Gear Bits

Today is the Day Skynet Passes Judgement: The End is Near!

Image courtesy of iheartmovies If you live under a rock and have never seen any Terminator films, then you would have no idea that Tuesday night (4/19) at 8:11 PM Skynet came online and became self-aware. Skynet was a machine designed by our military to take control of our defenses. Giving a the control which  According to the Terminator lore today marks the beginning of the end for humanity as we know it. Judgment Day is upon us, and soon the machines will take over the world as we know it. Sarah Connor shows us in T2 what is to…


I Reviewed It and I Still Use It: The “Thank You Ergotron” Edition

I reviewed the Ergotron Sit–Stand Desk last September. This work-station modification allows you to work at your desk in either a sitting or standing position merely by lifting the entire assemblage up or down. It is truly an impressive piece of equipment, and at close to $400 certainly not inexpensive. My review concluded with: So do I like this? YES! If I had not been sent a review unit would I be buying one? YES again. Having the option to work either sitting or standing and to quickly move between the two is great. Having a unit as well-built and…


Random Cool Video: Weird Al Takes on Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’

Not my favorite stuff of his … but perhaps that is because the original song is so totally ripped off from superior Madonna material that I find Gaga to come off as a parody or at least an ironic look at the music industry. Naturally, she (or her ‘people’) wouldn’t allow him to do it … so he is releasing it free similar to the (better than the original) ‘You’re Pitiful’ parody of the milquetoast James Blunt snoozer. Anyway – enjoy Weird Al singing ‘Perform this way’! And while we’re on Weird Al and Lady Gaga … what about Polka…


DropBox Updated with Cool New Features!

DropBox is a great tool – essentially it is simply an online storage provider, but the excellent Mac, PC, iOS and Android app interfaces make using that space and sharing items an absolute breeze! Yesterday my iPad pinged me that there was an update … and it has a few great new options! First, you can now bulk upload photos rather than doing them one at a time! Generally I wouldn’t worry about this, but I just scanned dozens of old slides from my parents and wanted to have them available in multiple locations in addition to my iPad. DropBox…


iPad App Of Note: Will Blogsy Make Mobile Blogging A Reality?

One of the biggest issues I have faced since first getting my iPad is the challenge of trying to use it to quickly and cleanly write new blog posts from it. Sure there are iPad apps that promise mobile blogging but none of them have worked properly for me. The issue was so bad that Judie and I brought Samsung Galaxy Tabs to CES with use, and they work well for remote posting. Not so, any of the iOS apps either of us have tried. Well hopefully that changed with the release of Blogsy. This new iPad app is just…


Going Once, Going Twice, Start Your Engine: the 1970 Lancia Stratospheric HF

There are cars and then THERE ARE CARS! This 1970 Lancia Stratos HF is a CAR! This 1970 Lancia Stratos HF “Zero” was the predecessor to the Lamborghini Countach, a car that made an appearance just a year later. The wedge-body shape is as sleek as anything you have ever seen and the car was so low to the ground that you got into it by opening the windshield and climbing in. The car was fully restored in 2000 and is up for auction. It falls under the category of “if you have to ask what the bidding starts at…


What a Difference Some RAM Makes!

 photo credit: Joachim S. Müller Last week I trashed my MacBook Air. It was a sad day and within hours the computer was with Apple and on its way to be repaired. I went two days using only my iPad and it worked fine but, as expected, I discovered there were a few things that really required the use of Mac OS X. (One biggee is posting to Gear Diary since, after a few years of apps, there still isn’t a decent app for posting text, links AND pictures to WordPress.) I broke down and did something I had been…


FireFox 4 for Mac – Not Quite There Review

I have been playing around with FireFox 4 for the Mac, since I absolutely adore the Windows version and it has replaced Chrome on my main PCs. My experience hasn’t been all that great – I tend to run loads of things all at once on my Mac and have found the performance … lacking. Turns out I am not alone, as a new review from Macworld shows that while FireFox 4 is much better than the last version, it still lags Safari and Chrome in terms of key performance. Here are a few graphs they shared: I highlighted my…


Maybe They’re Sponsored by Nintendo?

Here’s a head-scratcher. At a time when child obesity is climbing, and the big push is to get kids active, one homeowner’s association apparently wants kids inside glued to a PlayStation. They’re proposing banning children from playing outside without adult supervision (which, okay, I guess it’s a safety thing?), but even worse, they’re banning “skateboarding, playing games like tag, or using loud toys.” Each violation could run families $100 a pop. What is wrong with this homeowner’s association??? Granted, the article is light on details, but this just sounds ridiculous. What constitutes “loud toys”? When my brother and I were…


Music Diary Deal: Stream Paul Simon’s New Album for Free!

Simon and Garfunkel seem to have been lost to a forgotten era, with their beautiful songs being relegated to easy listening and oldies stations rather that getting the renown they deserve. The same is true for Paul Simon’s later work, with even the brilliant Graceland seeming lost to the specters of the 80’s. He is hoping that his new work, “So Beautiful or So What” will make him more relevant to a younger audience – and I hope the same thing as well. Well, for those of us who know their talent, and for a younger crowd looking for inspiration…


I Just Got the Black Phosphor Appear, and I Love It!

Last month I reviewed the new Phosphor Appear watch in the women’s red with a Swarovski crystal embedded dial, and I thought it was a little bit too blingy for every day. Since I mentioned that I was going to order the men’s black with a plain black bezel, I thought I would post a picture so you could see the difference. It’s still a bright and attention-getting watch, but it is not quite as blinding now. I think it is perfect! =) The Phosphor Appeal starts at $199, and you can find them on the Phosphor Site.


Borders Gets Snarky

Apparently, this closing Borders is really, really, bitter about the whole bankruptcy thing. We’ve spent plenty of time rehashing why everything went so wrong for Borders, but this store did nail one thing we all secretly miss when retailers disappear.  


First Look at Apple’s New Pen Based Tablet!

With Steve Jobs no longer guiding the helm of day-to-day operations at Apple, it was unclear what would become of the company. Would they manage to continue to produce innovative technologies like the Apple ][ and Macintosh … or would they succumb to producing generic grey-box computers that look like everything else on any given desktop workplace? Well, based on a product introduction held in London (you can see the video for it here), we know that Apple will not give up its industry-leading technology advancement position anytime soon! Here is the product – called ‘Newton’, this device allows you…


First Look: The Omega Constellation Time Computer I Takes Horology to a Whole New Level

It just doesn’t get any better than this! Geeks and Watch aficionados alike have been eagerly waiting the Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology found in the Omega Time Computer, and it is finally here — just in time for Father’s Day and graduation! Available in 14K white or yellow gold-filled, or 18K solid gold for those who want the very best, the Omega Constellation LED Time Computer I has a gorgeous and futuristic red LED dot display, and it is accurate to within five seconds a month. What is an LED and how does it work inside this watch? A…


Exclusive: Fire Goes Mobile! This is Hot!

Fire! It cooks our food and warms our caves. Fire! It keeps the predators away and let’s us see when the flaming ball of light goes away for a time. Fire! It can be hard to start and, once going, an ever-present job to keep stoked. Fire! We don’t want to live without it but living with it can be a pain. Until now! Yes, for the first time starting a fire is as simple as rubbing one magic stick on a piece of black paper. It is magical. It is revolutionary. It is the most important advance since flint….


First Look: I-Mate JAM Pocket PC

I have seen the future of mobile phones and it comes from… Dubai!?!? Yes, this phone comes from the up-and-comer I-mate, a company that is set to take the mobile world by storm and promises to be on top for decades to come. When I first took the Jam out of the box I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking at. Is it a big phone or is it a small computer? Well, in actuality it is both. The i-mate™ JAM is the smallest Windows Pocket PC available. It includes GPRS for Internet or remote office access, and features…


Would You Take the Beer or the iPad?

screenshot from of the Eldorado Success 03/31/11 digital edition One of the joys of living in a small town is that the local paper publishes the police blotter every week; it’s always good for an unintentional chuckle, because some of the things people call 911 for are things you would never see in a larger city. Whether it be a black bull loose on the side of the road at the county line, hit and run doorbell ringing, or people who call for help but then refuse to say what they need — there’s always something sure to raise an…


Random Creepy Stuff: ‘Cloud Girlfriend’ Provides a Virtual Girlfriend for Social Networks

Oh the shame – you have to set your relationship status on Facebook to ‘Single’. What will your friends think? How can you possibly cope?!? Fear no more – a new company called Cloud Girlfriend promises to help you out with a simple four-step process: Step 1: Define your perfect girlfriend. Step 2: We bring her into existence. Step 3: Connect and interact with her publicly on your favorite social network. Step 4: Enjoy a public long distance relationship with your perfect girl. However, as the AOLNews article notes: Facebook’s Terms of Service agreement strictly prohibits computer controlled accounts, which…


Flashback to Grad School, or “I Wrote My Thesis with That?”

Kayla’s rant about iPads and her description of college tech was striking to me. She ASSUMED (accurately) that anyone going to college these days has a computer. Yup, access to a computer isn’t a luxury for students these days, it is a necessity. (As she then goes on to point out, iPads, on the other hand, are luxuries.) It got me thinking about my own college days. When I was working on my undergraduate degree we had a room in each dorm with four or five computers. For the most part they were used for math and science calculations rather…


‘Easy Calendar’ iPhone App Makes Adding Appointments Easy

I have a confession to make-I rarely make my own appointments. No, whenever I schedule something new for myself I usually mess things up and end up double-booking or, worse, not properly saving the date and then not showing up at all. My strategy to avoid this? My awesome, amazing assistant. I know it sounds lame but by working through her I rarely, if ever, mess up my schedule. There are, however, times when I do need to add my own appointment and, when that happens, I curse my iPhone. Seriously, why is it so hard to make new appointments…


TrueCar.com’s Top 10 Apps to Help Save Money on Gas

For those of you not fortunate enough to be taking advantage of the latest automotive technology whilst behind the wheel, online sites and blogs are offering their advice on how to squeeze as much value out of a gallon of fuel as possible, be that by recommending to combine trips and map out the shortest route prior to cranking the engine, or by directing you to the lowest price of fuel for that day. And do not forget that hauling around extra weight just adds to decreased fuel economy so get rid of excessive “junk in your trunk” and see…