Gear Bits

GD Quickie: Can You Clean Me Now?

If you can’t stand bring without your smartphone for even a second a vendor on Etsy has a way you can now bring it into the shower with you. That’s right, the vendor twoeggplants.com was selling a bar of soap sculpted to look like the original Moto Droid. Stocks of the shea butter and vegetable oil soap were quickly cleaned out (I know, I know, that’s not punny, sorry about that) but if you are willing to accept apple-martini scented bar of iPhone soap you just might be in luck. Via Laptop Magazine Dec. 2010


GD Quickie: Adventures in iPad Adoption; Retail Edition

Via janchipchase.com Last week Elana was at the Short Hills Mall with her friend Melissa. They went to look for something at Restoration Hardware and found that their salesperson was walking around with his MacBook. He was, quite effectively she added, using it to show customers pictures of additional products as well as various material options for some items. Well apparently this method is already old school. This morning Elana was listening to CBS 880AM radio and heard a report that some Nordstrom and Burberry stores are already experimenting with giving employees iPads so they can they can walk around…


GD Quickie: Joby Yogi for iPad- “I Reviewed It and Still Use It”

I spent the morning trying to catch up on phone calls. That meant I didn’t get out of my chair once. At a certain point, however, I got to feeling quite antsy and knew I needed to do something. I haven’t run in quite a while due to an ankle strain but it was feeling better and I NEEDED to run. I also needed some loud music to motivate me. My treadmill has speakers and an iPod dock but it doesn’t get quite loud enough. On the other hand, the speakers I recently attached to an Airport Express for streaming…


GD Quickie: What in the World is this Crazy Old Man Doing??

What is this crazy old man in the nightgown doing? Is he- A. Playing the bongos on his head B. Pretending to be Carnac the Magnificent C. Taking his temperature without anything having to actually touch him? If you said C you are absolutely right. Elana took her dad to the hospital for a follow-up on some surgery he had a few weeks back and saw this new way of taking temperatures for the first time. The Exergen Coproration‘s mission is to “Change the way the world takes temperature”. Yup, without even having to touch Mark’s forehead the nurses were…


GD Quickie: Vintage Swedish Army Belts Ready to Do Battle With the Bulge

In a world of “new and improved” sometimes the best things are “old and broken in”. I mean seriously, if you compare the build quality of the appliances we put into our first house almost 20 years ago with the ones we installed in our current home 6 years ago it quickly becomes apparent that older things are sometimes far more durable. That goes for some clothing too. That’s where Inventory Magazines treasure trove of old Swedish Army belts comes in. As they explain, The perfect belt always seems to elude us, well some of us. One member of our…


Mobile World Congress for a New Perspective

I’ve been to CES 9 times in the last 10 years, and for discovering or covering consumer electronics, there is no better show. But for really digging into the latest mobile phones and the technologies that power and differentiate them, there has been one show that has long been on my radar: Mobile World Congress. Last year, I was talking to Helena from Chip Chick, another long-time tech blogger who has never been. When the subject of MWC came up, we both got reflective, remarking upon how we had both always wanted to go. Without much thought for how we…


Google Email Bombs My Inbox

I woke up this morning and had 80 emails. My first thought was that my email had been hacked, because why else would I have 80+ emails over the course of 8 hours??? Then I started reading them, and realized someone at Google “helpfully” opened the floodgates on a Chrome OS beta tester Google Group. The craziest part is that not everyone receiving the emails has a CR-48 netbook. So in addition to 40 emails saying “how do I unsubscribe/why am I getting spammed” and another 20 explaining how to change subscription options in Google Groups, there were a handful…


The Best iPad Commercial

Last night I met a lovely woman at a dinner party who demonstrated to me in a simple conversation why the iPad has been so successful. She commented that she was tired from being up past midnight, and someone else asked why she stayed up so late. The woman explained she was reading on her iPad, and playing “Words with Friends” with her daughter in San Diego. She then explained how much she loved reading on her iPad because she could “shop around” at Amazon, Kobo and B&N, plus she could leave the lights off so her husband could sleep….


GD Quickie: Go to Traffic Court Get a Lesson in Tech

My father-in-law spent a few hours yesterday in traffic court. Yes, ol’ leadfoot didn’t see the speed trap but the officer sure saw him. All told, he was there for over two hours. This wasn’t because he was in so much trouble, he wasn’t, but because the judge literally held court… In court. Yes, the judge apparently opined about life, liberty and the pursuit of tech. He told the group that was gathered to appear before him about the Kindle he got for Christmas. He loves it! He told them that since he is cheap he is reading some of…


GD Quickie: It’s ALL in the Timing

Person A to Person B- “I want you to ask me two questions. The first is ‘What is your profession?’ and the second is “What’s the hardest thing about your job?’” Person B to Person A- “OK. What is your profession?” Person A to Person B- “I’m a blogging comedian.” And without waiting for the second question continues, “Timing!” Okay, so maybe the joke doesn’t translate to written text all that well but the truth is, often times, TIMING IS EVERYTHING. And no one seems to do the timing thing better than Apple. CES 2010 was filled with chatter about…


Anything to Keep the Lights On!

The above is an actual offer Sarah received from Borders Rewards today. Apparently if you’re not buying books, maybe you’d care for a nice glass of Cabernet with a side of Borders Bucks?


GD Quickie: It’s Getting to be THAT Time of Year

I keep professional contacts with loads of folks in different industries all over the country, and after a couple of years of them being divided between ‘I’m happy to still have a job’ and ‘oh crap, I no longer have a job’ … this is the first year folks are starting to discuss raises. Having talked to several people in the last few weeks I have found a few basic themes: there are ~1% companies like Google who are saying ‘we had a great year – here, have some money’. Then there are the companies that are still struggling –…


Grammar R Us: Facebook Drama Battles!

In a text I sent yesterday I inadvertently used ‘here’ when I intended ‘hear’ … but of course, once it is gone you can’t edit it! Now we have a Facebook battle celebrating an even more epic battle: the use of ‘your’ versus ‘you’re’. Just in case you were wondering … Emma has it right, and we love her for her patience and diligence trying to help her friend. Source: Buzzfeed


Here is Every Password You Will Ever Need!

Someone at Gear Diary recently had one of their personal accounts hacked, which should be yet another reminder to everyone that you never know when or why one of your accounts might get compromised. Last year I had an issue with my Facebook account, and several years ago my Steam account got hijacked. It can happen to anyone, anytime … but the passwords you use can help keep you more secure. Last week there was a interesting infograph about the 20 top passwords of all time. Here is a snip from the graph: Amusingly this week there was an article…


GD Quickie: Pay No Attention to the ’60 Minutes’ On Your Flip Mino HD

I love my Flip Mino HD, I really do. Since getting it I have used it extensively, capturing tons of our kids’ activities and so on easily and without any fuss. There are no accessible settings – you just record and use the digital zoom. But until last week I never really pushed it. Sure I have had it run out of time on me, but that is after capturing a bunch of different clips, usually during the holiday school concert season. But last week both of my kids had lead roles in the middle school play. Based on last…


Music Diary Quickie: The Music of Super Bowl XLV!

Generally there are two reasons to watch the Super Bowl: the game and the commercials. But some folks look forward to the half-time show as well. But there is even more music, and last night we had two pre-game songs including America the Beautiful as well as the National Anthem. Was any of it tolerable? Here is my quick take. Lea Michele sings America the Beautiful Gleeks know her well as the talented but full-of-herself Rachel, but she is also becoming known for her ‘diva’ like behavior in real life, such as when she snubbed a fan who just happens…


Paperback and eBook Price Differences!

Generally speaking, I tend to buy eBooks over paper books. I like reading on my Kindle, and since I am usually reading more than one book at once it saves me the trouble of juggling several books on my nightstand or gear bag. My only major exception is if the book is not available in eBook form. I did trip across another reason to buy the paperback version over an eBook this week, though… That’s a screenshot of the listing for the Kindle edition of Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food”. Note that Amazon makes sure to tell you this…


New Mac Switcher? There’s an App for That!

Switching to a Mac is exciting and fun, but if you’re coming from Windows it can be quite intimidating. Luckily, the enterprising developers at It’s About Time have a handy app to make that easier for you. Normally it’s $24.95, or bundled as part of a $99 Parallels deal, but right now in the Mac App Store, it’s at the bargain bin price of just $0.99! At that price, even if you’re not a total mac newbie you may want to see if there are any new tricks you don’t already know! Check out the video demo, and then let…


Twitter Guest Stars on “Grey’s Anatomy”

It’s a bit shameful, but I still watch “Grey’s Anatomy”. It’s my soapy guilty pleasure! I settled in last night to catch up on last night’s episode, and was surprised to discover that surgeons using Twitter was a big part of the storyline! I won’t spoil it for you, but I will say that even when the jokes were predictable (like the Chief mistakenly saying he wanted to check out Dr. Bailey’s ‘tits’ not her ‘tweets’), it was a cute storyline, plus the power of social media saved the day.


GD Quickie: Torture Your Cat? There’s an App for That!

photo credit: Trish Hamme Off&On/FlickringSlowly/ThankYou When my Siamese cat Shika was alive I would often play with her by shining a small flashlight on the wall in a dark room. Shika, always on the prowl, would then try to swat what she thought was a fly. I thought it was hilarious… My spouse found it less so. Well fast forward to A.i. (after iPad) and there is a whole new way to “play” with your cat. And we aren’t just talking house cats. No we’re talking king of the jungle cats.


GD Quickie: The Continuum of Caring

I just heard someone say ‘I could care less’ … and for some reason it drives me insane! So, as a public service I am putting this up as a reminder: ‘I could care less’ means that you could, in fact care less. I couldn’t care less, on the other hand … The image is one I always have at hand since I found it a long time ago … sort of like ‘Captain Obvious’ and the tin-foil hat ‘conspiracy’ guy.