This page contains all the gadgets & gizmos talked about on The Daily Giz Wiz during August, 2008. Newest week is at the top. The Netcast usually goes online about 11 PM the night before the date indicated.
Daily Giz Wiz, Week of August 25th, 2008
Monday, August 25th, 2008Netcast 641 Leo has a PED3, but does he have a NAJA King? And what the heck am I talking about?? Okay, a couple of weeks ago one of Leoís Turn The Table Tuesday picks was the PED 3 from www.thoughtout.biz. Itís a device your hold you iPhone or iPod Touch in just about any position on your desk, tray table, etc. He told me I should contact the company because they had lots of other fun stuff. Leo was right. It turns out I found a product from Thoughtout that Leo didnít know about. Itís called the Naja King ---[pronounced NaHa]Like the PED3 desktop holder, the NAJA King rotates for wide screen viewing on your iPhone or iPod touch. It come with a 3 foot soft flexible coil designed so you can use your iPod or iPod Touch in lots of secure form-able positions. You could even wear it around your neck so you could watch the screen hands-free. With small coiling abilities it is compact enough for travel and it is a great solution for those long flights. Different models from $29.95 to $39.95. And if you already own the PED 3, you only need to add the flexible coil for $19.95. www.thoughtout.biz Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw641 Tuesday, August 26th, 2008, Netcast 642
Itís another Turn The Table Tuesday and Leo comes with the MP3 Recorder-Player with Built-In AM/FM Radio!
The CC Witness is the only digital MP3 recorder/player that also has both AM and FM radio onboard. There was a product called Pogo which didnít make it, so this product is the only one (that we know of) that allows radio lovers to set up the unit to record their favorite radio shows. With itís built in timer, itís kind of a like Tivo for radio. The CC Witness has 2GB of onboard memory and up to 16GB of external memory on an optional SD card. That's enough memory to record your favorite radio programs, your thoughts, lectures and lots of music. You'll have plenty of room to store hundreds of hours of voice recordings, and still have room for more. You can preset it to record up to 20 programs in advance. You can also make MP3 recordings of AM/FM radio programs (or anything else you can connect to the line-in) on the fly. This high-quality digital recorder can also be used to record internet radio music, meetings, memos, language lessons, etc. And you can use it for file storage or as an MP3 player, to play back your favorite songs or audio books. Weight: 3.6 oz. Size: 2.2" W x 4" H x 0.6" D.$229.95
Wednesday, August 27th, 2008, Netcast 643 Instead of wearing your heart on your sleeve, you should wear your medical history on your wrist.
MY-MED band is a water resistant USB Medical wristband. But whatís nice this band is that itís loaded with a Universal file that can be read by both PCís and Macís. It does not require any additional software. Each band comes with instructions for loading your personal medical information onto the USB device, affording medical or emergency personnel easy access to critical information. Each band comes with easy step by step instructions. In an emergency situation, you can have all your medical information easily available. That includes important details such as current medication names and dosages, allergies and family history. Other info can include past surgeries, blood type, doctors names and phone numbers. Even if youíre unconscious the MY-MED can share your medical information with emergency teams.The MY-MED band is easily recognizable by emergency and medical personnel as each band is marked with the universal red medical cross. Also the company told me many high end drug stores are now equipped to download info on your prescription right into youíre MY-MED band. Thereís alsothe MY-ID band, a USB Identification wristband designed for a child. This water resistant wristband, also contains a USB flash drive with a Universal file that can be read by both PC's and MAC's and does not require any additional software. MY-ID is unique as it holds the emergency contact information of whom to call when a child is lost, or missing, NOT the childís name and personal information.Each band is under $30. There is also a Cancer Awareness USB Band.
Now you can have your very own spelling bee right in the palm of your hand! Franklin has introduced the Speaking Spelling Bee. Not only does it do the spelling part, it also includes several games that you can play on the 2Ē color screen, or with the included cable, right on your TV. Here are some of the features: Multi-player Competition mode (up to 6 players), Game Show mode or improve skills in the practice mode. * Request a definition of the word, origin or to have it used in a sentence. * Compete against friends or select to play against the computer. * High-contrast 2″ color LCD display. * Clear speech and sound effects. * Compact design with sliding keyboard. * Connects to most TVs. And thereís an SD slot and USB connectivity to provide expandability. The Merriam-Webster Intermediate Dictionary has over 70,000 words, and it includes the Merriam-Webster Intermediate Thesaurus and the Merriam-Webster Rhyming Dictionary. So itís a great companion for school work too.
Back to Warehouse Friday, August 29th, 2008, Netcast 645
Itís the MIVO 250 PERSONAL E-MAIL MACHINE, a way to send emails without a computer.
The Cidco Mivo 250 E-Mail Message Machine was a cordless, convenient, and easy to use to send emails without using a computer. Ideal for folks who didnít own, or didnít want to own a computer. It cost $149.99 and then you need a service plan which ran from $9.95 to $14.95 for a monthly service fee which included unlimited access. You would plug the 900 MHz base station into a phone jack, turn on the Mivo 250, and then you would be able to send and receive e-mail in your home. It also offered one-touch access to daily Weather, TV Listings, and other info. You were actually using Cidcoís toll free number.
The Mivo 250 operated on 900 MHz frequency that same as many cordless phones. You typed on the wireless keyboard, and then sent e-mails with the simple touch of a button. You can collect new e-mail manually or set it to automatically check at times you specify, so it won't be tying up the phone line. you'll be notified by the new-mail indicator light.
DGW, Week of August 18th, 2008 Monday, August 18th, 2008, Netcast 636 Hereís something that is even LESS techie than the Toothpick Bird! But much more fun and even practical! Theyíre the Dress For Dinner Napkins. Yes, even if youíre dressed your favorite old white tee shirt, with this napkin at your neck you'll look like you made the effort to get dressed for dinner. A great conversation piece at any party. There are 20 3-ply paper napkins to a package, 4 designs - 5 of each tie. You have polka dots, stripes and for really classy affairs, a solid black tie! What a wardrobe! I wore one when we recorded the Daily Giz Wiz via Stickam and Leo thought I was wearing a shirt and tie. You would think he would know better. Price: $5.95/Package of 20 napkins. www.spoonsisters.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw636 TTTT, August 19th, Netcast 637 Itís another Turn The Table Tuesday, and I barely understand what Leoís gadget is or does! It's the new version of the aTV Flash. (version 3.2.2) Since I don't have a Mac and don't have Apple TV, here's info from their website: Now fully compatible with the latest Apple TV 2.1 software, the aTV Flash is a software upgrade will greatly enhance the functionality of your Apple TV. The software installs automatically, and no modification or coding is required. Also, it will NOT void your warranty. Key Features: - Play most video formats (DivX, Xvid, AVI, WMV, RMVB + more) - Play DVD files WITHOUT converting them (includes DVD menu support) - Surf the web with a Safari based web browser / - Easily enable external USB hard drive storage / - Enable FTP, SFTP and SSH access /- Rent and watch films from Jaman.com - View local weather forecasts / - All original Apple TV features remain intact - And much, much more... / The install process now features a graphical interface, that requires no technical knowledge whatsoever. The installer program requires a Macintosh running OSX 10.4 (Tiger) or 10.5 (Leopard). -- Back to Dick De.Okay, got all that? Leo likes this a lot. The cost is $49.95. http://www.applecorellc.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw637 Wednesday, August 20th Netcast 638 A new way to hear music from your iPod, or most any music player. The Stroll-A-Tune / And a pretty identical device called iRide are from ActiveTunes. Either one allows you to listen to music, podcasts, or your favorite morning talk show (If your MP3 supports radio) while you stroll or bike. You wonít need headphones or earbuds with this mini stereo speaker unit. No earbuds means you'll be able to hear everything that's around you. Now these are tiny speakers so don't expect kiss-ass sound. They're equal to small transistor radio sound, expect you'll hear everything in stereo. Actually the separation in pretty good for such a small unit, but the volume is not very loud. This is probably an okay thing since you donít want to annoy others as you walk or ride by. It comes with an audio cable that lets you connect either unit to any audio device that has a standard headphone jack. So it will work with your iPod and most other MP3 players. A multi-purpose pouch is included and itís made of Neoprene, so itís durable.Thereís a Velcro strap on back of pouch to attach it to stroller or bike handle. The mini speaker folds to fit in pouch when not in use. To help make the speakers stay in place when mounted in their bracket, foam inserts are included. Powered by 3 AAA batteries. Youíll have to remember to shut off the unit when you put it away as there is no on/off indicator light. Speaker Dimensions - Width: 5.75" fully opened, 3" when folded x Height: 2.75". Price about $25. Visit their website to see what type of handles these speakers fit. www.activetunes.com. Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw638
Thursday, August 21st, Netcast 639
Another neat gizmo from the folks at Clickfree.
Clickfree recently released some DVDís that are quite unusual. Itís probably one of the most inexpensive ways to protect your data. Each Clickfree Automatic backup DVD is category specific. They can back up music, photos or documents. Itís the easiest back up Iíve ever seen. Just Insert the rewriteable DVD in the computer disc drive. That automatically starts the backup. If the back up program on the disc finds it needs more than one DVD, it will tell you that right on the screen. Then you simply insert recordable DVDís until all your info is safely backed up. A set of 3 DVDís with the built in software is $10.You have to realize though that the Clickfree DVD only backs up your data to the point you make the copy. If you add more files then you need to start over again. But Iíd do it every few months or so. This is a back up system for someone who knows nothing about making backups. I used it to move a lot of photos from an old computer to a new one. The ClickFree 160 GB hard drive is for folks with a touch more computer savvy, but that device too is real easy to use.Hereís the show on the Clickfree hard drive: http://www.twit.tv/dgw629
Itís back to Dickís Gadget Warehouse where we meet the ďYES MANĒ -
He Always Agrees With You!
The Yes Man - He's here to tell you you're always right. Need a pat you on the back? Ask this guy if he likes what you're saying and he'll tell you just what you want to hear. This voice-activated desk accessory is the perfect gift for the executive who's always right but needs confirmation. He waits until the end of your question to speak like a good ďyes manĒ should.Some of his pre-recorded phrases include: "How do you do it?," Hey, I wish I'd thought of that!," "When you're right, you're right!" and several more. And a later version of the Yes Man was supposed to be able to allow you to record up to 4 of your own responses, but Iíve never seen that any where. Runs on a single 9 volt battery (not included). About 6Ē tall. Although you can find the Yes Man at the companyís website: www.raucreations.com, he is no longer available for sale.
A nice way to integrate your cell phone into your boat dashboard.
The Cobra F300 BT handset lets boaters have cell phone conversations via their Bluetooth enabled cell phone while underway. The call comes in to your Bluetooth enabled cell phone which you can leave in a safe, dry place. But via the Bluetooth wireless technology you pick up the call on the Cobra combination microphone/speaker handset you might at the dash. (Or any place you like.) The incoming cell phone callerís audio is routed through the handset speaker. Your outgoing voice audio is relayed through the noise-canceling microphone. This gives you the ability to make and receive non-emergency phone calls and hear clearly over engine and wind noise. Bluetooth range is about 75 feet. Cobra reminds people that this device is not a replacement for an emergency VHF radio. It can however let you make non-emergency communication easier and more convenient. And of course it only works in places where your Bluetooth cell phone can receive a call! MSRP is $189.95 at major marine retailers. It will be shipping in September, 2008.
What? It is TTTT already.Yes, itís another Turn The Table Tuesday, and Leo comes up with a gadget his son Henry loves.
Leoís son Henry, has gotten into shooting video. Leo lent Henry one of his HD camcorders but it seems the lens on the camcorder wasnít wide enough for the kind of shots youthful director Henry Laporte wanted. So Leo did a search and found the new Opteka .42x HD≤ Titanium Series High Resolution Ultra Wide Angle Macro Fisheye Converter Lens. Not only does it have the longest product name Iíve ever seen, it also can increase the versatility of your existing camcorder lens to provide breathtaking ultra wide angle views. It doesnít fit on every camcorder, but it will fit most of those that accept filters. The fisheye lens screws onto the camcorderís filter ring. The detachable macro lens allows you to take extreme high resolution close-up shots. Itís ideal for scenic panoramas, groups and tight interiors. Leo said Henry has been able to skateboard directly next to one of his friends and film the action so it fills the entire screen. Best part of all is that the lens is under $40.
Battery Bug features something the company calls ďCrank CheckĒ technology. Itís a clever device. Designed for boats, cars, vans, etc., it uses visual alerts and audible alarms to identify the main causes of battery failure: old age, undercharging, and overcharging. Installation takes a couple minutes. Red lead goes to the positive terminal, black lead goes to the negative terminal and the Battery Bug itself attaches to the battery surface via Velcro so it can be removed and replaced easily. Once itís hooked up it provides battery performance data including: % of battery life remaining, battery voltage, and alternator voltage. The Battery Bug's key difference is that it performs a voltage test during the engine start, while the battery is under a large electrical load." The display also has icons to indicate: replace battery, low charge or high charge. At every start the Battery Bug monitors the battery's ability to start the engine and, as the battery's performance drops below an acceptable level, it provides alerts. The water-resistant, 2"x2" Battery Bug is designed to weather the corrosive marine environment and will fit any 12volt starting battery. Itís a good investment at about $40. Thereís a different model for deep cycle batteries. All the info is at the companyís website.
Hereís a full featured multi-functional machine with built in WiFi!
The Lexmark X9575 is a multi-functional machine that can print, copy, scan, and fax. A surprise that comes packed in the Lexmark box are two high capacity ink cartridges. Usually you get one of those low-ink ístarterí cartridges, but not with this unit. The X9575 includes Print, Scan, Copy and Fax. But it also has built in WiFi and Duplex printing. Itís part of their Professional Series with offers several great features. The first are those high-capacity print cartridge that ship with the printer. Then thereís lifetime priority phone support, and great if you rely on this machine as your only office machine -- a one-year warranty that includes next-business-day replacement. Lexmark says the printed cost is 11.2 cents per color page and 5.2 cents per black & white page using the high-yield cartridges. The X9575 has a 50 sheet ADF (Automatic Document Feeder) mounted on top of an A4 Flatbed Scanner and a 150 sheet capacity paper tray at the bottom. Hookup includes Wi-Fi, 10/100BaseTX Ethernet and Hi-Speed USB 2.0. Thereís also PictBridge and ports for a wide range of memory cards. Other specs from Lexmark: maximum print resolution is at 1200 x 1200 dpi for black or 4800 x 2400 dpi for color printing. The X9575 can print in black at speeds from 11 pages per minute (normal setting) to 33 pages per minute (draft setting). In color, it can print from 5 pages per minute (normal setting) to 28 pages per minute (draft setting). It can scan images and documents up to 8.5 x 14 inches. It supports multiple page faxing through the multi-functional printerís 50-page capacity ADF. It also has a fax memory of up to 100 pages.
Back to 2001 and at CES Timex introduces the Internet Messenger Watch, Timex said it wasthe first wrist watch that allowed the wearer to receive email and Internet content. I never heard of another watch that could do that, so I assume they were right. You had the ability to customize the kind ofinformation you wanted send to watch by using Web sites designed and serviced by Yahoo Alerts. Notice though everything comes to the watch, there was no way to send anything from the watch. As a pager it could receive and store up to 16 Internet email, numeric or word messages. I loved using mine, I felt so connected walking down the street and receiving messages. Each watch had itís oen phone number and people could send me messages via the web. And being a Timex watch it also offered a split-second chronograph, lap timer, and alarm. The watch also featuref FlexTime. Now matter where you went in the country it had the correct local time. Battery life was a bit short. As little as six weeks if you received a lot of message. It was available in three designs and sold for about $99. But you needed to sign up for a wireless plan which was provided by SkyTel. This was a venture between Timex and Motorola. SkyTel offered various plans starting at about $9.99 a month. Itís no longer available from Timex, but I see it on Ebay from time to time.
Well they can be! Theyíre the Brookstone Photo Frame Speakers. Itís a way to replace those tiny built in desktop/laptop speakers with greatly improved sound along with two of your favorite photos. The speakers are housed in a slim, space-saving design. Simply plug the photo frame speakers into your computerís USB port (cables included) and enjoy improved sound for music, videos, etc. Each frame holds one 4Ē x 6Ē photo. For some reason the box says: Windows Vista/XP compatible. But since theyíre USB powered I canít imagine why they wouldnít work on a MAC. These are great for the office, bedroom, den or dorm.Theyíre not ideal as your only sound system. Theyíre for small areas where you donít turn up the volume. $50.
Turn the Table Tuesday, August 5th, 2008, Netcast 627
Okay, so on this weekís TTTT Leo talks about two products. One of them I want right away. Itís getting very hard to make fun of Leoís Turn The Table Tuesdayís picks!Leo loves his new PED3. A Rotating Dock Stand for iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPod touch.
I donít have one yet, but here are some of the neat. features. You can use it as a place to mount your iPhone and iTouch phone. Once you secure it to the PED3, you can rotate your device up to 360 degrees in a choice of two angled positions.
Thereís cable management via the center split base. (See photo). Leo says itís very well made: rubber coated metal grips allow full use of ports/controls and all solid steel construction for weight. Baked on hard anti-scratch coating. There are separate versions for all iPhone (PED3) and iPod Touch (PED3-T).
Leoís second choice:The DLO Jam Jacket with cord management is a superior, no-slip silicone case that adds a strong, gripable layer of protection to your iPhone. But Leo really liked the integrated cord management for your headset. The integrated Headphone Management System on the back of the Jam Jacket allows you to neatly wrap your headset cord behind your iPhone, and safely stow your iPhone earbuds while not in use. When it's time to talk, unwind only as much as you need Ė the handy side-notches will hold the cord in place, keeping the excess cable wrapped and out of your way. Jam Jacket protects your iPhone's body while providing an opening for the iPhone's proximity sensor Ė meaning the Jam Jacket won't interfere with your iPhone's proper functionality like other cases that obscure the sensor. Of course, the Jam Jacket also has openings for to the volume control, camera lens and headset jack for total iPhone usability while it's still protected in the Jam Jacket. About $25.
Wednesday, August 6th, 2008, Netcast 628 Now you can take great pictures indoors, outdoors, or even under water! Itís brand new PENTAX Optio W60.This techie little compact digital camera features a10 mega pixel CCD and a 5X optical zoom lens. The Optio W60 can operate up to 13 feet underwater for up to two hours and at extreme temperatures well below freezing. So this is perfect for the adventurous photographer, or even for someone who falls into the water a lot. The lens covers focal lengths from 5mm to 25mm, yet it doesnít protrude from the camera body! Itís a great demo for friends -- Show them the 2.5Ē LCD screen as you zoom and out, and continue to zoom as you turn the camera around to show nothing protruding at the front of the camera. The zoom lens is all internal.And this is pretty neat! Thereís aHigh-Quality Movie mode with HD resolution up to 720p. But wait! Thereís more! Like fast Face Recognition, Smile Capture, even Blink Detection! Blink Detection warns you that someone blinked and that you probably want to take the picture again. Something else I like is 36 MB of built in memory. It uses SD cards, but how many times have you gone someplace and realized you never put the SD card back in the camera. With some onboard memory you can still take pictures without an SD card. MSRP is $330.00. Your price can vary with a web search. Hereís all the info from Pentax: http://tinyurl.com/6zyzkr Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw628
A Click Free Device That Turns Out To BeÖClick Free!
Do you find itís rare you can plug in a Ďplug and playí device and find that is just plugs and plays without your help. ClickFree is one of those rare devices. Itís a backup system so easy anyone can use it. Yes, we all use your computers to store family photos, documents, music collections, etc, etcÖItís best to think of what youíd do if you lost all that information before you actually lose it. It happens when you least expect it. It could be a virus, a lost or stolen computer, or even that noisy hard drive giving up the ghost. Now you can protect all your information without any hassle. This 160GB external hard drive from ClickFree can store up to 35,000 songs, 320,000 documents, 70,000 photos, or 160 hours of video. But there are some nice differences between this some other backup drives. ClickFree has no software to install. Plug it into a USB port on your computer and it automatically detects and backs up over 350 types of files. When backup is complete, unplug it, and you're done! It organizes your information into categories for easy retrieval later. And this is great. Even Leo was impressed. You can use ClickFree backup to support up to 10 computers. Transfer data from an old PC to a new one, share pictures and music with friends and family, consolidate information from multiple PCs, and restore files if the hard drive crashes. Use it incrementally throughout the year to back up new files you accumulate. (The ability to back up 10 computers is based on an average of 10GB of content per computer. Obviously your actual results will depend on how much each computer needs backed up. NOTE: Not compatible with Mac computers.About $130.
Hereís another example of how far weíve come with our gadgets.
The Motorola MP3 Player (BDCA20212A) 2002 CES Innovations Award Winner!
Imagine this: you could actually take your favorite digital music with you and not miss a call! Playback is muted automatically when a call comes in. Imagine all the music you can download using the included Motorola MUSICMATCH Jukebox Plus software. Your handy-dandy MP3 player comes with a 2.5 MM Stereo Headset with built-in microphone a MP3 Player-to-USB PC Data Cable and two Ė not one, but two 32 MB SD Memory Cards. And it came with a ton of wires because this MP3 was not incorporated into the phone but was a total add-on.And it wasnít a cheap add-on. The MSRP was $164.99. I mean with a hefty discount, that is some price for just six years ago. Yes, weíre come a long, long way.