Tech Toys are back! Jim and Sharon ring in the holidays with an abundance of gift recommendations for the tech-lovers in your life. Tune in for their curated list of practical and not-so-practical wishlist picks. Happy Holidays!
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Sharon Nelson: Before we get started, we’d like to thank our sponsors, Alert Communications, the Blackletter Podcast, Scorpion and Smokeball.
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’re listening to the Legal Talk Network.
Sharon Nelson: Welcome to the 166th Edition of the Digital Edge Lawyers and Technology. We’re glad to have you with us. I’m Sharon Nelson, President of Sensei Enterprises, an information technology, cyber security and digital forensics firm in Fairfax, Virginia.
Jim Calloway: And I’m 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 tech toys, some serious, some not so serious, but hopefully something you can add to your holiday shopping list.
Sharon Nelson: Well, let’s get this party rolling Jim and let us tell our listeners that we will include links to all of these various toys in the podcast. I’m telling you, my first tech toy Jim is really a big favorite, it’s Nextiva UCaaS, and going to talk about the pricing at the end but there’s a reason because you’re going to want it after I talk about it. Phone communications are key for lawyers, the days of traditional dial tone and fixed handset are history. So we’ve had VoIP for some time, but where you want to be today is with UCaaS, Unified Communications as a Service. It brings together all sorts of communications capabilities such as instant messaging, VoIP, video conferencing, and other collaboration tools. And as law firms migrate to a more hybrid work environment, UCaaS will let lawyers practice from anywhere. Its Cloud-based and only requires access to the internet. There are no ties to physical hardware. Voice communication is provided via fixed traditional VoIP desk phone, mobile app or a soft phone application running on your computer. So you can answer the phone whether you are in the office working from home or at the beauty salon with your smart phone.
Clients have no clue where you are unless you choose to tell them, and all outbound calls can have your main law firm number as the caller ID. There are many vendors which offer UCaaS solutions. Pricing is on a subscription basis typically for a three-year term, but don’t be afraid to negotiate the pricing. We were able to get a 50% discount on a 24-month commitment that converts to month to month after the initial period. That would put your monthly service costs at around $14 per user. We implemented our Nextiva UCaaS offering over a year ago primarily of course because of the pandemic and remote working, and we are absolutely thrilled that we. So check it out.
Jim Calloway: Wow, that’s impressive.
Sharon Nelson: Yeah, it really is very cool stuff. I love that a lot. So, my second toy is the Apple AirTag (4-Pack) and that’s at Amazon for $97.62. And if you have trouble finding things and you’re an Apple person, the Apple AirTag (4-Pack) maybe for you. Purses, laptop cases, keys, dogs and cats, folks attach their AirTags to the collars of these pets that was widely cited by the reviewers and even their children. So, keep track of and find your items, furry friends, little humans and all devices in the Find My app. Simple one tap set up instantly connects AirTag with your iPhone or iPad. Play a sound on the built-in speaker to help you find things or just ask Siri for help. All communications with Find My Network are anonymous and encrypted for privacy and location data and history are never stored on AirTag. Jim, I wonder if I chose this one because I am having more trouble remembering where things are. Are you a fellow sufferer?
Jim Calloway: Oh, my wife and I were discussing how the most used app on our Apple watches are Find My Phone, so yeah.
Sharon Nelson: No wonder we’re such good friends.
Jim Calloway: Okay. Next, if you have a loved one who spends a lot of time driving on the road especially late at night, here’s a great gift idea that shows you care. The Car and Driver Driver Fatigue Monitor with face and eye tracking and safety alerts. So, if you’re not in the car with your loved one to critique their wakefulness, this gadget will do it for you. Very interesting that the two positive reviews were someone who is thrilled because they suffer from narcolepsy and a parent says it really helps his son, a new teenage driver keep their eyes on the road.
So, pay attention parents, only $119.99. Also, I have the CHEF iQ Smart Pressure Cooker. If you haven’t yet bought an instant pot or looking for a different style of pressure cooker, The CHEF iQ Smart Pressure Cooker has ten cooking functions, and eighteen features. I’m not sure how many combinations that ends up with. It has a built-in scale and over 1,000 presets for times and temperatures with an app for 600 foolproof recipes for $179.99, this 6-quart pressure cooker has a lot more features than my grandmother’s pressure cooker.
Sharon Nelson: Well, since we can’t even find the things we’ve lost, I’m not sure about you’re taking something with so many functions Jim. All right. My next toy is the Yubico FIDO Security Key NFC. It’s only $25 and I’m trying to get you to want to do something that makes yourself more secure. And as you know Jim multi-factor authentication is required these days to ensure security. Getting a texted code on your phone is the least secure method to verify your identity. Although I am very quick to say it is infinitely better than not using MFA at all. An authentication app is the next most secure, the next after that being push notifications, but the most secure method of all is to use a hardware token. So protect your online accounts against unauthorized access by using two-factor authentication with Yubico Security Key. It works with more online services and apps than any other.
The key is FIDO which Fast ID Online Alliance is what that means. It’s certified by them and works with Google Chrome and any FIDO compliant application on Windows, Mac or Linux. Secure your login, protect your Gmail, Dropbox, Outlook, Dashlane, 1Password and more. The key will not work with LastPass but you upgrade to the YubiKey 5 if you have LastPass. It fits USB-a ports. Once registered, each service will request you to insert the key into the port and tap to gain access, and you can also get touch-based authentication for supported Android and iOS devices and applications. Just tap and go. For $25, the Yubico key protects your online accounts from phishing and account takeovers. What are you waiting for?
My next toy is the Samsung Galaxy Buds+. It’s true wireless earbuds Bluetooth 5.0 and a charging case is included. It’s on Amazon for $99.99, and exactly what you want to hear, these buds are the perfect fitting earbuds to isolate you from distracting noises so you can stay focused on what you want to listen to. You get 22 hours of serious sound. You get up to eleven hours of nonstop music on a single charge and then you pop your Galaxy Buds+ in the wireless charging case and get nearly eleven more. If you forgot to charge them the night before, this would be you and me Jim, no worries. Three minutes of charging gives you one hour of play time so you have enough juice for your commuter or your workout. So, if you are as old as Jim and me and you want to listen undisturbed to One Night in Bangkok, which is we all know makes a hard man humble Jim, you’re good to go. Remember that song Jim?
Jim Calloway: I do, and I’m sure at least half of our listeners do. Okay, my next toy for the holiday is the JALL Sunrise Alarm Clock. It is a wake-up Sunrise Alarm Clock with sunrise simulation, sleep aid, dual alarm, FM radio, snooze, night light, day light, seven colors, seven natural sounds. I think the most interesting thing to me about this is I remember when the first Sunrise Alarm Clock was released and now it’s an entire category. So, before you order, this is supposedly one of the best, it is $45.95 for the plain white version or $56 98 for the wood grain appearance on your nightstand. A Sunrise Alarm Clock.
Sharon Nelson: You know Jim, I could beat that because I have a canine alarm clock. My rescue a beagle who was waking me up at every morning at 5:30 is now waking me up at 4:30 because of the shift in daylight savings time and he didn’t cost me a cent.
Jim Calloway: You have to teach him daylight savings time.
Sharon Nelson: I’m working on it, man. Trust me. I’m working on it.
Jim Calloway: Next, we have the New Bee Bluetooth Earpiece 5.0.
A wireless hands-free headset with microphone. This is for driving tool. It’ll stay charged for 24 hours while using it or 60 days on standby. And since you’re talking about age Sharon, I’ll just say, if you youngsters out there want to drive with earbuds, just have one in one ear for safer driving and that’s what the Bee Bluetooth does for you. Only $18.39.
Sharon Nelson: Good luck with getting them to concur to doing that. I know you and I see earbuds in both all the time.
Jim Calloway: Before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick commercial break.
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Welcome back to the Digital Edge on the Legal Talk Network. Today our subject is Tech Toys for the Holidays 2021 and Jim and I will continue to host our tech party. So my next toy is the Logitech C920X HD Pro Webcam, which is at Amazon for $59 at least, there was a $10 off deal as of a couple of days ago. And I want to just say that webcams that come with your laptops are just not all that great. This webcam and even with my own laptop here, I mean I have a mounted Logitech, it gives you crisp clearly detailed and vibrantly colored video. It has stereo audio with dual mics. It also has HD lighting adjustment and autofocus, and it automatically finds tunes to the lighting conditions to produce bright razor-sharp images even if you’re in a low light setting. We’ve all seen people who look like they’re living in a cave Jim, it’s not a good look. And this terrific webcam allows you to remove, replace and blur your background without a green screen. Way cool.
Jim Calloway: That’s a great webcam.
Sharon Nelson: It is. It’s a really good one. The next tip is the reMarkable 2 Paper Tablet which is $359 currently on sale at remarkable.com. And this next generation paper tablet comes highly recommended by our friends, Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy. As they say, get rid of notebooks and printed documents with the only tablet that feels like paper to work with. You can convert your handwritten notes into text. All your notes are organized and accessible in all your devices. You can take handwritten notes, read, review documents, take notes directly on PDFs. It integrates with Google Drive and Dropbox and it has two weeks of battery life. And if Dennis and Tom love it, it must be good, right Jim?
Jim Calloway: I think so. Next, I’m reminded of in the 90s when I used to have a projector, Sharon that was about the size of a steamer trunk. It didn’t have a handicapped access. It took both hands and a strong back to get it up steps. So, my gift today is the KODAK Luma 150 Ultra Mini Pocket Pico Projector. It has a built-in rechargeable battery and speaker. It’s a 1080p travel projector that literally fits in your pocket and then it connects to your iPhone and Android to do your presentation. That’s really pretty amazing. It’s only $199.99. We are trying to figure out why we need one desperately Sharon, but haven’t figured it out yet.
Sharon Nelson: I was just going to assign you to telling John why we need it? That’s your homework Jim.
Jim Calloway: Got it. The next tech toy for the holiday is from Gillette Labs. They’re Heated Razor Starter Kit. Yes, it has one handle, two blade refills, one charging dock, comes in either black or silver. It’s a four-piece set for $149.94. And all I can really say is heated razor first thing in the morning. What else do you need to know?
Sharon Nelson: Well, I guess for women. I’m just not with you on that one. I can see how the men would enjoy it.
My next toy is the BESTKEE Lightsaber Umbrella LED Light up Golf Umbrella with seven color-changing on the shaft. It is $25.99 at Amazon. And really, it’s a Star Wars LED light-up umbrella with seven colors and it increases visibility with a flashlight function as well, because you sure will be noticed walking down the street with a flashlight and a blue lightsaber, that will ensure that you get noticed. Hopefully not noticed and then mugged. The three AAA batteries are not included, but your kids will love it and heck you and I are just big kids anyway, right Jim?
Jim Calloway: You betcha.
Sharon Nelson: My next toy is the Infinity Cube Fidget Toy for $7.95 from Amazon, and I will tell you Jim that all of my grandchildren’s Christmas lists and I have ten of them, they all included fidget toys. I don’t really understand these phenomena, but they call this toy anti-anxiety and stress reliever stress cube, and they say it avoids nail-biting, knuckle cracking, leg shaking, and other fidgeting habits with the use of this gadget. So I’m kind of glad I don’t have any of those habits and I don’t need this toy. They say, it keeps your hands in mind busy during class or work as well as lessening phone and other technology induced stress, and it’s pocket-sized so you could bring it to school or to the office. I’m so glad I don’t need one, but if you’re a fidgeter, an anxious person, this might just be the ticket and certainly you can’t get anything better than a price of $7.95.
Jim Calloway: Wow, paying for fidget toys. Mine all are free and have vendors names on them. Okay. We all have a shopping list that includes loved ones, maybe co-workers, family members and others of importance, but if you have that special frenemy on your shopping list who has a small child, the perfect present for that child is the Senstroke Drum Kit for only $160. Sharon, you can have a drum kit that actually folds up and you can carry it in your hand. It has two sensors, one foot strap, one USB cable, a pair of drumsticks and a practice Pad. But just think of it, you can connect it to the sensors to the app on the smartphone and then any location in the entire house can be the location for the drum set. Only $160 dollars for that gift that keeps on giving.
Sharon Nelson: Boy, that’s got to be somebody, you really don’t like. I have to think on who that might go on that list.
Jim Calloway: Well, I just think it’s somebody who has a musical career ahead and we were hoping they might get a scholarship. Yeah, whatever excuse you can come up with.
Sharon Nelson: Yeah. I’ll work on it.
Jim Calloway: We have a lot of a lot of pricey gifts on our tech toys, on our list. So, I wanted to include one that’s really affordable. The Exerscribe Blue Blocker Glasses. These are amber-tinted night driving and gaming glasses for computer eye strain and fatigue. They will fit over your glasses if you were using glasses, but they’re really a nice little set here. They get great reviews and on Amazon only $9.99.
Sharon Nelson: I’m in.
Jim Calloway: Oh you’re in. Good. Before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick commercial break.
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Welcome back to the Digital Edge on the Legal Talk Network. Today our subject is Tech Toys for the Holidays 2021. So let’s wrap this party up. So, for my next to last toy, I have the Amazon Astro Robot. Now, this is pricey. It’s $999.99 from Amazon, but it is one of the hottest gadgets this year, even at that price.
So meet Astro the household robot for home monitoring with Alexa functionality. It uses advanced navigation technology to find its way around your home and go where you need it to. You can stay connected from anywhere and remotely send Astro to check on specific rooms, people or things. Plus, you get alerts if Astro detects an unrecognized person or certain sounds when you’re away. You can activate your six-month free trial of the Ring Protect Pro subscription and have Astro proactively patrol, investigate activity and save video in Ring’s cloud storage for up to 60 days. The Alexa together subscription which is coming soon will help you remotely care for aging loved ones, giving you peace of mind while helping them live independently. You can set up reminders, manage shopping list, receive activity alerts and more. You can put Alexa in motion, Astro can follow you with entertainment, or find you to deliver calls, messages, timers, alarms or reminders. It’s designed to protect your privacy so you can turn off mics, camera and motion with the press of a button and use the Astro app to set out of bounds zones to let Astro know where it’s not allowed to go. It sounds like something from the Jetson family, doesn’t it Jim?
Jim Calloway: It really does.
Sharon Nelson: And then my last tech toy is James Bond Miniature Aston Martin DB5 Car for Kids. This is not street legal. I know you’re shocked to hear that after I give you the description, and it is $123,000. Created at 66 scale of the original with a fully electric powertrain. This car has been reimagined for Bond fans worldwide. As an official Aston Martin model, the No Time to Die Edition will pay homage to the rich history of the brand with silver birch paintwork, Smith’s instrument and individually numbered chassis plates. That’s amazing. Complete with Aston Martin and 007 badging, the car is unmistakably Bond’s. It’s designed to offer seating for an adult and a child side by side to allow all generation of bond fans to share the love of driving. Because it’s not street-legal, but I figure if you can afford one of these Hummers, I figure you have an estate big enough for your kids to drive around with you. We should better hurry Jim, they’re only making 125 of them.
Jim Calloway: If you’re buying a $123,000 car for your child for the holidays, I hope you’re also rechecking your holiday charitable contributions.
Sharon Nelson: Well pointed out.
Jim Calloway: Okay. Everybody’s getting back on the road and you just won’t find a cooler traveling companion than the Travel Mate Suitcase for $1,099 to start. First of all, you can lay it on its side, put the handle down that you’re carrying it with, and it will follow you around the airport like the perfect travel companion via Bluetooth 4.1 connection. It also has a built-in scale so you’ll never be surprised by an overweight suitcase again, and there are multicolored LED lights embedded in the suitcase that show both the battery level and what direction it’s lubing. I guess if people behind you need to get out of the way. It even includes a GPS list chip so it won’t get lost for under $1,100 Sharon.
Sharon Nelson: Well, for $1,499, I have one of those pull-up straps and John can lift my suitcases. So I’ve solved my problem.
Jim Calloway: My final tech toy is the iRobot Roomba j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum Cleaner. It’s only $699.99, but this has had a great upgrade and some pet owners will appreciate. It now has precision vision navigation which includes animal poop avoidance. So, if your animal has an accident during the day, your Roomba won’t spread it over the entire house before you get home. Their slogan, “No More Pooptastrophes”.
Sharon Nelson: If it isn’t in the dictionary yet, it shall be soon.
Jim Calloway: That’s right. Sharon, it’s been another great year of our podcast. We’ve been going for a long time now, but I certainly enjoyed doing these podcasts with you. We have a decent listening audience and we just want to wish all of our listeners happy holidays.
Sharon Nelson: Yeah. I want to thank the audience because as you know Jim, in happier times when we were in-person everywhere, people would tell us all the time how they followed the podcast and that was really nice to hear, but I want to thank you of course because we’ve been doing this together for a very long time. The friendship is just a thing of beauty and I hope you and your family have a wonderful and happy holidays.
Jim Calloway: I totally concur and wish the same for John and the rest of your family.
Sharon Nelson: And That does it for this edition of 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: Happy holidays, and thanks for joining us. Goodbye, Ms. Sharon.
Sharon Nelson: Happy holidays, and 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.
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Podcast transcription by Tech-Synergy.com