7/21/2014

Review - 4Moms mamaRoo Baby Swing

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At my last job, one of our clients was a manufacturer of baby products. Strollers, highchairs, and swings.

Some of their most-heated litigation involved baby swings - because there have been some real leaps forward in design in that area.

The "open top swing" didn't exist a decade and a half ago, and now it's all you see. And believe me, the fight over who came up with that innovation was rough.

The last couple of years have seen some new advances in baby swings. Like the Momaroo, which is less of a "swing", and more of a "robot that gently rocks your baby to sleep". It's awesome.


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6/24/2014

Withings Smart Body Analyzer Review - This changes everything?

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That headline is a bit misleading - the Withings Smart Body Analyzer isn't going to change the world.

It's a wi-fi connected scale.

But I'm hoping that the Withings Smart Body Analyzer changes everything about me.

It's off to a good start.

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6/23/2014

Review - One Month With a Nest Thermostat

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I've wanted a Nest Thermostat for years. Really, since before the first-generation Nest was available. 


I read an article on the NY Times about it, and I was completely hooked. 

It was sleek. Immediately understandable. Perfect. 

Of course, it was several years before I actually pulled the trigger and bought one. 

One month later, this is our AAAD review. 
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5/26/2014

Finally! Is iRemote On The Way?

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I've been talking about Apple creating an "iRemote" platform for quite a while.

Back in March of 2013, when Apple was still in the doldrums, AAAD discussed the potential for Apple to create a home automation standard

This "iRemote" platform would control all compatible third-party devices (lighting, music, TV) from a single screen, and in turn, would drive third-party device makers away from proprietary apps and formats, and toward a single, synthesized standard.

Today, Gizmodo (citing Financial Times), reported that Apple might be doing EXACTLY that.

Awesome.

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4/25/2014

Say No to IR Blasters! The DirecTV RF Remote

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I spent the better part of the 2000's trying to banish IR blasters from our living room.

They managed to combine poor form and poor function. Wires running under and around our components, IR emitters affixed to the front of our components, messing up the whole look of our living room.

And they didn't always work! It was an exercise in frustration. 

With our new built-in home theater cabinets, our components are tucked away out of sight. So it looked like we were headed back to IR blasters. 

Until DirecTV stepped in to save the day.

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4/17/2014

Project 1 (Home Theatre) - UPDATED: Done!

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Finally, we have some real news!

(Actually, quite a bit of it. More on that later.)

Let's start with the exciting conclusion of the original PROJECT #1 from AAAD - the Home Theater Remodel.

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Buying a Prius in 2014 - Before CarPlay

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iOS 7.1 was unveiled a month or so back, and its centerpiece was Apple's CarPlay, which promises to finally deliver a safe, hands-free (and eyes-free) iOS experience for drivers.

Unfortunately, CarPlay won't be available for a while, and I need a new car now.

On the plus side, there have never been more high-tech, high mileage hybrid vehicles available.

So which car is the best fit for a tech lover with a long commute?

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2/17/2014

ADT Pulse Review - Great, with a "but".

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ADT stopped by our house on Friday to upgrade our Brinks security system to an ADT Pulse system. 


There was nothing wrong with our old Belkin system - but we're ditching our AT&T landline, so we were going to need a security system that ran on cellular communications. 


And ADT Pulse definitely fits the bill. There's just one thing I wish was different.


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2/12/2014

Back to WOW! (Or, "Wow, AT&T. Really?")

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As you may recall, we spent quite a bit of time and energy bundling and unbundling our TV, internet and phone services.

And we're not done yet.

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2/11/2014

Mesa, Arizona - Home of the Chicago Cubs and Apple.

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I haven't been to Phoenix for a few years. (Granted, this polar vortex has me rethinking that course of action.)

My grandmother spends her winters down there (and statistically speaking, so does yours), and millions flock to the area in February/March for MLB Spring Training.

And now, two of my favorite companies in the world - Apple and the Chicago Cubs - call the same Phoenix suburb their year-round home.

That Phoenix suburb - Mesa - recently invested heavily in both entities. Here's why.

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