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Better Living Through Technology

Yes, I watched the unveiling. Nobody hypes like Apple! I used to watch and cover Steve Jobs doing these intros back in the day. Tim Cook’s not the showman Jobs was, but the energy is still there, and the designs (if not all the features…) are still stunning.

Steve Kovsky and Eric Kahnert of San Diego CBS 8

Talking iPhone 11 with Anchorman Eric Kahnert of San Diego CBS 8

CBS8 Eric Kahnert’s Dad Deals: iPhone 11

Apple intro’ed new TV services (AppleTV+), iPads, watches — and of course, iPhones, which are always the show-stealers. Are they a good buy? No — never a bargain when you shop in the Apple Store. These are premium phones with premium features. But $699 for the iPhone 11 is $50 less than the iPhone XR when it debuted, so perhaps Apple is getting the message that the feature-to-price ratio needs to favor the consumer a bit more.

If you still need the best Apple has, the iPhone Pro is the new top-of-the-line and it still sells for $1K.

Are you better off with Android? Depends on what you want to do, and how cool you want to look doing it. The Samsung phones are snazzy, but you won’t save much money on that line of devices. Personally, I’m a cheap date, so I prefer my LG Stylo 4 from Amazon for $170. It does everything I want it to do — no regrets. If you want a few more features for a great price, take the Google Pixel 2 XL from Verizon out for a spin. But I also carry an old iPhone 6S in my other pocket. Why? It’s more secure from hacking, so I use it for my cybersecurity-related work.

The best news for me about the new iPhones is that this makes it the perfect time to buy an older iPhone model: The two-year-old iPhone 8 now starts at $449, and sales will drop that even lower. Check out the deals at the AT&T Store.


Check out the live news segment that aired on KUSI.

Summertime and the living is easy — even easier (and more fun) with the right tech and accessories to make the most of the season. Here are my picks for living the good life this year as you hit the road for a memorable and action-packed summer vacation:

Samsung Galaxy S9 Mobile Phone from Verizon:

The feature-packed Samsung Galaxy S9 is your personal translator when traveling in a foreign country. The phone has “Bixby,” a voice-controlled feature that can translate foreign languages — street signs, menus, road maps and more — into English.

UE Wonderboom Speaker:

This bluetooth-enabled, lightweight, super-portable speaker is also water-proof — the ideal companion for lounging by the pool or at the beach.

Samsung 360 Camera:

Capture epic 360-degree views of your vacation destination with this pocket-sized, lightweight camera that delivers crisp 4K images.

GoPro HERO5 Silver Edition:

This GoPro camera has a built-in touch display for adjusting shots and settings, and its waterproof housing keeps it safe to a depth of 131 feet. With its built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you won’t have to wait until you get home to share your exciting vacation video and photos.

FitBit Ionic SmartWatch:

The smart watch that cares — about your health. Packed with features from fitness tracking and guidance to health insights, music storage, apps & more. Great travel companion to the Samsung Phone from Verizon.

Tile Style:

These Bluetooth-enabled “smart” tags help you keep track of everything while you travel, from your keys to your luggage. It has a 200-foot wireless range, it’s water-proof and resilient — so no more misplaced items.

Sony Noise-Canceling Headphones:

The must-have accessory for “getting away from it all,” on the plane or on the move. Sony’s new WF-SP700N “Truly Wireless” Noise-Canceling Headphones for Sports are water & sweat resistant — perfect for the beach or the gym — while the 1000XM2 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones provide “over-the-ear” protection to stop anyone from “messing with your mojo” when you’re on the road.

H2O Audio

This San Diego company doesn’t let a little water get in the way of rocking out to your favorite tunes. Their Stream Player MP3 device, along with a pair of Surge + or Surge S+ headphones, lets swimmers, surfers and other athletes and watersports enthusiasts enjoy an exceptional audio experience under even the most extreme conditions.

1-30-17_6If you’re a technophile like me, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas seldom disappoints. Among the thousands of products featured at the event, I’ve picked a few that highlight major trends I see coming to consumers this year. So here we go:

Trend #1:  Virtual Reality — It’s Finally Real!

It’s taken decades but VR has finally come out of the labs and onto our store shelves — and it looks amazing.

Trend #2: Welcome to the Internet of Everything

Everything is connected now, from baby’s bed to what we’re wearing.

Trend #3: Smarten Up Your House

Smart devices for the home are finally coming into their own, and that means everything from easier home automation to smarter locks, laser levels and phone chargers.

“Back to School” used to mean stocking up on paper, pencils and Pee-Chee folders (for those of us old enough to remember…). Now it’s all about the electronics! Every kid is trading in their notepads for iPads, and there’s a whole new crop of back-to-school “must-haves” that are 100% digital.

Talkin' "back-to-school" with CW6 Anchor Lynda Martin

Talkin’ “back-to-school” with CW6 Anchor Lynda Martin

Here are a few of the latest trends in electronics for this year’s back to school season:


  • The new AT&T-exclusive Samsung Galaxy S7 active mobile phone is shatter-, water- and dust-resistant. The kids can take it anywhere and (for once…) not break it!
  • Here’s a tablet you won’t mind lending to the kids — in fact, it’s built for them. EPIK (Empowering Parents. Inspiring Kids) Learning tablets are designed for children, from pre-K through third grade, and they come preloaded with reading, math, spelling, programming, games, languages and more. It’s a complete classroom set inside a rugged 8-inch device that’s perfect for exploring the world — and importantly, it includes cybersecurity measures and parental controls to ensure a safe online experience for all ages.


  • For older students: Windows is soooo 2015! What the college kids want now is a super lightweight laptop that is always on, always online, and ready to go for hours and hours between charging. ChromeBooks based on the Google Chrome browser are going mainstream — and they don’t do Windows! Check out Acer’s Chromebook 14 with 4GB of memory for only $300.CB3-431-C5FM
  • Still need Windows for the heavy-duty apps, like editing videos or writing code? The new breed of laptops — like Acer’s new R 15 Convertible Notebook, with its cool 360-degree hinge design — are anything but ordinary, and prices start at only $650.As R5 571T photogallery 03
  • How about a full-fledged PC in the palm of your hand? Smaller and lighter than a paperback novel, the Kangaroo Windows 10 Mobile Desktop is as powerful as any desktop PC — just plug in a mouse, keyboard and monitor, and when class is over, throw it in your backpack and go!InFocus Kangaroo mobile PC at work


  • If you’ve ever tried running or working out with a big set of “cans” on your head, then you’ll love these little in-ear marvels: Phiaton’s BT 220 NC earphones combine Bluetooth 4.0 and active noise-cancellation in a tiny earbud design.
  • Since you’re ready to get some exercise, get the most out of your workout with the FitBit Blaze — a new fitness watch that’s as stylish as it is smart. FitBit’s largest smartwatch to-date features PurePulse™ heart rate, connected GPS, onscreen workouts, and more.


What do you give to the person who has everything? How about something so cool you’d almost rather keep it for yourself?

The top item on my list this year is the new Char-Broil Simple Smoker with SmartChef™ technology. This electric smoker is perfect for cooking your Christmas ham — right from the comfort of your sofa, or even while you’re out doing some last-minute shopping. The key to this electric marvel is the SmartChef app on your IOS or Android phone, which communicates directly with your smoker via the cloud, ensuring perfect results with zero guesswork.

Well, I’d continue my self- absorbed holiday shopping spree with a new mobile phone, and of course, I’d go top-of-the-line. For me, that means the new LG V10 Android phone from AT&T.

This phone has great camera features, so I’ll need (of course, I mean the loved one I’m buying this gift for will need…) an excellent printer to share and show off those incredible photos. My choice would be the new Epson “Small-In-One” Expression Premium XP-830 printer ($129.99).

Front Product Ima

Epson is about more than just printers these days. In fact, they Have a sweet new GPS-enabled wearable device that’s worth checking out: the Epson RUNSENSE SF-110 GPS Watch ($139.99).

Front Product Image

And while you’re looking at the new crop of smart watches, here’s a few more wearables that caught my eye (and my wrist…): the Casio Edifice Bluetooth World Time Watch, the versatile Huawei Watch, and the Nuyu Personal Activity Monitor by Health O Meter.

I’ve compiled a list of several more tech gifts that could end up in my own stocking this year:

Remote Control Mistletoe Drone from Hammacher Schlemmer
Barnes & Noble Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Nook Reader
Barnes & Noble GlowLight-Plus Nook Reader
Kangaroo Windows 10 Mobile Desktop from In-Focus
The Hoop Anchor Earbuds from CoLoud
ECOPEBBLE Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker by ECOXGEAR
808 XS Bluetooth Speaker by 808 Audio
The Cobra Squeeze backpack from
Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones






October 21, 2015. It seemed like it would never arrive. As we sat mesmerized in the movie theaters, peering around the other viewers with their big 1980’s hair, it seemed perfectly plausible that we’d all be commuting in our flying DeLoreans by now. How young and naïve we were.

So the future is here now. Where are our hoverboards, our time machines, our household nuclear fusion generators? Well, Marty McFly and his friends did get a few things right:


Hoverboards are here. OK, it’s not a hoverboard like Marty uses in the movie (or like the one Lexus unveiled recently as a publicity stunt — I guess getting just the right combination of superconductors, magnets and liquid nitrogen is still a little tricky for consumers…), but this has got to be the next best thing: It’s called an EOHawk hoverboard. Think of it as what would happen if a Segway and a skateboard had a baby.

ForTech Two Wheels Mini Smart Self Balancing Scooter,Black

Here’s a couple videos of it in action:

If you’re in the San Diego area, you can pick one up at the VapeKingz kiosks at Fashion Island, Mission Valley or Plaza Bonita malls. (Tell Eddie that Steve sent you.) If you’re elsewhere, check them out on


One of the whiz-bang technologies shown in the Café scene in BTTF2 is a couple of robot waiters taking orders and serving food to tables. Check out this new robot created by NXT Robotics, a San Diego-area startup, that is designed as a personal assistant for use in homes, and businesses like hospitality, corporate or campus security, etc. Company founder Jeff Debrosse has posted a video of his original Nexie robot here:

 Jeff Debrosse and IRIS

Jeff Debrosse, CEO of NXT Robotics in San Diego, shows off IRIS, the company’s flagship model.


In the movie, they use thin tablet computers to get people to sign petitions, pay for cab rides, etc. Tablets today are commonplace, but I have two pretty cool ones to check out:

The first is the brand new Barnes & Noble Nook/Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. It’s one of the thinnest tablets ever produced, and in addition to all the things a normal tablet does, it lets you read the morning paper, or your favorite magazine, or hundreds of thousands of books, all on one device.

NOOK(R) by Samsung(R)

The second one is Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet, running Windows 10. It does anything a full-fledged laptop or desktop computer can do (like allowing me to write this blog…), all with the portability of a tablet. And there’s one more cool feature Microsoft just unveiled that harks back to the movie: You can not only do video calls on it like the McFly’s do in their futuristic home, you can also use the new translating version of Skype to hold a live video conversation with someone who speaks a different language (say Mandarin, for example).

Alternate image


One of the things the movie shows in 2015 is that we all have automated houses, with lots of cool built-in gizmos. Of course, the flat-screen TVs  in the McFly home with picture-in-picture capability were mind-boggling at the time, but they are pretty ho-hum today. And while home automation (or “smart house” technology) exists, it’s too complex and  costly for most consumers.

But check out this kit that lets people start automating their homes with something that’s both ingenious and simple as pie: These new LED light bulbs from TCP screw into any lamp or light socket in your house, just like a regular bulb, but you can control them via your mobile phone from anywhere in the world. Turn on the lights before you drive home? Or dim the lights in your dining room while you eat dim sum in Shanghai? No problem.

TCP Connected Smart LED Light Bulb Starter Kit with (2) A19 LED Dimmable Light Bulb

Now, what do you think we’ll be doing on Oct. 21, 2030?

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This holiday, the coolest new tech toys are “ready to wear,” including wrist watches that do everything from making phone calls to monitoring your health, and much more:

Samsung Gear Smart Watch from AT&T — $299

Pebble Smart Watch — $150

Martian Passport Voice Command Watch from AT&T — $299

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Smart Phone   from AT&T — $299

MIO Alpha Heart Rate Sport Watch — $199

FitBug Orb Activity Tracker  — $49

LifeTrak Zone C410 Activity Tracker — $99

Polar Loop Activity Tracker — $109

iShower Bluetooth Water-Resistant Speaker — $99


— Be Careful Where You Click

— Be Careful What You Download

  • Android apps may be riskier than Apple iPhone & iPad apps

— Be Careful  Even If You Use Antivirus Software

  • AV software may not protect you from the latest threats – especially if you’re a business

—  Be Careful When You Buy

  • Use apps like Dynamite Deals to make sure you’re always getting the lowest price (Free: )


—  Ballistic Hard Core for iPhone

—  Hitcase Waterproof/Shockproof/Mountable Case w/Wide-Angle Lens for iPhone

—  G-Form Extreme Sleeve for iPad

Here are the contenders (by Mobile OS):


  • — Apple iPhone Smartphones ($199 & Up)
  • — Apple iPad Tablets ($399 & up)


  • — Android Smartphones (Example: Samsung Galaxy, $199 & Up)
  • — Android Tablets (Example: Acer Iconia, , $200 & up)


  • — Blackberry Smartphones (Example: Blackberry Bold, $200 + service)
  • — Blackberry Tablets (Example: Blackberry Playbook, $250)


  • — Windows Mobile Smartphones (Example: Nokia Lumia, $19 & up)
  • — Windows Mobile Tablets (Microsoft Surface — shipping late Oct. at $300-$800)
  • — Windows Ultrabooks (Examples: Dell XPS; HP Folio; Acer S3/S5: $650-$1400)