On this page is, or will be, all the gizmos and gadgets talked about on The Daily GizWiz for July, 2007.
The latest week is at the top.
Monday, July 30th 2007, Netcast 366
It’s the size of about 5 stacked nickels, but it’s not money, it’s an EZ Towel!
What is EZ Towel? EZ Towel is a compacted towel, about the size of 5 stacked nickels in its original form.All you do is add water and watch it grow.Simply unroll the EZ Towel and use it as you wish.Opened up, the EZ Towel is 8 1/2" X 9 1/2", a full sized towel!Each bag of EZ Towels contains 50 towels.Unlike paper towels, EZ Towels are durable, soft and absorbable.One EZ Towel does the work of over 10 paper napkins!It is made of 100% Rayon and is bio-degradable. The package also contains a plastic tube that lets you easily carry 5 or 6 EZ Towels in your luggage, glove compartment, etc.
Tuesday, July 31st --Turn The Table Tuesday Netcast 367
Leo didn’t do too bad with week with his choice of the Targus Roll-up Keyboard. I had trouble finding it on the web, but I have used two rubberized keyboards from CompUSA. Here’s info on them from their website:
Finally a keyboard that can withstand all kinds of abuse! This flexible keyboard is made of a high quality silicone, which offers the perfect combination of practicality, durability, comfort and flexibility. This unique material allows you not only to clean the keyboard with soap and water, but makes it resistant to dirt, dust, and even coffee! Simply wipe up any spilled liquid with a damp cloth , and then continue working. This keyboard is so flexible, you can roll it up and bring it anywhere you need to go. Lightweight, ultra-slim, and compact, this keyboard is perfect for travel, school, or any work environment. It fits easily in your briefcase, backpack, or notebook carrying case and you don't have to worry about any sharp edges! The soft material allows a quick, reflexive typing action that is silent and more comfortable than traditional hard, plastic keyboards. The flexible's flat design also offers an ease in typing which eliminates negative-angle stress to your wrists. This flexible keyboard really can handle whatever your day brings to it! CompUSA has a mini version and a full sized version. They are $29.99 and $39.99.
We all love gadgets, well listeners of the DGW do! But we don’t love all those wires and all those chargers with the giant plugs! Well help has arrived and it’s called the Callpod.The Callpod ends charger clutter because it can charge six of your gizmos at once. The central component is about the size of the cap on your auto's gas tank. Around the edge of the Callpod are seven outlets.The mini-USB port at the bottom connects to the AC transformer plug which goes into the wall outlet. Or you can buy an optional 12 volt car adapter to provide the power on the go. The remaining six outlets can be used for the device adapters that correspond to the gizmos you own. There's no setup other than plugging in the various adaptors. (That is of course, after you buy them)A glowing blue led above each port shows the ones are in use and a green light lets you know the device is plugged in properly.Callpod offers a wide variety of device adapters including support for cell phones from Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Sanyo, Sidekick, Samsung, Audiovox, Pantech, Palm, Nokia, LG, and Kyocera. They also support the Blackberry, Nintendo Game Boy; Sony PSP; Jabra and Plantronics Bluetooth headsets; iPod-wise they just offer USB. The Callpod itself is $49.99 and it comes with your choice of one adapter. Additional adapters are $9.95 each, but there is a package deal with a Callpod and a host of adapters for about $80..
Blue Tooth and an Intercom For Installation in Helmets.
When the folks at Cardo Systems stopped by my office to show me new products I asked what they had for the “go-fast” set. It turns out that they have something pretty neat. It’s called the Scala-Rider TeamSet and it’s a hands-free Intercom and Bluetooth headset for installation in helmets. Once installed, the driver can speak with passengers or conduct outside Bluetooth calls, or both at the same time. The passenger can use the intercom and be conferenced in on phone calls but cannot receive or make phone calls directly.How much multi-tasking do you want to do underway anyway?Features include automatic volume adjustment, noise canceling microphone and dual speakers to make it easier to hear at high speeds. VOX (Voice-Operated) technology provides voice-control that lets you receive or reject incoming calls without the need to move hands from the steering wheel. The intercom, which is a two-way radio between rider and passenger, is full duplex. This means you don’t have to wait for the other party to stop talking before you speak. The headsets are water resistant, but not waterproof. (So don’t take them underwater with the Sanyo camcorder!) MSRP is $229.95 which includes a pair of intercoms, one of which is also Bluetooth enabled for those mobile phone functions.Don’t forget your cell phone has to be Bluetooth enabled to use the phone features.
Week of July 23rd.Monday, July 23nd, 2007Netcast 361
Is that a forest I see on the TV?No, it’s the hair on my arm!(Read on)
The EyeClops Bionic Eye magnifies 200X! Look at currency, hair, salt, etc. and uncover secret images on the TV screen. The manufacturer says it will encourage kids' natural curiosity about the world around them as they analyze strands of hair, carpet fuzz, or anything else around the classroom. But perhaps it’s better if you leave out the word “Educational” and substitute “wacky fun”! EyeClops bionic eyes are expected to hit shelves in August 2007 for a suggested retail price of $49.99. Each kit includes an I.R.I.S Focal Lens, which is an “eyeball” that screws onto the EyeClops and allows you to adjust the focus. Also in the box is a Viewing Tube, a Viewing Dish and Activity Booklet. It’s at ToysRUs for $49.99, but on eBay it seems to be selling for $65!
Hmmm…Leo comes up with another interesting gadget!
BlueAnt Supertooth Light Bluetooth Handsfree SpeakerphoneStylish
From Amazon.com: Easy to use, with no installation requirements, the new BlueAnt Supertooth Light offers the latest in sun-visor mounted handsfree speakerphone technology. The BlueAnt Supertooth Light uses real-time audio to process any echo or background noise resulting in the improvement of the sound quality of the user's voice regardless of whether the car is stationery or travelling at high speed. It also adjusts sound levels to compensate for loud engine noise or external noise created when the windows are wound down. Easily mounted on the car's sun-visor, the BlueAnt Supertooth Light can be paired with up to five devices, supports voice dial activation, redial and call reject and also has a retractable sliding microphone. Under $75.00.
Don’t you hate having to delete movies you haven’t watched because there’s no more space on your DVR?
Well that doesn’t have to be the case any longer with My DVR Expander.It adds a ton of extra memory provided your DVR is model 8300 from Scientific Atlanta. No more erasing those movies you haven't watched because your DVR (Digital Video Recorder) ran out of space. Just place in this 500 GB Western Digital Expander and you can add up to 300 hours of standard video and up to 60 hours of high def video storage! One cable does it all. Works on the millions of Scientific Atlantic 8300 series digital video recorders out there, like mine! It uses a single eSata cable (external Sata) cable which is included. I have Time Warner Cable and I could hardly believe that my DVR recognized “an external memory device” as soon as I plugged it in. Under $200.Right now it’s only at the Western Digital website.
HP Photosmart R937.This new camera from HP sports an interactive touch screen, complete with virtual keyboard. A big 3.6" display makes it easy to shoot indoors and out. 8 Megapixel resolution means you can make enlargements without compromising image quality. 3x optical zoom. (There’s also an 8x digital zoom, but that’s no big deal.). Low-light ISO 1600 setting; enhance detail with the adaptive lighting technology. Engage the HP Steady Photo mode if you have shaky hands. Remove red eye and unsightly pet eye glow, right in the camera. (I saw this feature demoed “live” and it was quite effective. You can even enhance images with colors and borders before they leave the camera. If you like you can sort photos as you snap them with fast on-screen "tagging"; you can also mark them for e-mailing. There’s also HP In-camera Panorama Preview and Stitching, and lots of other features I don’t even understand like HP Adaptive Demosiac and HP Adaptive Lighting bracketing. A feature I like is 32 MB internal memory. Sure it can take up an 8 GB memory card, but if you forget the memory card you can still grab a few photos.Under $300.
Back to the warehouse Friday, July 27th – Netcast 365 – a WHOLE YEAR
Record a Call Replacement Telephone Handset Recorder(Model HR100 - WHITE)Replaces your existing handsetCrystal Clear RecordingPlays back while on or off lineConnects in secondsUp to 3 hours of recording with an MC-90 cassette (included)No messy wiresNo annoying beep tones2 speed recordingVariable speed playbackCompact and LightweightIdeal for salesmen, attorneys, doctors, students, executives,secretaries and reportersRecord important conversations, directions, phone numbers,interviews and precious moments with loved onesThe perfect accessory for home or officeCompatible with most AT&T, Panasonic, General Electric, Toshiba,Sony and other telephone systemsConnects to any modular phoneOperate on 2 "AA" batteries (included) Color: WHITEOne year warranty
Logitech Quick Cam Pro for Laptops.This webcam offers great detail with Logitech’s glass lens designed in collaboration with Carl Zeiss. And then to keep things sharp it has auto focus. Video calling and sharing looks great with 960 by 720 pixels. And Logitech says you can get up to eight-megapixel photos (enhanced). And I’ve used their RightLight Technology in other web cams. This web cam introduces a new version which intelligently adjusts the lens to produce the best possible images in dimly lighted or poorly back lighted settings. And finally there’s the integrated microphone with RightSound Technology to let you enjoy crystal clear conversations. .Ultra-wide field of view and intelligent face tracking: Keeps you right in the middle of the action. Also included in the packages is a 12-inch desktop stand so you can put your webcam at eye level when you’re not on the go.$99.99
It’s a Given That You Need More USB Ports on Your Computer.This Gizmo Adds Them with a “Twist”.
Jasco introduces the GE Branded 4-Port USB Hub with Rotating Cubes that takes four USB ports, each located on an individual cube, and lines them up into a unique rotating bar that allows the ports to rotate up to 180 degrees. With the fun, familiar feel of a Rubik’s Cube, this product allows users to not only expand one USB port to four ports, but also to accommodate and organize oversized USB plugs and manage USB cables from different directions. MSRP $24.99, but do a web search for the best price.
And here’s another gizmo from GE. The Retractable 6 Ft Network / Modem Cable (RJ45 & RJ11)
This cable has a unique design that allows it be used for both RJ45 network patch cable and RJ11 modem cable. That means if you get to the hotel and find they don’t have broadband, you can use the same cable for dialup. And the retractable cable design means there’s no wrapping or twisting of the cables. Its small and light weight so it’s perfect for travel. Under $8.00
Thursday, July 19th, Netcast 359 Watch DVD’s and Video from your Video iPod on an 8.5” wide screen. A while back we had gizmo that let you watch your video from your video iPod on a bigger, portable screen. Now comes this Philips unit that adds a lot more features. Not only can your enjoy your iPod videos on a 8.5-inch wide swivel screen, it also lets you watch DVD’s. But there’s more! The compact Philips (DCP850) also features a SD/MMC memory card reader, which allows you to view digital photos or DivX movies stored on your memory card. The docking station also charges your iPod while viewing. The built-in, rechargeable battery delivers up to 2.5 hours of playtime and remote control adds simple navigation while traveling. Optimal screen quality is ensured with Zero Bright Dot which limits the number of blank spots in LCD screens. The screen's 16:9 aspect ratio lets you enjoy movies in their widescreen format. With a built-in battery and slim design-- just an inch-and-a-half thick—it’s easy to take anywhere. And it supports Dolby Digital. Includes 35-key remote control, AC/DC adaptor, 12-volt DC car outlet adaptor, AV cable.$199.99, but do a web search and you’ll find it cheaper. http://www.consumer.philips.com/consumer/catalog/
Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw359 BACK TO THE WAREHOUSE FRIDAY, July 20th, 2007Netcast 360 The Atari 410 Program recorder designed for the Atari 400/800 series of computers around 1978.A cassette player for only $100.00
For some versions of the Operating System Software supplied with the ATARI 400 or ATARI 800, a special procedure was required to position the tape for recording or playback. You had to type in a command and adjust the 410 according to the return message on the screen. If that wasn’t convenient enough, to record programs or data the recommended procedure was to have just one program per side, starting at the splice at the beginning of the side. But the procedure wasn’t t quite that easy. You were instructed to place the tape in the 410 recorder and then rewind it to the beginning. And you weren’t done yet. Then you had to remove the cassette and “by turning a six-sided pen in the take-up hub, wind the tape forward until the splice between the plastic leader and the oxide-coated tape is visible in the center hole of the cassette shell. Then reinsert the cassette and set the tape counter on the ATARI 410 Program Recorder to 000.”Wow, it’s amazing computer’s caught one with kind of beginning!
You May Not Need the Pocketdresser, but You Probably Know Someone Who Would Welcome It.
When Tom Mcloudrey asked if he could send me a sample of the device he invented I told him “sure”. His invention, the Pocketdresser is a handy multi-Tool to help people with limited mobility with their dressing needs. The four primary Tools, large and small buttonhook, closed-loop buttoner and zipper pick all folded neatly into a pocket knife style handle. The inventor said his unit is not only different in appearance than a traditional stick-and-wire-loop buttoner, but that it goes much further to assist in dressing chores and solves the shortcomings of a wire loop that bends easily and breaks frequently. All four Tools are manufactured from fully hardened 301stainless steel. All are extremely versatile. The large buttonhook is easily capable of buttoning new, thick, denim jeans. The closed-loop buttoner and small buttonhook are ideal for medium sized shirt buttons down to delicate, collar shirt buttons. The zipper pick, the most specialized tool of the group, functions not only as a zipper pull but also as a pick to pry out buried zippers tabs and undo knotted shoelaces. To further assist handgrip and dexterity, an adjustable strap has been added to the Tools spine. Additionally each tool is indexed to allow identification by touch or feel. The comfortable strap gives a user security and leverage in the most difficult dressing operations. A pocket clip is also provided to secure the tool in travel whether in pocket or purse. All Tools can be positioned at any angle in relation to the handle to help with limited arm and wrist movement. Simply grab a Tools’ triangle and open it to any angle you need. There are no locks or buttons to work when using any tool. A spring-tensioned design secures the tools to the handle and allows for wear over time. Available in red or blue. $46.00.
No one will come down on Leo his choice for this week’s Turn The Table Tuesday. Yes, Leo stood in line like hundreds of thousands others and bought an iPhone. You’ve probably read a ton about this Apple device, not hear Leo’s take. I can you this much. Leo was very impressed with it. He lists the pros and cons, but the pros list is way longer. Me? I have one coming on loan for an upcoming spot on World News Now on ABC, but that’s still a couple of weeks away.
I love 2-in-1 gadgets, especially ones as useful as this one. The Kingston DataTraveler Reader is ideal for users wishing to minimize the amount of devices they carry, the all-in-one form factor of USB Flash drive and card reader makes DataTraveler Reader the ideal portable solution. Store, transfer and read files in one convenient device, the DataTraveler Reader from Kingston. It’s a standard USB Flash drive with an onboard expansion slot to read SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus and with adapter (not supplied), miniSD, microSD, RS-MMC, MMCmobile and MMCmicro cards. It works with virtually any computer with a USB port as no external power source is required. If you have a digital camera that utilizes Secure Digital (SD), you can easily view and transfer your photos from the card to the DataTraveler Reader in one easy step. Simply insert your SD card into the DataTraveler Reader's onboard expansion slot. When inserted into a USB port, two drive letters (i.e., G:\ and H:\) will appear, one for DataTraveler Reader's internal memory and one for the expansion slot. Kingston's Guaranteed five-year warranty Capacity: 2 GB - $30 to $42. There’s also a 1 GB version available for about one third less the price, but come on, go for double the capacity!
(THINK COLD WINTER BEFORE YOU READ ON) Anyone who has ever enjoyed a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day can relate to the frustration of getting to the last drop and finding all of the delicious chocolate sitting in a saturated clump on the bottom of their mug. Or maybe you prefer a cup of hot tea with honey and haven't quite figured out how to get the honey sufficiently mixed. This handy table-top gadget is great for preventing chocolate build-up at the end of your hot chocolate or for keeping sugar or honey dispersed in your coffee or tea. The Self-Stirring Mug contains a very small propeller at the bottom that will spin at 3,000 RPM’s by simply pushing a button on the handle. You can keep your drink well-mixed and not have to hassle with stirrers or dirty spoons littering you desk top. Anytime the taste your drink seems diluted, simply give the touch and the mug will stir it up again. The Self-Stirring Mug also includes with a lid so you won't find your beverage swirling out the sides. The lid also keeps your hot drink from cooling off to quickly, and when you need a coaster, simply pop the lid off and place it under the mug. Made of lightweight injection-molded plastic inside a layer of stainless steel, the Self-Stirring mug would make a great gift for anyone in your home or office. $19.95.
If you were trying to buy tickets to a popular event via phone, or trying to get through to tech support, this would be the gadget to have! The Demon Dialercould redial a number15 to 25 times a minute. Then when it connected, it sounded an alarm. Hookup was simple: It plugs into the wall phone jack and ac power. Then your phone goes to a jack at the back of the Demon Dialer. Here’s something I read. A Federal Communications Commission rule, imposed because of concern over tying up lines, bars automatic dialers from making more than 15 consecutive calls to one number. So every 16th call, Demon Dialer dials a single digit, hangs up and starts over.Now searching the web and I find a device that looks EXACTLY like my old Demon Dialer. But it’s called the Advanced Demon Dialer. From their website:PowerDialer repeatedly dials busy telephone numbers as quickly as your telephone company can process the calls. When busy signals or "all circuits are busy" recordings are encountered, PowerDialer immediately hangs up and continuously retries until it encounters either a ring-back or speech, meaning that the call has gone through. An alarm sounds to signal a successfully connected call. PowerDialer can also be set to periodically retry unanswered phone numbers. Other features include the ability to store numbers in memory, advanced tone detection, and a built-in speaker for hands free monitoring.The PowerDialer is available direct from Technology Arts for $249.
Monday, July 2nd.My Weigh Ultraship-55 BlackNetcast 346
So for the first time ever I’m selling something on my website. Baseball caps with built in LED’s. And I’ve actually sold some. (Don’t worry, I have more in stock!) But I’m charging $5 for postage and at first I was sending them out in Pay One Price Priority Boxes at $8.95 each. This didn’t seem like a good business plan, so I head out to Staples to buy a postage scale to see what the hats actually weigh. Staples was out of their $42 digital scale and I didn’t feel like spending $72 for the model they had in stock. So I turned to good old Ebay. And I found a great scale.
The Ultra-55.It weighs everything from letters weighing only a few ounces to packages weighing up to 55 pounds! Accuracy is said to be one-tenth of an ounce for items weighing up to 2 pounds and to one-half ounce for items weighing over 2 pounds.
And there’s a hold features that allows you to "hold" the weight of the package on the scale even after you remove the package. The Tare button allows you weigh items in a container without including the weight of the container. It also came with a letter/envelope holder and shipping tube cradle and AC adapter! And this is neat! The
removable display is on a 3 foot flex cord that can be pulled away from the scale to make it easier to see the weight of large packages. The cord tucks neatly into the base of the scale when not in use. Runs on 4 "C" batteries, not included, but the AC adapter is. I got the scale with shipping for under $30, but it seems the price is ever changing. However it’s still way cheaper than Staples and it’s packed with a lot more features! Here’s where I ordered mine:
Okay, it’s summer and ice cream is hot…I mean cold, so this was a pretty good Turn The Table Tuesday.
The Cuisinart Ice-45 Mix It In Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker
Here’s the Product Description. Professional-quality soft serve ice cream, yogurt, sorbet and sherbet is now available right at home, with the Cuisinart Mix It in Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker. Not only does it make everyone's favorites, but with three built-in condiment dispensers, it makes them extra delicious! Just a pull of a tab send sprinkles, chips and other mix-ins down the chute to mix right into frozen desserts as cones or bowls are filled. Operation is fully automatic; simply pour in the ingredients and turn the dial! Now I think Leo thought the Freezer Bowl was included, but if you check the link he sent me, it’s not. Read on:
Buy this item with Cuisinart 1 1/2 Quart Ice Cream Maker Freezer Bowl - For use with the Cuisinart Mix It In Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker ICE-45 Cuisinart today!
Product Features Makes 1.5 quarts of frozen dessert is as little as 20 minutes
Total List Price: $285.00 Buy Together Today: $131.49
This is really neat! Sanyo’s – and the world’s first – waterproof camcorder.
I shot video under my boat and held it over the side ias we bounced across the waves on the Hudson River. The video was great both above and under the water. The SANYO Xacti E1 can record DVD quality video and 6-megapixel stills under water to a depth of five feet for up to one hour at a time. And because it has no bulky, separate underwater housing, people kind of freak out when the see you stick it under the water! It’s available in blue, yellow and white at $499.99 MSRP. Here are some specs from the Sanyo Website. The E1 shoots MPEG-4 video and utilizes theAdvanced Video Codec AVC/H.264 that delivers a significant 25 percent reduction in video file size, along with improved video quality versus traditional MPEG-4 recordings. It records on an SD memory card or high-capacity SDHC card (neither is included). A bright, 2.5-inch LCD color display flips out and rotates for easy viewing. (You do have to shield it in bright sun to see clearly.) 5x optical zoom and anti-shake digital image stabilizer. Utilizing the 16:9 widescreen setting, users can enjoy their high resolution photos on their high-definition televisions in full screen mode. This is a hot camcorder for the money. Now this is strange.Before it was released the press release kept referring to this camcorder as the Xacti E1.Now on the Sanyo website it seems to be the CA65. But Sanyo makes only one waterproof camcorder. http://www.sanyo-dsc.com/english/products/vpc_ca65/index.html
Meet the XPower Powersource Mobile Mini for Power on the Go.
It gives you power to stay productive and entertained when you're on the go, by recharging your cell phone, BlackBerry, iPod, or PSP.
The Mobile Mini features a mini USB pivot arm so you can connect it directly to your BlackBerry and new Motorola phones such as the Razr, Rokr, etc. A second USB port let you power two devices at once, provided they're not power hungry devices like a laptop. It provides power through a 0.5 amp USB charge port to keep the music playing for hours. The Mobile Mini's internal lithium-ion battery can be recharged at home through a lightweight AC charger, through a vehicle's DC socket, or at your computer from its USB port. What's nice is that the included AC plug has its own USB port, as does the 12 volt charger. So when your near power you can charge devices directly and save the power in the Mobile Mini. There's a blue LED On/Off indicator, 3 amp-hour lithium-ion battery pack, and LED battery status/charge status indicator. Recharge from a standard wall outlet, a vehicle, or a even a computer. Protection Features:Over-temperature shutdown - Low-battery voltage shutdown (2.5 volts DC with automatic reset) - Overload shutdown.Office Max carries it for $49.95.
Back to the warehouse Friday, July 6thNOTHINGNetcast 350
Yep, there was a company that was selling NOTHING as a gift!
NOTHING was a small cardboard box 3.5 inches X 6.5 inches by about an inch high. It was covered in marbleized paper with the word NOTHING in “gold leaf”. on the top. Inside was a small booklet of a few pages with NOTHING printed on the cover in Gold tone ink. Each page extolled the virtues of NOTHING. Things like “NOTHING will make you 6” taller”. “NOTHING will mend a broken heart.” “Nothing will last forever.” And it also gives the reason you were given this gift. It’s because when you were asked what you wanted for your birthday, graduations, etc, you said “Nothing!” I seem to recall the price was $10 and NOTHING was copyrighted in 1992. I never did see it on sale, so suspect the company, Seven Sundays of Manhattan Beach, California, may have made nothing on the deal!