This page contains, or will contain, all the gadgets & gizmos talked about on The Daily Giz Wiz during December, 2008. Newest week is at the top. The Netcast usually goes online about 11 PM, the night before the date indicated. The latest week is at the top.
DAILY GIZ WIZ, Week of December 29th, 2009
Monday, December 29th 2008 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:
TTTT Ė Yes, itís another Turn The Table Tuesday and Leo comes up with a gadget I already have too.
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.
Wednesday, December 31st, 2008Netcast 733 Itís New Yearís Eve. Is this something you might need when you wake up on New Yearís Day! 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
Thursday,January 1st, 2009. Netcast 734
New Yearís Day-- HAPPY NEW YEAR!Toot, toot, noise, noise!
Weíre not doing a regular show today. We thought it would be fun to read New Yearís resolutions that some our listeners are making.A few are posted here and youíll hear many more on todayís DGW.
Leo thought this first one was a very good New Yearís Resolution:
My first resolution for the 2009 might be a little strange for a geek... I have decided to spent some more time with real people (face to face) and less time with computers, gadgets, etc. as I have somehow realized that the more screen time I get the less happy I feel. I guess we really need to get out there, meet people, smile to each other, talk, etc. My second resolution is to find some public service, organization, etc. where I could help others. I am not sure, whatexactly I would like to do but I give myself a year to find out. (Leo was not so crazy about part 2 of this resolution!)Kind regards, Maciej
To spend less money on gadgets in 2009 - not that I am likely to succeed! One other I thought of is, and this one is sure to make Leo happy, "to buy a Titanium Spork and a Toothpick Bird - two essential items in the company of an ardent DGW listener". - Matt Kopelke
My resolution for 2009 is to finally give up smoking, since it has severely cut into my gadget-buying budget. I have also resolved to do everything within my power to become debt-free within the year. I also resolve to watch a lot more Live TWiT. Thanks, Thomas Ward
And dozens of you sent in the exact same New Yearís Resolution. And it was:
Beam me up, Scott.Or rather ďLower the Beam Scope, ScottyĒ
Some 20 years or so ago there were no giant TV screens. But there was a way to watch a giant TV image using your regular TV. It was called Beam Scope. This was a precision ground lens; complete with stand that you placed in front of your smallish TV, so you could watch a bigger picture. I bought two of them. The first I bought turned my 21Ē TV into a 32Ē TV. The picture quality was pretty good, but there was one disadvantage. Only the person sitting directly dead center in front of the Beam Scope got an undistorted view. Two people sitting close together side-by-side had a pretty good view too. But sitting too off center meant you saw a totally distorted picture. The Beam Scopes were expensive too. About $100 for the 32Ē one, and almost $200 for the 42Ē model which came a year later. And they were HEAVY! One model came with a rolling stand so you could roll in front of your TV for the shows you wanted to watch on ďthe big screenĒ. I used it mainly for watching movies on TV.I really didnít need to watch The Match Game with the Beam Scope.Turns out some models are still available, but theyíre small. On Amazon.com you can find a 12to 15 inch TV Magnifier for $57.00.
After a 3 month hiatus, they're back! The World Famous Giz Wiz LED Logo Hat! (Well at least they're famous in the US and Canada.)
Year End Special! An extra pair of CR2032 Lithium Batteries will be included with every LED hat ordered between now and January 31st! The manufacturer says this new hat offers up to 30 hours of burn time on the included batteries. With an extra set of batteries you can double that to 60 hours! (Your burn time may vary.)
Perfect for doing any job where you wish you had someone to hold a flashlight.
Changing fuses in the dark. / Working under the sink. / Working under the hood of your car, or even under your car! / Hooking up cables behind your computer, HDTV, or under your desk. / Perfect when walking the dog at night. / Finding stuff in the closet. / I've gotten many emails saying the LED hat was almost a lifesaver when a storm knocked out the power.
It features the Giz Wiz two color embroidered designer logo! / A on/off switch is built right into the brim! / The battery holder is built into the liner so it's easily change batteries! / And there's an easy-to-adjust to size Velcro strap!
Cost? $22.99. Shipping is $5.99 and it goes Priority Mail!
IMPORTANT!!!! Here's the bad news on postage to Canada. Postage to Canada has gone up again! Priority Mail to Canada is now $16.10. That's what I pay, I don't make any money on postage. It requires a customs form and the package has to be delivered in person to the post office on the same day as the date on the label. The only good news is that it's the same price to mail one hat or two hats. So you if live in Canada and have a friend who wants to order one, you can at least share the postage. PayPal isn't set up to apply the proper postage to Canada, so if you order one or two hats, I'll send you PayPal invoice for the difference in postage. I wish was cheaper and easier, but it's not.
Daily Giz Wiz, Week of December 22nd, 2009 Monday, December 22nd, 2009, Netcast #726 Take your show on the road with the new Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link.
Want to watch your portable hard drive or flash drive video content in a hotel room, at friendís house or a party? The Iomega ScreenPlay TV link is an very compact multimedia player that lets you connect your USB hard drive, flash drive, or Iomega Rev Drive (sold separately) to your TV, or any TV with the correct inputs. Watch movies, photos, and videos. Offers HDMI scalable to 1080i. It comes with a full-function remote control. Itís a way to add multimedia features to the digital media collections you already have. Supports latest media formats such as MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (AVI/VOB), MPEG-4 (AVI/DiVX 3.11, 4.x, 5.x/XViD), MP3, AC3 (Dolby Digital Encoding), WAV, WMA, OGG and JPEG. Plus, an Energy Star qualified adapter for a better environment powers the ScreenPlay TV Link. Suggested retail: $94.95But do a web search. Itís already available for $87.65.
TTTT Tuesday, December 23rd. Itís another Turn The Table Tuesday and Leo loves his new Blackrapid RS1 Strip. It was a gift from Tony who works at TWiT Cottage. And now Tony has secured his job for the foreseeable future because Leo thinks it was a wonderful gift!I donít own one of these straps, but hereís info from the companyís website: The R-Strap is the most innovative camera strap ever to hit the market.This patent-pending equipment offers unparalleled peace of mind and ease of access to your camera. The R-Strap is worn diagonally across the torso from shoulder to hip and is adjustable to fit most photographers.The pad has a mesh underside for comfort and breathability. Our locking FastenR connects the R-Strap to the tripod socket located on either the camera body or the lens. Once connected, the camera hangs upside down, resting securely at your side or in the small of your back, with the lens pointing behind you. With the camera at your hip or behind your back, you can maneuver easily through a crowd, carry a tripod or other gear, or simply have both hands free. When youíre ready to take the shot, the camera quickly glides up the strap into shooting position.Grab. Glide. Click. $44.00 http://www.blackrapid.com/rs1.php Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw727 Wednesday, December 24th, 2009 Itís Christmas Eve! Leo & I were going to take the day off but Grinch Dane said it would totally throw off the DGW numbering if we skipped a day. So we thought it would be a good time to showcase another great work of theme-writer Paul Minshall. Paul wrote a special 12 Days of Giz Wiz song. Thereís a video version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_-VW2m9ZLE Paulís website: http://paulminshall.com/themes(Listen to the ďcountryĒ version, lower right.) Here this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw728
Santa Elves stopped by Giznyland!
Thurs, December 25th. Christmas Day. Netcast 729 Happy Holidays to those who celebrate Christmas. And ďHappy Iím Off Today Day AnywayĒ to those who donít. The soon-to-be-annual ďWhat I want for ChristmasĒ DGW show. Like yesterday, Leo & I were going to take the day off, but Grinch Dane said it wouldtotally throw off the DGW numbering if we skipped a day Ė and it would be far worse if we skipped two days! So we thought it would be a good time to ask listeners what they wanted for Christmas. So thatís what the DGW is today. Lots of listener emails. Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw729 The Daily Giz Wiz, Friday, December 26th Netcast 730 Sure you know about Polaroid Instant Pictures, but did you know about Polaroid Instant Slides? Itís back in the fall of 1982 and Polaroid instant picture film is doing okay, but they need something new. So Polaroid introduces Instant Slides. The new process for producing instant slides was first displayed at Photokina '82, big annual photo trade fair in Cologne, West Germany. The Polaroid Autoprocess 35-millimeter System produced color and black-and-white slides in about three minutes. But this was not a sort of simple process like the still film. You shot the film the normal way in any 35MM camera. Then you put the chemical pack in one chamber and the exposed special Polaroid film in another. You had to thread the 35MM film inside the bulky Autoprocessor. If somehow the leader of the film had gone all the back into the can, the system came with a device to retrieve the end. You turned one dial which introduced the chemical to the film. Then you waited three minutes and slowly turned another dial to crank the film through. It was both amazing and primitive. But you did get slides in about 3 minutes. Then you had to cut them and mount them, but all that stuff came from Polaroid too. The results were kind of washed out slides, but the fact you can shoot pictures at a party and then projected them while the guests were still there, was pretty amazing. I used to shoot pictures at MAD presentations. Then add them right into the show. People freaked out when they saw themselves on the screen when they knew the pictures where taken less than an hour ago. Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw730
High Tech - for it's time!
Monday, December 15th Netcast 721
Hang those photos for all to see. Right on the tree, or sit it on a shelf.
Itís the Digital Photo Display Ornament. Lets you store over 50 photos and display them as a slideshow or as individual stills on the ornament's miniature LCD screen. Install the software on your PC or MAC and upload the photos to the ornament. The software resizes copies of your photos (your originals won't be harmed) and transfers them to the ornament via the included USB cable. Use the color 1.5Ē LCD to share your favorite photos with family and friends. The ornament can be hung on the tree, or can be placed on the include stand. Modes include: Auto off, clock, timer and Slide show. Batteries Included. Available in red or green.IMPORTANT! This is only available on the Brookstone website or via their catalog. It is NOT is at Brookstone stores! Under $20.
Turn The Table Tuesday, December 16th, 2008, Netcast 722
Leo loves his new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3
I donít own one of these cameras, so I lifted info on it from the web. It has a 10.1 effective Megapixel CCD (which, at 1/1.63", is fairly large for a compact camera)
F2.0-2.8, 2.5X optical zoom, equivalent to 24 - 60 mm; camera can produce 24 mm photos at any aspect ratio (4:3, 3:2, or 16:9). It also features optical image stabilization and a 3-inch LCD. Leo liked the idea of the optional optical viewfinder that attaches to the hot shoe. It has full manual controls and an Intelligent Auto Mode that can do AF tracking, redeye removal, auto scene selection, face detection, and more. RAW image format is supported for the higher end photographer. Records movies at 1280 x 720 (24 fps) with sound. There is support for conversion lenses, filters, and an external flash. Onboard memory is 50MB, plus an SD/SDHC/MMC card slot. Price: $499; I found it for $419.88 at J&R Music.
I have a new computer, but I still want to see stuff on my old one.
You can see both computers on the same monitor with Belkinís Flip Wireless KVM Switch.Thatís right. Two computers. One monitor. No problem. Business professionals who bring home their laptops spend countless evenings in front of a small display and cramped keyboard. Thanks to the Flip Wireless KVM Switch, you can now use your big monitor and full-sized keyboard for both your laptop and home computer. It's simple. Just press the remote to switch your monitor from one computer to the next. The Switch is also great for connecting your old and new desktop computers, so you can access files and programs effortlessly using the same monitor, keyboard, and mouse. And you can connect a Mac and a PC to the same monitor. Depending on the model you choose, thereís wired and wireless models, the price is $49.95 to $59.95.
A projector that fits in a pocket. And not even a very big pocket!
The 3M Micro Professional Projector (MPro110) connects to most digital video devices (like your video iPod) to project movies, photos, and files virtually anywhere! Turn any wall in a darkened room into your personal theater. The MPro110 has an aspect ratio of 4:3 and a native resolution of 640 x 480 VGA. With this device you can project video and photos from your video phone, share videos and movies from your video camera or create a spontaneous slide show from your digital camera. On the road you can even project your portable gaming console as long as it has video out. Uses LED technology for up to 10,000 hours of operation. Now battery life suffers a bit because of the tiny size of this unit; it fits in the palm of your hand. So on battery power you can project images for about an hour. But it comes with an AC adapter so thatís most likely what youíll be using most of time. Fits in the palm of your hand. $369.00
Friday, December 19th, 2008, Back to warehouse Friday, Netcast 725
At last a Fruitcake that has wonít get passed around!
Itís the Flaming Fruitcake! Well, itís not a fruitcake, but it does flame. This thing feels like a fruitcake because it weighs 3.45 pounds! But itís really a fake log meant to be burned. The name is funny, and the idea is clever and I thought this would be a big hit. But that was back in 1991 when I someone sent me one. I never wanted to burn it because it something funny to put on display around Christmas time. I did a web search and I canít find a mention of it anyplace. It was distributed by Grandma Keenan Specialty Products, but I canít find them on the web either. Even the box copy is cute. It says things like: ďHave Fun Burning These CaloriesĒ and ďFinally A Fruitcake You Will Enjoy.Ē And of course thereís a real warning: ATTENTION!!DO NOT EAT!!This is not a food product! Then it explains that it was Grandpaís recipe, not Grandmaís and contained things like sawdust, wax, color wood chips and coloring agents.Sounds better than some fruit cakes I have tried to eat!
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
Itís another Turn The Table Tuesday and time for another bag from Leo!
Itís the Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer
I donít have one of these bags, so I lifted info about it from Tomís website: Now that the TSA has doled out the official verbiage about what it considers a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag, expect to see the usual players toss in an option or two for frequent fliers. Thus far, all we've seen are cases that get the job done while throwing style to the wind in the nearest dumpster; now, however, we've a better option to choose from. Tom Bihn's stylish Checkpoint Flyer meets all of the TSA's requirements while still looking like a briefcase we wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen with. The 2.6-pound bag is crafted from US 1050 denier ballistic nylon and 500 denier Cordura and includes a trio of pouches on the outside, splash-proof zippers and ten smaller pockets for stashing those increasingly rare bags of peanuts / pretzels. It's available now in three colors for $220 (Yeah, we know, but it's made in the US of A). Leo said he likes this bag a lot, and that it should last a very long time because itís really well made. If you have some extra bucks you can customize it at their website!
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.
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!
Friday, December 12th, Back to Dickís Gadget Warehouse. Netcast 720
Talk about strange gadgets!
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.
The folks at Bushnell set out a design a GPS for the total non-techie. That way the Bushnell BackTrack is not meant to be a fully featured GPS. And since you can buy it for less than $60 by doing a web search, you wouldnít expect it to have many features. And it doesnít! The BackTrack, is designed to remember only three locations. It could your car, your home and any other location. To get started you push one of three icons Ė home, car, and a icon that represents a 3rd choice. It doesnít even guide you to your destination. But once set, it will guide you back to a marked spot with directional arrows and distance estimates as your guide. Itís really not a car navigation device at all, but designed more for camping and hiking. Itís a spartan face with just those three icons. There are no maps, no turn-by-turn directions, and it doesnít talk. Itís has the look and feel of digital compass. And after all, it is a self calibrating compass. So you donít lose it, it comes with a lanyard so it can be worn. You have to hold it to view it, so it hangs upside-down. That way you can read the face easily without taking it off. The BackTrack is the smallest GPS unit Iíve seen, and thatís because it does far less and doesnít have a speaker, for spoken direction. Or a card slot, or Ė well you get the idea. A techie blue backlight is about the only bell or whistle. It might be good for someone who likes to roam in woods but never knows how to get back to their starting point, or to find a car in a huge parking lot a mall or sports event. It runs on 2 AAA batteries. Hereís a link to a place on Amazon that retails it for less than $55.00. I shopped by price only, I never used this retailer.
Itís another TTTT, Turn The Table Tuesday and Leo falls in love with Internet Radio!
I donít have one of these C.Crane Internet Radio, but Leo was raving about the thousands Ė yes thousands of Internet radio stations you can choose from! He liked the sound and the price. Hereís more info from the C.Crane website: We couldn't let the Europeans and Brits have all the glory, so we've built a WiFi radio of our own. The CC WiFi gives you an American style of Internet Radio. The CC WiFi combines straightforward style with all the convenience of tuning in over 11,000 radio stations from around the world. The CC WiFi radio has excellent audio in a small footprint that fits nicely on a desktop, kitchen counter or bedside table. There's a headphone socket for private listening and a line-out for use with your component speakers. Features 99 memory presets, remote control, an alarm clock, and an Ethernet port for a hard-wire network connection. Weight: 1 lb. Size: 6.5" W x 3.9" H x 3.9" D. Note 1: Hard-wire direct connect option requires Cat 5e Ethernet Cable sold separately. $199.95
This was another one of those ďDick has no idea whatís in the boxĒ Daily Giz Wiz episodes.
All I knew was that the package was from Belkin, so we knew it would be something interesting. I opened the box and discovered the Powerline AV+ Starter Kit. The Powerline AV+ has 3 Ethernet ports, which allows you to transmit content from the Internet directly to multiple computers and other network devices through the electrical wires in your home. For areas in a home that are hard to reach by wireless connections, Powerline is an easy way to provide secure Internet connectivity to these remote areas. Belkin says having 3 ports is important as the number of network ready devices increases. The Powerline AV+ acts a hub for connecting up to 3 devices to the Internet. Now you can stream and download media content directly to your gaming consoles, Set-top boxes, IPTV, computers and other Network ready devices. Setup of Powerline is simple. Itís just plug-and-play connectivity. Connect one adapter to your router and plug into an available electrical outlet. Plug the second adpter into an available wall outlet and connect the other end to any device with an available Ethernet port such as a gaming console, set-top box, or computer. Now when I told Leo what I wanted to use it for he said it probably wouldnít work. I wanted to send signals from my office to my apartment. Even though theyíre on the same floor and are back to back, Leo feels it wonít work because the wiring for each apartment are on their own electric meters. Oh, well, heís probably right, but Iíll try it anyway and let folks know what it worked, or didnít work. There are various Powerline kits from Belkin starting at $99.99.
UPDATE! Guess what? It does work through electric meters. I hooked the transmitter to my DSL in my office and the receiver in my apartment. I was able to watch a movie in my apartment which in on the same floor as my office, but on a different electric meter!
A USB device that tells you what will grow in your own backyard!
Itís called EasyBloom. Place the EasyBloom Sensor in a spot where you would like to grow a plant, or adjacent to the plant that needs monitoring. Let the EasyBloom Plant Sensor gather a Ďplant's eyeí view of that location. After 24 hours, plug the sensor into your USB port. The sensor data is uploaded to the EasyBloom website where algorithms are run that will either recommend a plant or diagnose what is wrong with an ailing plant. Put it in the Recommend mode, and the EasyBloom website will showcase a variety of plants that will thrive in that location. In the Monitor mode, you will be told what is going wrong with a plant you already have and offer visual cues on how to fix it. EasyBloom Plant Sensor is Windows XP and Windows Vista compatible. In January 2009 it will support Mac OS X Tiger (v10.4) and Leopard (v10.5) users.
Friday, December 5th, 2008, Netcast 715 Back to Dickís Gadget Warehouse.
A way to balance a drink on your automobile dashboard.
The CALYPSO was a strange kind of beverage holder for cars and boats. It had a pivoting mechanism that kept a can of soda balanced on the dashboard, even as you went around tight turns. The copy of the box claims that this is much safer than trying to hold the beverage in your hand while driving. The swiveling action was accomplished by having a pivoting tray with ball bearings floating in oil underneath. So whether you put a can, cup or glass on the tray it would pretty much stay in balance. I had one fastened to a piece of wood and I demonstrated on shows like Live! with Regis & Kathy Lee. It was a fun demo, but it looks like it wasnít a big seller. I canít find it anywhere on the Internet anymore.