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Off On A Tangent



Steve Garfield's weblog on pop culture, wine, beer, travel, food, politics, golf, cars and technology as seen in TIME, BusinessWeek and the New York Times.



Last Build Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 13:34:02 +0000

 



My Three Words for 2017: Breathe, Push, Nurture.

Sun, 01 Jan 2017 13:44:00 +0000

My Three Words for 2017: Breathe, Push, Nurture.

It sounds like I'm having a baby! LOL.

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Once again I'm joining in on Chris Brogan's Three Words Project for 2017.

This year I've chosen my three words for both myself and others.

BREATHE

My friend Dina Kaplan has been helping people understand Mindfulness over the past few years and now has a company around it, The Path.

One of the key points of being mindful is to slow down and listen your your own breath.

It's important to understand that you have control over your emotions. Stopping to take a breath helps.

I've been a big fan of this concept for years, based on the writings of Stephen Covey.

PUSH

This year I've signed up for a personal trainer at Equinox in Chestnut Hill. I've always thought that personal trainers were a gimmick for the health club to make extra money, but now that I've had a number of sessions with Zack Gray, I get it. My check-ins at the club now say corny things like, "Taking it to the next level."

It's really a revelation to me, how important it is to get your body in shape as you age. I've had some shoulder, back an leg pain, and the excersices that I'm now doing will prevent future injuries by making me stronger.

The other side of getting in shape is to monitor and change what food you eat. When we were discussing this aspect of health, Zack got a kick out of it when I described people who don't think about what they eat, as "meat bags just walking around eating what ever they want." ;-)

I'm having fun measuring what I eat using the Under Armor App, My Fitness Pal.

Thanks to Gary Vaynerchuk, Jacqueline Carly, and Erin Bailey for your inspiration on social media.

NURTURE

As always, I like to help fun people and companies grow.

I enjoy teaching children new skills they'll need to grow up to be better adults.

I like to teach adults new skills they'll need to help them grow.

I like to help companies, brands and destinations share their stories in an authentic way to reach more people.(image)



Review: Installing eero WiFi system with TrueMesh

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 12:08:00 +0000

REVIEW: eero WiFi system with TrueMesh What started me on my quest to extend my WiFi network in our 100 year old home, was the installation of a ring.com WiFi connected video doorbell. In order for the doorbell to perform correctly, it needs a strong WiFi signal. The problem I have in this old house, is that my Comcast Xfinity modem/router is on the third floor, and my doorbell is on the first floor. Connectivity down there was non-existent until I installed a Netgear WiFi Range Extender. That helped, but the doorbell software kept reporting ill health. I wanted to review the Netgear Orbi WiFi solution, but that isn't available for review right now, so when eero contacted me about reviewing their solution, I agreed. Better Coverage Than Before After completing the install of the three eero units, I now have better coverage than before, with WiFi at my front door, going from non existent, to 840 kbps with the Netgear extender, to 45 Mbps with the eero. It's a success. Also, all my existing WiFi connected devices still work after the installation. I was concerned that I'd run into problems, but the only hiccup was that I now have a WiFi connected laptop and printer instead of hardwired connections. That's probably the result of an old 10/100 switch I am using. Regarding Speed From the eero website:Unlike traditional routers, which optimize for the speed you get when standing right next to them, the main goal of eero is whole-home coverage. Sure, speed is important, but only up to a point. Streaming the highest quality 4K HD video only requires a 25 Mbps connection, and Netflix HD only requires 5 Mbps. Bottom line: getting super high speeds directly next to your router isn’t as important as consistent coverage throughout your home. Here's my experience installing and testing the eero WiFi system. Unboxing I received an eero Home WiFi System 3-pack, LIST PRICE $ 499.00, for review. It's well packaged, following the Apple model of impressive design. Alternatives Google WiFi System. style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=getseen-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B01MAW2294&asins=B01MAW2294&linkId=009f7efd5a1f8e5bdef6089a0ae65b50&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true"> Netgear Orbi. style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=getseen-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B01N76QTYB&asins=B01N76QTYB&linkId=4137e52cf44a043218d72ed891dd7436&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true"> Disclosure: I received eero WiFi system with TrueMesh for free in return for my honest opinion. This review reflects my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experience. [...]



Natalie Gelman | The Lion | Official Music Video

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 20:26:00 +0000

width="480" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KYBdE6vUKOQ" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen="">(image)



2017 Mercedes-Benz E300 with Apple CarPlay

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 15:06:00 +0000

My Mercedes-Benz Dealership, Mercedes-Benz of Burlington, gives out loaner cars when you get your car serviced. I asked for an E300, while my C300 was in for it's B service. I got a 2017 Mercedes-Benz E300. What a sweet car. It's a little bigger than my C300 and does away with the semi-floating 8.4-inch screen, replacing it with an inline 12.3-inch high-resolution central display. Display The 2017 E300 also has a USB plug in the cupholder section. After I plugged my iPhone 7 Plus in, the car detected it and asked me if I wanted to connect to Apple CarPlay. "A new Apple CarPlay device has been connected." I accepted "Automatically" and the CarPlay display came up. It's impressive.  The colors are vibrant and details are very pronounced. I saw Pandora on there, so I scrolled over to it using the COMAND system with touchpad controller. It was easy to scroll around my artists. I selected Paul McCartney & Wings. Next, I selected Maps, and chose to browse local shopping, and my supermarket came right up, so I selected it, and navigation led me there. The final thing I'd like to share is the 64-color LED ambient lighting. This was fun to play with and decide on a color. A network of LEDs can create not just a soothing ambience in the cabin, but one you can alter to suit your mood, or even create one. An incredible 64 selectable colors and adjustable brightness let the driver control the atmosphere like never before. Edge-lighting glows from beneath the "waveform" dash trim and door armrests, and from behind the instrumentation screen panel. Even the footwells, door handles and rear overhead assist grips are bathed in a soft glow. Disclosure: Mercedes-Benz of Burlington provided me with a 2017 Mercedes-Benz E300 as a service loaner. I have a financial interest in Mercedes-Benz of Burlington. I was not asked to write anything about the car and was not provided any other compensation of any kind. All opinions I express regarding the Mercedes-Benz E300 are my own. [...]



PhotoScan from Google Can't Beat a Scanner

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 19:54:00 +0000

PhotoScan iOS and Android App for scanning photos, makes it easy to use your smart phone to scan in old photos, but it can't match the quality of a flatbed scanner.

Here's a test I did with an old wedding photo:

PhotoScan

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Epson Perfection V850 Pro scanner (affiliate link) with Color Restoration

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The Shure Documenter MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 18:31:00 +0000

The Shure Documenter MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone joins the landscape of new microphones that utilize the iPhone Lightning connector providing a greater confidence that recordings will sound good, as opposed to using the headphone jack. In all my tests, the MV88 worked well, without any problems. As you add on external devices to help you record, you usually add in the possibility of technical failure. Not with the MV88. I was confident to use it each time. The sound quality was very good and I appreciated the ability to modify the direction of the audio capture depending on the environment. The app was easy to use. Here are the features of the mic, some video examples recorded directly to the camera and through Facebook Live, some of my suggestions for the next version, and some photos. Features• MFi certi ed compatible with all iOS devices equipped with a Lightning connector • Matched cardioid and bi-directional 1 cm cartridges for best-in-class audio • Mid-side architecture for a phase-perfect, clear stereo image • 5 DSP preset modes (Speech, Singing, Flat, Acoustic Instrument, Loud) • Automatically adjusts EQ, compression and limiting for optimal results • Innovative hinge/rotation design supports multiple recording angles, including video applications • All-metal construction engineered to withstand the most demanding recording conditions System Requirements iOS 7.0 and higher: iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus; iPod touch 5th generation; iPad 4th generation, iPad Air, iPad Air 2; iPad Mini 1st generation, iPad Mini 2nd generation, iPad Mini 3rd Generation ShurePlus™ MOTIV™ App Featuring: –24-bit/48 khz .wav (uncompressed) recording –Control over DSP mode selection, microphone gain, stereo width, raw mid-side adjustments, wind reduction, capsule selection, Left-Right Swap, 5-band EQ and compression/limiting Buy on Amazon.com (Affiliate Link): style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=getseen-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B010W6W8OW&asins=B010W6W8OW&linkId=f6cae450e9bdec5b03d6f2e3d43e32fe&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true"> Testing: iPhone 7 Plus Recording src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fstevegarfield%2Fvideos%2F10154694592652020%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"> iPhone 7 Plus Facebook Live Stream of Christmas Car Tree Review ASSEMBLE src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fstevegarfield%2Fvideos%2F10154694627952020%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"> INSTALL ON CAR ROOF src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fstevegarfield%2Fvideos%2F10154694704077020%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"> A few notes that I would pass on to developers: 1. I would like the mic to be able to be adjustable 180 degrees. So it can both be pointed at an interviewee or the person recording. 2. OR All the microphone to twist so that the side pics work while in landscape mode, allowing both mics to work at the same time for interviewer and interviewee. 3. I’d like the mic to have a daisy chained lighting port on it so that I can plug in another lightning cord to power the phone while using the mic. 4. I’d like a longer lightning connector so [...]



Christmas Car Tree Lit Up At Night.

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 13:21:00 +0000

Christmas Car Tree Lit Up At Night. #sponsored

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Image: Christmas Car Tree Lit Up At Night.

This was fun to drive around with on the top of my car last night. Little kids were yelling, "Hey mom look at that!"
We also got a few "Merry Christmas" greetings.

It was very secure.

ASSEMBLE
src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fstevegarfield%2Fvideos%2F10154694627952020%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true">

INSTALL ON CAR ROOF
src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fstevegarfield%2Fvideos%2F10154694704077020%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true">
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Hear from real Americans this Election Day as they share who they voted for and why LIVE today on Facebook.

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 17:50:00 +0000

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Hear from real Americans this Election Day, not pundits and projections. Exit Poll is bringing you the voices of voters all across this country as they share who they voted for and why LIVE today on Facebook.

Download the app and share your video to be featured: http://exitpoll.live

Facebook Page: Exit Poll Live(image)



Tech21 Evo Mesh Case for iPhone 7

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 20:05:00 +0000

The Tech21 Evo Mesh Case for iPhone 7 is available exclusively at the Apple Store.
Tech21's Evo Mesh Case powerfully safeguards your iPhone 7 with intelligent impact protection. That means impact force is absorbed, dissipated, and repelled away from your iPhone thanks to scientifically proven, hybrid impact-protection FlexShock material that’s injection molded into the Energy Absorbing System (E.A.S.). Ultra-thin and extremely lightweight, Evo Mesh offers tough protection for your iPhone, while preserving its natural beauty.
The information on the box and the website states that this case protects your iPhone from 9.9 foot drops.

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That's better than what the standard Apple Leather case would do.

I've had this case for less than a week and really like it. All the buttons work fine and there's room for many different lightning connectors that I've tried.

Lists for $39.95 online.(image)



YouTube Adds a new, optional feature for paid promotion disclosure

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 01:45:00 +0000

YouTube Adds New Tool To Help Creators Disclose Branded Videos:
YouTube is trying to do its part to ensure viewers are properly informed about sponsored content. It has launched a new feature that lets creators disclosed paid promotions by way of a small notice that appears in the bottom-left corner of the video player.

How to set up:

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Video Example:

width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uNH_xWm8qDU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

Note: New disclosure is on the bottom left as video plays.

YouTube: A new, optional feature for paid promotion disclosure.(image)



Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 13:19:00 +0000

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany – Read on Medium

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width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vczkcFu6uwo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

Yes, Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany is crazy. We had a great time. (image)



Love Lock Bridge Salzburg, Austria

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 12:39:00 +0000

Love Lock Bridge Salzburg, Austria – Read on Medium

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In Salzburg, Austria we stayed at the Sheraton Grand Salzburg. At the front desk we asked for directions to the local shopping areas. The old town shopping was just down the street. The desk clerk, marked a footbridge that we should cross with a little heart shape, telling us to cross the love bridge.

I had no idea at the time, that this footbridge, would be covered in love locks.
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Dachau concentration camp

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 12:24:00 +0000

Dachau concentration camp – Read on Medium:

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“Arbeit macht frei,” or “Work sets you free,” is seen in the wrought-iron gate as you enter Dachau concentration camp in Germany. As we approached the entrance of the concentration camp, I had decided not to take a lot of photos. Maybe a few here and there, but mainly I was there to take in the site without any distractions. Little did I know that my experience at the entrance would be the most emotional moment of my visit.(image)



Augustiner Braustubl Beer Garden Salzburg, Austria

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 21:27:00 +0000

Augustiner Braustubl Beer Garden Salzburg, Austria – Read on Medium

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How to find Augustiner Braustubl Beer Garden Salzburg, Austria by Steve Garfield 10/1/2016
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Mercedes-Benz Center Of Excellence European Delivery

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 16:08:00 +0000

Mercedes-Benz Center Of Excellence European Delivery – Read on Medium

width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TCE5muAt9PE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

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Belkin's new $39.95 Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar gives iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus two female Lightning ports

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 22:13:00 +0000

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Belkin announces simultaneous Lightning headphone and charging adapter for iPhone 7

Belkin's new $39.95 Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus was "developed closely with Apple," the company said on Thursday. It features a single male Lightning plug on one end, and two female Lightning ports on the other.(image)