Tue, Aug 26th 2014 9
Apple iPad Pro review - Thumbs down!
Tue, Apr 5th 2016 9


2016 Technology Year in Review
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In no particular order, the following are my top technology hits and misses for 2016.

Mobile was hot in 2016 led by the exploding Samsung Note 7. The iPhone 7 offered incremental improvements and Google double-downed on smartphones with their new premium Pixel smartphones. My most used apps include Messages, Snapchat, Pokemon Go, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Super Mario Run, YouTube, Netflix and Waze. From a business perspective, my favorite apps of 2016 included IBM Connections, Box, Microsoft Office 365, Trello, WebEx and Jabber.

Tablet sales continue to decline and I was disappointed by the iPad Pro as it has too many compromises. While the new Apple MacBook introduced incremental improvements, Windows laptops and tablets continue to drive innovation.

Smart assistants made headlines in 2016 with the introduction of the Amazon Echo and Google Home. The Amazon Echo gets my award for the best gadget of 2016. It's a no brainer at $49.95 ($39.95 on sale) if you're an Amazon Prime customer.

Wearables from Garmin, Fitbit, Microsoft and Apple continued to improve in 2016. I upgraded to the new Series 2 Apple Watch as part of Apple Watch corporate wellness program offered through my employer, IBM since it encourages fitness and I'm rewarded with gift cards based on the number of steps.

The new Apple product that most impressed me the most in 2016 was the AirPod wireless headphones. Pairing bluetooth headphones is much more complicated than it needs to be, battery life is poor and dropouts are annoying. Apple has addressed all three of these problems. I hope Apple licenses the W1 chip technology to other manufacturers and we see dozens of new devices in 2017.

Both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) gained interest in 2016 but products remain niche and expensive, 2017 is poised to be a breakout year as the technology goes mainstream,  

Security breaches continued to grow in 2016. While getting hacked is inevitable, the most important thing is how companies respond to hacks in terms of speed, communication and remediation. I continue to be a big fan of password wallets and a long time user of Dashlane which makes it easy to create and manage complex passwords - reducing risk. Competitor LastPass made headlines for adding cloud syncing to its free service.

Operating systems including macOS Sierra, Windows 10, iOS 10 and Android N delivered modest, incremental improvements. My favorite new feature was the macOS/iOS 10 Universal Clipboard which allows copy and paste across devices.

TV made gains in 2016 with more affordable OLED screens, more 4K content and more "cut the cable cord" streaming options. My purchase of a flat LG OLED TV was my favorite technology purchase of 2016.

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Dec 31, 2016
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Recent Blog Posts
13
$17 third party Apple Watch Sport Loop Review - Thumbs Up!
Wed, Nov 29th 2017 8:36p   Christopher Pepin
I like the new Apple Watch Sport Loop but the $49 price tag is a bit too much to swallow. Here's my THUMBS UP! review of a $17 knockoff I purchased on eBay from happyline9988
6
Why I'm excited for the upcoming Apple HomePod
Mon, Nov 27th 2017 6:48p   Christopher Pepin
The Apple HomePod is delayed until early 2018 and will be more expensive and have fewer features than Amazon Echo, Google Home and Sonos One. I don't care and I will buy one anyway. Our family is a heavy user of Apple Music, we have thousands of uploaded songs (iTunes Match) and dozens of playlists. Current speakers aren't great for our family, here's why: Bluetooth speakers. Portability is great but it's far too difficult to connect/disconnect multiple devices to play music. In addition, m
8
Shure MV51 microphone - thumbs up!
Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 7:21p   Christopher Pepin
In November, 2017 I purchased the Shure MV51 microphone for $150 and I'm a fan. Listen to my audio review below, recorded using the microphone connected to my iPhone 7 Plus and using the MOTIV mobile app available from the Apple App Store.
12
Ommegang 20th Anniversary Ale 2017 Review - Thumbs Up!
Mon, Oct 23rd 2017 7:30p   Christopher Pepin
I'm a big fan of Ommegang Belgian-style beers brewed in Cooperstown, NY and I've made two brewery visits over the last three years. 2017 is Ommegang's 20th anniversary and to celebrate, they brewed a special anniversary beer aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. I'm a fan of barrel aged beers and this one doesn't disappoint. It pours a dark, chocolate brown with aromas of dried fruits and tastes of bourbon with nice mouthfeel and a smooth finish. From the Ommegang blog: "For 20th Anniver
6
Apple TV 4K review - thumbs up!
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 2:31p   Christopher Pepin
I've owned each model of Apple TV since the first release ten years ago in 2007. I upgraded to the latest 4K 64GB model and recommend it. Pros 4K supportFree 4K movie upgrades for selected movies if you've paid for the HD version. New 4K movies cost the same as HD versionsSupports both HRD10 and Dolby Vision HDRUser interface and integration with other Apple products (e.g. AirPlay)App and games support Cons The only 4K content the Apple TV 4K plays is iTunesExpensive ($179/$199 for 32GB and
11
Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite Smoker Review - Thumbs Up!
Wed, Sep 27th 2017 6:16p   Christopher Pepin
Watch my video review of the Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite 30" propane two door smoker below. This is my first smoker and I recommend it. I ordered it on sale for $99 online from Blain's Farm & Fleet
13
Dashlane password wallet - thumbs up!
Wed, Sep 20th 2017 5:36p   Christopher Pepin
I've been a longtime Dashlane password wallet user and couldn't live without it. I use Dashlane on all my devices for work and personal use including Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad and Android devices and store my passwords, credit cards, secure notes and ids. Pros All of my passwords synchronized securely across all my devices with easy accessDigital wallet for all my payments and id cardsPassword generatorChange multiple passwords automatically with a single clickAlerts when one or more of my
5
Apple iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad - thumbs up!
Tue, Sep 19th 2017 5:05p   Christopher Pepin
As expected, Apple released iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad earlier today and I highly recommend the upgrade. Pros New App StoreNew Files appMore human sounding (less robotic) Siri voiceNew Lockscreen, Notification Center, and Control centerAutofill app passwordsDo not disturb while driving with auto replyCreate a video of what displays on the screen (great for creating demos)Swipe down on the keyboard instead of hitting "shift"iPad: add as many apps as you want to the dock, drag and drop Cons On
8
Apple's iPhone X event - thumbs up!
Tue, Sep 12th 2017 9:22p   Christopher Pepin
Earlier today, Tim Cook kicked off the Apple iPhone X event at the new Steve Job's theater at Apple Park. You can watch the full replay on Apple.com. The following are my impressions: Apple Watch Series 3. Apple added a new dual-core processor to the Apple Watch Series 3 that is 70% faster than last year and a new LTE option which means you no longer need to have your iPhone with you. The Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $329 without cellular and $399 with integrated LTE, and it will be released
4
Novaform Comfort Grande (Costco) mattress review - thumbs up!
Mon, Sep 11th 2017 10:39p   Christopher Pepin
In December, 2016 replaced my 14 year old Sera Posturepedic king size mattress with the Novaform Comfort Grande (Costco) memory foam mattress and I recommend it. I'm sleeping better with less discomfort than my old mattress. After almost a year of use, I'm still a fan. Pros Comfortable (medium firm)14 inches thickResists bounciness and eases movementNo hassle return policy from CostcoVacuum sealed in a small box for shipping. Easy expands. Watch my videoInexpensive ($700 for king)Excellent r




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