Monday, June 22, 2020

Kids love this erasable tablet

Grocery lists. Notes to spouse. Sketches of my next billion dollar idea. It seems we're always needing a way to record something important - or trivial.

This LCD writing tablet provides an easy way to capture words or images without generating more paper waste. It's been very popular with our pre-school grandchildren who use it to draw cartoon figures, practice letters and numbers or play tic-tac-toe.

The Tecboss tablet has a 10-inch LCD screen that responds to a stylus that rests in a groove along the top of the screen. Use the stylus to record doodles or notes, then flick a lock switch on the side of the tablet to preserve them or click the button on the front of the tablet to erase them.

The tablet runs on a tiny button battery that should last for more than a year and some 10,000 scribbles.

The Tecboss tablet is available in a pink or gray case $15.99 on Amazon.

Friday, June 19, 2020

ZeusPro boosts a router's WiFi coverage

There's a reason why most WiFi routers come with antennas. Those pointy Batman ears emit the radio waves that deliver your Internet connection to your devices: phones, tablets and speakers as well as door locks and security cameras.

And all's well unless your network had dead spots. In my house, the signal can tail off when I get too far away from the router or behind too many plaster walls.

One way to attack that problem is by focusing the signal on the problem areas. That's what the ZeusPro WiFi amplifier does.

The ZeusPro uses a curved surface to concentrate and amplify a router's radio waves in the same way that the curved surface of a satellite receiver amplifies transmissions from space. And it doesn't require an electrical connection.

The ZeusPro, developed by Mizeus, is designed to strap onto the existing antennas on a wireless router. Once it's in place, Mizeus says the device can boost a Wi-Fi signal by two or three times and decrease lags and disconnections during online gaming. using two ZeusPros can enhance WiFi coverage over a 36-degree footprint.

The ZeusPro is currently on sale for $9.99 or $18 for a two-pack, at the Mizeus website.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Navo builds an online company directory

A few years ago when I was still a manager working for a global publishing company, I had a pretty good handle on where to go when I had a question about company policies and practices.

For instance, the administrative assistant on the fourth floor knew all the details about filing expense reports. People in the first floor Human Relations office could answer payroll questions and tell me how to do employee performance reviews.

I don’t know where the people who still work there go to answer those questions today, but I know it’s not to the elevator. These days, almost everyone in that company is working at home and companies are finding new ways to deliver information that managers and staff used to get through in-person conversations.

One of those ways is an online platform called Navo. It’s an Internet-based service that lets organizations organize and distribute a directory for their business and make it available to any of its stakeholders - including all those folks who are now working from their home office.

The people behind Navo compare their cloud-based service to the map kiosks that you see in a shopping mall. The map tells you where you are and how to get to what you need.

Destinations are grouped under the topics you would find in most businesses, from Sales, Marketing and Business Development to IT, Finance and Human Resources.

The service is designed to work smoothly with multiple platforms, including Microsoft Teams, Office 365 and SharePoint. There's a registration form on the Navo website to get updates and announcements.

 Information collections can also be accessed using a Web app or a browser extension. If a user bookmarks a critical piece of information, like a vendor contract, it’s accessible wherever and whenever they log in. Navo is also planning

Under a new pricing plan, the charge for Navo will be $1 per user per month. A free trial is available on the Navo website.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

SyncGo has a smooth desktop calendar

My son is among the millions of Americans who were recently told to stop coming in to his employer's office and start working from home every day. One of  the many things he has had to adjust to in the new WFH environment is managing his business and personal calendars with their myriad video conference calls and shared domestic responsibilities.

I told him to check out the SyncGo Desktop Calendar. It's a nifty widget that carves out a slice of a Windows to let you know what will soon need your attention and when that will happen. 

The application stays in sync with Google Calendar, Google Tasks or Apple's iCloud calendar and it works with iPhones, iPads and Android devices. If you enter an event from your desktop computer, it gets added to the one on your mobile device. It syncs ion the opposite direction as well. 

You can set the app to deliver pop-up reminders or reminders delivered by email or text messaging. Drill down and you can see events displayed by day, week, month or year in a list format or a color-coded array of sticky notes. And it offers a five-day weather forecast presented with icons (sunny, cloudy, rainy) and high and low temperatures.   

SyncGo Desktop Calendar also plays nice with your desktop wallpaper. The current month's calendar, event list and to-do list appear as an overlay so it doesn't interfere with the sunset beach wallpaper that you're so fond of. And it has a skin editor to customize fonts, colors and backgrounds.

The application sells for $14.95 and you can try it for free for 30 days. For a closer look at the SyncGo Desktop Calendar, visit the SyncGo website

Monday, June 1, 2020

Jabbie app seeks to make fitness more inclusive

Physical exercise is typically a solitary activity. Unless you're playing team sports, it's just you swimming laps, jogging down the street or straining on the weight machine.

But adding a social component can often pay dividends. If your friends are biking on Tuesday evenings or mall walking on Saturday mornings, you're more likely to show up.

Exercising together can also get your competitive juices flowing, resulting in a longer workout that pushes you closer to your goals.

The inventors of Jabbie recognized the power of group efforts in the pursuit of personal fitness and they built that component into a mobile app that they plan to release. The app will let users get personalized encouragements from a community of users who share similar personal fitness goals.

Jabbie users can set their own fitness activity schedules and set their personal goals and milestones. But they can also join or create a "troupe of support" and schedule workouts with other troupe members.

With group participation, members send and receive encouragements from other members. While that communication happens primarily online, Jabbie members can also use the app to make connections with users nearby in the offline world.

Jabbie's creators are Bunmi Alo, an entrepreneur and software developer who immigrated to the US from Nigeria, and Dr. Joy Cox,  a body and social justice advocate. They share the belief that "the accessibility around fitness is a social justice issue" and that their app will provide "a safe space for users to be active regardless of their fitness level or location."

Jabbie is slated to be launched by the end of the year. You can learn more about the plans for Jabbie in the video below and on the Jabbie website. You can hear the creators discuss their philosophy and their plans on the Wellness Lately podcast.

Alo and Cox hope to raise $27,000 to finance the production of the app. Supporters can donate using this PayPal link.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

MyTemply app logs and reports your health

People in Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea have been using digital self-reporting apps that area credited with curbing the spread of Covid-19 in the early stages of the virus outbreak.

The apps allowed government and health authorities to identify and track both people who had a virus infection or symptoms while also tracking anyone they may have come in contact with.

In the US, Apple and Google have announced plans to create a similar tracking system using a mobile phone-based app. While the Apple-Google technology is in its early stages, a private company has released an app called MyTemply that helps track their health status and share it with their school or employer.

With MyTemply, users enter their body temperature using any type of thermometer. They also note other symptoms, such a cough, shortness of breath, headache or chills. Use of the app is voluntary and the data is self-reported. MyTemply doesn't use Bluetooth or GPS and doesn't record or track anyone who comes in contact with the user.

The app is designed to be used every day to report the user's heath to their school, company, hospital, doctor, or family. Managers can get a secure dashboard that collects and organizes the reported data. The information can be shared with some human resources management systems.

The app is available as a free download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. More information is available at the MyTemply website.

Friday, May 22, 2020

MacBack buys MacBooks while you keep your distance

Like many people in the US and UK, I’ve been spending the past few weeks hiding from Covid-19 by staying inside and seeking solace and comfort from my Mac. And after weeks of video conferences and many hours spent at the keyboard, I’m starting to think I deserve a new computer.

Upgrading to a new Mac would mean selling my current Mac. I have sold several computers before, using eBay and other platforms, but that game has changed now that a nasty virus is dictating the terms of our social and business interaction. I’m not enthused about meeting with strangers to show my computer or close a sale.

Now I think a service like MacBack offers a much more safe and secure way to sell my computer or other Apple device.

The process starts on the MacBack website where you fill out a short form with details about your computer’s age, condition and specifications.

After you submit the form, MacBack quickly gives you a price quote. If you accept the offer, MacBack will dispatch a courier to pick up your computer at no charge and at a time that you specify. The service uses shipping boxes that are specially designed to hold and protect your particular model.

MacBack checks to see that you have included all accessories, then it tests the computer to confirm its specs and condition. That process typically takes about 48 hours. If there are no issues, MacBack send your payment using either PayPal or a bank transfer.

Check the video below to see how the service works and visit the MacBack website to find out what you can get for your MacBook.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

World's easiest TV remote

My wife hates all hand-held remote controls - especially if she has to use more than one to operate the television, sound system or streaming box.

The multi-function remotes aren't the answer. She almost divorced me when I got one of those programmable remotes from Logitech.

I'm about ready to get the Tek Pal Large Button Remote Control to use on sets that require multiple devices.

The remote has six large buttons that control a TV's essential functions: power on and off, volume and channel up and down, and mute. That's it. No 10-digit keypad, menu, or video recording buttons.

Each button is super-sized and the whole array will light up for four seconds when any of the buttons are pushed.

A couple of caveats: The Tek Pal only works with a TV, not satellite or cable boxes, and you'll likely have to do the set-up work.

The Tek Pal costs about $19 and it's available on Amazon.

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