My fear about utility knifes is that someone is going to put one in my tool without retracting the blade completely. Then while reaching around for tools Iím going to cut myself. Ouch!! That shouldnít happen with the new Rapid Edge from Rapid Tools. Itís features heavy-duty die-cast construction with excellent ergonomic comfort Ė BUT it has a feature that I think is great! Itís called SafeíTíVue. As soon as the blade tip comes out, an LED light alert comes on! It also features a SlideíníLock button so you can have different secure cutting blade lengths. The light does more than just alert you to the exposed blade; itís great for cutting carpet, drywall, etc. in dark corners of your home. The LED light illuminates the area youíre working in. It makes it easy to follow any line youíre cutting along. It includes 3-patented Rapid Edge serrated blades. And the cost is $8 or less.
Rapid Tools also makes the Shark. Itís the first & only tool to combine a utility knife with a wire stripper. It comes with 5 Rapid Edge blades, their own the patented, serrated blade that lasts longer & cuts easier. The pliers-style, wire-stripper grip locks securely into the body of the knife when not in use. Thereís a spring-loaded wire cutter that opens easily and cuts comfortably. The precision ground stripping holes easily remove insulation from 10 to 18 gauge wires. And built in also is a wire cutter & crimper. The one-button, quick blade change is easy & saves time. No tools required to change the blades. And the four-blade storage compartment opens wide for easy blade access. Itís under $20.
Acoustibuds shown installed on a pair of regular earbuds.
Earphones or earaches?
Whatís with the majority of those ear buds that are shipped with iPods, and many of other major MP3 players. The audio isnít that bad, but they seem to be designed to fit about 1% of the ears people have. I havenít met one person yet who said: ďWow, the ear buds I got with my MP3 player are SO comfortable!ď Thereís a new product that can go a long way to make those ear buds you already have, a lot more comfortable. Theyíre called Acoustibuds and they fit better, stay in the ears and improve the sound quality. John Burton, who owns the company said: ďWith all of the unique shapes and sizes of ears, achieving this goal without discomfort or the bulk of over-the-ear hooks gives our team a great sense of accomplishment. The surprise came when the twin cone core idea was added for high-fidelity acoustics and in combination with the exceptional sound isolation created by the multi-barrier fins.Ē Come on, heís the president of the company. My personal opinion? I like these a lot. Acoustibuds only come in two sizes and thatís enough. The thin, flexible silicone rubber fins are angled to assure optimum position and contact within many different types and size ears. They will not fit on every kind of earphone, however. Acoustibuds are designed to fit "flat faced" ear-buds like those that come with your iPods, iPhones, mp3 players and some cell phones. They are not developed to work with in-ear headphones. The price is good too. A retail package includes one of each of the two sizes of noise-isolating earphone adapters and two storage pouches. Price is under $15.00 Theyíre available in white or black, and can be purchased on Amazon.com.
The Staples Micro-Cut Shredder is an ultra-quiet, jam resistant micro-cut shredder. With its titanium cutter blades, it turns checks, statements, and documents into confetti. Thereís no worry someone is going to reassemble personal documents and steal sensitive information. Staples says the shred size is: 2/32" X 12/32Ē. I still call it confetti. A really good feature is that this device can also shred staples, credit cards, paper clips, CD's and DVD's. And it works great. I got rid of every old DVD I didnít need because itís fun watching this shredder work. This is one of the higher end models from Staples. It features a blade guard and a lockout key. I have is the 10-sheet micro cut model. It has a large 4.3 gallon bin. The viewing window glows blue when shredding and shuts off when the bin is about ĺ full. It may have been designed that way so itís easier to empty. The bin must be back in place for the shredder to operate. A 60 decibel noise level is quiet for a shredder, especially one that shreds DVDís. I like the auto shut off too. When the last paper has gone through the blades, it stops the motor. The unit is still on, with all the controls illuminated, but the motor stops. AntiJam with SmartSense technology is clever too. It prevents jams before they start. If you put in too many papers at once, it stops and flashes an icon to let you know you should put in fewer sheets. Price is $199.99, but right now there is a rebate offer of $50. I notice the rebate offer stops & then starts again, so keep your eyes on the Staples ads if youíre interested in one. Staples has a wide range of shredders all the way down to a tabletop model for about $50 or so.
The MINI Cooper adds an electric version, the MINI E.
Leo is still looking for a small car for his teenage daughter, Abby. At the NY Auto Show I looked the Smart Car, which is really small. Leo feels itís a bit too small for his daughterís needs, so heís looking for something a bit bigger. I like the Mini-Cooper and at the Auto show I saw the new Mini E, the all-electric version. Itís not on sale yet, but thereís a pilot program offering loan agreements to select companies and customers in California, New Jersey, and New York. 500 cars will be available at the initial introduction, about half on each coast. I spoke to one of the project managers of the Mini E and he gave me some facts and figures. He said the car is capable of going 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds and has a top speed of 95 mph. The car can run 100 to 150 miles on one charge depending on driving conditions. I asked if the Mini-E could be charged anyplace there was AC power. It turns out that it can only be charged at its own charging station which is included in the lease price. BMW will install the system in your garage. (You must have a garage to be considered for a lease!) The battery pack weighs 573 pounds, which pretty much takes up all the room behind the front seat. But there still is some room for storage in the trunk area. Charge times can be as little as 2.9 hours with the supplied 240-volt 48-amp wall box. 110-volt household power really isnít an option because it would take almost 24 hours to fully recharge the Lithium-ion batteries. Power for the Mini-E is a 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor, which is 100% emission free. And now for the bad news. If accepted Ė you fill out an application online - itís a one year closed end lease. The price is Ė $850 a month! And you provide your own liability insurance, while BMW provides the collision insurance.
Can you believe Ė a hand operated washing machine?
Itís call Wonder Wash. It washes a 5-lb. load in just a couple of minutes. It has a patented pressure system that forces detergent into the fabric at high speed for a fast, efficient, economic and very easy wash. This sounded a little strange to me, so the company sent me a Wonder Wash to try. Surprise! It does work. My socks needed to be washed a second time, but the t-shirts and underwear came out perfectly clean! Itís geared toward campers, single people and even for the housewife with small frequent loads like hand washables and diapers. As you can guess it uses far less water than even hand washing. Size? 12" x 12" x 16" (L x W x H) According to the company, the Wonder Wash washes: 7-8 dress shirts or 10 T-shirts or 30 pairs of socks or 2-3 pairs of blue jeans. You put warm or hot water into the drum, put on the lid and screw it tight. The air inside the drum absorbs the heat of the water and expands which creates pressure inside the drum. The pressure forces the detergent (which is diluted into the water) into & through the fabric (which is porous) about 100 times faster than you could by hand or machine. You can try it for yourself too. They offer a 30-day, no-hassle money back guarantee. The price is good too. $42.95
A companion to the Wonder Wash --- The Mini Countertop Spin Dryer
When I first heard about Mini Spin Dryer I wondered how much drying it could do when it only uses 82 watts! And only costs $69.95. But then I read this notice from the company: Important: please note that this is a spin dryer, not a regular tumble dryer. It extracts much more water from the clothes than a regular washing machine spin cycle; they come out slightly damp. So it doesnít dry your clothes completely which would require probably 1500 watts. But after using both the washer & the spin dryer, I see they are a great combination. The clothes come out of the Spin Dryer damp and you might want to hang them up for an hour or so to dry more. Some felt dry enough to immediately press. That way the ironing would finish they drying process. But it does works in only 2-3 minutes. The drum is translucent so you can see the water flying out of the clothes as the drum spins. Itís really neat. You have to balance the load carefully since this is a very small unit that weighs just 11 pounds. It has a 2.2 lb capacity (about 1-2 pairs of jeans per load). And itís fast spinning at 1600 rpmís. Itís compact, measuring 13.5" x 13.5" x 15". For tiny apartments, for single people, for people who want to use very little power the Wonder Wash & Spin Dryer is a perfect combination. The Spin Dyer is $69.95.
Hereís a neat green gadget. (It costs some green too, but itís neat!)
Way, way back on Daily Giz Wiz 144 I talked about The Voltaic Solar Backpack. It uses solar panels to charge a battery pack inside the backpack. That product is still available, but now theyíve added the Voltaic Generator. This is the first solar bag powerful enough to charge a laptop! The built-in high-efficiency solar cells charge a custom designed battery pack. It will also charge cell phones and most other hand held electronics. The solar panel generates up to 15 watts using 20% efficient cells. Thatís enough to fully charge the Voltaic battery in about 5 hours according to the company. The battery pack stores the equivalent of a typical laptop charge and automatically delivers the required output voltages. It's shipped with many common adaptors for connection to laptops, phones and other handheld devices. An optional reconfigured MagSafe adapter is available for MacBooks. Weight: 4.5 lbs (2,050 grams) including solar panel and battery. Dimensions: 17"x12"x 3.5" (43x31x9cm) It will hold up to a 17" MacBook Pro. And this is neat: An indicator light inside the handle glows to show when the panels are generating a charge. Even the fabrics are made from recycled PET (soda bottles), which is tough, water resistant and eco-friendly. A note of caution: Some laptop brands do not charge via the Voltaic Generator, so check the companyís website for more info. Returns will be accepted for refund of any bags in new condition for up to 60 days from purchase. $499.00
If you like to build your own solar project, hereís more interesting news from the company: Voltaic has spent a lot of time designing high quality solar panels, batteries, adapters and other components for our solar bags. We encourage you to use our components for your own solar project. If you are willing to provide us with pictures or links of the finished product, please contact us at email@example.com with a description. We will give a wholesale discounts on all components. Let us also know if there are parts you need but do not see here.
Back on March 7th, 2009, I talked about the Porter Case. It was on Dickís Gadget Warehouse Friday. The Porter Case is a clever rolling suitcase that converts to a cart so you can pile your other luggage on top. The original Porter Case is still available, but itís a bit pricey at about $300. But the company has come out with a more affordable line of Porter Cases PCX Lite Line. I recently started using the Porter Case PCX Lite 21" Standard Case w/Cart. Like the other suitcases in the line, the PCX can still be used as a cart, but thereís an extra easy step for the conversion. On the lower price line you disconnect the handle and reconnect it in a different place. Itís very easy to do and the new easier engineering cuts the cost of the bag to about $149.00. It carries a little less weight than the original, about 100 pounds Ė but how much stuff do you have?? It fits easily into the overhead bin on an airplane with no problem. One side of the case has a semi-hard construction to carry the 100 pounds on top. Wide high flotation ball bearing wheels make it easy to navigate and thereís a single button control extension handle. Thereís a solid 5/16" steel axle, bag liner with lid elastic cross over strap, and side & end carry handles. I like this suitcase a lot.
A Nite Lite that helps teach kids when to go to bed & when to get up!
The folks who designed the Good Nite Lite designed it for both kids and parents. The kids will love the ďmoonĒ and the ďsunĒ and the parents will like what it does to help them get more sleep in the morning. It seems that toddlers, from about age 3 to 5 or so, often wake up starting around 4 am. Then they go into their parentís room to see itís time to get up! Thatís where the Good Nite Lite comes in. It helps toddlers start to understand the concept of night and day. And it gives them some guidance as to when itís okay to get up and wake the folks. This clever device uses a simple smiling sun or moon to help young kids understand when they should be sleeping or awake! The six-inch light contains a timer that that lights up the blue sleepy moon to signify itís bedtime, and then changes to the yellow sun at a time you, the parent sets. The bright sun lets your child know itís okay to get up and wake you. This hopefully lets parents get more sleep. A nice ďgreenĒ feature allows the Good Nite Lite to shut off during the daytime to save energy. A small battery (included) runs the clock, and AC from the outlet powers the moon/sunlight. Parents I told about this gadget thought it was great idea! $34.99
Sensor Plug Ė A simple device that can help save electricity easily.
This is pretty easy to use! No wiring, no batteries, no tools. SensorPlug is like having an extra pair of hands when you need them! Itís a motion-sensing outlet that uses a passive infrared motion sensor. Plug in a light, or whatever you like, and itís triggered ďonĒ when you walk past. I want my Sensor Plug outside a closet full of gadgets with a small spotlight plugged into it. As I approach the closet door with an arm full of boxes the light goes on. It stays on as long as it senses movement and then shuts off automatically.You can adjust the auto shut off time from 2 to 6 minutes, but it will keep the light or device on for as long as it senses movement. Mineís been a big help already, and I thinking on uses another one as a burglar alarm. It sure will get someoneís attention when they enter a room and a big light comes on! Itís rated up to 600 watts. Installation is as easy as plugging SensorPlug into a wall outlet. Itís a three prong plug so it can be grounded. It comes with a spare fuse and a screw for securing to the wall plate, if desired. Sensor Plug costs $19.95/2 for $35.00. This is a neat device.
You climb the ladder to take measurements with your tape measure. Once youíre up there you realize you donít have paper and pencil. And even if you do, once you write the figures down you canít find the paper they're written on! That wonít happen with this clever tape measure. You record the measurements with the built-in voice recorder of the Repeater grade tape measure. Itís simple to use, just press the big red record button and you can capture up to 20 seconds of measurements wherever you are. The Repeater comes in different lengths and each one has a tough plastic outer casing and locking mechanism for tape control. While the sound quality isn't a replacement for your MP3 player, all you really need it to do is plays back the measurements you recorded! I did a web search and although itís no long on the Zircon website, you can find it here for about $20.
Most likely you have an emergency flashlight in your car. But will it work when you need it is another story. Usually the batteries are weak or worse yet, dead. Thereís a new device, the USB Flashlight-er that not only solves the dead battery problem, but also adds an extra feature for gadget lovers. The Flashlight-er is an in-dash, rechargeable flashlight that allows you to also charge any small electronic device that uses a USB to USB adapter. Keep it plugged in to charge your phone, PDA, Blackberry, etc., and when you need a flashlight, just remove the Flashligh-er. Three LEDís automatically switch on to give you a small powerful flashlight. Michael Lifshitz, from Flashlight-er told me itís usable with all of the newest Smart phones, including the iPhone! The Flashlight-er is small so it sticks out less than an inch from the dash. Thatís much less than a typical lighter plug device. The USB Flashlight-er comes with the one-amp USB plug which should charge devices back to full power quickly. Michael said that if you plug an iPod with a dead battery into the Flashlight-er, it should come back to full strength as quickly as a home charger would take. Cost is $29.95, plus S & H. For more information, visit www.theFlashlighter.com. Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw809 Light your way to family harmony.
Thatís what it says on the Johnny-Light website: ďLighting the way to family harmonyĒ. When ďdadĒ lifts the seat, the light comes onÖit goes out when he puts the seat back downÖSo itís a good reminder for dad. Itís easy to install, with no tools needed. Thereís a hidden switch that lights toilet bowl when the toilet seat is raised and then shuts it off when the toilet seat goes down. Itís designed to end the bathroom battle of the sexes by reminding us guys to put the toilet seat down. And this part from the companyís website is pretty funny: Eliminates annoying "fall-ins"! This must happen when you go to sit down not realizing the seat is up. If I remember correctly, according to the little video on the companyís website, 45,000 people have toilet injuries every year! The Johnny-Light is a soft green, so it wonít jar your eyes in the middle of the night. DURACELL batteries included. $13.95, plus $1.75 S & H. Itís also available at Loweís. Available to buy, I don't think itís installed on the toilets there!
A Toy That Can Help The Environment! Itís Mary Meyer's Fuzz that Wuzz
Hereís a way give a child a cuddly animal while you help the environment. Meet the Fuzz that Wuzz! The very cute Snifflzzzdog, is one of 11 new Fuzz that Wuzz toys from environmentally conscious toy maker Mary Meyer. These cuddly critters Ė the collection includes puppies, bears, a bunny and a mooseó are all made from recycled products. The stuffing and fabric, for example, are 100% recycled plastic bottles. Depending on the size of the toy, they contain 10 to 15 recycled bottles. And they really are cute! I didnít plan on using these critters on my Toy Fair spot for World News Now on ABC TV, but as I walked by their booth at the Javits Center, I had to stop to ask about them. Thatís when I heard the whole recycle story. I think itís a really great idea. Depending on the critter, they retail for about $20 to $25.
Weíve all done it, unplugged some equipment on the desk and then tried to grab the cables you just unplugged from sliding off the back of the desk and onto the floor. Well Keep-a-Cable is a simple solution to help you manage your wayward charging cords and peripheral connectors. This simple device is made from high-density polyethylene and its fitted with notched holes at the top. Using a very high strength 3M adhesive it mounts to the edge of any flat surface like the back edge of your desk. The five holes at the top of the Keep-a-Cable are designed to keep cables from sliding off the desk. Itís an inexpensive and effective solution to chasing cables behind desks, equipment cabinets and under tables. It even has holes for screws if you want to make a more permanent installation. Keep-a-Cable are available in single wire, five wire and long strips to accommodate everything from a single cell phone charger to an entire rack of servers or other electronic equipment. A 5 wire/4 pack is just $5 + S&H. A 10 pack is $10.00 + S&H. Complete pricing is at the companyís website:
99.9% of all new music is released only in digital format! But what if you want a Jonas Brothers album on vinyl? You can't get it! Well thanks to Digi-Vina it doesn't matter, because now you can turn any or all of your digital music into vinyl records! I know, you're saying: "Wow, but where do I buy blank vinyl records?" You don't! You make your own vinyl records with the Digi-Vina 2.0! And you make them out of old plastic bottles! Yes, instead of ending up in a landfill, the empty bottles from your dining table end up on your turntable! The Digital to Vinyl Recorder does have some downsides. The cost is high, $999, and it does require a 220-volt outlet. But on the other hand there has never been anything like it in the world!
Plantronics has produced a multi-tasking phone system with their Calisto Pro Series.
This one device is a DECT 6.0 Cordless Landline Phone with a cordless headset. The headset has the ability to be used with the cordless phone, or since itís also Bluetooth enabled, it can be a headset for your cell phone. And finally it can serve as a wireless headset for your VoIP phone! This headset lets you remotely answer your landline, VoIP and mobile phone calls! Add in a built-in speakerphone, noise-canceling microphone, and extended mouthpiece and you have a great system for the home office!The Calisto Pro phone operates on DECT 6.0 frequency so call clarity is not affected by Wi-Fi networks or home appliances, such as the microwave. You can roam up to 300 feet from the base via DECT 6.0 and about 35 feet if youíre using Bluetooth.
The system features a very high tech, streamlined design. The base doubles as the docking and charging station, and holds both the Bluetooth headset and the compact handset. It includes a USB port so you can connect to your PC to sync your Outlook contacts. The handset has the capacity to hold up to 200 Outlook contact with three phone numbers each. The base station includes all the calling features you'd expect: caller ID, call waiting, 3-way conferencing, redial, speed dial, etc. Info is displayed on a monochrome LCD. Plantronics says the handset offers up to eight hours of talk time, or 120 hours of standby time, away from the base. A flip-up waist clip lets you carry the handset with you hands-free as you roam. The Bluetooth headset offers up to eight hours of talk time, or 240 hours of standby time per charge. It can even be used with your Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone wherever your travels take you. And because the headset's features a superior noise-canceling microphone with an extended mouthpiece, you'll never have to worry about sound quality.
The PC software is compatible with Windows 2000, XP and Vista and the Mac software is compatible with Mac OS 10.4 and later. My only compliant? I have large fingers so I have to push the keys with the tip of my fingers, but theyíre back-lit which helps a lot. List is $279.95, but if you do a web search you can find it for about $210.
Ever hear the expression: Everything thatís old is new again?
Itís true! I just bought a brand new rabbit ears indoor antenna! I havenít bought one in 30 years, but I figured I didnít want to pay for cable on my 22í boat, but wanted to be able to watch some TV. So I bought the RCA 121. It pretty much looks the same as a rabbit ears antenna looked decades ago. Well, maybe this one is a bit more streamed, but not by much. The RCA 121 Universal Indoor Antenna features a 12-position UHF & VHF fine-tuning control for improved signal reception. The adjustable, retractable VHF dipoles extend up to 39-inches to improve reception of channels 2 to 13 and UHF loop for improved reception of channels 14-69. Trust me, itís not a easy as using a remote on a cable box, but then again the cost was about $15 paid just once, not $60 to $80 a month for cable. I get about 12 channels, most of them okay, and one PBS channel really good. And I live in mid-Manhattan. Not many features to talk about, no LEDs, nothing to plug in. Just a small base that fits in a small space, no-scuff pad to protect whatever surface you put it on, and off-air reception of local analog or digital channels. Yes, digital too. Thereís an attached 6-ft coaxial hook-up cable with F-connector for easy hook-up. I found it on Ebay at the link below for under $14.00 with shipping included.
Save money, save plastic bottles, and purify your own water.
I know this sounds strange, but I donít particularly like the taste of water. I usually like to add a drop of lemon or lime or a touch of fruit juice. Thatís why I was interested in the new Pur Flavor Options Pitcher. You should check out their website to find a list of the chemicals and impurities the two-step filtration system is said to remove. For me, the test was the taste of the water and the fact that I could flavor some of it without affecting the rest of the filtered water in the pitcher. You fill the top of the pitcher with water, and place it in the refrigerator. The pitcher has nice narrow oval shape so it fits between things and doesnít take up a lot of room. It can even fit in the door of most refrigerators. It holds seven 8 oz glasses of filtered water. If you want the water to be flavored you push a button on the handle before you pour it. Only that serving of water will be flavored and you can vary how much flavoring is in the water but how many times you push the flavor button. A kit includes 1 PUR Pitcher, 1 Filter (which can filter up to 40 gallons of water) and 1 Replaceable Flavor Cartridge. It ships with one raspberry flavor cartridge and you change it out for an optional lemon flavor cartridge. Many more flavors are on the way. The kit is under $25.
Itís useful, itís inexpensive, and itís has blue LEDís!
www.budgetgadgets.com is a neat website you should know about. They sell a very high tech looking three fan USB notebook cooler that I recently tried. Youíll probably notice in computer ads that laptops are called ďnotebooksĒ. I was told by one manufacturer that the reason why is that companies really prefer you donít put them directly in your lap. That started after customers starting reporting how uncomfortably hot notebooks can get in that very sensitive area. Also heat shortens the life of a notebook, so a notebook cooler can really help dissipate that heat which should be good for the life of your notebook. Coolers are easy to use because the 3 I have are all powered via USB, so thereís no power adapter necessary. The most recent one, from budget gadgets, is not only powered via USB, but itís the first pass-through USB Iíve seen. So you donít even lose the use of a USB port. Using a cooler couldnít be simpler. Place your laptop on it, plug it in a USB port and itís off and running. This particular notebook cooler places the laptop at a more convenient angle for typing. My other two notebook coolers are totally flat. And this one has 3 cooling fans. My 1st one had a single fan, the second one 2 fans, and this one has 3 fans. And itís still very quiet. Itís made of Acrylic so the glowing blue LEDS make your laptop look like itís floating on a sea of blue lights. Itís a really nice effect. And Budget Gadgets lives up to it name. The notebook cooler is just $15.79. It can be cheaper if you need 3 or more. Fan Size: 60x60x15mm or 2.36x2.36x0.59in, each fan. Fan Speed: 2800rpm $15.79
You know about the iPod, but do you know about The Pod?
THE pods are very simple, high quality, flexible beanbags with a built in 1/4" universal mounting bolt. (And it also comes with a capital THE) THE pod acts like a tripod when set down on a bench or a rock or a fence, etc. Or it can be used as a stabilizer when braced against any handy surface. The company says THE pod can even stay on your camera when you are on the go. That makes it perfect for group photos, travel, low light/night time and places where tripods are not allowed like museums, malls, churches, galleries, etc. Now there are 6 different models, identified by color. The colors represent the sizes and types of camera youíre going to use THE pod for. Cameras with long lenses need THE pod that has an mounting bolt off to one side. All of the models should be able to offer greatly improves picture sharpness and color clarity by reducing or totally removing the hand shake that most everyone has. THE pod can be set up in an instant on tables, rocks, cars, or any other handy surface. The smaller models can easily slip into a pocket. Now the company was having a 25% off sale that was to end on March 22nd. When I pointed out that this Netcast was going to air on March 23rd, Thom Pahmer the president of THE pod was kind enough to extend the sale to April 18th. That means you can buy the smallest THE pod for under $10, plus shipping. The company is based in Canada.
This is my first TAD Gear device, so I gathered background on this new spork from the company itself. The Gen2 TAD Gear Folding Titanium Spork is hand crafted in the world famous knife capital of Japan, Seki City. This new version features a more robust Ti alloy which is less prone to bending and not as soft as CP Ti. (You knew that, right?) The addition of the new combo bottle cap lifter and can opener tool increases function and versatility. This little gizmo is perfect for your next picnic, long train ride, backpacking trip, anytime you need a handy eating utensil. The folding design allows this spork to be carried with you in your pack, travel bag, survival kits, glove box, and with the secure pocket clip, even your pocket. The company says their TAD Gear Folding Ti Sporks have been very popular with our troops abroad and can be often found clipped on to a soldier's plate carrier and MOLLE vests while they are in the field. The TAD Gear staff all carry one in their packs or pocket and are used just about every week as their eating tool of choice! I must admit it sure it carefully engineered & great for use aboard a boat too! $33.95
Here's a cordless screwdriver, one you've probably not heard about before. The FlashCell Cordless Screwdriver charges in just 90 seconds! Yes, 90 seconds! It's the first capacitor-powered cordless tool I know of. Recharging this device is amazingt The power gauge goes from zero to full in about 90 seconds! Yes 90 seconds! Now this device doesn't use any batteries at all, it's powered by a capacitor. The folks at Team Products International, who produce the FlashCell, tell us that the drill runs for about half as long as an equivalent cordless screwdriver with a rechargeable battery - but that's still plenty for almost any job you have. But, and this is great, the company also estimates that the capacitor can handle over 500,000 full-charge cycles. And if you're really impatient, you don't need wait the full 90 seconds before you start screwing again. So far this is the only capacitor-powered tool the company has on market, but more on the way! A pistol-grip verson of the cordless screwdriver seems to be the next capacitor powered tool this innovative company will release. $79.95
Here's a new way to enjoy your video media player in flight.
With so many media players in circulation, now you can pick your own movie to watch during a flight. But where to put your media player with its tiny screen so you can see it clearly without holding it, is a problem. You try to prop it up on the snack tray, but it usually slips down rather quickly. That's where iFlyz can help. It part goose-neck lamp and part clip. The clip end hooks on to the snack tray whether it's in the open or closed position. The suction cup end grab your media player. I tried it on the Sansa View and it worked fine. The Sansa View has a sort of rubbery back, and holding it wasn't a problem. It can hold your media player on the edge of desk, restaurant table or counter, and places like that. I don't have an iPhone or iTouch but iFlyz says it's iPhone compatible. $29.95.
The Rubik's Cube, which Techno Source said was the #1 best-selling game ever, (Almost 350 million of the original Cube have been sold so far.) has gone high touch with ďtouchĒ technology. The new Rubikís TouchCube has some amazing touches. For example it remembers every single move you made from the very first one when you start each game. You can ďundueĒ each step all the way back to the first one! A big difference with this new version is that the manual turning had been replaced with a swipe of the finger. Thereís touch sensor technology on all six sides, but a motion-detecting accelerometer lets only the side facing up be the ďactiveĒ one. Otherwise as you touched the sides, the cubes you would make movements you didnít want to make. It mimics the movements of the original 3x3 Cube except for the color changing as you wipe a finger across three squares. If you need help the TouchCube has a built-in ďnext moveĒ solver,or it can totally solve the entire puzzle. When youíre done playing at any given time, the Cube remembers your place, so can resume play anytime. And if you love that iconic Rubikís Cube "click" sound when you turn the cube, you can still have it. Or can choose a modern sound effect. When youíre not playing it, Rubikís TouchCube can be a fun desk accessory. It puts on a light show while it recharges in its display stand. Itís coming in Fall and the company says itís appropriate for children ages 8 and up. The retails price is also high tech, $149.99. But Iím sure that will drop fast once they get into wide circulation.
More from Toy Fair. This tiime it's two new brain games!
Both toys employ EEG, or electroencephalogram, technology and with both, you wear a sort of wireless helmet with contacts that touch your forehead. This is a real technology as you can see by this quote: "The fact that you can use EEG, that you can modulate it, that you can control it ó it's well known, it's true," says Dr. Ronald Emerson, a neurology professor at Columbia University. So the first brain game I saw was Uncle Milton Force Trainer. As Leo pointed out: "Uncle Milton doesn't sound very doctor-like!" This device has a headset you wear and it is supposed to translate the intensity of your brainwaves into moving a ball move upwards inside a foot high plastic tube. The more you relax your mind the more the ball will rise. Not youíre not exactly floating the ball with your brain waves. The ball is actually pushed into the air by a mini fan that starts when the Force Trainer detects a certain amount of brainwaves from the player. When the executive producer of World News Now, Jake Whitman, put a camera on me and said he wasn't going to turn it off until I made the ball rise, I thought I'd never be able to do it, but after about a minute, I did! That was a relief.
The second brain game is the Mattel Mind Flex Brain Game.
This headpiece has two wires that clips to your ears. Nothing too dorky about that! The object of this game is also to get a ball to move upwards, but they've added a second level of play. Once you have it in the air you have to keep it a specific level so you can navigate it through an obstacle course! The more you concentrate, the higher the ball floats on a cushion of blowing air. The more you relax your thinking, the ball stops floating. By the way, the instructions at Mattel were actually the opposite of what they said to Uncle Milton. To use Force Trainer you were told to relax & clear your mind. With Mind Flex I was told to concentrate hard on making the ball move. But I was able to move the ball in both games. Both will be available this Fall. Mind Flex should be under $80. And the Force Trainer will be about $100.
This unique alarm clock uses advanced speech recognition technology that lets you easily set the time and alarm via voice commands. You start each command with ďHello MoshiĒ to let the clock know youíre talking to it. It can respond to queries such as "What time is it?" with vocalized answers. Moshi recognizes 10 spoken commands, including "Set alarm," "Set time," "Check alarm," "What is the date?," "Alarm sound" (buzzer, chime, or bell), "Stop" (snooze for 5 minutes), and "Temperature" (current room temperature). All functions are controlled either by your voice or with a touch of the activation panel, allowing you to quickly set up and operate the clock without tedious and confusing button pressing. The backlit LCD shows the time and date in 2"high numerals for optimal visibility day or night. The clock also has a voice-activated function that let you fall sleep with the soothing sounds of the ocean, chirping birds, or a babbling brook. The nightlight function lets the clock light up & cycle through a variety of colors. I found it a bit distracting when trying to sleep, but others like it. And the ďfall asleepĒ sounds turn off after 5 minutes, which I think it a bit short. Moshi obeyed all my commands on the first try, except time. It must be my Brooklyn accent, but after 2 or 3 tries, it set itself properly. Powered by AC adapter or three AAA batteries. In the battery mode, voice activation is turned off, but you set it via the buttons at the back of the clock. $49.95. Click the click below for a demo:
Watch the Voice Interactive Alarm Clock in action.
Weird technology of the past! Itís a pretty good guess, you never knew about this Polaroid Product.
Itís late 1997 and Polaroid announces PopShots, a one-time use instant camera. This was a rather bulky looking, disposable Polaroid camera! It came preloaded with a 10-exposure pack for making rather small photos that were approximately 2.5 in x 4.4 in. And since this camera was one big piece of plastic you didnít want to just throw out. It came with a large pre-paid envelope so you could send the camera back to Polaroid for recycling. Polaroid said: ďPopShots was for people on the go! PopShots allows you to experience the excitement of instant photography - anytime, anywhere. You can get instant pictures at the spur of the moment. It's the perfect portable camera for those who want to share their pictures instantly! Polaroid PopShots is the world's first one-time use instant camera. It combines the convenience of popular single-use "conventional" cameras with all the advantages of instant photography.Ē But at about $20, it came to about two bucks per picture! When I did a web search on the camera I found someone who purchased a PopShots in the original sealed bag for $190! Another person paid $200.00. Hey, I have a PopShots still in a sealed bag! If youíre interested, just make an offer!
OOMA, A way to get free unlimited calls in the US with no monthly or yearly fees! The OOMA uses your Internet connection for VoIP calls. And it can do a lot. It receives calls, has caller-ID, call-waiting, and voice mail at no extra charge. Call in the US are free; there's a pay as you go for low-cost international calls. You can hear your voice mail and customize settings in the ooma Lounge. You can also try ooma's enhanced calling features with a free trial of ooma Premier. That includes a free second phone line, real-time message screening, one-touch Do Not Disturb and Send to Voice mail, a second personal number with private voice mail, and more. You can use your own phone number and your own phone, but you route it through the OOMA unit. Actually you get two units, a main unit about the size of a digital answering machine and a small "Scout" unit for the bedroom or den. The units are good looking and easy to hook it. After you connect everything up you'll know you're using OOMA and not your local phone carrier when you pick the phone and hear the special musical dial tone. There's a light at the back of the OOMA that glows blue to let you know your Internet and computer connections are okay. If it flashes red, something is not working correctly. One thing to remember is that if your Internet connection fails you'll get no dial tone. It doesn't automatically reconnect to your landline, assuming you have one. All in all you can save money with OOMA if you make a lot of calls in the US. When it first came out it was somewhere in the $350 to $450 range. Now, you can find it for under $200! Be sure to read about how 911 calls are handled if you're considering buying one.
Back up Everything. Yes Everything Including Your Operating System!
When a spokesperson called from Rebit to say we should talk about their backup drives I said weíve just talk about so many of them, I didnít want to do another. But when this person said Rebit automatically backs up everything on the computer, I said: ďeverythingĒ? Yes, she said Rebit protects everything with complete computer backup: your documents and information, including entertainment files, photos, video, mp3s and financial programs. But, and this was the part that was different it also backs up your operating system, applications, software, settings, bookmarks, drivers and configuration settings. The Rebit hard drive backup system automatically works to save your entire computer environment when you plug it in. They went one over and it is transparently, and continuously working to backup files. Any recent changes you've made, programs you've installed, or documents you've saved are reflected in the current back up hard drive. You never need think about what type of data you want to protect. Just to check as Iím typing this I placed my cursor on the ReBit icon in my system tray. It said everything in my computer was backed up as of 2/24/2009 9:53 PM. Considering it is just two minutes past that time and date, Iíd say thatís very reassuring! Rebit backup drives range from 80 GB to 500 GB. Be sure to buy a higher capacity that your files since you need to back up everything! My Rebit sits next to my computer, plugged into a USB port. One reviewer said Rebit can be called a Time Machine for Windows XP and Vista. Prices range from $136 to $176.00. Do a web search for the lowest price.
So you made a backup copy of your files. But if thereís a fire, is your backup copy safe? Thatís where IO Safe can come to the rescue. ioSafe has something they call FloSafe technology that has the ability to detect destructive heat levels and automatically close the vents to protect data from extreme heat. Now thereís a ton of info on how these drives are constructed on the companyís website, but the demo I saw when I was in Las Vegas was an eye opener. First they took digital photos of the reporters at the event and downloaded them on to the ioSafe. Then they dropped the ioSafe into the swimming pool. They fished it out and put it in a gas-fired furnace. The temperature gauge reached 1270 degrees and the ioSafe started to melt. After the unit was removed from the heat it was hosed down to cool it off. Then it was opened Ė and our unharmed digital photos were uploaded to a computer! Very neat demo indeed! The Solo is available now at www.iosafe.com. Soon it will available through retail channels. The ioSafe Solo capacities and pricing are as follows: 500GB for $149, 1TB for $199 and 1.5TB for $299. This is a very reasonable price to protect your precious photos, videos and data files! www.iosafe.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw751 The Clickfree Transformer USB Cable. It lets you convert any external hard drive into a Clickfree backup drive. Leo & I both liked the Clickfree Backup Drive. Thereís no need for any backup software. Just plug the backup drive into any available USB port and it works totally automatically - unless you wish to customize the backup. The DGW Netcast on that Clickfree Drive is here: http://www.twit.tv/dgw629 At CES they introduced the Clickfree Transformer USB Cable. It lets you use any external hard drive you already own. Just plug this gizmo into a USB port on your PC and then plug any size external hard drive from any manufacturer into the other end of the Transformer. The Clickfree backup application will automatically start, search the computer, organize and backup all of your important data onto the external hard drive. Thereís no software to install, no set up. You can use one Clickfree Transformer with many different 2.5Ē or 3.5Ē external hard drives. Retail price is $59.99. Another new Clickfree products unveiled at CES 2009 include is there Clickfree 1 Terabyte Backup Drive: The 1 TB Clickfree Backup Drive is an innovative computer backup device thatís perfect for small and medium enterprises or home offices where users need to backup multiple computers. Just connect the device to a USB port and it does the rest. The backup application starts automatically, searching and backing up data without requiring any user interaction. The drive stores 220,000 songs, 440,000 photos, and over 2 million documents. Retail price is $229.99. www.goclickfree.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw753
Holy cow, its yet another keyboard!
Itís the Seal Shield Keyboard. Have you heard that your computer keyboard has 400 times more germs then your toilet seat? Gross yes, but thatís what Dr. Charles Gerba, University of Arizona claims. So what can you do about it? Well, whenever you want, you can put the Silver Seal Anti- microbial keyboard IN THE DISHWASHER! I asked the company if theyíd be willing to let me do my own test: type with the keyboard --- wash it in my dishwasher --- and then use it to type again. They were more than willing to prove to me how dishwasher-safe their keyboard was. They sent me one and I put it to the test. The only difference youíll notice when you hook up this basic keyboard is that the USB dongle has a waterproof rubber boot which has to be used before you put the keyboard in the dishwasher. They also ask that you donít let the dishwasher go through a heated dry cycle if your dishwasher offers that option when washing the keyboard. (Mine dishwasher doesnít have that option.) The keyboard went through the test perfectly. When I took the keyboard out of the dishwasher soaking wet, I was sure I did something wrong. But I drained it over the sink, dried it for a minute with a towel and plugged it in. They also ask you to dry off the USB connector if it gets wet in the dishwasher.
Seal Shield TV Remote, Price TBA. Brand new from the company above is their TV remote control that can be put in the dishwasher too. And coming soon, a dish washer safe Home Theatre Remote Control. Spring 09.
Itís the GE 911 Emergency Light Switch
When you dial 911 for emergency assistance every second counts! Often precious minutes are wasted trying to locate the correct house. The Emergency Light Switch insurers that your house will be found as quickly as possible. You simply replace the standard front porch light switch with the Emergency Light Switch. If you need to dial 911 for help you can tell the operator to look for the flashing porch light. You then move the switch to the flashing position and your porch light will flash continuously to signal the emergency personnel trying to find you. After help arrives you can move the switch to the constant on or off position. (There are 3 positions on or off or flashing). Can also be used to help the pizza delivery man find your house or guests if you are expecting company. Easy installation in less than 10 minutes because youíre just swapping out one light switch for another. MAKE SURE YOU SHUT THE POWER THOUGH!After cutting off the power to the light at the circuit breaker you simply remove the switch cover plate untwist the two wires that connect the old switch and twist the two wires together to connect the new switch. Turn the power back on and you are done. This product can be seen online retailing for between $8.00 and 24.95! Itlooks like itís been discontinued, so grab one if youíre interested. Leo had a good idea Ė they shouldnít call it the GE 911 Light Switch, but more like the ďfind usĒ light switch.
From CES 2009 --- A New, ďGreenĒ Battery. Itís the new Fuji EnviroMAX battery. The battery itself is green & white, but the impact on the environment is said to be very ďgreenĒ!An independent test report given to the reporters showed that the new Fuji EnviroMAX batteries equaled or surpassed the power of the other leading brands like Energizer, Duracell, Panasonic and Rayovac. These barriers are Cadmium free and Fuji says many other ozone-depleting compounds have been eliminated in the production of these batteries. The company boasts that Fuji EnviroMAX batteries lead the way by setting rigorous safety and quality control standards to help produce battery products that are safe for users and to the environment. Even recycled paper and plastics are used in the production of Fuji EnviroMAX batteries 100% of the time. The batteries should be in the marketplace in the next month or two. The price will be about the same as current batteries. EnviroMAX batteries will be available in all four popular sizes. AA, AAA, C and D. www.greenfuji.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw746 Also from CES: N Power Peg. The Power is in You!Or rather ON you! With the nPower PEG you create power for charging your cell phone, iPod, and other handheld devices. How? Just place the lightweight nPower PEG in your bag or on your hip, attach it to your device, and youíll create energy any time you need it. The PEG works when you are in motion, so you donít have to worry about being near a power outlet or running out of a charge while on the go ever again. The up and down movement from your walking or running creates kinetic energy. The nPower PEG folks told me that the kinetic energy charges handheld electronic devices at the same rate as a wall charger. (I have no way of checking that out.) They say most devices on their gizmo list reach an 80% charge with just an hour of walking. This sure is a green device because this technology allows you to create renewable energy by walking, thus reducing your personal carbon footprint. It is compatible with over 90% of handheld electronic devices, including cell phones, MP3 players, handheld gaming devices, handheld GPS, digital cameras, and more. This device is about 9Ē long and can be pre-ordered now. The downside to my mind is the cost: $149.00 http://www.greennpower.com/ Hear this Netcast:www.twit.tv/dgw748
A new wireless security system from Lorex. Itís the Lorex LW2101 Color Wireless Video Security System. Unlike older systems that uses 2.4 Megahertz, this new system uses a much more secure digital channel hopping system. With a 2.4 Megahertz system, others on the same bandwidth can view your camera output. Thatís impossible with digital channel hopping because the signal changes every few seconds. Donít worry the camera and the receiver automatically stay in sync.The camera in this is can be used indoors or out because its weather resistant. It also has low light recording capability up to about 40 feet. Thereís a built-in microphone and you can set the mic level via the audio menu on receiver. You view the menu on whatever monitor youíre using to view the video output of the camera The camera has two RCA plugs, one for video and one for audio out. I just connected to a TV monitor. The camera comes with a bracket that can be wall mounted and adjusted. Included in the kit is also a battery adapter case so you an power the camera with four double AA batteries, but youíd use AC for continuous use. The digital pan / tilt /zoom feature let you zoom in on what the camera sees while using using the receiver. Expandable Up to 4 cameras. Suggested retail is $250, but it sells online for about $200.Lorex makes an entire line of security cameras and equipment. www.lorexcctv.com
Sure you can blow out a candle, but now you can ďblow onĒ a candle!
Think Geek LED Blow On-Off Candles. These high tech candles are solid wax, except for the electronics. There are two new things about these LED candles. You can blow them out, AND these LED candles will also blow on! Plus, each candle has a switch to select either a cool blue flame, or a more realistic yellowish flame. Great to use where it is too dangerous to have open flames. Candles are about 3Ē in diameter, and you have your choice of 4Ē or 6Ē tall. The 4" candle uses button type batteries (included. plus you get an extra set). The 6" candle takes 3 AAA batteries which are not included. The candles will "burn" for about 300 hours on a single set of batteries. The 4" candle features a pushbutton on the bottom to change from blue to natural yellow color, while the 6" candle has a three-position switch (left = blue color, center = off, right = natural yellow color). From Think Geek, a really great website for fun ďtoysĒ. 4Ē candle: $11.99, 6Ē candle $14.99. www.thinkgeek.com
Itís a flash drive that does a lot more than let you save files.
Coby 2GB FM/MP3 Flashdrive. Sure you can use it to save data files, but you can also use it to download music. The Coby MP-305 has a backlit LCD that shows song titles and artists of your saved music. Or you can hear the latest news, weather, etc. with the built-in FM Tuner. Transfer songs into this USB Flash drive player by plugging it directly into the computer. Since itís a flashdrive you donít need a USB cable. It even comes with a pair of earphones so you can listen to your music anywhere you like. Although the ďlistĒ price is $39.95, J &R Music is selling it for under $18!And if you want more memory, the same features are available in a 4 GB version. $34.99
Yet another flashlight!But this is one I'm not going to buy. This is not ordinary flashlight. The Torch flashlight from Wicked Lasers is currently being reviewed by Guinness as the world's most powerful flashlight. At 4100 lumens, the Torch can easily start fires and even fry eggs. I used it to let a guy light his cigarette when I played with it at the Gizmodo Gizmo Galley that was open for a few days before Christmas.Not only can this flashlight light a cigarette, the case itself gets hot. The manufacturer says not to use it for more than a few minutes at a time. Don?t worry, you can?t use for long every if you wanted to. Why? Because the battery life is just 15 minutes. Then you have to recharge the battery pack! The bulb is a 100 watt Halogen with an expected life of 2000 hours. And it comes with a 6 month warranty. This certainly is a conversation piece, and you can light a dark room and make it look like daylight in a photo. But at $300, I?I'm stick to my bright LED flashlights and my Giz Wiz LED Cap. www.wickedlasers.com Watch an egg being cooked with this flashlight:
Itís the TUNE BOARDSpeaker Keyboard from Verbatim. Whether you use your computer to watch videos on YouTube or listen to your favorite tunes, the Verbatim Speaker Keyboard for Windows (thereís a different version for MAC) is a great choice. It has integrated dual speakers, so this keyboard gives you very decent stereo sound right at your fingertips. You get a lot of features without cluttering up your space with speakers and cables. It also has easy keys to control volume and thereís a very effective boost bass button. Built in media buttons let you manage your music from the keyboard too. And of course I love the deep blue backlight illumination. You can easily type in a darkened room and see all the keys and symbols. You can turn on or off Ė depending on your surroundings or your mood.So with integrated speakers and backlighting, this Verbatim keyboard lets you turn down the lights, turn up the volume and enjoy a great music experience all plugged in with just a single USB cable. Under $80.
This device let you take your temperature or anyone in the familyís temperature a quick, accurate and "non-invasive" way. Itís the Exergen Temportal Scanner. According to a Harvard Medical School study, the Exergen TemporalScanner Temporal Artery Thermometer is even more accurate than ear thermometers. In fact, the company says, it's comparable in accuracy to old reliable ó the rectal thermometer. Remember those? Well this one is a lot easier to use. Just a gentle stroke of forehead --- from about center, either right or left to hairline -- captures naturally emitted heat from skin over the temporal artery. It takes just a few seconds. A red LED flashes and soft beep indicates correct scan is complete. It takes 1,000 readings per second, selecting the most accurate one. A patented Arterial Heat Balance feature computes the correct temperature. (Weíll take their word on that!) But itís neat because it can be used on a sleeping baby or it can be used on children with ear infections. It works on a 9V battery, which is included. Itís available at places like Costco & Wal-Mart stores, under $30. Ready more details on taking and understanding temperature taking and readings at their website. http://www.exergen.com/ Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw733
Stuck overnight in the airport. You could check into the Mini Hotel!
Hereís the deal. The company says that itís virtually impossible to get a good night's sleep on the hard benches found at airports, train stations and bus terminals. And if you have a back problem, it can even be injurious to your health! So what to do? With the Mini Motel, you can sleep in a fully reclined position on a cushion of air. Now the company also says: ďWith the Mini Motel, you can sleep in the privacy of your own "room," away from the gaze of strangers.Ē Of course I beg to differ just a bit. I think it will attract a lot of attention, but most likely youíll be one of the comfortable people stuck in the airport! The Mini Motel is very portable and fits easily in your carry-on luggage. The Mini Motel dimensions are 17" x 12" x 3", small enough to slip right into your laptop bag or business tote! The package includes everything you need. Thereís a privacy tent with a zippered closure. An air mattress with a built-in foot pump. The pump works, but itís very slow. But if youíre stuck in the airport or train station you probably have lots of time. Thereís also a pillow, bed sheet, alarm clock, reading light, tooth brush & tooth paste, ear plugs, and eye shades. It is a very well thought out packages. Cost is a very reasonable $49.95 and shipping is included! The company sells this is also good for emergency workers and kid sleepovers. Kids would LOVE this!
Welcome to The Plant-a-Lamp. Itís a lamp pole, which is "planted" in the soil of a live potted plant. Add a bulb and lampshade of your choice to turn your plant into a lamp. When the pole is plugged in it turns the leaves of the plant into the switch. Pinch a leaf to turn the lamp on and off. Pinch and hold a leaf to dim and brighten the lamp. And then touch any leaf to turn your lamp on or off. When you touch a leaf to get light, the lamp will turn back on to the previous dim level. Sensitivity to touch can be adjusted via the pole-mounted knob. When the soil becomes dry the Plant-a-Lamp will blink the lamp indicating the soil needs water. A 60 watt bulb is recommended, but not included. The Plant-a-Lamp lighting pole stands 16 inches high, up to 7 inches of the pole can be potted in the soil. Guess what? Although this gizmo has been in the warehouse for years, it turns out that itís still available. I found it for $29.95 at the website below. (I have never shopped there, by the way.) $39.95, but it was on sale for $29.95 when this was written, early Dec. 2008.
A new way to find things that fall into hard to reach places --- with an LED light too! Itís the Alligetter, a device that lets you easily and safely remove precious or improper objects from a garbage disposal and other hard-to-reach places. You can use the Alligetter in difficult to reach places like under the stove or refrigerator, between or under furniture and between your car seat and console. And thereís no risk of injury or cut fingers from accidental garbage disposal powering on. (Yagg, it hurts to even think about it!) Folding handle makes the unit a bit smaller for easy storage in drawer or cabinet And hereís something great. At the tip of the Alligetter thereís a removable LED with a convenient rear-mounted on/off switch. It makes it easier to find and pick up things that have fallen under other things! Clear ABS plastic construction for strength and light dispersion. Spring loaded trigger for easy grasping. It comes with a flap spreader for garbage disposal units that have rubber flaps. Battery included too. $19.95 www.alligetter.com Listen to this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw716 Oregon Scientific ATC5K! The latest in their action camcorder line. You can play hard, jog, run, bike, and now you can even swim while recording everything with the Oregon Scientific ATC5K! This self-contained, hands-free digital video cam has many new features when compared with the earlier models. Thereís a built-in 1.5Ē LCD screen and a photo capture function. So you donít have to wait until you get to a computer to see what you shot. And the ATC5K is waterproof to 10 feet! Itís PC and MAC compatible; and Oregon Scientific says it works seamlessly with most video editing software. Video can be recorded at either 640 x 320 or 320 x 240 at 30 frames per second (with sound). Thatís a good resolution for video upload services like YouTube. Obviously youíre not going to shoot your best friendís wedding with this device, but for sportís action, this camcorder feels very rugged. New also is remote control that lets you start and stop the camera when you have it mounted in a hard-to-reach location, like on you helmet. It comes with USB and RCA cables for playback on your PC or TV. It can even be used as a web cam. The onboard memory is small, just 32MG. Fortunately thereís an SD card expansion slot that can take SD cards up to 4GB. A SD card is not included unless you buy one of the ATC5K bundles. Compatible with operation system WIN2000/XP/Vista and Apple Mac X 10.3/10.4 Uses two AA batteries which are included. MSRP is around $249.99, but do a web search for the best price. Iíve seen for under $200. http://tinyurl.com/56s7pg
A very clever new gizmo.The Nirvana Organizer If you travel, this is a great new way to have everything you need at your fingertips. On planes and trains, the Nirvana Organizer mounts on the seat back tray table creating an entirely new space for work (and play). It keeps all necessary items within armís reach during your trip. There are special pockets designed to fit cell phones/PDA's, plan tickets, passport, credit cards and cash. There are more compartments and pouches for a water bottle. cup holder, key chain clip and pen/pencil holders. The open-access travel organizer bag essentially turns "inside-out" to permit direct access to internal contents. Itís also great for cars, strollers, airplanes, trains Ė anywhere you need to carry essential items on the go. But this is really the neat part Ė when itís time to move on, the Nirvana Organizer folds and zips closed! Now you have a shoulder bag with your gear, or itís small enough to fit inside another bag or backpack. It comes with itís own adjustable shoulder strap and carry handles. The shell is100% polyester microfiber; the lining is polyester microfiber and nylon mesh. Water resistant, spot clean only. Available in black, or brown. Cost is a very reasonable: $39.99 www.zenclasstravel.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw691
Hereís a way to be set for minor power blackouts! The Duracell Powerpack 450 provides 450 watts of power and adds voice technology. You can instantly get information on the expected runtime of your devices as soon as you plug them in. In addition, its on-demand information provides battery status lets you know if your Powerpack is charged before you leave the house. In emergency situations, the step-by-step usage instructions walk you through what to do to jumpstart your car or use the air compressor to inflate a tire. Itís powerful enough to jumpstart both 4 and 6 cylinder engines, so itís a great companion for a car, truck, boat or small RV. The Powerpack can power a wide range of products from coolers at the beach to chargers for cell phones, GPS systems and handheld game consoles. It also operates small power tools, computers, cordless phones, etc. The built-in150 PSI air compressor is good for inflating tires and small sports equipment. Jumper cables are also built right into the device. And there a built-in light provides illumination in emergency situations at home and on the road. Strangely enough for such a well thought out device, the flashlight is not LED. You can recharge the unit via the AC charger which is stored inside the unit. And it can also be charged via a 12 volt cigarette lighter plug. About $140. But as this gets more widely distributed, you should do a web search for the best price.
HD 1080p Screen, BluRay, Altec Lansing Sound, Fingerprint Reader, Remote Control, HDMI Output --- a real powerhouse desktop replacement computer from HP! Itís thePavilion HDX18t with a 18.4Ē 1080P HD screen, BluRay player and Altec Lansing Home Theatre Sound! Thereís HDMI output so you can connect this powerhouse to an even bigger HD screen. But just the way it is, this is perfect for video in the den, bedroom, or home office. (Thereís an option TV tuner too.) This computer comes in a high tech Titanium case with a backlight touch control media center. Other features include a fingerprint reader for password control, Bluetooth, WiFi, Intel Duo Core processor and built in web cam. If you watched us record the Daily Giz Wiz, you heard Leo say it was the best video we ever had. So weíre going to record this weekís Daily Giz Wiz episodes with the HDX 18t! Thereís also 16Ē version which offers a 1080p screen & BluRay as an option. Both models come with windows Vista and you can have the option of 32 or 64 bit versions. The 16Ē model starts at $1050.00, and the 18.4Ē model at about $1399.00. www.hp.com Hear this episode: www.twit.tv/dgw676 If the BudFits, wear it! The folks at BudFits have an interesting observation. ďAppleís white earbuds are easily the most recognized headphone style on the planet. They have reached iconic status the world over. Their popularity transcends cultures and backgrounds.Ē So far, so good, but thereís more thatís also true:ďIf you think iPod and iPhone earbuds are uncomfortable and fall out easily, then you are not alone. BudFits keep earbuds from falling out and also make the earbuds far more comfortable by eliminating the need to wedge the earbuds in the ear canal. ď Actually I think the sound of the earbuds that come with iPods are pretty good, but I donít wear them because they donít go in, and when I force them in, they fall out. BudFits can end that problem. They adapt your iPod or iPhone earbuds to fit so you can hear your music, exercise and still have them in your ears. You simply snap your iPod earbuds into the Budfits, which hang over your ear. And the price is right too, Under $9.00 www.budfits.com Hear this Netcast:www.twit.tv/dgw678
This website is current only up to the end of April, 2009. My new website with everything from May 1st, 2009 forward is: www.gizwiz.biz.