October 2009

Cellphones Recreate Tchaikovsky

This is absolutely fabulous. Check out the above video from Vodafone NZ; I’ve watched it 3 times today already! Engadget has more details on how it was made if you’re curious. Now to convince the team here to pool our vast cell phone collections and make something similar…maybe with something more modern like the Thong Song. Via Engadget

Motorcycle Grip Opener Pops Bottle Tops with Authentic Revving Sound

Why rip open beer bottles with your teeth when this talking motorcycle grip bottle opener can make the experience more entertaining. Using the grip you’ll be able to remove the cap while listening to a cheesy revving sound. Great gift for the beer drinking Hells Angel wannabe in your life. Talking Motorcycle Grip Bottle Opener via Nerd Approved

Review: 2XL 4 Corners Headphones

It’s been a while since I reviewed the Brickyard headphones from 2XL.  I really like  them even though their over the ear  style design can become warm on the ears. 2XL has solved the sweaty ear problem with a new style of headphones in the new 4 Corner Style of headphones. The design of these new headphones is unique in that instead of round like traditional headphones of this style, these are square. The square shape of these headphones do not make them at all uncomfortable.

Review: WinX DVD Ripper Platinum (and comparison to Free version)

Recently I was preparing to take a business trip over a weekend for a conference, and figured it would be a nice opportunity to watch a couple of DVD’s that the rest of the family didn’t have any interest in seeing yet again – Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Ran’ and The Marx Brothers’ ‘Night at the Opera’. My assumption was that I would use the Mac program Handbrake, which has done very nicely getting video from our DVDs to our kids’ iPods for long trips. At the same time I had the opportunity to look at WinX DVD Ripper Free Edition, and…

2010 Honda Pilot a wolf in sheep’s clothing

The newest Honda Pilot is something of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Honda dubs it a crossover utility vehicle due to its not having a ladder frame architecture supporting the unit, but I feel this is about as close to a true SUV as one can get. Last year, Honda introduced us to a completely made over Pilot, one that offers eight-passenger functionality without sacrificing ability and agility. The new model is larger inside and out, boasts a stronger, more fuel efficient powertrain, is more stable on the road and offers all the latest comfort and convenience amenities as well…

X-Mini Speakers Review

X-Mini makes some really functional and really small speakers which are meant to be used with your multimedia devices. The company was kind enough to send over a both their X-Mini II & X-Mini Max II for review. Do these tiny speakers pack enough punch to rock out too? Read on to find out.

With ReelDirector App Flip Loses Key Advantage Over iPhone

The iPhone shoots video that is “good enough”. The Flip UltraHD shoots video that is better. That allows the Flip to maintain a slight edge over the iPhone but just slight. The HUGE advantage the Flip series had was the inclusion of built-in editing software. Once plugged in to a computer, the software popped up and allowed you to trim video and add credits. That key advantage is now GONE thanks to the $7.99 app ReelDirector. It is pretty impressive…

SubHunt for iPhone OS Review

Sub Hunt from Addicting Games is a shooting game the puts you under the sea in your very own submarine. The game features three different control methods, tons of weapons and upgrades, music and more.   It’s an entertaining game each time you come back to play.

Dissidia Final Fantasy for PSP Review

There are few franchises that have cast a larger shadow over the history of console gaming than Final Fantasy, and the core series of role-playing games has been constantly tweaked and upgraded through the years to stay current. There have certainly been games that have strayed from the usual jRPG format – the classic strategy game series Final Fantasy Tactics, and more recently the RTS-like Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings for the Nintendo DS. But one of the most anticipated entries in the series is the fighting game called Dissidia Final Fantasy. Square Enix released a demo on the PSN…

OnStar brings carjacking to an end in California

We told you it was coming, and now General Motors and OnStar report the first successful use of their Stolen Vehicle Slowdown technology to end a carjacking in California. Onstar Stolen Vehicle Slowdown Helps Recover Carjacked Vehicle, Prevents High-Speed Chase Law Enforcement Officials Credit Service with Fast and Safe Recovery of 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe GM and OnStar announce the use of OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown (SVS) service to help safely recover a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe that was carjacked at gunpoint from a subscriber in Visalia, California. This is the first time that SVS has been activated to help a subscriber…

iPlaylist Creator for iPhone/Touch App Review

How amazing would it be to be able to create play-lists from any songs on your iPhone without syncing or using iTunes or a computer?  I have found a way to do just that!  iPlaylist Creator enables iPhone users to create and listen to play lists on the go easily on the iPhone. Features: -Creates Playlists -Easy Drag and Drop songs into any playlist -Sort the songs how you want to play them -Reorder your playlists manually to make your favorite ones show at the top of the list -Color your playlists and change the colors to match your moods…

The Flurry Alarm Clock Wants to Wake You with Weather

As much as I love living in the rural countryside, there are certain products and services which I would like to use – but simply can’t. One of them is the new Ambient Devices Flurry Alarm Clock, which not only tells the time with dual alarms, it also wakes you to an animated weather forecast for that day and the next. Features include: • Intuitive “Pop-Up” alarm buttons are visual status indicators, easy to set and use. • Network connected clock is always accurate and never needs setting. • Integrated 2-Day weather forecast provided by AccuWeather.com for 150 U.S. locations….

New iPhone cases from Griffin Technoloy

Griffin was one of the very first accessory manufacturers to churn out items for Apple’s line of personal media players.  They’ve been making cases, chargers, FM transmitters and other items for a long time.  There’s an old marketing phrase that goes something like “innovate or die.”  It seems Griffin recognizes this, and instead of sticking with the same lineup of cases year after year they’ve recently released several new iPhone cases for the iPhone 3G and 3Gs. Griffin was kind enough to send Judie and me a few of the new cases for review.

Wunder Radio for BlackBerry is released

One of my favorite applications for iPhone is Wunder Radio (iTunes / review) . In addition to receiving radio stations both locally and world wide, police scanners, weather radio and more – the iPhone application allows me to listen to Sirius Satellite radio while away from my desktop computer. I’ve been waiting eagerly for Wunder Radio to appear on the BlackBerry and today it’s available in the BlackBerry App World for $9.99. Unfortunately the version that’s available only works on BlackBerry Bold and Curve. A version will be available later for the Tour and Storm. Also regrettably missing from the…

Pang For iPhone/Touch Review

A bubble blast from the past, Pang is the game you love and remember from the 80’s, even better today on the iPhone and iPod touch. Test your reflexes in this hugely addictive official remake, “Pang”, also known as “Buster Bros” in the US. Travel from Japan to the tropical shores of Hawaii as you take up the task of saving civilisation from dangerously bouncing bubbles that threaten city landmarks across the planet. Can you save Mount Fuji from being flattened by spherical dangers? Will your reactions be good enough to defend the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty?…

Are YOU the Master of the Digital Universe?

Skooba Design is looking for the ultimate digital gear-head. Could it be you? Their new “Master of the Digital Universe” contest gives techies from all over a chance to “put up or shut up” as they duke it out for the title. The prizes look amazing! Among other goodies, the grand prize includes something truly unique the opportunity to work directly with a Skooba designer to create a custom-made, one-of-a-kind laptop/gadget bag, to be handmade by a Skooba craftsperson, only for the winner. As the company says, “as is fitting for the Master, it will be the only bag of…

The Netbook Gamer: Unreal (1998, FPS)

Given that my first love of gaming is first-person shooters (FPS) based on my love of the original Castle Wolfenstein back on my Apple ][+, it is somewhat surprising that I was ‘late to the party’ on Unreal by nearly a year. But hey, gimme a break – I had a three-month old colicky baby when it was released in late May of 1998. Yes, that is right: Unreal is well past the celebration of its tenth birthday … but in terms of my ownership it has just passed the decade mark, so I guess that counts for something! You…

mSpot Mobile Movie Streaming Review

You use your smartphone for everything from playing music, snapping photos, recording video, banking, and playing games.  Are you ready to rent and view your next movie on your mobile phone?  mSpot certainly hopes so.  The company recently launched its mobile movie rental service and allowed me to trial it for a few days. Take a look at the mSpot service in action, and find out whether mSpot deserves a spot on your smartphone… http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UWl-AXuK9ik Above you’ll see mSpot streaming a scene from “The Reader” to my iPhone.  The process to rent a film from mSpot is straightforward.  Just go…

IM+ by SHAPE Services for Windows Phone Review

Instant Messaging (IM) has gained popularity over the years, and it has become part of our lives now in the communication world. With mobile devices gaining popularity, everyone would love to stay connected with their IMs. Some of the popular IMs out there include MSN®/Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo!®, and Google Talk. Those are all separate applications, requiring space on users’ devices and requiring them to juggle between each application when they want to IM their friends on the different services. What a pain! SHAPE services has come to the rescue, with IM+! IM+ is a messaging client that lets you…

Balloon Boy – a Timeline of Deception

Where were you when you first heard about the now-infamous “Balloon Boy” incident? On Thursday, October 15th, at a little past 2 p.m. Central Time, Dan and I were IM’ing when he abruptly told me to turn on CNN. Once I did, the screen was filled with the image of a large silver balloon speeding and spinning, thousands of feet above the Colorado countryside. The balloon supposedly carried a six-year-old boy, appropriately named Falcon. For the next hour, Dan and I chatted back and forth – with interjections from the Gear Diary Team as we all emailed about the situation….