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Uplift standing desk - thumbs up!
Mon, May 22nd 2017 67
Allagash Brewery Tour 2017
Mon, May 22nd 2017 51
Costco hot dog - thumbs up!
Fri, May 19th 2017 175
IBM at the Tribeca Film Festival 2017
Sun, Apr 30th 2017 5
Automatic IoT connected car kit - thumbs up!
Thu, Apr 6th 2017 10
Circle with Disney parental controls and Internet filtering - thumbs up!
Fri, Mar 3rd 2017 11
iHealth digital wi-fi scale review - thumbs up!
Mon, Feb 6th 2017 5
Top 10
Costco hot dog - thumbs up!
Fri, May 19th 2017 175
Uplift standing desk - thumbs up!
Mon, May 22nd 2017 67
Allagash Brewery Tour 2017
Mon, May 22nd 2017 51
New solutions that promise to make e-mail more productive from Google, Microsoft and IBM
Wed, Nov 12th 2014 12
Google IO 2016 and Android N
Tue, May 24th 2016 11
Circle with Disney parental controls and Internet filtering - thumbs up!
Fri, Mar 3rd 2017 11
Star Wars Rogue 1, Super Mario Run, Man in the High Castle season 2 and Apple AirPods
Fri, Dec 16th 2016 10
Automatic IoT connected car kit - thumbs up!
Thu, Apr 6th 2017 10
Mobile shopping increases dramatically during Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Mon, Dec 8th 2014 9
2016 Technology Year in Review
Sat, Dec 31st 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
67
Uplift standing desk - thumbs up!
Mon, May 22nd 2017 8:23p   Christopher Pepin
I recently remodeled my home office and decided to replace my office desk with a standing desk. We use standing desks at my IBM office. After researching several options, I decided on the Uplift standing desk from The Human Solution. My summary and video review follows Pluses: One inch thick bamboo top355lb weight limit, sturdy and well madeAdjusts quickly (1.5 inches per second) from 24.25"-50.25". Optional memory keypad to return the desk to two preset heightsReasonable price Minuses Two b
51
Allagash Brewery Tour 2017
Mon, May 22nd 2017 8:02p   Christopher Pepin
I embarked on a weekend trip from Connecticut to Maine with a group of fellow craft beer buddies to visit the following breweries: Treehouse TrilliumMaine BeerFoundationAllagashBattery SteeleBarreled SoulsTributary Many of these breweries are among the highest rated breweries in the country according to Beeradvocate. Allagash was the only brewery with a tour and it was one of the highlights of the trip. Other highlights included the "Soup Nazi" experience at Treehouse (on the day I visited,
175
Costco hot dog - thumbs up!
Fri, May 19th 2017 9:51p   Christopher Pepin
I'm a huge fan of Costco and my absolute favorite item of all time is the $1.50 food court hot dog that comes with free soda with unlimited refills. Costco sells over 100 million hot dogs a year and the price hasn't increased since Costco first opened in 1985. My favorite way to eat a Costco hot dog: With chopped, raw onionsDeli (spicy) mustardSauerkraut (it's free, just ask)Chilli. Costco started selling a bowl of chilli for $3.99 in the food court and it makes a great chilli dog, However,
5
IBM at the Tribeca Film Festival 2017
Sun, Apr 30th 2017 10:07p   Christopher Pepin
I had the privilege of staffing the IBM Lounge at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City last week which provided an excellent opportunity for attendees to connect with IBM subject matter experts to learn how technology can be applied to storytelling. The exhibits included: T Brand Studio Augmented Reality app for iOS and Android. The feature film, “Hidden Figures,” inspired this Augmented Reality app and brings to life virtual statues of the film’s compelling characters - Katherine J
10
Automatic IoT connected car kit - thumbs up!
Thu, Apr 6th 2017 4:00p   Christopher Pepin
I recently purchased an Automatic V2 connected car kit through Amazon for a great discount - $47. Automatic has two newer models, the Lite and the Pro, that are significantly more expensive and have features I don't need (Pro: cellular connectivity, Lite: missing features). I'm very happy with my Automatic V2 and recommend it. Included in the box is the Automatic connected car adaptor that plugs into the OBDII port under the dash of most cars. Once installed, the adaptor pairs with an app on
11
Circle with Disney parental controls and Internet filtering - thumbs up!
Fri, Mar 3rd 2017 8:27p   Christopher Pepin
Circle with Disney parental controls and Internet filtering receives my enthusiastic thumbs up after one week of use at my home with two adults and three kids. Previous solutions we tried (OurPact, taking devices away, scolding, etc.) had mixed success. My kids would play on their mobile devices and game consoles all day long if I let them. My need was for an automated solution with the following requirements: 1. The ability to set time usage limits for each child and their associated devices
5
iHealth digital wi-fi scale review - thumbs up!
Mon, Feb 6th 2017 6:55p   Christopher Pepin
My employer, IBM provided me a free iHealth Vista HS5 digital scale as part of my company-sponsored health insurance plan. In 2016, IBM provided a free Apple Watch as part of the Apple Watch for Corporate Wellness Program. I'm thrilled with IBM's efforts to promote healthier, happier employees through the use of technology. The iHealth Vista digital scale setup was very easy. Insert the batteries, install the iHealth mobile app on my iPhone which connected the scale to my home wi-fi network
9
Apple AirPods wireless headphones - thumbs up!
Wed, Jan 11th 2017 12:26p   Christopher Pepin
I've been using the new Apple AirPods headphones for a week now and I'm a fan. I ordered the Apple AirPods online on December 13, the first day of preorders. The delivery date was January 12 but the AirPods arrived at my home early on January 4. The AirPods fit my ears perfectly like the similar wired Apple EarPods. I've used the AirPods at the gym and in my home office on conference calls and find them comfortable to wear. Sound and microphone quality is a step above the stock Apple EarPods
10
2016 Technology Year in Review
Sat, Dec 31st 2016 9:38p   Christopher Pepin
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
10
Star Wars Rogue 1, Super Mario Run, Man in the High Castle season 2 and Apple AirPods
Fri, Dec 16th 2016 6:16p   Christopher Pepin
This was a big week with four major milestones of interest to me: Super Mario Run app for iPhone and iPad was releasedThe premier of Star Wars Rogue OneSeason 2 of The Man in the High Castle was released on Amazon PrimeApple AirPods wireless headphones were releasedSuper Mario Run is now available for free for iPhone and iPad. The game includes 3 free levels and all the additional levels can be unlocked with a $9.99 in app purchase. I'm not very good at it, but it's a fun game the can be playe




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