Kate Mcnamara

  • Wi-Ex: Blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking LIVE from Macworld 2011!

    January 27, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    Stay tuned for cool products, companies and pics from Macworld 2011!

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    Check in later for more updates!

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  • Visit Wi-Ex at Macworld 2011 in San Francisco!

    January 21, 2011 - Leave a Comment

    Come by and visit Wi-Ex at Macworld  this year at booth #543!

    The YX545 SOHO is being highlighted at Macworld this year with their First Looks Program. A First Looks kiosk will be on display in Moscone West to help attendees identify and locate the products being introduced on-site.

    Come check us out!

  • Giftable Gadgets

    December 3, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    A handy holiday gift guide

    Chances are, someone you’re shopping for has some kind of gadget on their wish list. If you’re not sure where to get started, this gift guide will help you find just the right thing for that special someone.

    Urban Dwellers

    Those living in small apartments or the big city could use some gadget-friendly help as they go about their day.

    _ Smarter Sound: Have a quieter commute or just tune out the neighbors with Phiaton Noise Cancelling Earphones PS 20 NC. The in-ear headset has noise blocking technology that maximizes the quality of music from their MP3 players while minimizing outside interference. The lightweight earphones use one AAA battery and come with inline volume control and a choice of silicone earbuds. (www.phiaton.com)

    _ Stay Connected: A recent National Health Interview Survey showed that nearly two-thirds of adults who shared an apartment or house with unrelated roommates reported having only mobile phones, making that group the most likely to be completely wireless and struggling with dropped or missed calls. To help with cell phone signal issues, the roommate friendly zBoost-METRO Cell Phone Signal Booster, from Wi-Ex, works with multiple users and multiple carriers simultaneously. Its antenna mounts to a window and comes with everything they need to cover 1,500 square feet. (www.wi-ex.com)

     

    Gadget Grands

    Keep the grandparents up to speed with easy-to-use technology that keeps them connected to the family.

    _ Picture This: Upgrade their family photo collection with a Bluetooth Enabled Digital Picture Frame from Portable USA. It has a 10.4-inch LCD display with 640 x 480 resolution. You can upload new pictures from your phone. In addition to showing pictures, it will play videos, music and text. It has a USB connector and 2 memory card slots in addition to 256MB of internal memory, and comes with two wood frames. (www.amazon.com

    _ Get Face Time: If their computer doesn’t have a built-in video camera, the compact Microsoft LifeCam VX-500 is ideal. It has a 1.3 megapixel sensor that shoots VGA video and captures twice as much light as other devices, for a much clearer picture. It has a flexible base that lets them adjust the angle, and a builtin mic. It’s optimized for Windows Live Messenger, but also works with Skype, AIM and Yahoo Messenger. It comes in three fun colors. (www.store.microsoft.com)

     

    On-the-Go Joes

    Travel junkies and vacationing families need gadgets that will stand up to the rigors of being on the road.

    _ Extreme Video: Whether it’s on a bicycle’s handlebars or strapped to a surfboard, the ATC9K All-Terrain Video Camera from Oregon Scientific can take a hit. It’s a durable, shockresistant unit that captures 5-megapixel stills as well as 1080p HD video. It also has a G-Sensor that tracks measurements for speed, hang time, angle of movement and other motion stats, and a laser pointer that lets them line the camera up with whatever they want to shoot. (www2.oregonscientific.com)

    _ Waterproof Reading: Keep their Kindle dry with the M-Edge Guardian Waterproof Case. It will float on the water’s surface for hands-free reading. Its custom-molded interior and mounting pads give cushioned support, and it also has flexible sealed cutouts so they can access the controls. As an extra security measure, there’s a ring at the bottom of the case so it can be strapped to a lanyard or belt. (www.medgestore.com)

     

    iWorkers

    The number of people working from their homes seems to grow every day. Get your iWorker set up right with these gadgets.

    _ Consistent Coverage: Cell phones are essential communication tools for teleworkers, and when they don’t get signal, it makes work even more work. The zBoost-SOHO Dual Band Cell Phone Signal Booster supports multiple phones simultaneously and gives them the coverage they need to work through the whole house (up to 3,500 sq ft; including aircards, EDGE and 3G Technology). (www.wi-ex.com)

    _ Charge It: Keep all the essential office gadgets charged up with Energizer’s Inductive Charging Station. With two large inductive charging zones that don’t require locking the device into a particular position, your iWorker can just set their phone (and two other devices) down and it will get charged up. It has a USB port to allow users to charge additional devices such as cameras or GPS units. (www.target.com)

    _ Custom Caffeine: No office would be complete without a coffeemaker. The AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker from Aerobie lets anyone brew American style or Espresso style coffees for use in lattes or cappuccinos. It has a total-immersion system that mixes water and grounds at a moderate temper ature, then gentle air pressure pushes the mix into a micro-filter, resulting in a smooth, rich brew in just 30 seconds. Visit www.aerobie.com to find a retailer near you.

  • Quick Tattletails zBoost Giveaway

    November 30, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    For those of you who would like to win a zBoost YX540 METRO, Quick Tattletails is having a giveawway contest!

     

    Ways to Enter the Quick Tattletails Giveaway:

    Mandatory Entry:

    Go to Wi-Ex and tell me what you learned.

     
    Extra Entries:

    1. "Like " Wi-Ex zBoost on Facebook. 
    (1 Entry)

    2. Follow Wi-Ex on Twitter. @Wi_Ex
    (1 Entry)

    3. Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and leave the direct link.

    ► ► ► One lucky reader will win the zBoost Metro ($299.99) Cell Phone Booster @bonmay #giveaway @Wi_Ex http://bit.ly/gTBb1L

    (1 Entry)  This can be done daily!

    4. Write a short review on Alexa for Quick Tattletails and give me 5 stars.
    (5 Entries)

    5. Fave me on Technorati. Add to Technorati Favorites
    (5 Entries)

    6. Follow me on Twitter. @bonmay
    (4 Entries)

    7. Stumble this post, at the top of this post.
    (10 Entries)

    8. Follow me on Google Buzz.
     Follow on Buzz 
    (10 Entries)

    9. Post on Google Buzz, at the top of this post.
    (10 Entries)

    10. Follow me on Google Friend Conncect.  On my right sidebar.
    (4 Entries)

    11. Follow me on Networked Blogs.  On my right sidebar.
    (4 Entries)

    12. Fan me on Facebook.
    (4 Entries)

    13. "Like" this at the bottom of this post.
    (3 Entries)

    14. Sign up for my newsletter.  On my right sidebar.  Leave your email address.
    (5 Entries)

    15. Sign up for my RSS feed.  On my right sidebar.  Leave your email address.
    (1 Entry)

    16. Add Quick Tattletails to your blogroll  with this URL - http://www.quicktattletails.com/
    Tell me where I can find it.
    (5 Entries)

    17. Share this giveaway with the "Share the Love" buttons below.
    (2 Entries Each Social Site)

    18.  Leave a comment on any non giveaway post.  Tell me which one.
    (2 Entries Per Comment)

    19. Enter any of my other giveaways, just let me know which one.
    (1 Entry per giveaway)

    20. Put my button on your website and tell me where to find it.
    (5 Entries)

    21. Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to find it.
    (10 Entries)

    For more information about the giveaway contest, please visit the article at: http://www.quicktattletails.com/2010/11/zboost-review-and-giveaway-ends-12-21.html

  • Holiday Travel Tips from ABC News

    November 23, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    Seven Tips for Smooth Thanksgiving Travel

    How Long Will Airport Security Take? Can I Bring a Turkey on My Flight?

    http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/thanksgiving-holiday-travel-tips-traffic-flight-delays-ruin/story?id=12195296&page=1

    By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ

     Thanksgiving? Expect the roads and airports to be significantly more crowded than last year, thanks in part to an improving economy.

    Roughly 42.2 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from their home this holiday, according to AAA. That's 11.4 percent more than last year.

    To help avoid car trouble and unnecessary delays during holiday travel, AAA recommends drivers check their tire treads, tire pressure, wiper blades and battery connections.

    While the vast majority of those travelers will be driving, it's those who take to the skies that often deal with the most headaches and heartache. Sure, nobody likes bumper-to-bumper traffic, but would you rather be stuck in traffic in your car or having airport security do a thorough pat-down of your privates?

    Besides, it seems that every year the rules of the airport change ever so slightly. (Most people drive every day and the rules of the road really don't change.)

    And for fliers, there is some good news: the government is once again opening up some military air space to help speed commercial flights.

    So with all that in mind, we reached out to Genevieve Shaw Brown, senior editor at Travelocity to answer seven commonly-asked questions about flying during Thanksgiving.

     

    • #1: May I Bring My Turkey?

    The short answer here is yes, though you might get some strange looks at security. Keep in mind, however, your turkey (or whatever other food you bring on the aircraft) must be part of your carry-on luggage and must not take up more than the free one bag and one carry-on item allotted by every domestic airline except Spirit (which charges for carry-on luggage). Remember, though, that the TSA still allows no more than 3 ounces of liquid in any one container, so your turkey cannot be soaking in brine, getting itself ready for dinner at grandma's house.

     

    • #2: How Long Do I Really Need to Get Though Security?

    Provided you have checked in online before your flight (see question three), you can arrive at security one hour before your domestic flight and most likely be just fine. But, just to be on the safe side, you might want to leave yourself an extra half-hour during a busy travel weekend like Thanksgiving. If you choose not to check in online, arrive at the airport at least two hours before your departure time to be ready for long lines at the check-in counter, which are in addition to the lines at security. Arrive at the airport two hours before all international flights.

    • #3: How Do I Make Sure I Don't Get Bumped From My Flight?

    There is no guaranteed way to avoid getting bumped, but there are certainly ways to minimize your chances. First and foremost, reserve a seat when you purchase your flight online, rather than letting one be randomly assigned to you at a later date. Next, check in online on your carrier's website up to 24 hours before your flight. Often, when a flight is oversold and no one is willing to give up their seat, the airline will bump the person or people who checked in last. Finally, get to the gate as early as possible (see question two; this is when that extra half-hour might come in handy) and reconfirm your seat with the gate agent.

    • #4: What If I Miss My Connection?

    Typically when you miss a connection, the airline just puts you on the next flight to your destination. During a peak travel period like Thanksgiving, however, that might not be so simple because planes are flying very full and you'll have to wait for a flight with an available seat. The easiest way to not miss a connection is to book a direct flight in the first place. If that's not possible, leave a minimum of two hours to make your connecting flight to protect against any delays on the first leg of your trip.

    If you've already purchased your flight and you're worried the connecting time is too tight, visit your airport's website to see a map of the airport to get a lay of the land. Then ask your flight attendant on your first flight to tell you what gate your next flight is using. This can save you several minutes of searching for your gate. Finally, if you do miss your connection and it looks as if it is going to be a while before the airline finds you an empty seat to your destination, it's time to be flexible. Be willing to travel to airports near your destination -- for example, Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami, or Charleston instead of Savannah -- if there are empty seats.

    • #5: What Should I Keep With Me in Case We Get Stranded on   the Tarmac?

    It is very unlikely that you'll get stranded on the tarmac. However, make sure you're prepared for the worst-case scenario over Thanksgiving weekend and every other time you fly. Keep on your person at all times a fully charged cell phone, all medications, water (purchased post-security) and a snack. If you're traveling with children, make sure they have formula (this is an exception to the TSA liquid rule), diapers and activities to keep them amused. Bottom line -- if you can't live without it, don't put it in your checked luggage, because once it's checked you're not going to see it again until you get to your destination.

    • #6: Can I Bring Gifts Along?

    Yes, but be aware that wrapped gifts may be opened at security. Use gift bags or wait until you arrive at your destination before wrapping presents. And of course, anything you carry on the plane counts towards your allotted one carry-on bag and one personal item.

    • #7: How Much Will It Cost My Family to Check Our Bags?

    That, of course, depends on how many bags you check. Most airlines charge $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second on domestic flights. Exceptions are JetBlue, which allows one free checked bag, and Southwest, which allows two. Generally speaking, a family of four, each checking one bag, will pay a total of $200 round-trip in bag charges. Some airlines offer small discounts -- usually $3 per bag -- if you pay online before your flight.

    Your bag must not weigh more than 50 pounds or measure more than 62 inches. Otherwise, it will be subject to overweight and/or oversized bag fees. On international flights, you're often allowed to check one bag free of charge, but check your carrier's website for specifics.

    Keep in mind that every ticketed passenger (including a small child) is entitled to one regulation-size carry-on bag and one personal item for free, except on Spirit. Regulation size is generally 45 linear inches or less; you can figure this number out by adding the width plus the length plus the height.

     

    Wi-Ex wishes you safe travels this week!

  • Article of the Week from TheDigitalStory.com

    November 3, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    zBoost Metro Eliminated My iPhone Dropped Calls

     
    For the longest time I had decent cell phone reception at my studio in central Santa Rosa, CA. Then one day, as if someone threw a switch, my service was terrible. I could barely complete a call before it was dropped, and sometimes I would have to redial 3 or 4 times just to finish a short conversation. I was so frustrated.

    zBoost Metro in Window The signal antenna for the zBoost Metro in my window sill. Since this device doesn't require vertical separation like other single amplifiers, you can even use it in a single-level apartment or small office.

    I knew the solution wasn't going to be AT&T -- I had contacted them about the problem, and they said everything looked OK to them -- I would have to come up with something on my own. And I did. The zBoost METRO YX540 cell phone signal booster.

    How to Set Up the zBoost Metro

    It works like this. First you have to find a location in your home or small office that has the best phone reception. In my case, I could get 2 bars upstairs in the room facing south. I placed the signal antenna (shown here) in that window. I set it on the window sill, but the kit includes suction cups if you want to attach it to the glass.

    Then I ran the included coaxial cable down the stairs to the bottom floor where I previously had virtually no reception. I attached the zBoost Base Unit and made sure the light was green. I checked my iPhone downstairs, and I went from 1 bar (which quite honestly was really no bars because I couldn't complete calls), to 2 bars and sometimes 3. Before I let myself get too excited, I dialed up a couple friends. Perfect! I actually finished the conversations.

    OK, now for the ultimate test. I have a friend who uses a BlackBerry on Verizon. We have not completed a call in months. I dialed her up. We talked for five minutes without disruption. And, on top of that, her voice sounded loud and clear. It was a miracle!

    Once I had confidence that the zBoost was going to work, I ran the white coaxial cable along the wall, and for the most part, out of sight along the edge of the carpet. I could push it down in the crack so that it's barely visible.

    Networks, Coverage and Stuff

    The zBoost METRO YX540 is available everywhere for $199. It works with 800 and 1900 MHz frequencies, except for Nextel/iDEN. No problem for iPhones. It can cover an area as large as 1500 square feet. I have about 1,000 square feet downstairs at my studio, and the zBoost covers it easily. You get a system gain of about 50 dB, and it works with the following networks: CDMA, GSM, GPRS, EDGE, EVDO, 1xRTT, UMTS, HSPA, and 3G. It uses 3W of power in standby mode, and up to 7W when its working hard.

    iPhone vs iPad

    Since many of us have iPads too, I decided to also test the zBoost with that device. The results were a bit surprising.

    I made sure WiFi was off for both the iPhone 3GS and the iPad 3G. The iPhone showed 2 bars and the iPad was displaying 3. But when I launched web pages on both devices, the iPhone 3GS beat the iPad every time. Generally, I think the iPad loads pages faster than the iPhone, especially on WiFi. But not using the zBoost.

    Using 3G only with the zBoost, DPReview would completely load in 50 seconds on the iPhone 3GS and 1:30 on the iPad. If I turned WiFi back on, the iPad would beat the iPhone, loading in about 10-15 seconds.

    So in my case, the zBoost does a great job with voice communication on the iPhone, but isn't really a plus for the iPad. Of course your mileage may vary.

    The Bottom Line

    You could not pry the zBoost Metro out of my hands. It has brought my cell phone back to life so I can use it with confidence in my studio.

  • Happy Halloween!

    October 31, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    Wi-Ex wishes you and your family a happy and safe Halloween!

  • Trick-or-Treat! Halloween Safety Tips from Wi-Ex

    October 29, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    Here are some suggestions from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to keep you and your family safe and happy this Halloween.

    1.     Treats: Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.

    2.     Flame Resistant Costumes: When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame Resistant. Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.

    3.     Costume Designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.

    • Trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights.
    •  Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape.
    • To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.
    • Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
    • Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.
    • Hats and scarfs should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.
    • Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
    • Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.

    4.     Pedestrian Safety:

    • Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child.
    • All children should WALK, not run from house to house and use the sidewalk if available, rather than walk in the street.
    • Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars, or across lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines present dangers.

    5.     Choosing Safe Houses: Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.

    • Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult.
    • People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches.
    • Candlelit jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.
    •  Indoor jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from curtains, decorations, and other furnishings that could be ignited.

     

    Also, if you're being careful about your candy intake this year, check out Hungry Girl's suggestions for which candies to nibble on this year!

    She lists all the nutritional information, and even the Weight Watcher's points for the different candy options this year so you can keep yourself and your family healthy while treating yourselfs  to some Halloween candy!

  • The Cell Phone Junkie Reviews the YX540 Metro!

    October 26, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    The Cell Phone Junkie reviewed another zBoost product-- the YX540 Metro!

  • Holiday Tech Gifts with Christopher Knight

    October 25, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    Wi-Ex is being featured on the Hot Holiday Tech Gifts with Brady Bunch Star and Gadget Guru Christopher Knight!

    Today, the exclusive holiday celebrity tech interview will be running on national radio as well as over 30 TV stations on markets across the country.

    Look for the Holiday Tech Gifts clip on your local TV affilliate!

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