Michele Mendez - Staff

Michele Mendez

Michele Mendez

Current Assistant

Current UpStream Contributor

Current Product Reviewer

Although Michele has worked in the banking industry full time for many years, she originally went to school with a concentration in communications, advertising and marketing. She began her career in sales and retail management, selling electronics and computers. Her love of all things tech eventually brought her back into the electronics arena three years ago when she started with PLuGHiTz Corporation to help with special events as a Production Assistant. Soon she began to dabble with the audio and video and is loving her role as Producer. She's also one of our content writers and assists with product reviews. Looking forward, she is excited to expand her skill set into editing and helping the company continue to grow.

Recent UpStream Articles

Amazing Gift Ideas for Dad That He'll Love

posted Tuesday Jun 13, 2017 by Michele Mendez

Looking for something perfect to get Dad for Father's Day but just not sure what to get? We've got you covered no matter what the budget. Check out these great ideas for a unique gift that Dad will love.

It's always 1st and Goal

Home Football BBQ SteelGrill with Wood Handle. This portable 18" charcoal grill is perfect for tailgating or bringing along to the field for the kid's games to fire up some burgers and dogs. And you can't go wrong at just $28.74.

Time for PAC-MAN

If Dad is always talking about the good ole days, give him the best of function and throw back with this PAC-MAN Premium LED Desk Clock. There are 512 vibrant, full color LED's that perfectly display fun animations of PAC-MAN and the Ghosts. Order yours for only $49.99.

Speaking of Retro

This Qwerkywriter Typewriter Wireless Mechanical Keyboard is beyond cool. Mixing the best of both worlds, it has chromed vintage inspired typewriter round keycaps along with a rechargeable battery and micro programmable all metal return bar. Right now you can get it for $289, a $60 savings.

Fold It and Go

Of course if the mechanical keyboard isn't quite his style, this Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard might be a better choice. It works with iOS, Android, Windows, PC, Tablets and Smartphones. And folds down to a compact design that will fit into a jacket pocket or slip right in to a briefcase. It's perfect for the dad that works on the go. Order now for just $26.99.

Work and Play Anywhere

If a new keyboard isn't quite enough, the Surface Laptop is a great option to replace his existing computer. Light enough for travel but power enough for work or play, the Surface Laptop will definitely match his style. Pre-order yours now to your specifications.

read more...

Need a Last Minute Gift for Mom? Here Are Some Quick Options.

posted Thursday May 11, 2017 by Michele Mendez

If Mother's Day snuck up on you this year, but you still want to find the perfect gift to show Mom that you think she's the best thing since spliced breadboards... don't worry, we've got your back. Here are a few "quick delivery" gift ideas that our PLuGHiTz Live staff members put together.

Fitbit Flex

Wearables have taken the world by storm, and there's no reason to leave Mom out of this craze. Grab her this fun and easy to use Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband. Features include a slim, comfortable and easy to wear design; silent alarm; tracks steps, distance and calories burned; syncs automatically and wirelessly to tablets and smartphones. Buy it for $79.95. And if you want to kick it up a bit and ensure that you are the favorite child, get yourself one too and challenge Mom to daily step contests.

EcoVessel Perk

The perfect item to accompany Mom while she is out and about is this EcoVessel Perk TriMax Insulated Vacuum Stainless Steel Coffee/Tea Travel Bottle with Locking Top - Teal Coffee Mug 16 oz. that keeps hot drinks hot for 8 hours and cold drinks cold for 36 hours. It's BPA free and has a push button lid that allows single handed operation with an integrated lock to keep the lid closed when not in use. Buy it for $26.95

PhoneSoap 2.0

Everyone can use a new Smartphone Charger, and this one will keep your phone clean with its revolutionary bacteria-zapping technology. That's right!! No need to rely solely on the 5 second rule and baby wipes to keep your cell phone clean. PhoneSoap 2.0 will sanitize your phone, killing 99.9% of common household germs, while it charges. Buy it for $49.99

Groove Music

All of the music you love for a single price. Mom can play ad-free music from one of the largest collections of music on the internet for only $9.99 per month. Plus, she can download songs onto her phone, computer or tablet, no matter that platform, and play them without the need for internet access. You can get a free month, and buy it for $9.99/month.

Monster Clarity Earbuds

To listen to those new tunes, Mom is going to need some great headphones. One of our favorites is the Monster Clarity Bluetooth earbuds. Easy to pair, incredibly light and great sound quality, all for a surprisingly low cost. You can buy them for $79.99.

Amazon Prime

Sometimes you don't have to overthink it. Amazon Prime offers free shipping for lots of Amazon products, but it offers a lot more than that. There's movies and television available for streaming on your mother's TV, phone or tablet. She can even get free storage for her photos on Amazon with Prime, and free books through Kindle. You can buy it for $33 for 3 months or $99 for 12 months.

Check out all of these gift ideas and more at Amazon.com

read more...

Pokémon GO Players Get a Nice Treat This Thanksgiving

posted Thursday Nov 24, 2016 by Michele Mendez

Pokémon GO Players Get a Nice Treat This Thanksgiving

Pokémon GO updates tend to create an air of celebration among players and this most recent update is no exception. Niantic has been particularly giving this go around by including a fun event for Thanksgiving week.

For the main course - the update includes Combat Power changes for nearly every Pokémon. Not all adjustments consist of an increase... for some of them, the CP went down. This change is meant to help provide a more balanced and consistent battling and training experience. For example, some like Beedrill and Snorlax scored seconds, Chansey and Sandslash scoring thirds, while others like Lickitung and Wigglytuff were nerfed and sent to the kid's table.

As for the tempting sides - there's an exciting XP event. So devil up those Lucky Eggs which are getting a nice boost during the Poké-feast. 4 times the XP to be exact because all XP is doubled. And let's not forget the sweets... a nice slice of additional stardust always hits the spot. All in all, the update will help pass the time during all phases of your Thanksgiving festivities... not only a nice distraction from shopping and meal prep but also getting you through the awkward political conversations after dinner. While friends and family are napping or catching up on football scores, you'll have extra incentive to hit the streets and catch 'em all.

Although, as usual, we do not know the exact duration of the XP event (speculation is that it will last at least through Sunday Nov 27th and maybe through the 30th), Niantic did share the following start times:

  • November 23rd, 9:00 AM for Japan
  • November 23rd, 0:00 AM for UTC
  • November 22nd, 7:00 PM Eastern
  • November 22nd, 6:00 PM Central
  • November 22nd, 5:00 PM Mountain
  • November 22nd, 4:00 PM Pacific

One thing we can count on from Niantic and Pokémon GO is change. You can rest assured that this update will not be the last. We look forward to upcoming changes as they work on updating things like trading, gym training street battles and more.

read more...

Solar Energy is Hitting it Big on the Las Vegas Strip

posted Thursday Jul 21, 2016 by Michele Mendez

Las Vegas hosts millions of visitors each year for both leisure and business trips. Our team delights in the sights and sounds of the Las Vegas Strip on our annual tech pilgrimage to the Consumer Electronics Show, which is held at the various convention centers throughout the city. What's not to love about being immersed in the multitude of shows all around from lights on the strip and in the casinos to dancing fountains and star studded entertainment? Well, the cost, presumably... both monetary and environmental.

As everyone becomes increasingly energy conscience, the use of solar power is gaining momentum throughout the nation. More and more households, communities and businesses are taking advantage of tax incentives and lower prices and investing in solar energy. A popular place for large scale installations is the desert and Vegas itself is joining in on the trend. And what better place to go all in than the city whose grid is always at full capacity.

The Mandalay Bay Convention Center on the Las Vegas Strip now has the largest array of rooftop solar panels in the United States with 26,000 individual panels. Construction took two years to complete and the installation is capable of generating enough electricity to cover 25% of energy requirements of the convention center. And even more impressive is the fact that they will also be lowering their carbon dioxide output by over 8,000 metric tons in the immediate area. This is the equivalent of removing 1,700 vehicles from the road. Per a Mandalay Bay Convention Center announcement,

MGM Resorts International has a long history of integrating environmentally responsible practices throughout our operations to help preserve the planet's limited resources.

Not to be outdone, many other large casinos are now also investing in solar roof arrays of their own. This effort will not only help these locations keep their own energy costs down and result in a lower carbon footprint in the area, but will also attribute to Nevada's statewide goal of relying on renewable sources of energy for at least 25% of its electricity by 2025.

read more...

Ultimaker: An Upgraded 3D Printer with New Features

posted Tuesday Jan 5, 2016 by Michele Mendez

3D Printers are an exciting addition to the world of making, fabricating and engineering. From the small printers that introduce children to the world of design and ingenuity, to the large commercial printers that create aerospace solutions that were previously impossible, these machines have brought a sense of amazement to all who have encountered them.

As 3D printers are becoming more and more commonplace in the consumer market, Ultimaker is taking their models to the next level with some sweet upgrades. While still utilizing the open source strategy, Ultimaker has taken user feedback to improve upon their printers. The new Ultimaker 2 + and Ultimaker 2 Extended + hit the market today with the following new features:

  • Interchangeable Nozzles Freedom to change nozzles in a matter of seconds makes working with different materials easier, eases maintenance and gives the possibility to choose between highly detailed prints or high speed prints.
  • Optimized Print Results With the inclusion of a more powerful geared feeder, printing materials are less likely to skip.
  • Enhanced Surface Quality Improved surface quality with astonishing results due to improved cooling.
"Ultimaker's mission is to provide the ultimate tools to empower professionals, educators and makers to discover, learn and create more efficiently by offering and supporting a full infrastructure of 3D printers, software and materials strengthened by integration with key industry partners such as Solidworks, Spark, the 3MF Consortium and leading global manufacturers of materials."

We are excited to see even more new innovations as they are released in 2016.

read more...
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