iPhone 3G S Awesome For Everything But Calls – Activation Issues Plague Many

New iPhones are reaching customers throughout the world today. People are excitedly opening the boxes, putting away their old iPhone’s (or dropping them on the ground) and hurrying to set up activate their “Zippier” phones. Unfortunately, it’s “déjà vu all over again” as many, including myself, are having problems activating the darn things.

Bullard TrakLight: Integrated Lighting System

Just in case you thought fast changing technology only exists in cell phones and Mp3 players I bring you this Gear Diary entry. This one hits especially close to home for me because, well you know, I’m a firefighter.

No Baby Dino Extinction Here — Pleo Lives!

Good news Pleo fans, it looks like the news of the adorable baby dinosaur robot’s demise may have been a bit premature. Robert Oschler has confirmed that Jetta Company Limited, who manufactured the baby robot for Ugobe, bought the  intellectual property rights and other assets from Ugobe on May 21st. Jetta Company Limited is planning to re-launch the Pleo line as well as producing accessories such as the vital battery and charger component. Here’s hoping there will be many more years of consumer love for the Baby Dino Robot.

GPS Shoes for Alzheimer’s Patients

Footwear manufacturer Aetrex Worldwide and GTS Corp are teaming up to develop what seems like a “why didn’t they make these before” product. It’s a pair of shoes with an embedded GPS. They’ll use the GPS shoes with Alzheimer’s patients, 60 percent of who tend to wander at least once during the progression of the disease. Using the GPS coordinates the patient is tracked to within 30 feet of their location and perimeters are set so the instant they’ve wandered outside a preset zone an alert is sent. If the cost was affordable I’d buy a pair for each of…

The Jitterbug J: Keep Gramps Connected Through Simplicity

Still looking to bring your parents or grand parents into the wonderful world of wireless communication, without needing to spend a month conducting a technical seminar covering how to use the phone’s features?  GreatCall, Inc. has just come out with the Jitterbug J cell phone, manufactured by Samsung, which offers a loud speaker, large buttons, and easy-to-use interface. The Jitterbug J is primarily geared towards the elderly and technophobic; but can be an alternative for anyone needing basic wireless service without paying for unneeded or unwanted  features never used.    Additional features and Rate Plan information available after the jump.

Pantone coffee mugs are perfect for graphics geeks

This set of 10 coffee mugs is styled so that the color of each individual mug matches one of the Pantone Color standards used by graphics geeks to ensure consistency in color. There are a few sets available with different colors including one that is specially designed (brown) for tea lovers. The set is a bit pricey at $125 for 10 mugs or 4 mugs for $52.50.

Spread Head makes using ketchup and mustard fun(ner) for kids

It’s Memorial Day weekend – and that means the start of summer and cookout season. Here’s a unique item called a Spread Head that costs only $3.99 yet gives a lifetime of childish amusement. Place it on top of a mustard squeeze bottle. Kids squeeze the bottle and out of the mouth comes yellow mustard. Stock up on lots of bottles because if your kids are like mine they’ll squeeze this thing dry watching the guy spread mustard from his mouth. There’s also a top for Ketchup – but thankfully none for relish or tartar sauce. Full YouTube goodness here….

Probably Fake (but funny) Houston Airport Homeland Security Urinal Monitor sticker

File this one under “probably fake but still funny” and “guys have a lot of free time on their hands”. According to web site, one restroom patron at the Houston Hobby airport noticed a sticker on the urinal stating “Automatic infrared flush sensors also provide video monitoring for security purposes”: The camera appeared to be in the same panel that carried the flush sensor… a brushed metal panel with an oval shaped dark transparent glass with a red on it. . . . And this panel was located just above the urinal itself. Given how close the user of…

PhoneFace Adds Improved Contact Search Integration

PhoneFace, the Photo Speed Dial application for BlackBerry and Android, has been updated for improved contact search integration to select your friend’s photo ID based on their Facebook or Twitter profile pics — or selecting a photo that you saved directly to your phone.   Simply start typing the name of your contact, and PhoneFace will bring up the listing of all of your contacts’ photos to quickly locate the person you’re looking to reach. PhoneFace has a free 7-day Trial.  The full, unlocked application is $ 9.95 (Pssssssst. currently has PhoneFace available for $7.95 until June 1st for…

Do It Yourself Coffin is the last “hot deal” you’ll ever need, one of the best sites on the web to learn about bargains, has launched a top deals section on their site. The current deal is also labeled “This is the last hot deal you’ll ever need” — it’s a Do-it-Yourself Casket Kit from Although they don’t recommend it, you could save some more and assemble this entirely without glue or nails provided the object inside was less than 200 lbs.

Roman (birthday) Candles show your age in a classy manner

This pack of 8 Roman (birthday) Candles (3 “I”, “V”, 3 “X” and l – good for ages 1 to 89) make for a fun cake decorating experience. Simply line them up (you do know your Roman numerals, right?) and let the partygoers decipher the birthday boy or girl’s age. As noted, this candle set works for anyone up to 89 years of age. Amazon

Dan Brown’s new book: The Lost Symbol

Doubleday is now promoting Dan Brown’s new book The Lost Symbol. If you didn’t already realize it, Dan Brown is the author of the insanely popular bestseller The Da Vinci Code. Mention this book in polite company, and 10 people will give you 25 opinions. Or just ask the Gear Diary contributors and watch your inbox get flooded with responses. So why is this big news for Gear Diary?

Phony blood bag cell phone charm is sure to bring the decontamination team running

Something tells me the teachers at your school won’t see the humor in this phony blood bag cell phone charm. The charm resembles a very tiny hospital blood donor bag complete with a tube to simulate connecting to your body. For added realism the bags are available in type o, type a, type ab and type b labeling. Cost is only $6.21, one emergency response from your local police department and three days in detention. Blood Drip Phone Strap

70% of Kindle Owners are Over 40 … how about YOU!?!

Anyone who hangs around discussion forums for just about anything has run into the ‘How Old Are You?’ poll / question. Evidently there was a similar thread called “Average Kindle Owner’s Age” in the Amazon Kindle Forums. None of this is surprising. The amazing thing is that someone took the time to compile all of the data presented in these posts and do some analysis! Stephen Peters of Kindle Culture is writing a book called, unsurprisingly, Kindle Culture, and they went though all 1700 posts and compiled all of the data. So what does it all say?

Gin & Titonic add a splash to any party

Sink one of these 4 ocean liners and 4 icebergs into your drink and watch the party start. That’s assuming your guests can identify the ships as Titanic replicas and the tiny ice balls as icebergs. Simply fill these 8 molds with water, place in your refrigerator and in a few hours you’ll have a nifty set of ice ships for your guest’s glasses. Gin & Titonic – $7.49

Ugobe Declares Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

It looks like we can chalk up Ugobe, makers of the lovable Pleo Robot, as one more victim of the poor economy and the ongoing credit crunch. Evidently, it was never a matter of whether there were enough people buying the personable robots, because Ugobe defintiely had the orders. The problem came when the companies who ordered shipments could not pay Ugobe, because their credit was frozen or denied. As a result, Ugobe has had to lay off 20 employees and declare Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Owners of existing Pleosaurs are understandably a bit freaked out. This just in from Robert…

Earth Day Thought: What Plastics Do To Your Body

As we all (yes, ALL) try to do better by Mother Earth in general, and particularly today on Earth Day, and try to ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ wherever possible, it seems that the ‘Reduce’ part often gets lost in a sea of packaging that we do manage to Reuse and eventually Recycle. An article at Care2 discusses some of the chemistry behind all of those plastics and how they might impact us.

TripIt for iPhone – a must have itinerary organizer for travelers

I have two business trips that are coming up this month. Until I discovered TripIt, my standard way to track itineraries was to search through my email reservations 12 hours before departure. TripIt keeps your schedule organized by reading email travel confirmations that you forward to a special TripIt email address. These show flight and hotel information which TripIt extracts. Then it creates an itinerary organized by trip. You can (optionally) share trips with others so you’ll know which friends are traveling to the same location at the same time as you. The iPhone application is free and automatically synchronizes…

Let your friends crash on these CTRL-ALT-DEL Pillows

These three pillows are not only quirky conversation starters – they’re also made from Eco-Felt – aka 100% recycled plastic bottles – and feature hand cut lettering. The covers can be removed so if a guest has a crash of another kind on them you can easily launder. Cost is $55 with $10 shipping. According to web site Strange Deals if you wack your kids with one of these pillows they’ll restart their homework. Etsy

Battery Snaps turn ordinary 9V into handy flashlights

Are you always searching the house for a flashlight? Try these Battery Snaps. The LED light is illuminated by your 9V battery. When the battery loses power – simply unsnap the light and attach to another 9V. There’s not indication of how long you can expect the light to glow – and this tiny Snap seems pretty easy to lose but for $4.99 they’re intriguing. Available in black, pink, white and yellow. Battery Snaps – $3.79