Archive | Family RSS for this section

A New Way to Help Kids Learn to Read

LeapPads and the like have been around for a while. Put a specially configured booklet into an electronic pad. Tap a button or two with a special pen. Then let your child page through the booklet tapping on pictures and sentences to hear the story and learn the words.

Tag is different.

With Tag, the books themselves are printed on Anoto paper. The Tag pen reads tiny dots on the paper to know which book, which page and which word or picture is being tapped on. No need for a special electronic pad, just a pen and specially printed books. No need for special instructions, just tap.

How is Tag better than current solutions? Well, nothing is better than a parent sitting with the kid, but this is better than the other electronic solutions out there because it’s easier to use and less bulky. I think this will be an effective tool for teaching kids to read who are much younger than the kids who are helped by the options available previously.

Tag has another innovation. Plug the pen into your computer and the parent gets an interactive look at what their kid has been doing with the pen and how much he is learning. Nice!

Watch the video!!!

Links: LeapFrog Tag at Demo (with video), LeapFrog Tag official site, my 2004 review of the Logitech IO (also based on Anoto tech).

The Latest

Work has been extremely busy, causing me to be extremely quiet on the blogging and email fronts. Here’s a quick catch-up:


Charlie and Samantha are taking swimming classes and Samantha is playing Volleyball now! Beth and I took the family on two (short) trips this summer – the Grand Canyon+Sedona first and then a trip to Disneyland. Both a lot of fun! OH, and Kyria, my older sister, made me an excellent scarf (patterned after the one worn by Tom Baker in season 12 of Doctor Who) – it’s awesome!!


We’re working on several cool projects at Homestead and we’ve recently brought a lot of great new talent on board. Our customers are happier than ever and they have a lot to look forward to later this year and next.


I played and finished Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Portal. Very fun, fairly short games. Portal exceeded my expectations and delivered a unique experience that I’ll never forget. Bravo!


I’m jazzed to see the new Nokia n810. I’ve been a believer in the internet tablets (770, n800) for a while now, but recently I’ve been bugged that they don’t fit in your pocket. The n810 fixes all that by being just a little bigger than an iPhone. Imagine a Nintendo DS Lite MINUS the top screen/speaker assembly – that’s the size of the new n810. Wifi, 800×480, GPS, Slide-out-Keyboard, smooth youtube – IN YOUR POCKET. It’s unbelievable. Looks like Nokia really found the sweet spot with the new device. More from ThoughtFix and Atmasphere. Specs at Engadget.


OS X Leopard looks GREAT, particularly the Time Machine versioned backup system. Nine more days! And the (better-late-than-never) iPhone SDK is coming in February. I’m really enjoying Apple’s products lately.


Kitchen Nightmares is the only series I’m really attached to right now. Heroes has a lot to make up for after last season’s disappointing finale. Probably won’t be very excited about TV until the next seasons of Lost, Doctor Who, Life on Mars and Battlestar Galactica arrive.

Video Clip of Kyria and ZOZO’s on Food Network’s Road Tasted

I’ve already mentioned the appearance a few times. Here is the video of my sister showing off her Mint Brownie Gelato. And check these links if you want to buy some of her gourmet ice cream ONLINE or if you want to visit ZOZO’s Fresh Food Diner in NYC!

Thanks, Kris, for making the recording the show!

Kyria’s Ice Cream and ZOZO’s on Food Network – TOMORROW NIGHT!

My sister Kyria will be on Road Tasted, a food network show tomorrow night (8/22/06). Details:

I’m really excited!

Kyria Tokash (one of my sisters!) on Food Network’s Road Tasted!

In the episode of Road Tasted airing 8/22/06, Kyria will be talking about the ice cream she makes at ZOZO’s, the New York restaurant she runs with her husband, Steve Zobel.  I’m JAZZED!!  From the show’s site:

Road Tasted

Episode RD0103:   New York Neighborhoods

Whoever said you can do New York in a day has obviously never been to New York. Jamie and Bobby Deen head back to the Big Apple to sample some other ethnic fair. First stop, Astoria Queens, home to thousands of Greek Americans. The boys drop in on Artopolis Bakery and home of the Galaktoboureko–say that three times fast! This delicious delicacy is a phyllo dough dessert where, in the process, time is of the essence due to the delicate nature of the 12 layers of phyllo. The boys then head to Zozo’s, where they meet with Kyria, the creator of her famous Mint Chocolate Brownie Gelato. Creator of many other flavors as well, Kyria, a trained pastry chef, is very particular about her ingredients and educates the boys on the art of making Gelato. And if that wasn’t enough, the boys check in on Richard, the head pastry chef at David Burke and Donatella’s, where they watch gourmet salmon, cheescake and goat cheese “lollipops” get made. Created by David Burke to entice his children to eat, these “gourmet pops” are sold at a rate of approximately 500,000 each year!