Daily Giz Wiz Episodes for November, 2007 - Starting with Monday, Nov 5th. Latest episodes at the top!
DAILY GIZ WIZ, Week of November 26th, 2007
Monday, November 26th Netcast 451
Get your mind into the gutter! With some help from the iRobot Looj
The iRobot Looj is a Gutter Cleaning Robot. It reduces moving a ladder from place to place along the gutter line. Yes, gutters need to be cleaned regularly to avoid water damage, overspills and ice dams. Plus, dirty gutters create a breeding ground for carpenter ants, mosquitoes and other pests. But it’s a job everybody hates. That’s why I refuse to own a roof! But the folks from iRobot who came up with the Roomba developed the iRobot Looj. It makes regular gutter cleaning faster and easier. And it helps you avoid climbing and repositioning the ladder multiple times. The company says it works with standard K-style, aluminum, copper, metal or vinyl gutters. Just charge it up, remote the handle which becomes the remote control, and send it on its way! It even helps you avoid reaching into gutters from dangerous heights and handling that yucky stuff! Cleans a 60-foot section of gutter in just 10 minutes. Basic model is under $99.
It’s another Turn The Table Tuesday and Leo comes up with another interesting gizmo --- the new Zunes!
Leo liked the new Zune 80 with its big 3.2-inch display. He said the styling was a vast improvement over the original, and went on to note that when Microsoft drops the ball like they did with the first model, they usually come back with a much improved product. There are evidently issues with moving music from the original Zune to the new one, but there a lot of pluses which Leo explains in detail.
I haven’t seen the new Zunes in person, but in pictures they sure look better than the original and the colors are far superior too! You can check them at the “official” Zune site.
As soon as you plug in the Emerson Cks3088 Smartset Clock Radio With Lamp Control Function, it instantly sets the time and the date. It seems the clock is given the exact date and time when it leaves the factory. The clock keeps track of it and when it’s plugged now it know the exact time and date. Even if you unplug it again it still knows the right time the next you plug it in. Also on the top of the clock is a large Touch-sensor Lamp Control Button. Plug a lamp in the outlet on the back of the clock (must be a normal incandescent or 3-way bulb, no halogen bulbs) and then touching the bar on the clock provides a 4-step brightness control, both brighter and dimmer. There’s anam/fm radio and a jumbo 1.3" red Led clock display. If you want to sleep in total darkness, set the clock to the “wave” position. The clock face goes out, but if you just wave your hand, it will come back on for about ten seconds.There a lot of features for under $35! Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw453
The handle detaches and becomes the remote control. Very clever.
Intelligent First Aid "talking" kit$129.99
The Intelligent First Aid "talking" kit, designed by medical and educational experts, combines supplies, visual instruction cards and now an audio module for verbal guidance to manage the most common injuries, at home, at work, or at play.The kit is separated into individually labeled and color-coded injury packs so the user has all the supplies and easy to follow instructions for managing a specific injury. The audio module in each injury card takes the technology a step further. By the squeeze of a button, the module narrates step-by-step instructions to manage the injury, pausing and repeating when necessary for accurate response. By combining the necessary supplies with the new audio technology, the Intelligent First Aid Kits are the most dependable tool for providing rapid and accurate first aid guidance in the event of an injury. The case includes a guidebook, with first aid instructions for additional medical emergencies, such as choking, frost bite, heatstroke, and asthma. Also included is a product manual with audio instructions, a book light/flashlight and a shoulder strap. Other specialty kits for active families, or for seniors that are under $40
For those Match Game fans who emailed me, I have good news. (Even if you didn't email me, you might be interested.) Some Match Game questions are available again. But not as many as before. The previous batch sold out in less than three weeks!
Were you, or are you, a fan of THE MATCH GAME? .....Now you can own a small piece of its history -- a 3" X 5" piece! Actually, three 3" X 5" pieces. Read on.
After writing The Match Game for 18 years I never guessed it would live on. And on and on and on. 25 years later and it still goes on. I've earned no residuals on the 25 years of repeats, but I did get something special. I own some of the original Match Game questions. If you want to read more, go here:
Also included with your questions is a short history of the how the Match Game questions changed over the years, a copy of the MATCH GAME PM Promo announcements sent to stations for the use of their local announcers and a copy of the letter sent by Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions to TV Station Program Directors. It explained how to have Gene Rayburn customize a video for local stations to plug MATCH GAME PM.
WEEK OF NOVEMBER 19th!
Monday – November 19th, 2007Netcast 446
Turbo Charge TC2 – The newest version of the Turbo Charge
TC2 Turbo Charget has some new features that make it a nice improvement over the original unit. This one uses two batteries, and surprise, both are included! (The original version and a lot of other units use one.) According to the company, two batteries should give you three full charges. Well not you, but your cell phone! And you know me and lights! The TC2 has a built in battery indicator to tell you how much power is left in the AA batteries. This is a great feature, unless you happen to keep a battery tester handy! But wait, there's more! The TC 2 has a built in, two LED flashlight!In the package are nine adapter plugs. You can find the list at their website. I tried it out with my LG 9800. As soon as I plugged the adapter in, the phone came to life and went into the charging mode.Also new from Turbo Charge is a unit to charge the iPhone and another for portable game devices. TC 2 costs $24.95 with a single adapter, or if you have multiple devices (and you're not a gadget freak unless you do) for $29.95 you can get a TC2 with 9 adapters. If your phone isn’t listed on the package, there's info on their website about how to get the correct adapter free.
Turbo Charge for Gaming includes 1 TC2 Gaming Turbo Charge Unit 2 "AA" Batteries Adapters for: PSP, Gameboy Advance SP, Micro, DS, and DS Lite. $24.95
On this Turn The Table Tuesday Leo makes me jealous when he announces he has bought one of the very first Eee PCmini computers from ASUA/
I had seen one at a trade show, but Leo already own one! It's the new mini Eee PC from ASUA. It's a complete computer with a 7" screen for under $400. It has lots of features likebuilt-in card reader, camera, speakers, and microphone. Leo said the 7" screen is a bit small, but viewable. You won't have to worry much about bumps and shocks because it's solid-state disk, so there's nothing moving. Battery life Leo said was probably 4 to 5 hours. Solid states translates to a faster start-up time. Graphic interface lets you choose your chore using Linux applications. It is XP compatible. Built in WiFi 802.11. There will be four models, but two of shipping now.The 4 and the 8 GB versions. There is card slot so you can add more memory, but I’d opt for the built in 8 GB.Price is in the $300 to $500 price range depending on model and features.
Are You a Road Warrior that Worries Something is Going to Happen to Your Laptop on the Road?
Then you should check out the new Panasonic ToughbookSeries 7 notebooks. They provide data security features including trusted platform module (TPM) security chip v. 1.2, the Computrace theft protection agent in the BIOS, a cable lock slot, password security and an optional fingerprint scanner. The Intel Core 2 Duo-based W7, T7 and Y7 notebooks are extremely light weight, but still offer drop- and spill-resistance. I liked the look of the magnesium alloy cases which are very rugged, yet lightweight. The notebooks weight in the 3 to 3.5 pound range. There’s a shock-mounted hard drive and LCD screen. And a range of embedded wireless options including 802.11, Bluetooth 2.0 and this is neat --- optional built-in 3G AT&T (HSDPA), Sprint or Verizon Wireless (EV-DO Rev. A).
I had a demo at the recent Digital Life Preview, and here’s what I learned. The Panasonic spill-through keyboard design protects against liquid spills of more than 6 ounces (200 cc), and both the lid and base of the notebooks are designed to withstand more than 220 lbs (100 Kg) of pressure. In addition, Toughbook notebook hinges are required to pass 50,000 cycles and keyboards are tested to withstand 25 million keystrokes. I was surprised to learn that the prices start under $2100.00.
Thursday, November 22nd --- THANKSGIVING --- Netcast 449---
HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL! WE TAPED TODAY’S DGW A WEEK EARLIER AND COMPLETELY FORGET TO MENTION “T” DAY.BUT THAT MAKES IT LESS CONFUSING FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T LISTEN TO US ON THANKSGIVING, BUT LISTEN DAYS, WEEKS, OR EVEN MONTHS LATER. Need more outlets?And who doesn’t!Tributaries Introduces the PWRS-T10 Flexible Power Strip. Tributaries, a company that makes high end cables, and hook up devices., has introduced a new power strip, the PWRS-T10. What makes this one unique is theswiveling action on five of the unit’s outlets.We all know what a drag those fat, heavy AC plugs are. Well, the flexible outlets will allow you to plug in the over-sized adapters and not use up two outlets. Twist them to face in the direction you want. The power strip also offers signal-line protection for RJ-11, RJ-45 and F-connector signals, as well as voltage-spike protection. A pair of blue LED indicators show the surge-protection status of plugged-in components, and the unit can handle up to 10 AC power supplies. The power strip features a $25,000 connected equipment warranty and a 3 year parts and labor warranty and is available now. I’m assuming the MSRP of $80 will go down quickly as units get into multiple retail outlets.Outlets as in retailers, not --- well, you know!
Gadget Warehouse Friday ---Friday, November 23rd, Netcast 450
Let us go back to June 27, 2001 When Gemplus Smart Card Technology Teamed Up with Compaq to Introduce “The Smart Card” Keyboard!
Here’s a bit from their press release:In a move to increase the security and convenience of online shopping for its customers, Compaq is introducing its Smart Credit Card Internet Keyboards with select models of its newest 5000 and 7000 Series Presario desktops. Integrating Gemplus' GemCore reader interface, Compaq is the first PC manufacturer to be recognized by Visa U.S.A. as "smart Visa Ready," a designation given to smart card components, devices and services that have met a set of criteria to ensure consistent performance and utility. The new Compaq keyboard allows consumers to simply insert a smart card into the card slot on the keyboard and enjoy online benefits such as: Increased security while purchasing goods and services online, convenience through the smart card's ability to store relevant user data such as name, address, bill to, ship to, and credit card information for ease of online checkout.
The Presario PCs, featuring the Compaq Smart Credit Card Internet Keyboard, can only be bought with one of the new desktops. It adds around $34 to the price of the system if bought online from Compaq. Well it’s a little more than six years later and it’s no where to be seen, except in Dick’s Gadget Warehouse! www.twit.tv/dgw450
The slot that took a "Visa Smart Credit Card" was on the right side of the keyboard. Half the card stuck out in use.
DAILY GIZ WIZ, WEEK of November 12th, 2007
Monday, November 12thNetcast 441
It’s amazing! WiFi built inside a tiny SD card.
The Eye-Fi Card comes with everything needed to set up and connect to your home WiFi network. I wasn’t sure why a wireless card came with a card reader, but it’s so you can easy install the necessary software. But doing that and setting it up took under five minutes. After that, pop the card into your digital camera and start shooting those pictures. It stores pictures like a regular SD card no matter where you are, and uploads your photos automatically as soon as you return to your home network. All you have to do is turn the camera on.But if you’re shooting them at home and your wifi is up and running, they go wireless to your computer. You can freak out your friends like I did.I had they take my picture and when they turned around, the picture was on my computer screen! Impressive? Very!It can uploads photos automatically to sharing and printing websites, like KODAK Gallery, Shutterfly, Wal-Mart, Snapfish, etc. Right now there is only one card with 2 GB of memory.The kit Includes USB memory card reader to make set-up easy. Range: 90+ feet outdoors and 45+ feet indoors. The Eye-Fi Card requires Internet connection to set-up and WiFi network for wireless transfers. Works with virtually all digital cameras accepting SD memory cards.802.11g, 802.11b and backwards-compatible 802.11n wireless networks. Mac & PC.2 GB Card Kit with card reader to install software, under $100.
It’s another Turn The Table Tuesday and Leo comes with up with real gadget!
Since Leo and his speakers are 3,000 miles away, the only info I have is from the audioengineusa website: Perfect for all your music. Free cables and 3-year warranty. Awesome reviews! Small Speakers, Big Bass. You won't hear any enhanced super-mega-hyper-monster boomy bass from these speakers. The low end from the Audioengine 5 is real bass, very near to originally-recorded music. From rap to classical to movies, you'll get tight, punchy bass with an awesome growl that will make you smile - regardless of the volume level. Kevlar woofers for powerful bass, silk dome tweeters for smooth highs, built-in power amplifiers, truly useful connections, and a clean industrial design all allow the Audioengine 5 to integrate perfectly in your living room, bedroom, or desktop. Custom-designed and handcrafted wood cabinets with high-gloss professional piano finish. This part is really good:Free Audition. We feel we've created a product with the sound, looks, and quality of systems costing many times more. Try out the Audioengine system and if you're not completely satisfied with the simple iPod connectivity and great sound, just return both speakers in their original packaging in like-new, undamaged condition within 30 days of purchase and we'll give you a refund minus shipping charges. $349.00
CyberLink You Cam.I had a lot of fun with this new software. I rarely every cover software, but this caught my eye! It lets you add fun to IM software with four different types of video effects: emotions, filters, frames, and distortions.Or add effects and filters to your video calls. There are animated objects, that will punch, kiss, and bring a laugh or two, maybe more! Make your pictures stand out by adding custom frames. Get an instant face-job, so much cheaper than a plastic surgeon and easily reversed. Create your ownWeb cam Photo Booth. Take single shots or a sequence with frames and effects captured at the same time. My favorite is to record videos with your web cam and create video postcards, news reports, birthday greetings — add the effects “live” as you record. Then you can easily upload your creations directly to YouTube or email to friends. And you can download new effects for free with online downloads. Free 30 day trial, but they do put a “watermark” on your stuff.Under $35. I like this software a lot.
A little video I made and uploaded to YouTube via YouCam:
The XM XpressRC from Delphi has a full color split screen display with a real-time programming guide. You can pause and replay up to 60 minutes of your favorite XM programming. Songsaver lets you save your 10 favorite songs to listen to laterAnd you can also set up to 10 favorite channels. Another new feature is 60-minute pause and replay. (It’s doubled from the previous 30 minute feature.) TuneSelect finds your favorite artists or songs and alerts you when they're playing on an XM channel.GameSelect finds your favorite sports event or team and alerts you when they're playing on an XM channel. And if you want there are Info Extras - stock sticker and sports scores. (Hmm….how much stuff fits on that XM color screen!) Universal Connector means you can easily move the XpressRC between car, home & Audio Systems, with compatible and optional accessories. Frequency Finder - conveniently scans and locates FM frequencies for listening to XM through your FM radio. The kit includes XpressRC Receiver / Car Antenna /Car Cradle /Car Power supply /Car Mount/Vent Clip /Remote Control /Cassette Adapter. Under $150.
Don’t forget Leo’s Tech Guys Labs is on XM too.(In addition to radio syndication) I’m on the Saturday show. www.techguylabs.com
Back to warehouse Friday, November 16thNetcast 445
The very first wake to sunrise clock I knew about!
The folks at BioBrite invented the first integrated dawn simulator alarm clock. It was a way to let the “sunshine” wake you up.It first went on sale in 1995 for about $200. And it had a bizarre shape. A triangle base with a oval glove on top. I guess that was supposed to represent the sun on top of a pyramid or something that. And notice is was the old fashioned analog face with hands.
Although that clock is no longer anywhere to be seen, BioBrite is still very much in business. One of their newest clocks is the Digital SunRise Clock - Advanced Model with/White Noise. This new sun alarm clock offers a number of useful programmable features, including the ability to set different dawn and dusk cycles ranging from 15 to 90 minutes, display brightness controls, an automatic night light, "snooze" feature and more. This model has a "white noise" option that can mask distracting sounds and lull you to sleep faster. It can cover up the sound of street traffic or a snoring roommate. The white noise can be programmed to fade out as the sunset light goes out, or stay on all night. And notice the price. Even with inflation the new clock with all its features is still about 40% cheaper than the 1995 model! $124.95
Back-It-Up!Never lose your phone numbers again. BackUp Pal replaces the need to manually re-enter contacts into a new cell phone It’s designed to let you transfer phonebook contacts from old to new cell phones. No PC, data cable, software installation or monthly fees required. Backup-Pal costs between $39.99 and $49.99, depending on your phone model and the number of detachable tips included in the package. Backup-Pal is compatible with a majority of phone brands in the market. I wanted to transfer info from a Motorola phone to an LG phone. The Motorola cell phone is supported, but the LG dongle is still in the works. Backup-Pal works independent of the carrier and the network technology that the carrier uses (GSM/CDMA/3G). As for the international support, the Backup-Pal storage format uses Unicode encoding, therefore enabling Backup-Pal to function in multilingual environments. The current Backup-Pal model only supports one phone model. However, future planned models will backup multiple phones, both for business and family use! Although the Backup-Pal package comes with several tips that will work with various models, the main Backup-Pal unit only stores contact information for one phone at a time.
Turn The Table Tuesday, November 6th, 2007Netcast DGW 437
Leo travels a lot and reads a lot.So his choice for today’s show is the New Sony PRS-505/SC Reader Digital Book
Here’s what I found on the Sony Website:The Reader Digital Book provides a new way to experience reading. It boasts an impressive 6-inch display1 utilizing breakthrough e Ink® technology that's almost paper-like, making it easy to read even in bright sunshine. In addition, the screen allows for high contrast and high resolution, with a near 180° viewing angle. The text can also be magnified for readers with impaired vision. With a compact and lightweight design, you can take it almost anywhere and read whenever you want. More compact than many paperbacks, it weighs just nine ounces7 (without cover), is only half an inch thin8 and holds up to 160 eBooks4. You can easily hold it in one hand, and with its rechargeable battery you can turn up to 7,500 continuous pages on a single charge2.Leo owned the first version and finds this one a big improvement. Price is about $300, but there is an offer of free digital books at the Sony site.
Here’s cell phone with some unique features for the exercise freak.
Sony Ericsson W580i Walkman – Price TBA, but probably around $300. The phone has a bright2.0" TFT screen, dedicated Walkman player, Memory Stick Micro support, integrated FM radio,and a 2.0 mega pixel camera. For the exercise freak there’s a built-in pedometer with calorie counter, stopwatch, and a feature called “shake control”. You just flick your wrist to change tunes. And it’s has Quad-band Edge for global roaming. The slide down keypad is hidden until you need to make a call.In “Flight Mode” only the music features are available.Not only is the keypad backlit, but even the sides of the phone light.
It’s the battery operated T-Shirt with it’s own built in Graphic Equalizer!
Here’s a t-shirt that will get plenty of attention. The built in graphic equalizer responds to voices, music, or any sound!The microphone is built into the battery pack. There's a sensitivity control so you can adjust the mic to suit the sound. This would be amazing to wear at a dance club. You can disconnect the battery pack and hand wash the shirt. The T-Qualizer shirts cost $39.99 (CAD) CAD is the Canadian dollar, but these days I think the US dollar exchange rate is exactly the same. Their store accepts Visa and MasterCard, and there is also a PayPal option.Michael, who runs the places said they ship all over the world, and generally turn around orders within 12 hours. Shipping to most places in North America costs about $6.90. If you’re in a big hurry they have UPS and Canada Post Xpresspost options too for quicker delivery.And Michael added: I’ve set up a special 10% discount coupon in the store that users can redeem during their checkout process. They just need to type in ‘gizwiz’ during the check out process and your readers and listeners can redeem this discount instantly.
These shirts are neat! I think you'll love them. Check their website because they offer quite a few choices.
Back To The Warehouse Friday.Friday, November 9th, 2007 Netcast 440
The B-I-C Beam BoxFM10 directable FM antenna
An Ad from 1977 claimed: “The first FM antenna that’s as sophisticated as your receiver.”
On the actual box it reads:Inside this box is the world's first electronically directable FM antenna. By simply adjusting its knobs you can focuas and fine-tune any FM signal coming from any direction. It maximizes the signal you want. It minimizes signals you don't want. You get more stations and you get them better. For possibly the first time you'll experience the performance your receiver was designed to deliver. A new component from B-I-C.It's a lot more than just an antenna.
In less lofty terms, the Beam box is a non-powered, adjustments for width and direction. And it looked very techie with its smoked plexi top! Do a web search and you can find people still selling it. Anyway from $35 to $100!.On eBay $35 + shipping.Brand new one $100 + $20
Here's a little history on BIC from their website:"BIC originally an abbreviation for British Industry Corporation, was established as an American corporation specializing in British products. BIC was among the earliest pioneers in the audio industry, distributing products including Garrard turntables, Luxman amplifiers and Wharfedale loudspeakers during the 1960's. In 1973, BIC introduced its own brand of loudspeakers and the industry' first belt drive turntables. By the mid 1970's, BIC Venturi loudspeakers were among the top 5 best-selling brands.