The 2022 Annual Gift Guide

Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings, fans.

It’s Thursday and it’s time for another tech news dispatch. It’s the last show of the year with Mark Starling and First News 570. This week is all about the best gadgets to grab for this holiday season and the top 5 picks are some of the best of the best of Gift Guides’ Past.

You can check out all of the gifts on this year’s gift guide on Pinterest.


A Portable Theatre Wherever You Are

We kicked off this year’s Gift Guide with the Anker Nebula Apollo. There are more expensive mini-home theaters, as well as cheaper alternatives, but at a price $300 the Nebula Apollo fits squarely in the middle. This portable device makes having a big screen experience easy. You can plug in a laptop using the HDMI port or stream to it using WiFi. The picture won’t be full on HD, but you’re not really shooting for that on a white wall. Pair this with a decent BlueTooth or portable speaker setup and you’ve turned a dorm, outdoor screen, or hot tub into a venue for movie night.


Best Looking Smart Speaker

Most consumer electronics comes in a shiny black box without much thought given to its design. You have to spend big money in order to get a halfway decent looking piece of gear. Balmuda is trying to change the way people perceive audio electronics with 360 degrees of sound with its Smart Speaker. The Balmuda Smart Speaker looks great and sounds great with vacuum tube looking adornments that pulse with the music. Speak provides deep space and can connect using HDMI or BlueTooth. This speaker, plus Anker’s project are a perfectly stylish portable min-theater rig.


Smart Shades

The Ray-Ban Smart Wayfarer shades aren’t the first smart shade offerings on the market. Oakley and BOSE have released smart shades that play music and see, but the Smart Wayfarers are the best looking. A tiny camera is implanted at the frame and can be used to capture stories, video, or snap pictures. Smart sunglasses are a controversial technology and that hasn’t changed. The controversy comes in its near anonymous use of camera technology. The social rules governing personal spying versus documenting life haven’t been answered. There’s a very real possibility of being leered at by the person wearing these.


Don’t Lay Hands, Lay on the Venom

I work in tech. I sit at a desk all day in the same position, and after doing that days on end my neck and my back are sore. What’s better than a spouse’s massage? Paying a massage therapist? Of course. But what if you can’t get that on the regular? Enter the Venom Go, attachable massager. The Venom Go applies heat and pressure where you need it and uses a specially design fabric so the massage adheres to the skin. You need your pecs pelted. Venom Go. Need your trapezius trembled. Venom Go. Need your back beat up. Venn Go.


Phone, Plus Watch, Plus Lint Charger

I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m adding a wireless charging pad to the Annual Gift Guide. This happens to be fancy and useful pad. Charge your iPhone or Android device on the flat side of the pad. Throw your watch, mood ring, and other stuff in the tray side of the charger along with your change. The tray side expands the device to allowing you to charge all the other non-flat components while being a place hold lint while charging the rest of your stuff.


Thanks for sticking with me for another year. This year has been a gut check on many levels, but I find myself one week away from Christmas in a much more secure place without the old monkey on my back, but in a better position for the future.

Thank you for subscribing to Tech News Dispatch, the Cloud Podcast, and for buying my books. Those Amazon royalties aren’t much, but there are delightful to receive.

Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!


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

More Tech News You Can Use

Like Top Tech Stories of the Week?
Sign up and get the newsletter.