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

August, 2012 Archive

193

August 27, 2012 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

These Guys Are NOT ‘Heroes’ … and Maybe We Are to Blame

Let me get a couple of things out of the way – I am not equating the potential actions of these two men, nor declaring guilt on them. There are many things we do not know and will never know. But the reality is that these two men – Lance Armstrong and Joe Paterno – …

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August 27, 2012 • Autos, Reviews

The 2012 BMW 650i Coupe Connects with Drivers’ Emotions

Over the course of an average Gear Diary calendar year, I drive more than 80 new vehicles for review. During that time, there are many vehicles I will not shed a tear over when it is time to relinquish the keys, as they’ve fallen just a bit short of making any sort of emotional connection …

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156

August 27, 2012 • Gear Bits, News

George Lucas and Seth Green Debut New “Star Wars” Cartoon

Through the Star Wars movies and Clone Wars cartoons, we got to know the main and side characters through their major exploits across the galaxy. But what about “what the daily life is like in a galaxy far, far away”? Well, now producers George Lucas and Seth Green are going to let us see that, …

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528

August 26, 2012 • Reviews

Tom Bihn Cache Sleeve for the MacBook Pro Retina Review

If, like Judie and me, you got a MacBook Pro with retina display, then you know it is a lot of computer and can easily serve as your only computer. It is for Judie and me and, save for the 512GB of storage, there is zero compromise involved. And if you have a MBPr you …

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164

August 26, 2012 • News

Apple’s Big Patent Win, and What It Means for Smartphones

The Apple/Samsung patent trial’s jury shocked everyone by returning a verdict extremely quickly on Friday afternoon. Once we had the full details, I asked the team here at Gear Diary what they thought. Was this a game changer for Android and smartphones in general, or just another chapter in “lawyers gone wild”? Bryan: Yeah but remember, some …

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190

August 26, 2012 • Autos, Events

Hyundai Takes Us up the Mountain to Discover the New Santa Fe!

If you really want people to experience a new SUV, what is the best way? How about taking them up a mountainous location at about 8500 feet elevation! And if you are looking to engage with media beyond the typical automotive press, what better way than to bring in people heavily engaged in social media …

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186

August 26, 2012 • Gear Bits

Eight Chocolate Planets for the Discriminating Palate

I’m still mourning the loss of Pluto, but you’ll find the other eight planets (including the sun) in this luxury chocolate gift box … Chocolate can taste all of the solar system eight planets, planet is chocolate set. Planets lined up in a row in the package that the image of the universe, like a …

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279

August 26, 2012 • Health and Fitness

Bloomberg, Soda and the Nanny-State

Mayor Mike Bloomberg caught a good deal of flack about his proposed ban on big soda. And for good reason. After all this is (or is supposed to be) a free country isn’t it? If someone wants to drink gallons of soda, boxes of donuts or smoke pack after pack of cigarettes that is their …

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763

August 26, 2012 • News

Evernote Page Camera Turns Your Smartphone into a Scanner

Evernote has long let you snap a picture of a page of handwritten text and save it to your Evernote account. That has always been my fallback position when I was taking notes but had left my Livescribe smartpen at home. In addition, when I was in Washington last week I didn’t bring my Livescribe pen. …

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254

August 25, 2012 • Reviews

iShower Bluetooth Water Resistant Speaker Review

I’m a guy who needs constant input. Whether it’s sport talk on the radio or music from Spotify while I’m working or a television droning in the background while I’m fixing supper, I always want something to entertain me. So the five minutes I spend in the shower every morning is problematic. I do have …

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August 25, 2012 • Music Diary, Reviews

The iRig Stomp Guitar Controller Review

Anyone who played guitar (or bass for that matter) in the late 1970s or early 1980s will immediately recognize the outline of the iRig Stomp (get it here)- because they had at least a couple they needed to transport everywhere with them. This involved making sure short patch cables worked, 9 volt batteries were on …

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122

August 25, 2012 • Gear Bits, News

‘Hands Off Crazy’ Is a Tribute to This Week’s Political Wingnuts

Image courtesy CoochWatch There are plenty of crazies on both sides of the political aisle, but as a scientist what REALLY bugs me is total misinformation and the perpetuation of blatantly incorrect information. Again, there are plenty of examples on both sides, but the amazing thing recently is the extent to which anti-abortion legislators will …

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255

August 24, 2012 • Gaming, Reviews

Madden NFL 13 Review for PlayStation 3

Electronic Arts expands their annual U.S. pro football video game with several new features while raising the replay value to new levels in their latest football simulation game Madden NFL 13. The Hype Developed around the powerful, all-new Infinity game engine, Madden NFL 13 delivers a more engrossing, complete and realistic gridiron experience than any …

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350

August 24, 2012 • Reviews

Kanex Sydnee Smart Recharge Station for iPad Review

Our new computer lab will be ready for our students when they return this fall. That means our pre-school will have four or more iPads and our grade school students will, eventually, have access to a dozen or more iPads. That’s all good and well except for the fact that all those iPads need to be …

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291

August 24, 2012 • News

Tell Time with the Help of a Nuclear Watch and Watch Tritium Decay in Action

Imagine a college party with around 100 quadrillion (a one hundred with fifteen zeroes behind it) students binge drinking, with all exceedingly inebriated. Ignoring the noise and mayhem for a moment, imagine a quarter billion of them getting sick every second for the next 25 years or so. However, instead of the usual stomach material, …

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188

August 23, 2012 • Reviews

The RHA MA350 Noise Isolating Aluminium Earphones Review

We’ve looked at numerous headphones over the past months; many are priced rather high. In fact, with headphones now serving as a fashion statement as often as they are a music accessory, it is not uncommon for them to run $150, $200 or more. So when RHA reached out and offered us a pair of …

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259

August 23, 2012 • News, Outdoors, Reviews

Thermacell Adds Light To Their Mosquito Control, All-Purpose Swivel Light Review

A must have for all hunters, especially in the south is a ThermaCELL Mosquito repellent appliance. In fact, I actually cannot even hunt without one during the spring turkey season or the early bow only deer season here in Texas. Our mosquitos can practically carry a man during those months. Read my review on the …

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267

August 23, 2012 • Gear Bits

Talk to the World with Amateur Radio

  In my second post on Amateur Radio, I talked about getting a 2 meter/70 centimeter handheld radio as your first radio.  The main reason I suggested those kinds of radio as the first radio to buy is that you will likely need it for local public service. A dual band radio relatively inexpensive and is pretty forgiving when …

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192

August 23, 2012 • Reviews

DRACOdesign EVO for iPhone 4/4S Review

We recently reviewed DRACODesign’s Cleave Crystal case for iPhone 4/4S (read the review). It is a nice, bumper-style case that avoids the issue of signal degradation thanks to its non-metallic construction. As the company puts it By using polycarbonate as base material, the bumper is hard on the surface to prevent from scratch with elasticity …

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August 23, 2012 • News

Roamz 2.5 Makes Smart Social Search Smarter

Last month we shared our interview with Roamz CEO Jonathan Baruch. (Read it.) We also noted that an update to the ‘Social Goggles for the Real World’ app would be coming soon. Well Roamz 2.5 has launched and it brings some neat new features. As Baruch notes, “The new version of Roamz takes local discovery …

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261

August 23, 2012 • Health and Fitness, News

Wait … That Drink Has HOW Much Caffeine?

The tremors have already shaken us – Judie quit diet coke cold turkey (and yesterday — three days in — the massive headaches started). Last week the guy at my office who picks up the recycling noted that my intake of Diet Mountain Dew was way down (to at MOST one per day), and I haven’t …

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