Social Engineering

YouTube TV Throws Down the Gauntlet

March 8, 2017

Better Meditation through Technology

Okay, if you’ve been with us for a while you know that I’m a big proponent of meditation. I’m not looking to manifest myself on the astral plane or anything—at least during the week—but it’s pretty hard to argue with the obvious benefits of taking a few minutes on a daily basis to clear your mind and exist in the moment.

Still, how can you possibly know if you’re doing it right or just sitting around trying not to think about thinking?

Well, our longtime readers may also know I’m a fan of gadgets as well, and a new digital doodad I recently discovered on Amazon is an interesting marriage of thetwo. Muse is  what the ad copy calls a “personal meditation assistant,” but what it actually does is a lot more impressive.

The thing essentially reads your mind during meditation, rewarding you with the relaxing sounds of pleasant weather when you’re calm and soundtracking your unwanted brainstorms with more inclement audio. The system is designed to guide your mind toward peaceful relaxation through positive reinforcement, which is an intriguing idea whether you own a yoga mat or not. Pretty sure I’m going to pull the trigger on a purchase, and you’ll surely hear more when I do.

Getting Loose

If we’re playing “Family Feud” and the category is “everyday things people generally understand are good but not enough people do,” “stretching” is right up on the big board with “meditation,” right?

It’s a really simple thing that has benefits from increased mobility to pain management with a range of conditions, and in light of the new health consciousness initiative here at Archway (fine, mostly just in my office), we’ll be giving away these great little stretching mats I  stumbled across you-know-where!

Visit our company camp at NetVU for a chance to get your hands on one, and since I’m a swell guy, I’ll even give out a few to people who can’t be there in person.

Unconventional Wisdom

Have you ever thought about what makes the inventor of Spanx tick? The real world implications of a lifetime commitment to the ways of the Jedi Order? How our ancestors from 70,000 years ago were smarter than us…because they had to be?

Maybe not, but if you find yourself as fascinated as I was with this broad range of open-ended topics, you might want to  give the James Altucher podcast a listen. A friend of mine turned me on to it a few weeks back and I’ve been hooked ever since.

The Smartest Printer

Smart technology is kind of my thing. I love the idea of living in a home straight out of the Jetsons, and that’s why I’m loving this intelligent printer from Brother.

It sits in my home office quietly improving my life, scanning printed documents directly to Google Drive and featuring integration with Amazon Replenish so when I’m low on ink or toner, it can be set to automatically order more. Basically, I never have to think about it, which is pretty much the point of technology.

Cable Providers: An Endangered Species

Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have permanently changed the way people consume media content, and the days of gathering around the old wood paneled floor set to choose from three channels seem like ancient history.

That being the case, it was only a matter of time before YouTube got into the live television game, and their product, known as YouTube TV, might be the service that cuts the cable cord for good.

Here are the basics: YouTube TV is a monthly subscription service, that much I’m sure you’ve deduced. As for what you get, the service delivers live streaming from major networks including ABC,CBS, FOX, ESPN (yes, ESPN!) and dozens of others. You also get unlimited cloud-based DVR storage, and you can record as many programs as you want simultaneously.

YouTube TV works on all your screens from the living room to the airport terminal, and in addition to the network streaming content, YouTube plans to introduce its own original movies and TV shows in the vein of the phenomenally successful Netflix Originals. You get six accounts for one monthly price…oh, and that price is $35 monthly, no commitment.

Basically, YouTube TV means business, and it’ll be fascinating to see if it takes hold.

The Last Word

Well, that’s all for this week! Thanks as always for making time in your day for this periodic potpourri of gadgets and geekdom. I’ll be back on schedule in 6 days’ time, but if you want to chat before then don’t be shy about shooting me an email!

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