Often Imitated, Never Duplicated: The 2021 Annual Holiday Gift Guide

I’ve been busy. Trying to get a comic out and a book. I’ve started this year’s annual gift guide and a few cool items are up. It’s Thursday, and I’m back in the chair with Mark Starling, Seth, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: un-real estate sells for millions, and the Gift Guide. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern by tuning into WWNC on the iHeartRadio app.

Looks Even More Gaudy Than the Strip


That’s right. A patch, I don’t even know if you can call it a patch if it’s not attached to terra firma has sold for a record $2.4 million in crypto currency. The plot (can it be called a plot) of virtual land was purchased by Tokens.com in the Decentraland meta verse. People can visit property, chat, and walk around the decentralized world. Players can build houses, apartments, or plant trees on their virtual real estate to their heart’s content. You’ll have to purchase property in MANA cryptocurrency in order to play. So what do you do with virtual real estate? Anything you want. Remember though, virtual real estate DOES NOT fall under property law, it falls under intellectual property law. Virtual real estate is not a new idea, Second Life and other online meta verses have existed. VRE picked up lots of interest after Facebook changed its name to Meta however.


Yesterday, Qualcomm announced a new, always-on camera for Android phones. Qualcomm is pitching the new camera’s main feature to be used for automatic, facial unlock without picking up the phone to your face. Qualcomm says the feature can be used to automatically unlock a device while you’re laying down or not holding a phone. In reality, this tech could exploit user privacy since it is always recording images. Even when the phone is not in use. These images could be your face, your bathroom, or anything else that’s not explicitly your face. The tech isn’t particularly good or bad, but there is a possibility for it being exploited.


We’re premiering this year’s Gift Guide on First News 570.

This year we are featuring two intangible gifts.

This Is Actual Art

NFT art and virtual real estate are featured on this year’s gift guide. NFTs are the new craze celebrities and others have hopped on to buy limited edition or one of a kind digital items. NFT art can be pictures or music that is digitally certified to be one of a kind. Virtual real estate is exactly what it sounds like. VRE could be digital plots of land in a ‘meta verse’ or online community or simulation. The idea isn’t new, but when combined with blockchain and NFTs the hip crowd hops on it.

App Powered Shoes, Yeah!

Auto-lacing sneakers like the Nike Adapt Auto Max made this year’s list. Think Back to the Future 2 paired with an app. These shoes will lace themselves via a BlueTooth connection with your phone and provide you with a custom fit.

Other gifts on the gift guide include a smart canvas to showcase your NFT art, a cocktail bar that never mixes a bad drink, and many other awesome items.

You can check out the whole list and find more gifts on my Pinterest page here.


Demystifying Computing

Have you ever looked at the screen and wondered what’s going on in there? Coming in time for the holidays, Seven Brief Lessons on Computing is a fast and entertaining read that shares how computers work for the curious.

Find out more at lessonsoncomputing.com.

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