Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

October, 2009 Archive


October 31, 2009 • News

Backing Up Your Mobile Data

My father’s favorite phrase is “People don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.” I’m quite sure a very expletive laden version of this concept was bandied around Microsoft after the Sidekick backup debacle. So I posed the question to the Gear Diary Team: How do you back up your smartphone data?

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October 31, 2009 • Reviews

SPB TV for Android Review

When out and about, sometimes you got a few minutes to kill.  SPBTV for Android phones can help you use up a few of those minutes with a little mindless entertainment or a news update from overseas. SPB TV is an application that streams live TV from the Internet directly to your phone.  It has …

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October 30, 2009 • Autos, Reviews

2010 Kia Soul built to rock and roll

Apparently, funky is going mainstream in the auto industry. What began as a unique phenomena over at a little startup division of Toyota has now spread across other Asian automaker model lines. Nissan challenged the squared Scion with a Cube and now Kia has put their heart and “Soul” into the mix. (Sorry, had to …

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October 30, 2009 • How to Do It Yourself!

The Internet Is Your Friend: Learning a Language on a Budget, Week Two

photo credit: woodleywonderworks In part one of “Learning a Language on a Budget” I talked a bit about the things you can do to get prepared to learn a language. A number of you offered comments and provided additional information about some resources that are available. Much appreciated! In this second post in the series …

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October 30, 2009 • How to Do It Yourself!

Making a bootable USB stick to upgrade to Windows 7

So you have Windows 7 and you are all fired up about installing it on your netbook. The problem is that your netbook doesn’t have a CD or DVD player built in which means that DVD media that Windows 7 comes on is pretty much a coaster. You can solve the problem by popping $80-90 …

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October 30, 2009 • Reviews

Review: HyperMac External Battery

Every once and a while a product comes along that really catches my eye.  Such was the case when I spotted an advertisement for the HyperMac external battery in a tech. magazine last month.  The HyperMac is currently the only external battery available for use with Apple’s line of Mac Book computers.  And with the …

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October 29, 2009 • Reviews

Mailtones Redux – Now For Blackberry Too!

I reviewed Mailtones for the iPhone a few weeks back and really like it. The app allows you to assign different sounds to various contacts so that you know who has emailed without even looking at your phone. Now every time Judie emails my phone cheers. Every time Larry emails a fire alarm goes off. …

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October 29, 2009 • eBooks, Editorials

eBook News Avalanche!

Welcome to another round of State of the eBook! There’s been an avalanche of eBook news and releases, so let’s dive right in! Barnes and Noble releases the nook upon the world B&N’s nook came out swinging, with a dual screen design and an android foundation. Check out Gear Diary’s coverage of the nook’s release …

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October 29, 2009 • How to Do It Yourself!

Translation and Frustration: Learning a Language on a Budget, Week Three

photo credit: woodleywonderworks So far, I’ve talked about dictionaries and dictionary sites, and other language-learning resources on the Internet.   There is, however, one Internet service that many of us will come across, even if we aren’t in the process of learning a language – online translation tools. Arguably, the biggest sites today for these services are, …

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October 29, 2009 • Reviews

Apple TV Software version 3.0 video walk through

Apple has released a major update to its Apple TV software.  The hardware did not change but the new 3.0 software version has been given a full makeover. With a totally redesigned start page, internet radio, support for iTunes LPs and more the new software version, although not the new hardware many people were hoping …

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October 29, 2009 • Reviews

Review: Sleek Audio SA1, an Altogether Different Audio Experience

Here’s the dilemma: you’re listening to your favorite music, and outside noises are not only bleeding in, they are making your music less clear. Most people would turn up the volume to block the unwanted noise and amplify their audio. The only problem is that in the process, they might also be causing irreparable hearing …

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October 29, 2009 • Gear Bits

Walmart Selling Caskets Online

Wal-Mart has started offering caskets and urns at prices that are probably cheaper than what you’d pay at your local funeral home. Online casket sales are not a totally new concept as Amazon offers them and so does Costco. But somehow a Wal-Mart casket seems, well, cheap. Take comfort knowing that you didn’t overpay for …

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October 28, 2009 • Reviews

Skooba Design Checkthrough Roller Feview

It is not a so-well-kept secret that I travel quite a bit for my day job. While 2009 has seen a slow down in travel for me, I still will easily make my American Airlines Platinum status for the 4th year in a row. As a reminder to everyone: Airline status is not something to …

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October 28, 2009 • Reviews

Hexplore (1998, RPG) Review

There are many games from the history of computer role-playing games that deserve the attention of a full retrospective, looking back in depth at what made the game great and putting it into modern context. However, for every ‘Ultima IV’ or ‘Arcanum’ there are a hundred games like Hexplore – minor releases that added something …

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October 28, 2009 • News

Pet bunk bed would be great item for crazy cat lady line of home furnishings

This Merry Pet Room-With-A-View is perfect for pet owners who spare no expense on accessorizing for their animals. If you’re regularly buying cat food from  the refrigerated food case  in the pet food aisle  -this pet bunk bed may be right up your alley. Made from kiln-dried Asian fir treated with natural color stains. Steps …

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October 28, 2009 • Reviews

NASA for iPhone/Touch App Review

What geek does not love space?!?!  Over the past few months, my iPhone has gained a handful of apps for space enthusiasts.  My 5 year old son and I love to sit and look at these apps to learn about the planets and solar systems.  One night this summer he asked why we cannot look …

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October 26, 2009 • Editorials

The Palm Pre through the eyes of a former Palm OS Treo Business User

I’ve been a business smartphone user since the category was invented.  I started with Palm and have been loyal to them through the years as the market has developed from a niche geek market to the fastest growing segment of mobile communications.  Analysts say it will easily overtake conventional cell phones in developed countries very …

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October 26, 2009 • Reviews

Review: MobiValet

When I saw an advertisement for the MobiValet in a tech. magazine I was recently reading I immediate had one of those, “now why didn’t I think of that” moments. My car has plenty of cup holders.  But often times every single one of them is filled with a drink belonging to one of my …

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October 26, 2009 • Reviews

SmartSwipe System For Online Shopping Review

“Hey D,” Elana said as she came down the step the other night, “did you spend $170 at Macy’s yesterday?” “Macy’s??” I asked, “No way. I mean, when was the last time I went shopping for any non-tech item without you? Why do you ask?” “Because AmexEx emailed and was checking up on a suspect …

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October 26, 2009 • Reviews

HAVA Review: Live TV for PC and iPhone

When I saw the press release announcing that HAVA was coming to the iTunes App Store and that it was an application which allowed for live streaming of your home television, I was intrigued.  I like to think I’m pretty knowledgeable when it comes to the live TV options available for the iPhone but I …

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October 25, 2009 • Reviews

Speck Protects… Your iPod Touch and Nano In Style

I’m a huge fan of Speck’s cases. They always offer great style, excellent value and superb protection. They recently rolled out some new cases for the new iPod touch and iPod nano, and they were kind enough to send along some units to review and then use. Let’s take a look…

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