September 2009

Essence of Infiniti

True, I may be just a “Gaijin” from Texas, but I do know a work of art when I see one. The new Infiniti Essence concept car is just that. Staring at it in adoration, I think I also broke a few commandments.

The Netbook Gamer: Star Wars Jedi Knight (1997, FPS)

Welcome to the first entry in the new Netbook Gamer series! In the fall of 1997 LucasArts delivered into the hands of gamers something they had wanted since they first saw one twenty years prior – a lightsaber. Dark Forces brought the Star Wars universe a new level of immersion through the first person shooter perspective. The story brought in classic settings abd characters and introduced a new hero – Kyle Katarn. Former Imperial Academy hero shaken by the discovery of the nature of the Empire through tragic events, Katarn is joined by his partner Jan Ors as the pair…

Jedi bathrobe keeps you warm while you use the force to make breakfast

The creators of this Jedi bathrobe may have latched onto a hot new clothing market. Did you know that according to Wikipedia over half a million people throughout the world declared themselves as Jedi on their census forms? While I think that might be considered to be a practical joke and probably doesn’t reflect the real number of Jedi in the countries concerned – there’s still got to be a fair number that would buy this bathrobe. The Jedi Dressing Gown has a Jedi logo embroidered on the front, is made of 100% cotton velour and is machine washable. It…

New Series: The Netbook Gamer

Welcome to a new series here at Gear Diary! Called the Netbook Gamer, this will allow me to share two of my loves – playing computer games and exploiting my netbooks to deliver whatever performance I can squeeze from them. In this series I will look at games released over the last decade that might have pushed the boundaries of what was possible when released, but still work on a modern PC and will run smoothly on a current release netbook. In the title I will identify the game, the year it was released and the genre – expect these…

State Fair of Texas Auto Show media day(s)

With the arrival of Autumn it is once again time for the great State Fair of Texas and one of the world’s largest auto shows. Gate attendance each year at the fair reaches more than three million over its three-week run, with estimates that at least 75 percent of attendees visit some portion of the auto show.

Review: SPB Quads for Windows Mobile

After years of ‘Match 3’ games like Bejeweled and Puzzle Quest and even multi-dimensional ‘Match 3’ games like Puzzle Quest Galactrix, there was only one natural course to follow .. MATCH 4! Of course, since Match 3 games already offered extra bonuses for a 4th matched item, the folks at SPB needed to do something different. Here is the scenario: you make the connection between three sides of a rectangle! So how well does this game work in terms of keeping interesting going in a seemingly saturated matching-game field? Read on and see!

An eBook Introduction

Welcome to a new series we are starting here at Gear Diary called “State of the eBook”. Every two weeks or so (more if the news warrants it) I’ll be bringing you the latest news in ebooks, publishing, and the general digitization of our reading lives.

Pseudoscience at its best: the Uxsight 1.3M Pixels Portable Digital USB Iriscope

You’ve got to hand it to pseudoscience. Why? Because how else could someone like me – a person without an MD – have a chance to speak with absolute authority about things of which I know absolutely nothing. And there are even cool gadgets that you can use while practicing pseudoscience, things that can help make you seem professional and knowledgeable, things like the Uxsight 1.3M Pixels Portable Digital USB Iriscope. Allow me to digress for a moment… Back in the fall of ’86,  I went home from college with one of my sorority sisters for the weekend. Before we…

Tab ToolKit For iPhone Review: A Must Have For Guitarists!

When I began playing the guitar in the mid-80s, I loved going to the record store in the mall to look at guitar tablature books.  Most of the time I would look up the song I wanted to play and try to memorize the chords or main parts then go home and figure out how to play it.  The internet brought the ability to look up tabs at home or even print them.  The addition of tablature software has revolutionized the ability to learn large quantities of songs quickly. The developers at Agile Partners which brought us Guitar ToolKit, have…

Goldfish trash bags pretty up the neighborhood and drive cats nuts

Here’s a quirky way to take out the trash. Instead of boring black or white bags how about these decorative goldfish trash bags. Fill the trash up and put the bags curbside for your neighborhood stray cats to admire . This kit includes 12 bags of 13 gallons each for $15.99. At this price these are definitely novelty items. Goldfish Trash Bags – $15.99

myKite Brings Brightkite to BlackBerry Review

myKite is the Brightkite application for BlackBerry.  Previously known as “BrightBerry” when it was in Beta, the MyKite app is a social networking tool geared to simplify meeting people based on the places you go. The fact that it ties into other existing social networks  — like Twitter and Facebook — means myKite will compliment, instead of compete with, those more popular social networking tools. iPhone users have had a dedicated Brightkite application since October 2008.  I’ve had a chance to use myKite for BlackBerry since it was officially released last week.  Does the free application translate well to the…

Dear Gossip Mongers Who Don’t Bother to Fact Check…

I ordinarily shy away from posting anything remotely political or religious on this site, unless it has a direct tie to something involving tech, and every writer on Gear Diary has been instructed to do the same. I do not need to know how anyone voted in order to decide whether we can break bread together, nor do I need to know a person’s religion (or lack thereof) to be able to tell if they are a good person. But today something happened that made me decide that it was time to break my rule. I have finally. had. enough.

AppBox Pro Review for iPhone/Touch App Review

AppBox Pro™ is huge set of applications which has 18 apps including, > Battery Life > Clinometer(Inclinometer) – Surface/Bubble Level > Currency Converter – 195 Currencies > Date Calculator > Days Until(Countdown) > Flashlight(Torch) > Holidays – 83 Countries > Loan Calculator > Periodic Calculator > Price Grab > Random Number > Ruler > Sale Price > System Info > Tip Calculator > Translator > Unit Converter – 17 Categories, 357 Units > Web Apps Links – Apps are configurable, Arrange, Show/Hide and Rename. New! – 8 New apps introduced, Battery Life, Flashlight, Random, Ruler, Sale Price, System Info, Translator,…

Fate / Unlimited Codes for PSP Review

It is fairly amazing given the fairly thin release schedule for the PSP to think that there might have been two games released in the fighting genre in the last month … so it is simply stunning that we have gotten three! Alongside Dissidia: Final Fantasy and Soul Calibur PSP comes a fighting game from Capcom based on a Japanese adult graphic novel turned anime show called ‘Fate/Stay Night’. Each of these games provides fans of the genre with a satisfying array of the core elements required of any good fighting game, yet they are very different from one another….

Nano Rally for iPhone Update – a Whole New Game

I recently reviewed Nano Rally for the Blue Plate Special.  The game showed promise with great graphics and a cute idea.  There were a few things that I thought could be improved upon.  The controls and camera view were not very intuitive and took a lot of practice to master.  This turned me off to the game because my frustration level advanced faster than my driving skills.  I also wanted other cars on the track to  chase and race.  Well, the developers at Sauce Digital seemed to have listened to their users and recently updated the game. Here is a…

Rentobile Review: The Solution for Phone Freaks and Those Who Don’t Like Contracts?

Imagine Christmas day coming every single month — except without all the hassle of going out dealing with crowds, carolers, fruitcake, eggnog and extended family staying over at your house for just a few days longer than your sanity can muster.  Just the goodies.  Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, if you are into the latest and greatest mobile phones — and you are tired of being bound by your wireless carrier’s contract determining when you can upgrade or swap out phones, then the service from Rentobile seems to come pretty close to becoming your very own monthly…

Review: Icon Rogue 2 LED Flashlight

Not all flashlights are created equal.  Back in 1979, Anthony Maglica created Maglite.   Maglite is the bar where all flashlights are measured, for me.  Almost nothing could top it back then.  Well, Paul Kim, the designer of the Icon Rogue series of flashlights may be the new Anthony Maglica.  The Icon Rogue 2 is the best flashlight I have come across in all of my LED flashlight reviews I have done.   It is that good.

Tent stake with built-in LED light makes late night tent setups a snap

This orange stake looks like any other tent peg. Look closer and you’ll find that there’s a white LED lamp built into the side. Powered by 4 LR41 batteries (included) this peg will help you survive those hurried late night tent setups by illuminating the ground. The manufacturer claims the light will run for up to 5 hours on one set of batteries. Lighted Tent Peg – $3.72

Transit cover provides a barrier between seat and you – does nothing to stop germs from that hacking fat guy seated next to you

Travel slipcovers seem like a great idea. They slip over most transit seats and provide a barrier between you and the presumably germ laden seat. The cover includes a headrest pillow pocket to hold your own travel sized pillow. Unfortunately it won’t stop the coughing guy next to you from spreading the flu. If the germs don’t get you the 100 people waiting in the aisle while you unfold and spread this seat cover just might do you in. Transit Cover – $14.99

Coghlan’s Flint Striker Review

From the days of the cave man, starting fires has long been something man has struggled with.  The Coghlan’s Flint Striker which is a twist  on a fire-starting technology that is almost as old as time.  Even with today’s more modern technology, you  still might want to use one of these instead of matches or butane lighters. Coghlan’s Flint Striker is a rod made of magnesium with a striker attached with a piece of cord.  It is simple to operate.  You just take the striker and hold it in one hand with the word UP facing the top of the…