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$150 Tablet for Kids

TabeoHandheld No, its not from Apple.  Google missed this one too.  The toy retailer, Toys R Us announced the introduction of the Tabeo, a seven-inch, Android-powered tablet for kids that will cost $149.99. The device is aimed solely at younger users, complete with specialized browser controls, pre-loaded educational apps and a curated app store to give kids access to a limited number of programs.

The tablet will run a version of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and will have the ability to connect to the Internet over WiFi. The tablet will only be available from Toys “R” Us stores or the company’s Web site. It will go on sale Oct. 21. To keep it kid-proof, the tablet also has a lime-green bumper to go around the outside, which should protect it when “dropped from low heights or bumped into other objects.”

Parents can limit the amount of time their kids can spend online, set access for specific days of the week or hours of the day, and can get e-mail alerts if their kids find some way around the limitations.

LeapFrog shares fell dramatically after the announcement, as investors are worried how their handheld, kid-focused devices will be able to compete with tablets running Android. 

This item is primed to be a top seller this Christmas season. 

Best Apps & Games for Kids

The advancement of mobile gaming has grown phenomenally with the advent of the iOS and Android operating systems.  Kids are gaining familiarity with these programs from an even earlier age than the previous generation.  I run across families and friends with children between the ages of 1 and 8, asking to play on their parents’ phone a game, or watch a video.  It can be overwhelming for a parent to find age appropriate apps through the different markets.  These links offer the best apps and games out there.

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The Internet is a Priceless Utility

internet-speed How much money would it take for you to not use the Internet anymore?  If someone came up to you and said, “I’ll give you a million dollars, but you can never get online again,” would you take the offer? 

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Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts for Your Geeky Dad

It’s Thursday.  Father’s Day is on Sunday.  I have several Dads to buy for and I haven’t even begun shopping.  I usually put a lot of thought into what I buy my mom for Mother’s Day.  For some reason, I have a hard time finding gifts that Dad will actually appreciate.   This year, I decided to appeal to the inner child of the geeky dads in my life.  The best gifts are memorable experiences, right?

Rockets

image Men love things that explode, launch into the air, or make loud noises.  Something in their DNA makes them giddy at the site of destruction.  Rockets are fun for  boys of all ages.  Not only will the men have fun putting them together and shooting them off, but it will give them an opportunity to complete a project with the kids.

Man Toys

Yep, I said it.  If your man is truly a geek, there is definitely some sort of toy out there that will get them excited.  Figurines, old school toys from their childhood, models, RC Cars, etc., will be a sure hit with your geeky dad.  Actually, anything that you find on ThinkGeek.com would be perfectly acceptable.

Go on a Raid

If your geeky dad loves gaming, why not put aside some quality time and game with him?  If you are not a gamer yourself, this is a huge sacrifice, and shows you truly care.  Put on your first-person-shooter face and kill some enemies with him by your side.  Or, level alongside them in their favorite MMORPG.  Whatever game is their fancy, it doesn’t matter.  Get a babysitter, order pizza, and let the good times roll.

Arduino Kit

Nothing says loving like an Arduino starter kit.  The ultimate in geekiness, Arduino is a tool for making computers that can sense and control more of the physical world than your desktop computer. The open-source physical computing platform is based on a simple microcontroller board, and a includes a development environment for writing software for the board.  What can dad make with it?  Only your imagination limits you!  From stop watches, to thermostats, alarms, bug zappers, and robots, your dad will be able to experiment and develop their own ideas.

 

Prepare a Feast

Every man loves to eat.  I will go even as far to say every man loves to have someone cook specifically for them.  It livens their egos and their bellies.  Add a image special flare to your meal by wearing a pretty apron and a dress.  Give the allure that you are a domesticated diva from the 1950s, and you will have your geeky man salivating!  What to cook?  Steak and potatoes, of course.  If they happen to a vegetarian geek, cook them a beautiful pasta dish.  Not sure what to cook?  Moms Who Think has some awesome recipes for you to discover. 

Just for Him

Whatever you decide to give your geeky dad for Father’s Day, just remember one thing:  appeal to their interests!  Every man has different hobbies, but they all will enjoy feeling appreciated.

Solving the Cloud Mystery for Small Businesses

cloud1 What "cloud" really means is using Internet services for file sharing, email, document sharing, etc.  Rather than storing files on your local network, the files get stored back up on the remote server.  The remote server is maintained by the cloud services company.   Email has been used this way for years: you purchase email hosting on a monthly basis and never think about the server housing its contents.  All of that server side storage is done remotely through an Internet connection. Cloud services are generally cheaper and the costs to implement and maintain are much lower than housing your own internal server.

 

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Mother’s Day Gifts for Your Geeky Mom

image As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s time to take a look at what a ‘geeky mom’ would love to  receive on the momentous occasion.  From gadgets to creative solutions, we’ve got a few suggestions for those struggling to find mom the perfect gift.

Kindle Fire

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Ah, yes, the Kindle Fire.  It’s no longer just a hand-held eBook device.  It’s now one of the most popular choices for women in electronics.  After much speculation on whether eBooks will survive the tablet war, it seems that the Kindle is a must-have for a geeky mom.  The Kindle runs a base of the Android operating system and you can install multiple applications or games from the Amazon Android marketplace.  You have access to the Amazon Music Cloud as well as instantly play video with Amazon Prime or Netflix.  This handheld is a must-have device for every mom!

 

A Date with the Avengers220px-TheAvengers2012Poster

Let’s say your budget doesn’t allow for the expense of the Kindle.  How about a date night?  The funny thing about Mother’s Day is that it’s the one day where moms can say, “hey give me a break, I need some mommy time!”

The Avengers is the perfect way to show your geeky mom you appreciate them.  Mythical comic book legends surrounded by adventure  is the ultimate geeky mom movie.  Fortunately, it premiers this Friday, May 4th.

Flowers

You can always go back to the traditional method of flowers.  But, if you really want to melt the geeky mom’s heart, give her an AeroGarden.  This indoor garden machine allows you to grow vegetables, flowers or herbs all year long! Purchase an extra seed kit to sweeten the deal.  This gift will keep on giving all year long, and will truly inspire her to get in touch with her nature side.  Not only that, the kids will enjoy participating with mom on this project.

Queen for a Dayimage

Imagine your geeky mom’s excitement when she wakes up to breakfast in bed, complete with a hand-picked flower, gentle music and a foot massage?  Appoint your geeky mom “Queen for a Day” and role play!  The kids can wear medieval costumes and act as her court.  Dress her with a new outfit and go for a lovely walk around the “gardens” (aka park.)  Creativity and downright silliness will make any women laugh, and laughter is truly the best gift!

Feed Her Passion

Each mother is unique.  Identify what your geeky mom is passionate about and look for gifts that reflect that passion.  For instance, does your geeky mom love to game?  Then buy her virtual coins, or a new game controller.  Does she love music?  Make a special playlist just for her.  Creativity and spontaneity will always win the hearts of a geek.

 

Your pocket book doesn’t have to be tapped to show a mom how much you appreciate all she does.  But, if you are out of ideas, buy her a nook or send flowers.  You can’t go wrong with those options!

A Safe Place for Kaytlind

 Kaytlind_Book_3d

Geeky Moms, in conjunction with Opportunity Inc., is proud to present the first edition of “A Safe Place for Kaytlind,” a book detailing the life of a homeless child.  Lenore Wilson, Executive Director of Opportunity Inc., wrote the book after being inspired by a little girl staying at Opportunity Place, a shelter program in the panhandle of Florida.  Kaytlind Hale was seven years old when she went to Opportunity Place.  On her journey there, she wrote and drew an inspiring tale about her wonderful visit at Opportunity Place. 

Many people forget that children are often homeless, along with their families.  The basic necessities that many people take for granted, are deeply appreciated by children who have not had those securities.  “A Safe Place for Kaytlind” takes the reader into the lives of children who cope with homelessness, and the struggles they and their families face as they fight their way into a sustainable life.

Please help support Opportunity Place by downloading your digital copy today!  All profits go to Opportunity Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to creating an opportunity to end homelessness, through its emergency shelter for women and families, its veterans’ employment programs, and resource and referral offices in northwest Florida.

Happy Pi Day

 

3.14 or a slice of applie pie?  Today marks a geeky tradition:  Pi day.  To celebrate the mathematical constant, geeks around the globe are talking over their meals about formulas and ending them with a slice of pie.  Ford is actually putting on a math formula contest to visitors of reddit.com.   Starting at 11 a.m., Ford engineers will post a new math problem every 3 minutes and 14 seconds, for a total of 42 questions in all.  The first person to solve each puzzle correctly will earn coveted "reddit gold," extended features for their reddit accounts.

How will you celebrate Pi day?

Check out the history of Pi Day here.

2011 Holiday Gamer Gift Guide

wishlist

Are you ready for another holiday spending spree? It seems like so many new games have hit the shelves this season. How do you know what to purchase for your kids? What would thrill your geeky spouse? Are your toddlers ready for some gaming too?

Geeky Moms sat down with Jonah Lantto, gaming expert and general manager at our local Gorilla Games, for some in-depth coverage of this year’s best gaming gifts.

Geeky Moms: We are thrilled to see such a selection of games this year. What do you think will be your biggest game seller for the Holidays 2011?

Jonah, Gorilla Games: A month ago I would’ve told you the year’s best seller would unquestionably be Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, but Elder Scrolls Skyrim released on November 11th and is crushing in sales. I think MW3 will edge it out because it has the Call of Duty name and its also available on a few platforms that Skyrim is not. The Wii, DS, and 3ds.

Geeky Moms: My teenage boy is so hard to buy for but he does have all the game systems. What game should I definitely buy for him this Christmas?

Jonah, Gorilla Games: If he’s a PC gamer/MMO player, you should let him take a shot at Star Wars the Old Republic which releases on December 20th. So far this year, every kid seems to be asking for one of two games; Skyrim or Modern Warfare 3. Both games are available on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. If swords, sorcery, and FPS are not his thing, the sports games of 2011 are the best class we’ve seen since 2005. Madden, NHL, and NBA 2k12 are at the top of their game.

Geeky Moms: Are there any new fantastic games for Mom this season?

Jonah, Gorilla Games: The most awesome geeky moms will be playing Skyrim A lot of moms I meet are still big fans of action platforming games similar to Mario and Crash Bandicoot. If you own a 3DS, you can’t go wrong with Super Mario 3D Land. Don’t expect anything new or groundbreaking, but it totally delivers the classic Mario experience. On the PS3, Ratchet and Clank is as good as it gets for platforming. The newest release, Ratchet and Clank All 4 One keeps the franchise tradition of utterly shaming every other platforming game of this era. For the fitness moms there is Zumba Fitness 2, Just Dance 3, and Dance Central 2.

Geeky Moms: What about for the little ones? My 4-7 year old kids love gaming on the Wii, but they need a game that is fun and keeps their attention.

Jonah, Gorilla Games: The most innovative children’s game release in years, hit shelves about a month ago, Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure. It’s available on all platforms and its completely awesome. The game includes a few Spyro action figures, a portal of power, and the game software. By placing your figure on the portal the character is uploaded into the game. Each character is unique with its own powers and skills. All the information is stored on the figure itself and the figures are compatible across all platforms, a sweet mixture toys and video games. This is the must have game for kids in that age group. Its not the only one though. Mario 3d Land and Mario Kart will both be available on 3DS. The other big kids release is Disney Universe a fun exploration of Disney worlds and adventures with characters that progress. What I love about these games is they’re all playable by 2-4 players. 2 player limit on Spyro, but up to 4 on the others.

Geeky Moms: The geeky men in my life are on top of any new game that comes out, so I have to be more creative in my gifts. Any ideas on awesome gaming hardware that they would love?

Jonah, Gorilla Games: If you really want to spoil the gamer in your life check out the G155 Mobile Gaming Environment. I want one and I don’t need it even a little bit. It’s a hard shell briefcase contained gaming unit with a built-in LED HD monitor. All you have to supply is the console, the game and electricity. Plug it in anywhere and you’re gaming in beautiful HD. If your husband is an Xbox 360 player I’d encourage any mom to check out the custom controllers available at Gorilla Games. You can design your own controller and we build it for you!

Geeky Moms: What do you think the the top game is for each console this season?

Jonah, Gorilla Games: Xbox 360 – Gears of War 3 is the best console exclusive title money can buy on the 360.

Playstation 3 – Uncharted 3 is the definitive PS3 experience. If you own a PS3 and don’t/haven’t played Uncharted 2/3 – shame on you!

Wii – Zelda Skyward sword is all you need!

Nintendo 3DS – Mario 3d land or Mario Kart 7

PC – The Witcher 2 or Star Wars the Old Republic

Geeky Moms: If you were to get only one present this year, what would it be?

Jonah, Gorilla Games – Oooh man, just one? I would want the Darth Vader bread imprinting toaster from http://www.thinkgeek.com.darthvadertoast

Spoken like a true geek! 

Thanks again Jonah for your time and expertise.   Check out Gorilla Games on Facebook for more gaming updates..

Limited Edition Mario and Zelda 3DS Bundles Coming on Thanksgiving

If you were thinking of getting your kid or mom a 3DS this season, wait until at least Thanksgiving!  The first of these bundles includes the Flame Red system, which is bundled with the brand-new Super Mario 3D Land, released just over a week ago.

Super Mario 3D Land bundle

The other bundle includes a slightly older game in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, which is considered to be the best game available on 3DS. It comes with a special edition, Zelda-themed system previously announced by Nintendo of Europe; it has the same color as the Cosmo Black 3DS that’s been available since launch but with a special gold trim and and the Hyrule emblem.

Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D bundle

Both bundles go on sale in the United States on Thanksgiving, this Thursday, November 24. They’ll each be priced at $199.99, a minor discount over buying the system (which is $169.99 post-price drop) and a new copy of either game. Nintendo describes the bundles as "limited edition," although we don’t know just how limited either will be. With Friday being one of the biggest shopping days of the year, those who wish to ensure they get their hands on either one (especially that nice Zelda system) will want to purchase it as quickly as possible.

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