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

February, 2011 Archive


February 28, 2011 • Music Diary

Music Diary Quickie: 5 Seconds of Every #1 Song … Ever!

For more than 50 years the Billboard Hot 100 has tracked the most popular songs in the country. Of course, for nearly that any years there have been payola scams, chart manipulation and other industry shenanigans that have tainted the songs that appear on the list. But make no mistake – whatever means are used …

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February 28, 2011 • News

End of an Era: Frank Buckles, Last World War I Veteran, Dies at 110

I grew up in a time where not only were military actions and anything related to the government held in disdain and mistrust, but soldiers themselves were treated poorly by much of the public. So regardless of any feelings I have about whatever military or government actions happen in any given year, I love that …

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February 28, 2011 • Music Diary

Pop Goes the Music Diary: Britney $pears New Commercial … um, I Mean Music Video

After starting my ‘Music Diary Songs of Note’ I quickly realized that I wanted to look at both pop music for the music video trends, and also at some of the great jazz and other recordings I hoped to feature. So I’m going to use the ‘Music Diary Songs of Note’ label for the times …

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February 28, 2011 • Reviews

iPad Accessory Review: ProClip’s MultiStand

In just a few days Apple is expected to announce the iPad 2 (or whatever they end up calling it). Yes, Apple’s runaway success with its first entry into the tablet market is nearing its first anniversary. Along the way I’ve had the opportunity to look at a wide variety of different mounting solutions for the …

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February 28, 2011 • eBooks

The eBook Piracy Boogeyman

(image courtesy Port Wallpaper) Publishers looooove to complain about piracy, and how it’s going to destroy the very foundation of bookselling. That’s why they say we need digital rights management, and why there’s an ongoing cat and mouse game between content providers and enterprising users finding ways to strip out the DRM and truly own …

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February 28, 2011 • News

Altec Lansing Takes Us Behind the Scenes: Creating a Speaker Prototype

When I visited Altec Lansing’s headquarters back in January I was able to spend some time in the back area of the complex where the company develops their speakers. I didn’t write a great deal about it at the time because I had signed an NDA, and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t …

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February 27, 2011 • Reviews

The Keurig Mini Plus Personal Brewer Review

Given the long hours I spend editing and writing, there are a few things that I need to have available at all times: a good desktop or laptop computer, a decent camera for taking pictures, a comfortable chair, and an ever flowing source of caffeine. The refrigerator behind me takes care of my Diet Cokes, …

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February 27, 2011 • Reviews

iPad Accessory Review: Sena Keyboard Folio

There are times when you need to write something on the iPad that is just too long for the software keyboard. Sure you can carry a Bluetooth keyboard, but that may become cumbersome and heavy. That’s where having a mini Bluetooth keyboard built into a case for the iPad comes in. Sure, it is a …

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February 27, 2011 • News

Honeycomb’s Strawman

I’ve noticed a troubling and confusing theme in reviews and comments about Google’s new OS, Honeycomb. It seems everyone thinks it’s great, but there’s an anti-Xoom, anti-Honeycomb meme that keeps appearing about the lack of Honeycomb specific apps in the Marketplace. This is what’s called  a “Straw man” argument. Rather than argue Honeycomb on its …

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February 27, 2011 • Editorials, Gaming

Is THIS the Future of the RPG? If So … the RPG is Dead!

Several years ago a variety of games started adding things like experience, skill building and other forms of progression as elements to their roster. Games like Grand Theft Auto San Andreas allowed you to ‘pump iron’ to make progress, online shooters like Battlefield 2142 tracked your progress and allowed you new ranks and skills as …

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February 27, 2011 • Gear Bits, Music Diary

Music Diary Quickie: Check Out JamBuddy – a Free Backing Track Website

Have you ever just wanted to jam along with a variety of backing tracks, but lacked the software (such as Apple’s GarageBand) to do so? Well, a new website called ‘JamBuddy’ offers a simple Javascript program that makes it easy to drop in some chords and adjust some settings and quickly get a backing track …

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February 26, 2011 • Reviews

Samsung Tab Accessory Review: The Infinity Carbon 2×2 Carbon Fiber Twill Case

I am sure it’s no secret that accessories are important to me; as a matter of fact, I was just called an “accessory maven” by @philipbearne on Twitter recently. Thank you Philip, for stating the obvious. 😆 We spend a fair amount of time reviewing accessories here on Gear Diary because all of us enjoy …

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February 26, 2011 • eBooks

eBooks In the Public Library Under Fire!

(image courtesy Reedsburg Library) eBooks in libraries have been a challenge for quite a while. Libraries often can’t afford the licensing fees, or people don’t know they can check them out, or the Overdrive system has issues…there are many barriers to entry. Now it looks like publishers are putting yet another roadblock in front of …

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February 26, 2011 • Music Diary

Music Diary Songs of Note: Two Piano Masters … Together!

Throughout the 1970’s Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock were two of the leading figures in jazz fusion, Corea with the bombastic Return to Forever and Hancock with his funky Headhunters group. Each had a critical part in Miles Davis groups of the 1960’s and early 1970’s, which Hancock a pivotal member of the ‘second great …

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February 25, 2011 • Reviews

iPhone 4 Wooden Case Roundup: Miniot iWood vs Species Case vs Root Case

There’s something to be said about wrapping your electronics in a wooden case; not only does wood give devices composed of metal and plastic a warmer feel, wood’s organic nature also ensures that your case’s pattern will be one of a kind – even if it is one of many similarly styled cases sold. One …

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February 25, 2011 • Editorials

The Story is Ancient: a Work in Progress; Build Your Own Passover Haggadah

For the past few years I have used a different Passover Haggadah each time I led the family seder. I realize that I may have just spoken Greek – or rather Hebrew – to some of you, so let me explain. The Haggadah is the service or story book used at Passover to retell the Israelites …

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February 25, 2011 • Gear Bits

Gear Diary Quickie: Oscar Weekend!

The Academy Awards are here. Get ready for a film filled weekend!

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February 25, 2011 • Gear Bits

GD Quickie: Gear Tie 18″ Tie Your Gear

Seriously, how could I NOT post on this??? After all, the product name is Gear Tie. (And we’re Gear Diary… Get the tie-in??) So what’s the deal with these Gear Ties? Simple- The 18″ Nite Ize Gear Tie is the perfect size to wrap and organize medium-to-large appliance cords and wires. Keep your jumper cables, …

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February 25, 2011 • News

Amazon to Prime Members: Get Streaming

It was rumored to be coming, Michael posted on it the other day and this morning Amazon sent a blast of emails to announce that the switch had been flipped on video streaming for its Amazon Prime members. The streaming service launches with just 5000 television shows and movies, but since it is absolutely free …

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February 24, 2011 • Gear Bits

GD Quickie- iPhone Explains the Big Bang Theory

It will come as no surprise that the iPhone played central role on tonight’s episode of the Big Bang theory. In fact, an entire scene took place over Facetime! Yes, Apple had over 30% of the product placement in movies last year and that percentage is much higher on geek-centered sitcoms such BBT.

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February 24, 2011 • Reviews

Notebook PC Review: Hewlett Packard Elitebook 2540p Laptop

Last year I reviewed the Hewlett Packard (HP) Elitebook 8440w Mobile Workstation, declaring it one that I would love to be able to keep and use in my daily life, and as the best business laptop I’d ever used. Well, move over 8440w – because I have a new favorite, the svelte but ultra-powerful Elitebook …

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