Christmas iPhone apps and more

It is the holiday season so I thought it would be a good time to list out some fun, useful and most importantly FREE iPhone apps for download in iTunes. Here are three nice ones to check out: (Click on the logos from our iPhone to download the apps).

ElfYourself by Office Depot, Inc.

by Magic Mirror LLC

ElfYourself is a neat, little app that lets you take pictures of yourself and your loved ones and put them on elves. But the fun doesn’t end there! These aren’t just any elves. These are singing and dancing elves, which will surely entertain the kiddos, family and friends.


Yummly : Recipes & Grocery Shopping List

by Yummly

All of that shopping has probably made you hungry. Yummly is the perfect app to help. This app puts over one thousand recipes at your fingertips. You are able to search all types of recipe sites, find recommendations based on what you like to eat or are looking for to make, and you can even create your own digital recipe box. Yummly will cut down on the stress of finding those cookie recipes that you love to bake on holidays. Just thinking about cookies baking will give you a warm, cozy feeling. This gorgeous app is the perfect helper to have on your iPhone this Christmas, or any day.


SomaFM Holiday Radio

by SomaFM

Further boost your jolly mood with SomaFM Holiday Radio. This app is commercial-free, providing you with holiday music in high and low bandwidth. There are three different channels with plenty of tracks, and one of the channels is kid-friendly. Listening to holiday tunes is a great way to chase away the blues, inviting the Christmas spirit into your home and heart.

In local stuff of interest:

Have you seen Santa recently? He apparently left the reindeer at home and caught a ride on a fire truck around Turf Valley Town Square last evening. (photo from the West Friendship VFD) .

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The new local calendar from Totally HoCo is operational. This can be a great tool for the community. Make sure to get your events on this site!

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Click here to view calendar

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Only 12 days until Christmas!

Scott E

What the college football final four should look like today

There were some great games yesterday and none of the big six in the hunt for the final fours positions in college football stumbled. So what does that mean for the announcement of the final four today? Time will tell but we will put out our final four this morning:

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 6.22.47 AM1. Alabama (11-1) – The SEC is regularly the best conference in college football and Alabama has showed that they are the team to beat from that conference.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 6.23.09 AM2. Oregon (11 -1) – If you have watched Oregon this year you have to be impressed with their offense and their QB (Marcus Mariota) is my pick for the Heisman front runner.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 6.24.05 AM3. Florida State (12-0) – Bottom line, they did not lose this year. Yeah they play in the ACC but if you win out (even as not impressive as they showed) you make the final four.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 6.24.24 AM4. TCU (10-1) – Obviously this is going to be the pick that the selection committee is going to struggle with today. In my opinion if they thought TCU was #3 last week then TCU goes out this weekend and puts up 55 impressive points, I am not sure how you take them out of the top four. Yes I know they lost to Baylor, and Ohio State smacked down Wisconsin yesterday in the Big 10 championship but TCU is deserving of a top four slot this season.

Outside looking in:

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 6.27.32 AM5. Ohio State (11-1)

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 6.27.57 AM6. Baylor (10-1)

We will find out today at 12:30 p.m. what the selection committee decides to do…then we get a fun day of pro football. Go Ravens…we really need a big win today!

Scott E

Update: Looks like the selection committee did not agree with my analysis and selected Ohio State in the number four slot.

No. 1 Alabama will play No. 4 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, and No. 2 Oregon will play No. 3 Florida State in the Rose Bowl. Both games will take place on January 1, and the winners will face off in the National Championship Game on January 12.

LifeProof cases released for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

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Without question this is my favorite iPhone case on the market. How can you beat waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof and shock proof. This is really the elite of all iPhone cases.
Here is a little more info from their website:
Leave nothing behind

Waterproof and shockproof, frē is the freedom to live and share every adventure — and come back with pics to prove it!

  • The thinnest, lightest, toughest LifeProof iPhone 6 case ever made
  • Built-in scratch protector for total touchscreen defense
  • Works with the iPhone 6’s Touch ID
  • Complete access to all buttons, ports and controls
  • Anti-reflective optical-glass camera lens
  • Maximum sound output and clarity
  • Clear window showcases the iconic Apple logo
  • Slim, sleek profile follows iPhone’s precision lines

Check out the iPhone 6 case here:


3 Great Black Friday Deals From Best Buy

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As a tech guy, I have always loved shopping at Best Buy. Best Buy is offering some great “Black Friday” deals…here are three of my favorites:

$100 off on all iPad Air 2 models

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Maybe it is time to upgrade you tablet? The $100 savings from Best Buy makes this a great Christmas gift for that someone special.

Beats Solo headphones for $79.99, a savings of $90

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Beats is without question my favorite brand of headphones. I have a pair and use them ALL OF THE TIME! The ability to save $90 on a pair makes this a great deal and one worth consideration for this holiday season.

Panasonic 50” LED 1080p HDTV for $199.99, a Best Buy exclusive

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Time for a new TV? Well for $200 this appears to be a fantastic deal.

There are many more “doorbuster deals” that Best Buy is offering but those are my three favorites. Interested in the other deals from Best Buy? Check them out here:

One item of note, I am not a fan of stores opening on Thanksgiving. Seriously that should be a day off for everyone. It should be a day of giving thanks and spending time with family and friends.

Here are our local Best Buy store locations:

Have a happy Sunday. No Ravens game today, they play the Saints tomorrow night.

Scott E

TPMUF Instrument Drive – Today!

The Pick Me Up Foundation is holding their instrument drive today in the Kings Contrivance Village Center between 8am and 3pm. If you have an unused instrument laying around and collecting dust, please consider donating it to this great foundation.

Here is a little more information:

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Over the past week The Pick Me Up Foundation has been featured in the Baltimore Sun, WBAL 1090, ABC 2 News and Fox 5.

I will say it was pretty nice to see the website shown in the ABC 2 News broadcast. The website has gone through some pretty fun changes over the past couple of months with more updates coming soon!

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Click to view the website

I will get out and visit with Brian today and try and snap some photos of the tent and various instruments collected. I really hope this is a successful day for the foundation!

Stay warm out there…it is pretty chilly this morning.

Scott E

Social Media in TV Commercials

If you watch TV at all, I am sure you have noticed all of the social media mentions in TV commercials. It seems like most advertisers have adopted the strategy to promoting their social media as part of the TV commercials. Here are a few examples (screen shots of the end of various commercials):

Subway promoting Twitter and Facebook:
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Kay Jewelers promoting Facebook, Twitter and YouTube:

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Auburn University did something a little different, they are promoting the hashtag #ThisisAuburn:

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Wendy’s promoting Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:

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And lastly there is Staples. They are promoting five social media accounts in their commercial; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn:

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The point of all of this is to show you how some major brands are using their TV commercials to promote their products as well as their social media accounts. Are you using every opportunity in your ads, flyers and other promotional materials to let the public know about your social media accounts?

Hope you all have a wonderful (and hopefully warmer) day today!

Scott E

Netflix Recommendation – Helix

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I somehow missed this show on the Syfy channel but I came across it recently on Netflix. I am only on episode number 3 (titled 274) but I have to say this series has pulled me in and I am guessing it will not take me long to get through all of season one.

A little more about the show:

Helix is an American science fiction thriller-drama television series that premiered on Syfy on January 10, 2014. The series follows a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who travel to a research facility in the Arctic to investigate a potential outbreak of disease. While there, they find themselves stuck in a life-or-death situation that could decide the future of mankind.

The first season consisted of 13 episodes. On March 28, 2014, it was announced that the show was renewed for a 13-episode second season, slated for an early 2015 premiere.

Here are a few photos from the show: (Click on the photo to see larger image)

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In my research I found that IMDb rated this show 7 out of 10 and rated it 7.6 out of 10.

If you have seen this show, let me know your thoughts about it in the comments.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Scott E

Baltimore Sun Mobbies!

I hope you all have enjoyed the Technology Outreach Scorecards. The Baltimore Sun’s annual MOBBIES (Maryland’s Outstanding Blogs) award competition has announced its 2014 nominees.

We are nominated in the following categories:
  • Best Suburbs Blog
  • Best New Blog
  • Best Twitter Account
  • Best Facebook Page

vote for my blog in the mobbies early and often

There are other great blogs that I read that are worthy of your vote also:

HoCo Connect, HoCoBlogs in the Community, HowChow, UK Desperate Housewife USA, The Unmanly Chef, Village Green/Town Squared, HoCo Rising, Spartan Considerations, The 53, 2 Dudes Who Love Food and MissZippy1.  I am sure there are others on the list I am missing (sorry)…

You can vote once a day through Nov. 13.
Click on the MOBBIES logo to vote.

Best of luck to all of the nominees!!!
– Scott E