January 2014

Amazon Prime Fee May Rise By $20 – $40

Amazon reported  quarterly earnings today, and revenues were $25.59 billion vs expected revenues of $26.06 billion. Sales were up 20% over 2013, however Amazon missed their revenue forecast which caused the stock to decline 10.6% after hours. Even though sales increased by a healthy margin, the stock market looks to the company’s ability to meet (or exceed) revenue goals.



Lenovo Buys Motorola from Google for $2.91 Billion, Your Thoughts?

Today we got confirmation that Google sold its money-losing Motorola handset business for about $3 billion to Lenovo. Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion a couple of years ago, then sold off the set-top box unit and now the handset division. With the sale Google retains many of the valuable Motorola patents it sought initially.



Livescribe 3 Is for People Who Need to Be Productive on the Go

I’ve long been a fan of Livescribe’s smartpens. I purchased the very first one and used it constantly. Updates to the hardware and software since then have been notable evolutionary steps forward. With the Livescribe 3 Smartpen, the device takes a huge leap forward, and in the process becomes an extension of your phone or tablet. It is awesome.  


Gate 8 Luggage Should Be Your New Travel Buddy

Beginning in mid-December, I spent four weeks traveling non-stop. It began with a trip to Israel and ended with two days in Detroit. I wish I had the Gate 8 Trifold Cabin Bag at the time. The $200 garment bag keeps clothes and toiletries organized and your laptop and tablet safe; it will make your next trip far less stressful.


Booq Goes Mirrorless with the Python Mirrorless Camera Bag

Lots of us have traded our big, bulky DSLRs for small but powerful mirrorless camera like my NEX-6. When we do we often find that big camera bags become overkill. Enter booq’s new Python mirrorless camera bag. Just $80, this small bag for mirrorless gear looks great, has booq’s signature style, and will keep your gear safe and organized.



2014 Toyota Highlander Proves ‘Third Time’s the Charm’

What is that sleek, sophisticated and dynamic new sport ute you just saw? According to Toyota it is the all-new third-generation 2014 Highlander. While previous models were very good in their own right, the new Highlander may just be the epitome of the saying ‘Third time’s the charm’ by delivering more style, more comfort and more utility and capability.


Case-Mate Says Sparkles Are for Girls, and Rugged Is for Boys

We received a marketing email from Case-Mate this morning that’s left me scratching my head. No, it’s not that they’re still pushing overpriced bedazzled cases, nor is it that they think the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift is an iPhone case; it’s that they imply case choices are very clearly gendered: men need rugged cases, but women want sparkly ones.


Wahoo Fitness Is My New Favorite iPhone Fitness App!

While reviewing the Magellan Echo, I needed a fitness app on my iPhone. There were a few supported, so I tried the popular ones. They didn’t expose much functionality, so I tried Wahoo Fitness, which was detailed in a document from Magellan. Turns out it the perfect partner for the Echo, and it’s the best fitness app I’ve ever used!


Blend and Cook Soupmaker by Cuisinart Review

The Blend and Cook Soupmaker by Cuisinart lets kitchen culinarians make hot soup on a chilly day, then totally switch to frozen mixed drinks in the summertime with this flexible right in the glass blender jar. The black finish design looks great and helps with stains, while other advantages include BPA-free materials and the familiar spill lip on the base.


Jabra Solemate Max Offers Big Sound with Lots of Sole

I was an immediate fan of the Jabra Solemate Bluetooth speaker and said so. I was impressed by the Jabra Solemate mini I reviewed last month, and I said so. And I am also a fan of the big brother of the aforementioned speakers. The Jabra Solemate Max is big … and impressive. Here’s our look at this larger Bluetooth speaker.


Pebble Steel Is Now Shipping

I really love my Pebble watch. Since I never turn on my phone’s sounds, that little wrist buzz has become my way of knowing when I have a notification or a call. While some people do not prefer the styling of the first generation, the Pebble Steel looks amazing. The newly designed Pebble Steel begins shipping today for $249.


Henge Dock Gravitas Lightning Is an Award Winner for Good Reason

Every now and then a device accessory comes along that simply stands out in a crowded market. That is the case with the Flote M2 Tablet Stand we recently reviewed and it is the case with the Henge Dock Gravitas Lightning. Simply put, if you have an iOS device equipped with a Lightning connector this is the best dock around.


Amateur Radio Goals for 2014

It’s important to have goals.  The new year is an excellent time for new goals, and I thought I would share them here on Gear Diary, as they are oriented around emergency preparedness as well as new radio gear. This year I am planning 2 radio purchases with the second helping me to better serve the community.


Get Fit and Heart-Healthy With The Polar RC3 GPS, Review

Polar built its reputation on heart rate monitoring technology starting in the late 1970s designed to let you REALLY listen to your body. I have friends who swear by their products, and with the RC3 GPS they offer up their latest hardware and software for tracking all of your workouts, and it represents some of the best technology for runners.


Apple Calls iPod Declining Business – What Do You Think?

Apple announced its earnings yesterday, which featured loads of record-setting device sales numbers and revenue and profit figures so high they are hard to fathom. Even Mac sales saw a significant boost while the rest of the PC industry marked another double-digit declines. The one area not even mentioned? iPod sales, which continue their decline in a no-update year.


Dan Talks #FORDNAIAS on the Green Divas Radio Show

Gear Diary’s own Dan Cohen headed to the North American International Auto Show earlier this month to check out Ford’s 2014 lineup. He shared some of his thoughts on the week as a guest on the Green Divas Radio Show. Be sure to head to the podcast and listen up! You can find the podcast here.



STM studio for iPad Air – Protect with Color and Simplicity

Just a few weeks ago that we took a look at STM’s studio for the iPad mini. The company was kind enough to also send one of their larger cases, the STM studio for iPad air. With the same design as its smaller sibling, the $45 studio for iPad air protects your iPad air with color and simplicity. Order now.