About Pia

Pia is a travel and technology enthusiast. When not working, she' s either at the movies, sightseeing with friends, or at home with her husband & son.

3 Gift Ideas for the Tech-Savvy Valentine

tech valentine

Valentine’s Day, the day of true love, is fast approaching. For some, it’s about going full on with the candy hearts, chocolate, flowers, jewelry, and cute stuffed animals. These have long been staples of the romancer’s holiday, but those gifts are more than a little cliché. For those seeking something a bit less conventional, here are 3 Valentine’s Day gift ideas that are sure to make your tech-savvy sweetheart smile.

 

1. 3Doodler – The World’s First 3D Drawing Pen

3Doodler is the world’s first pen that lets you draw in 3D, so you can sculpt amazing objects and models from the ground up. To start, just plug in the pen and let it heat up, just like you would a hot glue gun. It has 2 speeds to control the flow and uses safe PLA plastic “drawing sticks” that harden in seconds after dispensed. The outer casing is made of high-temp ABS, which allows you old the pen comfortably. Plus, it’s super easy to use. It includes 50 drawing sticks in 10 colors (additional sticks available in 30 colors). Try making an Eiffel Tower, a skyscraper, or create anything you can think of. The possibilities are endless for your artistic valentine.

 
2. Celluon Magic Cube – Laser Keyboard

The laser keyboard transforms a flat surface into an instant work station. So you can type up a storm any time you want. The advanced optics tracks your fingers like magic. It can be used for Apple, Android, and other smartphones, tablets, and devices and connects via Bluetooth wireless technology. It also doubles as a multi-touch mouse. Its sleek and professional design makes the virtual keyword a fantastic idea for writers on the go.

 
3. Monster DNA On-Ear Headphones

Armed with a stunning design that looks good just about anywhere, you can now listen to your favorite track – and tune out everything else. With the Monster DNA On-Ear Headphones, you can experience the deep base, crystal clear highs, and exceptional midrange of Monster DNA. Its pillow soft advanced noise isolating cushions keep noise out and keep your music from disturbing and you’ll be able to listen comfortably for hours. The DNA headphones’ dual audio input jacks allows you to link your MusicShare headphones together and share the audio. This is a great headphones gift for music lovers and audiophiles alike.

 

There are many other techy gift ideas that can fit your style and budget this Valentine’s Day. Just remember that whatever you decide to give to your valentine, it should be thoughtful, creative, and most of all, fun!

 


 

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New Year’s Resolution Fail: 3 Devices and Apps that will Help You Get Back on Track

ny resolutions failure

According to University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology via Statistic Brain, 24% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions fail to meet them. You may have been one of these persons last year.  But this year will be different, don’t be part of the statistic! This is the year you are going to make a difference, you’re going to quit smoking, lose weight, or even manage finances more intelligently. This is the year you will succeed. However, like many people, you may have gotten discouraged and reverted back to your old ways.

 

Fear not! It’s not too late to start again and make this year a memorable and fulfilling one, technology is here to help! Here are 3 devices and apps that will help you get back on track:

 

Fitbit Zip

Over the past year so many fitness tracking apps, gadgets, and wristbands have been released in an attempt to help fitness buffs start and track their workouts. Some have proved to be a great success while others have to failed deliver as advertised. Fitbit Zip’s original Fitness Tracker was one of the first gadgets of its kind to give regular people a way of tracking their activity throughout the day. However, Fitbit has changed its game a little by redesigning its first product to the tough and slim One and the budget Zip, a souped-up pedometer, with a face.

 fitbit zip

The Zip is a rather basic option in comparison to the brand’s previous gizmos, but you don’t need to spend a fortune and have something strapped to your body at all times to get moving. Now, this is not just your regular pedometer because it’s been built solely for those who want to not only just count their steps throughout the day, but keep an eye on their calorie intake and take a closer look at their daily data via the comprehensive Fitbit app or web dashboard with sharing and gaming features too.

 

cessation nationCessation Nation

Is quitting smoking one of your New Year’s Resolutions? If you answer is yes, but you’ve found yourself backsliding, then the Cessation Nation app may help you get back on track. The app allows users to set a quit date, and then tracks their progress on the road to becoming a non-smoker. Need some motivation? Users can see how much money they’ll save by not purchasing cigarettes and they can view the immediate health benefits gained every day by not smoking. Cessation Nation even features distracting mini games that users can boot up to keep their cravings at bay.  This definitely one of the best smartphone apps that will improve your life.

 

 

iXpenseIt

ixpenseitNo one is perfect at money management, but there are always small things users can do to keep their finances in check. This app may be a bit on the costly side, but you will soon discover that it may just be worth it. iXpenseIt simplifies your money matters with daily expense tracking and monthly budgeting. Whether for personal or business use, its intuitive reporting provides insight to where your money went and identifies new ways to save. It also gives you the ability to input expense data anywhere, anytime within seconds and even allows you to store photos of receipts. Saving money is hard, but this app can help users visualize the process and track progress, which in turn can make managing money a New Year’s resolution that is easy to keep.

 

Remember, change of any kind can seem daunting at first. The key to success is to having the right mindset, a solid support group and a concrete plan will go a long way to helping you achieve your goals and be successful with your New Year’s resolutions.

 


 

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Scenic Road Trip Destinations You Can Take this Winter

scenic winter

The annual migration of winter vacationers to the world-class ski resorts in the California’s Sierra Nevada and the Colorado Rockies is bound to keep highways busy. Although winter is a good time for “cocooning,” the months between November and March represent one of the heaviest road trip times of the year. Some travelers are on the road to warmer climes while others are headed for winter playgrounds. For your convenience, we’ve listed 3 of the most popular scenic road trip destinations you and your family can take this winter.

 

mt rainierAshford, WA – Mt. Rainier National Park

 

Hidden amongst towering fir and cedar trees at the foothills of Mt. Rainier National Park, Ashford is a popular destination for those venturing deep into the Cascade Mountain Region of Central Washington. Mt. Rainier National Park is a popular place to enjoy winter activities. The mountain receives abundant snowfall and the scenery is spectacular. In winter, recreational opportunities are numerous. A winter visit to Mt. Rainier can include ranger-guided snowshoe walks, Paradise snowplay, camping, snowboarding, and skiing. Adjacent to Ashford you’ll find the small town of Elbe, where you can board the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad, which is by far one of most relaxed ways to take in the secluded backcountry of Mt. Rainier National Park.

 

wellsboro paNorth Central Pennsylvania – Wellsboro

 

Located along scenic Route 6 in North Central Pennsylvania, Wellsboro and the surrounding area offers a unique vacation beginning with a natural wonder over six-million-years-old. Also known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, this breathtaking terrain is the result of melting prehistoric ice glaciers. Undoubtedly, a great road trip destination as every winter, traffic on Wellsboro’s Main Street is halted as the town thoroughfare is magically transformed into a remarkable Victorian market.  The Wellsboro Dickens of A Christmas showcases an impressive collection of theatre, music, history, shopping, and food.

 

oregon coastOregon Coast

 

Most travelers tend to overlook the Oregon Coast during winter, contemplating only the snow-capped Cascades and the high, dry deserts beyond. But did you know that the Oregon Coast’s cities and towns save some of their best festivals for winter when the weather is sometimes rough but the provisions and company remain superb. Winter festivals take place along the length of the Oregon Coast, offering up food, music, natural treasures and hospitality. Just take the Oregon Truffle Festival as an example. The festival includes the truffle talent of local chefs with special meals and wine pairings as well as tastings, cooking classes, and demonstrations. This festival itself is worth traveling for!

 

Nothing is more freeing than the open road! For generations, travelers have enjoyed the wind in their hair traveling from one destination to another seeking romance and adventure. Hop in that rental car, pick a destination, and you’re in for a memorable road trip.

 


 

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Best Holiday Gifts for the Techie You Love

Buying a Christmas gift for someone who loves technology is not as easy as it seems. Finding the right gift can be a challenge with so many compelling products vying for your attention. From versatile fitness trackers and sleek smartphones to the fastest tablets and loudest Bluetooth speakers, these are the hottest holiday tech gifts of the year.  Fortunately, we’ve picked our top 5 products to get you started.

 

1. Apple iPad Air 2

ipad air 2

The iPad Air 2 is tablet perfection – cramming a faster A8X processor, sharper camera, and richer anti-reflective screen into an even thinner design than the original iPad Air.  The iPad Air 2 delivers enhanced graphics and a faster performance and also sports a sharper 8-MP camera. Wi-Fi on iPad Air 2 is fast — more than twice as fast as the previous generation — so downloading movies and streaming videos take less time. The Wi-Fi + Cellular model is equipped with faster, more advanced LTE technology as well. What truly sets the iPad apart from its predecessor’s is its roster of unbeatable apps and the way this tablet interacts seamlessly with the other Apple products in your home. You can’t go wrong with gifting this device!

 

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

galaxy note 4 The Galaxy Note 4 is a superior phablet with an ultra-sharp display, faster camera, improved multitasking, and a pen you’ll actually want to use. The Galaxy Note 4 introduces a new sleek and stylish Galaxy design language. Offering a superior grip, enhanced durability, and a premium metal frame and fluid curvature with Galaxy’s inherited 2.5D glass screen and soft-textured back cover – this device is gorgeous! The Note 4′s stylus is nearly identical the Note 3′s. However, the new stylus has a more natural feel – like a ballpoint pen pressing on paper. The new pen measures 2,000 levels of pressure, which is twice as many as its predecessor, this allows for more accurate strokes that reflect how hard you are pushing the tip down.

 

3. Garmin Vivosmart

garmin vivosmart The Garmin Vivosmart wristband is an activity tracker with smartphone notifications in a comfortable, minimalist design. This gadget features a sleek, invisible display that comes to life when you get a notification or when you give the band a tap. The OLED display shines through the band to reveal your steps, distance traveled, calories burned, time of day, and more. The Vivosmart accurately tracks steps, distance, and overall movement each day. Each time you receive a text, email, or call on your compatible Bluetooth device, Vivosmart gently vibrates and automatically displays the information. Simply touch and swipe the screen to read more. For your techie loved one who is serious about moving more, the Garmin Vivosmart is a solid device for its market price. The Vivosmart is certainly an intelligent activity tracker that is made even more intelligent with its smartphone integration.

 

4. Freedom Spot Photon 4G Mobile Hotspot

freedom spot photon 4g A mobile hotspot is a great gift for someone who is always on the go, but always needs to stay connected. This hotspot boasts about six hours of battery life, and can support a connection for up to eight devices at once. The Freedom Spot Photon from FreedomPop is a 4G hotspot that gets you online for free. That’s right, for free and there’s no catch! A free plan from FreedomPop is good for 500MB of data per month. The Photon itself is free. You need to pay an $89 security deposit, which is fully refundable when you return the device.

 

5. GoPro HERO3+: Black Edition

gopro hero3+ The GoPro HERO3+ offers a lighter housing, improved image sharpness, better battery life, and faster built-in Wi-Fi than older GoPro models. Our favorite wearable HD video camera will capture every extreme mountain biking , bungee jump, white water rafting , bob sleigh run, pretty much every extreme activity you are into – all captured in video resolutions up to 4K. The exposure and colors look superb and it can connect via Wi-Fi to smart devices. The GoPro App for iPhone, Android, and Windows 8 phones allows live previews of what your shooting – giving you the chance to pause, rewind, re-shoot, and adjust camera settings. There is also a remote control available that is sold separately.

 

These devices are great suggestions for your friends and family who absolutely has to have the latest in tech. Surprise your loved ones with these spectacular innovative gadgets. Remember, there are protection plans to make these gifts and memories last forever!

 


 

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Safe Christmas Shopping: Preventing Holiday Identity Theft

 

santa id theftIt’s that time of the year and holiday cheer is all around us and winter is in the air. While we all spend the season with family and friends the, thought of financial and personal safety have taken a backseat on what’s important. We seem to have a sort of blindness to things that can be bad and detrimental to us all.

 

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and around the world and if you think you’re safe from these crimes think again. Even large companies with intricate security networks are vulnerable, remember Target? Your identity has several vulnerability points that can be penetrated, medical records, DMV records, credit and social security as well.

 

With the rising threat of criminal activity on the rise here are 3 tips on how you can avoid identity theft while on holiday:

 

1. Practice Safe Online Shttps securehopping

Remember to never give out your personal information to an unsolicited email, only shop at trusted and known online stores that you trust. It can be tempting to shop at a new online store to get the holiday bargains. However, if you are not familiar with an online store and you cannot find reliable sources that have done business with this online retailer, then you are better off looking elsewhere. Make sure that the checkout area is secure by locating the closed and locked padlock on your web browser’s window frame. This will help to ensure that your identity is safe from identity thieves due to the encrypted security of the page.

 

Do not shop on a public computer or public wireless network. You cannot verify the security of a public computer or Wi-Fi network. Some may be infected with spyware that records each keystroke entered. So, even if you are using your own laptop on an unsecured public network, you could be giving ID thieves your credit card information.

 

2. Safeguard Your Credit Card & Debit atm skimmerCard Information

This holiday season, whenever you can, shop with cash to reduce the chances of identity theft. If you need to shop with a credit/debit card, only use ATMs you trust. Many identity thieves install card skimmers on ATMs in high-traffic areas to swipe your debit card information. Skimmers are virtually undetectable to the naked eye, so you won’t know you’re a victim of identity theft until you see the fraudulent charges on your statement-and by then it may be too late to recover the charges.

 

Remember that debit cards need daily monitoring. Ideally, you want to use ATMs in bank lobbies or other secure locations with video surveillance. Also, any time you use your ATM card (either to withdrawal cash or to make a purchase) shield your PIN number and card number from others.

 

3. Be Aware of Pick Pockets

Pick pockets are out in full force during the holiday shopping season. Gentlemen, put your wallet in your front pocket and ladies, carry a small purse close to your body (or avoid bringing one altogether). Keep an eye on your personal belongings at all times. A stealthy thief only needs a second to brush up against you and disappear into the crowd with your credit cards and IDs. Do not let your guard down: Identity thieves come in all shapes and sizes. Just because someone doesn’t fit your idea of what an ID thief may look like, don’t assume your information is safe.

pick pocket

Don’t become another identity theft victim this holiday shopping season. Be alert and be smart. Take a few extra precautions, shop safely, and enjoy the holiday season!

 


 

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