News

Chevy Volt Aims to Help the Blind

I bought a Prius over the summer. Halfway through the test drive, my fiancee asked the salesman if he was aware that electric cars have caused issues for blind pedestrians since they don’t hear the cars coming. His response (after an awkward silence where he no doubt considered whether his answer would lose him the sale) was “Well, it comes with a horn.”


Internet Immortality

Judie and I were discussing the concept of immortality this afternoon. She pointed out that our legacies live on long after we’re gone thanks to the internet. This, of course, led to a side discussion about how if you don’t show up in a Google search you are immediately a bit suspect. Why doesn’t Google know who you are? Even scarier, what does Google know about you? So I googled myself…and found one link that still has me laughing. Remember Barnes and Noble’s conference call about the nook? And Spring Design, makers of the Alex Reader, who are suing B&N over…


The Rolling Razor Looks Tricky

I’m not too sure that the Rolling Razor is that much safer to use: after all, nicks and scratches are common with even the most basic stick styles, and I can only imagine the damage I could inflict with something like this. But according to the Rolling Razor site, using one helps to eliminate irritation, nicks, cuts, razor bumps and burn.


Brinell Purestorage Hard Drives for the Ferrari Set

If you wear Zegna suits, have a home in the Hamptons, and if your other car is a Ferrari, then a plastic casing on your portable hard drive would be nothing short of gauche. It’s for you that the brinell purestorage line was created… With the brinell purestorage product series, brinell, the Karlsruhe-based creative designer, has put portable hard drives on the market, setting new standards in the area of IT peripherals. Not only do these units rank among the most compact USB hard drives in cheque card and pocket format with a capacity of up to 500 GB, they…


Pet bunk bed would be great item for crazy cat lady line of home furnishings

This Merry Pet Room-With-A-View is perfect for pet owners who spare no expense on accessorizing for their animals. If you’re regularly buying cat food from  the refrigerated food case  in the pet food aisle  -this pet bunk bed may be right up your alley. Made from kiln-dried Asian fir treated with natural color stains. Steps along one side lead to roof-top balcony surrounded by latticework. Measures 29 by 21 by 26 inches; interior measures 18 by 18 by 14 inches. Pet Bunk Bed – $87


Cellphones Recreate Tchaikovsky

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3nSoEhY8SM&feature=player_embedded This is absolutely fabulous. Check out the above video from Vodafone NZ; I’ve watched it 3 times today already! Engadget has more details on how it was made if you’re curious. Now to convince the team here to pool our vast cell phone collections and make something similar…maybe with something more modern like the Thong Song. Via Engadget


Motorcycle Grip Opener Pops Bottle Tops with Authentic Revving Sound

Why rip open beer bottles with your teeth when this talking motorcycle grip bottle opener can make the experience more entertaining. Using the grip you’ll be able to remove the cap while listening to a cheesy revving sound. Great gift for the beer drinking Hells Angel wannabe in your life. Talking Motorcycle Grip Bottle Opener via Nerd Approved



The Flurry Alarm Clock Wants to Wake You With Weather

As much as I love living in the rural countryside, there are certain products and services which I would like to use – but simply can’t. One of them is the new Ambient Devices Flurry Alarm Clock, which not only tells the time with dual alarms, it also wakes you to an animated weather forecast for that day and the next. Features include: • Intuitive “Pop-Up” alarm buttons are visual status indicators, easy to set and use. • Network connected clock is always accurate and never needs setting. • Integrated 2-Day weather forecast provided by AccuWeather.com for 150 U.S. locations….


Wunder Radio for BlackBerry is released

One of my favorite applications for iPhone is Wunder Radio (iTunes / review) . In addition to receiving radio stations both locally and world wide, police scanners, weather radio and more – the iPhone application allows me to listen to Sirius Satellite radio while away from my desktop computer. I’ve been waiting eagerly for Wunder Radio to appear on the BlackBerry and today it’s available in the BlackBerry App World for $9.99. Unfortunately the version that’s available only works on BlackBerry Bold and Curve. A version will be available later for the Tour and Storm. Also regrettably missing from the…


Are YOU the Master of the Digital Universe?

Skooba Design is looking for the ultimate digital gear-head. Could it be you? Their new “Master of the Digital Universe” contest gives techies from all over a chance to “put up or shut up” as they duke it out for the title. The prizes look amazing! Among other goodies, the grand prize includes something truly unique the opportunity to work directly with a Skooba designer to create a custom-made, one-of-a-kind laptop/gadget bag, to be handmade by a Skooba craftsperson, only for the winner. As the company says, “as is fitting for the Master, it will be the only bag of…


Android Users – Back Up Your SMS Messages to Gmail

In talking with people that send text messages (SMS), one of the most frequent things I hear is that they wish they could save some of their SMS messages. Many of them have lost their messages forever if their phone is damaged/replaced/upgraded, or they run out of room and are forced to delete them. There is a very useful application for Android called SMS Backup that helps you save your SMS messages to Gmail so you can keep them forever.


Amber Alert GPS provides remote location tracking of youngsters

The new Amber Alert GPS is a handy (albeit costly at $279 plus monitoring fees) device for parents wanting to keep track of their children. Slip the GPS into a backpack or other secure location. Throughout the day you receive text messages that show you exactly where your child is. Safety zones can be setup so if for example they were to wander away from school during the day you would automatically receive an alert. Once you’ve received an alert you can log into a web site to show the exact track that they’ve taken (requires unlimited service plan). There’s…


Cordless Charging with the Powermat Wireless Charging System

We’ve mentioned WildCharge – the company that allows you to use inductive charging with nearly any mobile phone or other power hungry gadget – before on Gear Diary, but tonight I realized we hadn’t given any coverage to Powermat, another company with a similar premise (but a better looking design). What premise would that be? Why the one that says plugging your devices in to charge them is so passé; the idea that all you should have to do is lay your gadget on a mat to charge it, even if the trade-off is having to keep your phone in…


Is buying green a free pass to lie?

A recent study by the Rotman School of Management indicates that being near products that are considered “green” can make people behave nicer to each other, but when they actually purchase these green items the products actually have the opposite effect. The researchers found that buying green products leads people into behaving less than nice towards each other, even making them more apt to steal and lie.  It seems buying such products makes people believe they’ve earned “moral credentials” and gives them a “license” to act in a questionable fashion. The study conducted three different experiments.  The first showed people…


EcoATM inspects phone trade-in – provides cash

Need cash? If you have an unused cell phone and if it’s relatively current and in good condition you may be able to exchange it for cash at this special cell phone recycling ATM. Of course it helps if you were in Omaha Nebraska where this special electronics recycling machine is setup. The EcoATM accepts used phones and sensors in the machine inspect them for damage and assigns them real-time value. If the device is of acceptable quality it then issues in-store payment. The first test kiosk went up September 21 at the Nebraska Furniture Mart. EcoATM via Register Hardware


Toilet Coffee Mug puts fun back into holiday grab bag gifts

Do you detest office holiday parties as much as I do? Luckily most companies have toned down their festivities in favor of some fake niceties less formal gatherings in the company lunchroom. While the fancy dinners might be gone – one thing that lives on is the stupid grab bag gift giving. No matter how hard you try you’re going to pick something lousy for a gift – so why try? At $16 this mug’s a little pricy – but it’s guaranteed to be the talk of the office. Toilet Coffee Mug – $16


Epic Fail from T-Mobile and Danger/Microsoft…Sidekick Users Beware!

If you use a Sidekick. DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR PHONE OR LET THE BATTERY DIE!!! That’s the message from T-Mobile and Danger/Microsoft. Apparently that data outage last week did more than just knock everyone offline…it also hosed their servers, which means everything stored there (calendar, contacts, pictures, emails, etc) is most likely gone. This is just a terrible situation, and it doesn’t look like there’s an offline backup solution. Hopefully, T-Mobile, Danger, and Microsoft can come up with a better answer than “Oops…all gone!”, but in the meantime make sure you don’t turn your phone off! And if you…


USB 2GB Flash drive comb proves there’s almost nothing that won’t be turned into a USB gizmo

For $36 you get not only a comb but a 2GB USB storage drive. Who’d want one of these – and more important why? Which brings me to my main question about this item. Is there any good reason for turning a comb into a combination USB drive and hair care tool? Now if you could plug the comb into the USB port, have it heat, and then use it as a pseudo curling iron. Then you’d have something. 2GB USB Comb via Raw Feed


PodTrapper Podcast Manager for BlackBerry automates your podcast library

For many years I had no idea what people found interesting about Podcasts. These recorded audio programs are named for their typical method of distribution through iTunes where they are often downloaded to iPods. A podcast session typically lasts about an hour and features one or more hosts talking about specific news of the week. Topics can range from technology to politics to financial news. The rise in popularity of Podcasts means that their distribution has also spread beyond just iTunes and iPods. I’ve found my BlackBerry Bold to be an exceptional podcast player due to its super loud and…


Technology Meets Tradition: Funeral Webcasts

Rarely do I lead a service anymore, (ANY service!) during which at least one cellphone doesn’t go off. It can be a Bar Mitzvah… CELL RINGS! It can be a wedding… CELL RINGS! Or it could even be a funeral… CELL RINGS! I guess it is understandable, after all who would want to miss that all-important call during worship. :sarcasm: This, however, is a very different story about technology and worship…