Sharon D. Nelson is president of the digital forensics, information technology, and information security firm Sensei Enterprises. In addition...
Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program, Jim Calloway is a recognized speaker on legal technology issues,...
If you’re looking for the latest and greatest technology to spoil your most beloved tech-nerds this holiday season, look no further than the annual tech toys edition of The Digital Edge. This year, hosts Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway talk about a wide range of products, from doorbells to submarines, to help you brainstorm gift ideas for everyone on your list.
Bluesmart laptop bag: the world’s first smart bag
BioLite SolarPanel 5+: portable solar charger
Legalboard: A keyboard designed for lawyers
Joby GripTight One GorillaPod Stand: flexible tripod and phone holder
Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google: smart jacket
Gatekeeper 2.5 Wireless Bluetooth PC Lock: computer key
LG Gram Laptops: a series of lightweight laptops
Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II: noise canceling headphones
Microsoft Surface Book 2: a laptop/tablet
SketchPro 3D Pen: 3D drawing pen
Samsung 34” CF791 Curved Widescreen Monitor: HD monitor
Ring Video Doorbell: security system
Nexx Garage: door opener
Echo Connect: Amazon Echo phone accessory
Kuri: home robot
Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard: travel keyboard
Kohler Numi Toilet: smart toilet
Apple Watch Series 3: smart watch
Carved Satellite Series: carved wooden phone cases
Aston Martin Limited Edition Submarine
The Digital Edge
Tis the Season Tech Toys for the Holidays 2017
Intro: Welcome to The Digital Edge with Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway, your hosts, both legal technologists, authors and lecturers, invite industry professionals to discuss a new topic related to lawyers and technology. You are listening to Legal Talk Network.
Sharon D. Nelson: Welcome to the 119th edition of The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology. We are glad to have you with us. I am Sharon Nelson, President of Sensei Enterprises, an information technology, cybersecurity and digital forensics firm in Fairfax, Virginia.
Jim Calloway: And I am Jim Calloway, Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program. Today we are doing our favorite podcast of the year Tech Toys for the Holidays, in which Sharon and I offer up some of our favorite technology toys, perhaps good for gifts, perhaps not, some serious and some not so serious.
Sharon D. Nelson: Before we get started, we would like to thank our sponsors. Thanks to our sponsor Clio. Clio’s cloud-based practice management software makes it easy to manage your law firm from intake to invoice. Try it for free at HYPERLINK “http://www.clio.com/”clio.com. That’s HYPERLINK “http://www.clio.com/”clio.com.
Thank you to Answer 1, a leading virtual receptionist and answering services provider for lawyers. You can find out more by giving them a call at 800-answer1 or online at HYPERLINK “http://www.answer1.com/”www.answer1.com. That’s HYPERLINK “http://www.answer1.com/”www.answer1.com.
Jim Calloway: Thanks to Scorpion. Scorpion sets the standard for law firm online marketing with proven campaign strategies to get attorneys better cases from the Internet. Partner with Scorpion to get an award-winning website and ROI positive marketing programs today. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.scorpionlegal.com/podcast”scorpionlegal.com/podcast.
Thanks also to ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted prescreened process servers. Work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high volume serves, embrace technology and understand the litigation process. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.Serve-Now.com” Serve-Now.com to learn more.
Sharon D. Nelson: So Jim, let’s get started on our favorite podcast of the year.
Jim Calloway: It’s always a lot of fun.
Sharon D. Nelson: Oh yes, yes, yes and we really do have a nice mix of things this year. So my first toy is a Bluesmart laptop bag. And I got to admit $235 is a lot to spend for a laptop bag. But this is a heck of a bag from bluesmart.com, which calls itself the world’s first smart luggage brand.
It has a removable battery pack allowing you to charge your devices whether they’re in the pack or out of the pack, it has location tracking, so you can find the darn thing and alert when you and the bag get too far apart. And the bag with a battery pack weighs 3.3 pounds and it’s big enough to fit a 15-inch laptop into. You can get $40 off as we record this podcast when you pre-order. But if you’re giving it as a gift for this holiday season, you’ll have to print a photo of it because delivery isn’t until March.
Jim Calloway: Oh that sounds very interesting, Sharon. I’m going to market for a new laptop bag but I unfortunately don’t have a 15-inch computer. My first tech toy is the BioLite SolarPanel 5+. And I don’t know if we missed the first 4 editions or whatever but this is the 5+.
For that person who’s always running out of their charge for their devices in your life, here’s a great gift. Sharon talk about combining old technology and new, it’s a solar panel to recharge your devices but it has an integrated sundial to align you to the sun so you can capture the rise very directly. The 360° kickstand simplifies positioning on uneven terrain and it’s only $79.95.
Sharon D. Nelson: Cool. And my next tip is LegalBoard, which is a keyboard designed by lawyers for lawyers, available from legalkeyboards.com. This is probably one of my cheapest toys because it’s only $75, and it has all kinds of legal symbols that lawyers use all the time. So it doesn’t sound like too bad a price to me.
It also has a fast way to insert citations and common legal words like plaintiff, defendant, court, etcetera, and if you’re looking for a keyboard that is mobile or Mac compatible, they also have a legal pad, anything to make our lives easier right, Jim.
Jim Calloway: That’s right Sharon and of course it always solves that problem lawyers have fought for a long time, where is that section sign key on the keypad.
Sharon D. Nelson: Oh, oh my God, yes. The Joby GripTight ONE GorillaPod stand has been around for a long time. Some of you may seen it but this is really the best stand that I’ve found and a lot of reviews say so to hold your smartphone up in the air a little bit where you’re either watching movies or maybe you’re making movies.
Because if you’re video recording, it’s very good to have a stable camera rather than one that jerks around a little bit even with the changes we have in digitization. So it has rubberized ball-and-socket links and can support the device whether on flat or uneven surfaces, this is a great little handy device, it folds up and goes in your bag well if you’re traveling and only $28.
Sharon D. Nelson: Oh yeah, you definitely got the cheapest tip so far. My next tip is a smart jacket made by Google and Levi, specifically tailored with the urban cyclist in mind. The Commuter Trucker Jacket was designed for getting around the city and you can easily access your digital world because Jacquard’s technology, and I have no idea what that means, is woven into the sleeve of the jacket. So the tiny electronics contained in the flexible snap tag connect the Jacquard threads in the jackets cuff to your mobile device.
The snap tag lets you know about incoming information like a phone call by giving you a light and feedback, it’s really quite amazing. The whole thing looks and feels like it’s part of the jacket and the tag also houses the battery, which can last up to two weeks between charges. And it’s not cheap, $350 is the price tag, but I do know a lot of lawyers who actually do bike to work and I can see them springing for this one.
But I don’t see it under your Christmas tree, am I right, Jim?
Jim Calloway: Probably not.
Sharon D. Nelson: Maybe Dennis Kennedy, our friend.
Jim Calloway: There you go. Well my next tech toy is the GateKeeper 2.5 Wireless Bluetooth PC Lock. And this one I actually found in a Popular Mechanics magazine online, but this is really a physical key that you keep on your keychain and then if you walk away from your computer, the gatekeeper automatically locks up the computer.
Then when you should walk back up, it unlocks it for you without having to enter your password. You can set the range to unlock your devices from 3-30 feet and so when you get that far away, it just automatically locks up your computer. We have pretty secure offices in the law firm environment but if there’s a prankster in the office or if you just want to be a good demonstrator of security, this is certainly a great tool, so simple.
You just walk up to it and it interacts with the key on the key ring in your pocket. And right now a 2-pack of these is on sale Sharon for just $60.
Sharon D. Nelson: I’m sure that my husband John would find some sort of security hole in this thing.
Jim Calloway: Oh wait, let me continue. The credentials are encrypted with Military Grade AES-256 Encryption and stored on the computer. So no private information is stored on the key and it can’t be cracked.
Sharon D. Nelson: All right, well you’ve answered John, who didn’t ask the question. My next offering is the LG Gram super lightweight laptops. At the current time, again, we record these and it takes several weeks to edit them but at the current time, you can save up to $100 off by ordering from the website lg.com.
Consumer Reports gave excellent reviews of the 13.5 inch I5 touch but there are three different sizes. What really amazed me is that the 15-inch model weighs less than 2 and 1.5 pounds. And I’m getting to the age now where the lighter it is, the better I like it. So I am thinking about introducing John to this particular laptop as a gift perhaps.
The 13-inch LG Gram has 17.5 hours of battery life, which is amazing to me. The whole line with all the different sizes has a starting price of $999 but as I mentioned earlier, there are discounts of $100 at least as we record.
Jim Calloway: The definition of a gift for somebody is something really that is they wouldn’t buy for themselves but they really need and would use a lot and enjoy. So my candidate in that regard probably because I’m too cheap to buy it for myself, Sharon, is the Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II; $350 for the Cadillac of headphones. We see them always popping out in the first-class section of the airlines when we fly, right Sharon.
Sharon D. Nelson: Oh every time. It makes me mad because I’m too cheap too.
Jim Calloway: Before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick commercial break.
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Sharon D. Nelson: Welcome back to The Digital Edge on the Legal Talk Network. Today our subject is Tech Toys for the Holidays, and Jim and I will continue to host our tech party here.
So another thing I want to show Jim is the Microsoft Surface Book 2, which comes in two sizes, a new 15 inch or a 13.5 inch pixel sense display. They have up to 17 hours of battery life, which again is amazing to me and up to four times more power than the original Surface Book, and you can get up to 16 gigabytes of RAM. There are tons of configuration options, but basically the prices for the 13-inch model start at about 1500 and about 2500 for the 15-inch version. They work in laptop mode, tablet mode, studio mode for drawing and sketching and view mode for watching movies and TV shows.
I would have one of your geek friends help you figure out exactly the specifications you need. Happily I’m married to my great geek friend, so I’m going to tap him for that.
Jim Calloway: But I have heard on all the Surface Pros and the Surface Books don’t get the bottom line for lawyer use.
Sharon D. Nelson: No, absolutely not, you definitely want to spring up higher and that’s why you need a geek friend to spec it out for you.
Jim Calloway: Okay, this is a bit off the wall. This is the SketchPro 3D Printing Pen, couldn’t come up with a justifiable use in the law office environment, but again it’s in my price range only 59.88, but —
Sharon D. Nelson: What a cheap Santa Claus.
Jim Calloway: 3D printing though Sharon, remember when it was like science fiction and then they were paying tens of thousands of dollars, now for only $60, and you know how there is all these groups in society, we seem to know nothing about, apparently these pens for 3D printing are a big thing, lots of customer reviews, lots of people talking about which filament to buy and how they work various, but just as a cool gift to play around with the kids, a pen basically that let you draw little lines that then solidify, and you can do lots of different things with it.
They say it’s for kids but it gets pretty hot, so I’d probably put it up when the kids are not around. But a 3D printing pen for $60, who would have known.
Sharon D. Nelson: Yeah, not me, but I’m thinking about the grandkids at this point.
Jim Calloway: Yep.
Sharon D. Nelson: Well I will move on to the Samsung CF791 34” Curved Monitor, which I must tell you is a thing of beauty, as well it should be for a price tag of $949.99. At least it does ship for free, but it gives you a really immersive widescreen viewing experience. It lets you enjoy the full cinematic beauty of movies and it puts you right at the hearts of sports games and video games and very useful for lawyers. You can split the screen up to multitask into different portions and the colors are really, really beautiful.
As you might imagine there are built-in speakers and multiple ports which reminds me that I am going to Seattle this weekend and I need to bring my earplugs for the Seahawks game. I can’t imagine listening to that roar in person and I will bet it might be dangerous to watch the Seahawks at home on this monitor too.
Jim Calloway: Well have fun at the Seahawks game for sure.
Sharon D. Nelson: With my earplugs, yeah.
Jim Calloway: Sharon, I know you have heard this, but many of our listeners may not. In Russia right now it’s very common for — you see comets and all sorts of things having their pictures made as they land or meteorites I should say, because every driver in Russia has a camera in their car, because the insurance companies won’t pay off if you can’t show a video of the accident anymore.
I think we are really getting to that situation where we have no unexamined life and security cameras are going to go from optional to everybody who has good sense has to have one.
But John even I think mentioned to me the ring video doorbell for a $179, and this gets good reviews for being secure, basically you put it on your door, you get instant alerts when somebody presses your doorbell or the Motion Center notices them messing around your door, you can watch over your home in clear HD video.
It even has infrared night vision, and then you have already seen commercials for this type of thing where when the people are messing around about to do something bad, you start communicating with them with the two-way audio, even it has a noise cancellation built-in.
So quite a set of features for $179, but for those of us who leave our house every day, I think more and more people are considering, whether having a doorbell, because a lot of people with bad intent come and ring the doorbell to see if anybody is home. So I think this is a cool toy.
Sharon D. Nelson: It’s more than a toy. I mean I consider a necessity and John and I do have the ring video doorbell, we use it all the time. We tell people just to leave the package at the front door though we were there. If they say that they want us to open the door. We tell them we’re on the phone with somebody and no thank you, and we just get rid of them. If you have to you can tell them look I am just going to punch my security system and alert the police.
So it makes me feel very, very safe to have that doorbell there. And most of the time you know just by looking, you know even if you are home I look at it, because if it’s a clearly a solicitor or somebody with a clipboard taking a survey, eh, screw them, you’re not going to answer the door.
Jim Calloway: A double recommendation on that device.
Sharon D. Nelson: Oh absolutely, very strongly recommend that for that price point, it’s a great buy.
So my next toy is the Nexx Garage Remote, so we are thinking security at home here. Many of us use our garage as a way into the house because it often connects to the kitchen or the family room. So I especially liked this door opener which you can find at Nexx, that’s HYPERLINK “http://www.nexxgarage.com/”nexxgarage.com at $99.99, the price is not bad. The garage door opener can be used via your smartphone, via Amazon Alexa, Google Home, it’s great.
So you have got all these different ways to get to it, multiple people can be authorized users, all the communications are encrypted and traceable and logged and you can receive alerts if a door is opened or closed along with a history of when the door has been opened or closed. I think that’s pretty darn and slick, Jim, that might be another one we need to get.
Jim Calloway: Yeah, I think that is pretty nice too. I like that a lot. And my old garage door openers may need an overhaul anyway.
So the next one I have actually included a link to a video on CNET for all the new echo gadgets, not to kill the holiday buzz, but as a lawyer who did a lot of family law my attention was instantly drawn to the Echo Connect, a $35 accessory that will let you call 911 with voice commands.
Again, that could be very handy in appropriate situation. But there are lots of new echo devices now, the unlocking the doors, the Echo Plus different the Connect devices, and this video is really worth your time. I have to say I still often leave Alexa unplugged or off, but when you want to use it is certainly a handy device, and we use ours a lot.
Sharon D. Nelson: Yes, so do we, I know John is faithful about asking every morning what’s the price of Bitcoin today.
Okay, so my next offering is Kuri, the robot nanny; more than just a nanny really but that’s what they call it. I am fascinated by robots, so I’m introducing you to Kuri, who you can find at heykuri.com. He and it is supposedly a he, is described as adorable with a cheerful personality; though I don’t know if I could stand a cheerful personality first thing in the morning. He gets great reviews and is relatively affordable for a robot at $799. He can take family photos for you, blink, smile and nod, talks, repeats anything you want, repeat it that you say, the language is supposedly quite good, could read audio books, play music and podcast, and respond to instructions at least to those that he is programmed to understand.
He recognizes faces and he can navigate any room safely. He comes with a charging pad where he automatically goes when he needs a power nap. I want one of those, Jim.
Jim Calloway: I think all your grandchildren each need one of those for Christmas. Easy for me to say.
Sharon D. Nelson: A big yuletide budget for grandma.
Jim Calloway: That’s right. I really like the title of this next gadget, it’s the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard for iPad, iPhone, Android devices and Windows tablets. I like how they listed the iDevices first let’s say, we’re talking about it.
But this is only, the list price is 99.95. I show it on sale for $70, just under 70 at the time of the podcast, but really we’ve seen lots of portable keyboards. I have seen the ones that curl up and whatever, and the idea that the keyboard should fold up and be a square the same size as your tablets and other devices to fit in your bag, really seems to be a big sales item for this one.
It’s very thin and lightweight, only 5 mm in thickness. The foldable designs means you can put it in your pocket as well as a bag or a purse or something like that. Yet it has a completely full sized water-repellent keyboard.
So a good value I think and really I don’t mind. I use voice a lot on my devices, I know you do too Sharon, but if you are going to type a lot, the full-size keyboard is still what we will always like.
Sharon D. Nelson: Absolutely, no question about that.
Jim Calloway: Before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick commercial break.
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Sharon D. Nelson: Welcome back to The Digital Edge on the Legal Talk Network. Today our subject is Tech Toys for the Holidays and Jim and I are ready with everything but the spiked eggnog which we wish we could share with our listeners.
My next offering for a tech toy is the Kohler Numi Smart Toilet. Now that was just too enticing a title of a thing, but I had to go look at it. I realized that not everyone needs a smart toilet which looks like it belongs in George Jetson’s house, especially when it comes with a price tag of over $6,000.
But it is pretty cool, you can actually watch some of what it does on the website, it’s on the Kohler website. It even greets you when you go into the bathroom which is a little creepy. I don’t know about conversations with my toilet, I don’t know about that.
This Kohler toilet has a heated seat, a foot warmer, an air dryer, a deodorizer, a motion-activated cover and seed, illuminated panels and it plays music. It has a touch screen remote to control function and a magnetic docking station. It also has something which is only listed on the website as advanced bidet functionality. That scared me, Jim.
Jim Calloway: I will always mark today as the day that Sharon said not every home needs a smart toilet.
Well from the waste products to the wrist, I am going to talk about the Apple Watch Series 3. I don’t have one of these either, but for $329 Jeff Richardson of iphonejd.com really says the new watch is great. Smart watches are definitely a function I see a lot of lawyers using now. And being the person who is still the Apple loyalists mainly because of inertia as opposed to anything else, I still think a great gift to find under my tree would be the Apple Watch Series 3.
Sharon D. Nelson: Sounds good to me. Here is hoping you get your wife to listen to this.
Jim Calloway: Never.
Sharon D. Nelson: Well, my last tip is really kind of a doozy. It’s an Aston Martin Limited Edition Submarine. My final tech toy here will not be available until Christmas of 2018, but it really is a doozy. You may remember that Aston Martin was James Bond’s vehicle of choice and they have teamed up with Triton Submarines in order to manufacture this. It will cost you a mere $4 million just a drop in the bucket for some people, no doubt. But the Sub will hold three people, dive to a depth of 1650 feet and travel at speeds of up to 3.5 miles per hour. It is 5.9 feet tall and weighs in at 8800 pounds. And they are calling it — at the moment, they are calling it, Project Neptune.
So if I get it, are you ready for a dive Jim?
Jim Calloway: I don’t think that’s a huge possibility, so I will say yes.
Sharon D. Nelson: Yeah, I think you are safe to say yes.
Jim Calloway: Okay. My last tip, our tech toy, I mean is the Carved Satellite Phone Cases made of wood. I will encourage all of our listeners to click on the link on the podcast and go to HYPERLINK “http://www.carved.com/satellite”www.carved.com/satellite. These wooden carved phone cases are really unique. Obviously, they are not carved by hand, there is a process, but because they are all made from real wood they have a unique grain that won’t be repeated in other phone cases. Literally you will have a phone case that doesn’t look like everybody else’s.
The iPhone X version is only $59 and comes in lots of different colors and hues, different versions of this, but I really would encourage everybody just to go look at this even if you’re not in the model for a phone case, because these are some beautiful wooden phone covers.
And that really concludes our tech toys for the holidays. I would like to wish all of our listeners very happy holidays and hope you have the budget to buy all of these tech toys except maybe not the Submarine.
Sharon D. Nelson: And I certainly want to thank our listeners as well. I know we meet a lot of you as we roam around giving lectures in various places and CLEs and it’s very kind of you to always tell us that you listen to the podcast. So we appreciate that and we do hope everyone has very happy holidays.
That does it for this edition of The Digital Edge Lawyers and Technology. And remember, you can subscribe to all the editions of the podcast at HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com/”legaltalknetwork.com or on iTunes. And if you enjoyed our podcast, please rate us in Apple Podcast.
Jim Calloway: Thanks for joining us. Goodbye Ms. Sharon.
Sharon D. Nelson: Happy trails cowboy.
Outro: Thanks for listening to The Digital Edge, produced by the broadcast professionals at Legal Talk Network. Join Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway for their next podcast covering the latest topic related to Lawyers and Technology. Subscribe to the RSS feed on HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com/”legaltalknetwork.com or in iTunes.
The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders and subsidiaries; none of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
The Digital Edge, hosted by Sharon D. Nelson and Jim Calloway, covers the latest technology news, tips, and tools.
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