November 18, 2017, 12:10:23 AM


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Topics - Babyfacemagee

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(Hint, it's much more than just digital money)

Up until a few months ago, like a lot of people I'd heard of 'Bitcoin' and 'cryptocurrency' but frankly while it seemed mildly interesting, I didn't feel any overwhelming urge to figure out how to get some or use it.  It sounded like a less secure, new fangled, roundabout way of paying for things 'electronically' and since so few places accept them for payment vs. the dollar...I didn't see the point. Why bother, right?

Wrong. Boy was I wrong. Because what I didn't understand...and most of you reading this probably don't that many of these new 'cryptocurrencies' that we see in the news are not 'currencies' at all...they are actually a new technology utilizing a structure called the blockchain that are creating the next version of the internet, an internet 3.0 right now...and the vast majority of people have no idea this is going on.  How is that you ask?  Because many of these digital 'coins' are actually more like programming languages that let you build decentralized applications.  What the heck is that you ask?  Let me explain.

Let's say you want to buy a product off of Ebay, or Amazon like a pair of shoes.  Or perhaps you want to rent a room for a weekend through Airbnb, or get a car ride to the airport through Uber.  All of these businesses utilize a middleman that you have to pay a fee to for their service.  Think about it. You buy something from Ebay or Amazon and they take their little cut out of the seller's gross.  You book a room through airbnb or a car from uber and again...they take a little cut out of the seller's piece or charge a fee to the buyer...either way there's a middleman.

But what if you could get rid of the middle man?  What if there was some kind of company that did each of these things...sold goods..rented homes...drove you around....and there was no middle man?   What if transactions were peer to to the seller direct...without the middle man's fee?  Well that is exactly what the blockchain allows programmers to do.  Create decentralized applications, businesses, markets, etc.  It does this by utilizing the blockchain as a way of keeping everyone honest.  How?  Well, this video does a nice job of explaining it. 

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But the important thing to realize is that what we are looking at here is basically the dawn of a brand new internet.  Just like in 1992-94 nobody could have predicted that Amazon or Uber or Facebook or Google could become the behemoths we see today.  Twenty years from now people are going to look back and say the same thing about decentralized, blockchain based companies that will be just as big...or bigger.

It's very likely we'll have decentralized search engines without advertising, we'll have decentralized selling with brand new 'amazons' or 'ebays'. We'll have decentralized banking without the bank taking fees and we'll have virtually every kind of business you can imagine from insurance to education to manufacturing to distribution and it will be done through decentralized applications and companies that basically 'live' on the internet and don't require a middle man taking a fee.

Once you understand this concept the next thing to understand is that the cryptocurrencies that we see today...and the new ones being introduced...are all representative of different kinds of decentralized  businesses and these digital 'coins' are being used to fund the development of these businesses. Now there are some like Bitcoin and Litecoin that are still just digital money.   But others like Ethereum, Golem, Stratis, EOS, Factom and others each represent a new type of decentralized company or platform that are part of this new internet 3.0.  And in order to use any of these companies or platforms you'll have to know how to use these new 'digital currencies'.

Some of these new kinds of decentralized companies are already in operation.  For instance is a hybrid of reddit and facebook where you use Steem coins as a way of rewarding content.  Instead of Zuckerberg and staff at FB choosing what to show's more democratic and the use of Steem coin rewards content makers.

So how do I begin getting into this world?  What's the first baby step I can take? Open a Coinbase account.   

Coinbase is the oldest and most reliable and safe of the online wallets to start buying your first digital 'coins' with.  You can buy a bit of Bitcoin or Ethereum or Litecoin...the three coins they currently support...and begin to learn how to use them.   For example, you can purchase some 'Steem' at by opening an account there and sending some Bitcoin to yourself from Coinbase to Steemit.  Then you'll convert that Bitcoin to Steem to use.

As you become more comfortable with these currencies you might want to open a trading account on a site like Poloniex...which just like a stockmarket trading site allows you to buy, sell or just watch all kinds of digital coins and see their values fluctuate just like a stock.

But frankly the very first step you should take, just so you can get started and start to explore is to open a Coinbase account.

Right now Coinbase has a promotion where they're offering $10 in free Bitcoin to you if you open an account with just $100, which is exactly what I did to start.  Then you can start playing with it. 

Want to learn even more and become a cryptocurrency expert?  Start reading sites like and and to learn more about all these new currencies and what they do. 

Look, I know it seems intimidating at first.  But trust me, this is not just the future of money, it's the future of the internet being built right in front of our eyes.  This is an amazing opportunity.  Don't miss out like you did the last time.  Just think how many times you've told yourself 'if i had just invested in Facebook or Netflix or Amazon back in 199x...well this is your next chance...because the next version of the internet...the decentralized internet is happening right now, today.  Open your Coinbase account and take your first step into that world today.  You'll thank me later.

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One of the latest players in the Android Wear watch world is Chinese electronics manufacturer Huawei.  The Huawei Watch is one of the most attractive Android watches yet...and really nails that high end watch look.  We dare say it's more attractive than the Apple Watch, the Moto 360 or other competitors from Samsung or LG.  Featuring Wifi, iOS compatibilty, heart rate monitor, 300 miliamp battery, a built-in speaker (secretly discovered), and starts at $349 for leather brand model, a black stainless steel model at $450 and a rose gold version which will run you from $699 to $799.  So what did Lisa think of it and how does the functionality compare to its competitors?  Just watch the video to find out.

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Google just recently came around to releasing the Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 version of Android Wear and Kellex from Droid-Life takes us on a tour of some of the new features.  Those new features are fairly plentiful and do things such as enable the speaker on supported watches, add the 'doze' feature to help conserve battery life and introduce a host of new gestures that do such things as auto-dim the screen when your wrist has turned away from you, or let you swipe through settings and even choose and activate features simply by raising, lowering or flicking your wrist.  Definitely worth the watch (pun intended!) to see how Android Wear is evolving into a more powerful platform with every version.


As we approach the holidays, many major retailers are holding their annual 'Cyber Week' deals and specials for online shoppers especially for anything related to technology but also for non-tech categories as well such as household items, clothes and more.  For those too busy to take advantage of the Black Friday sales of last week this is your 'next best' chance to order discounted gifts for the holiday season and take advantage of the sales to stock up or buy that item you've been waiting for.  We've included links below to some of the most well-known large 'Cyber Week' participants so use these links to check out the great deals and enjoy saving some cash!. 

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Kellex over at Droid-Life got his hands on the brand new LG G Watch R, LG's first round AndroidWear watch that is certain to be compared Motorola's round entrent, the Moto 360.  Sporting a bit of a different design, the G Watch R is a bit bigger but with a slightly smaller display due to a bezel.  But it also has slightly higher DPI and the display is quite crisp.  It comes with a high quality calf skin or leather band.  Another bonus, the G Watch R has a full circle screen that doesn't have the little black bar on the bottom like the Moto 360 that distracts a bit.  We've also included another video below that shows a bit of a comparo to the Moto 360 and shows a bit more of the interface.   Things are starting to progress with these AndroidWear devices and we're really looking forward to the second generation.

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One of our favorite tech reviewers, the always chipper Marques Brownlee got his hands on a Moto 360 and of course immediately created one of the best reviews we've seen so far for Motorola's round smartwatch.  Starting by noting the solid build quality and stylish case he delves into many of the features of Android Wear and seems fairly impressed with how everything has been tailored to the round screen of the 360.  There are a few hiccups along the way and occasionally text gets a little cut off, but it seems like a relatively minor issue.  One area that was surprising was the apparently good battery life he got with the Moto 360 lasting a full day of up to 17 hours long with moderate to heavy use.  That's impressive.  There's a bunch more including the really cool charger and lots of little anecdotes...overall Marques seems pretty impressed with this first generation of Motorola's stab at a smartwatch.  While surely to improve in time it's the best Android Wear smartwatch available right now.


Motorola held an event last week and along with the new Moto X flagship phone they also announced availability of the much anticipated Moto 360 Android Wear Watch.  Setting the price at $249.99, you can now order your own Moto 360 at Motorola's Moto 360 website.  Featuring that stunning circular design made with premium materials and your choice of black or grey leather straps.  If you don't want to buy through Motorola's own website you can also purchase through your local Best Buy in store.  We've included a review of the final version of the Moto 360 from 'The Verge' below.

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Last month at Google's I/O we saw a whole lot of Android Wear news.  One of our favorite tech reviewers, the always perky and insightful Marques Brownlee got to try out all three smartwatches that were introduced at the show; the LG G Watch, Samsung's Gear Live and the Moto 360 which has been the most requested review on his twitter feed.  I've posted his first looks at the LG G Watch as well as Moto 360 here and will follow up with a look at the Gear Live soon.  In a nutshell though, he does seem fairly smitten with the Moto 360, calling it the nicest looking of the three.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments after you watch the videos.

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If you're looking to purchase an Android Wear powered watch right now you're basically looking at a choice between two watches; LG's G Watch, which was the very first Android Wear powered smartwatch announced and the recently introduced 'Gear Live' from Samsung which is their latest incarnation of 'Gear' watch.  While the sex circular 'Moto 360' will be available later this summer, most likely at a slightly higher pricepoint, today you can pick up a G Watch for $229 or a Gear Live for $199. 

The fine folks over at 'The Verge' did a nice comparo shootout between the two which I've posted above.  While there are certainly more similarities than differences, the 'Gear Live' seems to offer a bit more class and even slightly higher resolution screen (super AMOLED) too than the G Watch.   The G Watch on the other hand while a little more mundane does offer more built-in custom watch faces and a slightly larger display 1.5 inch vs. 1.3 inch.  Of course the 'Gear Live' also has that cool heart rate monitor and its stainless steel case does give it a more luxury feel.  The G Watch is also apparently a bit more comfortable on the arm. 

But in the end these two first generation Android Wear watches are more equal rivals and it's really the software which is the star of the show, and that is more alike than any minor differences.  Both can be picked up in the Google Play Store so let us know which you picked and why in the comment below or the forum.

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The original Galaxy Gear that ran on a modified form of Android and was criticized by most for doing too little for too much money.  Its sequel came out and ran on a version of Tizen, Samsung's in-house OS and while more capable than the original it still left a lot to be desired.  This latest incarnation of Samsung's 'Gear' smartwatch now called 'Gear Live' however takes a dramatic leap in its usefulness and possibly its success in the market by being built around Google's Android Wear platform.   A nice added bonus that the 'Gear Live' has is the addition of a heart rate monitor for all you fitness fans and it's the only Android Wear watch at the moment to include one.  Hardware includes a 320 x 320 pixel super AMOLED display and pricing is at $199...a full $30 less than the LG G Watch and this one again includes that unique heart rate monitor.  It looks pretty slick and of course has all the Android Wear functionality and access to apps that the platform allows.  It's available right now through the Google Play Store with a variety of band colors to choose from.

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Motorola officially demo'd their Moto 360 which is the famous 'round' Android Wear watch that the world has eagerly been awaiting.  While not available until later this summer it appears the software and hardware are just about final and this walk-through above let's us see just how the 360 works.  From turning the watch on by a press of the screen or a button, you can choose one of what will probably be an endless number of watch faces.  We then see the various screens of Android Wear that enable you to do everything from check the weather, your messages, make phone calls, use apps and more.  The watch itself looks pretty comfortable and there's a selection of leather straps.  It also looks fairly thin as on the presenter's thin arm it doesn't look too big.  We can imagine on a larger man's arm it would look right at home.  Let us know what you think in the comments below.  Will you get the Moto 360 or one of its competitors like the LG G Watch or the Samsung Gear Live?

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In last week's Google I/O up in San Francisco, Google introduced a number of new products and initiatives.   From Android L to Android One to Android TV...probably the one that got the most airtime and biggest buzz was the official introduction of Android Wear.   The above video walks us through some of the major goals, opportunities and features of Android Wear and we're also introduced to some of the first official products...that are now available for purchase through the Google Play store.  These include the G Watch by LG, the Gear Live by Samsung which features Android Wear and the soon to be available Moto 360.  Other things shown were a number of functions and apps for Android Wear but things are just getting started.  Google expects the Android Wear market and opportunity to explode in the near future and we surely expect all kinds of unique and useful products for the platform.  We'll be bringing you all the latest and greatest developments in Android Wear devices and software right here on so don't forget to Like us on Facebook or Google  and register in the forum.

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The above LG G Watch product movie was released not long ago and gives us a good look at some of the features as well as hardware for LG's new Android Wear powered device.  Below we have a german language hands-on which let's us see the G Watch in action with the Android Wear software in full view.  We get a good look at the hardware with white flexible band and the metal body with black face.  We also see the pogo pins on back used for charging as well as the OS being swiped to some of its screens.

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During the introduction of Android Wear the indisputable star of the hardware introductions was Motorola's Moto 360 smartwatch.  Also shown however were a single image of LG's square entrant, the G-Watch but not much was revealed other than the form factor would be different than the round Moto 360.  Well today we've got some news via over in the UK that LG's Android Wear debut will occur by this July and for a price of less than $300 US or 180 in the UK.   We've also got some additional pictures that show a rather generic looking square G-Watch with some pogo pins on the back and a rubber or plastic black band.   The pics don't show the device turned on but since LG is reportedly working very closely with Google on the software and hardware we expect it to run quite nicely when it comes out.  We also expect there to be a wider assortment of optional bands than just the black we see here.


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