April 2009

Ugobe Declares Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

It looks like we can chalk up Ugobe, makers of the lovable Pleo Robot, as one more victim of the poor economy and the ongoing credit crunch. Evidently, it was never a matter of whether there were enough people buying the personable robots, because Ugobe defintiely had the orders. The problem came when the companies who ordered shipments could not pay Ugobe, because their credit was frozen or denied. As a result, Ugobe has had to lay off 20 employees and declare Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Owners of existing Pleosaurs are understandably a bit freaked out. This just in from Robert…

Earth Day Thought: What Plastics Do To Your Body

As we all (yes, ALL) try to do better by Mother Earth in general, and particularly today on Earth Day, and try to ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ wherever possible, it seems that the ‘Reduce’ part often gets lost in a sea of packaging that we do manage to Reuse and eventually Recycle. An article at Care2 discusses some of the chemistry behind all of those plastics and how they might impact us.

TripIt for iPhone – a must have itinerary organizer for travelers

I have two business trips that are coming up this month. Until I discovered TripIt, my standard way to track itineraries was to search through my email reservations 12 hours before departure. TripIt keeps your schedule organized by reading email travel confirmations that you forward to a special TripIt email address. These show flight and hotel information which TripIt extracts. Then it creates an itinerary organized by trip. You can (optionally) share trips with others so you’ll know which friends are traveling to the same location at the same time as you. The iPhone application is free and automatically synchronizes…

Give her the Sun with the Sun Jar

If choosing a gift can be a problem, for sure choosing one for your mother can be a demanding task: you would like something useful, but it should be also feminine, maybe original and possibly not too expensive. Stop thinking, why not giving her something simply… natural? Why not giving her the sun?

Amoebas for the iPhone

If you own an iPhone, you’ve probably discovered the incredible number of games available on the app store. Some of the best are the sort you can fire up, play for a few minutes, stop and pretend you are working when your boss walks by, then keep playing when the coast is clear. I had the opportunity to review one of these games, Amoebas by SDGames …is it worth playing or will it get lost in the deluge of options?

No More Excuses! Back Up Your Data the Easy Way with the Clickfree Transformer

Sure, we say we’re going to diligently backup our data.  Heck, sometimes we even actually do it. It starts out with the very best of intentions.  You backup all those files daily.  Then weekly.  Then, monthly. Soon enough, though, you’ve fallen off the cart.  You’re going to softball games, soccer games, working on…One.  Last.  Deadline. Then two, maybe three months go by since your last backup.  We are all guilty of neglecting our poor data.  Usually around that time is when — gasp! — everything is lost.  We become victims a file corruption.  A dead hard drive spun into oblivion. …

Monster Turbine In-Ear Speakers Review

Like a lot of people, I commute. My trip lasts about an hour each way on the bus.  There are a tons of distractions from people talking and the constant hum of the moving bus.  I tried the Monster Turbine In-Ear Speakers hoping to create some audio nirvana on my daily commute.

DQ Craze Review

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!  DQ Craze is a new match-3 game from Game Mill entertainment for the iPhone and iPod Touch.    Gaming got you hungry for a treat?  When you’re done playing, DQ will locate the closest Dairy Queen to you via Google Maps.

DVD Dashboard Review

I don’t know about you, but I walk into the DVD Rental Store and I immediately draw a blank as to what movies I’m looking for and then walk out with something that I just grabbed because I was in a hurry and got tired of scanning through the store.

Griffin SmartTalk Bluetooth Headset Review

Can you hear me now?  Of course you can.  And now…now…and now.  why?  Because I am using the Griffin SmartTalk Bluetooth Headset.  This one uses a dual microphone design to ensure that you can be heard by every caller, in any environment.  Want to know more?  hit the jump for a closer look.

Let your friends crash on these CTRL-ALT-DEL Pillows

These three pillows are not only quirky conversation starters – they’re also made from Eco-Felt – aka 100% recycled plastic bottles – and feature hand cut lettering. The covers can be removed so if a guest has a crash of another kind on them you can easily launder. Cost is $55 with $10 shipping. According to web site Strange Deals if you wack your kids with one of these pillows they’ll restart their homework. Etsy

Battery Snaps turn ordinary 9V into handy flashlights

Are you always searching the house for a flashlight? Try these Battery Snaps. The LED light is illuminated by your 9V battery. When the battery loses power – simply unsnap the light and attach to another 9V. There’s not indication of how long you can expect the light to glow – and this tiny Snap seems pretty easy to lose but for $4.99 they’re intriguing. Available in black, pink, white and yellow. Battery Snaps – $3.79

Sound ID 300 Review

One of the benefits of writing for both Gear Diary and whatsoniphone.com is that when I find a truly outstanding product, one about which which I am totally enthusiastic, I’m able to share that enthusiasm with a larger audience of both iPhone AND general tech enthusiasts. That’s certainly the case with the Sound ID 300 Bluetooth headset I have been using since last week and the reason I am posting this review on both sites. Bluetooth headsets are commonplace these days. They come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. When evaluating them there are, to my mind, four criteria…

Dual Dock Charging Station from RichardSolo.com Review

It wasn’t long ago that I was completely perplexed by the concept of a dual iPod charger. Unless a couple each had an iPhone who needs one? Fast forward a bit and the answer is… ME. Yup, with my iPhone, iPod Touch and nano (for when I want to go super-light), I am the poster-child for why someone might need a dual charger. Fortunately the new Dual Dock Charging Station from RichardSolo has me covered. Let’s take a look.

Amazon App for BlackBerry Review

Amazon has launched a free BlackBerry application, allowing customers to  find, discover, and purchase products directly from their smartphone.   The application is optimized for BlackBerry devices with track-ball interfaces.  This means, at least for now, BlackBerry Storm users are left out in the cold (sorry, those of you still clinging on to your track-wheel 8700 or earlier models won’t be able to use the application either).

Blue Icicle XLR-USB Interface Review

Blue has been making microphones for a while now but this is their first adapter.  This adapter takes any microphone with an XLR connector and converts  it to  a USB connector making it possible to record high quality audio through your computer.

iKlear iPod, iPhone & Macbook Cleaning Kit Review

Devices looking dingy and dirty?  Brand new iPod looking like it’s a first generation?  iKlear is a premier line of cleaning kits designed to safely clean, protect and preserve all Apple products.  Their products, which are manufactured in California, are all anti-static and alcohol and ammonia free.  The iKlear line or products will help you get your device looking like it just came out of the box.

Put Your eBook Library on Your Kindle

If you’re like me, you’ve got GOBS of eBooks, likely in more than one format, all over the place.  I’ve got tons of books in MS Reader format (now THERE’S a blast from the past that most of us would like to forget), eReader format, MobiPocket format, etc.  Some of the books that I have are ones that I’d really like the read again and again; but now that I’ve got a Kindle, I’m kindle screwed when it comes to my library of well over 300 titles.

Lifetrons Multi-Functional Charger Review

It’s hard to travel light when you’re a gadget lover. You can’t bear to leave your toys behind, so you bring ’em all… Or at least I do. And then there’re the required accessories – sync cables, spare batteries, chargers, and international plug adaptors. Add everything up, and you end up with… A lot of luggage. The Lifetrons Multi-Functional Charger is powered by AC, USB, car cigarette lighter, or a 9V battery, and charges any mobile device for which an appropriate tip is available. Can it replace the 42 different chargers currently cluttering up your gadget bag?

Speck Tough Skin Review

The Speck Tough Skin case is a thick, rubberized case that offers a unique raised back for extra grip.  The rubberized skin wraps your phone in a thick layer of protection from bumps and drops.  The corners of the case feature even more padding and the bottom of the case is hinged allowing you to dock your phone while the case is on.