Tech Talk Tuesday: Red Thumb

Updated: Tuesday, March 4 2014, 11:58 AM MST
Tech Talk Tuesday: Red Thumb story image

By Lonnie Valencia

A low tech safety tip for your high tech addiction, a toddler toy aimed at teaching your young one how to program, and a plasma spark that plays better music than your speakers.  It’s Tuesday, and it’s time for another awesome inspiring Tech Talk.



Multitasking has become part of our everyday lives.  Savvy people pride themselves on how rude they can be by carrying on a conversation with you and ignoring you at the same time while typing away on their phone.  It’s shocking (to me) how acceptable that skill has become these days.  Try doing that while driving and the po-po will be giving you a ticket.  As much as I hate to admit it, I myself have become a slave to the numerous sounds my smartphone makes and I’ve become addicted to having to find out at that very moment who, what, where, why, and when my phone beeps.  And yes, it happens even when I drive.  Ouch!  Ok, “He who throws the first stone…” people, remember that quote?  Don’t act like you’ve never once looked at a message or took a call.  Now, I’ve joined a cause that will help me be a better driver.  It’s called the “Red Thumb Reminder.”  It’s really simple.  All you do is paint your thumb with red fingernail polish.  That’s it!  Now, every time you reach for your phone you see a big red thumb telling you to stop.  The man behind this crazy but creatively simple idea is Steve Babcock.  Check out his story and everything about the “Red Thumb Reminder” here.  If you’re so inclined to join and do the same, I would love to have you send me a pic of your red thumb.  If I get enough responses I’ll post them somehow and give you guys credit for being better people behind the wheel.



Did you know that we live in a country where innovation and technology go hand in hand?  You did!  Good for you! What you might not know is that our youth in America are not getting the education needed to prepare them for an increasingly technological world they will live in as adults.  A startup company aims to curve that problem with “Play-i.”  This thing is a robot that kids learn to program to move and work through a series of games.  As the kids progress, the programing skills get stronger.  By the time the subjects are done, they are programing in Java and Python.  This toy robot is aimed at children ages 5 to 12.  How cool is having a kid that can program Java at the age of 8 or 9?  Check out the video by clicking the picture or here.

Speakers have come a long way from where they started, but the fundamentals have always been the same.  You need vibration to get the sound.  Now, things are changing!  Try getting sound from light!  In steps the “ARC Plasma Speaker.”  Like tuning thousand of tiny lighting strikes to hit at the right frequency, the ARC Plasma Speaker is able to produce sound out of thin air.  Check it out if you don’t believe me.  



There are a ton of DIY projects that walk you through making your own but now there is a new company that started manufacturing these awesome devices.  Through Kickstarter they hit their goal in less than 24 hours.  I predict that in the very near future you are going to see these things in a Best Buy near you.  


That does it for today’s tech talk. Let me know if you are going to buy some sweet ARC Speakers or get your kid a Play-i.  As always we would love your feedback/suggestions for this or our next edition, so feel free to send your comments to our resident Tech Guy Lonnie Valencia.

Tech Talk Tuesday: Red Thumb
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