Gear Bits

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…



GD Quickie: Gear Tie 18″ Tie Your Gear

Seriously, how could I NOT post on this??? After all, the product name is Gear Tie. (And we’re Gear Diary… Get the tie-in??) So what’s the deal with these Gear Ties? Simple- The 18″ Nite Ize Gear Tie is the perfect size to wrap and organize medium-to-large appliance cords and wires. Keep your jumper cables, extension cords, dog leashes, and larger electric cords neat and untangled with a quick simple twist. The 18″ Gear Tie is also great for looping and hanging lightweight tools and lanterns—and reusable nature makes it easy to reposition and adjust conveniently. Available in packs of…


GD Quickie- iPhone Explains the Big Bang Theory

It will come as no surprise that the iPhone played central role on tonight’s episode of the Big Bang theory. In fact, an entire scene took place over Facetime! Yes, Apple had over 30% of the product placement in movies last year and that percentage is much higher on geek-centered sitcoms such BBT.


GD Quickie: You Get What You Pay For

Meet my cousin Jamie. (Okay, so that’s Jamie’s cat and not Jamie himself, but you get the idea.) Jamie loves his toys. Jamie also loves a deal. That’s what led Jamie to this MID running OS Android. Yes, Jaimie wanted an iPad but didn’t feel like dropping the coin he would have to spend on one so he went out and bought this Android Tablet instead. On one side of the box you find the word MID in block letters. There’s nothing else on that side. Come to think of it, there’s nothing on the other sides except the word…


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?