What Tech People Want for Christmas

With one shopping week until Christmas, in a year festooned with "connected devices," it seems like a good time to check the wish lists of the industry's tech aficionados. Here goes:

For Sabrina Calhoun, executive director of engineering operations for Cox Communications, this year's must-have is the Firefly Landscape Laser lights, "which project thousands of little pinpoints of light on the house, trees and landscape, using laser and holographic technology - it looks like I spent hours stringing lights, when all I did was push the stake in the ground, aim it at the house and plug it in. Too cool!"

Mike Hayashi, executive VP of Time Warner Cable's Advanced Technology Group, likes the NEST thermostat (www.nest.com), a gorgeous little gadget that learns how you like your in-home temperatures. "All my other geek friends have it," Hayashi said, which was confirmed by Tony Werner, CTO of Comcast: "Really cool and elegant."

Werner, Hayashi, and Advance/Newhouse president Nomi Bergman (and yours truly) are all into the pedometer accouterment made by Fitbit (www.fitbit.com), and especially the companion Blu-tooth connected "Aria" scale. (Except maybe the body fat part.)

(Aside: If you, too, are addicted to 10,000 steps/day, or want to be, try the Nike Fuelband - two times the price of Fitbit, but two things make it better: 1, It's a bracelet, so it doesn't fall off; 2, its iPhone app syncs flawlessly.)

Also on Werner's list: Audible.com's "Whispersync," a Kindle app that lets you switch between reading and listening to a book, while preserving state. "You can be reading a book on the treadmill, stop halfway through chapter 9, then resume with the audible version on the train - and both notes and resume points are shared. Really simple, but cool," Werner said.

Sree Kotay, SVP and chief software architect for Comcast, is eyeing the Lenovo's X1 (yes, really, X1) Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch. "It's a business-class ultra-book with a touch screen - super cool," Kotay said.

Yvette Kanouff, chief technology officer of Cablevision, is still in thrall with that Corning "Day Made of Glass" video - "I think that's the whole house I want! But for now I'd settle for a transparent TV ... baby steps."

Steve Reynolds, household gourmand and SVP/CPE for Comcast, who once quipped that "all vegetables should taste like meat," hopes to find a KitchenAid sausage grinder under the tree.

For Howard Pfeffer, SVP/Broadband Engineering for Time Warner Cable, it's a 3D printed guitar. "One day," he said.

Geek out, friends. Merry everything to you!

Stumped by gibberish? Visit Leslie Ellis at translation-please.com or multichannel.com/blog.