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12 Days of Tech – Day 7

Meccano MeccaNoid G15

What:

This 2 foot tall metal best friend has to be one of the coolest toys out there on the market today. Built by using over 600 pieces. The G-15 is a fun social robot with over thousands of pre-programmed phrases, comments and witty comebacks, it can serve as your very best friend! The G-15  can also play games and interact in a variety of different ways.

Where:

The MeccaNoid G15 can be best found online on Amazon and Wal Mart, but get it while you can because it has become super popular!

For Who:

This toy is perfect for the constructive and extremely intelligent kid . It can also be a great parent child bonding tool because of the hands on factor! This one is truly for those that aren’t afraid to tackle on a project for an immense reward!

Price: $140.25

 

12 Days of Tech – Day 6

Sphero R2-D2

What:

Ever dreamed about having your own personal R2-D2 Droid? Well the future may not be so far far away after all. This specialized tech R2-D2 is fully controllable with your smart device and you can watch it patrol the galaxy (your living room) on its own. This droid can even interact with other Star Wars App enabled droids and react live to the Star Wars saga movies. Perfect for those who want to channel their inner Jedi!

Where:

The Sphero R2-D2 droid can be found at Best Buy, Amazon and the Sphero online store.

For Who:

This gift would be send a Star Wars fan rocketing off into space. This would also be a great gift for the child at hear whimsical adult who loves a tinker toy.

Price:  $129.99

 

 

12 Days of Tech – Day 5

HP Sprocket

What:

The HP Sprocket takes a modern approach to the recent Polaroid trend. This pocket photo printer prints directly from your smartphone or tablet allowing you to share 2×3 photos or stickers physically with your friends and family. The Sprocket uses Bluetooth connectivity to connect to your device and access photos. By being about the size of an average cell phone the sprocket is super convenient to travel with and print photos instantly.

Where:

The sprocket is available at many retailers with the best place to find them being online on Amazon, Best Buy and the HP online Store.

For Who?

This gift is perfect for the teenager or millennial whose always snapping pics with their phone. With its high portability and high tech nature, its perfect for the younger generations!

Price: $129.99

 

 

12 Days of Tech – Day 4

iRobot Roomba 690

What:

The iRobot Roomba, a dream for anyone who hates the inconvenience of vacuuming in tight spaces and corners, is too busy, or just downright hates to vacuum. The iRobot Roomba is an automatic vacuum cleaner that uses a patened 3- Stage Cleaning System. The Roomba can pick up anything from small particles to large debris right off your floor. Utilizing the iRoboto Home App you can clean and schedule to vacuum your home from anywhere at any time.

Where:

The iRobot Roomba 690 is available at many retail locations including Best Buy, Wal Mart, Amazon , Bed Bath & Beyond and online at the iRobot store.

For Who:

The Roomba 690 would make the best Christmas gift for anyone taking care of a household that may not have all the time to, whether that be a mother, father or those that are just “never home”. What could be better than the gift of convenience?

Price:  $374.99

 

12 Days of Tech – Day 3

Google Home

What:

The Google Home is another essential piece to complete the smart home puzzle. Google Home is your own personal assistant controlled with just your voice. You can get answers, play songs, tackle your day, and control your smart home. From anything to “Set the Thermostat to 72” to “When does the grocery store close” Google Home works with a variety of smart home equipment including the Nest and Phillips Hue Lights.

Where:

Google Home is available at many retail locations including Best Buy, Wal Mart and online stores such as Amazon.

For Who?

Google Home is perfect for an entire household and those who maybe already own some smart home equipment or those who want to get started. Kids will love how they can ask any question. And parents will like how convenient it will be to control various aspects of their home by just talking to the device.

Price: $129

12 Days of Tech- Day 2

Nest Thermostat

What:

Sticking to the theme of smart home equipment Day 2’s featured gift is a Nest thermostat. The Nest will make your home feel seamlessly self sufficient, this paired with Hue Lights could make you feel like your home has a mind of its own! The Nest is a simple to install home thermostat that can control your heating and cooling to run in the most efficient way possible. Nest will turn itself down when you’re away. You can also control all the settings from anywhere in the world with the Nest app!

Where:

Nest can be purchased at Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, or online on the Nest homepage and on Amazon

For Who?:

This gift will be best for the tech crazed dad that loves automation! Monitoring the thermostat will be no more with the seamless integration and high energy saving the Nest promises.

Price:  starting at  $169

12 Days of Tech Gifts- Day 1

Phillips Hue Lights:

What:

Phillips Hue lights prides itself on being “your personal wireless lighting system”.  This product can instantly change the entire ambiance of your home with just a quick flick of your thumb using your smartphone.  To get started with Hue Lights, buying the starter kit is necessary. This comes with a hub that connects to your wireless router, and 3 colored light-bulbs. The light-bulbs can turn any color in a broad spectrum of color assortments available using the Phillips Hue app.

Where:

Phillips Hue Lights can be purchased at a variety of retail and online locations such as Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon and the Phillips Hue website online.

For Who?:

This gift is perfect for the techy dad that loves making his house his castle, this is also great for young adults who have recently moved out and want to add their own personal flare to their new dwellings for entertaining friends.

Price: $199

 

 

 

Fight Back! How to Scam an Email Scammer

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Nigerian Prince that just so happened to email you would actually deliver on his promise of depositing that “$2,000,000 USD” into your bank account? Hopefully you know that this is just a scam to steal your financial information, however, many people around the world have fallen into the traps of these phishing emails.

“The idea is to waste their time and make it impossible for scammers to turn out a profit, it also delivers satisfying karma and allows you to scam a scam.”

These scams are so well known that they do not fool many people anymore, but it can be quite annoying when we receive these emails. If you’re one of those people that enjoy a good prank and like to humor an obvious scam, then look no further. A new service from NetSafe called Re:Scam can help you waste the time of email scammers to prevent them from moving forward to another victim. So just how does this service waste the time of “Nigerian Princes” and “UN Bureaucrats”? In the funniest way possible.

Re:Scam is a AI-powered chatbot designed to draw out the conversation and exchange as long as possible. All you do is forward an email from a scammer to me@rescam.org, the chatbot then uses a proxy email address to communicate with the crook. The idea is to waste their time and make it impossible for scammers to turn out a profit, it also delivers satisfying karma and allows you to scam a scam. Some of the funniest interactions go something like this:

Scammer: “Do you wish to be a member of the great Illuminati family? Do you want to be payment $5,000,000 weekly? Let us now if you are interested in success.”

Chatbot: “Dear Illuminati, What a wonderful surprise. I’d love to join your secret club. Do you do a bingo night?”

Scammer: There is not bingo night. Please complete attached form with bank details for your receive full payment of 5 million.

Chatbot: Terrific! But to avoid detection I’m going to send my bank account details through one number at a time.  Ready? 4.

Scammer: “This is not necessary”

Chatbot: “7”

The full video from Netsafe can be found here

The video mentions that email scamming is a billion dollar industry, and it is time to fight back with a sort of eye for eye treatment. If these scammers are going to try to waste our time we might as well waste theirs. If everyone began using this service we can help prevent them from moving forward and soon enough stop these emails by making these scams completely useless to attempt.

 

What is VoIP and Why Use It?

Voice over Internet Protocol, also knows as VoIP is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over the internet. So what does all that fancy high tech lingo mean? Basically it is a technology that lets you make phone calls using the internet instead of a regular phone line. If you have a reasonable quality Internet connection you can get phone service delivered through your Internet connection instead of from your local phone company.

Some people use VoIP in addition to their traditional phone service, since VoIP service providers usually offer lower rates than traditional phone companies, but sometimes doesn’t offer 911 service, phone directory listings, 411 service, or other common phone services. While many VoIP providers offer these services, consistent industry-wide means of offering these are still developing.

So Why use VoIP? Here are some of the major advantages:

More than Two People:

With VoIP you can set up a conference with a whole team communicating in real time. This can be very useful in businesses where everyone is spread out and need to work together to solve issues.

Cheaper to Use:

VoIP has drastically reduced the cost of communication by sharing networks between data and voice. One single connection to the internet has the ability to transmit more than one telephone call.

Abundant, More Advanced Features:

You can make calls from anywhere in the world to any destination with your VoIP account, Features also include caller ID, contact lists, voicemail, extra-virtual members and more. using VoIP experience makes it easy to multitask and enhancing communication experience for you personally and for your business.

Convenience at work:

The portable nature of the VoIP technology is causing it to gain popularity as the trend is towards portable commodities. Portable hardware is becoming more and more common, as are portable services, and VoIP fits in well.

Much more Productive:

VoIP makes it much easier for an organization to communicate, VoIP is able to combine different data types and make routing and signaling more flexible and robust. This can enhance your staffs productivity and in turn provide better service to your clients, allowing you to stand out among the competition.

To find more about VoIP and how in can be implemented in your business, Call ECMSI today at 330-750-9412 or email us at info@ecmsi.com.

Protect Yourself from Credit Card Skimmers

Credit card scams have been running rampant in recent years and the methods scammers are using to steal your information are becoming more intuitive.. Some of the methods to steal credit card information has become so advanced that even experts can be fooled. In fact, credit card scammers have become so sneaky that we have to come up with a new name for them, and that is credit skimmers. Why skimmers?

Credit skimmers steal your credit card information once you swipe at a payment or money machine such as an ATM. These scams have been going on for over a decade, but according to an analytics software company FICO, the number of breached ATM’s increased sixfold from 2014 to 2015 and rose again by 30 percent in 2016. So how are these credit skimmers accomplishing this?

Hackers have figured out ways to install malware onto ATM’s remotely, so they can infect any machine without even touching it. This is a big jump from when hackers had to walk up to a machine to implant their attack. The worst part is, that if a machine is infected there really is no way that you can tell. This type of hacking is not only affecting ATM’s but has been an ongoing problem for gas station pumps.

Gas station pumps are now becoming a bigger target than ATM’s. Skimmers can be installed on a card reader in less than 30 seconds, the skimmer than stores the data and the hacker returns to receive the information through Bluetooth without ever having to touch the pump again. Any gas station facing this problem may not be in the biggest rush to fix the problem because changing out a pump is much more expensive than an ATM.

So how can you fight back and protect yourself from this issue? Many banks have resolved their issue by introducing cards that require you use a chip for payment which is a much safer alternative to the magnetic swipe. While all retailers and stores are required to use the chip, this rule will not require gas station pumps to adopt the technology until 2020. However, there is now an app anyone can download called Skimmer Scanner that will automatically detect the skimmers Bluetooth signal with your smartphone. So even though these credit skimmers have become smarter, so can you when it comes to protecting your credit card information. Be sure all your cards are updated and have the chip, as well as downloading apps that can help you detect fraud.