Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rabbi Marvin Hier Must Bow Out of the Donald Trump Inauguration

Earlier this year, Ivanka Trump asked her rabbi to offer a benediction at the Republican National Convention before her father accepted the Republican nomination. Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, undoubtedly honored to be asked, quickly accepted the invitation only to later withdraw from the speaking engagement following an outpouring of anger from his Upper East Side New York Jewish community. Many of his former students and members of his Orthodox congregation were outraged that their rabbi would venture into a very political role and show honor to such a divisive candidate.

Despite my support of Donald Trump’s opponent and my concern with the way the Republican nominee was running his campaign, I felt that Rabbi Lookstein was on solid ground in accepting the honor and should have rebuffed the criticism. Separation of Church and State is an often misunderstood concept in our nation. Rabbis, like other clergy, are very much involved in politics. We have the moral imperative to speak our minds on the important topics of the day. I looked forward to Rabbi Lookstein’s wise words of Torah at the GOP convention and was disappointed he opted to extricate himself from the event.

Rabbi Marvin Hier


Rabbi Marvin Hier has now come into the public spotlight, having been asked to offer blessings for President Trump and Vice President-elect Pence at the inauguration on January 20. My position regarding Rabbi Hier’s role at the inauguration is diametrically different. Rabbi Hier runs the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. This institution, which I have visited several times, has as its central mission “to confront all forms of prejudice and discrimination in our world today.” The museum educates young people and challenges everyone to create change by erasing bigotry and discrimination. Trump’s entire presidential campaign encouraged the opposite. He denigrated immigrants, mocked the disabled and disrespected women.

Rabbi Hier’s institution draws its vision from noted Holocaust survivor and theologian Simon Wiesenthal. This great man must be rolling in his grave knowing that the dean and founder of the center that bears his name will be bestowing a blessing on a man who bolstered his presidential campaign by genuflecting to the alt-right—a group that includes neo-Nazis and Holocaust-deniers. That Rabbi Hier would stand on such a public stage in front of the world and offer a blessing for a man who refused to distance himself from David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, is completely anathema to his life’s work.

By refusing this role, Rabbi Hier would be making a loud statement in defiance of prejudice and hate. He has the opportunity to proclaim to the world what his institution stands for and why he has staked his entire professional life on the legacy of Mr. Wiesenthal. As a rabbi, I ordinarily find it uncouth to publicly criticize a colleague for accepting an engagement such as this, regardless of political viewpoint. In the case of Rabbi Hier offering a blessing for President Trump, I’m deeply concerned about the message it will send to the world. A man in Rabbi Hier’s position must condemn hatred and bigotry, not condone it through blessing. In any other instance, it would be a significant honor to serve as the rabbi at a presidential inauguration, but the consequences this time are too significant. Rabbi Hier: Don’t spoil your legacy.

Originally published at Time.com

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Now Hear This: The Best Audio Products of 2017

I've been an audiophile since I was a kid and discovered my father's over-the-ear headphones that plugged into his Sony receiver. Audio headsets have come a long way in the past 35 years. A significant change has been the move to wireless, but it's also worth noting that our headphones have become fashion accessories. We wear them at the gym, through the airport and just chilling at Starbucks. It's no longer unusual to see teens wearing a pair of expensive Bluetooth headphones around school as they listen to their favorite songs streaming on their iPhone. I've put together a list of some of my favorite personal audio electronics below:

OVER-EAR

Grado RS2e - This multi-generational family business takes their headphones seriously. Very seriously. Each pair is handmade and they're the preferred headphones of the likes of Neil Young, Phish and Aerosmith. The South Brooklyn factory is where the magic occurs. Grado's headphones are assembled in such a way to enhance their sonic qualities, with even the cord being constructed to diminish vibrations. Sold by Grado's official retailer 4OurEars, the Grado RS2e has an upgraded driver and the new 8 conductor cable design. It's made of beautiful hand crafted mahogany and boasts an overall sound that is like nothing you've ever experienced with a pair of headphones. Grado describes it as a warm harmonic color, full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics and ultra smooth top end. $495 4ourears.net



MASTER & DYNAMIC MW50 - Hands down, the best wireless cans you can put on your ears in 2017. The only reason I wasn't very surprised by the amazing sounds when I threw these babies on my head is because I've come to expect this level of quality from Master & Dynamic. I use the ME05 in-ears too and I've come to appreciate my music even more ever since. These over-ear phones are lightweight (a third lighter and smaller than last year's MW60 model), stylish and ridiculously comfy. If you're questioning why have to really splurge to get these, it's all about the premium everything that goes into these, but you'll appreciate them for years and years to come. $449 masterdynamic.com





3D Sound One - These wireless headphones offer high quality drivers (40mm) and a strong battery life (18 hours). They charge with a micro-USB connector and are lightweight enough to forget you’re even wearing them. These headphones are ideal for the gamer who anyone who loves watching movies with enhanced audio quality. $249 3dsoundlabs.com




VXi’s BlueParrott S450-XT - The first Bluetooth headset to give you both hi-fi stereo sound and clear conversations thanks to VXi's advanced noise-canceling microphone technology. Enjoy over 24 hours of music, movies or calls. Plus you can customize these headphones with the Parrott Button. $179.99 vxicorp.com



Hifiman Edition S - Hifiman is known as a producer of top-quality planar magnetic headphones. With the Edition S you get two headphones in one as you can switch from an open to a closed back. The incredible sound quality would lead you to believe these cans cost a lot more than they do. Prepare to be impressed and enjoy the comfortable sonic perfection of the Edition S. $249 store.hifiman.com





IN-EAR

Bragi Dash - The Dash, which is completely waterproof and comes in black or white, has been getting a lot of attention over the past year and deservedly so. It's actually a microcomputer that fits into your ear (yes, that sounds very futuristic and spy-like). The Dash stores and plays 1,000 songs without needing a secondary device. It boasts 27 sensors that measure fitness tracking including heart rate, distance cadence and breaths. It's compatible with Google Fit and Apple Health. With everything it does it's actually impressive that it gets four hours of battery life per charge. $299 bragi.com





Rowkin Bit Charge - Rowkin now offers a Mini Plus+ and a Bit in addition to the Bit Charge, which I tried out. Billed as the world's smallest stereo wireless Bluetooth earbuds, you can't help but feel that the future has arrived when you put these in your ears. The high fidelity listening experience you get with the Bit Charge doesn't make sense considering the size of the two tiny earbuds you just place in your ears. With the iPhone 7's headphone jack removal, Rowkin Bit Charge offers a fitting solution for users who want a completely cordless experience. All three of the Rowkin earbuds are exclusively available on Amazon in three colors: Space Gray, Silver, and 24K Gold Edition. $59.99 (single) $119.99 (dual) Search Rowkin on amazon.com



Earin M1 - I've been watching this company for years and was amazed by their Kickstarter campaign (one of the most successful campaigns on Kickstarter ever). These are ideal for anyone who is sick of cables and wires. These earbuds are as small and as light as possible to create the most immersive sound imaginable. They are built with high-precision balanced armature speakers for incredible acoustic detail and clarity to deliver a breathtaking audio experience. $199 earin.com




Libratone Q Adapt Lightning In-Ear - New for the holiday season, these in-ears are Powered by the iPhone's Lightning connector and come in four colors. The remote has four buttons to activate a hush function, access CityMix, play and pause. You can also take phone calls. One of the nicer features is CityMix, which provides four adjustable noise cancellation levels, letting you customize your listening experience from completely blocking out external noise to letting in just enough to stay safe. $149 (discounted from $179) libratone.com





Etymotic Research ER4XR - When you buy a pair of Etymotic headphones, you're buying the research that went into ensuring the best sound quality. For three decades, Etymotic has been producing noise-isolating, in-ear earphones. In fact, this is the company that invented it. These earphones completely seal your ear providing 98% noise isolation (reducing outside noise reduces the risk of listening to music at unsafe levels). Etymotic also makes a number of more inexpensive earphones, such as the MK5 and the MC5 models. $349 etymotic.com





Jaybird X3 - Ideal for working out, these secure-fit, sweat-proof premium sport buds deliver superior audio performance. The metal accented design is beautiful and you get 8 hours of play time for a full week of workouts. Estimate 15 minutes for an hour of play time. Comes with the Jaybird MySound App to save your sound profile. Available in four colors with metal accents: Blackout (Black and Silver), Sparta (White and Gold), Alpha (Military Green and Dark Chrome) and Road Rash (Red and Dark Chrome) $129.99 jaybirdsport.com




AfterShokz Sportz Titanium - I've been a fan of AfterShokz for years because I like that they don't really go in your ears. Rather, it uses  bone  conduction  technology  to  transmit  audio  waves  to  the  inner  ears through the skull, bypassing the eardrums completely. You simply place them on your cheekbones leaving your ear canals open to allow you to remain alert and aware of ambient sounds while you enjoy your music. Expect exceptional  sound  quality  thanks  to  PremiumPitch+, which delivers dynamic range and truly powerful bass. I'd happily pay twice as much for these. $59.95 aftershokz.com



ROAM GameON Earphones - After announcing a partnership with Atari over the summer, ROAM recently launches the GameON wired earphones for both gamers and music lovers. These earphones deliver extraordinary sound quality with a beautiful, brushed titanium exterior. Launched as an indiegogo campaign, these earphones boast the SureFIT ear tip horns to accompany the traditional silicone ear tips, providing up to 27 variations for maximum comfort and performance. $169 roamwith.com/gameon/




AUKEY Bluetooth Wireless Sport Earbuds - Not all earbuds have to be pricey to deliver great sound and the AUKEY line is proof of that. These lightweight and secure wrap-around earbuds sell on Amazon.com for under $20 and you'd never believe the price after listening to your music for a few minutes with them. You get 8 hours of playback or up to 160 hours of standy time, plus the microphone works really well for taking calls. AUKEY throws in an extra set of ear-tips and offers a 24 month warranty. $19.99 Search AUKEY on amazon.com



NOISE-CANCELLATION

B&O BEOPLAY H9 - What's that? I can't hear you (at all)! These are noise cancelling cans like you've never seen before. With the H9s you get Bang & Olufsen's Signature Sound plus amazing noise cancellation and the most comfortable over-ear headphones on the market. These are all about sound, comfort and luxury. With the soft lambskin and adaptive memory foam on the ear cushions, I promise you'll never want to take these off. Worth every last penny here. $499 beoplay.com



Plantronics BackBeat PRO2 SE- If Plantronics only gave you the immersive, high-res sound that would be enough. The active noise cancellation in these absolutely beautiful Special Edition headphones is the gravy. Boasting Class 1 Bluetooth power with an amazing range of up to 100 meters and up to 24 hours of continuous listening time on one charge, I keep kicking myself for not discovering Plantronics earlier ("Where have you been all my life?"). Like other quality noise cancelling headphones they fold flat for easy travel storage and comes with a handsome carrying case. $249.99 plantronics.com




SPEAKERS

Altec Lansing's Super LifeJacket - powerhouse with booming base with double power banks.
Everything-Proof: Certified waterproof, shockproof, snowproof – they even float! Built for On-the-Go: Your perfect everywhere speaker, equipped with power banks to charge other devices and 50 hours of battery life. All with Great Sound: After 90 years, Altec knows audio. Both speakers deliver powerful, omni-directional sound. $299.99 http://alteclansing.com/en/



B&O A2 Active - I absolutely love this portable Bluetooth speaker with True360 sound. The idea that you can now take a speaker with Bang & Olufsen's premium sound quality with you to the pool or beach is crazy to think. It's both dust and splash resistance and comes with two canvas straps. This little bad boy boasts up to 24 hours of battery life. Comes in sand stone or natural colors. $399 beoplay.com



Bluesound Pulse Flex - This two-way speaker delivers the best of performance and portability. It's truly a game changer. Simply connect the speaker to your Wi-Fi network and listen to all your music from anywhere in your home or office. Plus you can stream any music service or library directly from your smartphone, tablet or laptop in CD-quality with aptX Bluetooth. Attach the rechargeable BP100 battery pack and take your music with you. $299 bluesound.com





iClever Loud Bass (BTS09) - I am consistently being impressed by iClever's audio products. They are inexpensive, but not cheap products at all. Quality is clearly a priority along with providing amazing audio performance. The BTS09 speaker lets you stream incredible stereo audio from any enabled mobile device. It works flawlessly with a Amazon Echo Dot or Fire TV Stick giving Alexa a very nice output for sound. Charge time is about 2 hours. $79.99 Search iClever on amazon.com




Jam Audio Voice - This little speaker is powerful! Jam Audio's Voice is among the first non-Amazon speakers with Alexa Voice Service technology to learn your habits like calling Uber, control smart home devices, stream music and get the latest news. It streams from your favorite music services and gives you news, traffic and weather updates as well. $79.99 jamaudio.com



Kef Muo Portable Bluetooth Speaker - This speaker is truly packed with innovative technologies including Kef's Uni-Q technology, which provides high quality sound when streaming music wirelessly from a computer or mobile device. 12 hours of playback time and approximately 3 hours to charge fully. Has memory for up to 8 Bluetooth devices. Comes in 6 colors. $349.99 us.kef.com/muo



MUSIC STREAMING

Deezer - I use a lot of different music streaming services. For a long time I went back and forth between Spotify and Pandora. Then I shifted to Google Play Music and I continue to enjoy my SiriusXM mobile app to listen to Howard Stern. This fall, however, I was introduced to Deezer and I haven't looked back. Deezer is one of the world’s leading, on-demand digital music streaming services, offering a unique, personalized experience for every user. It is super easy to create the ultimate playlist. Deezer Premium+ gives you access to Deezer’s full library of 40M+ tracks (the world’s largest) and to FLOW, Deezer’s signature feature that functions as a personal assistant that intuitively knows what you want to hear and when you want to hear it. $120/year subscription deezer.com

Friday, December 23, 2016

Remembering Philanthropist Mandell "Bill" Berman

I first heard the name Bill Berman at Camp Tamarack when I spent a week of winter break staying in a cabin at Berman Village during Winter Camp one year in the mid-1980s. I later had a chance to meet the iconic Jewish philanthropist and nationally known home builder at a Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit event when my father served as the CFO.

That was just a handshake however. It wasn't until my first year out of rabbinical school that I actually had the honor of getting to know Mandell "Bill" Berman. I began working at University of Michigan Hillel as the assistant director in the summer of 2004. The Hillel Foundation is named for Bill and his wife in recognition of the decades of support they provided.

My first encounter with Bill Berman was at a Michigan Hillel board meeting that he attended. He usually had his driver bring him to Ann Arbor, but this time he decided to drive himself. He was 86 at the time and arrived to the meeting late. I saw him in the Men's bathroom and he told me got a speeding ticket on the way to Ann Arbor. Mr. Berman told me that calmly explained to the driver that he wasn't even driving his age and shouldn't receive the ticket. He then laughed at his own story with his memorable chuckle.

A few weeks later, Mr. Berman called to say he wanted to take me out to lunch (he had mentioned his intention after the first board meeting, but I was still pleasantly surprised to get the invitation). I offered to meet him in Detroit for lunch, but he said he enjoyed coming to Ann Arbor to see the campus. We had a wonderful lunch meeting in which he dispensed so much sage advice. I listened intently to each word. I had the distinct honor to have more private lunches with him over the next couple of years in which I got to know this legend. At that year's Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Cleveland, Mr. Berman graciously took the time to speak to our student delegation sharing his thoughts on the Jewish community and inspiring these future leaders. Over the next days at the GA, I was amazed that every time someone saw I was from Michigan, they shared their favorite Bill Berman story with me (everyone had at least one).

President Bill Clinton with Bill Berman at a Hillary Clinton Campaign event in 2016 (Rabbi Jason Miller's Blog)
2 Bills: President Bill Clinton with Bill Berman at a Hillary Clinton Campaign event in 2016

In Metro Detroit, Bill Berman's name was everywhere. Each year a Jewish professional in the community was honored with the Berman Award. When I would take Jewish teens to a youth group Shabbaton at Camp Tamarack, I'd be sure to let them know it was subsidized by Bill and Madge Berman. The beautiful Berman theater at the JCC has become a typical place to enjoy a concert, watch a film or be entertained with a musical or play. On a national level, the Berman name is likewise everywhere. He cared passionately about the Jewish future and understood the importance of surveys and statistics about the American Jewish community. Bill Berman was a builder when it came to homes, but he was also a visionary builder when it came to the Jewish community.

His volunteer leadership roles are too many to try to enumerate. Some of the more prominent positions included serving as president of the Council of Jewish Federations of North America, a co-founder of the Jewish Education Service of North America, a board member of the Jewish Agency and of the American Joint Distribution Committee. He also funded fellowships at Brandeis University and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He established the Fund for Research on Children with Disabilities at the Myers-JDC-Brooksdale Institute in Israel and chaired the 1990 and 2002 landmark Jewish Population Studies in North America. To further the study of the Jewish Community of North America he was the founder of the Berman Jewish DataBank, now at the Jewish Federations of North America, and of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive, now at Stanford University.

Jewish Philanthropist Bill Berman and Rabbi Jason Miller (Hour Detroit)



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Detroit Stand Up Comic Jeff Dwoskin Launches Twitter Hashtag Games App

Twitter, the social network known for its 140 character limitation, has been in the news a lot lately. Much of the media attention has certainly been driven by President-Elect Donald Trump who tweeted his way to an election victory over the past year. Trump will, no doubt, be the first President to tweet his thoughts and policy decisions without a filter on social media when he takes over the @Potus Twitter handle on January 20.

The other reason Twitter has been making headlines in recent months has more to do with the company that was founded a decade ago in San Francisco. Created by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass, the company today is valued at around $10 billion; far less than its $40 billion valuation just three years ago. While Twitter has over 300 million monthly active users, many have questioned its health. Further, businesses have long been concerned that Twitter doesn't provide marketing value the way other social networks do.

Detroit Stand Up Comic Jeff Dwoskin of Twitter Hashtag Roundup
Jeff Dwoskin, an entrepreneur, stand up comedian and creator of Twitter's Hashtag Roundup

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Trump Inauguration and the Boycott Question

Does it make sense to boycott musicians? There are, after all, many forms of boycotts. When I was young I really enjoyed the music of Phil Collins. I really loved listening to his songs, which were played often on my favorite radio stations. One day, however, my mother declared that we would no longer listen to any Phil Collins music because he was an ardent supporter of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and was a virulently anti-Israel. I remember feeling confused as I respected my mother for taking a stand, but I also didn't see the harm in listening to a Genesis song on the radio. It wasn't like I was supporting him by buying his cassette tape (it was the early 1980s) or buying his concert tickets. Nevertheless, for many years thereafter I refrained from listening to Phil Collins music even if such a boycott didn't make sense.

These days, there is still a lot of discussion when it comes to boycotting certain musicians. The most common example is Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. Waters has taken a very hard line, one-sided approach to criticism of Israel. While I still enjoy listening to Pink Floyd music, I confess that Waters' anti-Zionist views and determination to convince other artists to refuse to perform in Israel has led me to listen to his music differently. I still enjoy listening to Pink Floyd, but I can't help but think about his politics when doing so. Like Phil Collins, I don't boycott an artist's viewpoint by not listening to the music (on the radio, the Deezer app or an Amazon Alexa for example), but I also might not support them financially by purchasing their music or buying tickets to a concert.

Donald Trump and Kanye West
Donald Trump meets with Kanye West [SETH WENIG/AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK]

Monday, November 28, 2016

An Israeli NASCAR Driver... No, Seriously

I've seen the movie "Airplane!" so many times and I always chuckle at my favorite scene. It's when the flight attendant offers a thin leaflet titled "Jewish Sports Legends" to a passenger on the plane. The stereotype that Jews aren't successful in sports might be fairly accurate. After all, there really aren't that many famous Jewish athletes. However, what's even more rare than a famous Jewish athlete is a famous Jewish NASCAR driver. That makes the story of Alon Day really unique. 

Not only is NASCAR driver Alon Day Jewish, but he's also Israeli. A recent article in Sports Illustrated noted that Alon Day is the first Jewish NASCAR driver. He led his team to their first-ever first place finish. While Day didn't drive the team's car in the victory lap, he managed to hold a spot in one of the top ten positions and for a while even maintained second place. 


Israeli Jewish Alon Day - NASCAR Driver


Alon Day is from Ashdod, the country's sixth-largest city and the largest port in all of Israel. Day's benefactor is Jewish attorney David Levin, who has a goal of promoting Israel through motorsports. Yes, that is an odd goal, but he might be on to something. NASCAR hasn't traditionally had a large Jewish fan base, although it is growing. I've been a fan of NASCAR my entire life because of the excitement of the speeding cars and the drivers fighting for position around the track. Perhaps I discovered my love of auto racing as a kid in Detroit watching the Detroit Grand Prix race around the streets of downtown Detroit and Belle Isle. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Cyber Monday Technology Recommendations

Last week I published my annual Holiday gift guide with 30 of the best technology gadgets and personal consumer electronics for this holiday season. That list was far from exhaustive because there are some amazing deals to be had over the next several days with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. The drastically reduced pricing of impressive smart TVs, phones, computers, audio products and more would not be imaginable a few years ago. As always, check for the best pricing online.


SMART TELEVISIONS

VIZIO 60" Class 4K UHD SmartCast Home Theater Display - Wow! Sam's Club is selling this 60 inch gem on Black Friday for the amazing price of $548! This Ultra HD has Google Chromecast built-in and your phone is your remote with the VIZIO SmartCast app. The display is amazing and this uber-thin smart TV weighs a tenth of what the old 60 inch TVs weighed. This TV has 4 HDMI inputs and a 120Hz effective refresh rate. You can't go wrong with this deal. samsclub.com



LeEco Super4 X55 Ecotv - My attention was piqued when I heard about this TV with Harman Kardon sound. When I heard about the Black Friday price of only $599 for a TV valued at closer to $1,000 I couldn't believe what I was hearing. This 55 inch smart TV smart TVs to the next level with a 4K display, quad-core CPU, a multi-core GPU and a fully-integrated eui interface that lets you explore a world of content with ease. Customers must pre-register for LeRewards at LeMall.com by clicking on the LeRewards banner. This price is good from Black Friday through the end of Cyber Monday. us.lemall.com/us/tv/leeco_super4_x55


PHOTOGRAPHY


Nikon D3400 2 Lens DSLR Bundle - If you ever thought a good DSLR camera was out of your price range. Think again. Sam's Club is offering this bundle for only $499. It includes a Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm and a 70-300mm lens. Your photographs will be sharper than you can believe and sharing is instantaneous with your photos automatically transferred to your mobile device. The camera has a 24.2MP CMOS sensor, 5FPS, Full HD video, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth image sharing. As a bonus it comes with a Nikon gadget bag, extra battery, 2-Year Nikon Extended Service Contract and 32GB SD memory card. samsclub.com



PHONES/TABLETS/CHARGERS


ZTE's Axon 7 Smartphone - ZTE makes the only phones with premium Hi-Fi audio chips so they deliver superior sonic quality, louder bass, higher dynamic ranges, and the cleanest audio signal path among competitors. A dual SIM slots allows you to switch between two carriers at any one time. This is a great phone if you care about the sound quality of your calls and your music. zteusa.com/axon7


FreedomPop - Consumers will trade in over 120 million smartphones in 2017, generating wholesale revenue of more than $17 billion and forecasted to grow four to five times faster than the overall smartphone market. FreedomPop has opened the Freedom Store and is offering several Cyber Monday deals on phones: Get Unlimited Data until 2017 with the following: 4G LTE/3G Mingle Hotspot - $19.99 (90% off); Get Unlimited Data until 2017 w/ Moto E, 2nd Gen LTE - $29.99 (86% off); Get Unlimited Data until 2017 w/ LG G Pad 7.0 - $49.99 (83% off). freedompop.com


Boost Band - With this amazing wristband you can charge any device. You no longer have to carry around a bulky charger or power bank in your pocket. This wearable option will charge your device enough to keep you going. boostband.net


Belkin Apple Watch Screen Protector - InvisiGlass® Screen Protection is the best screen protector available, engineered for strength and clarity and tested to meet optometric standards. The result is a crystal clear screen protector that keeps your screen safe from damage while still giving you an incredible screen experience. belkin.com


Fuse Chicken Indestructible TITAN iPhone Charging Cable - The Toughest Cable on Earth We’ve all seen it - the frayed cables, cords tied in knots, and the happy puppy chewing on our charger. TITAN solves all of that and more with industrial-grade cabling that is wrapped in not one, but  two layers of flexible, high-strength steel. fusechicken.com


Silent Pocket Fold Over Wallet iPhone Case - It's unusual to find a protective case for your phone that is also a stunning leather wallet. The smooth, supple genuine Napa leather of the Silent Pocket case is stunning and it's made to withstand years of use. The folio style case deflects and absorbs radiation and provides four slots for credit cards leaving all ports on your phone with full access. silent-pocket.com



AUDIO

Fluance Fi70 Three-Way Wireless High Fidelity Music System (Natural Walnut) - Bring the concert hall into your home with high fidelity sound performed flawlessly by this impressive and powerful integrated amplifier and six speaker configuration with dual 8” subwoofers. The beautiful cabinet design's hand crafted with audio grade wood, separate enclosures and a thick front baffle to perfect the reproduction of your favorite music. Plus wirelessly stream music instantly from Spotify, Pandora, iTunes or your own music library. Black Friday promotion: $499.99 and free shipping. (regularly $699.99) fluance.com


Monster ClarityHD On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones - Monster's audio products are always cutting edge. The ClarityHD headphones provide a swipe control​ for play/pause, tracking, and volume​. As far as wireless on-ear headphones go, these provide superior performance and sound quality. Plus, the ultra-soft ear cushions and pivoting ear cups​ make for a very comfortable pair of headphones that won’t slip off your head no matter how active you are. monsterproducts.com


Master & Dynamic Rolling Stones MH40 Wireless Over Ear Headphones - You have to see AND hear these Master & Dynamic headphones to truly appreciate how legendary these are. At $399, this is quite a bargain since only 1962 pairs were produced (a reference to the year the Stones formed as a band). masterdynamic.com


B&O BeoPlay A2 Active - This portable Bluetooth speaker will certainly impress with its True360 sound. I'm a big fan of Beoplay audio products. This speaker is dust and splash resistant, comes with two canvas straps and boasts up to 24 hours of battery life. beoplay.com


Beats EP - Beats by Dr. Dre's latest headphones, the EP, are a wired, passive on-ear headphone with a premium sound to match it’s durable, lightweight design. A Black Friday price of $99.95 makes these the best Beats value of all their headphones. They're also battery-free for unlimited playback and have adjustable vertical sliders for a personalized fit with RemoteTalk to make phone calls. Available in black, white, red or blue. beatsbydre.com


Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 - These great looking wireless over ear headphones have on-demand active noise cancelling, wireless freedom and immersive audio. They come with a micro-USB charge cable, 3.5mm cable and travel sleeve. plantronics.com


House of Marley Liberate XLBT - These over-ear headphones boast a powerful bass and stunning stainless steel detail. The 50mm dynamic drivers with neodymium magnets provide a 12 hour playback time. You can use the in-line mic with a three-button controller for hands-free calls and easy music control. The soft ear cushions are comfortable and have durable fabric-braided cables for tangle-free cords. Available in Midnight and Saddle colors. thehouseofmarley.com


BIT by Polk BOOM BIT can be clipped anywhere on your body and its sweat, dirt, and shock-proof design will allow bikers, hikers and runners to continue listening to music without hindering their ability to hear outside potential dangers (such as cars, other bikers, etc.). As an added bonus, the BIT also has a built-in speakerphone and a three hour battery life with built-in USB for easy charging, making it the ultimate on-the-go speaker. polkaudio.com


Audio Helix Cuff - When you’re always on the go, convenience is critical. That’s why we developed the Helix Cuff to be completely hands-free. The Bluetooth 4.1 powered by CSR and Qualcomm chipset feature enables you to connect your phone, tablet, or computer to your Helix Cuff and stream music or calls without plugging into a device. The Helix Cuff makes your life simpler. The Bluetooth connection works up to 30 feet between the Helix headphones and the source device. ashleychloe.com



NIMA Football Helmet Bluetooth Speaker - The speaker delivers crisp, organic natural sound with 5.5' deeper bass than you'd expect from another speaker. It allows you to carry your helmet with an authentic feeling. It connects wirelessly to your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth device, so you can listen to your music, videos or games anytime, anywhere. The built-in speakerphone is also great for conference calls. nimausa.com


Phiaton BT110 Wireless Compact Bluetooth Earphones - These compact earphones with wireless technology and IPX4 water-resistant design combine durability and outstanding sound. With Phiaton's RightFit+ Eartips there are multiple size options to provide a comfortable fit. phiaton.com


HOME


Ring Video Doorbell - You've likely seen a commercial on TV for the Ring Doorbell. It has a proven track record of crime prevention. The Ring Video Doorbell and the new Stick Up Cam make great gifts for any homeowner this holiday season or for yourself. Ring devices call a user's smartphone when they detect motion, enabling homeowners to see and speak with visitors remotely. Ring Video Doorbell provides added convenience, but most importantly, it can and has prevented home break-ins. Now with Stick Up Cam, users can monitor and protect their entire home, not just their front yard. Plus with the Ring Solar Panel, users never have to take down camera to recharge it. ring.com



WalabotDIY - With WalabotDIY you can look inside the walls of your home and take the guesswork out of your next construction project. See up to 4 inches in concrete and drywall with adjustable sensitivity for optimal calibrations to your specific construction walabot.com/diy


Wacom Bamboo Slate Smartpad - I'm always struggling to type notes quickly enough in meetings so the Bamboo Slate from Wacom has become my go-to writing pad now. I can take handwritten notes with a pen on any type of paper and then store, shape and share them in the cloud. With the push of a button, my notes are converted into digital files and you can organize, edit and share them on iOS or Android Bluetooth enabled devices. wacom.com


FINsix’s Dart - Dart is the world’s smallest laptop charger... literally. At a powerful 65W, it's the perfect travel companion for today’s ultra-thin laptops and other mobile devices. Dart is up to four times smaller and lighter than the charger that shipped with your laptop. Dart eliminates the bulk, making it easy to throw the charger into a pocket and have on hand when you need it most. finsix.com


eero - Recently included in the Wall Street Journal, eero is the sleek, whole-home WiFi system that replaces old routers with multiple access points. Just download the app and plug one eero directly into your existing cable or DSL modem. The app takes it from there and you won't have any more dead spots in your home WiFi. eero.com


Iris Security Pack at Lowe's - Giving an Iris Security Pack to a friend or relative this holiday season shows you care about their safety because it can increase protection at home for a fraction of the cost of a traditional home security system. Iris comes complete with two contact sensors, one motion sensor and a keypad. The pack provides the essentials to install a customized smart home security solution to keep the home and loved ones safe and secure. All Iris products work with Amazon Alexa and Nucleus. irisbylowes.com


Tstand Tablet Stand - This amazing tablet stand started as a Kickstarter campaign. Lightweight at 1.25 lbs, it's perfect for watching your tablet in bed. It fits most iPads, Kindles and other tablets in either landscape or portrait position. The Tstand also transitions easily between two modes: bed mode and desktop mode thanks to the patented h-shape base that creates a custom viewing angle. tstand.com


Brydge iPad Keyboard - precision-engineered to provide users an unrivalled experience that combines the convenience and functionality of the iPad with the productivity of a MacBook. All Brydge keyboards boast a sophisticated, minimalistic design that includes adjustable brightness backlit keys, Brydge’s patented 180-degree hinge system for premium viewing angles and adjustments, Bluetooth connectivity, and a powerful rechargeable battery that lasts up to three months. brydgekeyboards.com


Active Edge Shirt - I was pretty skeptical of a shirt that said I'd sleep better at night if I wore it, but it actually works. This is the first technology capable of infusing electromagnetic frequencies into fabrics and other materials. The technology has been tested at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, the United States Department of Defense labs, and in several independent labs. Tests have shown that wearing a treated Active  Edge TM product results in a 17% average increase in range of motion, 12% average increase in grip strength, 8% average reduction in fatigue with an increase in REM restorative sleep time. activeedgegear.com


RCA Slivr Antenna - This antenna is an essential gadget for cord cutters. allows consumers to enjoy HD TV with no monthly fee or subscription. RCA is helping us watch TV (including sports events) with the highest quality picture (4K and 1080 HDTV). It's as simple as taking it out of the box, plugging it into the TV and that's it. rcaantennas.net


Tile Slim and Tile Mate - If you're always losing things like your phone, wallet or your keys, I highly recommend Tile. Tile is a tiny Bluetooth tracker and easy-to-use app that helps you find everyday items in seconds. You can attach it to anything. With this technology, you can see the last place you had it on a map and make it ring when you get close. Tile Slim is perfect for slipping into a wallet or pocketbook and Tile Mate now comes with four preset ringtones to choose from. thetileapp.com


Poof Pea Activity Tracker for Pets - The Pea is a worry-free solution to tracking your pet’s activity levels, calories and sleep. Get your pet on the path to a healthy life. Usually $39.99, use Promo Code blackfriday20 to save 20% today (the same code works with the Poof Bean, which is normally priced at $49.99). mypoof.com



CHILDREN



LEGO Dimensions Starter Packs - Lego Dimensions is a Lego-themed action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox One and Xbox 360. For Black Friday, the award-winning video game LEGO Dimensions will be up to $50 off at select retailers, including Target, Toys R Us, GameStop, Walmart, BestBuy and Amazon. You can buy the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and WiiU Starter Packs for only $39.99 (usually $89.99). The Starter Packs include the LEGO Dimensions video game, 3 LEGO minifigures (Batman, Gandalf, Wyldstyle), the LEGO Toy Pad and LEGO bricks to literally build the gateway into the game! lego.com/en-us/dimensions


Sky Rover Voice Command Drone - Don't think you have to spend a lot for a drone for the kids this holiday season. The Sky Rover responds to 12 voice commands when wearing the included headset. It has four motors that are protected by propeller guards, making this drone perfect for kids. auldeytoys.us




Tilt SpinTales Jungle Rug - I'm not sure you can find such a beautiful rug for your child's bedroom or play area for under $100, let alone one that offers such excitement. Tilt's SpinTales Jungle Rug provides adventures of three jungle friends: Milo (a boy who lives in the jungle), Huggy (a bear who likes to sleep) and Stickers (a gecko who wears glasses). This fully illustrated area rug is 4 x 6 feet and comes with a free app (iOS & Android). Order before the end of 2016 and get three free Jungle Stories. tilttextiles.com/rug.html


NEON Flash Scooter - This is not your typical scooter. It glides smoothly, but at night it's all lit up with impressive LED deck and motion-powered wheels. With its reflective deck featuring a neon under glow, children can’t help but be noticed wherever they go. This strong and durable scooter with a lightweight aluminum frame is perfect for quick and easy transportation. neonlyghts.com


App Dudes (from Toy Island) - This unique smartphone stand is available in Marvel’s Avengers Iron Man and Captain America and will entertain children with animations and phrases that match the superheroes’ individual personas. To bring the characters to life, simply download the free App Dudes App to a smartphone, place the phone in the App Dudes Smartphone Stand and watch as your favorite Marvel Avenger comes to life. appdudes.com


Square Panda - This unique game is the only comprehensive multisensory phonics product on the market with 14 levels of Phonics instruction and a diagnostics engine that measures each child’s individual progress, challenges, preferences for game types, and patterns of play. Turn your child into a fluent reader and build their foundation for future learning. squarepanda.com


My Kingdom Books (MKB) - According to a Tech Pro Research study released earlier this year, 67% of businesses polled said they had plans for including augmented reality in the future, with 20% ready to commit to it over the next 12 months. So it's important that parents and educators begin incorporating AR into early childhood practices in preparation for future technology. My Kingdom Books is a customizable children’s book that comes complete with augmented reality technology provided through an app, forming a next-generation pop-up book. mykingdombooks.com


Kurio Watch for Kids - Getting a 9-year-old kid an Apple Watch might not be the best idea as it can get lost, damaged or forgotten about. The Kurio is a real smartwatch with a high-res touch screen, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and entertainment features like a music player, camera and video, messaging and photo editor. The Kurio Watch is packed with over 20 games and productivity tools including an alarm clock, calendar, contacts, calculator, an activity tracker and more. kurioworld.com


Talk-to-Me Mikey (from Playmates Toys) - Children can have hours of fun talking to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. This toy recognizes when a child asks any of a list of ten questions and responds in over 100 unique ways. The highly interactive turtle also features motion sensors, sings songs and plays games. toysrus.com


ROXs Real Life Gaming Console - ROXs gets kids away from screens and makes them move around. ROXs uses technology and digital gaming concepts - the two elements that make kids stick in front of screens - to get them to run, move and jump. There are over 8 pre-loaded games and the ability to create up to 50 player profiles. playroxs.com

TRAVEL

weboost Drive 4G-S - The Drive 4G-S (formally the Sleek 4G) is weBoost’s most affordable 4G vehicle cell phone signal booster. This 4G booster can boost cell signals up to 32x, enhancing 4G LTE and 3G signals for one person in a car, truck, van or RV.  store.weboost.com



Luminaid PackLite Max - This highly versatile solar lantern can also be charged via USB port. It's high powered, providing up to 50 hours of LED light on a single charge. Weighing in at under 7 oz and completely waterproof, this bright LED lantern is the perfect gift for serious backpackers and family campers alike and can be used by families during power outages. luminaid.com/products/packlite-max


Dog & Bone LockSmart Travel - This keyless Bluetooth luggage lock provides travelers with a secure and trackable solution, easily controlled by an app. It is TSA approved and allows users to conveniently access belongings without physical keys. dogandbonecases.com


GAMING


IOGEAR Kaliber Gaming Keyboard and Zyxel AC2600 Gaming Router - If you have a true gamer on your holiday gift list this year, you can't go wrong with this gaming keyboard/mouse combo and gaming router. Zyxel's router brings the fastest and most reliable connection for all wireless enabled devices so streaming movies and playing the latest video games are without hassle or interruption. An IOGEAR Kaliber gaming mouse is also available individually or as a keyboard/mouse combo. iogear.com | zyxel.com


HEALTH/FITNESS/SPORTS



HYPERICE's HyperSphere Vibrating Massage Ball - My back's never been the same since I started using this massage ball over the summer. It provides localized vibration therapy that increases the range of motion and flexibility. Plus it increases circulation. It's an essential tool for localized soft tissue therapy for the back, hips, glutes, shoulders and feet. Available in two different colors and only $149. hyperice.com/product-4/vibration-technology/hypersphere.html


MOCACuff - MOCACARE, a company that specializes in developing cardiovascular monitoring devices has unveiled its latest home heart monitor, an FDA-approved wireless blood pressure cuff worn on the wrist. MOCACuff is a sleek, portable monitor that connects with a dedicated mobile app providing highly intuitive ways for users to view and track their progress. It also gives expertly-curated, personalized health recommendations. mocacare.com


Lumo Run - This is the first smart tracker that actually analyzes your running form and offers personalized coaching to help you exceed your goals. Simply clip the Lumo Run sensor onto the back of your running shorts, aligned to your spine before going for a run. You'll get a full analysis of your running form and recommended exercises personalized to you. As a Black Friday special, get an extra $50 OFF Lumo Lift and Lumo Run 2-packs with code HOLIDAY50 (Through Cyber Monday). lumobodytech.com



Blast Baseball 360 Swing Analyzer - Every baseball player and softball player wants to hit with more power and consistency. That's a lot easier now with Blast bat sensor technology. The better your swing timing, power, and efficiency, the better you will control where and how far you hit the ball. The Blast Baseball app captures video highlights of your swings, combines them with insightful Blast sensor metrics, helps you analyze your mechanics, and provides drills for improvement. The Blast 360 Swing Analyzer is now on sale at $124.95 (regularly $149.95). blastmotion.com


Breathometer Mint - Mint is a digital health device powered by scientific breath analysis technology. It works with your smartphone to detect signs of harmful bacteria which can often be related to larger health concerns like stroke or heart disease. By measuring the organic compounds in your mouth released by various bacteria, Mint enables you to monitor your oral health and the effectiveness of your cleaning routine and diet. breathometer.com


Shot Tracker - This is a wearable tech for basketball enthusiasts that tracks, makes misses and attempts. Comprised of three parts, a net sensor, wrist sensor and interactive application, ShotTracker helps players identify weak shooting spots on the court and helps them figure out what they need to do to strengthen those spots. ShotTracker works with the most elite trainers and players create enhanced workouts, virtual camps and challenges that help athletes improve with each and every shot. It's been endoresed by Magic Johnson and former NBA Commissioner David Stern. shottracker.com


Baby Quasar Pure Rayz - This beauty device uses technology developed by NASA. The red light stimulates collagen production to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, in addition to clearing up acne. This is 100% safe, effective and FDA-approved. babyquasar.com
iBaby AirSense - The world’s smallest air monitor & ionic purifier will detect and remove allergens and harmful toxins from your home. This smart ionic purifier with real-time air quality alerts is essential for any home with a baby. It includes a temperature and humidity detector, personal air station and Wi-Fi speaker and music player. There is no filter cleaning or replacement required. ibabylabs.com