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Former UpStream Contributor

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Perfect gifts for the geek in your life

posted Wednesday Dec 14, 2022 by Contributor

Finding the perfect gift for that special geek in your life can be daunting. With so many amazing gadgets and devices on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. So here are some of the best geeky gifts to buy for that special someone! Lucky for you, plenty of options are sure to bring a smile to the face of any geek loved one.

1. A Smartphone

Smartphones are a must-have for any tech geek. From the latest iPhone to an Android model, having one of these gadgets makes it easy to stay connected with family and friends, check emails, listen to music, and use apps.

2. A Tablet

Tablets are becoming increasingly popular as they can do almost everything that a laptop or desktop can do, but they're much more lightweight and portable. Not to mention that they come in a variety of sizes and colors, so you can find one that fits the geek in your life perfectly.

It's important to know what type of tablet would best suit the receiver. For example, for the productivity-focused user, the Surface line might be your best choice, while an iPad might be the best choice for web browsing and media consumption.

3. A Drone

Drones are an exciting way to explore the world from above! They offer a unique perspective, allowing users to take stunning aerial photographs or videos. Plus, they're sure to keep any tech geek entertained for hours!

There is a large variety of drones available, from small toy drones to large professional drones. So, it comes down to what the gift receiver is going to do with the drone. DJI is the industry standard for professional flyers and videographers, but a smaller, less expensive one might be the best choice for a first-timer.

4. A Wearable Device

Wearable devices are great for tracking fitness progress or staying connected with the world. From fitness trackers and smartwatches to virtual reality headsets and augmented reality glasses, these gadgets make it easy for tech geeks to stay on top of their game.

Remember that some wearable devices are better for the user depending on the device ecosystem the already use. If the person receiving the wearable is an iPhone user, don't get them a Pixel Watch, and don't buy an Apple Watch for an Android user. However, choosing a wearable from Withings or Fitbit can be a good choice for both platforms.

5. A 3D Printer

A 3D printer is an excellent gift for any tech geek. These devices let users print out objects that are designed and modeled on a computer in real life, allowing them to create anything from small models to complex parts and mechanisms.

3D printers can potentially be a complicated item to receive as a gift, as they are not nearly as easy as a regular printer to use. Luckily, Avram Piltch gave a great intro to 3D printing on the Piltch Point, and our friends at Tom's Hardware has a wonderful Best 3D Printers 2022 list to help you make your choice.

6. A Piece Of Jewelry

For the tech geek who loves a bit of sparkle, consider getting them unique jewelry pieces or 1 carat diamond rings here. Plenty of pieces out there feature popular characters and symbols from science fiction or fantasy movies, TV shows, and books. If you want to make your jewelry choice even more geeky, you'll want to check out What's Your Passion Jewelry, which offers amazing quality, officially licensed pieces for properties from Care Bears to Kevin Smith.

7. A Comic Book Subscription

Comic books are a great way to keep up with the latest adventures of superheroes and villains. Consider getting your geeky loved one a comic book subscription so they can stay up-to-date on their favorite characters.

8. An Experience

If you're looking for something a bit more special, consider getting your tech geek an experience. From escape rooms to virtual reality gaming, plenty of activities will get their blood pumping and adrenaline rushing!

9. An Autograph

For the ultimate geeky gift, why not get them an autograph from a celebrity they look up to? Chances are they'll cherish this gift forever, making it a great way to show your appreciation and make them feel special.

You can buy plenty of geeky gifts for the geek loved one in your life. From smartphones and tablets to 3D printers and autographs, there's something to suit every budget and preference. So get shopping and find that perfect gift that will bring a smile to their face!


Keeping your company up to date

posted Monday Dec 12, 2022 by Contributor

Running a business is no mean feat. From a start-up to a well-established company, you're going to consistently find yourself with a lot of work on your plate. From product design and development to market research, manufacturing, order fulfillment, marketing, advertising, customer support, and so much more. What is important, however, is that you make a concerted effort to always keep your business up to date. Here are some suggestions that can allow you to achieve this!

Up-to-Date and Appropriate Software

Your team needs up-to-date software in order to complete their work to the highest standard. The first, and most simple, way to achieve this is to make sure that everyone carries out software updates when they are prompted. This gives the latest version of existing software and can help reduce cybercrime and hacking. You could make sure to You could invest in new software. If you do this, make sure to manage the changeover effectively. A good example is managing an Office 365 upgrade (now known as Microsoft 365. If you are unsure what type of software you need to upgrade or invest in for your team, it's important that you ask them or allow people to fill in anonymous surveys with suggestions.

It's not just about making sure that your employees have what they need though, it's also about using software to get the best employees. For example, having the best recruitment crm software is going to be a massive help to your business, making the process that much easier. It's something to think about at the very least.

Nearly every industry is going to have some special type of software that they're going to greatly benefit from. Take, for example, donor management software for universities and non-profits; if this software isn't up to date, then you can basically expect to struggle more with securing funding due to all the struggles and risks of it not being updated.

As another example of using the right software for the right business, if you operate in a self-care business niche, consider investing in reliable tools like the best medical spa software to help streamline your operations. Appointment scheduling, client records management, and a whole lot of your daily tasks will be easier with up-to-date software relevant to your sector.

Multiple Payment Methods

You should offer as many payment methods as possible. In the past, the options were cash or card in person. Since the rise of eCommerce, more people are making purchases online, so card tends to be one of the most commonly used payment methods. However, there are other payment types that allow for a fast checkout without the customer even having to have their card on them. Having these available can encourage more spur-of-the-moment purchases and greater profits for you. Consider PayPal or Apple Pay, which allow users to pay with the touch of a button or a simple login. You may also want to consider third-party finance options that you might have seen being used, such as Klarna. This allows customers to make purchases on finance without you having to get involved.

Multiple Means of Contact

Customers also all like to get in touch in different ways. In the past, customers would just ask questions in the store. However, now that many people shop online, you'll find that customers have to actively reach out to you if they want to know more about your brand or products. It's important that you make sure that you offer multiple means of contact so that everyone is able to get in touch in a way that suits them and their preferences. You should have a business phone for those who like to have a conversation. You should have a business email for those who like to keep things formal. You should have an instant chat option for those who want to type but want a fast, back and forth response. You may even want to offer messaging options and customer support through social media platforms if you have a younger target demographic.

High-Speed Internet

The role of the internet in most businesses is often understated, but you'll need to invest into it. You shouldn't just settle for the most affordable option you come across, as it mightn't be right for your company. You'll need a high-speed option that can handle your company's needs. With service from your local internet provider, such as AT&T internet plans, you shouldn't have to worry about this. You'll be better able to actually do your daily operations when you have a great internet connection.

Each of these steps is varied but can really help to keep your company up to speed. Hopefully, some of the suggestions above will help you on your journey to success!


6 mistakes to avoid when purchasing a new smartphone

posted Monday Dec 12, 2022 by Contributor

While there is a sense of analog detachment and peace that comes from having a simple phone that can only call and text, it's worthwhile to consider the use of a smartphone. Many people use them to keep up with their relatives using video chats, they use apps to manage their online banking, and they also plan and manage their calendars through such a device. You don't have to be 'too online' or addicted to your phone to see it as an essential part of your life planning, and for many people, this is the case.

As such, it's important to not only consider what to look for when searching for a new smartphone, but what mistakes to avoid, also. If you're using a contracted arrangement to pick up a new smartphone, you don't want to pay for two or three years for a phone you dislike and would rather be rid of.

In this post, then, we'll discuss 6 mistakes to avoid when purchasing a new smartphone, so that you can remain satisfied and use the item to its end potential.

Purchasing From an Untrusted Retailer

Purchasing second-hand smartphones can be a good idea if you hope to save money, there's nothing wrong with this at all. However, it's important to purchase from those you can trust, like stores selling second-hand goods with retail locations, a good website, and a decent customer warranty on refurbished items.

If purchasing from someone online, make sure you check their seller's profile to ensure they've been positively rated in the past. Otherwise, you could be buying a stolen phone, a phone with the incorrect spec, or a phone that might have hideable faults that you didn't realize when looking at the phone and its operation - for instance, if the charging port is unreliable due to water damage in the past, this can pose a problem.

If buying second-hand, always make sure to check the condition. If it experiences problems such as heat, consider why it's overheating, follow restorative guides, or return it.

Purchasing More Than You Might Need

You get to decide the spec of the phone you bring home, of course you do, but it's important to remember that it's easy to waste money thinking that the next 'step up' is something you absolutely need instead of a nice feature. If you do wish for a given feature, consider if it's worth going for that price point.

For example, many people will be more than fine with the basic iPhone model. The Pro models can have better and faster screens however, which might consider you to upgrade. But then you might opt for the phone with more storage, which on top of that can make you feel that the next step-up model isn't so expensive. But then the storage issue comes up once more, and you see how you can easily start to spend much more than you had wanted from the beginning.

So - take some time to consider what you really need to work on. It will make a genuine difference if you give yourself the room to plan ahead and benefit in this way.

Joining A Predatory Contract

It's important not to join a predatory contract when signing up for a new phone. This can be easy to fall into as you rack up the allowances on your service plan and opt for a better device paid over the years, racking up your device plan.

Remember that phone contracts are a form of credit which could potentially hit your financial standing, so always make sure to get that which you can afford. In some cases, you might even be able to join a contract that remains as flexible as possible, and that can be quite worthwhile to be part of. For instance - pay as you go tariffs or contract-free SIMs may be the best way to update your phone number and purchasing the handset outright could be cheaper as a result.

Be careful about purchasing straight from the manufacturer also, as they might not be able to provide you the best deal. Definitely go for combination deals - for instance taking a mobile contract out with one company might help you save money on your home internet package in line with that.

Not Checking the Marketplace

It's good to avoid sticking to just one brand of phone. Sure, many companies try to lock you into their ecosystem, but having a variety of devices can grant you more wriggle room and get to try the best of everything. For instance, you might have an iPhone, but a desktop computer on Windows, and third-party headphones with better sound tuning than AirPods.

On top of this, not checking the marketplace for better deals, or perhaps the upcoming release of the latest generation of phones, all of this can waste your money or lock you into a particular device you didn't want to receive. That's important, because after all smartphones tend to be with us for at least a year, usually two, and commonly three or more.

Not Checking Compatibilities

While we mentioned that you don't have to keep within the same ecosystem above, it's important to recognize that not checking compatibilities will also be a problem, especially for the tasks you might have planned.

For example, it might be that some apps you rely on are only available through the App Store with Apple, not on the Play Store with Android. If you hope to use the 'log into my Windows PC with my phone' on Windows 11, that will only work with an Android phone.

So, there are pros and cons to every single measure you use, but you'll be more confident in your approach when checking the solid compatibilities beforehand.

Purchasing Every Accessory

Unless you have a specific purpose for the accessories you purchase with your phone, it's good to really consider what you need. A MagSafe charger for the new iPhones can cost nearly 7-8 times more than a conventional charger which works for iPhones, and all it provides is the ability to magnetically connect to the back of your phone, or be used as a wireless (but proximity charging) means of charging your earbuds.

It might be simple, but is it worth the price? That's up to you. We merely say that purchasing items for the sake of it can be a waste of money and time - especially when these funds could be used on further insurance.

With this advice, you're sure to find the right smartphone.


Protecting your family from scams

posted Tuesday Dec 6, 2022 by Contributor

Technology is an amazing thing. It's something that allows us to do things we didn't previously think imaginable. We can call family and friends. We can video call, seeing one another's faces. We can share photos and messages online. We can get the answer to nearly any question with a small device that fits in our pocket. We can watch tutorials. We can read the news. We can have a never-ending library of ready-to-stream music on demand. The list goes on and on. But technology is also providing those with bad intentions with an easy way to infiltrate our lives. Scamming and fraud have dramatically increased in recent years, with phones, tablets, laptops, and computers providing an easy vessel for cyber criminals and other criminals to access us and our accounts. The good news is that there are various steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from scams. Here are some tips that should help!

If It's Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is

Let's start with messages that claim you have won a large amount of money from a draw you didn't even enter, inherited a huge sum from a never heard of relative, are being offered an expensive item for a ludicrously low price or something along similar lines. The sad truth is that if someone reaches out to you, out of the blue, with an offer that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You can always investigate or look further into the matter, but chances are, you are being scammed, especially of the person getting in touch is asking for personal details, payment details or bank details.

Check the Authenticity of Emails or Texts

A lot of scams are carried out through email or text. They tend to reach out to you, asking for you to return information or click a link. A common scam is one that says you have a parcel with a missed delivery and that you can reschedule the delivery by paying a small charge. This then asks you to enter your bank details to pay the charge. When receiving any email or text, make sure to check its authenticity. Look at the number or email address it was sent from. This can help you to identify the scammer. For example, you may find that a message supposedly from PayPal actually comes from "" or - if more advanced - something like "". Businesses do not send messages from random or misspelled email accounts.

Never Transfer Money

Extremely few legitimate companies ask you to transfer money from your bank account to theirs. This is a feature that friends and family generally use between one another. Companies usually ask for card payments or direct debits. If you are asked for a bank transfer, you really need to check the legitimacy and authenticity of the person you're sending it to. Most banks will ask you to double check you're absolutely sure and not being scammed before allowing you to make your transfer.

Dates Should Not Be Asking for Money

Another common financial scam comes through dating sites and apps. One of the most common sources of dating scams is through cryptocurrencies. The scenario comes about when you match with a new person and they let you know they are an "investor" and has access to a platform with high yields. They'll constantly ask you to participate in the system because they don't want you to miss out on the returns. In our tests, these users always use a Chinese photo but say they are in the US but will explain why they cannot meet up. Don't use any unknown crypto platforms, as even the known ones can be a scam.

Another common dating scam comes from fake soldiers. Similar to the previous scam, a new match will tell you that they are in the military and deployed somewhere not quite nearby. For us in Tampa, the scam tends to come from people who claim to be located in Tallahassee. They can't get away to meet because of the rules of the deployment, but they really need money to help out with some bill. Almost always they will want an Apple, Amazon, or Xbox gift card number. Lots of red flags in this one.

Validating Your Identity is Invalid

Identity validation scams are all the rage these days. These scams appear through dating apps and social media. The most common scenario right now is while using the Facebook Marketplace. If you're selling something, a fake buyer will reach out from a private and locked Facebook account. They'll ask you to verify your identity by sending you a 6-digit code that they'll send to your phone. Don't do it, though, as the code being sent is actually from Facebook and the person is trying to take over your Facebook account using 2-factor authentication.


The dangers of trying to be a jack of all trades

posted Thursday Dec 1, 2022 by Contributor

There's an old saying that goes "Jack of all trades, master of none." This is a proverb that business owners should take to heart. When you try to be a jack of all trades, you end up being a master of none. This can be detrimental to your business for several reasons. In this blog post, we will discuss the dangers of trying to be a jack of all trades and how it can hurt your bottom line. We'll also provide some tips on how you can focus on becoming an expert in one area instead.

Lack of Focus

When you try to be a jack of all trades, you end up spreading yourself too thin. You don't focus on one thing long enough to become an expert in the field. This lack of focus leads to mediocre results and can leave your business in a precarious position.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you should not have an understanding of the different aspects of how your business operates. A high-level understanding of how things work gives more ability to manage those tasks. For example, you don't have to be an expert in social media in order to know when something doesn't work right.

Poor Quality

As we mentioned earlier, when you're not focusing on any one thing, the quality of your work suffers as a result. Customers will notice if you're producing shoddy work and won't be keen to do business with you in the future. Plus, this poor quality will reflect badly on your brand and reputation which could lead to lost customers and sales.

Wasted Resources

When you try to be a jack of all trades, you end up wasting resources. Instead of focusing your resources on one area and becoming an expert, they are spread across multiple areas leading to mediocre results. This can leave your business vulnerable and unable to compete with more focused competitors in the marketplace.

Missed Opportunities

When you're trying to be a jack of all trades, you may miss out on opportunities that require expertise in a certain field. If you don't have the necessary knowledge and experience, you won't be able to take advantage of these opportunities which could lead to lost profits for your business.

So How Can You Avoid Being a Jack Of All Trades?

The key is to focus on one thing at a time and become an expert in that area. Instead of trying to do everything, focus your resources and energy on a single field and become an authority in that area. This will allow you to produce higher quality work which will lead to better results for your business. Outsource and delegate tasks that you're not an expert in and focus on the things that you know best. For example, IT support or web development are tasks that can be outsourced to specialists who will be able to do a better job than you.

In addition, if you are in a business partnership, trust your partners to work on the part of the business they are an expert of. All people are not required to understand the technical infrastructure of a company - leave that to the expert in that field and focus on the part of the business that you're intended to be the expert in.

It's Not Always Bad

It's also important to remember that being a jack of all trades is not always bad. There are some times when it can be beneficial. For example, if you have a small business then having multiple skills can help you get the job done more efficiently and effectively. However, if your business is growing then it may be time to start focusing on one thing and becoming an expert in it, bringing in others to focus on the other areas of the business.


In conclusion, being a jack of all trades can be detrimental to your business for several reasons. It can lead to a lack of focus, poor quality work, wasted resources, and missed opportunities. The key is to focus on one thing at a time and become an expert in that area. This will allow you to produce higher quality work which will lead to better results for your business. So if you're serious about growing your business, then it's important to avoid being a jack of all trades and instead focus on becoming an expert in one area. This will help ensure that your business succeeds in the long run.

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