Gear Bits

Building the Perfect Drink Just Got Easier with Palette Coasters

When we are up in the country we all have our “roles”. Elana is the “food maven”. Her dad, when he is up, is the “grill master”. As for me… well I tend bar. 🙂 Over the years I’ve collected a nice selection of different barware. Margaritas have their glasses, martinis have theirs and the list goes on. Having the right glass for the right drink just makes everything a bit more festive. Same goes for the coaster the glass sits on. And these “palette coasters”… They look kinda fun. Yes, these simple but amusing coasters do their job but…




Call of Duty and C.O.D.E. Help Educate our Vets

Image courtesy of ClubLakers. Thanks Kobe. It’s always good to see organizations so willing to support our troops and veteran soldiers, and it’s even better to be a part of it yourself. After returning from a conflict or war, sometimes soldiers need help gaining their civilian life back and often times need to find new employment. Call of Duty Endowment is a program spearheaded by Activision Blizzard to increase awareness for our veteran soldiers. CODE often aids with large grants and donations that assist troops in getting back on their feet. We all know the video game Call of Duty…


eBooks Really Are Getting Cheaper!

Over at Teleread, they have a very interesting, if unscientific, analysis of eBook pricing over the years. By taking prices from 2004 and comparing them to prices today, Chris Walters determined that there has been a slight drop in overall pricing, even if it doesn’t feel that way with the Agency Model taking away $9.99 price points! In a nutshell, Chris argues that the same books bought for $280 in 2004 would cost $213 today. Yes, it’s a subjective analysis, but as a random sampling, it’s somewhat helpful. And he further points out that the average price for fiction titles…


On the Eve of iPad 2…

Posted January 29, 2010 So here we are on the eve of the iPad 2 release. The anticipation of the release of the iPad 2 prompted me to go back and look at some early posts we did on the iPad over a year ago. I hate to say it, but I think we largely nailed it early on. (OK, actually I don’t hate to say it… We pretty much nailed it early on! Yes, we knew this was going to be an amazing device from the moment El Jobso introduced it.) At the time of the initial announcement, we…



Hike the Appalachian Trail from Your Chair!

This is a super cool video if, like me, you’ve ever daydreamed about hiking the full Appalachian trail. However, since I have a job and lack the fitness to head out the door and cover 2,174 miles (unlike Dean Karnazes, who is currently running across the whole damn country!) Luckily, an intrepid through-hiker videotaped his experience, sped it up, added some fun music and created this video. If you’ve ever hiked the Appalachian and can identify any of the trails as they go by, be sure to share in the comments! Warning: If you’re sitting in your office while watching,…


Google’s Reaction to Android Exploits; Conspiracy Theory or Keeping Us Safe?

Original image courtesy of KnowYourCell If you were following mobile news over the weekend you probably saw some reports about Google remote killing some malicious apps that found their way to the market. While most were simply noting this because you may have been one of those affected users , others took some pretty hard jabs at Google for using an exploit of their own to remote into your phone and kill the apps. While this is not far off base, I think some people are taking it to an unnecessary level of conspiracy theory like ideas that Google is…


Andy Rooney Rants About eBooks

Apparently, Andy Rooney is not a fan of Kindles and NOOKs. His 60 Minutes rant this past week was all about ebooks. I really hate to say this about Andy Rooney, but he really missed the mark big time. He expressed surprise that paperbacks are being outsold by ebooks, and seemed wholly perplexed by the concept that an eBook reader holds 3,000+ titles. At one point he touches upon one of his books being free, though he doesn’t explain if he’s mad about piracy, or if it was some sort of “freebie” deal organized by his publisher. Sadly, the germ…


Proven True! Lightning Doesn’t Strike the Same Place Twice

photo credit: Kuzeytac You know the old saying that lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice? Well, now I have definitive proof that this is absolutely true. Yup, Lightning Does Not Strike The Same Place Twice! Years ago our house in the mountains suffered a direct lightning strike. How do I know that is the case? I know because it was the middle of the afternoon on Saturday and a huge storm front was coming through. Our golden retriever (she was still with us) and I were taking an afternoon siesta in the den; I LOVE afternoon naps when a…


Quiescence Music Offers ‘Top 14 Tips for Successful Piano Improvisation’

Several months ago I wrote about Quiescence Music giving away a book of New Age piano lessons simply for signing up for their email newsletter. I have enjoyed the weekly tips and ideas that Edward Weiss includes in the newsletter, and still encourage everyone to sign up! Now Quiescence has released a new tip sheet titled ‘Top 14 Tips for Successful Piano Improvisation.’ The tip sheet contains principles to help students play more freely at the piano. The creator of the tip sheet, pianist/composer Edward Weiss has this to say about it: Do you think you can’t improvise? Nonsense! All…


GD Quickie: Old School Meets iTech with the iPhone Wallet

This takes the idea of the iPhone/Wallet combination to an entirely new level. Called the “iPhone RETRO MODERN leather wallet sleeve” the antiqued leather case has space for your iPhone 4, some credit card and some cash. It looks neat and is a great way to carry all the stuff you need in a cool looking, retro package. Just don’t put it in your back pocket and sit down! You can grab one HERE for $79. Via WERD


GD Quickie: Check out the ‘Tron: Uprising’ Trailer!

While Tron: Legacy might not have lived up to the classic original, it was a solid film and great fan service. It also got younger kids introduced and intrigued by the world inside of the Grid! Now Disney has released the first trailer for the upcoming animated series Tron: Uprising. The story is set between the original Tron and Tron: Legacy. A quick overview: Beck, a young program who becomes the unlikely leader of a revolution inside the computer world of The Grid. His mission is to free his home and friends from the reign of the villainous Clu 2…


GD Quickie: Sansa Fuze+ Firmware Update Makes the Fuze+ Usable!

A while back I reviewed the Sansa Fuze+ from Sandisk.  Back then, the way the player was locked would wreak havoc with it.  You would lock it and then the heat of your body would unlock it even when it wasn’t moving all that much in my pocket. Well, Sandisk has released an update to their firmware that changes the lock function and moves it from holding the play button in to lock to pressing in the power button on the top.  To unlock, you just tap the power button which takes a lot more effort to do and now it is…


GD Quickie: With Apple It Is All in the Timing Redux

If we have learned one thing about Apple in recent years, it’s that they don’t do anything by accident. Every move Apple makes is the result of a well thought out, calculated decision. It may be the wrong decision (think the MobileMe launch, iPhone 4 antennagate and a few others), but even those were the result of calculated choices the company made. So when Apple decided that they would launch the iPad2 next Friday at 5 PM we can assume there is some reasoned decision behind it. In a conversation with Elana last night, those reasons became abundantly clear to…


Runners World Interviews Robot Marathon Champ!

You may or may not have followed the robot marathon that went on in Japan, but over at Runners World, they took it very seriously. After all, if we’re going to be racing robots soon, it’s important to stay on top of the competition! I followed it too, and have to say I was pretty thrilled to see that robots are slower than me. I’m not that slow, but I’m solidly middle of the pack, and have had a few smaller races where my goal was “don’t be last”. Now I know I just need to convince a robot to…


The Swingline Stack-and-Shred Has Arrived!

Not that you needed any further proof that I was a dork, I mean geek, but I found myself unnaturally excited when FedEx dropped off this package earlier today. Inside is the SwingLine Stack & Shred, a crosscut shredder that allows you to feed up to 100 sheets of paper at a time by lifting the lid on the front and laying the items to shred inside the tray. Stack, Shut and Go. The Swingline Stack-and-Shred technology is built for busy executives, small and home office users and anyone who wants an easy and efficient way to personally shred. It…


GD Quickie: Charlie Sheen Quotes As New Yorker Cartoons

My favorite thing about the Oscars on Sunday was the auto-tune mashup they did of Harry Potter and other films. At the same time, the last couple of days of Charlie Sheen talking to anyone with a microphone and/or camera and airtime has been much more entertaining than the soporific dirge of the Oscar show. I have no interest in discussing any of the specifics, but have found it simply amazing and hilarious the things he has said in such a short time! Today BuzzFeed featured a string of New York Times cartoons redone with Charlie Sheen Quotes as the…


Music Diary Quickie: Check Out JamBuddy – a Free Backing Track Website

Have you ever just wanted to jam along with a variety of backing tracks, but lacked the software (such as Apple’s GarageBand) to do so? Well, a new website called ‘JamBuddy’ offers a simple Javascript program that makes it easy to drop in some chords and adjust some settings and quickly get a backing track ready to play over for practice, inspiration, or just fun! It is fairly limited, but for a free app it works very well and has decent flexibility. The image above shows about 10 seconds of effort on my part, yet it worked quite well for…