2014 Reverse Gift Guide

Last time we posted, I mocked the idea of a holiday gift guide – all the major tech blogs do it, and I’m purposely trying to go against the grain. So, what better than a reverse-gift guide? That’s right. These are the 3 worst tech gifts that you absolutely do not want to buy for your friends and family (unless you loathe them). It’s the 3 gadgets you’ll want to avoid purchasing this Christmas season. You get the idea.

Ring by Logbar


Plenty of hay has been made about how bad the Ring by Logbar. I haven’t actually tried it myself (why in the world would be buy this idiotic looking ring), but I feel like I’ve read enough negative feedback on this ill-advised product to be able to comment on it. First thing – it doesn’t at all do what it’s supposed to. Apparently, the gestures register correctly about 5% of the time – and Logbar tech support confirmed that this was in the ‘normal’ range and not due to a defective model.

Also, apparently the majority of gestures don’t work unless you have the app open. That’s right. Before you use the ‘convenient’ gestures (that work 5% of the time), you first have to take your phone out of your pocket, unlock it, and open the app. Doesn’t that sound convenient? It sure does to me…

Oh, also, in case you were worried the ring looks stupid – well, you’d be spot on. Imagine having a chunky plastic ring on your finger that essentially stops you from doing such everyday things like closing a fist, or gripping a door handle comfortably. That’s what this is. Not to mention that the thing doesn’t work, so you’re really just wearing a big white plastic ring as a fashion statement.

Myris by Eyelock


For $279.99, you can have this ball that you can use to unlock your computer. I mean, typing a password into your computer is clearly way too much work, so here’s a ball that you can hold up to you eye to do the same thing. And it only costs $279.99!

OK, I’ll give this company a little bit of credit – apparently eye-scanning is more accurate than any other identification method other than DNA. So I’ll give them that – the security is good. But from my perspective, everything else about this product is kind of a nightmare – firstly, why would you want a hockey puck on your desk where every time you need to unlock something on your computer, you need to hold it up to your face? Not to mention you’re required to remove your glasses, so that’s about a third of the population for whom using this product is a major inconvenience.

Basically, this thing may be more secure, but it’s slower, you can’t really use it if you wear glasses, you need to hold it up to your eye every time you want to log in to something, and it costs $279.99. Additional disadvantage – people who use eye-scanning security are inevitably at risk of being Demolition-Manned by Wesley Snipes, and nobody wants that.



You ever feel like you’re not being watched enough? Do you ever pace around your house, wishing that you’d be monitored more heavily by the NSA? Well, this creepy dystopian doll device (aptly called Mother) will help you feel like you’re 100% properly under surveillance.

The first issue I have with this is that it’s pretty damn creepy. The beady eyes and menacing smile just scream ‘At first I’m just going to be a hi tech device but at a later point in this story I will become self aware and haunt you’. This is like the 21st century equivalent of a creepy haunted doll. I feel like if this thing lost the face, it would be significantly less creepy and I might be able to actually consider whether it’s useful or not. But we can’t get over the creepiness.

Also, who’s really out there actively looking for more nagging in their life. I’m certainly not. They even called their product ‘Mother’, which obviously means even the production team know how irritating this product could turn out to be. You stick a little ‘cookie’ on your toothbrush, and if you don’t brush your teeth, ‘Mother’ will know. Even without the creepy factor it sounds like a nightmare.

Surely there’s a less creepy, less irritating way of creating a device that reminds you to do stuff.


Amazing (looking) Gadgets coming in 2015

Well, we’re winding up the year, and rather than being boring and typical and commercial and doing some sort of silly ‘holiday season gadget gift guide’ or something idiotic like that, instead I’m going to skip over the over-commercialized holiday shopping season and instead jump right into 2015. There is some awesome looking stuff coming out in 2015, some of which you’ve probably heard of and some of which is probably entirely new to you and will totally rock your world.

2015 will (probably) see new breakthroughs in a whole bunch of tech areas – wearables will start becoming more and more common, virtual reality is going to be a thing, and it’s likely that we’ll see the first bendable phone as well as maybe a house-robot that can actually do stuff instead of just take up space. Anyways, no more filler from us – here’s the list of tech we’re most excited for in 2015.

Virtuix Omni

Virtuix Omni

Being the proud nerd that I am, I’m an avid gamer and the Virtuix Omni has me mega excited. There have been a few delays in terms of the actual units shipping out (which is why I could put it on this list – it was originally suppose to ship end of 2014), but I’m optimistic that it’ll be released in 2015. While the reviews of the Omni haven’t all been totally positive, and certainly it seems like there are at least a few flaws on their design, I have a ton of respect for any company that tries to do something this big. I don’t expect the very first version of the Omni to be perfect . We’ll see if the first release is any good, and I hope the company behind the Omni keeps plugging away at it – eventually, they’ll come up with a design that’s so good we can go full-holodeck on it. That’s the future of gaming, and boy am I pumped.

Oculus Rift

If you’re into tech or gaming at all, you’ve almost definitely heard of the rift. You’ve seen the grandma’s on youtube react to it, you’ve seen the Nigerian security guard fall over using it – the reaction videos are pretty much endless. This is probably the gadget that I’m the most pumped for, and people who have actually used the Rift almost universally report that it is quite an incredibly experience. There are probably a few naysayers out there who’re skeptical now that Facebook bought the company, but in my opinion, anything that will get VR into my hands faster and better is a good thing. True VR has been a long time coming, and now the technology finally exists for a consumer-affordable VR headset. Exciting times.

Bendable Phone/Tablet

bendable phone

OK, I’m not entirely sure that this will be a reality in 2015, but bear with me – it seems like Samsung is working hard on this tech, so it could very well be that we see the first bendable phone or tablet released commercially near the end of 2015. While I’m not a big fan of the rounded/curved screens that they’ve put out so far, a truly bendable phone would be amazing – imagine rolling up your phone so it takes up less room in your pocket. Presumably, a bendable device will also be more durable than a typical smartphone – if you drop it, it’ll bend rather than break. While this tech wouldn’t be life changing, I do  think it would be pretty cool to have, so I’m excited to see if it becomes widely available in 2015.



So far, I’m not really that impressed with the watches and… well, it’s mostly watches – anyways, I’m not impressed with the wearables that have come to market. But I’m guessing that will change dramatically in 2015 – whether its the high tech motorcycle helmet or the golf glove that will up your game, I think the wearables that are coming in 2015 will be far better than those we saw in 2014 as companies niche down their products and provide real solutions to actual problems rather than just offer us a stripped-down smartphone in watch/bracelet form.

So, this is the stuff that I’m most excited for in 2015. What are you amped up about?


Sweet Reggie’s Tech Blog

Hello nerds.

This blog is a long-time in the making. I’m Sweet Reggie (www.reggiejohnson.com was taken),  and I’ve had a long held fascination with cutting edge gadgets and gizmos – and this is my attempt to turn my passion into something productive. Here on my blog, I’ll be following the latest trends in the tech world, discussing amazing, new-fangled thingmabobs and reviewing stuff that looks so cool you want to to put your head through a window.

Don’t think I’m just a hype man though – as a longtime tech nerd, I’ll try to help you separate the hype and the real stuff – so you don’t end up paying $269.99 for a huge Ring that is basically completely useless excellent for a)Use as a paperweight when you don’t really mind if the papers fly everywhere or b) useful for scaring away members of the opposite (or same) gender. Sure – like all tech people, I get super hyped for amazing prototypes and I’ll occasionally be overly enthusiastic about stuff – but I’m also going to try my damnedest to never recommend you buy something that doesn’t deliver.

You can also trust what you read here because I’m really just a regular guy and I have no ties whatsover with the tech/gadget industry (unlike many other tech blogs). I don’t get free swag, I don’t have friends in the industry, and I don’t work in the industry – the only relationship that I do have is one where I pay loads of money for the stuff they make. In other words, I’m a consumer, just like you. So you can at least trust that if I ever recommend something that’s terrible, it’s likely because I’m an idiot, and not because I’m getting paid to promote a product.

Another thing that separates this blog from your typical tech blog is that there’s no editors- Ill pretty much say whatever I want in whatever tone I want. There’s no guideline for how I’m going to write here – the writing will be as informal or as formal as I feel like on any given day. I’ll also be using copious amounts of stupid meme pictures, funny gifs, and all the other good stuff you’d expect to find on a random blog run by an idiot nobody.

I’ve tentatively split the different type of stuff I want to talk about into a few different sections – this is pretty much just for clarity. In particular, I’d like to point out the ‘futurology’ section – this will be for stuff that is nowhere near coming out, and sometimes it may not even be gadget related at all – for example, Elon Musk’s Hyperloop is not really a gadget, but it’s a piece of technology that I think would be super cool if it existed, so we might talk about that. Same thing with Google’s self-driving cars, news about AI, and other similar ‘futuristic’ or ‘sci-fi’ stuff – basically anything that sounds incredibly futuristic and isn’t an actual product will go into futurology.

So stay tuned nerds (I use the term affectionately) – you have a new place to read tech and gadget news.

3 Ways Smartphones Have Changed Everything

It wasn’t all that long ago that our cell phones were only that, a cell phone. Then phones started having cameras on them. Then you could go to some websites on your phone. Then Apple changed everything and just came out with basically a mini computer that just so happened to be a phone as well. Since then, everything in the world of technology has been changing and it’s continuing to change towards maximizing that little screen (or not so little sometimes) that fits in your pocket.

Smartphones are here and they aren’t going to go away. In fact, the number of people that start using smartphones is growing every year. It’s truly a different world out there because of smartphones and I, for one, love it. To highlight this change, I’m going to point out to you the 3 ways that smartphones are changing just about every aspect of our lives.

How We Find Information

We live in a day and age where if we want to know something, you can just Google it. Us looking up information has taken on the verb of a company that dominates that sector, in fact. What’s changing is that more and more of us are looking up information from our smartphones and not the traditional laptop. To get a little more info on this subject, I reached out to Jared Lee of Vibranium SEO, as he is a SEO expert in Kansas City and is always on the cutting edge of how people are finding information nowadays.

Jared said that the number of people using search engines grows pretty steady every year, but what is really interesting is that the percentage of people that are using their smartphones to lookup that information is skyrocketing. He said it’s mainly rising in the arena of local searches, meaning people are looking for a product, business, or service in their local area. Jared said “This scenario plays out a lot. People want to go get a bite to eat and instead of asking people what is good, they just take their phones out and Google it. They can even get directions right to the restaurant and make a reservation if needed from their phone.” These are truly amazing times.

How We Interact With Each Other

It’s a little ironic that we still include the word “phone” when we say “smartphone.” The numbers show us that we don’t call and talk to each other like we used to, but that’s because there are so many other ways to communicate in today’s world. There is texting, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and a beevy of other platforms that people use to communicate with each other. Many would argue that this is not a good thing because social skills do seem to be taking a tumble, but that’s a conversation for another day. It’s truly amazing to think about how we interacted just a mere decade ago and how we communicate today.

How We Are Entertained

In today’s world with smartphones, it’s considered relaxing to lie on the couch, prop your feet up, turn on your favorite TV show and also be on your smartphone at the same time. This is especially true with Twitter users, as many will “live tweet” a show, movie, and/or sporting event and that becomes part of the entertainment value. There are even shows that will display tweets about the show on the screen while you are watching the show. As boggling as that may sound, it’s only going to get bigger. You’ll even see this if you go to sporting events. As a big play is happening, half the crowd will be looking down on their phone and tweeting or posting on Facebook about what is going on.

I can probably say that all these things are only going to grow in popularity and it’ll be interesting to see how they morph in the next few years. Not all of these trends are a good thing in my opinion, but it is the trend as of now and that we just can’t argue with.

Paddleboards & Surfboards are High Tech too!

I’m a technology lover at heart, and some people think that means electronics are all that I care about. The reality, though, is that there’s technology in even the simplest things, like the best survival knife on the market. The materials in the grip and the blade can make it operate better or worse than it otherwise would. When it comes to standup paddle boarding, you need technology, too. The best standup paddle boards are going to have several technical details in common, and those details work together flawlessly. As the technology improves, so do the paddle boards themselves, and that’s awesome for everybody.
Carbon Fiber
The carbon fiber layers offer incredible strength to the board while also keeping it light. The carbon fiber forms a skin and it wears like iron. You can even find boards with more or less carbon fiber, depending on what you need from your board. Whether you’re going for speed or you simply want to be able to operate the board without a lot of weight working against you, a carbon fiber shell is the way you want to go. Fiberglass is just as smooth, but it’s heavier. This is one area where technology has definitely come up with a better solution.
Foam Core
In the past, standup paddle boards might have been made from wood cores. Those float well, of course, but they can get pretty heavy. With a racing paddle board, the lighter you can get the board, the better. But even if you’re just using your board for a little bit of exercise and for some sightseeing, a lighter foam core is going to serve you better. The lighter the foam, the more air pockets are inside it, and the better it floats. You’ve still got the weight of you and your gear to pull, but you don’t have to compound the issue with a heavy standup paddle board.
Lightweight Epoxy Resin
The third bit of technology that makes standup paddle boarding even more fun than it used to be is the resin used on the exterior of the board. Even though a carbon fiber skin is fairly smooth, there are still some ridges from the fibers. So the best solution is to use a thin layer of high gloss epoxy resin. The newer versions are extremely lightweight, so they don’t add any discernible heft. What the epoxy does do is seal off any edges and give a smooth finish that cuts through the water more easily than a board without the same type of finish.
So, if you’ve been thinking that there isn’t much technology involved in standup paddle boarding, I hope this gave you reason to believe otherwise. The truth is that inroads are made every day into new ways to get things done, particularly in the realm of sports and sporting goods. In the next few years, who knows what kinds of new materials or techniques are going to be in place to make this already incredible means of transporting yourself even better.

Do Electronic Pest Control Devices Really Work?

It’s currently summertime and pests are out in full force. You have messy sprays, candles, manual traps, and other unappealing options to try to control pests. However, there is now a new option for many pests, electronic pest control.

Electronic pest control is a way of repelling pests that is safe and non-lethal. This is becoming the popular way to rid pests as it is a fairly new way of controlling mice, rats and other pests. It is easy to use and affordable. For instance, compare it to the cost of hiring a professional to remove squirrels. It is an alternative to pesticides, chemicals and traps. Pests controlled by electronic devices range from flies to animals as large as deer. These electronic devices can use visual scare tactics, sonic, ultraviolet rays, ultra-sonic sound waves or other ways to deter unwanted pests.

You have to purchase the correct device because there are different ones for different animals you want to stay away. Some people say they work and some say they don’t, it depends on who you ask, the specific situation, and of course the device itself.

Purchasing a unit that has a money back guarantee will insure you that if it doesn’t work for your situation, then you can get your money back. Look for at least a one year warranty also. Electronic pest control is safe to use around most household pets, for example dogs, fish, and cats. Rodent-like pets are not safe, for example ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters and tarantulas. People with pacemakers or medical devices should consult their doctors before purchasing any device, as it could be very dangerous to them.
There are two basic types of electronic pest control devices: electromagnetic and ultrasonic.

Electromagnetic devices work by altering the electromagnetic field of electric wiring causing it to vibrate. This vibration happens every few seconds so the pests won’t get used to the sound. They can’t stand it so they leave.

Ultrasonic devices work by sending high frequency, short wavelength sound waves. Humans cannot hear the sound. These siren-like sounds don’t travel between walls, so a device would need to go in every room. You will see an increase of pests the first couple of weeks after installation because they are being flushed out of their hiding places. Then they will be gone.

Another type of pest control is ionic pest control where food odors are removed from your house as to not attract pests.

Most devices plug into a wall socket near where the infestation has occurred, some will have an extra socket so that you don’t lose the use of the socket. Some come with night lights, and some with air purifiers which pulls pollutants, odors and bacteria from the air. For the outside of your house you can use a sonic deterrent for rodents, birds and deer. It can cover a small area or large property, depending on the model you buy and the settings.

Additionally, you can make sure any openings in your home are sealed, areas around your home are free of debris and weeds, and inside your house is clean as to not attract pests.
Electronic pest control is a more humane way to get rid of and keep out pests. Some people say that it works and some say it doesn’t, similar to many methods of pest control. You will really need to test it for your own situation.

How Smartphones Are Changing The Real Estate Market

The world has officially gone mobile. You can literally do anything on your smartphone that you can do on a desktop computer. Applications and software for computers are being easily adapted to function on a smartphone, sometimes completely negating the need for a MAC or PC. I’ve been amazed to see this change in the real estate industry, as I have some friends in this industry. Nowadays agents know that smartphone users are smart and savvy about searching for what they want in a home, so they have to be more prepared than ever. It’s important for the market to reflect the wants and needs of these buyers, and put the work into making home searching more viable on mobile. I’ve helped a few of my friends catch up to this trend lately and I figure it’s an interesting topic to talk about, so here are some ways that smartphones have and are currently changing the real estate market. If you’re a real estate agent, you should take some notes.

Oh by the way I got some info for this article from my buddy Zach Riggs of Trusted Missouri Realtors. He specializes in homes for sale in Springfield, Missouri and with my help, has been on the cutting edge of technology in the real estate market the last few years. You can find out more about him by visiting www.trustedmissourirealtors.com.

Searching On the Go

The number of people using their smartphones to search for homes is increasing at a rapid rate. The smart real estate agents have made it easy to find their homes for sale on their website, Facebook page, etc., for smartphone users. Potential buyers want to be able to find what they need wherever they are, and as fast as they can. Smartphones provide this and has come to be expected from home buyers.

Mobile-Ready Capabilities

Does your website adjust to fit the needs for those internet users on their smartphones? If it doesn’t, you have some catching up to do. People expect that your site will work on their phones and if they do not, there is a good chance that they will move on to another real estate site. Mobile-ready sites are faster, more efficient, and better organized for smartphone users as well. In addition, Google will check your site for this function before ranking in search results for mobile users. If your website is formatted correctly for smartphones, it will show up higher in results than those that do not.

Accessible Media

Buyers like to take and use pictures and video of potential homes they would like to purchase. With smartphones being equipped with high definition photo and video capabilities, this makes it easier than ever for them to do this. Smartphones store and categorize these pictures and videos, making accessing them later a breeze as well.

Contracts and Paperwork

What is really amazing about smartphones in the real estate market is how they are able to provide a way to sign documents. Applications like Adobe Acrobat and E-sign let the users sign leases, contracts, forms, etc., directly from their phone! The agent can send you a signed copy by email or snail mail, and it makes the signing process a lot smoother! iPads are good for this as well. If you’re agency is setup to do this you are able to close more deals and save time in the process.

Location Services

What would we do without GPS? The Maps app on smartphones are an amazing feature that won’t let you ever get lost again. It is a great tool to use when house searching. Need directions from your house to the searched house? Input the address into the Maps app and it will take you there, step by step. Finding unknown locations is easier than ever with smartphones. Be sure to utilize this by having accurate information about any of the homes you list and have it accessible on your website.

Although smartphones have only been around for a few years, they have significantly changed the way we do many things, including real estate dealings. From searching, to studying, to buying a home, smartphones aid the process and make wading through the real estate market a breeze.

Advantages of Using an Electric Knife Sharpener

Back then, you can only find electric knife sharpeners in professional butcher stores or in fancy restaurants. People use these sharpeners to ensure that their knives perform in utmost quality. However, these days, it can be found even in ordinary kitchens. More people see the value of using electric knife sharpeners. This is an innovation that a lot of people find useful. Gone are the days when manual electric sharpeners are used. In fact, you might not even know how to use one. With this modern sharpener, everything becomes easier to deal with.

Benefits of using electric sharpeners

To begin with, using these electric sharpeners means that you can finish everything in seconds. You just have to plug the device in and place the knife in it. Once you are done polishing, the knife is good to go again. You can repeat the process if you wanted the knife to be sharper. However, a single or double run would already suffice. Electric sharpeners are powerful enough to achieve your desired results.

Another benefit is that it helps keep your knife last long. Back then, if your knife is no longer in good condition, you might just have to throw the knife away. These days, with the help of the electric sharpener, you can use the knife over and over again without any problem at all.

To top it all, you protect yourself from the dangers of using manual sharpeners. If you are not familiar of how it is used, then you might hurt yourself along the way. It also takes several repetitions. Thus, the chances of getting injured are high. With this electric sharpener, this will be the least of your concerns.

The best part is that once you are done using the sharpener, you can store it easily. They come in various sizes. However, most of them are small and can be stored without any problem. If you want more ideas about the best knife sharpener, you can go to this site. On the other hand, if you want a smaller sharpener, you can buy a pocket knife sharpener at www.knifesharpenerhq.net.

A few reminders

Though there are a lot of advantages in using the electric sharpener, you still have to be more careful. For instance, there are knives that are not compatible with electric sharpeners. If you don’t know how to control the movement while sharpening, it might damage the knife. Another thing that you have to remember is that these knife sharpeners may be a bit expensive. Therefore, if you really want one, you have to invest more. However, with all the benefits that you will get in the end, it is an investment worthy of the price. Besides, you are assured that the device will last for a long time. There are also some brands that offer longer warranty periods. Therefore, you won’t have any issues at all.

There are a lot of innovations in kitchenware these days. You just have to make the most out of these changes to aid in your cooking.

News Stories from the Tech Side of the Internet

The Internet is filled to the brim with fun stuff to enjoy while you’re trolling around for cat videos, but every once in a while, a story really catches my eye that I think could benefit people from all walks of life. That’s why I tend to jump onto the Internet and find every story I can get hands on turn them into bite-sized and easily digestible stories. From bionic dogs to smart appliances right to how the NSA leaks are becoming more relevant by the day; here are some of the stories you should know a lot more about.

Smart Appliances

Microchips and processors get smaller and smaller every year, and that makes it easier to stick computers in almost everything. This has brought on a wave of smart devices that range from extremely useful to weirdly inappropriate. Smart appliances tend to fall in the former category, and quite a few of them are making lives easier for the average household. The Meld, for example, is designed to attach to any stove knob and aids in keeping temperatures at the correct level totally depending on what you’re cooking. Smart fridges allow you to call and check some notifications while you’re looking through your stored food. It won’t be too long before we see the best rice cooker or other similar gadgets start to incorporate smart features of their own.

Edward Snowden Reopened

When mister Snowden first revealed the information that he stole to the world, many people hailed him as a hero and a lot more called him a traitor. Like it or not, what he did was important, but unfortunately, his mother country has already forgotten how deep the dangers go. So, in order to bring the issue back to the realm of relevance, John Oliver simplified the issue through use of a lewd kind of picture. The basic premise is that the U.S. government, in collaboration with other international agencies, does have the power to steal those images and store them for later use. The bottom line here is that it worked and now that the Patriot Act is being reconsidered, the issue is made even more important.

3D Printed Bionics

3D printers seem like they were taken straight out of a Sci-Fi novel and for good reason. They’re relatively cheap and can create everything from custom tools to action figures all through the use of a computer and the aforementioned printer. One of the biggest things that these machines have managed to do is to create cheaper and more effective prosthetics, which are quickly turning into bionic limbs. There’s one story which talks about a dog regaining the ability to run through 4 bionic limbs as well as a child getting a new arm in the form of Iron Man’s glove.

From smart appliances, to the miracle that is 3D printed limbs, these are some of the best stories I found online, but there are more to watch out for so keep looking around. You might find the next big trend hiding right underneath your nose. Just make sure to look up a few reviews sites like http://www.homecentric.org/best-rice-cooker-reviews/ before you buy into any smart device as they can be expensive.

High-Tech Rice Cookers

Modern rice cookers are fantastic, and there are many sites dedicated to finding the best rice cooker, like this one. In the past though, and even in present in poorer parts of some countries, a section of bamboo could be used to cook rice. Low tech to an extreme! Basically you’d use the bamboo as a cooking pot. You’d first wrap the uncooked rice in a banana leaf. Next you’d fill the section of bamboo with water. You’d then stuff the rice wrapped in a banana leaf into the bamboo. You’d then place the closed end of the bamboo in the hot ashes and coals of a fire. The water soon begins to boil and a while later you have cooked rice. Apparently the bamboo imparts a pleasant flavour to the rice. Read more about it — pictures included — here. Anyways, I mention all this just to give some perspective on how far we have come in the area of rice cookers.

Nowadays, we have much more convenient rice cookers. Granted, like the traditional and ancient rice cookers, there is a small amount of learning involved, but once you get the hang of it and make the tweaks necessary to cook your favourite rice perfectly, there is no going back. At least not willingly. Typically, once you have figured out the adjustments necessary all you will need to do is put the right amount of water and rice in your cooker, press a button, and come back later. Unlike a section of bamboo, modern digital rice cookers can, in some cases, double as slow cookers. Many rice cookers can cook a variety of grains as well, making them a versatile, and for some people – indispensable – kitchen appliance. Some rice cookers use pressure to cook making them even more attractive as time-saving devices. Have you ever decided not to cook brown rice because of the 40 to 45 minute cook time? Would you have cooked it if it only took 10 minutes instead? I would, and the combination best pressure cooker/rice cooker allows you to do just that.

As well, some Indian style pressure cookers have sections in them allowing you to cook three different dishes at the same time without mixing their flavours and scents. What’s more, after some decades of horror-stories about pressure cookers exploding, today’s pressure cookers are safe. They often have several back-up safety mechanisms now, and the digital ones are even better as they are programmable to turn off after a certain time so you don’t even have that worry in the back of your mind about remembering to shut it off.

There’s even this fantastic thing called the Instant Pot Smart now (you can see a demo on youtube). It is controllable via bluetooth and is a rice cooker/pressure cooker/steamer/yogourt maker etcetera, with 14 programs and 10(!) safety mechanisms. I want one! The price is a little steep at around $270, but if you think of all the separate appliances you’d have to buy and the space those appliances would take up, the cost doesn’t seem so bad after all. I’m salivating in more than one way.

Most advanced crossbows of 2015

Crossbows are becoming more and more popular with the increasing popularity of everyone’s favorite resident zombie killer Daryl, on the TV show The Walking Dead. While the zombie apocalypse may not be upon us like it is in The Walking Dead that doesn’t mean we can’t bone up on our crossbow skills or even start to learn how to use one. Regardless of skill or lack thereof, having the right crossbow can make it that much easier to use. With technology expanding at the speed of light, crossbows in 2015 now offering the latest and greatest advancements for the discerning crossbow user.

Excalibur Matrix 380 

The Excalibur Matrix 380 offers some of the best performance of any recursive crossbow with its 260 pound draw, 13.1 inch power stroke and Excalibur’s Realtree Xtra Finish. This crossbow shoots at 380 FPS. Additionally this model of crossbow comes with an Excalibur compact Tact-Zone crossbow scope. This lighting fast and deadly accurate crossbow is perfect for anyone looking to up their hunting game or looking to add more precision to their target practice. At $893.00 the price might scare you off but you get everything you pay for and more with this recursive crossbow at your side.

TenPoint C13004-7411 Vapor Crossbow

This crossbow offers you a 165 pound draw weight, Accudraw 50 cocking mechanism, and comes with a RangeMaster Pro Scope. This crossbow offers exceptional accuracy on par with a rifle but packaged into a crossbow. Additionally this comes with an in-stand detach 3-arrow quiver allowing for easy reloading. With the built in accudraw 50 system you get faster cocking and firing than a regular crossbow. While the price tag of $1800.00 is a bit steep know that you are getting reliability, stability, accuracy, and speed all combined into one crossbow.

Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Raider

This Wicked Ridge crossbow packs a 180 pound draw weight with a 330 FPS shot and 101.6 FP of impact energy. Included with this crossbow is a 3x Multi-Line Scope, Rope Cocker, 3 Aluminum Arrows and Quiver. The Wicked Ridge contains the patented TenPoint Compact Limb System (CLS) bow assembly. Unlike other crossbows the Wicked Ridge comes ready to fire out of the package. With a little bit of minor assembly you can get a perfect grouping without having to sight. While this may not be a major advantage over other crossbows it shows the dedication and quality of the product you receive from TenPoint. At only around $791.00 this crossbow is a lot cheaper than many of its contemporaries without sacrificing the performance or quality you would normally expect for the lower price point.

Barnett Ghost 350 CRT Crossbow

The Barnett Ghost 350 CRT Crossbow is the cheapest crossbow on this list at only $485.00 but that price doesn’t mean it falls short compared to the other crossbows on this list. The Barnett Ghost 350 has Crosswire strings, Anti-Dry Fire, Whiplash cams, rope cocking device, as well as comes with 3 arrows, quiver, and a limited 5 year warranty. This compact crossbow comes in at a little over 7.5 pounds making it both light and durable for firing on the go. With a 175 pound draw, 116 FP of energy, and 350 FPS this lightweight, rugged, and accurate crossbow is a steal for the price.

The Future of Shoe Technology

Fitness technology is evolving quickly and 2015 is going to be even bigger and better. During my search for a new pair of running shoes I discovered a wide range of awesome tech built into the modern sports shoe.

Rock and Run

Back in 2013, Apple patented a smart shoe technology, but then quickly realized it didn’t know how to make shoes. Roll on to 2015 and Apple began collaborating with Nike (which does make shoes), and customers now have Rock and Run.

The idea is you pick up your iPod or iPhone and put on your Nike+ running shoes. You then put the iPod sensor into your Nike+ shoe packet (it’s under the sole).

Next you go to the workout menu and choose a running setting. Before you head off you also need to choose a playlist. Now, you’re all set to go running (phew — just setting up is exhausting).

Once you have completed your workout the app tells you a range of stats and compares your effort to previous workouts. You can then use this information to improve your fitness levels.

Cross Training Shoes

The technology inside the various makes and models of the cross training shoe becomes more advanced every year. Reebok’s CrossFit Nano 4 is packed with technology, including Rope Pro protection, a hard plastic material that protects the softer materials. It also includes Duracage technology, an indestructible and lightweight material giving support to the heel.

New Balance has designed a minimalist shoe that is lightweight and flexible. The shoe is highly advanced with no-sew material — literally there is no stitching at all, making the shoe a complete unit. The Vibram sole is another high-end tech built into the shoe. The sole is able to give multidirectional movement for the athlete.

Last month Nike released its CrossFit shoe called the Metcon 1. The shoe is packed with technology including a dual-density midsole, which is an inch thick and provides high-quality cushioning.

Flywire is a set of internal cables from the laces to the sole, which provides the ultimate lace grip.

On Cloud

“On” is the name of the company and “Cloud” is the name of the shoe. The shoe is designed to activate the muscles in our legs and feet using a very unique sole technology system. The sole is made with EVA and carbon rubber sections that move and change shape during use.

The sole absorbs shock when running, similar to the Asics Gel system. It also transfers energy to the front of the shoe, propelling the athlete forward when contact is made with the ground.

Adidas Adistar Boost

The torsion system built into the mid-section of the shoe provides a new era of stabilization. The concept was designed over six years ago and has only just been perfected. The hard plastic holds the entire shoe together and gives the athlete the perfect heel-to-toe contact with every stride.

The torsion system is already available in the Adistar range and will be incorporated into more Adidas shoes later this year.

Why a Smartphone

What is the best smartphone on the market? That is a question so many people have been asking others for years. Many people say the almighty iPhone. While others will say droid. Both offer so much to their users. Well, I am going to tell you the one that I use and love. I am an iPhone user. I have had one for about 4 years now. I jumped on the droid train first. But one day I went to my local Apple store and played around on one. All I have to say is the rest is history. I was sold.

There are many things that I love about my phone. One of the main reasons I love it so much is because of the size of the App Store. There really is an app out there for anything. They have games, social media apps, and photo editing apps. And that is just naming the main ones that I use. One day I was hanging up shelves in one of my closets at home. I needed a level. Well, I knew that I did not have one. So then I searched on the App Store. Then within a few seconds I had a level right there in my hand. Plus it was a free app. There are so many apps that do not cost you any money. Actually I would say that most of the apps out there are probably free of charge. I mean how can you beat free? Everyone loves free stuff.

Plus having a high definition camera on my phone is a sweet feature. You will always take pictures and videos. So why not have all that on your phone? By having a smartphone it just saves room in my backpack. Now all that can just fit in my pocket. I can remember this one time when we had a bad leak under our sink. Well, I took a picture of it and then contacted a plumber in Oxford Alabama. Since the photo was so clear he knew right when he looked at it what the problem was and how he could fix it. If it was not for my phone there was no way I could have explained it to him.

One thing that was great for me when I switched over was that I had been an iTunes customer for years. I previously had an iPod when they first were released and always carried it around. So whenever I did make the jump back on the Apple train, it was nice to have all my music right there on my phone. I said goodbye to the days of carrying both my iPod and phone everywhere I went. Now having the all in one feature was wonderful. So if you buy your music from iTunes do not be like me. Just go ahead and get the iPhone and enjoy!

Plus me running my business and having an iPhone made my life easier too. My SIP trunking providers have an app for my phone. Which makes the business so much easier to run.