This page contains, or will contain, all the gadgets & gizmos talked about on The Daily Giz Wiz during October, 2008. (Starts week of September 29th, 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.
The Daily Giz Wiz, Week of October 27th, 2008,
Monday, October 27th, 2008, Netcast #686
G1 has arrived at selected T-Mobile Stores.
Because I was going to show the G1 two & a half hours after the embargo was lifted, I was able to get one early. But T-Mobile sent constant reminders to me not to say a word about it on the air, or off until 12:01 on October 16th.On to phone.When you boot the G1, youíll see the little green Android to remind you that this phone uses the open software platform, Android. T-Mobile says anyone can design applications for the phone, with no permissions needed. You can tell Google was in on the development because thereís a Google search bar right on the opening screen. Thereís also Google Maps and G-Mail. You must have a Gmail account to activate the phone, but thatís easy to get. The 3.2-inch color touch screen (480 by 320 pixels) is easy to read and to move items around. That screen slides up and reveals a complete QWERTY keyboard. Thereís no sync program like iTunes so you have to drag your music and videos to the phone via the USB cable. Strangely thereís no flash, which cuts down a bit on surfing the web. But there is voice dialing and built-in audio recording which are both nice features. The G1 has Wi-Fi, GPS (no turn-by-turn directions, though) and a 3.2 MP camera (for stills ó no video recording).It uses a tiny trackball for scrolling. Thereís a removable battery, which I like. There were headphones in the package, but I couldnít find a headphone jack. Then I looked more closely at the headphones and see that they use a mini USB jack. Thereís very little built in memory, so for photos, music and programs, the G1 requires a MicroSD card. It comes with a 1-gigabyte card, but can use up to an 8 GB card.G1 plans start as low as $55 a month for unlimited Internet use and 300 minutes of calling, but you need to sign a 2 year contract. Then the phone is $179.00.
Itís another Turn The Table Tuesday, and this weekís pick is pretty good. Especially since I was the one who asked Kingston to please send one to Leo so he can have a decent gizmo! Leo was thrilled to get the new 32 GB SDHC memory card from Kingston. Kingston Technology's Secure Digital High-Capacity (SDHC) memory cards are fully compliant with the new Secure Digital Association 2.00 specification. Kingston Technology is shipping a 32GB Elite Pro SDHC Flash memory card. It's idea for use with digital video camcorders and other high-resolution imaging devices. The new 32GB card is the largest capacity in Kingstonís Elite Pro line of SDHC cards, which currently includes 4-, 8- and 16GB capacities. The new 32GB Elite Pro SDHC memory card is optimized to meet the demands of high capacity and fast write speeds. The card can store thousands of photos and hours of high definition video. For example, the new 32GB Elite Pro SDHC card can capture more than 6,000 still images (with a 10MP camera) and over eight hours of video using 6Mbps HD Extended recording. Even in full high def you can record 251 minutes of video! Leo is thrilled to be able to carry so many photos and videos on a single card when he travels. Suggested price is $308.00 but it'sthe street priced at under $200. So do a web search before you buy.
Now you can buy one of your favorite music albums and put it directly into your cell phone!
Itís something new from San Disk. Slot MusicAlbums are a whole new way to buy music. Itís micro-card music albums. Buy the album and put it right into your phone and start listening! Nothing to download. Comes with an USB adapter so you can download the album to your computer. These albums do not have Digital Rights Management so you can copy them to your devices for your own use. And if you hate the album, you can erase it and you'll have a 1 GB micro SD card - all for about $16! San Disk also introduced the SlotMusic Player.Designed to play SlotMusic albums, and nothing else, thereís no onboard storage or a screen. Itís small enough to fit in just about any pocket, which is what youíll have to do because thereís no clip or lanyard to carry the player. Itís powered by a single AAA battery which San Disk says should last about 16 hours. When I met the folks from San Disk PR they told me that the SlotMusic Player is built with the same audio chip as their more expensive Sansa Fuze and Clip players. The sound is very decent. File formats for this unit are basic too. It only plays unprotected WMA files. The one drawback to MicroSD cards is that are really, really small! They fit millions of phones, but if get into swapping out albums on MicroSD cards often, it could be a challenge not to lose or misplace them. Thatís why San Disk also makes an optional MicroSD card carrier. Albums will be about $16.00 and a Slot Player, about $20. There are also Ďbundlesí that include the album, the player & headphones. They are about $35. Album selection right now is very small; about three dozen albums. But since they go directly into some 90 million phones and the micro SD card can be used in many ways, thereís not a big risk if SlotMusic doesnít pan out.
Travelon Sheets are available for shaving, body wash, hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, and laundry. They are TSA (Transportation Security Administration), carry-on compliant and provide an easy way to pack light for short trips. No need to worry about the ever-changing airline regulations because youíre not carrying a liquid at all. You can carry a pack of fifty sheets of the Conditioner Sheets in one compact case about half the size of a cellular phone. Just add water and a sheet will dissolve instantly.. Use the conditioner in conjunction with Travelonís Shampoo Sheets and have all the hair care treatment you need in two tiny containers weighing two ounces total! Biodegradable and safe for the environment, the Travelon Conditioner Sheets should be removed with a dry hand so to not damage the balance of the remaining sheets. Travel well, travel fresh and most of all, travel often! Under $3.00 per set of 50 sheets. This is a real clever item. Itís also great for boats, the glove compartment, office, or any place you do where you need soap, etc. and canít find it.
Another new film format, that came and went in less than ten years!
Did you own a Disc Camera?I did! Disc film was was introduced in 1982 by Kodak. It was a format aimed making it a breeze for the consumer to load film into a camera. The film was in the form of a flat disc, and was fully housed within a plastic cartridge. If you remember View Master Reels, it looked like those. Each disc held 15 exposures with a image size of11 x 8 mm.Kodak has developed special equipment to get decent pictures out of a negative that small, but other labs developed the film without special equipment and the results were disappointed, even to amateurs. The cameras were very simple to load and unload, and were mostly automatic. The whole idea was to make taking pictures easy for anyone so there were a lot of options available on Disc Cameras. And with no film to thread like with 35MM, Kodak sort to make this ďfool proofĒ for anyone. But even if itís simple, people still wanted a decent picture, and Kodak couldnít control what other labs did. So the film was discontinued by Kodak at the end of1999. For a while other companies were making Disc Cameras and there were several different manufacturers of Disc film like 3M, Konica and Fuji. Even though they films has been gone for years, if you did a web search you can find a few labs who will still develop Disc Film! (For a price, about $25!)
This is a 15 shot Disc Film "roll". Via Digicamhistory.com
The Daily Giz Wiz, Week of October 20th, 2008
Monday, October 20th, 2008Netcast 681
Warm Mouse, Warm Hands - The Warmmie USB Warm Mouse
Hereís what the company says: This is an ergonomic, infrared, HEATED Computer Mouse. It features accurate 800dpi, Optical 2-button scrolling mouse. It emits radiating heat to your hand and fingers. As natural infrared rays are gently emitted, reflected and refracted in the soft tissues of your fingers & hands, cellular functioning is enhanced. This amazing process can help to reverse damage done from overworked joints. Infrared rays can actually help to produce better enzymes within the cells of the muscle. This mouse fits in your hand comfortably, minimizing unnecessary pressure on the wrist and forearm muscles. This insures that your wrist is in a neutral position during use. You can move freely while delivering therapeutic heat to relax tight hand and wrist muscles.And hereís what I found.When the on/off heat switch built into the USB cable was off the mouse showed a temperature of 76.5. When I click the switch to ďonĒ and waited about ten minutes, the surface of the Warmie mouse heated up to112 degrees. It definitively heats, but didnít get too hot to handle. They say the scroll wheel has a blue LED, but mine has an orange LED which I think works better since orange is more ďheat-likeĒ that blue. Outside of the heating feature it works pretty much like any other mouse.
Finally, Vavolo says the same mouse sells for up to $39.99 at Amazon, but there price is way lower. It was originally 28.99, but NOW itís $18!!! And that includes Free Shipping!! If you suffer from cold hands, or have a relative who does, this could make a nice, thoughtful, relatively inexpensive gift.
Itís Turn The Table Tuesday, and Leo picks something thatís really not a gadget.
On this Daily Giz Wiz Leo asked if I wanted a regular gadget or gadget no one can buy. The second choice sounded very interesting, so I picked that. It turned that Leo showed us his new Gadget Cabinet. Itís a handmade, custom built Gadget Cabinet with special shelves that let the wires for the various gadgets hide from view. There are holes in the shelves at the back of the cabinet so the wires can go to their chargers without being seen. Now you canít buy this Gadget Cabinet, but you can build it! I believe The Wood Whisperer himself built a Gadget Cabinet and brought it to Leo because heís a fan of TwiT. (I expect mine any day now!) So if youíre handy with wood and tools, you can build your own!
Did you ever think youíd hear the name Polaroid in this digital age?
Theyíre back with a neat, new digital product, the Pogo.This pocket-sized gizmo lets you printing images from your digital phone via Bluetooth. Or you can connect it via USB cable a PictBridge enabled camera. I used it with my LG Voyager and my phone found the device in seconds. Now the company says that once connected simply select what image to send to the printer and within 60 seconds, the print is ready to be shared. Well the print is done in about 60 seconds, but it takes another minute or so for the phone to send the info to the Pogo. Still it is an attention getter. And the process is totally different from earlier Polaroid prints. The reason is Zinc Paper which is inkless. Zinc Paper is an composite material with embedded yellow, magenta and cyan dye crystals. With 100 billion crystals in a 2x3" print, the paper is 100% inkless. The Pogo ZINK-enabled printer uses heat to activate and colorize these crystals. You can ten smudge-proof, water-resistant, tear-proof photos in a package. The Pogo has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, but because itís so compact, it needs to be recharged after it prints about 15 pictures. Pogo does not work with the I-Phone, but Polaroid says it works with about 70% of Bluetooth-enabled phones out today. At the suggested retail of $150, I thought it was a bit expensive for the fun it provides. But now B&H photo is selling it for under $100. You can buy three 10-sheet packages for $10. That comes to 33 cents a picture. More info, plus cell phones with Bluetooth at the Pogo is compatible with are here:
The photo shows blue LED, mine arrived with an orange LED, which I like better. Looks more like heat.
Thursday, October 23rd, 2008Netcast 684
So you want to get into Podcasting. Hereís a way to record on the run.
The Belkin GoStudio lets you record high-quality audio content, anywhere you go. Record full Podcast episodes, interviews, lectures, or music directly onto your iPod. You can upload your content to iTunes when you connect your iPod to your computer. There are two built-in omnidirectional stereo microphones. If you have your own mics you can use the onboard input jacks. You can even plug in a musical instrument. Thereís also built in speaker so you can listen to your audio before you leave your current location where the recording took place. This is not for the iPhone, or the iTouch. Itís just the iPod, which includes most of the newer models. Thereís a list of all the iPod models that the GoStudio works with on the Belkin website. Price is under $120.
Back to the Warehouse Friday, October 24th, 2008 Netcast 685
Itís the Konica Kanpa Ė the still camera that brought along its own Ďphotographerí!
The Konica Kampa was billed as the ďfully auto party cameraĒ.Probably the only camera back in the late 1980ís that had a built in mic. But the mic wasnít to record second. The camera featured Voice Release - loud noises make the camera turn in the direction of the noise and then quickly shoot a picture! So the biggest loud mouth at your party gets in the most pictures! It was ďframing freeĒ Ė which meant it moved around and took pictures on its own! It came with itís own mini tripod. It acted as a regular tripod, or when you put it in the ďautoĒ mode, it rotated over a 100 degree arc, taking pictures randomly. (Without the sound activating it.) The KONICA KANPAI first came out in 1989.It was listed as one of the "Products to Watch," in Fortune Magazine, March 25, 1991. (Watch vanish from the market place with dismal sales, is my guess!)
Daily Giz Wiz, Week of October 13th, 2008 Monday, October 13th, 2008Netcast 676 Hereís a real powerhouse desktop replacement computer from HP! Itís the Pavilion 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 TTTT, October 14th, 2008Netcast 677
Itís another Turn The Table Tuesday and Leo tells us he even works when heís in bed.
Not only does he buy pens from the Levenger website, but now heís into lap desks! And Levenger offers info on how to select the proper lap desk with their LAP DESK LOGIC. And I quote: ďBy choosing any of our lap desks, you can read, write or work on a laptop in comfort. All our lap desks hold laptops with up to 17" screens. Use at home, at the office or almost anywhere. Our Laplighter reading light clips firmly onto all our lap desks for an optimal work experience.Ē Leo likes the Surf lap desk because itís large enough for all his work. Itís 33W x 17D x 3/4H and he said a bit heavy at 3 pounds. Itís sturdy foam core with a fiberglass shell; and a wooden stringer provides support and reinforcement. The kidney bean shape creates an expansive workspace.ĒAnd if must work everywhere, this lap desk works well on the arms of a chair, on your lap, in a chair, on a sofa, in bed, the floor or at the beach.Please, working at the beach too? Leo did say it was not inexpensive. And itís not. Itís $148 Hereís their main website:www.levenger.com And the link to the lap desk Leo likes: http://tinyurl.com/6frd8l
Wednesday, October 15th, 2008, Netcast 678 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
Thursday, October 16th, 2008 Netcast 679
Peek -- A Way To Get & Send Emails & Nothing Else!
If you have a PDA, a Smart Phone or other device to get your emails, you won't be interested in the Peek. The Peek is new device that receives and sends email. It can open attachments and it can let you see photos that someone emails you, but it can do nothing else. But the pictures have to be JPEGS. This is not for the geek, but more for the geeks parents who might want to get & send emails, period! You can emails via popular services like Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail and AOL. Each device can have up to three accounts, although the three email accounts are combined into the same ďinboxĒ. It's easy to set up and pretty easy to use. A scroll wheel on the side highlights your menu choices, and then you push in on the wheel to select it.For some odd reason when you highlight an email, you then have also go to ďread emailĒ. I donít why you need that extra step. The keyboard letters are backlit which is very nice and the device is the size of a very, very thin pack of cards. The Peek notifies you that have emails by vibrating, make a chime sound and setting off a blinking blue light. The display is a 2.5Ē (240 pixels by 320 pixels), color and it looks pretty decent. Iíd like to see a bigger type face but the PR folks told that is coming in November. The Peek has 8 megabytes of memory. Thatís equal to about 5,000 emails. So Leo could use it for two days before he has to clear the memory to make room for more emails. Peek says if you start with a fully charged battery it should last about five days assuming you get and send 10 to 15 emails a day.Power users who send and receive 200 to 300 emails a day will get about two days of use from a full charge. I have the red Peek, but it also come in charcoal gray, aqua blue, and black cherry. Hmm, I guess I donít have red. I have black cherry!Itís $100 at Target or at the companyís website. Service is $20 a month and thereís no contract! Soon theyíll offer an annual deal. If you pay for 12 months, youíll get one month free. But I would go with the month to month until youíre sure the PEEK serves your needs.
Totes Pocket Shave Ė Does the picture look familiar?
Yes, the Totes Pocket Shave was used a month ago as a What The Heck Is It gadget.Itís from Totes, and checking Google, it looks like it canít be found anywhere, anymore.Thatís too bad, because Pocket Shave was a very clever device. Itís a pocket sized folding razor Ė with shaving cream built right into the handle! Fold out the razor push the tiny button and out comes foamy shaving cream. Sure it more for guys, but it was perfect if you have to go on an overnight trip, or a trip for a few days. So easy to pack, and TSA friendly at the airport because you donít have to carry a separate can of shaving cream. I mean if that isnít a good idea, what is? I mean even Leo liked it! Maybe someone will read this and decide to get it back into production!
Daily Giz Wiz, Week of October 6th, 2008 Monday, October 6th, Netcast 671 Not just another plain old GPS! For an authentic Knight Rider experience, Mio partnered with Universal Studios Navtones to create The Knight Rider GPS!Yep, hit the open road and hear exclusive voice guidance and turn-by-turn directions featuring the original voice of K.I.T.T., probably the most famous TV car of all time. The deviceís integrated randomized greetings and 300 custom names will welcome you to your navigation experience. It also looks unlike any other GPS. Thereís an active LED voice synthesizer display so the lights move in sync with the voice. Youíll think youíre looking at the originalK.I.T.T.ís dashboard. (Come on, you have an imagination, right?)The Knight Rider GPS can even be programmed to advise drivers of speed limit infractions for those inclined to apply too much turbo boost. Thereís 4.3-inch widescreen interface, more than four million points of interest, it can assist you in locating gas stations, emergency assistance, hotels and restaurants.Itís pre-loaded withmaps of the U.S. and Canada, so itís ready to operate in minutes right out of the box.it boots up by saying "Hello Michael, where do you want to go today?" But you simply use the virtual keyboard to change it to your name. On the GPS screen thereís a Trans-Am to represent your car. You can bring along your favorite music via the SD/MMC Memory Expansion slot. Thereís a built in speaker, and rechargeable battery. 16 languages, including French. (Hear that Leo?) MSRP for the Knight Rider GPS is $269.95 U.S. http://www.knightridergps.comfor more information. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPV-B8TC7XY(for a video demo) Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw671 TTTTTuesday, October 7th, 2008, Netcast 672 Itís Turn The Table Tuesday again, and if you have an iPhone or iPod, Leo talked about something you might want to own. Iíll take a bit of credit for this pick. It started with an email I received from Richard Thalheimer, founder of The Sharper Image. With SI gone he created RichardSolo.com, an online store. He wanted me to try one of his new products, a backup battery for the iPhone/iPod. I donít have an iPhone, but Leo does. So I asked Richard to send it out to Leo, which he did. Leo said he likes it a lot. Hereís some info from Richardís website: ďI worked with a leading manufacturer to design and develop a new backup battery using Apple's proprietary connector. It's the rechargeable Smart Backup Battery ó just snap it on and it begins to charge instantly. It is the first on the market to be certified for both "Works with iPhone" and "Made for iPod", and it does work with the 3G iPhone." One thing about this battery is that it's small but powerful. In fact, it's the most powerful battery of its size available. Keep it in your pocket, purse, or briefcase, and snap it on to keep going all day ó and night! You can charge while simultaneously using your iPhone. One of the best features of this product is that at night, you snap the battery and iPhone together, and charge them both with the included charger. So you are getting a wall / USB charger for free. When you travel, you don't need the Apple charger. Just take this one. It works for all models of iPhone and iPod, including the 3G, except for iPod shuffle. The polymerized lithium-ion battery can be recharged over and over again for several years and will not develop "memory". Three color LED lights to show you the status of the charge." óRichard. Cost is $49.95. BUT --- Richard is introducing a new model which also has a built in flashlight. It will be $5 more. You can preorder that, or order the current model here: www.richardsolo.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw672 Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 Netcast 673 Earphones that donít go in the ear! Audio Bone Okay, hereís how Audio Bone explains their technology:We all hear sounds through both our bones and our ear drums. Most sounds are heard by our ear drums. The ear drum converts the sound waves to vibrations and transmits them to the cochlea (or inner ear). But in some cases vibrations are heard directly by the inner ear Ė bypassing your ear drums. In fact, this is one of the ways you hear your own voice. This is also how whales hear. Bone Conduction bypasses the eardrums.In bone conduction listening, the headphones perform the role of your ear drums.Audio Bone headphones decode sound waves and convert them into vibrations that can be received directly by the Cochlea Ė so the ear drum is never involved. Back to Dick De: You can see how Bone conduction is a safer way to listen.Bone conduction does not use your eardrums, so itís safer for your ears than conventional listening. And when you wear them, the ear cups, or buds rest in front of your ears. (See photo.) Because the music goes through the bone, and there is nothing in your ears, you can hear everything around you. In a noisy environment you could even wear ear plugs and hear your music. And if someone wants to let you hear their Audio Bones, it's not as gross as if they ask if you'd like to hear those earbuds they just pulled from deep in their ears! Also, even though theyíre stereo they use a single wire that comes up behind your head. And you can listen in the pool, even underwater. Just make sure whatever music player youíre using is waterproof too! But there are some drawbacks. The price is high. About $180! And when I listened to them I thought they sounded just okay. The spec sheet lists the frequency response at 50-12,000 Hz. And the last drawback is that they require much more volume than an ordinary pair of ear buds. I had to play my Sansa Clip & my Shuffle at full volume to hear the music. So theyíre perfect to solve certain problems, but most people will most likely continue to use regular headphones for music. http://audioboneheadphones.com/products.html Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw673
Thursday, October 9th, 2008Netcast 674 Taking a laptop through security is about to get a bit easier. Recently Harvey Stone, who calls himself Brenthaven's global ambassador, dropped by the MAD offices to show of his new products. (On his website you can watch Harvey constantly drop his laptop in his computer secure in one of this Brenthaven computer bags. As Harvey says: After thousands of miles and drops, my computer is still working! Brenthaven computer cases provide the insurance for all of us road warriors who seek maximum protection for all that we carry. The newest edition are the Brenthavenís Edge X-Ray Friendly Sleeves. X-Ray Friendly bags eliminate the process of removing your laptop from the case at airport security checkpoints. Here are the new rules from the TSA. Laptops must be able to be viewed in a single x-ray image, that the case must not degrade any visualizations of the laptop, that the laptop is clear and distinguishable from the bag. That means there are no cords, straps, zippers, etc., and that the laptop is not shielded by any contents of the case. Got all that? Brenthavenís Edge sleeves are designed so the laptop stays in his protective case. You can unzipped the top place it on the conveyer belt. This allows for an un-obscured view of the laptop. So that the laptop is secured when dropped, Brenthaven makes the laptop for specific models. Right now there are X-Ray Friendly Sleeves for the MacBook Air and MacBook. Other models are coming. $60.00. Brenthaven alsohas a complete line of computer bags for those who donít need X-Ray Friendly gear. www.brenthaven.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw674 Friday, October 10th, 2008 Netcast 675 Itís back to Dickís Gadget Warehouse. This seemed like a great idea about 16 years ago when I showed them on television. Itís yet something else to wear on your chain key. Yes, itís the Notes-to-Go Key Chain! So youíve already ready your Giz Wiz Key Chain Inka Pen. That means you have a pen anytime, anywhere. But when that great idea strikes you have a pen, but what do you write on? Thatís where the Notes-To-Go Key Chain comes in. Itís a key ring holding a refillable frame with a replaceable pad of lined Post-it Notes. Itís comes with a nickel plated key ring and a pad of (50) 2" x 2-3/4" Post-it Notes in a Lucite frame to protect them. I liked these so much I bought a whole case of them, but then hardly used them. So they ended up in the gadget warehouse. Over the years I gave them all away, but keep one as a reminder. I did a web search and found you can still buy them! $2.99 http://tinyurl.com/4szofc Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw675
DAILY GIZ WIZ, Week of September 29th, 2008
Monday, September 29th Netcast 666
Leo got a new Plantronics Headset, so I had to get an even newer one! Itís thePlantronics 777.
The full name of this gizmo is:Plantronics Game Com 777 Surround Sound Gaming Headset! I must admit, itís pretty nifty. It features Dolby Headphone Technology that delivers a very real 5.1channel audio experience. It comes complete with a Plug-and-play Dolby USB sound card. (Dolby Pro Logic II technology.) An analog hook-up is provided in case you need it. Plantronics calls it an open-ear design, but the large cups do cover the ears completely. Thereís a concealed mic boom that stays hidden until youíre ready to use it. Then it just pivots down.And thereís an in-line volume and mic-mute control. I recorded my half of this episode (Netcast 666) of the DGW using the 777.Leo wasnít sure if he didnít like the Logitech Clear Chat that I normally use, a little better. But as far as my hearing Leo in the headphones, it was the best he ever sounded. It sounded as if his voice was coming from speakers in the room rather than just in my headset. The mic is noise-canceling and you have the ability to also turn the Dolby on and off.The 777 is ruggedly built and best of all, the price is under $100. Theyíre brand new and although theyíre shown on the Plantronics website, you can only pre-order them when this was written. Since we record a week ahead, they may be available to buy by the time the Netcast airs.
Another Turn The Table Tuesday and this week Leo starts with an apology to the Giz Wiz!
Years ago I picked an external hard drive case as the gadget of the day and Leo said he couldnít believe Iíd do something so basic and non-techie. So now what does he do? He picks his own hard drive external case as his pick for Turn The Table Tuesday!But at least he started by saying he was wrong for coming down so hard on me when I first did mine! Leo loves the Thermaltake BlacX external USB 2.0 docking station designed for 2.5"/3.5" SATA hard drives. Since heís getting ready to record many of his Netcasts in video, as well as audio, he is buying lots more memory. Heís buying barebones hard drives and needs a safe, convenient place to put them and access them easily. The SATA to USB 2.0 interface provides up to 480Mbps data transfer rate for quick and easy data backup. The Thermaltake BlacX supports all 2.5Ē & 3.5Ē SATA HDDs up to 1TB and is hot-swap capable in case he has change drives on the go. Best of all, theyíre under $40.
I Went a Little Cuckoo over this Device called Cucku. And surprise, Leo Likes it Too.
Need back up? Thereís nothing cheaper than this, because Cucku software is free. Cucku backs up your data locally (like to an eternal hard drive or flash drive) and then sends a secure copy to a trusted friend or family member of your choice. Yes, thatís whatís truly unique about this back-up. (Cuckoo birds put their eggs in other birdís nest, just like youíll put your files on a trusted friendís hard drive.) Every day Cucku backs up your data to a local folder on your PC and then sends any new or changed files to your backup partner for offsite storage. Cucku keeps a copy of any previously backed up files that have since been deleted so that you can recover accidentally deleted files. You can restore a specific version of an individual file or all versions of files prior to a particular date and time. If you want more control, Cucku allows you to fine-tune every aspect of your backup. And if the worst happens and your PC is damaged, lost or stolen, you can restore your files from your partner. I asked if Cucku software was free, how did the company make any money. Seems they are currently working on Cucku Backup Pro, a version of Cucku with extra features that will be available towards the end of 2008 for a small fee. However, they are committed to keeping Cucku Basic Backup free to all. Cucku Backup supports Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or later, 32 or 64-bit) and Windows Vista (32 or 64-bit). Cucku Backup needs a broadband Internet connection and Skype to backup files to a friend. If you donít already have Skype installed then you can download it from www.skype.com. Skype is also free, easy to use and allows you to make cost efficient telephone calls from your PC
Cat Genie takes ďcare-free cat careĒ to a whole new lever!
How automatic is this new device? Well CatGenie automatically scoops, liquefies, and flushes cat waste away. And then it cleans itself. It uses water and the companyís own SaniSolution to wash and sanitize the cat bowl and the special granules. Next CatGenie dries the interior and granules for your cat's comfort. Now although Cat Genie require very little on your part once itís up and running, you do have to install it. (Or have someone do that for you.) Here are the requirements: It needs to be hooked (and left hooked up) to a cold water line. They supply the ďTĒ value and the hose. The waste hose, which is also supplied, has to go to a drain - or it can be hooked on the lip of the toilet. And it requires electric. Once installed it pretty much runs itself. Hereís what you get in the Tabby Package: A CatGenie, 2 SaniSolution Cartridges good for 120 cycles, 2 Boxes of Washable Granules, one to fill, one to replenish, 2 T-Adapters for either a laundry or bathroom setup, Manuals for Set Up, Operations, and Cat Acclimation. Yes your cat may need to get used to using this device although it does like a high tech kitty box. And it is! Price: $329.00 Ė I donít how long the intro price will last, but as this was written it on sale for $297.00. There is a video demo at the company website:
Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw669
Friday, October 3rd, 2008, Netcast 670
We go back to Dickís Gadget Warehouse for a look at Nationally Advertised GFX-100 INDOOR TV ``DISH'' ANTENNAS!
Read this amazing ad! And read it carefully, because itís quite funny. It could almost be from MAD Magazine, but itís not!
GFX-100 INDOOR TV ``DISH'' ANTENNAS - only $5 (Damn! I paid $10 for mine!) No cable box necessary--uses ``RF'' technology to capture signals right out of the air! * Brings in every local VHF and UHF channel from 2 to 83! * Legal in all 50 states! * No wiring or installation! * Works like ordinary pair of ``rabbit ears''! You pay NO cable fees because you're NOT getting cable!!! * You pay NO satellite fees because you DON'T use satellite signals!!!
Throw away your old TV rod antenna! The GFX-100 looks like an outdoor satellite ``dish,'' but works indoors like ordinary ``rabbit ears.'' No wiring or installation! Legal in all 50 states. You pay NO cable fees because you're NOT getting cable!!! You pay NO satellite fees because you're NOT using satellite technology or service!!! Works entirely via proven ``RF'' technology--actually pulls signals right out of the air. Instantly locks into every local VHF and UHF channel from 2 to 83 to bring you their movies, sports and special events just like an ordinary pair of ``rabbit ears.'' No cable box or special attachments needed! Enhances color and clarity, helps pull in weak signals. Compatible with all TVs from 3-inch portables to giant 7-footers. Sits on any TV top in less than 4 linear inches of space! Guaranteed not to utilize, replicate, transmit or interfere with any satellite signal. Complies with all applicable federal regulations. Not technical razzle-dazzle but the sheer aesthetic superiority of its elegant parabolic design make the GFX-100 a marketing breakthrough! At this price, put one on every TV in your home! (Sorry, limit 3 per address. No dealers or wholesalers, please!) We reserve right to extend above time and quantity guarantee.
Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw670
Via the website: www.milk.com
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.