February 2009

The Amazing Hubble Space Telescope in Action

According to astronomer Lyman Spitzer’s 1946 paper “Astronomical advantages of an extraterrestrial observatory”, there were two main advantages that a space-based observatory would have over ground-based telescopes. The first advantage was that “the angular resolution (smallest separation at which objects can be clearly distinguished) would be limited only by diffraction, rather than by the turbulence in the atmosphere, which causes stars to twinkle and is known to astronomers as seeing.” The second advantage was that “a space-based telescope could observe infrared and ultraviolet light, which are strongly absorbed by the atmosphere.” The United Kingdom launched the first orbiting solar telescope…


Kindle Case – Another Option

Like Judie, I unboxed my Kindle VERY carefully. The Kindle wasn’t inexpensive, and having read Rob Bushway’s tale of woe, I didn’t want a repeat. So… while I had not initially bought a case for my Kindle (hello Amazon, talk about cheap! Include SOMETHING case-wise for crying out loud), I did order the standard case as quickly as possible. The Kindle came Wednesday and the case arrived yesterday. It is sweet!


Unboxing the Amazon Kindle 2

I was starting to feel like I was one of the last people to get theirs, especially after enviously reading Dan’s emails and Doug‘s post about their Kindle 2s, but today my Amazon Kindle 2 finally showed up. I also got the Cole Haan Brown pebbly leather cover to go with it, since Amazon neglected to include even a cheap plastic one. The big box is the leather cover, and the smaller box is the Kindle 2; go figure. I opened everything with an expectant, yet slightly wary eye; I had dropped serious coin on this gear, and if it…


2009 Jaguar XF supercharged – Kitty has claws!

The 2009 XF from Jaguar – the new midsize luxury sedan-in-coupe-clothing that replaced both S- and X-type models last year – quickly became one of my favorite new cars, and my recent test of the supercharged version of the new cat only solidifies my stance.


Going green? How about reusable toilet paper?

Interested in doing your part to improve the environment. Who’s with me on switching to reusable toilet paper? Cloth toilet paper is not much different from the concept of re-usable diapers. It’s more economical, uses less paper and — no more late night trips to the store when you run out of paper! Biggest downside? Who wants to wash this in their washing machine? Soft Cloth Toilet Wipes Details: * Two-layer construction for soft strength. * Basic wipes are one layer of soft flannel and one layer of knit terry. * Premium wipes are one layer of soft flannel and…


What If Your Town Got Nuked? A Ground Zero Project

Fresh from last night’s viewing of Religulous, which ends with a disturbing cacophony of nuclear explosions, I found this in my RSS feed today… CarlosLabs has posted a bit of Javascript which uses Google Maps to show the effects of various catastrophic disasters; manmade and otherwise. According to DVICE’s Charlie White, “The deep red color means total destruction, dark red would be third degree burns, light red signifies second degree burns, and yellow means you’d get a pretty nasty sunburn.” You can get a more specific interpretation of distance related damage represented by the colored rings, here.


Why school projects should be banned [rant]

I think my mom is the Queen of Science projects. At my house I’ve been struggling with getting my son’s science fair project completed by next week. I’m probably the least creative person at thinking up new and interesting ways to test how fast a matchbox car can run down a wooden ramp. Leave it to my Mom to an interesting way to complete the project in one emailed suggestion that my son build the cars from the kits he received for Christmas (thanks mom!) and then test each by adding weight. I suddenly realized that my Mom wasn’t born…


V-Moda vibe II: Earphones with a Fashion Sense

In recent months, I’ve had the privelege to try out a number of different earphones/earbuds.  In a former life, I did the “band” thing – writing, recording, performing.  The end result of all this is that I tend to be extremely picky about my audio equipment.  In some ways, however, it’s like the old saying – I don’t know art but I know what I like. Enter the vibe II – earphones that try to be a little of both – an excellent audio delivery system and art. images courtesy of V-Moda


Vaja 4G Nano iVolution Grip Case with GoClip Review

I honestly think that Apple makes the best MP3 player on the market.  I know there are a lot of people that would like to debate that point, but in my mind, and in my opinion, even though they didn’t release the first player, they were the first ones to get the experience right.  They win; but again, that’s a personal opinion… Recently I bought my daughter a 4G (RED) Nano for Christmas.  Her grandparents “bought” her a white and red Samsung Propel (she got a Visa gift card that we used to purchase the phone).  It was a, uh-hem……


Bloggers Photo Guide

The idea for this post came from a little back and forth amongst the GearDiary team concerning getting better images to go along with our blog entries. Specifically, some were looking for tips to produce better tech gear images with monitor screens, i.e., multimedia devices, smartphones, laptops, video monitors, etc.


The Rivet Clip System Review

It’s an issue that has been around since people first started carrying mobile devices: What’s the best way to carry your phone or MP3 player so that it will be easily accessible, less likely to be stolen, and less likely to be forgotten? An obvious answer might be to keep the device inside a case that attaches to the wearer’s belt, but some don’t want the hassle of a bulky case; they need something that offers a little bit more flexibility. With that in mind, say hello to the Rivet Clip System, specifically the Kingpin, Shift and GoClip.


2009 Chevrolet Tahoe 2-Mode Hybrid

My relationship with the new fullsize GM hybrid SUVs continues to be a love/hate one. I love the fuel savings and cleaner emissions delivered by these “green beasts,” but I hate that consumers still cannot get one for less than 50 grand.


iPhone 3G vs BlackBerry Storm

Judging from the quantity of Twitter questions asking for purchasing advice on the “BlackBerry Storm vs iPhone” – it looks like plenty of people still are undecided between both these devices. While I typically have a one sentence response of “If you want email buy a BlackBerry otherwise buy an iPhone” – I realize that the analysis isn’t always so cut and dry. There’s the touchy issue of AT&T’s signal quality, the ability to capture video, ease of on-screen keyboard use, integration with iTunes. James at JKOnTheRun has done an excellent job with comparing and contrasting the iPhone and Storm….


Clarion Mind Review: Media, Internet, and Directions All-In-One? Not Quite

For some time now, there has been a gap between PDA/phones and notebook computers, various form factors have been introduced to fill this void, but until the ASUS eeepc, none have been particularly successful.  Of course, with the Asus, we were given the device which we now know as the netbook, and finally that gap began to close. Some devices, however, started at the other end of the spectrum, trying to fill the gap up from PDA/phones.  Chief among them has been the Archos Internet Media Tablet and the iPod Touch.  Well, now we have another newcomer to this gap-filling…


Openmoko Neo Freerunner from SDG Systems Review

It’s been over a year since I have looked at anything from SDG Systems, but it is time to do so again.  SDG is now working with Koolu on the Openmoko Neo Freerunner.  Not only are they working with the standard Openmoko firmware, but they are also working on getting Google’s Android Operating System working on the Freerunner.  I will touch on both operating systems in this review, but first let’s look at the hardware.


An HP Mini 2140 Mini Post

I’ve been enjoying using the HP 2140 Mini Note. It’s small, light, and quite easy to use thanks to its near full size keyboard. My unit came with a three cell battery which allows the unit to maintain its low profile.


Fashion Week with HP and Vivienne Tam

On February 18th and 19th, I was part of a group of mostly female bloggers who were brought to New York to meet Vivienne Tam and learn more about the HP / Vivienne Tam Mini Note collaboration. Our first day consisted of a whirlwind New York City tour… That night we were invited to the Vivienne Tam fashion show and cocktail party, where her Fall 2009 collection was revealed. Since I am new to the behind-the-scenes world of high fashion, I was a little bit surprised that what we were being shown was for Fall 2009 instead of Spring. I…


AudioEngine 2 (A2) Premium Powered Desktop Speakers Review

My buddy Dimitri recently had the chance to review Audioengine’s A5 speakers over on WhatsOniPhone. He loved the big sound and excellent build.  I’ve recently had a chance to take a look at the far smaller A2s; at about 1/3 the size of the A5s, the A2s are like the smaller sibling and while they don’t pack the SAME punch, they hold their own rather well. Let’s take a look…


The Microsoft Arc Mouse Review

I have been a fan of the ever shrinking computer since I was in college.  Laptops, netbooks, PDAs, my motto these days is small, compact, and light.  The whole time, however, there has been one thing the gnawed at the back of my brain…probably due to the numerous hand cramps I have gotten over the years.  There is just no good way to control the mouse.  This started with the eraser tip controller, which worked well enough, if you don’t mind rubbing against a tiny rubber nub in the middle of your keyboard (which was also prone to accidental swipes). …


Help my phone is in the toilet!! Guide to replacing your phone without getting fleeced by a carrier

Hey, it happens. You’re sitting to answer nature’s call and without warning or provocation the phone you thought was securely clipped to your hip goes for a swim. Sometimes you’re lucky and can fish it out of the water fast enough and there will be minimal damage. Other times you’re not so lucky and the water shuts your phone down – forever. Unless you’re signed up with an extended warranty company such as Squaretrade – you are out-of-luck because water damage is not covered under most carrier insurance plans (this is the first thing they check – and they know…


Killer Pool for iPhone by SD Games

I’ve been looking at a number of iPhone games lately.  Some of these games take excellent advantage of the iPhone hardware and some don’t.  Some are excellent ports of web games or Windows Mobile games, and some are not.  Killer Pool is a title unique to the iPhone, it’s not a port, so I would expect it to take good advantage of the iPhone hardware.  Let’s take a look in more detail…