September 2010

OnLive – Are You Ready for Full Price Rentals?

A while back the OnLive gaming service launched, and I posted my first impressions, and proceeded to spend much of my free time playing free demos of the various games available on the service. Now after a few months of hands-on experience I am ready to deliver my thoughts on this start-up video game-over network service. How does it work? Read on and find out! The Hype: OnLive is the pioneer of on-demand, instant-play video game services, delivering real-time interactive experiences and rich media through the Internet. With groundbreaking, patent-pending video compression technology, OnLive harnesses cloud computing to provide the…


Blue Plate Special Silly Edition: d??? / ?????? Text for iPhone/iPad

We all use our iPhones and iPads for many daily tasks.  Besides gaming, most of these tasks have become quite practical and serious.  Sometimes it is fun to just be silly for no good reason with your i device so this week I am bringing you the Silly Edition of the Blue Plate.  This app really has no great value other than it is just kind of fun.  If you ever get bored with the default text the iPhone allows then it is time to try Flip/Bubble Text for iPhone and iPad.  Basically, the app allows users to type anything…


How ETS-Lindgren Makes the Products You Use Every Day Even Better

Along with a very small group of bloggers, earlier this month I had the opportunity to visit ETS-Lindgren in Cedar Park, Texas. If you are as uninformed as I was before this trip, that name will mean absolutely nothing to you. However, I can promise you that by the time you finish this trip report you will understand why you should be familiar with this company, and how they have most definitely had an effect on you. My initial introduction to the company was a link to their site and a slightly cryptic email from a contact saying that “they…


Izozzi Cover Review: Turns iPad into Work of Art

Last week I took a look at the izozzi artist inspired cases for the iPhone 4. These cases allow you to add a little bit of art to your iDevice by combining the work of an artists of your choosing with a protective case. This week we’ll examine their iPad offering. The iPad version of the company’s case is a clear snap on back cover styled case that features the same artist created work on the back. The case izozzi sent me features another work by Bill Carman. This one’s entitled “Redrover.” The interior of the case is lined by…


iPad Game Review: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (GTA:CW from now on) has had an interesting history – it was originally released in arch 2009 for the Nintendo DS, got excellent reviews and was praised by older gamers who had complained that there were too few ‘mature’ DS games … yet it didn’t sell very well. For me,it remains one of the best games for the DS. Later that year it was ported to the Sony PSP, with better graphics and audio and reworked mini-games to deal with the lack of touch control. Once again great reviews … and once again lousy sales!…


Review: Hello Kitty Mimobot USB Flash Drives

I don’t normally go for USB flash drives that are shaped as pretty much anything.  I am just as happy with a Sandisk as I am with a Lexar or even a no-name brand flash drive.  Unless you have specific needs, they all pretty much work the same and the looks have been secondary to the amount of storage.  That was until I came along the cuteness of a flash drive that looked like a Hello Kitty character .  Mimoco sent me a 2 GBflash drive that looked like Badtz Maru, the little black penguin with pointy hair. The one thing that…


Pad Brackets Lets You Hang Your iPad Anywhere That You Have a Wall…

As the iPad continues to find its way into more and more homes there are more and more uses being found for it. One of the more interesting iPad “accessories” I saw a few weeks back is a mounting kit that literally embeds an iPad in the wall so that it is flush with the sheet rock. It looked great but that strikes me as a bit obsessive… not to mention a whole lot of work to hang an iPad. And then there is the whole… “now how do I get the iPad out so I can use it elsewhere”-thing. Well…


Random Cool Video: Miles Davis & John Lennon Playing Basketball

Is there really much else to say? You have two of the most important musical figures of the 20th century, together shooting hoops at a birthday party, and it was caught on film. From the MilesDavisOnline site notes: There’s this most excellent footage floating around the ‘net of a John Lennon / Yoko Ono party from 1972 that features Andy Warhol, Phil Spector and Miles Davis. The 16mm color film was shot by filmmaker Jonas Mekas (the date was specifically October 9, 1972). Great. Party footage. Looks like they had fun. Good for them. But what makes this unearthed party…


Leather Wallet Case for Dell Streak Review

One of the downsides of being an early adopter is the lack of good accessories for your new device.  When the Streak was released, Dell seized the opportunity to fill in the gap and issued their own leather wallet case for the Streak.  Given the limited options available so far, I purchased Dell’s Leather Wallet Case to protect my Streak when we recently went on a family vacation.  While the simple cloth bag that comes with the Streak is okay when I’m carrying the Streak in a dedicated pocket in my briefcase, I needed something with a little more strength…


Gear Diary Deal or Dud #6: The EZ Cracker

It’s time for another episode of “Gear Diary, Deal or Dud?”  This month I take a look at the As Seen on TV EZ Cracker.  This kitchen tool promises to make egg cracking effortless and mess free.  It also comes with a special add-on attachment that helps separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Here’s what the As Seen on TV website has to say about the EZ Cracker….. The EZ Cracker cracks eggs with one simple motion and separates eggs whites in seconds. There’s no mess, no fuss, no shells in your food. Just place the egg in…


Review: Arctic Hub 4 Port USB Hub

USB devices have become the standard for geeks and technophobes alike.  If you plan on using modern technology, you are almost guaranteed to be utilizing USB ports for many devices.  Of course, none of my computers come with enough hubs, so I must find other ways to plug all my gear in.  I have tried many expandable USB hubs with varying success.  One problem I have had is the size as well as space for plugs.  I have one hub that has three spots on both sides equaling six.  There are very few cords or drives that will plug in…


Which Automated Cat Litter Box Is Better? CatGenie vs Litter-Robot

I’ve reviewed both the Litter-Robot and the CatGenie, two automated Cat Litter Boxes here on Gear Diary, and I’ve had several years to test each extensively. On top of that, when I started using the CatGenie, and it became evident that it would work out for me, I gave the Litter-Robot to my friends Steven and June; they have been using it since early 2009. Since reviewing both, I’ve received questions about how the two stacked up to each other, but none covered as many issues as a recent letter from Danielle.


State of the eBook: The Return!

Hello and welcome back to State of the eBook! The series had a bit of a summer vacation, but the news is slowly picking back up! So pull yourself away from your new Kindle/nook app/iBooks and check out what’s been going on in the ebook world! Fuzzy Math A few bits of creative and flexible number reporting first. The Bookseller claims iBooks is “more popular than Facebook and Twitter”. Yes, they phrased it exactly like that. As one commenter on their post pointed out, iBooks is the default PDF reader on the iPad and iPhone, so that explains a big…


Review: Philips Multimedia Speakers 2.0. Cute But Party Hard!

I remember a day when listening to music meant a stereo was in the room with you. Since today out music is completely mobile, the old fashion stereo unit is almost extinct. I find myself listening to a computer or my iPhone. I have learned that a nice pair of powered speakers is all that is needed to listen to music or even watch streaming television and movies.   I actually prefer powered computer speakers around the house to iPhone dock stereos. I recently received the Philips Multimedia Speakers 2.0 to try with my computer as well as around the house…


Review: Splash ID for iPad

Think about how much information we use on the internet that cannot be avoided, but could be devastating if it landed into the hands of a hacker.  I know I have many log ins and passwords that I keep track of.  Some of these are to sites that allow for automatic purchasing or may even contain valuable financial information.  Then there are bank and credit card accounts and other important information.  With all of these different pieces of information, it is hard to keep up with and even harder to keep safe.  Consider Splash ID a safe for all of…


iPad Case Review: Acme Made Slick Case

Both Judie and I reviewed the Acme Made Courier laptop bag, and it remains one of our absolute favorite laptop bags. The bags are nicely designed, well made and have both stood up to some serious use (and abuse) since I did my “second opinion” post as a follow-up to Judie’s full review. Well Acme Made also offers a variety of cases for eBook readers and the iPad. Today we’ll take a look at the Slick Case for Apple iPad. Is it as stylish and well-made as the Courier? Read on to find out… From Acme Made: The perfect solution…


Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Score ‘The Social Network’; You Get a Five Song Sampler for Free

Here’s a heads-up that you can download a FREE five-track sampler of music from the upcoming movie The Social Network, scored by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, by clicking this link. You can also pre-order the full 19 song soundtrack as a CD ($8.00), in HD Blu-ray Audio ($20.00), or on vinyl ($25.00). The Social Network soundtrack will be released digitally on Tuesday September 28th with physical formats to follow in October. You can pre-order standard CD, Blu-ray (audio only 5.1 surround and high resolution stereo) and 2 disc 180g vinyl formats now. All preorders include an instant 5 song sampler download…


Kindle Case Review- Waterfield’s Suede Jacket and Kindle Slip Case

I love Amazon’s new commercial for the Kindle 3. It’s funny, a bit on the harsh side, and absolutely true. The iPad is an amazing device and it has taken over so much of what I normally do. Unfortunately when you’re outside in the sun it’s all but useless. It’s hard to read and it overheats relatively quickly in direct sunlight. So if you live in a dark cold climate you have no problems. If you live anywhere on the planet Earth however you will encounter issues relatively quickly. Since I enjoy beach vacations it quickly became clear to me…


Good is as good does, and good is the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

“So – what’s good?” Oh, don’t I wish I had a nickel for every time I am asked this question about new cars. And “good” can mean so many things to so many folks. A quick check over at thesaurus.com gave me some 250-plus ways to describe “good.” I would add to the list the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s good – darned good. I guess good minds think alike in Detroit these days as both Jeep and Ford are delivering completely new vehicles carrying each automaker’s iconic SUV moniker. Ford is readying a new Explorer later this fall and…


Bioserie iPhone 4 Case Review: Made from Plants

I’ve reviewed a ton of cases for the iPhone over the last few years. Cases made from leather, silicone, plastic, metal, felt, fabric and polycarbonate. But the Bioserie case for the iPhone is the first case I’ve reviewed that’s made entirely from advanced bioplastic materials which are derived entirely from plants. Here’s some technical information from Bioserie on how this is done. Bioplastics are a variety of plastics derived from renewable biomass sources, such as plant starches or microorganisms, rather than fossil-fuel plastics which are derived from oil. Bioplastics represent a relatively new and very promising field of modern biotechnology….


Random Cool Stuff: Too Many Cats? Here Are a Few Ways To Organize Them!

This summer my wife’s sister moved from New Jersey to Texas because her husband works for Exxon-Mobil, and in the process what started as ‘babysitting’ her 3 cats turned into getting them dumped on us permanently! So on top of our two terriers, without own cat we suddenly had a minor herd of kittehs! Here is one we actually just got rid of when our nephew returned from China and wanted the cat back with him at college: And yes, he is rather large – he’s actually bigger than either of our dogs! They can get out of hand at…