January 2014

M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro announced at NAMM 2014

If you were to ask my younger son about his most elusive piece of affordable technology, it would be the M-Audio Trigger Finger from 2005. The popular controller was used by all of his favorite music producers but was discontinued. Now it is back and better than ever with the M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro announced at NAMM 2014! Here is what M-Audio is saying: Trigger Finger Pro is a fully encompassed performance instrument and software control station in the form of a portable, 16-pad (4×4 configured) instrument with onboard sequencing. Nearly a decade ago, M-Audio revolutionized the industry by introducing…

Darth Vader to Stormtroopers, “I’ll Do the Choreography from Now On”

  Dancing Stormtroopers? This needs a good caption. “Twerkus interruptuss?” “You know you are in trouble when Darth Vader has to step in.” “Moves like Chewie?” “Use some taste Luke…” “Where’s Princess Leah when you need her?” “I don’t think I will ever be able to look at a Stormtrooper the same way again.” Via Elite Daily

Schlitterbahn’s Verruckt – Would You Ride a 17 Story Waterslide?

I love roller coasters, but have never been as enthused about waterslides. There’s something comforting (false or not) about being securely strapped in, as opposed to a thin bathing suit being my only protection against plummeting straight down. Needless to say, I won’tt be riding the Verrückt at Schlitterbahn Kansas City … will you? Watch the video and share below!

Ventev Toughglass Screen Protector Review – Protection Where You Need It

I’ve tried several glass screen protectors, and I can say without reservation that they are my favorite type. What better way to interact with your glass touchscreen than by touching glass? What better way to protect your screen than by offering a surrogate when a sacrifice must be made? The $34.99 Ventev Toughglass is my latest test subject. Inside the package are a few items that you’re probably used to seeing come with all screen protectors — a small microfiber cloth and a squeegee. I been applying screen protectors to my devices since the early days, and I generally won’t use…

Heaven Golf Shoes Will Get You and Your Game Noticed

Sometimes a product comes along that is so bizarre-looking that you just have to take notice. Heaven Golf Shoes are just such a product, and they promise to be a revolutionary development in the game of golf. If nothing else, they’re sure to distract spectators from your duck hook into the wrong fairway.

V-Moda M-80 On-Ear Headphones – Be Good to Your Ears

The V-Moda Crossfade M-100s stand out as one of the best pair of headphone I had the opportunity to review last year. I absolutely love the way they look, feel and, most importantly, sound. For those who prefer on-ear headphones, I recommend checking out their smaller siblings — the V-Moda M-80 on-ear headphones; they are bound to impress.

2014 Mazda6 is the New Midsize Sedan Champ

It has been about five years since we last saw an “all-new” Mazda6, and that was about five years after Mazda first introduced the new midsize sedan to the world as a replacement for the 626. In that time it’s made valiant attempts at grabbing marketshare from key competitors Accord and Camry, but efforts always fell short – until now.

Samsung Series 7 Ultrabook Review – Sleek, Stylish and Powerful!

Samsung is an absolute powerhouse in the technology world. But aside from a rather disastrous Windows Mobile phone a few years ago, I’ve never experienced firsthand what makes Samsung stand out from the crowd. After spending a few weeks working with the Samsung Series 7 Ultrabook though, I’m starting to see why they succeed — this Ultrabook is sleek, stylish and powerful!

How Do You Feel About Feedly ‘Hijacking’ Shared Links?

The other day Dan shared a video on the Gear Diary ‘back channel’ that is really amazing. It shows a music video in French with the singer slowly being photoshopped over the course of a song. It is an amazing video – but what I didn’t know at first was it came from The Verge, because the link said ‘Feedly’.

Game Trading Site Goozex Seems to Be Gone for Good

I’ve loved video game trading site Goozex for more than 7 years since it launched in 2006. Initially it grew quickly as an alternative to paltry trade-ins handed out by GameStop or the cumbersome trade mechanics of early trade-site GameTZ. Goozex acted as middleman on millions of trades, but industry shifts doomed trading and now Goozex appears closed for good.

Keyport Slide Ice Introduced to Reinvented Keychain Lineup

I hate having a pocketful of keys! Between work and home I seem to have several pounds of them with me daily. The Keyport Slide 2.0 reinvented the keychain, allowing users to carry up to six keys or inserts at one time keeping them neat and easy to use; their newly introduced Ice Keyport can be purchased for $29.

Are You Experiencing Nokia Lumia 928 Earpiece Volume Problems?

I really like my Nokia Lumia 928, but it has a hardware bug that’s giving me more than a bit of a wandering eye. There’s an issue with the earpiece affecting at least some users where the sound cuts out during calls. Speakerphone, Bluetooth, and the headphones all work fine — just the earpiece fails. Worst of all, it comes and goes!

Help Kerry Woo’s ‘Take the Long Way Home’ Project Hit the Road

Kerry Woo, past Gear Diary writer and current street photographer extraordinaire, has just launched his first Kickstarter project — the aptly named “Take the Long Way Home”. His goal is to “document a rich pictorial history of America’s back roads, [and] upload the images online with professional printing and direct mailing to you” while driving cross-country from Seattle to Nashville. And now, in my words: Kerry is someone who I have never met in person, but over the ten or so years that we have been communicating online, he has become a dear friend. Kerry has always had a quirky…

Shake Up Your Sound With the earjax Echo by BodyGuardz

We’re not sure if the earjax Echo by BodyGuardz intentionally look like large salt and pepper shakers, but they do indeed look like something you might see at a diner. Rather than add flavor to your food however, these shakers are all about music taste. $79.99 each, the earwax Echo pack some interesting features into a small footprint.

Debut from ‘Thumbscrew’ Showcases Exciting Trio of Equals

When I reviewed Mary Halvorson’s ‘Illusionary Sea’ (which made my Top Music of 2013) I noted that there was a trade-off of intimacy for the larger ideas that are only possible with the broader palette of a septet. Now Halvorson is back leading the trio Thumbscrew in their self-titled debut recording, and it is simply amazing.

1st Gen Apple Lightning Cable Meltdown – What’s the Cause?

I noticed the smell before I saw the smoke: I looked to my right, and that’s where I saw the problem — tiny sparks and a rapidly melting sheath near the end of the Apple cable that was charging my iPhone 5S. I immediately unplugged it before flames took over; crisis averted, but why did it happen?

Take Your Tablet on the Go with the Skooba Design iPad/Tablet Courier V.3

  Look at the Skooba Design website, and you’ll see an assortment of high-quality east-west bags — meaning they are wider than they are high, and they hold laptops in landscape orientation. The north-south Skooba Design iPad/Tablet Courier V.3 is a departure from tradition, and it’s an impressive addition to the Skooba lineup; we’ve been using one and we’re impressed.

Soft-Tec Wallet Is Element Case Protection for Your iPad Mini

Element Case may have begun as an iPhone case company but they have steadily expanded their offerings. Judie recently reviewed two of their Samsung GALAXY S4 cases and was impressed. We’ve got one of their Soft-Tec Wallet for Apple iPad Mini cases in hand as well. Thanks to its simple but elegant styling it too has won us over.