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The Best Gift You Can Give Is…Kindness!

In General, Opinion by Michael Sheehan2 Comments

This morning I witnessed something on my morning commute that really affected me…in a good way. It actually made me stop thinking about all of the things I had to do at work, the gifts I hadn’t yet bought, the gift guide I have told myself I have to write for my site (but am running out of time to do), the bills I have to pay, and all of the other items on my ever-growing to-do list that I may never get to cross off. Sound like you? Yeah, life is hectic, particularly around the holidays. But this event that I saw pretty much wiped away all of those anxiety-causing tasks. Here’s why.

As I stood in the crowded BART train (the rail train that connects the San Francisco Bay Area), a gal walked into the train, holding one of those large, covered, aluminum catering trays. She was young and nicely dressed and had a big purse over her shoulder as well. She quickly looked around the train as she got on and saw it was standing room only.

Kindness - passengers

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Pitaka Aramid iPhone 7 Case – Lightweight, Strong & Better than Carbon Fiber

In Apple, Case, Consumer Electronics, General, iPhone, Opinion, Review by Michael Sheehan0 Comments

I must admit, I really haven’t done an iPhone case review in a while. Normally I hold out until I uncover one that does something innovative or truly makes it worth having. I look at things like cases with batteries, solar-powered battery cases, waterproof cases or cases offering wireless charging (like Qi-enabled ones). And honestly, I was a bit reluctant to review the Pitaka Aramid iPhone 7 Plus case simply because it appeared to be “just another case.” It isn’t.

HTD Pitaka Aramid iPhone 7 Case - length

I tested the Pitaka Aramid case for a few weeks. And it passed most of my requirements for a good case, namely:Read More


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The iPhone 7 Plus Is All About Nuance

In Apple, Cellular, Consumer Electronics, General, iOS, iPhone, Mobile, Opinion, Review, Tech News, Technology by Michael Sheehan0 Comments

There are so many reviews about Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus out there, I’m not even going to attempt to write one. Others will and have covered every nook and cranny of it to incredible detail that I probably wouldn’t even do it justice. Instead, I’m going to write about my experience with the iPhone 7 Plus which I have had for just about two weeks now. Honestly for those people who view smartphones as merely utilitarian tools, this article is probably not for you. But if you have an ounce of appreciation for design and aesthetics, you may want to read on.

For the past couple of weeks, I struggled to come up with a word or phrase to describe the iPhone 7 Plus, but I finally came up with one: nuance. There are definitely some powerful chips and technology at work with Apple’s latest iPhone but for me, it became more about the experience. Having spent a year with the iPhone 6S Plus, honestly, the differences from initial view are not something to write headlines about. But there is actually so much more once you get into the experience.

Let’s stop for a second to talk about the word nuance. The definition in the handy Apple dictionary states:Read More


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My Evolution of Blogging, 12 “Pro Blogger” Tips & the #BeginningofME

In Content Strategy, General, How To, Opinion, Sponsored by Michael Sheehan1 Comment

Disclosure: This post was inspired and sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal domains that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Just over a decade years ago in November, I started on a writing journey. It was 2005. My oldest daughter was six, my middle daughter was four and my youngest was about one and a half. As if I didn’t have enough to do in my life, I decided to have another baby. This wasn’t a baby in the traditional sense, it was my blog which has, over the years, grown up with my kids. When I first started, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, much the same way you can’t predict how your kids will turn out. And, just like having children, you can never prepare for everything. When you have kids, you will never have enough time, money, patience, sleep…you name it! In much the same way, a blog requires lots of nurturing, new clothes, training and more. But, with lots of care, love, and attention, you can be successful at being a parent of kids and a blog.

HighTechDad - Pro Blogger Tips - #BeginningofME

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Parents & Kids – Set Up Emergency Bypass on your iOS10 Device Now!

In Apple, Cellular, Family, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mobile, Opinion, Parenting, Safety, Software by Michael Sheehan0 Comments

You need to get ahold of your child. You try calling and texting but there is no response. Panic sets in and you aren’t sure what to do. Are they ignoring you? Is their phone off? Are they in danger? Or is their iPhone simply in “Do Not Disturb” mode? If it is the latter, there is a great possibility that they are simply not hearing or feeling your calls or texts. While I highly recommend setting Do Not Disturb on for “sleep time,” it is easy to turn on whenever it’s needed. Luckily, with the latest version of Apple’s iOS (iOS 10.x), parents and children can set up “Emergency Bypass” on specific contacts like mom and dad, relatives, neighbors or friends. Heck, you may even want to put your boss into that list.

There have been quite a few articles recently about this new “hidden” feature – Emergency Bypass – but I felt that it warranted a little extra attention, particularly when it comes to families. For quite a while, you could set up a “Favorites” list within your contacts to allow you to quickly and easily get in touch with frequently-contacted people, and, there was and still is a setting for Do Not Disturb specifically. I recommend you take a look at that setting and see if you want your Favorites to be able to contact you even if you are in Do Not Disturb mode. Just go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and choose “Favorites.”

iOS 10 - Emergency Bypass - Do Not Disturb Setting

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TheSmartTalk.org Makes a Social & Digital Safety Contract for Families and Gets the Discussion Going

In Family, General, Parenting, Safety, Social Media, Social Networking, Sponsored by Michael Sheehan0 Comments

A few months ago, my youngest daughter who is 12 started begging my wife and I to get on SnapChat (now Snap) because all of her friends were on it. Big sigh. We had already been through this two times before with her older sisters but it seemed like every year the age when this was requested was younger and younger. The “you have to be 13 to join” excuse didn’t work. All of her friends were under 13. We had preached our usual “social media can be dangerous when you are young” but it fell on deaf ears and a mound of rebuttals. After several weeks, she was truly wearing us down (shhh, don’t tell her). So my wife decided that if our daughter were to get Snap, she would have to write a contract which would need to have a list of CONSEQUENCES if we caught her “violating the rules.” And she would have to sign it. Queue the link/click bait…you won’t believe what happened next! (Haha)

Well, she wrote out the contract and all of her own, decided-upon consequences. She signed it. But then after just an hour after the ink dried, she rescinded her own contract, claiming it was too harsh and she would rather wait. Chalk up a minor victory to my wife here!

There are several reasons why I tell this story. For one, I try to write about kids, parenting and social media a lot. I have a living classroom (or laboratory) for all of this stuff. I’m no expert on any of this (my wife is far more attuned to all aspects of parenting and social media than I am). But I do try to boil down things that work (at least for us) and share it. My primary advice is always – have a conversation WITH your kids, don’t just dictate AT them. And while I have written some negative and positive content about social media and kids, this is the Wild West folks. The rules are still being invented! I’ve even written some Social Media Policies for Families.

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A Journey from Terra Firma to the Clouds and Beyond

In Cloud, General, Opinion, Technology by Michael Sheehan4 Comments

Back in late-2007 I started a journey. I was brought into a company which rented out bare metal servers. Racking and stacking was their bread and butter, charging for space in a data center, leasing hardware and managing physical infrastructure. Hired as a Technology Evangelist, I wasn’t employed to spread the gospel of the tangible world, but rather to educate about something new, something called “cloud computing” – perhaps you have heard of it? And just a year earlier, a company that sold books and other products launched a series of services which would revolutionize computing, storage and infrastructure. Yes, that would be Amazon.

Clouds of all types

Source: http://www.freemagebank.com/downloads/boy-experimenting-with-a-plasma-ball/

Cloud, back then, was new. It was a peek into what now is a staple, dare I say, a commodity. Infrastructure on demand that was scalable and billed by usage was something unheard of. Sure, virtualization technologies existed but frequently those instances were contained within private data centers or on people’s personal computers. Companies large and small began to pay attention. There was a lot of hype, fear, uncertainty, distrust – the things fairly typical to anything “new.” Concerns over stability and security, which are still concerns even today, frequently overshadowed the potential of this new IT change agent. IT executives struggled to not only understand this movement but also how to control it. Armed with just a credit card, developers had the ability to spin up infrastructure ad hoc. As I said, it was revolutionary.

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