It’s that time of year again! Get ready to make some quirky additions to your wishlist. Digital Edge hosts Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway bring you their much-anticipated annual episode – Tech Toys for the Holidays! This year’s list includes another healthy variety of practical and not-so practical gift ideas, ranging from Rocketbooks to flash drives to your very own Death Star fire pit–just what you didn’t know you needed! Tune in for ideas for everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Clio, Nexa, Scorpion, and ServeNow.
Mentioned in This Episode
Products mentioned in this episode:
The Digital Edge
‘Tis the Season Tech Toys for the Holidays 2019
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 142nd 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. We do this annually, Tech Toys for the Holidays. Sharon and I offer up some of our favorite Tech Toys, some are very serious and some not so serious.
Sharon D. Nelson: Well, 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 clio.com. That’s clio.com.
Thank you to Nexa, formerly known as Answer1. Nexa is a leading virtual receptionist and answering service provider for law firms. Learn more by giving them a call at 800-267-9371 or visit them online at nexa.com.
Jim Calloway: Thank you 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 scorpionlegal.com/podcast.
Thanks 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 serve-now.com to learn more.
Sharon D. Nelson: Okay Jim, let’s get this party rolling. My first Tech Toy for the Holidays is the iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dashboard & Windshield Car Mount Phone Holder, which is quite a mouthful, but this is one of the best sellers on Amazon, and the Prime cost is $24.95, which is pretty easy on the wallet. And even the AARP, and yes, I am a member, is saying that this is a great deal and to move to hands-free usage of your phone in the car.
It is an easy, one-touch lock release. It has adjustable viewing and universal mounting, so it can hold all phone and case combinations, from 2.3 inches to 3.5 inches. It has a one-time use dashboard disc and a reusable suction cup combo with superior strength. So if you don’t already have a smartphone dashboard mount, join the cool kids who drive safely and get one.
My second Tech Toy is, it’s actually free, which I know is every lawyer’s favorite price, and it’s the smartphone’s Moment App. It’s less phone and more real life, that’s kind of their advertising, and in so many ways your phone makes your life better and easier, I know that, and it also makes it harder, I know that too.
It connects you with work, it connects you with the people you love, it will order dinner, but the phone works against you a lot of the time by pulling you away from real life. Moment gives you back some of that real life. It has short daily exercises provided through Moment Coach and it can help you use your phone in a healthy way so that you can be present for the parts of your life that matter the most. And it really does work for a lot of folks.
So far Moment has been downloaded by seven million users. So if you are looking for a digital detox, this could be the best gift you can possibly give yourself.
Jim Calloway: So Sharon, why just have Alexa listening to everything you say at home when it can also listen to everything you and your kids say in your car? Yes, the Echo Auto is only $49.99. Seriously, if your car has Bluetooth, but not the speech controls, this device allows you to play music from your phone, make calls, play audible or podcasts, get directions for navigation with eight microphones. Alexa can hear you over road noise and she won’t miss a thing, even in the back of the car when the kids ask, are we there yet.
Sharon D. Nelson: All right, don’t take it to a drive-in theater, right?
Jim Calloway: That’s right. Next Tech Toy for the Holiday is the Rocketbook Fusion. Sharon, we have discussed these reusable pen and paper notebooks that save all of your notes to your favorite cloud service before. The Fusion has seven different page templates, like a weekly planner, task lists and monthly calendars.
When you are finished with your notes and they are safely saved to the cloud, just wipe the page clean with a damp cloth to reuse, much better than the original versions of these, where you had to microwave the book to get them to erase.
Rocketbook Beacons are $15 and they are for those people who like those big paper whiteboards. You can attach these reusable tools in the corners and you can digitally share your notes that you wrote on the paper whiteboard. Both of these available at getrocketbook.com and the Beacons are only $15.
Sharon D. Nelson: Yeah, that’s cheap, that’s cheap, okay.
Onward to Backupify, which is backup for Office 365, G Suite and Salesforce. So whether you need to secure your cloud data to meet standards and regulations or you want to prepare your business in the event of data loss or a ransomware attack, this reduces your risk.
The price is based on the total number of users in the domain, so 0-10 is $30 a month, 11-25 is $75, 26-50 is $150. So we have begun to see a lot more folks using Backupify. So if you are looking for a new backup provider, this could be it for you.
And my next tip is what everybody seems to want, which is a Wi-Fi extender. This is the TP-LINK AC750 Wi-Fi Range Extender and it is $24.99 and it is an Amazon Prime bestseller. So you can extend the range of your Wi-Fi with this device, compatible with any router and it has smart indicator lights to help you provide optimal placement. It’s supposed to be installed between the router and the desired area, that’s the thing.
And it has lots of features that I am not going to go through here. But TP-LINK is the world’s number one provider of consumer Wi-Fi. So this is especially good for home usage and that’s been true for seven years, and it offers a two year and free 24×7 technical support, which is pretty generous.
So go ahead and indulge yourself and extend your Wi-Fi.
Jim Calloway: Because we all want Wi-Fi in every inch of our house and yard.
Sharon D. Nelson: And our children mandate it and so do our grandchildren.
Jim Calloway: Clocky, the original alarm clock on wheels is only $45.99. This is the only bedside alarm clock that will jump off of your nightstand, run away, hide, roll, wheel, beep and jump up. He is cool, fun, annoying, unique, a bit crazy and guaranteed to get you up on time, because you have to get up and chase down the alarm clock to turn Clocky off.
Sharon D. Nelson: I hate him already Jim.
Jim Calloway: I wonder how many of these are broken by throwing shoes each year Sharon.
Sharon D. Nelson: Yeah, my shoes are right beside my bed. I could do that.
Jim Calloway: Still, maybe it’s a gift for your less than favorite person that’s on your Christmas holiday list.
Sharon D. Nelson: Done Jim, done.
Jim Calloway: My next Tech Toy is the Whistle Go/Health & Location Tracker for Pets. Anyone who has ever searched their neighborhood for their lost dog has wished that their canine friend had a GPS attached will really appreciate this device for only $99.95. It alerts you when the dog leaves his designated safe zone so you can go find the lost pup right then.
But wait, in true infomercial fashion, there is more, proactive health monitoring, weekly wellness reports track and analyze your pets licking, scratching and sleeping, so you can stay closely informed of changes. Comes in one to six colors, Sharon.
Sharon D. Nelson: All right. Well, I like having a fashionable color, so we will work on that Jim.
Jim Calloway: Before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick commercial break.
Sharon D. Nelson: If you are missing calls, appointments and potential clients, it’s time to work with Nexa Professional. More than just an answering service, Nexa’s virtual receptionists are available 24/7 to schedule appointments, qualify leads, respond to emails, integrate with your firm software, and much more. Nexa ensures your clients have the experience they deserve. Give them a call at 800-267-9371 or visit them at nexa.com/podcast for a special offer.
Imagine what you could do with an extra eight hours per week. That’s how much time legal professionals save with Clio, the world’s leading practice management software. With intuitive time tracking, billing and matter management, Clio streamlines everything you do to run your practice from intake to invoice. Try Clio for free and get a 10% discount for your first six months when you sign up with the code TDE10. Of course you can find Clio at clio.com. That’s clio.com.
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.
So my next suggested gift is an encrypted USB Flash Drive, the SanDisk SDCZ880-128G-G46 Extreme PRO. There is more stuff there, but it’s going to be on the website, so don’t worry about it. You can find it from there. And you can get it from Amazon Prime. The price is $43.76. It has 128 gigabyte capacity, and it has fast 3.1 USB transfer speeds.
SanDisk’s SecureAccess software is included for 128-bit AES file encryption and password protection, and it’s pretty sleek looking too. James Bond would definitely have approved.
And I know you like Bond too, Jim, you are so much like him.
Jim Calloway: Calloway, Jim Calloway.
Sharon D. Nelson: Yes, I love it. And then I am going to direct you to Direct Flight Finder, which again is free, but a gift to yourself. It finds direct flights from the originating airport of your choice or you can search by airline if you want. If you are like me, you always want to reduce the number of connections for your trips, there and back. We went on one four leg trip, every single leg was delayed. I can’t tell you how long we spent in the airport and that’s how I got the cold that I am obviously suffering from.
So here is to direct flights, I will drink to that, but I am going to make John buy, Jim.
Jim Calloway: That sounds good. Okay. My next Tech Toy is Bose Frames. And I have to give a personal recommendation for these. I don’t own them, but we gave away a couple of pairs of these at one of our conferences and everybody in the room wanted that particular door prize.
The distributor calls them sunglasses with a soundtrack, but yes, they are classic sunglasses with built-in Bose speakers for an immersive audio experience. I have to admit, I didn’t believe it. I have tried them and they sound absolutely great, only $199.99 for a pair of sunglasses that hopefully you won’t lose too soon.
Sharon D. Nelson: Oh yes, I can see that being lost the next day.
Jim Calloway: My next Tech Toy is the Selfie Ring Light with Tripod Stand & Cell Phone Holder. This is an interesting device, but I really picked this one because it’s very cheap, at $31.99. But if you are going to take a lot of selfies, you are going to notice poor lighting and shadows. This dimmable light ring features three color lighting modes; warm light, cool white and daylight, and each mode has 11 brightness levels. So you have 33 options in total.
This ring light is very affordable. It also has a built-in cell phone holder on the tripod stand. I am sure ace photographers that we know have more impressive lights than this, but why pay more than $32 until you are sure you are actually going to use the darn light, right Sharon?
Sharon D. Nelson: Absolutely, absolutely. We have to be careful consumers. My next Tech Toy is the Apple AirPods Pro with Wireless Charging Case, which is available for $249 from Walmart. You might want to keep an eye on Walmart on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Hopefully you are listening to this before those dates, because they are promising wonderful prices then.
Now Apple, which is never short on ego, says these are more magical than ever. Probably the biggest new feature is active noise cancellation. And these new AirPods Pro come complete with a Wireless Charging case and deliver the wireless headphone experience, reimagined. Just pull them out of the case and they are ready to use with your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or Mac.
After a simple one tap setup, AirPods work like magic. They are automatically on and always connected. They can even sense when they are in your ears and pause when you take them out, and there is — if you go and look at the specs, the specs really are impressive. So, this one is worth looking at I think.
Jim Calloway: The original AirPods by the way did great with dictation. I have actually had lawyers who told me they dictated legal documents using their AirPods.
Sharon D. Nelson: Seriously?
Jim Calloway: Yeah.
Sharon D. Nelson: Oh my goodness, oh my goodness.
Okay, so the next one is a Samsung Galaxy Fold. This is a foldable smartphone, which is not my cup of tea, but others have actually been waiting for this. So it is 64 gigabyte, it’s dark gray, it’s got a tablet size screen, 17.3 inches, with unfolded and a secondary small screen when folded.
So it looks pretty sleek. I don’t know that I would go out and buy it, but it is also expensive, $739.99 at Samsung’s website, but give it a try if that appeals to you.
Jim Calloway: Foldable smartphones, who knows what will happen next?
Sharon D. Nelson: I don’t even want to — sometimes I just want to go back to the — back to the past, where everything was simpler Jim.
Jim Calloway: Don’t we all?
Sharon D. Nelson: Oh, learning this new technology is something.
Jim Calloway: Well, my next Toy is the Smart Garden Self Watering Indoor Garden 3. The price point on this is $99.95. It’s from Nordstrom’s, but it’s a tiny self-contained indoor herb garden for those who can’t grow anything. This is for the brown thumb crowd.
The kit includes a planter base, a built-in water reservoir with one month’s worth of water, an LED lamp to provide the vital light and three basil starter pods. This little garden only weighs 2.6 pounds and is dishwasher safe.
So if you want to have some nice herbs during the winter and if you can’t really grow them on your own, technology may provide an answer.
Sharon D. Nelson: Is that the only thing you can use it to grow, if you know what I mean?
Jim Calloway: You are just asking me that because of Oklahoma’s recent laws. But this is pretty short. I think it only grows things that are about like 12 inches tall or less.
Sharon D. Nelson: Oh dear, that won’t work.
Jim Calloway: But it’s dishwasher safe, Sharon.
Sharon D. Nelson: I got it, I got it, basil it is, basil it is.
Jim Calloway: Okay. I must admit I just don’t understand how Dyson fans work. They have no fan blades, no moving parts, they just blow air out. I don’t get it. But the Dyson Air Multiplier Table Fan, 10 inches tall, it comes in either black or nickel. It is $249.99. It has a remote control. 10 precise airflow settings, sleep timer, on-off oscillation, and the remote control is actually curved and magnetized, so you can store it on the machine and you won’t lose the remote control.
So if you would like a really expensive and really quiet desktop fan, this is your choice for $250.
Sharon D. Nelson: Well, for some people that would be money well invested, those who don’t like the noisy fans, but desperately want the fan.
Jim Calloway: I agree, that’s why I picked it.
Before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick commercial break.
Jim Calloway: Feel like your marketing efforts aren’t getting you the high value cases your firm deserves, for over 15 years Scorpion has helped thousands of law firms, just like yours, attract new cases and grow their practices. As a Google Premier Partner and winner of Google’s Platform Innovator Award, Scorpion has the right resources and technology to market your law firm aggressively and generate better cases from the Internet. For more information, visit scorpionlegal.com/podcast.
Looking for a process server you can trust, ServeNow.com is a nationwide network of local prescreened process servers. ServeNow works with the most professional process servers in the country. Connect your firm with process servers who embrace technology, have experience with high-volume serves and understand the litigation process and rules of properly effectuating service. Find a prescreened process server today. Visit serve-now.com.
Sharon D. Nelson: Welcome back to The Digital Edge on the Legal Talk Network. Today our subject is Tech Toys for the Holidays, so let’s wrap this party up Jim.
So my Toy now is, now we go to the somewhat silly ones, this is not — I guess this isn’t silly. This is something certainly your grandchildren or children could use, and this is Botley the Coding Robot, which just sounds wonderful if you are into this kind of thing. And from Amazon the price is only $51 or so, and it was an Innovative Toy Winner.
So what Botley does is it helps your child or grandchild learn early STEM skills while playing and having fun. Botley will teach kids to code with active, screen-free play that’s perfect for promoting critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Botley is ready to code right out of the box. You will need five AAA batteries and a Phillips screwdriver and then this coding robot will have your kids coding in minutes with code games, creativity and fun. It needs three batteries for Botley and two of them for the remote programmer, in case you were wondering.
But it does all kinds of really nifty things. It actually comes with a 77-piece activity set. I have already decided that Botley is way too advanced for me, but my grandchildren are going to love him.
And then my final tip is, and this was a goodie, the Death Star Fire Pit. For a mere $2,599, you can get the Death Star Fire Pit, and yes, it does look just like the Death Star. It is a quarter-inch thick, carbon steel, precision cut, no sharp edges, ceramic coating available. It includes complete sandblasting and degassing of parent material, whatever that means, and the coating is good up to 2,000 degrees.
You can burn wood or there is a gas insert option. There is all sorts of options that go with this thing. It weighs about 100 pounds. It comes with a lifetime guarantee, and due to demand, the current production time is two to three weeks. So we will have the link there for you, but I guess you better order this one early if you want it, because well, who doesn’t want something as cool as a Death Star Fire Pit.
Jim Calloway: Well, that’s — if you are listening in your car or haven’t been to the website yet, you really want to click on this link. It’s just such a great graphic of the fire pit.
Sharon D. Nelson: Isn’t that great? Yeah, I loved it. The first time I saw it I went, that is too cool, then I looked at the price and said, okay, maybe not.
Jim Calloway: It is too cool. My next Toy is the nonda ZUS Smart Vehicle Health Monitor, Wireless Bluetooth OBD2 Car Code Reader with App. That’s a mouthful. But essentially what these devices are, are for those of us who are mere mortals and don’t understand everything that’s going on in the hood, to us, the check engine light means, oh gee, let’s go to the dealership where they will say, oh, that’s not really anything, don’t worry about it. I already set it, $100 please.
So the Smart Vehicle Health Monitor is easily installed. You just plug it into your car’s OBD2 port and you are ready to go, and it interprets all of the codes for you and lets you know what’s really going on with your car. Plus, it can do proactive scans of everything. It’s got a lot of different functions.
So for only $59.99, this is a geek’s toy that they will enjoy. So for the would-be shadetree mechanic in your family who now can no longer do it without $10,000 worth of equipment, here is a small device to help diagnose your car’s challenges.
Sharon D. Nelson: Worthless to me Jim because I have John of course.
Jim Calloway: And John probably has one of these OBD2 gadgets, I just guessed.
Sharon D. Nelson: It’s in his head, honestly.
Jim Calloway: Well, that’s scary.
Sharon D. Nelson: He intuits how that machine works and what’s wrong with it. I don’t understand it at all.
Jim Calloway: Okay. Well, I have one more to match with Sharon’s Death Star. These are the TikiTunes and they are Tiki Torches that are electronic, that also have sound in them. So you can make the Tiki Torches to have left and right volume on the music that you play over them. They have an optional Tiki Pole and Ground Stake that goes with them, so you can line your walkways with Tiki Torches that will serenade your guests as they come down the walkway to your Death Star seating area.
Sharon D. Nelson: Do you have to go to your Homeowners Association? I can only imagine the complaints.
Jim Calloway: I think it would be a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell thing.
Sharon D. Nelson: Yeah.
Jim Calloway: From $40 a piece to $25 a piece, depending on how many you buy in your bundles
Sharon D. Nelson: Okay, I will have to figure out how many of them I want.
Well Jim, I certainly wish you some happy shopping. I mean we have Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up, so don’t break the bank, but go ahead and have some fun and have some wonderful holidays.
Jim Calloway: To all of our listeners, Sharon and I wish you happy holidays and hope you buy at least one of these gadgets to make your holiday a bit more interesting.
Sharon D. Nelson: Yes, we certainly do wish everyone happy holidays.
And that does it for this edition of The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology. And remember, you can subscribe to all of the editions of this podcast at legaltalknetwork.com or on Apple Podcasts. And if you enjoyed our podcast, please rate us in Apple Podcasts.
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 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.
Jim Calloway: But the Dyson Air Multiplier Table Lamp is 10 inches. You can get it in black or nipple. I am just going to start this one all over.