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

November, 2011 Archive

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November 26, 2011 • Gear Bits

Microsoft’s Claims of TellMe Being ‘Basically the Same as Siri’ Put to the Test

Sometimes there is no better way to demonstrate that what a company is saying is pure rubbish than by putting it to a simple test. Apple’s Siri was released to simultaneous cheers and yawns – cheers from those who use it and yawns from Microsoft and Google (and their fanboys) saying that they already have …

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171

November 26, 2011 • Reviews

HEX Free Wired Code Wallet: An iPhone 4S Case with a Fatal Flaw

  Here at Gear Diary we work hard to give as honest and complete a report as possible when we review a product. That means we will point out the things we like but also point out the things that need improvement. It means we will rave about something we love but we will be …

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357

November 26, 2011 • News

Bedol Water-Powered Clock Review

Alarm clocks are a pretty straightforward gadget. They tell the time, they wake you up when you’d rather be sleeping, and they’re slowly being replaced with cell phones. But while regular alarm clocks have become a bit boring, there’s a whole subset of funky/interesting variations (remember potato clocks when you were a kid?) Bedol has …

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214

November 26, 2011 • Gear Bits, Yum Log

Stupid Gift of the Day: Santa Claus Drink Dispenser

Yes, I’m not sure how appetizing your favorite drink will be when served from this dispenser but one thing is certain — it will get a laugh (pity or otherwise). As the product description explains: Santa Claus makes everything so much more festive and joyous, even when he’s pouring Liquor for you! Well, he sure has a …

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130

November 25, 2011 • Editorials

Ten Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs’ Biography: An Entrepreneur’s Take

My friend Peter K is a speaker, author, health and success coach, nutritionist and physical therapist. (His website Peter K Fitness tells his story, introduces his method and explains how his approach has helped countless people lead a healthier lifestyle. Some impressive testimonials are there too!) Peter is Elana’s health coach and played a huge …

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116

November 25, 2011 • News

Localscope For iOS 50% Off For 5 Days

Even though I rarely shop, I am an admitted Black Friday participant. I  usually have a playoff football game that Friday night but I almost always wake up early in the morning and head out. Why not hit a store or two, find a possible deal and watch people be crazy? The entertainment value alone is worth …

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137

November 25, 2011 • Gear Bits

Malls Will Test Cell Phone Shopper-Tracking Starting on Black Friday

You are wandering around the mall on Friday, heading from the Gap to FYE to Macy’s to Hickory Farms to Best Buy, not necessarily thinking about anything but getting as many great deals to justify braving the crowds as possible. But thanks to FootPath Technology, your cell phone will be pinging in with its location, …

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139

November 25, 2011 • News

Eskuché 33i and Control-i headphone Headphones Look Great and Won’t Break the Bank

Is it more important to have headphones that look good, sound good or are priced right? eskuché doesn’t think it needs to be a choice and their $69 33i and Control-i headphones are here to make the point. Here’s a quick look at both and what the company has to say about them. We’re hoping …

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108

November 23, 2011 • News

Garmin StreetPilot App Helps Avoid Gridlock with Real-Time Traffic Photos

Just in time for the huge travel weekend that is Thanksgiving, Garmin has released an update for its StreetPilot Onboard iPhone navigation app. The new version of the app includes the ability to show real-time photos from traffic cameras. As the Garmin release explains, This functionality can help holiday travelers get to their destination faster …

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123

November 23, 2011 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Why I’m Not Shopping on Thanksgiving

Image courtesy my black Friday I heard on the radio this morning that Old Navy will be open on Thanksgiving. Target and Walmart are also planning special hours on Thursday. Personally, I will be avoiding all these stores, but it is not an anti-consumption stance. I just feel terrible for all those employees forced to …

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151

November 23, 2011 • News

Killing webOS Cost HP HOW MUCH?!? Also, HP Nabs #2 Tablet Spot for 2011!

Two interesting pieces of contrasting TouchPad news: one about failure and the other success. From AllThingsD, we get a snip from the recent HP earnings report specific to Palm, webOS and the impact of folding up that business on their results. Here is their quote from the earnings report: Non-GAAP earnings and operating profit information …

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112

November 23, 2011 • Gear Bits

Samsung Shows Lack of Class in Latest Galaxy S II Commercial

As someone pointed out in response to the Galaxy Nexus commercial – that was made by Google, which is why it was excellent. Now we get one for the Galaxy S II made by Samsung … and it is NOT. Back in the 80’s Apple produced two infamous commercials – 1984 and Lemmings. They are …

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73

November 23, 2011 • News

Battle of the Annoying Black Friday Commercials: Kohl’s vs. Target

Image courtesy Zap2It Everything is turned up to 11 as we frantically approach Black Friday and the traditional start to the holiday shopping season. If you watch network television, you have likely seen and heard two amazingly annoying ads: Kohl’s ‘Rebecca Black Friday’ commercial and Target’s ads featuring the simpering presumed cokehead who hasn’t slept …

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91

November 23, 2011 • Gear Bits, Travel

Oh the Times, They Are aChangin’

Here’s just one small indicator of how much things have changed over the past few years. One of our cars died and is on its way to the junkyard. Prior to having it shipped off we cleared out the glove box. Buried deep inside with these relics of travels past. Me, “hmmm, New car has …

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124

November 23, 2011 • News

William Shatner Helps You Cope with Being Un-Friended

With the new Facebook Timeline it is possible to discover who has unfriended you, which might cause some distress in general. Add to that last week’s ‘National Unfriend Day’ on Jimmy Kimmel’s show and you add to the possibility of being unfriended. But on a holiday weekend there is even more cause for concern: I …

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126

November 23, 2011 • Music Diary, News

Music Diary Deal: Coldplay Live in Madrid EP FREE on Google Music

If there is something Google knows, it is how to do ‘free’ – never before has a company made so much by charging so little. So as they simultaneously try to crank up their niche Google + ‘social network’ and also their late entry also-ran music ‘service’, the immediate tool they pull from their bag …

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114

November 23, 2011 • News

February Will Bring the Launch of an All New 2013 Lexus GS

Some of you will recall our ‘Guess what I am and Win‘ contest series which offered a prize package consisting of: 2 one-year Pandora One premium subscriptions 4 movie tickets a month for a year from MovieTickets.com A $250 OpenTable dining card The clues were: My screen width is wider than an iPad I can …

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118

November 22, 2011 • Gear Bits

A Reminder at Thanksgiving to Help Those in Need in YOUR Town!

I have to admit that it took a while for me to support the United Way. Back in Massachusetts we had a wonderful local group that my wife and I supported, and at work they transitioned from local charities to the United Way as the company that bought out the former ‘family business’ (with >700 …

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250

November 22, 2011 • Reviews

The Dynavix Navigation App for iPhone Review

Like many of you, I use my phone for everything! One area I have had mixed results is in GPS turn by turn navigation. The apps tend to be on the pricey side, and they just usually do not have the same feature set found in a stand alone unit. I love my Garmin Nuvi …

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116

November 22, 2011 • Gear Bits

A Massive Look at the Breakdown from Trillions to Dollars

Have you ever looked at the amounts of money our government and large corporations toss around – billions or even trillions of dollars – and tried to break it down into something more ‘real’? Well, this week’s xkcd comic does just that. Much of it is just informative, making proportional chunks of blocks for how …

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107

November 22, 2011 • Gear Bits

RIP Legendary Jazz Drummer Paul Motian

Today we get the news of the passing of Paul Motian at age 80 (1931-2011), the legendary drummer forever linked with pianist Bill Evans and bassist Scott LaFaro in the definitive piano trio under Evans leadership. His output as a leader and sideman has been tremendous, as has his influence on drummers and music in …

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