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Show Synopsis

Today we are talking about what kind of tech gifts you can get your kids this season that will inspire them with creativity and will stimulate their brains and give them a heads up on a future in science and technology. We will also talk about the weather with the top Meterologist who keeps those huge ships on track to get all the stuff we buy in the stores on time.

This Weeks Guests

Rusty Shaffer the CEO of Optek Music Systems will demonstrate and discuss with Craig his product called the FretLight Guitar. The advancement in technology has provided a new solution to learning how to play the guitar and to drastically improve your child's playing ability while adding excitement to the experience. His product is available on line at Optek Music or Fretlight.com. You can also purchase this throught New England and New York at Daddy's Junky Music.***HIGHLY RECOMMENDED***

Neville Koop, Manager of Marine Forecasting at WeatherNews, Inc. will join Craig to discuss how weather can play a role in store merchandise availability and how when Ships are aware of weather patterns the time to port can be optimized. Neville Koop specializes in tropical meteorology. In laymen’s terms, he overseas the preparations of weather forecasts twice a day for the world’s oceans. These forecasts are used to help Weathernews’ risk communicators deliver routing recommendations and services to the company’s marine clients, so ship Captains can operate their vessels safely and more efficiently.

Products We Talked about on the Show

Zipit Wireless Messenger - an ideal gift for teens and tweens who enjoy IM'ing their friends. Free up your computer with this low cost portable instant messaging device. Can be purchased online at many retailers such as but not limited to: Amazon.com, Best Buy, Target, Circuit City, Comp USA, and Radio Shack. ***Recommended***

Sony Computer has come out with the ultimate Spy game for kids for the Play Station 2. Can you imagine any boy would not like to be a SPY? I can't. EyeToy: Operation Spy TM is the ultimate spy training that sends players into a world of international espionage and undercover surveillance. Presented with a strong narrative, players join the SIA [Strategic Intelligence Agency] and are tasked with bringing to justice a global network of master criminals. Extended gameplay delivers new and improved security and “hidden camera” surveillance features first introduced in EyeToy: Play 2TM.

EyeToy: Operation Spy offers two unique modes: Mission and Security. Mission mode allows players to enroll at the SIA and train to master the art of espionage. A players secret agent skills are put to the test by undertaking a range of assignments such as code breaking, sky diving, device disposal, criminal profiling, and using high-tech equipment to zoom into locations via satellite to uncover criminal masterminds bent on taking over the world.

Security mode is a robust security system that uses the EyeToy® USB camera to secretly capture footage of unwanted intruders. It can be used to passively monitor a room, triggering playback of a pre-recorded warning message on the TV screen, it can secretly record the person from the moment they enter the area, or allow players to establish a perimeter system, protecting specific areas or objects within a room.

New face-recognition technology allows players to create unique profiles that only they can unlock. Additionally, players can make video and audio recordings of the evidence that can later be stored onto Memory Card, where it can be fast forwarded, rewound, played in slow motion and edited to suit the mission. EyeToy: Operation Spy also allows gamers to capture digital still images of targets, while new and improved technology doubles the EyeToy USB Camera’s photo resolution to 640x480, delivering fantastic picture quality. ***RECOMMENDED although limited to Sony PS2 platform***

Hasbro has an entire line of toys that use technology and are made by Tiger Electronics. These are aimed at the 'tween market for this Christmas season. Available at Toys R Us, Walmart, KB Toys or online at etoys.com or hasbrotoyshop.com.

I-DOG an interactive music companion that plugs into your MP3 player and acts as a speaker -- its really a cute toy.**Recommended**

VCAMNOW - A stylish, pocket size digital camera that lets 'tweens capture memorable moments with their friends and family. It can either take movies or still digital pictures.

VIDEONOW XP an interactive video system that combines high caliber programing (sold separately) and easy portability.

VUGO a portable multi-media system that allows 'tweens access to their favorite TV shows (purchased separately), music (purchased separately. It is a kids version of the Video IPOD.

ZOOM BOX -- Bring the Big Sceen to your house with this 3-1 projector that will play DVD's, CD's and connects to most gaming systems. Great for Party's. Again, a Kids version of the Cinego D-1000 Instant Theater DLP Projector.

TYCO Remote Control Toys are great for kids who need to get out and still have something to control. These products come in a variety of vehicles for different terrains and purposes. Check them out!

Radio Shack has a line of customizeable mini remote control cars. These are called X-MODS and can be customized to your liking. A great choice for your budding automotive engineer or NASCAR racer.***Recommended***

Mattel has out a movie studio in a box called the Vidster. This in includes everything that your budding "Spielberg" needs to shoot, edit, and distribute short films. ***RECOMMENDED***
It is available at: Best Buy, Target, Circuit City, Toys R Us, and Radio Shack

If you really want to get your kids something that will help them for the rest of their lives consider the following:

Cash Flow for Kids Board Game from Rich Dad. This game will teach your kids the basics of financial independence while they play. A fun game created to teach your child all the subjects of money and investing. Can be purchased at Rich Dad.com and to get them started give them their first stock from One Share. These are single shares of stock in whatever company you would like. Get your child started with a strong financial education and their own stock. I can't think of anything better for a gift. ***HIGHLY RECOMMENDED***

Lego Factory -- OK, I love lego's and have since I was kid. But technology has made it even better. I used to get so frustrated when I would build something and I did not have the right part. LEGO with their new technology has fixed this and it is called the LEGO FACTORY. This online digital designer allows your child to design whatever he wants from every lego brick available. He creates his design virtually, you can then purchase this design and within a week he will receive all the blocks and parts he need to build that same project at home. Once a custom design is created at the LEGO factory it is stored in an online gallery where other can view and even order that custom design. Every customized LEGO Factory creation will have a unique price, dictated by the size of the model and the number of bricks.***HIGHLY RECOMMENDED***

Every Kids Needs Things that Fly is an excellent project book for families who want help their kids get on the road to engineering with technology experiences that will help them learn intuitively. This project book will let your child's imagination fly with the 20 hands-on projects that can be built with kids and parents. The book features 139 full-color pages of photos and instructions for projects that can be made with everyday objects found in local grocery and hardware stores.

Every Kid Needs Things That Fly divides projects like creating blinking UFOs and building toy jet packs, into three different skill levels, and features a "where to find it" list for quick and easy shopping. ***HIGHLY RECOMMENDED***

VEX ROBOTICS KIT from Radio Shack is by far one of the best things that I have seen from a technical learning standpoint. This is a box of parts -- you have to build it, program it, and use it -- but if you do you will have a budding engineer either, mechanical, electrical, or computer because it ties all engineering diciplines together. Developed with US First as a product designed to inspire and teach budding engineers the basics of robotic design. ***HIGHLY RECOMMENDED*** for more information go to VEX ROBOTICS

Music can not be stressed enough as something that will help children succeed. It has been shown that children who are introduced to music have a higher intellect and perform better in school and on tests and generally go further in their education. For this reason -- I am recommending the following products for this Christmas Season.

The Piano Wizard Premier combines the fun of a video game with the fundamentals of piano lessons. That means your child can sit up to a keyboard today and play anything from Bach to Bon Jovi. They will not even know they are practicing because they are simply playing a game.

What's more, you will never tire of the game. Children choose from four different fantasy worlds to play in. They can change the speed, the instrument sounds, the skill level, and more.

Traditional piano lessons teach musical notation first. Which is why children hate it so much --- they want to play...NOW!!

With Piano Wizard Premier, your child is playing the piano the instant the game is started. They learn intuitively to hit the right note at the right time. Gradually, as their skill level advances, so does the game. Before you know it, your child has learned to read music. ***HIGHLY RECOMMENDED***

Music is important and kids love to sing -- but how many of us have listened to our children sing with ear phones on to their favorite song -- OK you know what I mean. They love to sing, so now Technology can help them learn to sing right in our home without the expense of private voice lessons. Here is the answer-- The Singing Coach from Carry A Tune Technologies.

SingingCoach Kidz offers children ages 6 and up an interactive and positive way to learn to sing on pitch and in rhythm while having FUN! Animated vocal coaches teach kids the basics of breathing as well as how to sing their favorite songs through a complete and interactive singing course.

SingingCoach Kidz is a great way to introduce any child to the fun and benefits of music and singing. ***HIGHLY RECOMMENDED***

Art like music develops parts of the brain that are used throughout life. Technology has now given children a way to express themselves with graphics programs that are simple to use but allow them to draw and animate their creations. This season a product is available called COREfX Three Level. This product is designed to allow children to draw, paint and animate their creations. It is designed for the computer novice and includes clipart images. ***HIGHLY RECOMMENDED***