Category: Reviews

Quick Review: Amped Wireless REC10 Range Extender

Amped Wireless REC10Amped Wireless specializes in providing long range wireless products for your home and office. Whatever your specific needs are, Amped Wireless most likely has a product that is going to suit your situation.

In my home my router is located in the front corner of my house, making the signal poor in the opposite side. I also wanted to see if a range extender could boost my wifi signal so that I could use my tablet on my back patio. Amped Wireless sent me a REC10 High Power Compact Wi-Fi Range Extender. The REC10 plugs directly into your wall socket and is easy to set up. The directions provided are clear and make set up a breeze.  I had my wife, who is generally afraid of doing anything tech related, set up the REC10. She got it set up on her first try without any issues.

Amped Wireless says that their range extenders will work with all brands of standard routers and service providers’ equipment (2.4 Ghz 802.11b/g or n wireless). I had no problems with my AT&T Uverse equipment. The REC10 works exactly as described; it took the signal from my internet providers’ wireless router, amplified it, and rebroadcast it. The REC10 is equipped with dual 2.4 Ghz amplifiers and a high gain antenna that can extend wifi coverage up to 6500 Sq ft, eliminating dead spots and penetrating walls.

The REC10 is compact and attractive looking; the Amped Wireless logo on the front emits a warm soft glow. The REC10 has an impressive range of features that are not found on other Range Extenders. There is a wired port on the device if you need to plug up with a traditional Ethernet cable.  The REC10 is compatible with Apple networking features, such as Airplay and AirPrint. Smart security features put you in control of restricting users, setting up time schedules when your network is available, and how far to extend the range. WPS, WPA, WPA2, and Guest networking are all available as well.

The REC10 performed for me as expected. My devices had been dropping signal in my bedroom, the opposite corner of the house from the router. With the REC10 there is no longer any problem getting signal there.  I also had no problem with the signal sitting on my patio. The REC10 retails for about $69.99. While that is a bit pricier than like devices out there, the suite of added features makes the REC10 an excellent choice for anyone looking for more than just extended range. Think you need more range? Amped Wireless has 8 options for you.  www.ampedwireless.com

5 Top Bartending / Spirit Apps for iPhone and Android

I’ve spent some time and a number of bottles of spirits checking out what I have deemed the best bartending apps available today in the app store.

 

No. 1 Mixology iOS / Android
Cost: Free

 Mixology has one of the best drink databases, which makes it great for learning something new.  You can add whatever ingredients you have laying around and it will design a cocktail around those items.  There are a couple of cons to the app.  One of them is, sometimes it suggests a spirit that you can only find at a major retail liquor store and not your local grocery store or liquor store.  That’s disappointing if you don’t know how to substitute spirits.  Second, sometimes it will tell you the improper glassware.

micologyscreen

 

No. 2 Thirstie iOS / Android
Cost: Free
 

Thirstie will allow you to place an order from one of the liquor stores in your area and have spirits delivered.  You can call your local pizza joint, order your pizza and then you can request your favorite bottle of Vodka and have Thirstie deliver it.  If all goes well you will have both in an hour or less.  The service is currently available in New York and Los Angeles.  My hope is that more people use this app and help extend it’s reach.

thirstie

No. 3 Liquor Cabinet iOS / Android Not Available
Cost:  $.99

 Liquor Cabinet allows you to enter everything you have on hand, such as Coconut Rum, Pickle Juice, and Sparkling Wine and will tell you what you can make with those ingredients.  There is also a cool “If You Had” option, which tells you that you are one ingredient away from the most amazing cocktail of you life.  It’s a pretty cool app and very useful.

liqcabinet

No. 4 Bartender’s Choice iOS / Android Beta
Cost: $2.99

 My most expensive app and it’s not so much for the novice bartender.  It takes what the other apps do but takes it to the next level.  It teaches garnishing, techniques on shaking and stirring All around it teaches you to be a better bartender.  For $2.99 you are able to learn from some of best the bartenders in the country and not only that, you are able to learn drinks from one of the most legendary places to get drinks – Milk and Honey in New York, that alone is totally worth the price.  One major turnoff to this app is that we have not seen an update to it for a little over year. Regardless the bartending nerd inside of me loves this app.

bartenderschoice

No. 5 OnTheBar iOS / Android Not Available
Cost: Free

 This is my least favorite, but has some potential if people actually used it. OnTheBar allows bartenders to check themselves into whatever location that they are working that night, so that you can track them down.  It will inform you of menu specials for each of the establishments as well as drink specials.  Chances are though, if you have a favorite bartender you already know their shifts, location and specials.  Like I said before if people actually used it, but Facebook, Twitter, Swarm and Instagram all have the same abilities and are more popular.

onthebar

With all of the apps available at your fingertips that teach you drink recipes, style and technique, you have to remember as bartender you are the center of attention.  You have to have personality, you have to have fun, you have to be able to keep the party going, none of these apps will teach you personality.

Learning to be a true bartender means a dedication to the art, it means that you can’t stop learning.  Bartending is more then just collecting tips at the end of your shift.

Quick Review: STM Harbour iPhone 6 Plus Case

STM HarbourI first met with the people at STM during CES 2014. I was very impressed with their offerings, and I was not surprised to find that they were offering accessories for the new iPhone 6 models. Specifically I was pleased to see that they have cases for the iPhone 6 Plus model.

There are very few companies in the market that are offering cases for the iPhone 6 Plus at this point. I can’t figure out why, but that is the way it is.

I have been using the STM Harbour case for the past several weeks and I am very happy with it. The case has a dual layer construction, with a soft interior to guard your phone directly, and a harder outer shell to protect the phone from drops. A great feature this case has, is a lower hinge on the bottom of the case that allows the user to remove the lower quarter of the case to allow for use in a docking station.

The Harbour comes in 4 different colors and is listed at $29.95.

I have no complaints with the case and would highly recommend it to anyone who asks. Check them out on the STM website for more info.

Review: BACtrack Mobile

BACtrack MobileIn this day and age, almost everyone is looking for a gadget that can tie into their smartphone that will make their life easier in some way. The folks at BACtrack have come up with a small portable Bluetooth breathalyzer that will accurately measure how much alcohol you have in your system. This may help you make an educated decision about when you have had too much to drink.

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Quick Review: Energi Sliding Power Case for iPhone 5/5s

iPhone’s today are essentially mini computers, and that kind of information and potential at our fingertips everyday has a price. The price on a iPhone is not only data, but more importantly power. Battery power to be more specific. Every device comes with a predetermined amount of power in the battery. That juice has to last to get the user through their day. A day of making phone calls, sending a receiving texts and emails, surfing the web, creating documents, listening to music, watching videos, etc, etc, etc. We use our phones now more than ever, and that use is causing our batteries to drain quick.

The TYLT Energi Sliding Power Case is a great solution to the power problem many of us are facing with our iPhone. Unlike other battery case solutions on the market, the Energi Sliding Power Case comes with two separate pieces that essentially allow the user to have two different case options. One simple lightweight case, and another case that includes a portable battery pack.

TYLY Energi Sliding Power CaseThe Energi Sliding Power Case has a 2500 mAh battery which claims to give you an extra 9 hours talk time on your iPhone. For comparison, the Mophie Juice Pack Plus comes with a 2100 mAh battery, and is the largest battery case Mophie offers. The price for the Energi Sliding Power Case is just $99.99 as opposed to the $119.95 for the Mophie Juice Pack Plus.

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Nomad To The Rescue With Charging Accessories

NomadKeyLets face it, we are consumed with powering our devices. Mobile accessory markets are being flooded with portable batteries, power supplies, and phone cases with built in battery life extenders. Each new generation of devices seems to run down batteries faster to power the latest processors, higher definition screens, speakers and more. When is the last time you remember making through and entire day without needing to charge your phone at least once? If you’re on the go like I am, you may forget to grab that power cord, or may not want to deal with that tangly mess.

That’s where Nomad stepped in. Their solution for your power and syncing needs is simple, efficient, and built to fit your life. Their product offerings come in two forms, the NomadKey and the NomadClip. Both are available in lightning cable or micro USB, and they will charge and sync your device.

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NueVue – A Case That Cleans Your Screen

NueVue CasesWhile at CES this year I had a chance to pick up a new case coming to market from NueVue. What sets this case apart is that it cleans your screen every time you remove it from the sleeve. Its microfiber lining on the inside of the case is also treated with BioCote, an antimicrobial technology that will eliminate 80% of bacteria in 15 minutes, and if you leave your device in the case longer, it will clean 99% of those pesky bacteria away in under two hours. The case also offers some protective qualities as it has anti static and shock resistant capabilities. NueVue is currently only available for your iPhone, iPad, or iPad Mini but products for additional smart phones and tablets are in the works.
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New Gear For Your Latest Excusion: STM Drifter

1 bagIf you haven’t heard of STM before, hopefully this article will help you get acquainted with them and an excellent piece from their new Annex collection. STM was founded in 1998 in Sydney, Australia. They make a variety of bags, packs, phone and tablet cases. Their mission: to provide you with stylish options for carrying and protecting your valuable items, all with unparalleled quality and attention to detail. They also stand by their products, replacing or repairing without charge for any defect that may occur as long as it is not the result of accidental damage, misuse, improper care, animal attack, or natural breakdown of the materials due to extended use. So make sure you are not the victim of a bear attack while wearing your STM.

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