VIDEO: PS4 vs Xbox One. Which one gets my thumbs up?

This edition of High-Tech Tuesday is sandwiched right between two big video game console releases.  Last week we got the PlayStation 4; this week the Xbox One is unveiled.  Here’s my take on which console you may want to go with.    Catch my segment on WFAA-TV (ABC) in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

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VIDEO: Tech makes outdoor activities safer

It’s getting dark outside a lot earlier now, but if the lights are going out before your outdoor activities, no worries! There are new options to make sure you are seen and safe.  Catch my segment on WFAA-TV (ABC) in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

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VIDEO: Beware Ransomware

“Ransomware” is the latest type of virus infecting computers all over the world.  Here are things to watch out for and how to prevent.  Catch my segment on WFAA-TV (ABC) in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

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The High-Tech Texan Expands Reach To Dallas TV

The High-Tech Texan® Joins Dallas ABC Affiliate As Contributor

Dallas, September 30, 2013 – Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV continues to enhance its award-winning newscasts by adding veteran media personality Michael Garfield as the station’s technology contributor.

Garfield, known as The High-Tech Texan®, hosts a daily radio program on Houston talk station KPRC-AM and contributes to TV stations and magazines across the country.  He will initially be a part of WFAA Channel 8’s recently launched newscast at 4:00pm.

Garfield is looking forward to the broadcasts in his hometown.  “I grew up in Dallas and watched most everything on Channel 8,” he said.  “From ‘Bowling for Dollars’ with Verne Lundquist to Mr. Peppermint, I watched hours upon hours of programming.  I credit both my parents along with (longtime WFAA anchors) Tracy Rowlett and Iola Johnson as raising me and creating a passion for a career in media and broadcasting.”

His passion and understanding of consumer technology has won accolades and awards with his commentary and coverage of topics from the launch of HDTV to the mass consumption of smartphones.  “Tech products are released at a very fast pace and the typical user is confused on whether they should buy it or not.  I try to break down the positives and negatives of products, apps and services so their buying decision is easier,” Garfield said.

His name will be familiar to Dallas/Fort Worth viewers as he has contributed to Dallas news radio station KRLD-AM for the past several years.

MORE THAN JUST TECHNOLOGY

Though he has generally reviewed and recommended tech products and gadgets for the past dozen years, Garfield has since expanded the content of his coverage to more general consumer products.  These include automobiles, clothing, outdoor and hunting, travel and food.

Garfield graduated from W.T. White High School in North Dallas and has a Radio-TV-Film degree from The University of Texas at Austin.  He began his career as an on-air presenter on QVC home shopping network.  His roles and jobs have since ranged from spokesperson for companies like Time Warner, HP, Verizon Wireless, to a recent stint on ABC soap opera “General Hospital”.

Garfield currently resides in Houston and plans to split time live in the WFAA studios and contribute via satellite from Houston.

Click photo below to watch his initial broadcast.

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Michael Garfield Know How To Make A Pitch

Don’t be deceived with that headline from a recent front page column in The Houston Chronicle.  Though the league-worst Astros do need help on the mound our own High-Tech Texan will not be throwing 90 mph heaters from the mound.

Chronicle columnist Ken Hoffman regularly answers reader email about local media personalities.  He received a large amount of inquiries about Michael appearing in a national TV commercial.  He then went on to tell a few stories of how he works closely with his clients and how we began his media career…on QVC Network.

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How Smart Is Your Home?

I spent a major portion of my radio show this past weekend talking about smarthomes – how they can help make your life easier and safer; plus some vulnerabilities.   Since this is a busy time of the year for moving into new homes and apartments, let’s quickly go over some items that can make your home seem like it graduated from Harvard (ok, The University of Texas!).

LIGHTING

Having the ability to control the lighting in your home is not only convenient but also makes your place more safe and energy efficient.  Years ago I installed lighting controls and switches from Lutron that  personalized a system to recall favorite settings and transform the light around my home.   These let you control your home’s lighting from a master keypad or by remote to change your visual environment at the touch of a button.  Lutron also makes timers, fan controls, and occupancy/vacancy sensors  to automatically control your lights and fans.

LOCKS

Schlage is a well-known brand in residential door locks and the company has gone high-tech.  Technically you don’t even need a key now.   Their keyless door lock or electronic deadbolt replaces your standard lock and key with a lock, handle and lighted keypad.  Up to 19 different codes (4 digits each) can be programmed into each lock so each member of your family can have his own code.  I created a specific code for our maid so she can enter the house at an exact time.

A security I especially like is that fact that I can set alerts to text me each time a code is entered.  Now I know when the kids get home from school and, even better, what time they really cam home last night.

CAMERAS

Big brother should be watching your home especially when YOU are big brother.  Wireless security cameras can easily be set up around your home and the simplest I have found are from Dropcam.  The camera is smaller than the palm of your hand.  Just plug it into an electrical outlet and connect it via your home WiFi system.  A free app lets you check each camera, zoom in, listen and even talk through the camera to scare away intruders.  Alerts can be set-up to text you when the camera senses movement.  For an added fee you can capture and record everything happening at your house.

THERMOSTAT

If you are interested in monitoring your electricity and saving money (nice to meet you), an electronic thermostat is almost a must.  Versions of these have been around for years but new designs have made it user-friendly and simple to use.  One on the market today that is getting attention THOUGH I HAVE NOT TESTED IT YET is Nest.  The company says it is a “learning thermostat” as it remembers your schedule , programs itself and can be controlled from your phone.  The design looks great but I can’t recommend it quite yet – hopefully I will get my hands on one soon.

Honeywell’s Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat is another option to regulate and customize heating and cooling.   This device is easily installed and can be controlled via an app to remotely turn on/off, up/down your system.  Imagine coming home after a vacation to a cooled home – almost a must here in Texas.

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Donations For Houston Firefighters

Houston’s 100 Club is accepting donations to help out the families of four firefighters killed in Friday’s massive hotel fire.

Executive Director Rick Hartley says the group already is prepared to give each family $20,000 for immediate needs, but that’s not all.

“When the time is a little bit better, we will go back and do a needs assessment with each family to take care of their debt, make sure their children have funds to go to college,” Hartley tells KTRH News.  “On average, our gift has been $300,000.”

Along with the four firefighters killed, six others were injured with one in the critical burn unit.

“Its the worst we ever had, and also from what I understand the single most deadly incident in the history of the Houston Fire Department,” says Hartley.

Anyone wishing to donate to the 100 Club can do so here.

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A New Website Needs YOU To Beta Test It This Saturday – Win An HDTV

A Houston-based website is launching its new service in mid-June but they need some help beta testing its servers.  The company, PennyMansion.com, is an online auction that will host auctions for homes which can be had possibly as low as $2,000.

Before the post the first home they are looking for users to “stress test” the service on Saturday, June 1.  One lucky bidder will win a 55″ LG Cinema Screen HDTV after the 15 minute bidding session.  You just need to be at your computer at 4:00pm CT this Saturday, June 1.

Sign up here and good luck as I will be bidding against you.

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A Call To Firearms

I finally found 10 hours in a day and just a few ADHD pills to sit through a Concealed Handgun License.  After threatening to get my CHL for years I have joined the ranks of card-carrying members.

We held a special class for a our radio listeners and it filled up in a matter of minutes.  Special thanks to Sportsman’s Outlet in Humble for accommodating us.  And don’t forget to look at my framed and signed target hanging up on the wall (with a big hole in the center mass!).

Now that I’m proficient and affluent with firearms, tune in to my shows and watch for my columns on shooting and outdoor equipment, safety and sport.  Beginning June 1 I will be creating a dedicated segment of my show and section on this website with my reviews of products and recommendations.

More pics HERE.

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A Pee-Controlled Video Game? Call It The “Wee Mote”

Thought I had seen most everything in all the years I’ve been doing this.  Nope.

Coca Cola Park, a minor league baseball stadium in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is installing a “Urinal Gaming System.”  Home to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, you will soon be able to play video games while taking care of business.  Or at least the guys can.

Minor league baseball teams love gimmicks, because they know that people find professional baseball too boring to even watch on TV, which means they’ll only go to a minor league baseball game if there’s a cool mascot or free footlongs or they can drink eight beers and then piss for two and a half minutes and beat everyone’s high score in Need For (Pissing) Speed 5™.

Here is the concept vid.  I know this will be at Coca Cola Park but me thinks finding a beer sponsor for this game would be a home run.

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