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

November, 2011 Archive


November 30, 2011 • News

Mophie and Rocketfish (Best Buy) Issue External Battery Pack Recalls

Two recalls just crossed my inbox; these may be products that you all own, so please check: The first item is the Mophie iPod Touch Rechargeable External Battery Case (shown above); it’s being recalled due to a burn hazard. If you have one of these, check to see if your serial number  has the first five alphanumeric …

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November 30, 2011 • Reviews

The Gammatech’s U12C Durabook Review

It takes a certain type of laptop to stand up to certain jobs. Most laptops find comfort on a desk, in a padded bag, or possibly in the local coffee shop around the corner. Gammatech sent me a laptop suited perfectly for all those tasks and a whole lot more. Usually the worst that happens …

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November 30, 2011 • Gaming, Rants and Raves

Gamer Banned for Using ‘Inappropriate Language’ in Forum Tamer Than What Is in the Actual Game!

Early this year I wrote about two separate incidents of gamers being banned from playing games based on comments made in separately housed gaming forums – the first was about someone banned for upsetting a forum moderator by asking “Have you (Bioware) sold your souls to the EA devil?”. At the time EA claimed it …

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November 30, 2011 • Reviews, Yum Log

Smoke Like a Pro with the Peg Leg Porker BBQ Kit

I’ve loved pork for a long time – waaay before the hipsters made bacon worship popular. One of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday afternoon is to put a pork butt on the smoker first thing in the morning and watch college football all day while the meat soaks up the hickory goodness. Since …

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November 30, 2011 • Gear Bits

Tiny Homes for People Who Know That Less Can Be More

When I lived in San Angelo, I had a home that was almost 3,000 square feet including the garage apartment. My daughter and I were the only two people living there, and on more than one occasion I remarked that the only rooms we really needed were the kitchen, our bedrooms and my office – …

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November 30, 2011 • Gear Bits, Music Diary

Music Diary Notes: Elvis Costello Says ‘Don’t Buy My Record’

Given how accustomed we have become to pop music stars going anywhere and doing anything to practically beg us to buy their stuff, this announcement from is certainly surprising. Here is the initial post from Elvis: “Let’s make things sparkling clear” We at find ourselves unable to recommend “The Return Of The Spectacular …

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November 30, 2011 • Reviews

Digital Innovations AllTerrain Wired 3-Button Mouse Review

Mice seem to be ubiquitous.  Everyone has one.  Not many people even consider buying one that didn’t come with their computer while some are fanatical about the mice they use.  I tend to be one of the former.  As long as it has a scroll wheel I am usually happy, but now I have a new …

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November 30, 2011 • Events, Gear Bits, Reviews, Travel

Quick Look: Belkin Travel Router

This year Gear Diary’s CES base will be a suite at the MGM Grand. All of us will be bunking together which means we will be able to get even more writing done early in the morning or late at night. Of course that presumes we have the wireless connectivity to go online and post. …

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November 30, 2011 • eBooks, News

Amazon Releases First Kindle Fire Firmware Update

It has been two weeks since the Kindle Fire stormed on to the market, with loads of pre-orders fueling an extremely successful Holiday period for the product. I am still finishing up my review, and Dan has already sent his back … and last night Amazon released the first firmware update for the Fire. Here …

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November 30, 2011 • Rants and Raves

A Reminder That Our Only Freedoms Are the Ones We Fight For

I doubt that anyone would seriously debate that we have lost significant freedoms in this country over the last decade, though it is generally presented with a caveat that what has changed was needed for enhanced security. Sometimes this is true, other times it is for the appearance of greater security, and other times it …

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November 29, 2011 • News

Twilight Versus Star Wars, Feminist Style

I’ll admit, I saw “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”. Mainly it was so I could laugh at how campy it was, but I think years of watching “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” have given me a soft spot for vampire tales as a whole. And yes, I’m 99% sure my women’s studies degree dug itself out …

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November 29, 2011 • Reviews

Twelve South Bass Jump 2 Portable Subwoofer for MacBook Review

The MacBook air isn’t designed to be an entertainment device. The anemic speakers on it make that point quite clearly. Sure, they work well enough, but I would be hard-pressed to call them anything more than functional. The speakers on the iMac are far better but even they still fall a bit short. That’s where …

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November 29, 2011 • Gaming, Reviews

The World of Goo for iPad Game Review

> There are times when a simple description does little to convey the joy contained in a great game. For World of Goo, my one-line description ‘solve puzzles by building stuff by stringing together bunches of goo balls’ doesn’t begin to explain why you will be losing sleep playing ‘just one more level’. I am …

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November 29, 2011 • Reviews

Grid Detective for Kindle Review

I am a huge sucker for logic games. When I was a kid, we used to do them all the time in school, and I have very fond memories of drawing my grid, X-ing out the wrong choices, studying the clues, and cracking the puzzle. Last week I was trolling the Kindle bestsellers lists, and …

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November 29, 2011 • News

It’s Time – A Celebration of the Natural Cycles of Adult Life

As adults we see so many different good and bad things in our lives; some we would change and others we wouldn’t change even if we could. As we grow we have friends and family who experience joys and tragedies and are reminded that life is just too short and can end in a moment …

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November 28, 2011 • Reviews

Wahoo Fitness Heart Rate Monitor for iOS Review

There’s a few schools of thought in fitness when it comes to heart rate monitors. One side says that a heart rate monitor helps you keep your effort in the proper range, while the contrarians think a heart rate monitor is a crutch and you should go with what feels right, not a number on …

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November 28, 2011 • Gear Bits

Droid 4 Revealed – Like a Moto Razr with a Slide-Out QWERTY Keyboard

When it comes to mobile devices I tend to be fairly platform agnostic, owning Android phones, iPod Touches (well, iPods since the original one in 2001), and both iPads and Android Tablets. But there is one place where I have clear bias (well, aside from gaming performance), and that is my preference for physical keyboards. …

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November 28, 2011 • News

The Latest Cool Steve Jobs Video – NeXT Computer ‘Entrepreneurs’ Feature

For most people, Steve Jobs is the iconic black-turtleneck & jeans wearing icon who led Apple from near bankruptcy to become the most valuable public company in the world before he passed away recently. But there are more and more historical views of him popping up all over the place – and this is one …

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November 27, 2011 • Gear Bits, Outdoors

Siri Is Awesome but It’s Not the AT&T iPhone 4S’ Best Feature

I love Siri on the iPhone 4S. As I have written previously, it has changed the way I use my iPhone and, in fact, the way I do much of my writing. Thanks to Siri I’m better at consistently setting up reminders for myself. Thanks to Siri I’m able to make new appointments on the …

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November 27, 2011 • Gear Bits

Technology Meets Tradition: Prague, a Bat Mitzvah and an iPhone to the Rescue

Picture from Jewish Journal A few years ago I received a picture from friends in my congregation. They were in Jerusalem for their daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. The the picture their daughter was standing on the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount wearing a tallit (prayer shawl) and holding a BlackBerry. It seems she left her speech …

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November 27, 2011 • Reviews

The Motorola Droid RAZR Android Phone Review

The battle for “World’s Thinnest” presses on with the release of Motorola’s latest flagship. Resurrecting the name of a phone that became an icon, the RAZR is back, but aside from the name, it bears little resemblance to the phone-in-skinny-jeans of 2004. The new RAZR, or the XT910 as Motorola define it, is an Android …

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