This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Oct. 1, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

WD My Cloud
There is what seems like an endless number of cloud storage solutions for storing and sharing digital files but it’s often confusing, so most just keep their digital data on home storage devices.

Simply put, cloud storage has nothing to do with the weather. Instead, it involves moving digital files to an off-site storage location.

Typically, after you move files to the storage site you can view, share or edit the data on any computer, smartphone or tablet from anywhere.

After going to a demonstration recently by executives from WD (a Western Digital company) of the new My Cloud storage solution, I came away thinking ”this is a company that finally understands the consumer cloud confusion and has a simple, user-friendly solution.”

The hardware system makes it simple for professional photographers down to beginners to store digital images, videos or documents to the My Cloud personal drive.

Simply put, the My Cloud is hard drive device (available 2, 3 and 4 TB capacities) and is simple to set up. After your done, connect it to the Internet and you can access the files you store on it from anywhere in the world, all with no monthly fees.

My Cloud has a Gigabit Ethernet connection, along with a Dual-Core processor, which results in blazing fast speeds to transfer files.

There was a statement WD had in a recent press release, which I couldn’t agree with more: “Everyone is inundated with thousands of digital files scattered across multiple computers and mobile devices and controlling that chaos is a challenge.”

WD also supplied research saying that the average household will own approximately 3.3 terabytes (TB) of digital content by 2016, which is a large amount to control.

After you’re done with the simple setup using the WD web-based interface on a Mac or PC, the software will automatically detect the drive, enabling you to connect to it via the web from any remote location.

Using the remote My Cloud storage allows your devices to free up storage space, while still be able to access the files at any time.

I’ve had many people tell me a lot of the insecurity with cloud storage is you don’t know where the files actually are. In this case with the WD My Cloud, the files are sitting on your desk.

The system can also be used as a computer backup with Apple Time Machine or WD SmartWare Pro software on a PC.

Accessing files on mobile devices (iOS and Android) is a breeze using the WD My Cloud mobile app available for free in the App Store and Google Play. 2TB $149.99, 3TB $179.99, which are both available now. The 4 TB will be available in November with an MSRP of $249.99
Logitech Z600

Logitech’s Z600 Bluetooth speakers ($149.99) are designed to be desktop space saving with a curved, vertical design looking like a pair of cool white vases.

Once you connect them to a computer or any of Bluetooth media source, crank them up – you’ll hear great room-filling sound.

The Z600 speakers can be simultaneously paired with up to three devices and if wireless isn’t your device’s thing, there is a 3.5mm port for a direct wired connection.

A USB Bluetooth transceiver also included if your computer doesn’t stream audio or support Bluetooth.

To switch between devices just press pause on the one playing and then hit the play button on the other and the speaker will know to switch over.

Setting the volume up or down is done on a touch panel on the top of one of the speakers, which is very responsive.

They are powered with the included AC adapter.


CardNinjaThe CardNinja is simple solution to rid yourself of a bulky wallet.

It attaches to the back of a smartphone and stores up to eight credit or ID cards.

Installation takes seconds: just peel off the backing and stick it to the back of your device. It can be removed easily if needed.

After it’s attached, load it with your cash, driver’s license and credit cards. In some case you can even use a smartphone cover to hide the CardNinja and your credit cards or whatever you store in it.

It’s made with a flexible spandex material and is available in black, purple eggplant or steel gray. $19.95

Contact Gregg Ellman at
Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.
2013, Gregg Ellman.


2013 MarCom Entry, Mastro Communications, Inc.

Winner: Mastro Communications, Inc.
Title of Entry: “PGA Championship”
Location: Warren, NJ
Client: PGA of America
Category: 148c. Integrated Marketing
Mastro-LogoEngaging the audience is always a great tool to heighten interest, pump up sales, and increase television ratings.  With social media and the Internet, there is more opportunity than before, if done properly.  The PGA wanted to retain viewer interest on the season’s final major at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York and had a good idea how to do it.  The PGA turned to Mastro Communications of Warren, New Jersey, a boutique agency that boasts that it can do anything that the big guys can do, but without the overhead.
Working with the PGA, Mastro crafted an integrated marketing campaign promoting a first time event….letting golf fans cast votes and choose the pin placement on a pivotal hole on the last day of the tournament.  As Jack Nicklalus put it, “it’s like being able to call the shots during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.”
Media outlets worldwide picked up the story, generating 730 million impressions.  Over a 19 day period, 92,000 golf fans participated in the “PGA Championship Pick the Hole Location challenge Hosted by Jack Nicklaus” using, Facebook, and Twitter to cast their votes.  On Sunday, August 11 the PGA announced that of the four possible positions, location “C”, a downhill 181 yard, par 3 on the 15th hole was the fans choice, making golf history.
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This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Sept. 16, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

Upwrite I’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating: If you have a product from Quirky, no matter how simple it is, it’s going to be a cool, useful and innovative.

Take the Upwrite Stylus and Kickstand ($27.99) for example. It combines what the name implies; a rubber stylus on one end and a key chain lock on the other end, doubling as a  kickstand for a smartphone or tablet.

It’s only 3.25-inches long with a polished-zinc finish to make it look as cool as it works.
CoreThe Quirky Core Dock and Display ($49.99) takes your charging cable and turns them into a desktop charging station.

Just plug your cable into one of the two USB ports on the bottom and wrap your cord around the Core’s cable management groves to form artwork.

The 3-inch cubed device lets you plug a second cord into the other port for charging.

All Quirky devices work, because they are designed by users. Pretty simple and pretty great products.


Bodyguardz shieldYou can be on the Apple team with any of the “i” products or on the Samsung side with a Galaxy hand-held device, but the one product that plays on both teams is the BodyGuardz’ ScreenGuardz Pure.

The scratch-resistant protector for the LCD on any of these devices is pretty amazing. BodyGuardz demonstrates the durability in a YouTube video by using a box cutter, the tip of a nail and pounding it with a hammer.

You can make your own conclusions from the video. I’m not about to put it through those tests but I will say after having it on my phone for more than a month, it looks like it was put on today.

It’s described as being made from “a special chemically-tempered glass” and is so thin it works with most every case.

A smudge-resistant coating keeps your fingerprints off and takes just minutes to apply bubble free.

Another choice from BodyGuardz is a privacy screen, which is great against prying eyes sitting close by on airplanes, which leads me to one of my favorite gadget lines I ever heard of while flying.

A passenger next to me asked why the screen on my iPad couldn’t be seen, to which I replied “because it has a privacy screen so that you can’t.”

What more proof do you need to know if it works? When you look at it from an angle, you see a black screen but when you position it to view straight on, you can see the LCD like nothing is in the way. prices vary depending on your device; for example the iPhone 5/5S ScreenGuardz Pure – $39.95, Samsung Galaxy S4 Privacy ScreenGuardz $19.95


WrenSomehow I overlooked the Wren V5 Wireless Speaker System in a speaker roundup a few weeks ago, so let’s just say I saved the best for last.

The sound is outstanding, which can easily be considered room filling and a big room at that.

Your music source connects to the device wirelessly and in my case I used the Airplay feature built into iOS devices. Android users have a model (Play-Fi ) built for them and a Bluetooth version is in the works.

The wireless version will stream up to 150 feet, depending on your music source and the Wi-Fi router, which is great compared to the 30 feet that you get with Bluetooth.

After plugging in the included power supply, it takes just seconds to get the speaker cranked up.

Wren made sure the sound was first class but also put the same amount of effort into the design. The rectangular speaker is designed with curves on the ends and had a bamboo (in my unit) or real rosemary wooden finish.

It measures about 16 x 6 x 4-inches and with the finish it makes a nice addition to any family room.

An auxiliary port is on the back along with a USB connection for direction connection of other devices.  $399.00 for the Apple Airplay or the Android Play-Fi.

Contact Gregg Ellman at
Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.
2013, Gregg Ellman.


2013 MarCom Awards Deadline Tomorrow

2013 MarCom Call for Entries!
If your work is among the best in the creative world, your organization, bosses and clients need to know that.  Enter your most creative marketing and communication work and receive peer judged, unbiased, third-party recognition from the most respected creative competition in the world.



2013 MarCom Entry, aritchbrand

Winner: aritchbrand
Title of Entry: “Front Page of the New York Times”
Location: Boston, MA
Client: Cyber Aces
Category: 169. Newspaper placement

LogoPlacing a client in any newspaper is tough and the bigger the paper, the bigger the challenge.  The New York Times is an especially hard sell with editors and reporters hearing about every conceivable pitch imaginable.  Aritchbrand of Boston was approached by a fledgling company called ‘Cyber Aces‘ who was looking for prominent media exposure.  Adam Ritchie Brand Direction, whose services include marketing, media outreach, crisis management, and creative development, was game.

cyberaces-logoCyber Aces identifies, trains, mentors, and develops young Americans for the quickly emerging field of cyber security.  Their students are the future employees of the NSA, the Pentagon, and Fortune 500 Companies.  The field of cyber security is getting crowded and Cyber Aces wanted to differentiate itself from the pack when it turned to aritchbrand.

Aritchbrand developed and honed a unique pitch.  They called up the Times lead cyber security writer and offered to bring a high school hacker to the offices to grill the paper’s cyber security chief…sort of a young Jedi knight matching skills with an old Jedi master scenario.  If the writer was impressed, do a story.  If not, at the very least, the security chief might learn a few things.  The writer took the bait and not long after Cyber Aces not only made the paper, but the front page.

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This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Sept. 9, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive
Any smartphone or tablet user knows they’re often juggling content due to the device’s storage limitations.

SanDisk’s amazing new line of wireless flash storage solutions takes storage to a whole new level.

Storing data is as simple as ever and users can share or stream digital content to up to eight hand-held devices simultaneously without using any storage on your smartphones or tablets.

While it might sound complicated, using it really couldn’t be any easier.

I’m not one to read instructions on the first go round and you really don’t on this either.

The box describes three easy steps for those who like directions; charge it up (via USB), download and launch the free SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive app and connect to it from your wireless device.

Obviously there are other little steps to do like turning it on with the front-facing button and loading your content, etc.

Testing the iOS version (also available for Kindle Fire, Android, PC and Mac computers) it showed up as a choice in my WiFi settings, which I selected.

From there I went to the app and could view the photos, documents, music or videos I stored on the drive. It’s that easy.

Storage isn’t limited to the size of the drive you purchase since it’s built with a microSD slot on the side for unlimited media expansion (microSD card not included).

It’s built like an average-sized flash drive so you can easily store it in your pocket and use the content on the go. Up to eight devices can connect simultaneously; three of them can stream video from it at the same time.
SanDisk ConnectThe SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive is available in 16GB ($49.99) and 32GB ($59.99) capacities.

Another choice is the SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive (2.5 x 2.5 x .5-inches), which is about the size of a single pad of Post-it notes and has the storage capacity of up to 64GB of flash memory.

It’s also built with an expandable memory slot for SD memory cards.

With this amount of storage, high-def movies can be stored and streamed by up to five different users.

You must download a free app to get this going and then, again, using it is pretty simple.

It’s also built with an expandable memory slot for memory cards (SDHC/SDXC), which can allow photographers to view images on the go.

An internal battery is charged via USB and will run for up to eight hours before a charge is needed.

The Media Drive is available in 32GB ($79.99) or 64GB ($99.99) capacities and works with iOS, Android, Kindle, PC and Mac systems.

When you connect either device to you computer, it appears as an external hard drive and can work as just that. But the wireless functions allow these to work as much more.


2013 MarCom entry, Fahlgren Mortine

Winner: Fahlgren Mortine
Title of Entry: “Myrtle Beach Celebrates its 60 Miles in 60 Days”
Location: Columbus , Ohio
Client: Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce
Category: 160c Social Media Campaign
fahlgrenmortine logoLike many Eastern Seaboard beach destinations, Myrtle Beach was facing the usual seasonal dilemma–the end of summer.  After Labor Day, tourism traditionally slows to a trickle.  The weather is still warm, the many destinations still desirable, the activities still welcoming.  So what’s a Chamber of Commerce to do?

Myrtle Beach turned to the Fahlgren Mortine agency in Columbus, Ohio.  Fahlgren Mortine is one of the largest independent agencies in the country and has a client list that includes McDonalds and Visit Florida.  The agency created a social media campaign  under the banner of “60 Miles in 60 Days” to generate buzz and bring the tourists back to Myrtle Beach after summer’s end.

AP_travel tweetThe campaign wanted to offer visitors all 60 miles of the ‘Grand Strand’ and everything that is connected to it.  Research showed that most visitors love the amenities and activities of the area, but do not book because of lack of information on the destination. So, the agency sent teams to South Carolina to unearth 60 secret spots to tie into the campaign.  Fahlren Mortine then turned to facebook, twitter, bloggers, and the internet to broadcast the message.

The results show that the campaign reached more than 47 million consumers from social media alone.  Blogger posts reached 500,000 followers, tweets reached 3 million, and facebook engaged 50,000 current page followers.  In the Myrtle Beach area the results were a bit more concrete:  accommodations taxes jumped up 220% in September and 31% in October.

60 secrets board


Greetings from Denmark

hermes link graphicHere’s a recent web posting that we just came across of some of our friends in Denmark. Daloon, one of Europe’s leading producers of convenience snack products gets praise from a marketing website for winning a 2013 Hermes Creative Award.


Danish agency Andersen & Blaesbjerg collaborated with their client Daloon to have fun with a snack product, turning its ingredients into a foosball game.
See article, here (in Danish).
logo@2x daloon-logo

Foto:Commercial Director Bjarne Dahl (tv) og marketingkoordintator Stefan Korff fra Daloon med de to vinderstatuetter fra Hermes Creative Awards.

Foto:Commercial Director Bjarne Dahl (tv) og marketingkoordintator Stefan Korff fra Daloon med de to vinderstatuetter fra Hermes Creative Awards.
Andersen & Blaesbjerg
Location: Denmark
Client: Daloon
Title of Entry: Daloontime-Foosball
Category: YouTube Video




This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Aug. 29, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

AUVIO 1.5 WattUsing a smartphone or tablet to store and play music and video is common these days but the speaker built into these devices just isn’t good.

Bluetooth speakers are the best choice for wireless listening and generally have a range of about 30 feet from the media source.

Some have built-in rechargeable batteries while others need an AC outlet for power. The setup for each is generally pretty simple: just pair it with your device and you should be ready to go.

When shopping for the speakers, obviously consider price and sound but be aware of size, too. They range from pocket-sized speakers up to some that take up the same amount of space as a small piece of furniture.

Here’s a bunch of choices in a variety of sizes, sounds, colors and prices from $14.99 up to $599.

RadioShack’s Auvio Bluetooth speaker line comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors.

The Auvio 1.5-Watt 3-inch cubed speaker ($39.99) is good for about six hours of playback and can also be used as a handsfree devices for answering cell phone calls with its built in mic.

It pumps out great sounding music but doesn’t take up much space, making it very portable.

The speaker is available in blue, black, white and TCU purple.

AUVIO HBT6000The Auvio HBT6000 Bluetooth speaker ($149) has a 60W output from six internal 10W speakers to make it the life of a party.

RadioShack calls it Sonic Emotion Absolute 3D technology, which produces the powerful sound.

A remote control is included to give you wireless access for controlling music choices, pause/play along with volume. You can also control everything with similar buttons on the top of the speaker.

It measures 4.7 x 14 x 5.2-inches and comes with an AC power adapter for the needed power and has a black mate finish.