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As you read this post right now, I'm running mobile. For me that means I'm outside of my office, working on the laptop from Rock Father Mobile Command HQ. I'm still a bit old-school in that I prefer a desktop PC, travel with a laptop, and don't yet own a tablet. Problem is, whether it's a laptop or tablet, there's thieves everywhere (device theft in Chicago is terrible), and in general, people tend to lose things all the time. That said, I'm running ESET Anti-Theft on my laptop, part of the full suite of handy features available on ESET Smart Security 6. In fact, my friends at ESET have also provided some great tips for keeping your devices safe when you're on the go... and if that's not enough, we're giving YOU a chance to win some cool prizes along the way...

Published in Tech

GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD is fantastic... arguably the most notable resident of The Sun ever to crash-land and settle in Minnesota. While his musical exploits are legendary, well-documented on albums and in videos, he's now making an appearance in an App: colAR Mix for iOS and Android. Now, I'm a bit App'd-out, as I'm not big on Apps for kids in general (I don't even own a tablet) and when it comes to coloring... let's just give the kids some crayons and paper. Luckily, the colAR App blends reality and tech by having parents download printable coloring sheets that are created in real-life, but when you point your device at them... they come to life on-screen. And Mr. Yellowgold looks something like this...

Published in Family Music

I'm currently living in the calm before a technological storm. Those who know me well (or read this site regularly) know that I'm critical about the over-connectivity that modern kids have, a plethora of "devices" and "screens" lurking in every corner. I'm big on imaginative play - in keeping the youngest of kids away from the tech and apps as much as possible (it's all about careful moderation), and while my girls aren't yet old enough to truly understand what a computer does and could be used for, I know that eventually a technological terror will be on my hands. With that in mind... and seeing so many of the neighborhood parents dealing with kids and devices, I like to stay ahead of things and stay mindful of the future. That means making sure that the family will be safe online, and ESET Smart Security 6 is one of the tools in my digital arsenal.

Published in General News

suffdeckPACIFIC RIM is not quite a runaway success in the U.S. just yet, but the Guillermo del Toro sci-fi film is a Global success. As the movie continues to grow legs, the folks at WizKids/NECA along with MFV have launched a new card game App that brings PACIFIC RIM into the popular world of SHUFFLING THE DECK. The Shuffling the Deck: Pacific Rim Edition is available as of today for the iPad, FREE on the App Store

willemsappIf your little one(s) like art, then there's a new App on the market that you might want to try. MO WILLEMS' Pigeon Presents... Mo on the Go! is out today via Disney Publishing Worldswide, and features some of Willems' most beloved characters in a collection of games and activities. Kids can also draw along in the App, which is available now for iOS and Nook.

Originally Posted July 12, 2013 - Updated, October 9, 2015

I often feel like the "odd man out" when it comes to my views on the current state of childhood play. Despite covering the latest and greatest in tech toys and apps here on The Rock Father, I'm not keen on making them a big part of our daily lives. I've touched on that before, and sure, I like to know about the "cutting edge," but here's the reality: As plugged-in as they are, the current crop of kids are largely missing out. They're missing out on using their minds - experiencing new worlds through imaginative play and interacting with the real world. What happened to playing dress up and creating adventures in your own neighborhood? A lot of kids aren't getting those experiences, and I think it's because some grownups have forgotten about their own experiences, and now they need a reminder.

Published in James' Journal
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