NYT Gift Guide Blind React - Holiday Gift Guides 2021 - Show Notes

NYT Gift Guide Blind React - Holiday Gift Guides 2021

Friday Nov 12, 2021 (00:17:29)


Here are the products we thought were the most interesting from the Holiday Gift Guide 2021 from The New York Times.

These are some items that don't seem like a great deal.


Scott Ertz


Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.

Allante Sparks

Special Correspondent

Allante - also well known as Wolff - is the newest member and co-host for PLuGHiTz Live! Radio. A gifted artist, he is usually found drawing up a character or two or sketching up whatever comes to mind. Do not think that he is not a hardcore gamer because he is about as hardcore as it gets! His favorites range from fighting games to RPGs, adventure and even a racing game here and there. Fighting games are his forte and he relays this message for all who oppose: You mess with the Wolff and you get the fangs!

Xbox Live - Enigmatic Wolff

PSN - Tsukuyomi_Okami

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Scott Ertz (00:05)

So this next gift guide is the one that started this show for us. This was the one that our marketing team and I were talking about. Before where I came up with the idea because there were a couple of things on here. I was like, Absolutely not. So this is from the New York Times, and they're going to try and tell you all about technology. They don't seem to know their own business model these days, but they're going to tell you all about technology. The Amazon Echo Show small screen (2nd Gen). I mean, yeah, I guess it's such a small screen. Yeah, I just. I haven't been able to accept this in most places. Now. My mother has one. Might be the 1st Gen, Adam correct me if I'm wrong. In the den, right next to her chair. And it's the only place I've seen it run like, yeah, that works.

Allante Sparks (01:13)

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Second.

Scott Ertz (01:18)

Okay. So it is a 2nd Gen. You're currently turned off Allante? Nobody can hear you right now. So yeah. So it's this one you're on. So okay, this one. And it works. It's the only place where I've seen that it makes sense, though. Generally. The thing. The thing that I would want this for is the kitchen. And the little screen doesn't work for me for the kitchen. I want the big screen. Yes, that's true. We talked about this after the Amazon weird press conference a couple of weeks ago.

Allante Sparks (02:02)

that tacked Adam-

Scott Ertz (02:03)

The Disney. The Hey Disney feature will be available for this size. Right. And the OtterBox Mickey Mouse case is for this.

Allante Sparks (02:16)

Yes. So yeah. Which is pretty cool. Pretty cool.

Scott Ertz (02:20)

Yeah. A Nest audio speaker. I don't know. I'm not a huge fan of the Nest Speakers We had some around here that we got during CES, and we swapped them all the Echoes. Sure. I think the Echo Ecosystem is stronger. I think the sound quality's better. I think the way they connect to one another is better except for the one in our kitchen. That claims to be different than everybody else.

Allante Sparks (03:00)

That that's the one that will become Sensia. Yes. Anyway.

Scott Ertz (03:04)

Smart Backyard Power. We're back to Kasa again. Constant make some good stuff. This one in particular is good, because this is one of the less expensive outdoor smart power. Yeah. So that's pretty cool.

Allante Sparks (03:21)

It's that little switcher on it. Is that what it is?

Scott Ertz (03:24)

On the top? Yeah, yeah, I think those are so you can physically do it. The other Kasa I had that too. Okay. Better Bass JBL soundbar. JBL makes pretty good soundbar.

Allante Sparks (03:37)

Yeah. Can't argue with that. It's kind of expensive.

Scott Ertz (03:41)

350 is expensive, but JBL makes pretty good soundbars.

Allante Sparks (03:45)

True. Yeah.

Scott Ertz (03:46)

I think we have a Samsung. Oh, apparently, Adam has the Kasa for the yard. Oh cool. For those laser things that we use like during Christmas.

Allante Sparks (04:02)

Yeah, that's cool.

Scott Ertz (04:03)

A Solid Turntable. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo. I'm sorry. If I'm, if I'm doing, if I'm doing a turntable it is from? Oh, I'm really embarrassed right now. Crosley. Okay, if I'm getting a turntable, it's Crosley for a consumer thing and for a pro. It's going to be AT. Sorry.

Allante Sparks (04:39)

What and what what's the price range on that.

Scott Ertz (04:41)

600 bucks.

Allante Sparks (04:43)

I mean, on the on the one you're talking to

Scott Ertz (04:44)

Oh, a Crosley. I bought my mother. So when mom was little, they lived up North. They moved to Miami, and then they moved to here when they moved from Miami to Tampa. Her mom wouldn't let her bring her Portable record player with her. Well, I found that Crosley made an identical one. Same color, same shape, same design. I got it for 49 bucks. And it's got a Bluetooth speaker built in. Now I got it Black Friday at Walmart.

Allante Sparks (05:23)

On its retail price was that 600?

Scott Ertz (05:26)

No, it was maybe 79 bucks. Yeah, I got it for 49 Black Friday when I was there. It was that it was that Black Friday was that Thanksgiving? Our longtime viewers know what I'm talking about. I wasn't gonna ask. Everybody knows what Thanksgiving that was. Longest Thanksgiving night of my life. And even finished publishing those videos until like 230 in the morning. But yeah, I bought that I had thought about getting it for her and I'm there in the store. They had one of that color laugh I'm like, Well, this was meant to be Yeah, I picked it up and walk out. Wait.

Allante Sparks (06:07)

Yeah, 600 bucks for this. Yeah, y'all are

Scott Ertz (06:11)

Yeah, I would do AT.

Allante Sparks (06:13)

sipping on some lean or something. Yeah,

Scott Ertz (06:15)

if I'm, if I'm doing a like a professional one, it's gonna be an AT. If it's a consumer one's gonna be Crosley. Sure, it is not going to be Victrola. Sure, because the people who are making Victrola today I've talked to him. I'm sorry, guys. I don't think they know what they're talking about. The people whose job it was to talk about the product didn't seem to understand the product. So I don't know. Not good. And that worries me. No good. Portable, as soon as soon as makes good speakers, okay. I've always been a fan. If you want a really good, great Bluetooth speaker, for a lot less money. The Altec Lansing. Oh, yeah, yeah. The BoomJackets. Any version of BoomJacket is great. Even the little keychain one, the sound is surprisingly good on those little guys. Oh, you've got the big boy though. The not the big boy. But the one right below BoomJack. The one that a number of years ago at CES, they showed us one that they had literally blown up with dynamite. And it was playing at the booth.

Allante Sparks (07:33)

Put it right next to your Game Cube. And you have Yeah, probably high behind them and

Scott Ertz (07:39)

a Nokia 6100

Allante Sparks (07:42)

A fortress. Put your money behind it. But yeah,

Scott Ertz (07:48)

I like the Altec Lansing. They're really inexpensive. I think the one you have retails for 69 bucks. Yeah. Yeah. So it's less than half of this one. So yeah, I'm a fan of the Altec Lansing right now for that,

Allante Sparks (08:03)

And the one I have looks like it can take a beating. And this one doesn't.

Scott Ertz (08:07)

Yeah, the S200. The S200 and the S300 speakers from Monster if they still exist. They were really good. They weren't the same durability. They've never blown him up with dynamite. And then used them Sure, but they're pretty good. I don't know if they're still around them. The Google Chromecast I've heard good things. I've heard bad things about this particular one. It's got the new UI on it, which is good. But Google's having their own weird Roku style content problems.

Allante Sparks (08:45)

Yeah. I just don't see. I don't I can't really speak on that anymore. It's just the the the streaming technology is built into almost every TV now. Yeah, so it just doesn't seem

Scott Ertz (08:58)

Yeah. Having most people don't need an OTT because somebody else has got something so you've got I mean, if you're got a Comcast cable box, you've got half this stuff built in. Yep. I mean, even Netflix is coming apparently to the Comcast cable boxes.

Allante Sparks (09:18)

You can get a Roku TV for nothing. Yeah, nothing not.

Scott Ertz (09:22)

Yeah, you can get the like a basic Roku streaming stick for 19 bucks. Yeah,

Allante Sparks (09:28)

it's there's just no there's no point.

Scott Ertz (09:32)

Artist's Tablet. Were back to, this is the one that when I went Oh, no. What? Oh, no way. That's a that's a Wacom. Nevermind, that's the only answer.

Allante Sparks (09:41)

You know, I thought this was just a signature pad one when I couldn't see.

Scott Ertz (09:46)

So this is the one that kind of sits next to the bamboo. Yeah. I prefer the bamboo tablets. I like the texture of them versus this one.

Allante Sparks (09:57)

I can see the appeal of this one though. Certainly not having any borders. Yeah, that's real nice. The the the only obstruction you have is what looks like where the pin sits. Yeah.

Scott Ertz (10:10)

Which I also believe are physical buttons. I believe there it looks like I think there's a left click or right click up there.

Allante Sparks (10:15)

I was gonna say like, I can't tell if they go inward or outward, but it looks like yeah, it looks like

Scott Ertz (10:20)

But I think their buttons if I remember correctly, it's been a couple years since I've had an interest in my hand. Sure.

Allante Sparks (10:27)

I could, I could definitely see the the appeal of that. What's this?

Scott Ertz (10:31)

Okay, so the Ducky One. Now. I want Adams opinion on the Ducky One because I feel like Avram had a strong opinion on this. And I don't remember if it was a strong positive or a strong negative.

Allante Sparks (10:49)

Awesome. Seeing a lot more of these mini these smaller keyboards. Yeah, with the three buttons on the side and and direction or direction with arrow keys, which is nice. Getting a little more useful.

Scott Ertz (11:03)

Okay, so Adam has a Ducky One. So, Avram strong response must have been positive

Allante Sparks (11:07)

Okay. I know. That's not the one you gave me. Is it? One of the ones you give me

Scott Ertz (11:18)

now, okay, swap out swap.

Allante Sparks (11:19)

Yeah. Okay. And that's fine. Especially for that price. Yeah, yeah. Okay, so this is the one that I have. It doesn't. It doesn't have this layout, though.

Scott Ertz (11:30)

This is a 2nd Gen.

Allante Sparks (11:31)

Yeah. So but it's still nice. I can tell you if the one that I have is a Ducky One. It's wonderful. Great, great little keyboard for you know for what it is.

Scott Ertz (11:45)

And then of course, we have the Kindle Paperwhite again, yeah, of course. Yep.

Allante Sparks (11:50)

Knowing knowing what I know about it now, that's wonderful. All these years? I thought it was just like a meh, you know, kind of thing. But no, that's they're super cool.

Scott Ertz (12:01)

Adam has one that he uses all the time. At least daily.

Allante Sparks (12:05)

Yeah, he was talking about it.

Scott Ertz (12:09)

Okay. Or the Apple Watch?

Allante Sparks (12:13)


Scott Ertz (12:14)

Sure. I mean, I wear one right now. But it's

Allante Sparks (12:18)

Stocking stuffer, though.

Scott Ertz (12:20)

This isn't necessarily a stocking stuffer. This is just Holiday Gift Guide.

Allante Sparks (12:24)

I guess. I don't know. Maybe I'm just cheap. Maybe I'm cheap. Like a. And I'm also

Scott Ertz (12:35)

I mean, it could be a. Some of these things could also be family gifts. It could be a husband to a wife, that kind of thing. Sure. Yeah. Okay. It's not necessarily mean to you.

Allante Sparks (12:46)

Right. And I guess that's, yeah, yeah. Good point. Good point.

Scott Ertz (12:51)

I mean, one of the things that Avram talks about all the time, when we're talking about Holiday Gift Guide, is a lot of these things are good gifts for yourself. Sure, During this time, because there's going to be sales that's gone. And he's always very clear about that when we talk about like the Black Friday deals, which is probably what Sunday's Piltch Point will be about. Because it's that time. We usually do a gift guide episode of The Piltch Point. So that's probably what we'll have this week. And he's always, you know, very, very clear. You know, you're probably not buying a laptop for your neighbor. Yeah, you're probably buying it for yourself. But there are some great deals this time of year. If it's time for a laptop. These are the ones to look at. That makes sense. And that's the case here with the tablet. Is this is probably a purchase for yourself or for the family. Yeah. Because it's it's an iPad with Apple Pencil support. An iPhone, Bose 700 noise-cancelling headphones. I am not a fan of Bose. Yeah. The only claim to fame they have is that their cones fire backwards. I can hear that.

Allante Sparks (14:09)

Yep. And I don't like it. Whenever I've experienced that particular kind of technology, especially me with a sensitive ear. I have a have a busted ear. I can feel Yeah, that pressure being pushed back. And it's not come. Somebody can like yell at me like they can say and I will just I will feel that pressure.

Scott Ertz (14:32)

Yeah, the cones used to be made of Kevlar. So did the RCA Bookshelf Systems that we sold at RadioShack for 79 bucks that hasn't been impressive for a long time. But they literally their claim to fame is they have a patent on a backwards firing cone. Great. I don't think it sounds better.

Allante Sparks (14:53)

I think they make great speakers. Headphones. See I don't

Scott Ertz (15:00)

I can hear that it's firing wrong. And that bothers me. Sure.

Allante Sparks (15:06)

Yeah. They've always been a little too expensive for my.

Scott Ertz (15:11)

Yeah, for especially for the sound that I get Pixel 5a incorrect. Nope. Pixel 6, I'm sorry. Yeah, yeah, the Pixel 6, changed everything for Google, they finally have a flagship that I would consider. And everybody knows my opinion on Google. And Google finally has a flagship I would consider.

Allante Sparks (15:42)

And they and it's still around that price range is yes. Yeah. They've they're somehow they're just making all the right decisions.

Scott Ertz (15:54)

Okay. Alright, Cheap But Great Earbuds, the EarFun Free 2, I have heard that. One of the things that really sets us apart is its warranty. Normally true wireless only have a six month warranty on them. Okay, this is an 18 month warranty. So it's even more than a traditional 12 month. Sure, which is pretty good. And they're only 50 bucks. Yeah. And I've heard I've heard good things about them for a $50 earbud, right, yeah, they're not. They're not gonna light the world on fire. They're not gonna be Yeah,

Allante Sparks (16:37)

they're not game changing. Right.

Scott Ertz (16:39)

They're game changing for their, for their value proposition. Yeah, they're better than the average. $50 true wireless. They're better than the average. $80 true wireless. In some cases, they're better than a lot of $100 true wireless.

Allante Sparks (16:55)

still wish you had a different ear design though. Yeah,

Scott Ertz (16:59)

this is the standard true wireless right now though. So I mean, you're not gonna it's

Allante Sparks (17:04)

it's the reason why I've not I've not even bothered with that. I mean, once the once the AeroShokz came along, like, I'm like, that's where I can be. I can be in the you know, the get the sound through my bones.

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