Brian Banmiller's blog

Privacy Concerns


You know your phone, computer and bank account are at danger of being hacked, but what about your child's favorite new toy?

A talking doll is being banned by German authorities because the software inside her could be hacked and personal data revealed. The doll is called “Cayla” and the software inside her was created by U.S. company Genesis Toys. It allows the child to have conversations with the doll but officials say this could lead to privacy issues. Plus if your child likes to tell her doll personal information such as your phone number and address that could lead to identity theft and fraud.  read more »

Salary Negotiations


Negotiating for a few extra dollars? Better choose your words carefully.

According to an article on Glassdoor, the key ingredient to a successful salary negotiation is communication. But instead of focusing on the things you should say, Glassdoor has the nine words and phrases you should avoid if you don't want to walk away empty handed.

For example, the phrase “I’m currently making.” In your interview you might be asked how much you make. Experts say answering this puts numbers on the table and makes it hard for you to negotiate later down the line. Instead, and this only works at a new job, say you aren't comfortable sharing your current salary. Tell them that you don't have a specific number in mind and that they know better what your experience can bring the company.  read more »

Pop Tart Cafe

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Listen up New Yorkers! A popular breakfast treat is trying out a few new forms.

Whether they might not like to admit people young and old are fans of Kellogg’s Pop Tarts; the frosted, fruit filled pastry that is good hot or cold, on the run or at the table and at any time of day.

For this weekend only Kellogg’s is turning its New York City eatery into a Pop Tarts cafe. Usually the Kellogg’s cafe, located on Broadway entices breakfast lovers with things such as updated cereal bowls, milk shakes and sundaes. All made from your favorite Kellogg’s brand cereals including Frosted Flakes, Corn Pops and Froot Loops.  read more »

Pay As You Go Medical Care


Looking for good medical care? Why not pay as you go?

“It doesn't involve a lot of people but it does involve some and I expect the trend if anything will probably increase or even grow. “

Aubrey Serfling is President and CEO at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California. A medical center where doctors have dropped out of traditional insurance plans including Medicare and operate in a cash pay environment. So you open your wallet and in return you receive high quality medical care whenever and how often you might need it. A trend popular with both patients and doctors.  read more »



Going through a bad breakup? There's an app for that.

Anyone who has lost that special someone is familiar with the stages of grief; talking about it with everyone you know, checking your ex's social media status and going through tubs of ice cream. Now a former google employee named Ellen Huerta has created an app called Mend that is being pitched as a personal trainer for heartbreak.  read more »

Valentine's Day Spending


Valentine's Day has come and gone and this year the celebration was a little bittersweet.

According to the National Retail Federation Valentine’s Day spending is expected to drop this year, 7.6% to just over $18 billion. A number helped along by the 9% of people who decided not to celebrate because of money or lack of a special someone. But when it comes to those of us who did dip into our wallet for our loved ones; department stores were the most popular destination with candy the most popular gift. Next up is greeting cards, an evening out, flowers and jewelry.  read more »

A Three Day Weekend


Want to start your weekend a little earlier? Start managing your week a little better.

Everyone with a five day week wishes it was a little shorter and the weekend a little longer. Turns out even if you can't convince your boss to give you a four day work week, you can make it feel like one. According to the blog there are ways to manage your time so efficiently that Friday can be taken a lot more loosely. Then you can use it to prepare for the coming week or take care of anything you've been keeping on the back burner.  read more »

Self-Driving Taxi


Dubai is testing out a new cab service and you're gonna need a strong stomach to hail a ride.

High above the city streets a one man self-driving hover taxi is preparing for an official launch this July. The Ehang 184 four can travel on a programmed course at 60 miles per hour at an altitude of 1,000 feet. Passengers just need to select a destination for the taxi to take off, fly the route and touch down again in the chosen spot.  read more »

Cashing In On Your Voice


Do you have a voice that makes people sit up and pay attention? Why not cash in on those vocal cords?

“We have people who a little bit of it is luck right but we also have some very talented people who've been able to land some big national radio campaigns for significant clients and can make six figures pretty easily.”

Kevin Rasted is the director of on camera and voice over division at San Francisco based MDT talent agency. He says the Silicon Valley boom has created a lot of work for voice over talent, and for most people all they need is a couple of classes and an at home microphone.  read more »

Free College


College is getting a lot more affordable for some qualified students in San Francisco.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has announced that the City College of San Francisco will begin offering free tuition to city residents. The cost of the experiment is $5.4 million and will cover current students, and allow the school to expand by 20%. In addition to that, low income students who qualify will also see the cost of their books covered.

The money is coming from a ballot approved tax that is expected to be made available at the start of the next school year. People who have been living in the city for at least one year are eligible for the free education; and San Francisco isn't the only city to test these waters.  read more »