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  • If you’ve ever spent hours scrolling through Netflix without being able to make a decision on what to watch, then you’re familiar with the problem of infinite choice.

    Basically, it goes like this: The more options you have, the harder it can be to make a selection, and then the harder it is to fully enjoy the choice you do end up making.

    To combat this growing problem in the internet ecosystem, a lot of content providers are actually finding ways to streamline and speed up their users’ selection process – or take the burden of choice off of them completely!

    Stations by Spotify is one such app. Billed as “an experiment by Spotify that makes it easy for anyone to listen to great music,” Stations is a standalone program that does away with a lot of the bells and whistles of Spotify’s core product, and instead focuses exclusively on playlists.

  • App of the Week - TED App (Source: Ted.com)

    Looking for education or inspiration on the go? With the official TED app, you can get the best insights from the world’s foremost thinkers, artists, and leaders, even when you’re lying in bed or fighting for a seat on the CTA.

    The TED app offers the entire TED Talks video library at your fingerprints, easily searchable through the app’s simple, accessible (and very, very red) interface. Not only can you watch videos in the app, but also bookmark or download intriguing options to watch later.

    Feeling a little more aimless? Looking for the right video to find you? Plug into the TED app’s custom playlists, which are arranged by categories ranging from “funny” to “jaw-dropping” and curated by in-depth topics that run the gamut from “Breakfast” to “Neuroscience.”

  • Geek Team at ProHOWbition Event

    Geek Chicago was proud to be a sponsor of this year’s ProHOWbition charity event – and we couldn’t be more excited to announce that the evening was an enormous success!

    A casino night to celebrate and benefit Housing Opportunities for Women (HOW), this year’s ProHOWBition raised nearly $50,000, all of which will go directly towards supporting the housing needs of Chicago families.

  • Back-to-school-tech-roundup

    It seems like the “back to school” shopping season starts earlier and earlier every summer. This year, we saw ads encouraging families to get ready for school as early as July.

    And while that rush to get started might seem like a bit much, it starts to make sense around this time of the season, when those of us who didn’t get a jump scramble to get our kids and ourselves properly equipped for a new school year.  

  • Gadget of the Week - Black + Decker Fruit & Vegetable Juicer (Source: amazon.com)

    Every so often, the fine folks over in Silicon Valley try to “disrupt” or “innovate” a process that… is really just working all right on its own, all things considered.

    The Juicero is a case in point. The high-tech, WiFi-enabled cold pressed juicer became the subject of massive internet schadenfreude a few weeks ago when it was revealed that the machine’s “exclusive” fruit and veggie packs could be squeezed out by hand. No machine required.

  • Driverless cars – also called self-driving cars, or autonomous cars – are all the rage right now in the tech world.

    A far cry from the science fiction vehicles of yesteryear, driverless cars are almosthere, give or take a few major hurdles standing in the way.

    What do you need to know about the next big thing in driving… or not driving, as the case may be?

    How Do Driverless Cars Work?

    One of the big questions that many consumers have about driverless cars is how exactly they work. It’s easy to see why this comes up again and again; in a lot of ways, the technology does still seem a little too good to be true. 

  • Gadget of the Week OnePlus6

    The OnePlus 5 may only be a few months old, but that hasn’t stopped true smartphone aficionados from already beginning to look ahead to next summer, when OnePlus will likely drop the next generation of its flagship smartphone, a model that speculators have started calling the OnePlus 6.

    And while the OnePlus 5 garnered generally positive reviews earlier this season – with CNET even calling it “simply stellar,” and claiming that it “delivers a grade-A experience and nearly all the specs you demand in a flagship phone” – some fans are eager to see what further advancements OnePlus can manage to pack into its next phone.

  • Smart home technology used to be the stuff of science fiction. We thought that automated assistants would look like Rosie from The Jetsons, or that central technology hubs would give us serious attitude, like HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    But here we are in 2018, and smart home tech isn’t some far-out fantasy, or even just a hot buzzword. It’s a reality that is improving life for millions of people all over the country and around the world – and it’s getting better every single day.

    If you’re looking to join in on the smart home fun, one of the best starting points out there is the Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub. (Moving forward, we’ll probably call it the SmartThings Hub, for short).


  • For those of us who feel like we just have
    too many separate items on our desk and want to relieve that clutter in the most high-tech manner possible, SmartDesk by Cemtrex could be just the solution.

    Cemtrex promises that “this advanced workstation combines and reimagines all the needs of the modern office in a beautiful, intuitive sit/stand desk”.

    But what makes this desk stand out from all the rest? Far more than just a desk with a built-in computer and keyboard, the SmartDesk comes replete with features that make it worth a look.

  • Have you ever been waiting at a train station with headphones on, only to have your music completely drown out the sound of an incoming announcement from the PA system?

    Or maybe you’ve been hard at work with your favorite podcast in your ears, only to have your supervisor yell at you for not perking up right when they called your name?

    Both of these situations have certainly happened to us Geeks - maybe even more times than we can count!

    Noise canceling headphones are great, but it’s hard to deny that they can sometimes work a little too well, creating a whole set of new problems. Wouldn’t it be great if you could combine a powerful listening experience with the ability to also tune into the most important noises in your environment?

    Take that promise, multiply it by the power of “truly wireless,” and toss in seamless voice and gesture control for good measure, and you’d wind up with a set of headphones a lot like Sony’s new Xperia Ear Duo earbuds.

  • At one point or another, we’ve all misplaced our keys. It seems to only happen when we’re in a rush to get out the door, and almost never at a convenient time (as if there were such a thing).

    But what if there was a way to actually track your keys quickly, and avoid the classic early morning losing-your-stuff scare? Tile, a company dedicated to “helping that thing you love find its way back homehas done just that, with its series of Bluetooth trackers that can be attached to keys, phones, and other everyday items you tend to misplace.

    A Tile device, once attached to a keyring or to any device or object you don’t want to lose, works directly with the company’s branded app, which is available for both Android and iOS users.

    When you realize you’ve lost your misplaced item, you can simply access the app and click on your registered Tile device. The app periodically updates the location of your Tile by using its low-power Bluetooth ability. A map will pop up, showing you the last place your Tile was located; once you get into a 100–200 ft. range, you have the option of playing a loud sound through your Tile to help you find it. 

  • What is USB-C?

    Our gadget of the week is… a USB cable? Hear us out.

    While it may not be a gadget per se, the USB Type-C (or just USB-C) is set to change the way we think about all of our favorite laptops, tablets, and other devices in the very near future.

    The USB-C started rolling out in 2015. What makes it such a game changer? Let’s let our colleagues at C-Net explain:

  • Gadget of the Week - Your Camping Gadget Roundup (Source: pexels.com - used as royalty free image) 

    While we’re city-dwellers here (we’ve got “Chicago” right in our name, after all), it can be fun to take some time away from the hustle and bustle and get out into nature.

    Of course, getting away from the city doesn’t have to mean getting away from cutting edge tech! Here are a few of our favorite camping gadgets:

    For Light and Shelter: The LED Tent

  • Google Chrome is Getting a Huge Speed Boost

    Are you ready for an even faster Google Chrome?

    That’s what the company promised earlier this yearwith the announcement of Brotli, a revamped compression algorithm that is set to make the browser faster than ever on both desktops and mobile devices.

    How does it work? Brotli actually makes web pages smaller, which means faster loading times and less data usage for consumers. In a blog post, Google said that Botfli will reduce the size of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code by 20 to 26% more than the company’s previous version, which was dubbed Zopfli.

  • iPhone 6 Will Be Unveiled September 9thWe've seen hundreds of iPhone 6 leaks and rumors come to pass over the past few months, but one thing seems to be just about for certain, according to Recode and Journalist John Paczkowski - we're only a month away from the unveiling of the mysterious iPhone 6.

    Paczkowski (with a solid track record for getting the behind-the-scenes Mac rumors correct) was informed by sources that Apple has scheduled a "big media event for Tuesday, September 9th" where we will almost certainly get the details of the iPhone 6 revealed. Apple declined to comment on the rumor.

    What we know so far about the iPhone 6:

  • Smartphones You Should Buy for Less than $400

    When Apple dropped the iPhone 7 recently, the overall reaction from the public was, largely, “meh.” That collective shrug wasn’t just due to some weird design choices by Apple (although, really, no headphone jack? What?), but because of a new truth for the mobile marketplace: The flagship smartphone is dying.

    Samsung and Apple aren’t the only games in town anymore! Instead, consumers looking for a powerful phone at an affordable price have more options available than ever before.

    The reality is that we long ago left the era of the “dumb” phone behind; every model released today – and for the foreseeable future – is simply playing variations on a theme. Why shell out big bucks for a gargantuan brand name when there are countless other devices on the market, offering largely the same features and specs, often for just a fraction of the price of the “name” brand?

  • The Best New Smartphones of 2017 (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    2016 is almost, finally, mercifully over. Time to look forward to a new year ripe with new possibilities, new opportunities, and plenty of new gadgets.

    We’ve always got our ears to the ground in search of the next big thing in tech, and there are already a few buzz-worthy smartphones that have our hands twitching. What can phone-heads look forward to in the months ahead?

    Loosen up that texting thumb and bulk up your data limit, because 2017 is primed to bring us phones like:

    OnePlus 5

  • The Complete Guide to Email Etiquette for 2016 and Beyond

    It's 2016, and email is more important than ever. We exchange billions and billions of them every single day, across a variety of devices.

    But are the emails that you're receiving and sending every day... actually good? 

    Every email is an extension of your personal and professional brand; don’t you want it to really speak to who you are and what you’re capable of?  First impressions matter – so do the second, third, and fourth. Embarrassing errors and poor etiquette have cost countless professionals some amazing opportunities over the years. Don’t let it happen to you!

    Let’s talk about what goes into a professional, high quality email in the workplace today. You never know what it could do for your business tomorrow.

  • Within the past few years, Snapchat has become one of the largest social media platforms, and currently ranks fifth for the most used among competitors like Facebook and Instagram.

    This messaging app has earned a loyal following, thanks to highly popular instant communication features such as pictures that disappear within 10 seconds, and cutting edge facial recognition and augmented reality (AR) software.

    It has even become a useful tool for business and marketing strategies, an avenue for brands to use to reach younger, more tech savvy audiences.

    Yet over the last few months, it seems like Snapchat’s fate as a successful app has suddenly become unclear, all due to falling stocks and negative PR.

    So, that leads us to the question of the moment, one that seemingly everyone wants answered:“Is it really worth it for your business and brand to invest social media dollars into Snapchat?"

    Well, the answer can be yes and no. It truly depends on your intended audience, and what type of brand or business you’re promoting. It’s also important to consider thecurrent state of other social media apps and websites before you decide on a direction for your social media marketing campaign.

  • Short of the fortune tellers who spend their days hovering their hands over crystal balls, it can be hard to tell exactly what a new year will have in store.

    But, when it comes to the future of content marketing – including social media, email, SEO, and video – we can look at the data, gauge the state of the industry, and make a few even-handed predictions. So, as we head into 2018, is the outlook bright, or cloudy?

    What will content marketing look like in 2018? With our thanks to Forbes for pointing us in the right direction, here are a few educated guesses…

    1.) Social Media Will Become More Important as a Publishing Platform

    There can be no denying that our major social media networks are in a bit of an odd place right now, with their pasts looking increasingly checkered and their futures less rosy than they were, even a year ago.

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).