Marco Polo Coming to Netflix

Posted in Entertainment with tags , on November 29, 2014 by shutterbuggeek
Kublai Khan of Netflix Series Marco Polo

Courtesy of Netflix

Mark your calendar for Friday, December 12 at 12:01 AM PST, because Netflix will debut their epic story of Marco Polo. This will be yet another powerful Netflix original series, and they will release ALL 10 episodes for those binge watchers. I’d prefer to watch them daily or weekly to totally absorb the story before moving on to the next episode.

Marco Polo is based on the Venetian merchant explorer, who was not the first European to travel to China, but the first to document his experience and influenced future explorers. He was also the first European to meet the mighty Kublai Khan. Marco Polo was then swept into a world of self-indulgence, greed, and betrayal, so this is not a series for kids.

This powerful drama was filmed in Italy, Malaysia, and Kazakhstan, which lends to stunning cinematography. It was written by Academy-Award nominated John Fusco (Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron), who was also the executive director along with Dan Minahan (Homeland, Game of Thrones), and is directed by Academy-Award nominated Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadmen Tell No Tales). This is just the tip of the iceberg of talent involved with this series that is produced by The Weinstein Company for Netflix.

I’ve been waiting for months to watch this series, and based on the trailers, it looks like a winner!

Acer Aspire Switch 10 on the Go

Posted in Gadgets, Hi-Tech, Lifestyles with tags , on October 6, 2014 by shutterbuggeek

I received the Acer Aspire Switch 10 a few weeks ago, and after a couple of days of using it for work and play wrote this post. Now after working on it more in-depth, I can say this Acer 2 in 1 is great on the go. I used it during a meeting, at the library, and while traveling, with and without wifi.

Driving to my destination, I connected the 2 in 1 to my car with an audio out cable, since I used Bluetooth with my phone at the time. I listened to a  new playlist, and loved non-commercial selections of my favorite tunes.

DropCam Screenshot

I downloaded the Dropcam Pro app. I like to use Dropcam as a surveillance device while I’m away. I could monitor the exterior of my home, and keep an eye out for any deliveries.

Tip: Bluetooth has to be enabled before pairing devices. Click the arrow next to the keyboard icon at the bottom right of the screen. It will open the Acer Quick Access menu. Scroll to the top and slide the Bluetooth toggle to the right. Now you can proceed with pairing.

I paired my Braven speaker to give the audio more bass and a richer sound. This made singing and dancing at my friend’s house a lot more fun!

Once Upon a Time Screenshot

I like to watch movies on planes, in hotels and on cruises, sometimes alone with headphones, and other times with my family paired with speakers. Tent mode works great for this purpose, but occasionally, I can connect the 2 in 1 to the HDTV so we can all watch on a big screen in our room. I can do this with my micro-HDMI adapter. It worked beautifully! With a wifi connection, we watched TV shows on Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video directly from the site using the browser and streamed movies using the Netflix app, watched Ultraviolet movies via the Flixter app, and watched TV shows using CBS, ABC or one of several other network apps.

I also took advantaged of wifi by video chatting with family or friends via Skype.

OneTable Screenshot

The OneTable app to made making dinner reservations easy peasy, and racked up points towards a $20 dining check. This app also allowed me to discover restaurants in the area. I found a great  restaurant that I can’t wait to eat in again!

Acer Aspire Switch 10 Dual Screens

I am experimenting with the Office Suite apps so I can share Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations on a larger screen at upcoming meetings and events with the screen in presentation mode, using dual screens. The micro USB adapter I purchased made the connection a snap!

I like to take a lot of photos wherever I go, especially on vacation. When I shoot video as well, I transfer my files, and I did this easily by connecting my camera to the USB port on the keyboard.

Considering the brains of this 2 in 1 device is all behind the monitor, makes this ultra convenient. I have even used this as a laptop without the keyboard. This means I am using a tablet to do things that I should only be able to with a laptop, like watch Score!

It allowed me to bring this with me for business and travel. It didn’t matter if I was in a café writing a document and sipping on chai tea, or at the park listening to an audio book while taking photos, the Acer Aspire Switch 10 has been able to keep up with all of my on-the-go needs so far. It packs a big punch for a small price, and I like that!

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Intel 2 in 1

Netflix Original Series

Posted in Entertainment, Entertainment-Movies, Lifestyles with tags , on September 26, 2014 by shutterbuggeek

Netflix House of Cards and Orange is the New Black

I’m obsessed with Netflix, especially after binge watching a few TV series over the summer. I’ve been a fan of Orange is the New Black, but didn’t start watching until after the first season had ended. It made me curious about other Netflix original series.

One series I’d heard so much about is House of Cards. I usually like political dramas, so I thought this wouldn’t disappoint me. Not only did it NOT disappoint, but it was beyond what I imagined. HoC really goes THERE. Much like OITNB, it’s a no holds barred show, and nothing like what I see on network TV.

Netflix has certainly evolved since starting out as a DVD home delivery company, to adding streaming to the plan, and now offering a selection of amazing original series with more on the way.

The current lineup includes Arrested Development, Bad Samaritans, BoJack Horseman, Hemlock Grove, House of Cards, Lilyhammer, Orange is the New Black, and Turbo FAST. As if this wasn’t good enough, Netflix has a number of new quality series lined up.

Love, a Judd Apatow series is coming to Netflix, as well as the sci-fi series Sense8 from the Wachowski siblings. PLUS  Marvel has a few superhero shows heading to Netflix, featuring Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, there’s the Pablo Escobar drug drama Narcos, and I’m also looking forward to the adventure epic Marco Polo!

Movies and TV hits used to be the big draw to Netflix, but now that they will have a small arsenal of amazing original series, viewers might not use too many other apps for entertainment.

Work Hard, Play Hard With a 2 in 1 Device

Posted in Electronics, Gadgets, Hi-Tech with tags , , , on September 15, 2014 by shutterbuggeek

I’ve seen commercials and ads about 2 in 1 devices and have always been intrigued by them. Needless to say, I was excited to join the Intel 2 in 1 Smart Squad to get hands on experience with a device.

I received an Acer Aspire Switch 10, which has a Windows 8.1 operating system, powered by an Intel Atom CPU, Gorilla Glass, and included Microsoft Office Suite! I am exploring this 2 in 1 device using it as a laptop and a tablet at home, and on the go. But I wasn’t the only one who was curious about this 2 in 1. My family wanted to check out how it would hold up to power users.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 with Edjing App

I connected it to a friend’s DJ system to play music at a school picnic using the Edjing app. I am in no way a professional. However, I did get many compliments for the job. Score!

Acer Aspire Switch 10 with Canon 7D

As a photographer, I like to transfer my photos (and videos) to a device with a larger screen, not only to check for sharpness, but also to edit. So I downloaded Canon’s software to make that happen. It was as easy as working on my desktop.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 in Acura MDX

We love hearing music in the car. In addition to listening to XM & FM radio stations and CDs, we enjoy specific playlists. A simple connection to the audio jack made everyone happy!

Acer Aspire Switch 10 Showing Avengers

I’ve read the news, magazines, and part of an eBook using the Kindle app. I’ve transferred some music and listened to it with my headphones in addition to in my car, watched a couple of TV shows and a movie on Netflix, and started writing a blog post.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 on Schwinn Exercise Bike

Acer Aspire Switch 10 with OverDrive app

My family took turns streaming movies and shows, watching sports on ESPN live while working out, listening to an audio book using the OverDrive app, and playing games.

We’ve only had it for a few days, but have put it to good use. With time, we will have a chance to work on spreadsheets and presentations, connect it to a flatscreen TV with an HDMI micro to HDMI converter, and more. This 2 in 1 definitely knows how to work hard and play hard!

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Intel 2 in 1

Binge Watching in Summer

Posted in Entertainment with tags , , on June 30, 2014 by shutterbuggeek

Photo Credit: Netflix

Summer is here, but regular season TV shows are on hiatus. This time a decade ago used to be inundated with repeats, but now reality shows have flooded the airwaves. Looking for more substantial content to balance the guilty pleasure of watching a Real Housewives or Big Brother episode? Stream some shows you haven’t watched over the regular season.

Three summers ago I finally caught up with Mad Men via Netflix. Early last fall I stumbled on Orange is the New Black, and this summer I’m hooked on Once Upon a Time. I also found Suits and Covert Affairs on Amazon. I binge watch shows for instant gratification and to discover programming I normally don’t have time to watch.

Summer is a great time to discover new shows online. You can watch every episode, having marathons with friends, making a party out of it, or viewing alone during free time. Orange is the New Black recently released all 13 episodes of season two at once, understanding the trend to binge watch.

I’ve heard so much about House of Cards that I think I’ll give it a chance this summer. Like Orange, HoC is a Netflix original show. Streaming sites have followed the lead of cable stations by producing more gripping content than some of the networks. Amazon also produces original content for their Prime Instant Video customers.

Beware! Idle binge watching could easily make you a coach potato. While I do sit down and relax during a portion of my marathons, I also try to working out, cook, etc. to keep active and make tasks more enjoyable.

What are some of your favorite shows to binge watch?


eLibraries Change How We Borrow Content

Posted in Entertainment-Movies, Entertainment-Music, Hi-Tech, Lifestyles with tags , on June 16, 2014 by shutterbuggeek

Princeton Public Library eLibrary

Summer reading programs have begun, as well as vacations, so kids, teens, and adults are searching for reading material. Princeton Public Library has revamped their eLibrary to make life more convenient for cardholders. It’s easier than ever to get collections of books and other content to you without a visit.

In these days of instant gratification in the form of streaming and downloadable content, Princeton Public Library is constantly redefining itself to meet the needs of the community. Hoopla, Mango, OverDrive, and Zinio allow you to read, watch, and listen to content for free on your desktop, laptop, eBook reader, tablet, cell phone, or iPod Touch.

Unlike some free e-book apps that merely provide the classics, Hoopla and OverDrive e-book and audio book selections are bestsellers from authors like John Grisham, Veronica Roth, Judy Blume, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, John Green, Markus Zusak, Katie DiCamillo, and EL James. There’s something for all ages and both genders.

In addition to audio books and e-books, Hoopla also provides movies, music, and TV shows. Zinio gives you current and archive issues of popular magazines, such as O (Oprah), Car and Driver, Macbook, The Economist, Cosmopolitan, Popular Photography plus others that will pique the interest of most men and women.

The eLibrary doesn’t end there. Leaving the country for business, vacation or relocation, or studying abroad in a land where the language is foreign to you? Download the Mango app and learn a new language or refresh your skills at home or on the go.

The best thing is, these collections are available 24/7 wherever you get wi-fi. So you can still get a book and some magazines at the airport or at your final destination if you’ve forgotten to download before you left home.

A four-hour training session will be held at the library on June 26th to learn how to use the eLibrary for those who are not as technically incline, so make an appointment today if you’re interested. The librarians can also offer you quick help over the phone if you’re a bit tech savvy.

There is also an e-book challenge for the month of June. Load up on e-books using OverDrive, and help the Princeton Public Library win $1,500 to further build their digital collection. You can check out up to five books at a time for 21 days.

Not near the Princeton Public Library? Check out your local library’s digital collections. Happy Reading!

Orange You Glad It’s Back?

Posted in Entertainment with tags on May 23, 2014 by shutterbuggeek
Orange is the New Black Season 2

Photo Credit: Netflix

Network television has not been the only choice of programming since cable channels started producing their own shows. Even internet streaming providers are supplying us with original content.

Netflix has a few of its own series, and my favorite is Orange is the New Black. The characters are nicely developed, and the writers push the envelope regarding story lines.

I didn’t think I would like this show because it takes place in a prison. Everything would be explicit and rude, and I prefer content that makes me think or laugh. My curiosity got the best of me and I watched the pilot. It offered more than I thought it would. It’s poignant, humorous, and gritty. The writing got me hooked from the beginning.

If you’re a fan, you probably know Season 2 begins on June 6th. You have time to review Season 1 to refresh your memory. If you haven’t watched the show yet, you should check out the first episode, and you can binge watch it before the new season.

If you’re not a subscriber yet, you can get a free one-month trial membership. Watch an episode everyday or pick a rainy day to have a marathon. Then you can be up-to-date for Season 2. Make your free trial worthwhile and watch some other programming exclusive to Netflix like House of Cards or Season 4 of Arrested Development. My 12 year old daughter loves Turbo FAST.

What do you think about Orange is the New Black? Is it quality programming or overrated?

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