Marlo Anderson, also known as the Guru of Geek, is a tech whiz and host of the Tech Ranch radio show. He’s the founder of Zoovio Inc, which allows users to transfer video tapes to digital format, and the creator the National Day calendar. Current projects include launching the Autonomous Friendly Corridor, a highway from Manitoba to Mexico that would allow autonomous trucks to cart commerce to and fro.

Today, the Guru shares some of his thoughts behind how he tracks tech, 360 cameras, in-house listening devices (like your television..?!) and his top ten “can’t live without” mobile apps. He’ll also be gracing the stage at 1 Million Cups Fargo this week, Wednesday 9:15 AM at the Stage at Island Park. Read on!

(EP: Emerging Prairie, GG: Guru of Geek)

EP: What are your primary methods of staying up to date with the latest tech? How do you choose what content to pursue with the Tech Ranch?

The Tech Ranch Google plus graphic

GG: My primary way of staying up-to-date with the latest in technology is attending technology conferences like CES, the Space Symposium and others.  At the conferences, you can visit with those who are on the cutting edge of technology.  Once a relationship is built, they will be more likely to keep you informed when they have something interesting come along.

As far as content, I look for technologies and issues that impact the majority of us.  For example, since most of us have a late model TV, I would discuss the fact that it has the capability of listening to us.  However, since most of us do not use cybergenic implants at this time I spend less time on that topic.

EP: What are some of the coolest capabilities of a 360 camera?

GG: 360 Cameras are starting to emerge.  I don’t think they will replace traditional cameras but it is exciting. The ability to take a 360 degree video has many advantages.  Put the camera in the middle of a room for a birthday party, family get together and video everything at one time.  Conference room meetings, Security cameras, live video streaming and much more will benefit from this technology. Even technologies that use automation (such as autonomous cars, drones and even your vacuum cleaner) will benefit as they will use fewer sensors and have more accurate information.

EP: Is my TV really listening to me? What other in-house devices should people be aware of?

Guru of Geek

GG: Probably one of the most startling discoveries I have made in the last year is the fact that your late model television may have the ability to listen to you.  Since security as not a big concern for passive devices that are part of the Internet of Things (iOT), this is a problem and will become larger.  Appliances like your TV, refrigerator, doorbells, baby monitors and  even your Internet-connected light bulbs will bring a new opportunity for those who wish to use those devices for nefarious reasons.

EP: What are your top 10 apps that you can’t live without/use regularly?


1.  Evernote – Notes from meetings, The Tech Ranch and much more are in Evernote.

2.  FourSquare – I travel a lot and try to experience the local culture at each place.  I rely on Foursquare to let me know who has the best coffee, pasta etc.

3.  Eventbrite – Goes to the travel aspect of my life again and experiencing the local culture.  I use eventbrite to find activities going on that I can either enjoy and sometimes contribute too.

4. Zoovio – The ability to view my personal and company videos on any device is important to me.

5.  All things Google – From Google Maps to Hangouts to Gmail to Translate, the Google experience has made my life easier and more productive.

6.  Meerkat – Since I attend so many cool events, Meerkat allows me the ability to share real time video with my smart device.

7.  Camera 360 – An enhancement to the default camera app on my device.

8.  Airdroid – As an android user, this allows my device to pair with my computer.  The app allows me to use my computer to send and receive texts, move files and much more.  I don’t have to reach for my phone when it chimes, just use my computer to respond.

9.  Slack – A great app to communicate with your team while working toward your goal.

10.  Wunderlist – Keep any to do list organized either for yourself or your team.  Simply fabulous.


Thanks Marlo! Be sure to come and meet the Guru of Geek this Wednesday, 9:15 AM at the Stage at Island Park.

Feature photo courtesy of Marlo Anderson

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Marisa Jackels