A Not So Brady Bunch of Dads…

The Cast of Dads (minus Max, who was at sea) whipped together a short video about our Mother’s Day experience with the Motorola Droid Razr.  All the footage was shot with the Razr, and thanks to Danny Cameron and the DadLabs team for the great job editing.  Enjoy!

 Disclosure: The Video above was sponsored by Motorola and the Droid Razr.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

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Three Dads At The Final Four

I’m back from New Orleans and a whirlwind few days with fellow Cast of  Dads hosts C.C. Chapman and Brad Powell (we sorely missed our other two hosts Michael Sheehan and Max Kalehoff.)  We had a great time with the LG team, who were gracious hosts and made sure we had a fantastic experience both with the games, and by giving us a better understanding of LG products (I already miss the slick LG Nitro HD Android phone I was using for the weekend…)  I will share more content from the trip in a future post, but wanted to first share this quick “3/5th of the Cast of Dads” video episode we shot across the street from Bracket Town.  Enjoy!

Thanks again to everyone at LG and LG-One for arranging this trip and for giving us the opportunity to attend the NCAA Finals.  It was a weekend we won’t soon forget.

Disclosure: http://cmp.ly/3/k1OU88

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

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Who Is Woogie? (Hint: An iPhone Creature For Your Kids)

At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) there were literally acres of costly Las Vegas Convention Center booth space dedicated to a seemingly endless array of iPhone, iPad and iPod accessories.  From cases to keyboards to biometric monitors, dozens of manufacturers were baring their wares and showing off both ingenious and incredulous ways to accessorize your iOS device.

What A Doll!

On the ingenious side of the fence were some slick products that leveraged an app to turn an iPhone or iPod into a real toy.  Some let the iPhone become the controller for an otherwise inanimate object, like Sphero.  Others, like Parrot’s amazing AR Drone, let you use your iPhone to fly (and get a birds’ eye view).  When I visited my friend Dave Delaney over at the Griffin Technology booth he introduced me to Woogie… (actually, the new Woogie 2.)  Woogie is a cute and clever plush doll that literally comes to life when you stick an iPhone or iPod Touch inside.  A free Woogie App turns the iPhone/iPod into the eyes, ears and voice of the Woogie, creating an animated, interactive doll that is certain to enthrall its young owner.

Here is a short video of Dave demonstrating Woogie:

What do you think about turning iPhones into toys?  Would you let your iPhone become a Woogie for your kid?

NOTE:  Since I recorded this, Dave had decided to move on from Griffin to start his own Digital Marketing business.  Dave is a terrific guy, a good friend, and an experienced, talented and creative marketer with a tangible track record of success.  For more info on Dave and how he might be able to help you or your business, please visit DaveMadeThat.com.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

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The Ultrabook Has Arrived! (The #UltrabookDads Videos)

I think you’ll agree that computers are now a part of just about every family’s lifestyle (not to mention our business lives…). It has been fascinating to watch the rapid evolution of computers over the years.  Remember the first computer you bought for your home?  Chances are it was a huge desktop PC with a large CPU, and awkwardly heavy CRT display.  Today that early PC is a digital dinosaur, and, arguably, the idea of a big CPU for a “desktop” PC is perhaps on its way to extinction as well.

Lap It Up…

When laptop PC’s first hit the market we were enamored by their portability, but we wanted them to have the same power and capabilities as our workhorse desktops… and soon they were just as fast and capable, with powerful, yet power friendly microprocessors, great graphic and media capabilities, sharp, wide screens, and hard drives with the same capacity as their desk-trodden counterparts.  Indeed the laptop could be a primary PC, but you might not want to carry it with you everywhere (if you value your shoulder).  For many, that big, bulky (but capable) laptop became our main PC, spending more time on our desks than our laps.

Casting (out) the Net(book)

Recognizing the consumer’s desire for “smaller and lighter,” notebooks evolved from the laptop, and then the netbook evolved from the notebook pc.  Small, light and inexpensive, the netbook was one step forward in portability, but two steps backward in power and function.  The shrunken keyboards could be a challenge, along with the small screens and general lack of “oomph” when it comes to speed and pure processing prowess.  A netbook has its place in a pinch, but it is unlikely to ever become a “main” computer.

Enter The Ultrabook!

The desire for small, light, powerful and portable is now being addressed by the many Ultrabooks hitting the market, driven by an Intel reference design.  As I mentioned in an earlier post in which I unboxed the Asus Zenbook UX31E, Ultrabooks are thin, sleek and light.  Most weigh less than 3 pounds, and the Asus Zenbook that Intel sent me is 9mm thick in the back, sloping down to 3mm in the front.  It is an eye-catching brushed aluminum package… and with “instant on” and solid battery life it is a computer you truly can (and will want to) take with you everywhere.  It is a full featured portable computer that fits into any lifestyle and a laptop that is just as comfortable on your lap on the couch as it is on your desk.  The Asus Zenbook is an impressive example of the Ultrabook category and at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) there are expected to be some exciting Ultrabook announcements from a number of manufacturers. (Stay tuned – I’ll be at CES and look forward to telling you more about the Ultrabooks, gadgets and other geek goodies on display in Las Vegas).

The Ultrabook Dads Geek Out On Video

When Intel sent @HighTechDad and I the Asus Zenbooks to review, we wanted to do something a little different.  Any reviewer can tell you the specs of a device.  We wanted to have some fun and give you a good perspective on the Asus Ultrabook at the same time. While we each made our own video, they are actually closely tied together and I hope you’ll take the time to watch them both for the full UltrabookDads treatment.  And please, let us know what you think!

 

Can’t see the video? Click this link: http://youtu.be/GqM3l3n-B3I

 

And here is the companion video from @HighTechDad:

Can’t see the video? Click this link: http://youtu.be/AhP6XdglaVs

Michael and I have enjoyed using and talking about the Ultrabook and having the chance to be “UltrabookDads.”  We held a Google Hangout and a fun live Twitter Chat, and one lucky Twittizen, @BadMofo33, was the random winner of an Ultrabook Intel provided as a giveaway.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this inside look inside Ultrabooks, sponsored by Intel.  Which Ultrabook features are most appealing to you?

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads  and Wunderkind! podcasts.

Disclosure:  In accordance with the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration and/or am being otherwise compensated by Intel in preparing to create this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. My opinions about Intel, Asus, and Ultrabooks are entirely my own and not those of Intel, Asus or any other party.

Are You Old Enough For Facebook?

English: "G" rating of Motion Pictur...

Image via Wikipedia

This is a post I wrote on my own blog a few months back. I thought it would fit nicely here with the dadomatic community. If you have children and you let them play on social media websites, or are wondering what to do because your child is asking for a Facebook/Twitter/Google Plus account, this is my approach/opinion. There is no right or wrong way to approach social media with children. I think teaching them to follow the rules is what is important.

Well, we (my wife and I) decided to let our oldest daughter have a Facebook account. She’s fourteen now. Facebook “rules” state children must be at least thirteen. I have seen many parents circumvent that rule and let their children younger than thirteen have an account. I’m not sure what use it is to a six, seven, ten or even twelve year old. Personally, I think doing that teaches children to disrespect the rules, and authority. It tells children it’s okay to break the rules when it suits you. If you are one of those parents, don’t be surprised when they break YOUR rules. You have set the precedent.

We took our time, and learned the pros and cons of social networking before allowing our oldest to participate. And of course it is still evolving. Naturally, our daughter has been wanting one since she turned thirteen, as most, if not all her friends were already on Facebook too, and Facebook says it’s okay at thirteen. But we know from personal experience it can be a time waster. And there are hidden dangers lurking on the Internet. So we wanted to be sure she understood how to use the social networking tool. With the privacy settings changing regularly, we felt additional precautions were necessary. After all, WE as parents get to decide when our children are old enough for, and have a reasonable reason for using Facebook. Thirteen is the age Facebook is comfortable with, but you don’t have to sign your child up immediately on their thirteenth birthday. We didn’t. And now we are confident enough in the service’s privacy settings and in our daughter for understanding the need to be selective and cautious.
We’re encouraging our family members and close friends to connect with her. However we also think about how some people, even family and close friends, are not careful about what they post and not selective about who gets to read their content. I want to remind you that there are minors on Facebook, as well as the rest of the Internet. Either your friends have children they allow on Facebook or maybe you have children that you allow on Facebook. You should be selective what you post and who you allow to see your posts. Since there is no preview option (nor is it logical to have one)  for parents to prescreen their children’s newsfeed, photos, notes and other options, we are left to trust the network of friends and family we allow to connect with our children to be guardians of the community when we are not there.

One feature that Facebook and Google Plus have is “list” (Facebook) or “circles” (G+) where you can place your friends, family or other connections. People will only see the content posted to the list or circle you placed them in, and people don’t know what list they have been placed in. Please use the list/circle feature with your friends and please put minors on a G-rated content list, meaning that what YOU post to that list is G-Rated. And I did say G-Rated because PG means Parental Guidance, and it is just not rational to expect parents to sit right next to their children during their Facebook time all the time.

If you need help learning how to use the “list” function, I am happy to explain. You can connect with me through my website at www.charlieprofit.com

 

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A Chance For You To Be An Ultrabook Dad (or Mom)

In the holiday spirit of giving, this is a quick update to my post about Ultrabooks.  I mentioned that my Cast of Dads cohort, Michael Sheehan (@HighTechDad) and I would be presenting a chance for one of you to get an Ultrabook, courtesy of Intel, the driving force behind the Ultrabook platform.   Here are the details:

You can read the the Official Rules, which you should, but here is a summary of the giveaway -

  • Begins December 21, 2011 at 12:00:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time (“PST”)
  • Ends December 23, 2011 at 11:59:59 p.m U.S. Pacific Time (“PST”)
  • U.S. Residents Only
  • 18 years and older
  • Must have a non-private Twitter account
  • You must send a Tweet with the hashtag (#) – “#UltrabookDads”
  • Read the rest of the Official Rules

So it’s simple.  Between now and Friday at Midnight PST, just send a Tweet with the hashtag #UltrabookDads and you’ll be part of a random drawing for the Ultrabook.

Now, while all you need to have in your tweet is the #UltrabookDads hashtag, we might as well make it interesting for the folks who will see your tweet, so feel free to add some thoughts about what you find exciting or appealing about the concept of an Ultrabook – a thin, light, highly portable and equally powerful laptop with instant on, long battery life, and some serious sex appeal in the looks department.  How would an Ultrabook impact your computing lifestyle?

To share some of our new-found insights and information about Ultrabooks Michael and I will host a couple of informal online get-togethers, which we promise to be ultra fun and put a geek dad spin on some great new technology.  (For a taste of our style  just check out the Cast of Dads podcast.)

We will be doing both a Hangout on Google+ and a live Twitter Chat.   These are just for fun and information.  You don’t have to participate in either to be eligible for the giveaway, but if you want to get our first impressions of the Asus Zenbook Ultrabook we have been playing with, the hangout and chat will be a great opportunity.

Here is the schedule for the Hangout and Twitter Chat:

Google+ Hangout: Thursday, December 22 at 10pm EST / 7pm PST
Twitter Chat: Friday December 23 at 10pm EST / 7pm PST

We’ll be talking Ultrabooks, etc. for about an hour each night and we hope you can stop by!  In any event, feel free to follow me (@sass) or Michael (@HighTechDad) for updates and don’t forget to send a tweet with #UltrabookDads before Midnight Friday if you want a chance to get your own Ultrabook!

Happy Holidays!

UPDATE:  The winner of the Ultrabook Giveaway was @BadMofo33.  Congrats!

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads  and Wunderkind! podcasts.

Disclosure:  In accordance with the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration and/or am being otherwise compensated by Intel in preparing to create this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. My opinions about Intel, Asus, and Ultrabooks are entirely my own and not those of Intel, Asus or any other party.

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Zen and the Art of Ultrabooks

(Note: this is a sponsored post, but the words and opinions are all mine.)

It is fitting that Asus calls their new Ultrabook line “Zenbooks.”  Just one look and you can see that it is a device that exudes a sense of calm and balance, purity and power.   An early entrant in the Intel Ultrabook category, the Zenbook is thin and sleek, capable and fast.  It is the Ying and Yang of portable computing: thin and light enough to take with you everywhere, yet powerful and feature rich enough to function as a primary computer.  Actually, that is the essence of the Intel Ultrabook spec – to pack a full-featured computer in an elegantly thin package, supported by long battery life, best-in-class security, and the convenience of “instant on” (giving the boot to lengthy boot times), all at a reasonable price point.

Intel Inside

As long-time Dadomatic readers know, I have been an Intel Advisor and have written here about interesting technology and insights I have gleaned from attending various events and having the opportunity to peek inside Intel.  Now I am looking forward to bringing you more information about the ultra slick new category of Ultrabooks that Intel is the driving force behind.  Intel has provided me with an ASUS Zenbook, as well as an opportunity for one of you to get an Ultrabook through a Twitter give-away.  I am working hand in hand (or Ultrabook to Ultrabook) with one of my Intel Advisor and Cast of Dads cohorts, Michael Sheehan (also known as HighTechDad.)  If you want to learn more about Ultrabooks (and have a chance to get your hands on one) please follow me (@sass) and Michael (@hightechdad) on Twitter, and keep an eye out for our tweets with the hashtag #UltrabookDads.  Michael and I will also be collaborating on some fun video reviews of the Ultrabook, so please stay tuned.

The Wow Factor

As the geek dad in my family, my kids are always waiting to see what new computing gadget or gizmo I will be bringing home.  It has been fascinating to watch over the years as the “wow factor” of gadgets has shifted to the point where the design, look and feel of a device is almost as important as its function and capabilities.  It wasn’t too long ago when all we cared about was what a computer could do. Now, as we bring our computers with us to meetings, family gatherings, parks, coffee shops and airports, we also care about how our computers look and feel. That’s the world our kids are growing up in.  For them, what their computers look and feel like will be just as important as the “kicks” they wear.  When I look at the Ultrabook as compared to the first laptop I ever had, the advancements, inside and out, are mind boggling.  I can only imagine what ultra amazing computers my kids have to look forward to.  With style, design and performance in mind, Ultrabooks definitely win on the wow factor, and seem to deliver on the promise of taking portable computing into the future.

What’s Next?

I look forward to spending some time with the Asus Zenbook Ultrabook and then sharing my thoughts with you.  Meanwhile, here are a few shots from my “unboxing” of the Asus Zenbook:

Can’t see the video? Click HERE.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads  and Wunderkind! podcasts.

Disclosure:  In accordance with the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration and/or am being otherwise compensated by Intel in preparing to create this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. My opinions about Intel, Asus, and Ultrabooks are entirely my own and not those of Intel, Asus or any other party.

Photo Credit: © Robert Spriggs – Fotolia.com

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Our Children’s World Is Magical

(This post was inspired by my recent trip to Intel’s Santa Clara Headquarters for their annual “Upgrade Your Life” Experience…)

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic…”

- Arthur C. Clarke

Of all the wonderful words that Clarke wrote, few have been as powerful and prescient as his frequently cited statement above. He was right.  More than right, he has defined the world we live in today, and more importantly, the world our children will carry forward. It is truly a magical world.

The Magic

In our lifetimes we have seen technology advance well beyond “sufficient,” to provide us with tools and capabilities that are so indistinguishable from magic we already take them for granted. You wouldn’t think twice about standing on a street in NY and speaking to your friend while they are on a boat off the coast of France…yet that is magic.  We take for granted that we can sit on the couch with a laptop or tablet and watch a movie sent to the device without wires or discs… yet that is magic.  Having near instant access to the answer to nearly any question imaginable, from a mobile device you carry in your pocket… is magic. Getting off a plane at crowded airport and getting a notification that a friend you haven’t seen in person in years is also in the same terminal building, so you get to hang out together for ten awesome minutes… is magic.  I could go on and on.

The Magicians

Unlike the magic of wizards and sorcerers, the magic of technology cannot simply be invoked with incantations and chants of “abracadabra.”  The magic of technology is created by a different type of magician – the engineers, scientists, visionaries and entrepreneurs who can not only envision the magic but who can also figure out ways to build it.  Today’s magic comes from people and companies who have leveraged brainpower, innovation and imagination to make the impossible possible.  Chief among these modern day magicians is Intel. As an Intel Advisor I’ve had the privilege of taking a peek inside Intel and meeting many of the brains behind the magic and the wizards behind the curtains of innovations that have changed our lives and will change the lives of our children.

It’s The Process, Not Just The Processor

What makes technology become magic is what it empowers us to do.  As amazing as it is to acknowledge the advancements and engineering prowess it has taken to facilitate the evolution of the microprocessor (following Moore’s Law and decreasing in size while increasing in power and efficiency by silicon leaps and bounds), the true amazement is not in the chips, but rather in what the chips enable us to do.  Intel employs scientists, researchers, anthropologists, sociologists, even futurists, to study human behavior to better understand where the true power of the microprocessor can be put to work. In one day on the Intel campus for the Upgrade Your Life event we saw firsthand how technology is changing healthcare, education and the care of our environment.  We saw how technology is facilitating independent living for a rapidly growing population of seniors.  Magical things like placing sensors in chairs to wirelessly alert the wife of an Alzheimer’s patient when her husband, known to wander off, gets up from his favorite chair, so she can come home from next door and make sure he is ok.  By using technology to place shift and skill shift aspects of healthcare, many of the services provided today by institutions can potentially be moved to the home, which for many could diminish the need for a nursing home.  The possibilities are endless, and the advancements are desperately needed as cost effective, and more importantly – effective healthcare is critical for an aging population.  We live longer, and the magic of technology may enable us to live better too.

Unleashing Human Potential

The talented artist Hugh MacLeod was hired by Intel to create some of his inspiring cartoons at the CES Show in January and he leveraged the phrase “The processor is an expression of human potential,” which succinctly and sincerely captures the essence of the magic of technology.  While I don’t mean for this to come off as just a puff piece for Intel, I do mean to use Intel as an example of one of the many companies that really are creating magic that will likely benefit our children in ways we can only begin to imagine.  Think of the world you lived in when you were the age your children are today.  How many of the things your children now take for granted would have seemed like magic to you back then?  I grew up in a world before there was a computer on every desk (and now in every pocket.)  My kids know no other world.  What is magic to me, is ordinary to them.

I can’t wait to see the advancements that my kids won’t be able to distinguish from magic!  Can you?

 

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

Disclosure: I am part of the “Intel Advisor” program and am compensated and/or receive other value from Intel to attend events on their behalf.  Intel covered my travel, accommodations and expenses for my trip to Santa Clara for the Upgrade Your Life event.

Photo Credit: © ioannis kounadeas – Fotolia.com

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Getting An Upgrade From Intel


Chips anyone?

As part of the “Intel Advisors” program, my fellow Cast of Dads co-host Michael Sheehan (@hightechdad) and I were the lone males at the recent “Upgrade Your Life” experience at Intel‘s Santa Clara headquarters.  Surrounded by a bevy of talented women entrepreneurs and bloggers we were treated to an inspiring peek inside Intel and in particular, a deeper look at some ways technology is impacting our environment, our health and our education — in essence, how technology is impacting our lives and the lives of our families. I attended this event last year as well, where, among other things, I was introduced to the Intel Reader, a fascinating product to help the visually impaired.  There was a lot of great information and learning at this year’s event as well and I look forward to sharing more details here.  Meanwhile there is a good overview at the Intel Inside Scoop blog, and below is a short video recap Michael and I recorded in the lobby.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

Disclosure: I am part of the “Intel Advisor” program and am compensated and/or receive other value from Intel to attend events on their behalf.  Intel covered my travel, accommodations and expenses for my trip to Santa Clara for the Upgrade Your Life event.

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