Gear Bits

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.


GD Quickie Review- Atomic9 RumbleBuds

When I was asked if I would take a look at the Atomic9 RumbleBuds I was intrigued. I’ve had the opportunity to check out a wide range of different kinds of earbuds but these were the first that claimed to be “gaming” earbuds that give you a “totally immersive, deep-reaching soundscape you love about your games and music.” Let’s take a look GD Quickie-style… From the Company- Just because you’re on the go doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice that totally immersive, deep-reaching soundscape you love about your games and music. Feel the good vibrations of subwoofer-style bass wherever you…


Anne Frank’s Life As a Graphic Novel? Yes, Please

all photos courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine When I was growing up, one of my most beloved books was a translation of Anne Frank‘s Diary. Then and now, the story of her life before her family went into hiding and what happened after they were betrayed evoked feelings that are impossible to describe. In 2007, my daughter Sarah and I visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. If you are ever in Amsterdam, you must go … simply must. Ernie Colón and Sid Jacobson, the duo behind The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, again teamed together and accepted the “challenge of…


GD Quickie: Politics and the Power of Image Cropping

What is going on in Egypt is powerful and scary stuff, and I don’t seek to demean it in any way. Nor do I seek to diminish or trivialize anything that happened or is currently happening in Iraq. However this contrast of images is simply stunning. The image above is a split of top down pictures of supposed ‘democratic revolutions’, one in Egypt right now, the other from 2003 in Iraq. In the upper left of the lower image we see the focus on the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein – this was the widely shown image at…


Scion and XLR8R Update City Guide App

Here is a bit of info Gear Diary received recently regarding a Scion-related app update. It is not a Scion owner-specific app, rather it’s one that seeks to enhance the lifestyle of the Scion demographic. The City Guide app now offers more than 15 locales in the database, but Dallas/Fort Worth, who is hosting the big game this weekend, is not among them. I did check out the Austin guide as I was visiting the capital city recently, but the place we had dinner and drinks at (The Highball) was not listed. It was a cool restaurant/bar/nightclub/bowling alley complete with…


GD Quickie: Can You Guess Who Is Buying Google’s Priorities?

When I first heard that Google wasn’t going to auto-complete searches for Bit-torrents and other file sharing methods I was pleased. But then it became clear that it was less a matter of taking an anti-piracy stance, and more about satisfying the corporate interests of those who feed Google loads of cash. So this image was very telling – and it also shows where the priorities are at Google … if you have the cash, you get to set the moral compass. Source: Techi via Buzzfeed


GD Quickie: Yeah, it IS That Kind of Day!

For a large part of the country, this image pretty much sums things up. It is from the stretch of I-93 on the New Hampshire side – 93 runs from Southern NH straight into downtown Boston and is one of those infamously clogged highways. For more images, check out page at BuzzFeed!


Kindle Singles

Kindle singles have been available for about a week, and my household has been brave enough to give them a try. Not only did I read one, but I convinced my dear wife and non-ebook fan Sarah to try one as well! I read a non-fiction title (Lifted, by Evan Ratliff), while Sarah read Leaving Home: Short Pieces by Jodi Picoult, who is one of her favorite authors. I enjoyed Lifted immensely. It was quick-paced, interesting, and read like a longer magazine article. What I really enjoyed was that it cut right to the important bits. If Lifted had been…


iPhone App Quickie: DropVox Lets You Record Voice Notes and Auto-Save to DropBox

I’m always searching for new ways to use my iPhone to create voice notes and turn them into text. I have found a number of good solutions — primary among them Dragon Dictation. But I’ve always wanted to be able to record a long voice note on the iPhone (Dragon is limited to just 60 seconds at a time) and then 0nce I’m back at my desk, apply the application MacSpeech Scribe to transcribe a long audio recording. The problem I’ve always run into is the fact that many voice note applications don’t record with a quality or a format…


Angry Birds Head Way South…to Rio!

Have you beaten all the “regular” Angry Birds levels, and even conquered Angry Birds Seasons? Do you open the game and admire all your 3-star levels and awesome high scores? Well, get your flinging fingers limbered up…because a new Angry Birds is coming this spring! Fox has the new animated movie “Rio” coming out this spring, about birds…Rovio has a game about birds. It’s a match made in casual gaming heaven! No word on the exact release time beyond March 2011, but the trailer makes me very excited for the game! Via Androidcentral


GD Quickie: Yurbuds Gets Another Convert…

I wanted to do a quick follow-up post on my post-CES piece on Yurbuds because the company just gained themselves a new fan. The Yurbuds are special earbuds that stay in your ears during exercise and although they are priced below $50 sound like earbuds costing much much more. So here is the thing, my wife Elana hates wearing ear buds. She finds them uncomfortable and, at times, even painful and hates them coming out all the time. As a result she won’t wear them. This poses a problem for her since she works out all the time and would love…


Incipio’s Bespoke Cases

While at CES, Dan gave me a code he had picked up at Incipio’s booth to create one of their “Bespoke Cases” for free. Curious about the product and the resulting case, I decided to give it a try with a picture I’d been holding onto for a while. Granted, the picture wasn’t as high resolution as I might have liked, but I thought it would be cool to see it on a case. After downloading the Incipio Bespoke App, I went through the customization process and added my picture. Although the option was present in the app to “move…