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Mother’s Day gift list: Tech toys made by indie entrepreneurs for your indie mom

(TECH NEWS) Awesome tech toys from The Grommet, an indie entrepreneur tech site, just in time for your indie mom’s favorite holiday.



tech toys gift wrap mother's day

You’ve got less than a month

We’re here to help you win the Best Kid award with some awesome, meaningfully crafted tech gifts this Mother’s Day. And no, this list will not be full of obvious suggestions like smartwatches and chocolate.

You already know these things exist.

For all of the cool moms

Instead, check out our gift ideas from The Grommet, a product launch platform that focuses on unique products created by innovators. All their featured products are built on strong values, including small-scale crafts, sustainable efforts, local manufacturing, and new takes on technology. Get the moms in your life something you can both feel good about this year.


Screen Cleaner & Microfiber Sponges by Mist $12.95

Is your mom constantly wiping off her phone after each use? This screen cleaner features a microfiber sponge and built-in antibacterial cleansing spray all in one tiny portable device. The cleanser is free of harsh chemicals, is great for sensitive skin and devices, and can be refilled.

2. Sensor Bag light

Sensor Bag light by SOI $24.95

Okay, bear with me. This looks like a useless enchanted glowing orb, but it’s actually quite practical. Throw this lightweight, magical sphere into the depths of a bag and never lose an item to the shadows again. Next time your mom is fumbling around her purse in the movie theater for contraband candy, this will ensure you get the right color Sour Patch Kids. She won’t have to waste battery using a phone flashlight. This little thing is automatic, hands free, and sustainably produced.

3. Marquee Lightbox

My Cinema Lightbox $29.95+

Available in mini, original, and extra large, the Marquee Lightbox provides a vintage way to showcase your thoughts. Mom can change it out as often as she likes, giving any room a cool retro vibe. The low voltage LED light doesn’t wear out, and is powered by either batteries or the included micro USB cable. You can even get extra symbol and letter packs for ultimate customization.

4. Charging Station

Universal Charging Outlet by thingCharger $39.95

Give mom a way to free up counter space, cut back cord clutter, and streamline device charging with this minimalist charging station. Featuring two standard outlets, two built-in USB ports, and a charging dock on top for phones or tablets, it powers a wide variety of devices. Lightning and micro-USB tips are included as well, allowing multiple devices to charge at the same time.

5. Charging handbag

Charging Clutch by Mighty Purse $84.95+

Whether your mom has an Android or an iPhone, this nifty handbag has a hidden battery inside so she can recharge on-the-go. The lightweight internal charger provides two recharges for each charge of its own. There are compartments and pockets for other things too, as well as an LED battery level indicator. Now mom can text you the whole day without worrying about her phone dying.

6. Wireless Scanner

PocketScan Wireless Scanner by Daduca $149.95

Technically this could be a present to yourself since it means even more tagged cute childhood photos surfacing on Facebook. Mom can wirelessly scan any text or image and upload it directly to her phone or tablet via Bluetooth. Even images that aren’t totally flat can be scanned. Bonus: scanned text or tables can be edited with Microsoft Office software.

7. Digital picture frame

Gesture Controlled Digital Art frame by Meural $595

The one picture frame to rule them all. This digital frame features anti-glare technology, making artwork look like it’s on a canvas. Load up your own pictures or feature any of the 30,000 works of art on Meural’s database. Change the display with a gesture of your hands or the phone app.

Wow your mom this Mother’s Day with these awesome tech toys by indie entrepreneurs. Take a look at The Grommet’s full offerings for even more ideas and get to snatching that Best Kid trophy.


Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

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Tech News

Experts warn of actual AI risks – we’re about to live in a sci fi movie

(TECH NEWS) A new report on AI indicates that the sci fi dystopias we’ve been dreaming up are actually possible. Within a few short years. Welp.



AI robots

Long before artificial intelligence (AI) was even a real thing, science fiction novels and films have warned us about the potentially catastrophic dangers of giving machines too much power.

Now that AI actually exists, and in fact, is fairly widespread, it may be time to consider some of the potential drawbacks and dangers of the technology, before we find ourselves in a nightmarish dystopia the likes of which we’ve only begun to imagine.

Experts from the industry as well as academia have done exactly that, in a recently released 100-page report, “The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, Mitigation.”

The report was written by 26 experts over the course of a two-day workshop held in the UK last month. The authors broke down the potential negative uses of artificial intelligence into three categories – physical, digital, or political.

In the digital category are listed all of the ways that hackers and other criminals can use these advancements to hack, phish, and steal information more quickly and easily. AI can be used to create fake emails and websites for stealing information, or to scan software for potential vulnerabilities much more quickly and efficiently than a human can. AI systems can even be developed specifically to fool other AI systems.

Physical uses included AI-enhanced weapons to automate military and/or terrorist attacks. Commercial drones can be fitted with artificial intelligence programs, and automated vehicles can be hacked for use as weapons. The report also warns of remote attacks, since AI weapons can be controlled from afar, and, most alarmingly, “robot swarms” – which are, horrifyingly, exactly what they sound like.

Read also: Is artificial intelligence going too far, moving too quickly?

Lastly, the report warned that artificial intelligence could be used by governments and other special interest entities to influence politics and generate propaganda.

AI systems are getting creepily good at generating faked images and videos – a skill that would make it all too easy to create propaganda from scratch. Furthermore, AI can be used to find the most important and vulnerable targets for such propaganda – a potential practice the report calls “personalized persuasion.” The technology can also be used to squash dissenting opinions by scanning the internet and removing them.

The overall message of the report is that developments in this technology are “dual use” — meaning that AI can be created that is either helpful to humans, or harmful, depending on the intentions of the people programming it.

That means that for every positive advancement in AI, there could be a villain developing a malicious use of the technology. Experts are already working on solutions, but they won’t know exactly what problems they’ll have to combat until those problems appear.

The report concludes that all of these evil-minded uses for these technologies could easily be achieved within the next five years. Buckle up.

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Tech News

Daily Coding Problem keeps you sharp for coding interviews

(CAREER) Coding interviews can be pretty intimidating, no matter your skill level, so stay sharp with daily practice leading up to your big day.



voice and SEO

Whether you’re in the market for a new coding job or just want to stay sharp in the one you have, it’s always important to do a skills check-up on the proficiencies you need for your job. Enter Daily Coding Problem, a mailing list service that sends you one coding problem per day (hence the name) to keep your analytical skills in top form.

One of the founders of the service, Lawrence Wu, stated that the email list service started “as a simple mailing list between me and my friends while we were prepping for coding interviews [because] just doing a couple problems every day was the best way to practice.”

Now the service offers this help for others who are practicing for interviews or for individuals needing to just stay fresh in what they do. The problems are written by individuals who are not just experts, but also who aced their interviews with giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.

So how much would a service like this cost you? Free, but with further tiers of features for additional money. Like with all tech startups, the first level offers the basic features such as a single problem every day with some tricks and hints, as well as a public blog with additional support for interviewees. However, if you want the actual answer to the problem, and not just the announcement that you incorrectly answered it, you’ll need to pony up $15 per month.

The $15 level also comes with some neat features such as mock interview opportunities, no ads, and a 30 day money back guarantee. For those who may be on the job market longer, or who just want the practice for their current job, the $250 level offers unlimited mock interviews, as well as personal guidance by the founders of the company themselves.

Daily Coding Problem enters a field with some big players with a firm grasp on the market. Other services, like InterviewCake, LeetCode, and InterviewBit, offer similar opportunities to practice mock interview questions. InterviewCake offers the ability to sort questions by the company who typically asks them for that individual with their sights targeted on a specific company. InterviewBit offers referrals and mentorship opportunities, while LeetCode allows users to submit their own questions to the question pool.

If you’ve really got your eye on the prize of receiving that coveted job opportunity, Daily Coding Problem is a great way to add another tool in your tool box to ace that interview.

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Tech News

Quickly delete years of your stupid Facebook updates

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Digital clutter sucks. Save time and energy with this new Chrome extension for Facebook.



facebook desktop

When searching for a job, or just trying to keep your business from crashing, it’s always a good idea to scan your social media presence to make sure you’re not setting yourself up for failure with offensive or immature posts.

In fact, you should regularly check your digital life even if you’re not on the job hunt. You never know when friends, family, or others are going to rabbit hole into reading everything you’ve ever posted.

Facebook is an especially dangerous place for this since the social media giant has been around for over fourteen years. Many accounts are old enough to be in middle school now.

If you’ve ever taken a deep dive into your own account, you may have found some unsavory posts you couldn’t delete quickly enough.

We all have at least one cringe-worthy post or picture buried in years of digital clutter. Maybe you were smart from the get-go and used privacy settings. Or maybe you periodically delete posts when Memories resurfaces that drunk college photo you swore wasn’t on the internet anymore.

But digging through years of posts is time consuming, and for those of us with accounts older than a decade, nearly impossible.

Fortunately, a Chrome extension can take care of this monotonous task for you. Social Book Post Manager helps clean up your Facebook by bulk deleting posts at your discretion.

Instead of individually removing posts and getting sucked into the ensuing nostalgia, this extension deletes posts in batches with the click of a button.

Select a specific time range or search criteria and the tool pulls up all relevant posts. From here, you decide what to delete or make private.

Let’s say you want to destroy all evidence of your political beliefs as a youngster. Simply put in the relevant keyword, like a candidate or party’s name, and the tool pulls up all posts matching that criteria. You can pick and choose, or select all for a total purge.

You can also salt the earth and delete everything pre-whatever date you choose. I could tell Social Book to remove everything before 2014 and effectively remove any proof that I attended college.

Keep in mind, this tool only deletes posts and photos from Facebook itself. If you have any savvy enemies who saved screenshots or you cross-posted, you’re out of luck.

The extension is free to use, and new updates support unliking posts and hiding timeline items. Go to town pretending you got hired on by the Ministry of Truth to delete objectionable history for the greater good of your social media presence.

PS: If you feel like going full scorched Earth, delete everything from your Facebook past and then switch to this browser to make it harder for Facebook to track you while you’re on the web.

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