Lily – Drone Camera (Sports videos?)

The Lily camera is pretty cool looking…  It reminds me of the Go Pro cameras, but it doesn’t require you to wear it on your head or your bike.  Lily flys around watching you and the action and recording everything.  It always points at you (you wear a GPS tracker in your pocket) and Lily will stay within a safe distance to film. Of course someone asked in the FAQs if you can use it to spy on neighbors.

Lily is always pointing at you and less than 100ft from you (pro tip: best shots are in the 10-30ft range). Also, Lily’s motors make noise. So other people will most likely notice Lily and quickly figure out where you are. You are better off climbing up a tree and using binoculars.

I was surprised to read though that Lily does have sound.  Personally I’m not sure I’d pay the price for Lily but if I wanted to record and make action videos this might be the way to go.  Lily is almost like having your own flying camera man with you at all times and you are in the action.  Most of the other cameras allow you to film the action away from you showing what’s going on around you.  I do know a friend that will be interested in this and I’m sure will be one of the first in line.

Watch preview on Youtube

Lily is on presale for $500 until June 15th and will then increase to $999.  Shipping is in February 2016!  Educationally Lily combines video editing for kids with cool robotics to play with.  Anything that gets kids active too can be a good thing!  This camera takes kids outside for a while and gets them moving before pulling them in to view, edit, and share their action. – Still a hefty a price tag, but for video and sports enthusiast I can see this being a must have.  I can also see future sports events, especially school sports events, with dueling Lily cameras flying around in the game recording the action!  Do you think it will come to that? Will parents (or coaches) start recording players during games with cameras that hover in the game?  I can already see it now for my son’s soccer games!

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Rebrickable – What a cool site!

Do you have a huge collection of LEGO sets at home that are no longer together and are just being used to booby trap rooms? I know as I walk through a room I have a chance of stepping on a LEGO and that really hurts. We have tubs and tubs of LEGOs that came from sets that have long since lost their instructions – or at least no one wants to build the sets anymore.

The website rebrickable you can:

Reuse your parts to build other Sets

Save money on buying LEGO by mixing up your current sets to build others. Rebrickable uses powerful algorithms to calculate what other sets/MOCs you can build from your existing sets and loose parts. If you don’t have exactly the right ones, it will show close matches and can perform some fuzzy color matching logic.

In rebrickable you can create an account and enter all the LEGO sets you own… then get a list of creations you can build! So cool both for kids and adults.
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Rebrickable will show you which LEGO sets you can build from the sets and parts you already own. You can choose from official LEGO sets or custom made MOCs (My Own Creations) by many different designers. All MOCs include building instructions, some of which are even better than the official LEGO ones!

I’ve always wondered if there is something that can be built with all the sets we have (and we have a LOT of sets).  The site does also let you look through possible creations.
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Facebook – It’s more than you think

If you are on facebook using it for many purposes you probably already know about all the different ways you can use facebook… but if you just have your newsfeed and friends and drop by once in a while you may not realize all the great tools out there for parents. Kids are slowly swapping off of facebook and it is turning into a meeting place for adults. It is also a GREAT resource!

– I’ll post a tutorial to each of these later.

I belong to groups for homeschool, autism, free books, yardsales, tech help, and so much more. I think I now have enough free kindle books that I couldn’t read them all in my lifetime. Each group is a small community of varying sizes that has an administrator and it’s own set of rules.

Pages are also available to find out more information about your favorite brands, people, or even locations. Pages allow you to interact with the owner but not with all the followers.

Events are tied to the calendar and let you interact with everyone attending a particular activity. Public events can be shared and attendees can invite their friends – events can even take place virtually on facebook under the events.

Facebook also lets you play games, share messages (including group messages), and of course your usual newsfeed with friends.

Facebook has become a meetup place that is used for everything from reunions to business. Friends are made and lost on facebook and it’s especially interesting the level of privacy that is assumed by everyone using facebook. For me it’s my go to location if I want to let a lot of my friends know about something quickly. It’s so much easier than trying to call or email they all!

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Meerkat: Stream Live Video on Twitter

Meerkat is an app for android and iphone that lets you stream video live to twitter. (Until May 11th Meerkat Tshirts are even available for purchase on Teespring)…  There are some TOS on their site that also should probably be looked at, but I’m bad about skipping that sort of thing.  Mainly it does let you keep your own content and say things like don’t use content that you don’t have legal access to use – as well as anything illegal.
Meerkat allows you to live stream video from your phone to all of your Twitter followers at once. Press ‘Stream’, and instantly your live video stream shows up in your follower’s Twitter feeds.
Meerkat has their own twitter account which I had to check out. Right now the most interesting live feed was from the solidarity protest in New York. They also are using the hashtag #stream4Nepal and April 29th there was a live feed of someone flying drones?
So really!  It’s alot like snapchat for twitter and with video.  You can schedule your tweet or stream it live immediately.  Once the video is viewed it’s deleted. Personally I’m not a big fan of snapchat… It allows us to have the impression that a picture will be viewed and then poof it’s gone. For pictures, it’s super easy to take a screen shot and save the picture.  A video, I’m sure it won’t be long until it’s saved.  It is a cool idea for viewing live events around the world.  What event though would you feel that it should only be seen once?  The only things I’ve thought of so far (that are legitimate) are paid videos that the viewers pays to watch… What do you think?    

The Rules of Meerkat

The Rules of Meerkat

Everything that happens on meerkat happens on Twitter.

Streams will be pushed to followers in real time via push notifications.

Everything is live, no reruns.

Watchers can restream any stream to their followers in real time.

Scheduled streams will be distributed in the community by subscribers.

Your own streams can be kept locally on your phone.

Everyone can watch on the web.

Be kind.

Meerkat in Itunes

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Whisper! Social Media

There are social media networks everywhere. As a parent it’s impossible to keep up wit0513dfd1e8ec258909812cc98129facf2b9863-wmh all of them! One I’ve found recently is Whisper. It allows people to type an anonymous statement and then tries to match it with a picture. (You can use your own picture!) After posting others can comment. It’s mostly accessed through apps – mine is through the iPhone. You can explore new posts, popular posts, or even explore the posts in your area; even by local school! After seeing a post you can reply or even send a private message.

Warning: Some of the images and text at the bottom are disturbing.

I’ve been keeping up with Whisper recently to see what’s going on in our area. Some of the posts are pretty benign – “Who’s your favorite teacher?” and “Who do you have a crush on?”… Then you have the posts that are 050d10a38e08f41857166b588eae89fb1d3317-wmmore scary! I’ve seen posts that include things like I like to cut myself, I’m being bullied, and even one that mentioned that a student wants to hook up with a teacher and the teacher wants to wait until after graduation.

With Whisper on your phone you can receive notices when someone nearby posts…. You can’t though tell who is posting. The danger comes from students sending direct messages to each other with private information, students sharing private information that is identifiable, and of course my fear – a student posting a cry for help. What happens if no one responds? This environment is also too easy to see where bullying can occur.

I’ve been surprised on a couple posts that I’m pretty sure are the pictures of the student themselves. I would say it’s good as a parent to find apps like this and keep an eye out. It’s impossible to monitor them all, but knowing what social media your children use is a good start!

I’m near South Warren High School – you can search on a high school even on the website without going to the app.The question becomes where do these kids go for help?  How do we protect our kids?  I don’t think keeping them off social media is the answer, that is just masking the problem.  To me this is the equivalent of scrawling a message on the bathroom stall when I was in school.  I think what social media really does, if we as parents do our jobs right, is allows us a look at what our kids are dealing with.  These may not be messages from our kids, but for me these are messages from kids my child interacts with every day at school!  It allows for better questions, more discussion, and if this is your child that is posting using their own picture and being bullied at school maybe a heads up?

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