Gear Bits

A Surprise iPad Tutorial Session

The first night Elana and I were here in Cabo we had dinner at one of the sit down restaurants here at the resort. A nice young guy came by and asked if we wanted a picture taken. We politely declined. On the way out we saw him uploading some of the photos using his MacBook Pro and his iPad. Of course I had to strike up a conversation. Turns out Samir is French, and had originally come here for an internship in hospitality management. He had decided to come back and start his photography business with a friend. I…


iMainGo Portable Speaker Systems More Than Just Portable

Portable Sound Labsis  the company behind iMainGo, a portable external speaker kit for your portable device such as an iPhone or touch. They sent me a test unit quite some time ago ,and somehow it made its way into the back of the closet. Since that time they have released an updated iMainGo 2 and now the iMainGo X for more lifestyle integration. So, why my oversight? To be honest, I do not lead that portable of a lifestyle. Mine is more mobile – actually mostly mobile. When I am not test-driving new cars I am driving a fleet vehicle…


Veruca Salt Had It Right!!!

Gear Diary, Today I was going through some of the pictures Francis took while we were at CES 2011 last week and I came upon one that captures the two words we “instant gratification-loving” tech bloggers like most…


IoSafe Has Got My Back; Do They Have Yours?

Freshly arrived back from CES, I found waiting for me an IoSafe 1TB fireproof, waterproof, and — as has been demonstrated multiple times by this site (and many others) — a virtually indestructible SoloPRO Desktop External Hard Drive. I’m looking forward to setting up this beast and putting it to work protecting my data. Knowing that any files, pictures, movies and music stored on it will be kept safe — even if something unimaginable and catastrophic should happen to Kev’s and my home — gives me a peace of mind that is hard to describe. Check out the IoSafe site,…


The iPad in Action In Las Vegas!

This morning was my last morning in Vegas. Yes, CES is over. As I was checking out of the hotel I noticed something I had missed when I checked in on Monday. The simple LCD screens at the front desk aren’t screens at all. No, they are iPads that have been secured into the desks with a bezel wrapping around them. The only thing that gave them away as iPads was the telltale button that remained exposed at one side. The iPads were not being used as simple screens though. No, they were used to display the bill, interact with…


Please Rob Me; the Perfect Compliment to Foursquare and Twitter

If you’re a burglar, and you are tired of staking out homes only to be stymied as you break in because the owner is still there, have I got an application for you! Stop staking out houses and start staking out the new site, Please Rob Me. Instead of watching to see if there is activity in a house, you can locate users in your area who are mindlessly using Foursquare to broadcast their location to everyone on Twitter. Picking a mark is easy! Enter your area and look for someone who is eating a meal, attending a sports event,…


Travel With The booq Taipan Lift

I am reviewing the booq Taipan Lift ($89.95 – $99.95) by using it during my quick trip to San Francisco for TeleNav’s Waypoint. It is a briefcase style laptop bag which, to be quite honest, isn’t my preference. (I tend to like messenger bags and backpacks.) Having just gone through airport security, however, I am totally sold on this bag for travel. There are, in fact, three specific design aspects of it that have already come in rather handy.


Five things I like about the Speck SeeThru Satin Hard Shell for 17″ MacBook Pro, and one thing I don’t

Speck has been covered extensively by Gear Diary, and with good reason – their products are well made, they protect the devices they are meant to hold, and they look great! While at CES I visited the Speck booth, and one of the many things that impressed me was that Speck makes a cover for my 17″ laptop — it seems like accessories for this size are rather rare. Fast forward to last week when I received a SeeThru Satin Hard Shell for my 17″ MacBook Pro, and my laptop has not been naked since. Dan just recently reviewed this…


The iPad Revealed: GearChat #2

Across the blogosphere, millions watched with bated breath today as Apple unveiled their latest — the obviously (yet unfortunately) named iPad — to a crowd who seemed to be enthusiastic and yet instantly critical of the ~10″ tablet. Gorgeous UI, large vivid screen, the ability to run existing iPhone apps, and a new iBook store are huge selling points for some. The absence of a camera and multi-tasking are among the possible deal-breakers for others. Not immediately obvious are exactly who the iPad’s intended customers might be — other than users who don’t mind carrying yet another device. Join Dan,…


Salt Dough Ornaments are Holiday Fun for the Whole Family

After moving this year, Kevin and I realized we were a bit light on Christmas tree decorations; but instead of going out and buying a bunch of them, his girls and I spent a day making salt dough ornaments. This is something that my mom used to do with my brother and me when we were kids. Mom thinks it’s because play-dough wasn’t easily available living overseas, but it could just as easily be because we were on an enlisted military man’s budget and she was a stay-at-home-mom. Whatever the reason, salt dough is very similar to play-dough, and the…


The Polaris Ranger EV Is Quiet Fun

My friend Steven showed up with his latest “toy” a couple of days ago — the a 2010 Polaris 4×4 Ranger EV. I’ve got a tricked out red 2009 Ranger XP 700 EFI (complete with CD player and Sirius Satellite radio, heh). Mine may beat his in a race, but his has a feature that leaves mine in the dust – it’s electric and nearly noiseless. I thought his buggy was neat enough that I should share.


Headed to Seattle for a Mobius Group Meet-up

I’m on my way to another Microsoft-sponsored Mobius Session this morning, this time in Seattle Washington. There won’t be much for me to post about today, but on Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll share info from sessions attended as I am able. As usual, I’ll be updating on Twitter regularly, so if you haven’t already, then you might want to follow me. 🙂


Voice Recognition Technology Today

I’ve been using various voice to text solutions for a number of years. I began using Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking when it was back in version 7 or 8. Unfortunately, back then it was often more proof of concept than useful tool. The process of transcribing text was slow and the accuracy was not all that good. Over the years two things have changed. First, the power of our devices has grown exponentially. My iPhone is, on many levels, as powerful or more powerful than the computer I was using just a few years ago. And my iMac and my MacBook…


Walmart Selling Caskets Online

Wal-Mart has started offering caskets and urns at prices that are probably cheaper than what you’d pay at your local funeral home. Online casket sales are not a totally new concept as Amazon offers them and so does Costco. But somehow a Wal-Mart casket seems, well, cheap. Take comfort knowing that you didn’t overpay for Mom or Dad to be laid to rest in a specially designed $999 “Dad Remembered” or “Mom Remembered” casket. Wal-Mart even ships coffins directly (embalming sold separately) to the funeral home which I’m sure will cause your local funeral director to be really friendly when…


Hour Glass Coffee: The World’s Coolest Coffee Maker

Soon temperatures will finally start to cool off here in South Texas and it will finally be time for some serious coffee drinking.  Yes, I know many of you cannot live without your daily dose, but I only drink it when it is cool outside and without caffeine.  First of all, I don’t do caffeine at all, and if I drink coffee everyday the acid starts to bother my stomach.  The Hour Glass Coffee maker produces a low acid coffee extract via a cold brew process.  (hence the title “World’s Coolest Coffee Maker”) The video shows how the system works. …


Bioshock Bento is too Cute to Eat!

I’ve long been fascinated by the patience and artistry that goes into making a Japanese Bento Box; if you aren’t familiar with these, then you should start by looking at these images on Google as well as this Flicker Pool. As explained in the introduction on one of the multitudes of Bento Box sites I’ve found: As with so much of modern Japanese culture, the aesthetic (especially for children and young women) is strongly based on a compact cuteness. If you went to a school where kids brought packed lunches, you know how much it means to a kid when…


Don’t Copy That 2 reminds you to … not copy stuff!

So how many folks remember that public service announcement (PSA) ‘Don’t Copy That Floppy’? Well, the folks at Consumerist have noticed that an ‘Official Sequel’ has been released, ‘Don’t Copy That 2’ that reminds you that copying and especially profiting from making copies is a serious crime … and the new video is every bit as ‘hip’ as the original!


Giving the 17″ MacBook Pro Laptop a Try

I’ve been greatly enjoying the HP dv6 that I recently upgraded to Windows 7, and that got me wondering about Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6). Dan was evil kind enough to send me a link to the latest Apple refurb sales last week, and I couldn’t help myself…after perusing the wares, I bit.


CoPilot Live 8 for iPhone (North America)

I’ve been doing a series of reviews of navigation software for the iPhone.  The folks at ALK (the makers of CoPilot) have released CoPilot Live into the market for a very nice price of only $34.99 (for the North America version).  At this price it will appeal to many people.  Here I’m taking a first look at CoPilot Live (with a full review to follow) and give some initial impressions.  So let’s get to it!


Some Thoughts On the HTC Hero After a Few Days

I have become increasingly disenchanted due to the nonsense being pulled by Apple and AT&T with regard to the iPhone and applications for it. Time and again they have actively limited the device reaching its potential by intentionally crippling or rejecting apps that make it more useful. When the Google Voice apps were pulled from the App Store — and Google’s own app rejected — I started looking around to see what other device options might be available. Ultimately, the HTC Hero seemed to be the best option. Sure, it lacks the US 3G but then again, I spend the…


Visit David Letterman Stage Door Weekdays 5:30 – New York Tourist Tip

Have you always wanted to see a celebrity (or two or three) up close and personal? I have a secret to share. If you’re in New York City while David Letterman tapes (check the web site because he does not tape every night) – you can wait by the stage door at 5:30 pm and watch the celebrities emerge from that night’s taping. Last night I was in the city for a Toshiba event and saw Diddy, Ginuwine and Missy Elliott. All three stopped, chatted and signed autographs for a crowd of under 15 people — Ginuwine’s manager even took…