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Topics - Babyfacemagee

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(Hint, it's much more than just digital money)

Up until a few months ago, like a lot of people I'd heard of 'Bitcoin' and 'cryptocurrency' but frankly while it seemed mildly interesting, I didn't feel any overwhelming urge to figure out how to get some or use it.  It sounded like a less secure, new fangled, roundabout way of paying for things 'electronically' and since so few places accept them for payment vs. the dollar...I didn't see the point. Why bother, right?

Wrong. Boy was I wrong. Because what I didn't understand...and most of you reading this probably don't that many of these new 'cryptocurrencies' that we see in the news are not 'currencies' at all...they are actually a new technology utilizing a structure called the blockchain that are creating the next version of the internet, an internet 3.0 right now...and the vast majority of people have no idea this is going on.  How is that you ask?  Because many of these digital 'coins' are actually more like programming languages that let you build decentralized applications.  What the heck is that you ask?  Let me explain.

Let's say you want to buy a product off of Ebay, or Amazon like a pair of shoes.  Or perhaps you want to rent a room for a weekend through Airbnb, or get a car ride to the airport through Uber.  All of these businesses utilize a middleman that you have to pay a fee to for their service.  Think about it. You buy something from Ebay or Amazon and they take their little cut out of the seller's gross.  You book a room through airbnb or a car from uber and again...they take a little cut out of the seller's piece or charge a fee to the buyer...either way there's a middleman.

But what if you could get rid of the middle man?  What if there was some kind of company that did each of these things...sold goods..rented homes...drove you around....and there was no middle man?   What if transactions were peer to to the seller direct...without the middle man's fee?  Well that is exactly what the blockchain allows programmers to do.  Create decentralized applications, businesses, markets, etc.  It does this by utilizing the blockchain as a way of keeping everyone honest.  How?  Well, this video does a nice job of explaining it. 

But the important thing to realize is that what we are looking at here is basically the dawn of a brand new internet.  Just like in 1992-94 nobody could have predicted that Amazon or Uber or Facebook or Google could become the behemoths we see today.  Twenty years from now people are going to look back and say the same thing about decentralized, blockchain based companies that will be just as big...or bigger.

It's very likely we'll have decentralized search engines without advertising, we'll have decentralized selling with brand new 'amazons' or 'ebays'. We'll have decentralized banking without the bank taking fees and we'll have virtually every kind of business you can imagine from insurance to education to manufacturing to distribution and it will be done through decentralized applications and companies that basically 'live' on the internet and don't require a middle man taking a fee.

Once you understand this concept the next thing to understand is that the cryptocurrencies that we see today...and the new ones being introduced...are all representative of different kinds of decentralized  businesses and these digital 'coins' are being used to fund the development of these businesses. Now there are some like Bitcoin and Litecoin that are still just digital money.   But others like Ethereum, Golem, Stratis, EOS, Factom and others each represent a new type of decentralized company or platform that are part of this new internet 3.0.  And in order to use any of these companies or platforms you'll have to know how to use these new 'digital currencies'.

Some of these new kinds of decentralized companies are already in operation.  For instance is a hybrid of reddit and facebook where you use Steem coins as a way of rewarding content.  Instead of Zuckerberg and staff at FB choosing what to show's more democratic and the use of Steem coin rewards content makers.

So how do I begin getting into this world?  What's the first baby step I can take? Open a Coinbase account.   

Coinbase is the oldest and most reliable and safe of the online wallets to start buying your first digital 'coins' with.  You can buy a bit of Bitcoin or Ethereum or Litecoin...the three coins they currently support...and begin to learn how to use them.   For example, you can purchase some 'Steem' at by opening an account there and sending some Bitcoin to yourself from Coinbase to Steemit.  Then you'll convert that Bitcoin to Steem to use.

As you become more comfortable with these currencies you might want to open a trading account on a site like Poloniex...which just like a stockmarket trading site allows you to buy, sell or just watch all kinds of digital coins and see their values fluctuate just like a stock.

But frankly the very first step you should take, just so you can get started and start to explore is to open a Coinbase account.

Right now Coinbase has a promotion where they're offering $10 in free Bitcoin to you if you open an account with just $100, which is exactly what I did to start.  Then you can start playing with it. 

Want to learn even more and become a cryptocurrency expert?  Start reading sites like and and to learn more about all these new currencies and what they do. 

Look, I know it seems intimidating at first.  But trust me, this is not just the future of money, it's the future of the internet being built right in front of our eyes.  This is an amazing opportunity.  Don't miss out like you did the last time.  Just think how many times you've told yourself 'if i had just invested in Facebook or Netflix or Amazon back in 199x...well this is your next chance...because the next version of the internet...the decentralized internet is happening right now, today.  Open your Coinbase account and take your first step into that world today.  You'll thank me later.

Google Pixel 2 XL / Pixel 2 XL Display Issues
« on: November 07, 2017, 03:33:34 AM »
As many of you know from the tech press some owners of the Pixel 2 have been having some display burn-in issues as well as a blue tint due to the oled display.  Who here is having these issues and have some of the software updates pushed out by Google that now includes new color display modes and brightness tweaks helped?  Anyone have such bad burn-in that they've gotten a new phone?  Let's hear your experiences.


MKBHD posted their full reviews on Google's Pixel 2 and 2XL and made the bold statement that they are the smartest smartphones none.  That's a pretty heady claim and he goes on to back it up.  Some of the highlights include great stereo sound from front facing speakers, more refined design than the original Pixels, USB-C, fast finger print reader, ip67 - 1 meter of water for 30 minutes waterproof and also the infamous squeeze feature to bring up the google assistant...which is really useful. 

There's a ton of improvements from notification options, always on display, now playing...which identifies music playing from the front screen, colors change from light to dark or back depending on your wallpaper to make it easy to see.  There's all kinds of nice touches plus great battery life.  This is a nice 17 minute review with tons of detail so watch it above and let us know what you think in the comments below.


It's not too often you hear the editors over at The Verge fawning over an Android phone.  Let's face it in this divided world of Android vs. iPhone there's almost as much animosity and disagreement as we see in our political system.  So call me surprised when I watched this review by The Verge, who almost always seems to gush about Apple over Android, and instead saw them falling over themselves to praise Google's new pair of namesake phones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.    Amazing cameras?  Check.  Awesome OLED Screens?  Check. Loud Speakers?  Yup. Latest version of Android?  Yes!  It's a home run and for a lot more details plus some really pretty pics check out the video above.

Google Pixel News / MKBHD Unboxes The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
« on: October 19, 2017, 04:56:42 PM »

Marquez is still working on the full review of Google's new phones but in the meantime he received two brand new units in their retail packaging.  In the last couple of weeks he's had his hands on them he's also developed some opinions on some of the new Android features.  We'll have his full review posted as soon as it's released but in the meantime for a quick overview check out the video above.


The first time I thought about getting a VPN or Virtual Private Network, was when I was on vacation in europe and I found to my dismay I couldn't access my Netflix account to watch the latest episodes of Breaking Bad.  It hadn't occurred to me until then that lots of countries actually block content from other countries.  A friend suggested I get a VPN which would allow me to spoof a US IP address no matter where I was so I could continue to watch my US Netflix shows and so I got one...a buggy, slow, expensive one...but it worked at least.

Fast forward to today, several years later where I've discovered a world of shows, movies, news and tons of websites that are located all over the world that I never had access to before I started using Windscribe.  I routinely watch live British news shows and television shows right from the comfort of my home in Los Angeles by using a British IP address so that I can access British tv and web unhindered.  I do the same with French and German sites as well as several countries in eastern europe and even Russia.  It's amazing what you start finding once the world is unlocked.

There's other reasons to use a Virtual Private Network beyond just unlocking content however.  I personally don't like Google, Apple, Microsoft and frankly all sorts of other companies and advertisers knowing where i'm surfing on the web all the time.  I don't like the idea of being tracked by advertising bots and cookies that target advertising to me and keep records of every site I've been to.  With Windscribe you not only get to surf the whole world's web unfiltered but if you choose you also remain hidden from all those tracking bots and advertising cookies.  Windscribe is not only a VPN, it also has several additional features and a special browser plug-in that blocks most advertising and trackers so that you can surf the web privately.  Trust me...this is gives you a sense of freedom to know that nobody is looking over your shoulder while surfing the web.

So why Windscribe you might ask?  Afterall there are a lot of VPN's out there.  Well frankly, I've tried about half a dozen of the leading VPNs and when I evaluate the entire experience, meaning performance, features, ease of use, reliability and price I have to give the prize to Windscribe.  Seriously, i'm not joking.  Several other VPNs I have used have had performance issues.  My connection will get hung up, or download speeds will be slow.   Sometimes I find that popular websites or forums are blocking other VPNs IP addresses.  I haven't had these problems with Windscribe.  Another problem I've had with some other services has to do with crashing or hanging my computer.  I've even gotten the blue screen of death using some other VPNs.  I've never, not even once had that happen with Windscribe.  It's rock solid and works every. single. time.   

Something else I like with Windscribe is that once you have an account, they have versions for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android all included so you can use it on your pc, phone tablet...wherever.  Just as importantly Windscribe is a GREAT deal.  I'm not just saying that.  You can sign up for a free plan to try it out and right off the bat it gives you 10GB. That's a LOT of free data for a FREE plan.  With most free plans you get maybe 1 GB.  The downside of the free plan is that it only let's you use a few different IP addresses so to really start surfing the world like I do you'll want to upgrade to the PRO Plan and then you get dozens and dozens of IP addresses in tons of countries.  But frankly, it's so cheap...less than $4/month with the special 50% promo code I give you below there is absolutely no reason not to get the Pro plan.  It is SO worth it.  Trust me, this is the single best investment you can make to improve your web surfing experience and frankly LEARNING experience. 

There is so much new content out there in other countries that you simply don't even realize exists until you start using Windscribe and start searching around with the country specific versions of Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.  I've linked the Windscribe site below so you can sign up for either the free or pro version.   My guess is that once you try it you're going to be hooked.  I can't believe I waited so long to start using a VPN.  Now I probably use it for over 50% of my web surfing.  I just love being anonymous and also being able to watch content and visit sites in other countries I just didn't know existed until I started using it. 

Make sure to check out all the free BBC, Sky TV and more once you connect using a British IP...I recently have been watching the original British versions of american's so cool to be able to do that....and also to see the live news broadcasts in other countries that are usually blocked to us in the U.S.  Practically every country has even more country specific programming and web content you'll discover as well. I've arranged a special 50% off deal that you can access by clicking the blue link below and then using the promo code 'WS50OFF' when paying for the Pro version.  With the discount it's $45 for the entire year.  That's less than $4 a month!  Do it now and sign up so you don't can thank me later.


Google introduced a bunch of new products at their event this past week including new Google Home Mini, Google Home Max, Daydream View, Pixelbuds, Pixelbook and of course the new Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL.   Wired takes us through the new introductions briefly above and we'll be adding dedicated videos for the various products as well.  Let us know about what you think of Google's new line of hardware products in the comments below.

Google Pixel News / Google Pixel and Pixel XL Demand Outstrips Supply
« on: January 22, 2017, 01:08:06 AM »

It looks like Google has a bonafide hit on its hands as the demand of their self-designed and branded Android phone is being outstripped by strong demand.  According to the market research company Fierce Wireless, Wave 7 Research shows that 9.5% all phones sold by Verizon stores are Google Pixel phones, making it the leading Android phone.  In addition AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint stores are seeing an average of about 2 activations per store per day and reports are that most Pixel skus are out of stock and back ordered.   The only phone that is competing with the Pixel and Pixel XL guessed it...the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.  It sounds like Google has done with the Pixel what it set out to do...create a real equal competitor with Apple's flagship.  Now we're looking forward to the Pixel 2 and want to see what new tricks Google has up its sleeve.


If you've been waiting to buy a really top-notch audiophile quality bluetooth speaker then today is the perfect day to grab an awesome deal on one of two Denon bluetooth speakers. 

First up is the Denon HEOS 1.  This is the smallest member of Denon's audiophile multiroom system that can be used either independently or networked with other HEOS speakers such as the HEOS 3, 5 or 7.  This is the newest version of the HEOS 1 and includes bluetooth built-in.  It offers awesome sound from its two drivers and while it is a plug-in unit, you can purchase the optional 'Go Pack' which includes a rechargeable lithium ion battery.  This new version of the HEOS 1 also includes high resolution audio support as well as support for streaming services such as Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, SoundCloud, TIDAL and Rhapsody.  Normally priced at $199, there's a special sale going on right now for $100 off!  That's right...the HEOS 1 is just $99 for a limited time.  You can grab one at the link below.

Ok, so say you want an all-in-one unit that includes a built-in lithium battery and will provide you with knock your socks off sound in a portable package and you plan on using the speaker exclusively with your phone or tablet to stream music and don't care about multiroom networking.  If that's the case then the Denon Envaya DSB200 is the speaker for you.  This speaker will literally knock your socks off.  It has some of the most powerful bass and the fullest 'soundscape' and depth of sound of any portable bluetooth speaker i've ever heard.  Don't believe me?  Just read some of the reviews and they'll back me up.  This thing ROCKS.  It has a 100mm bass radiator in addition to two 57mm full range drivers and has all kinds of special electronics voodoo added in from high resolution aptX® CSR decoding, MaxxAudio® technology and even includes 4 different colored grill inserts to customize the look of the device.  Normally the Envaya DSB200 would set you back $199...and in fact that's the price it's still selling for on the Denon website...but it's on sale on Amazon right now for just $79.99!  That's an amazing deal.  If  you've been looking for a bluetooth speaker that has AWESOME sound need to grab one of these right now.  I'm serious...this thing will blow away any other portable bluetooth speaker even 3x the price.



Boom!  And just like that it seems every tech blog and site on the web has come out with their Google Pixel and Pixel XL reviews.  With a few holdouts sure to have theirs ready tomorrow, we've embedded some of the more popular review sites here with their reviews for Google's new company designed phones. So what did everyone think now that they've had time to do a thorough review?  Well with rare exception most seem to agree these are about the best Android phones every made.  I've included a separate camera review by Droid Life as well since the Pixel's camera has gotten so much press and the company has gone out of their way to claim what a big deal it is (best mobile phone cam ever!!!).  Ok, enough the reviews yourself and then give us your opinions and discussion below!

And the camera review...

Google Pixel News / MKBHD Pixel And Pixel XL First Impressions Video
« on: October 15, 2016, 06:23:32 PM »

With its smooth aluminum body featuring rounded edges and a two tone back plus the latest in chipsets, MKBHD takes a look at Google's new Pixel phones and let's us know what he thinks.  While not a full review, Marques takes us on a tour of all the major hardware and software features/upgrades for this latest Android device that is claimed to be the fastest ever as as having the best smartphone camera ever.  So what's his verdict?  Does he plan on getting one?  Well you'll just have to watch the video to find out.

Google Pixel News / Google Releases New Ad 'Crush' For The Pixel
« on: October 13, 2016, 01:26:27 AM »

Taking a page from a certain unmentioned rival phone maker, Google released a new ad today for the Pixel phone.  Titled 'Crush by You, Phone by Google' it seems to be going for the our phones create emotion tact we see in many rival phone makers efforts.  The ad is very simple...a screen with thousands of pink balloons that seem to be moving around for some reason.  As the frame for the balloons slowly changes from a square to a phone shaped rectangle we see a couple twirling among the balloons and then the twirling couple instantly changes to the Pixel phone twirling into view.  Very simple.  Do you think the ad is effective?  Let us know your thoughts below.


At an epic unveiling today in northern california, Google introduced its much rumored new phones, the Pixel and Pixel XL.  These two devices are 'made by Google'.  What that means is designed by the company as technically the hardware is manufactured by others just as Apple's phones are manufactured by others.  With the Pixel branding, Google is distancing least for now...from the Nexus branded phones it has partnered up with other companies to produce in the past.  The specs...and pricing of these new Pixel phones is impressive.  Both run on the 2.15GHz + 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 and will come in either 32GB or 128GB versions. Both also include what the company is calling the best smartphone camera ever...a 12.3 megapixel model sporting a large sensor and 4K video capture.  The smaller 5 inch 'Pixel' with have a 1920 x 1080 display at 441PPI and have a 2,770mAh battery while the larger 'Pixel XL' features a larger 5.5 inch 2560 x 1440 534 PPI display and a 3,450mAh battery.    Both will run Android 7.1 Nougat at launch and come without the bloatware usually seen in top line smartphones by other competing manufacturers.   

The design of both Pixel phones seems to be virtually identical except the size.  They both have smooth lines and rounded edges in a very 'Apple' like construct.   A finger print scanner is located on the back and is part of a two tone scheme that comes in 3 colors, black, blue and silver.  Pricing is set at $649 (32GB); $749 (128GB) for the Pixel and $769 (32GB); $869 (128GB) for the Pixel XL.   First impressions seem to be pretty positive on both phones, and we'll be posting review synopses when they are fully tested.  We're very interested to see how this new camera rates when put up against some of the other great cameras out there like the iPhone 7 and the LG V20 and Galaxy S7. 

Also introduced as part of the Pixel is Google AI, meant to bring a whole new level of artificial intelligence to your phone experience.  It seems to be sort of a merger between an Apple Siri type user experience with Google Now functionality thrown into the mix.  It should be interesting to see how useful and effective it is.   One last thing we should mention is that Google also introduced its own VR player called, 'Google VR' (of course) and if you purchase a Google Pixel you get the VR player for free.  Pretty cool.  So what do you think?  Are you excited about the Google Pixel and Pixel XL?  Think you'll be picking one up?  Let us know in the comments.  You can order one through Verizon now...where it is an exclusive at least for the time being.


With Google's big October 4th event just around the corner we thought we'd do a brief run-down of all the new products we're expecting the company to unveil.  By any measure, this is going to be one of the busiest Google I/O events ever with more product introductions at one time than possibly ever before.  Starting with the new Pixel and Pixel XL phones, the company is moving the Pixel branding front and center and also perhaps for the first time putting the Google name as the prime marketer of their flagship phones front and center.  Pricing is expected to be $649 for the Pixel and even higher for the XL model.  But that's just the beginning. 

Also rumored to be introduced are a new wi-fi router which will probably simply be called 'Google Wi-Fi', supporting mesh networking and selling for $129.  Next up is the widely rumored 'Google Daydream' which is Google's VR platform in both hardware and software. The Daydream is expected to be available on multiple platforms which may give it a leg up on some of the VR competition like Oculus. 

Still more product intro lie ahead however such as the widely expected Chromecast Ultra which should provide 4K support for the first time...and also rumored are the possibility of a new Chromebook dubbed the Pixel 3.  What is interesting about the Pixel 3 might not be so much the hardware but instead the long awaited 'Andromeda' which is the long-awaited and much-hyped merger of Android and Chrome finally on one platform.   The Pixel 3 could be the first to run Andromeda or...that honor might go to a refreshed Nexus 7, which is reportedly being built by Huawei and which might sell under the Pixel name...although that part is definitely not known yet. 

With so much new stuff expected or rumored to be introduced it'll be an exciting day on October 4th.  There's bound to be some surprised thrown in that we don't even know about yet.  We'll have full coverage of everything introduced here at Google Pixel Forum so make sure to come back on the 4th to discuss all the latest developments.

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