GeekDad Review: Nyne Mini Bluetooth Speaker

Nyne's Mini Bluetooth speaker

Bluetooth speakers have become a must-have accessory for parents of music-loving kids. They’re also great for using in the back yard, taking camping, and generally getting tunes to wherever a stereo isn’t. While there are some really excellent wireless speakers that can capably fulfill the role of compact stereo replacement (like the Aether Cone I reviewed a while back), there’s also high demand for small, inexpensive Bluetooth speakers to fill those first scenarios I mentioned. These speakers become a balancing act between affordability, decent sound, portability, battery life, and durability. The Nyne Mini Bluetooth Speaker does a pretty good job of achieving that balance. Continue reading

MoonBots 2015 Challenge Begins with Call for Explorers, Adventurers and Dreamers

MoonBots

The 2015 MOONBOTS Challenge launches today and its a great way for kids to learn about space, robotics, and pick up some STEM skills at the same time. Continue reading

Puro BT2200: The Wireless Headphones You Want for Kids

Puro kids wireless headphones

I have two running battles with my music-loving teenage daughter. The first is her ability to destroy headphones. She has chewed through a half-dozen sets of ear buds and headphones in the past year alone. The primary point of failure in all cases has been the cable connecting the headphones to her iPhone. The second issue — and one that I’m sure all parents have some concerns about — is volume. She plays that music loud and I have concerns about hearing damage. Puro Sound Labs sent a pair of new studio grade Bluetooth wireless headphones aimed at kids and they do an admirable job of solving both of my issues. Unlike many headphones aimed at kids, these look good and sound even better. Continue reading

Kickstarter Alert: Nyrius Smart Outlet

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Connected outlets are the most basic IoT accessory. Being able to plug a lap, fan, or other appliance into a doo-dad plugged into a wall outlet, and turn them on and off remotely from your mobile device is a handy idea, and there are variations on this available through most of the connected-home systems out there.

And they are usually a pain in the butt. Continue reading

Reasons to Love the Wearable War of Fitbit vs. Jawbone

Fitbit Wearable Fitness Trackers

Wearable fitness trackers can provide insights into the user’s wellness–now they are beginning to interact with connected devices and with each other. Continue reading

Understanding How Things Work From the Inside With ‘Explain 3D’

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Do you remember books like “The Way Things Work” or “How things work”? These books were best-sellers and helped a lot of people understand how things work. They sold millions of copies and taught countless people. Now, ‘Explain 3D’ brings those kinds of books to your mobile devices, and delivers the future of learning how things work. Continue reading

How Much Attention Do You Pay to Your Kids’ Feet?

Play It Safe Fact Sheet

As with most things we geeks do, we like to get into the minutiae, and learn the details. When it comes to issues of our kids’ health, it certainly behooves us to delve deep and learn what we need to know to keep them safe, and help them understand how to do things right. Continue reading

Dear Kickstarter, Please Fix Your App

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Your app sucks. There’s no other way to say it. I have an iPhone and I’ve used your iOS app for quite some time now, but this latest version that appeared earlier this year? Just horrible. I’m sure there are some folks out there who like it–probably the same group that maintains the Jar Jar Binks Fan Club. Anyway… I digress. Continue reading

Final Hours: PancakeBot Kickstarter

PancakeBot Kickstarter

The first time I saw the PancakeBot in action, I was hooked. It was at the 2012 Maker World Faire in New York and it was just fascinating to watch in action. Voluntold by his kids that he needed to create a robot that could print in pancake batter, Miguel had created a machine that actually prints in pancake batter. Continue reading

A Great Weekend Project — DIY Arcade Controller

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While writing projects are in full swing, I often tend to collect small DIY projects that remain stacked on shelves until I have some of that free time… I’ve recently finished up writing two books that are now heading to the printer, and I find myself with some free time. I should be putting together a proposal for my next book, but instead I’ve reached for a small box of parts.
This past weekend’s project was quick and simple (relatively speaking), and I had a very easy gauge for determining its success or failure … would I be able to play the classic Atari 2600 game, Adventure, as it was meant to be played? Continue reading

‘Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction’ Lands at EMP

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The ‘Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction’ exhibit opened last weekend at the EMP Museum here in Seattle. I was lucky enough to attend the press preview, and it certainly does not disappoint. Continue reading

Paper and Paste: Making Stuff With Children

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Our first self-made mask out of papier-mâché had initially been met with a certain dose of skepticism by child #1. Wasn’t the mask–it was Halloween–funny rather than scary? Wouldn’t a “self-bought” rather than self-made mask have been cooler? Would he be made fun of? But the god of makers had mercy… Continue reading

‘Last of the Sandwalkers’ Blog Tour by Jay Hosler

Last of the Sandwalkers

Jay Hosler is a biology professor and graphic novelist—definitely a geek dad himself. He’s on a blog tour now, with fascinating insect facts and fun beetle art on each stop. Today he’s visiting GeekDad, with a little bit more about Ma’dog, a tiger beetle. Continue reading

5 Questions With a 5-Year-Old: One Year Later

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A look back at the past year of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old, including all 29 interviews, lessons learned, and where we’re going from here. Continue reading

Sphero – The Ball That Does It All (With Brent Spiner!)

Sphero Feature

I would say that it is great to have a toy that not only the kids enjoy but I also like, but that is nearly all of them! I should probably say that it is great when I get a toy and the kids enjoy playing with it also – at least when I let them play with it. So is true with my latest acquisition, Sphero! Continue reading