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That’s right, its baaaack! After a short hiatus, the Blue Plate Special is back! I will be tweaking the format a bit to hopefully bring you more applications more often. Some of the apps may be on sale and require immediate download for the low price and some posts may contain several apps. Get your phones, iPads and iPod touches ready and check back often for the best deals in…



Wait … Apple TV Is More Popular Than Roku?

There is always loads of data to mine in corporate earnings announcements, and yesterday’s Apple announcement is no different. Dan covered the highlights including iPhones, Macs, iPads and iPods … but I noticed a mention at GigaOM about AppleTV sales. Apparently AppleTV sold 1.4 million units during the last quarter. I really didn’t think too much about that because I am constantly reading about how more and more game consoles…


Will Paula Deen Switch to Lite Cooking?

When I think of Paula Deen, I think fried food. Lots and lots of fried food. And any number of satires about how unhealthy her cooking is. But if a rumor from The Daily is to be believed, Paula may be facing the fact that she needs to change her diet. Apparently she, like many Americans, has been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. According to the report: The Georgia-born chef…


Did you get a New iPad for the Holidays? Read This…

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! ‘Tis the season of the “Top Apps of 2011” posts. The timing is great considering how many people just got a brand new iPad this morning for Christmas, or over the last few days during Hanukkah. But here’s the thing… The “Top Apps of 2011” list is a FLAWED MODEL. It doesn’t really help people who are new to the iPad figure out what apps…


Gear Diary’s End of 2011 eBook Guide

Did you receive or are you expecting to get an eReader this holiday season? Or maybe you’re planning on using your holiday bonus to finally snap one up! Either way, it’s the end of 2011, and we’ve got a deep bench of ebook readers at a variety of price points, including some fairly recent price cuts. There aren’t too many rumors about updates heading into 2012, so let’s take a…


Roku Gets Even Better with FREE iOS Remote App

I’ve been a fan of the Roku streaming media set-top box since pretty much the beginning. The company tends to fly a bit under the radar but offers a great series of devices that have only gotten better over time. I have the original device (two actually) and just recently got the current, top of the line, device, the Roku 2 XS. (It not only streams tons of media but…


Lowes Learns About Viral Marketing (and Not Being Bigoted) the Hard Way!

Sarah and I have been watching “All-American Muslim” on TLC. It’s a glimpse into what it’s like to be both Muslim and American in Dearborn, Michigan. And while admittedly it’s slow at times, we’ve really enjoyed seeing how different people approach their religion and learning more about the different ways people practice, even within their own families. So we were very surprised when the hardware store Lowe’s pulled their ad…


The Gear Diary Kindle Fire Tablet Review

November 15th saw the release of what will quickly become the #2 selling tablet of all time: the Amazon Kindle Fire. Since then we have seen plenty of ‘race to be first’ reviews, but my goal was to spend some time integrating the Fire into my life before completing my review. This week we also saw the usability study that looked at the issues around the 7″ screen specifically with…


TV or Not TV? That is the Question

Okay, I admit it, the title of this post is stupid. Then again the working title, “I Haven’t Turned on My TV Since September but I’m Enjoying the Fall Television Season Anyway” was no bargain either. So let me just get to the post. This past September I got an offer on the TiVo Premier that I couldn’t pass up. The company had recently released their iPad app and the…


Time, Inc Names New Digital-Friendly CEO

There are two ways that digital magazines and ebooks are working their way into the marketplace. From the bottom, it’s consumers voting with their wallets; every Kindle that’s purchased, every NOOK app downloaded, and every ebook zooming through the interwebs all boost the adoption of digital reading. From the top down, it’s changes in management. B&N is struggling, yes, but look at how many devices and changes they’ve made to…


Dear B&N,Your Strategy Needs Some Work …

Dear B&N, I want you to succeed. Really, I do. I know it’s hard to believe, being the former Borders’ girl that I am. And sure, my personal library is pretty heavily Amazon-focused. But I like the competition. And I like bookstores. And you bring both. But come on, you need to step up your game, and it seems like you’re falling behind at exactly the wrong time. Let’s look…


Looking for a Digital Movie Tonight? Check Out ‘CanIStream.It’!

Have you ever wanted to watch a movie or TV show only to be thwarted by the seemingly random method used to decide whether or not you can watch certain things on the various services? I know my family has – and both Doug and I have ranted about it in the past. In fact, this past weekend while I was out of town overnight and my younger son was…


Arrested Development Lives!

Does hearing “Final Countdown” make you laugh uncontrollably? Do you see Mae Whitman on “Parenthood” and immediately ask “Her?” Can you explain the concept of a “never nude”? If you answered yes, you’re clearly a fan of the short-lived but brilliant “Arrested Development” tv show. If not…it’s on Hulu. Go stream it and then come back. You’re back! Great. So no doubt you’re bitter it only had 3 seasons of…


Notebook PC Review: Toshiba Satellite L755-S5258 Laptop

In my review of the Toshiba Satellite S4250, I highlighted the almost maniacal devotion to delivering serious audio performance. With the Satellite L755-S5258 (hereafter called the S5258), Toshiba is offering a larger (15.6″!) screen, full-featured numeric keypad, same processor, and a stylish design – for $100 less! So let’s take a look and see how the S5258 performs! The Hype: Generous High-Def Viewing Don’t compromise when it comes to watching…


Notebook PC Review: Toshiba Satellite P745-S4250 Laptop

Normally in laptop reviews I try to apply some generic context about where the laptop falls in the market in terms of segmentation and price, then invite the reader into the main body of the review to find out how it fits in that segment and the value offered. For the Toshiba Satellite P745-S4250 (S4250 from now on), I will just come out and call the segment the HOLY-CRAP-DID-YOU-HEAR-THE-SOUND-ON-THIS-THING-IT-IS-UNBELIEVABLE-FOR-A-LAPTOP ……



Dear Networks, We Don’t WANT to Pirate Your Shows!

Last week Doug wrote about how the push by the movie studios to have consumers feel forced to buy retail DVDs by delaying physical rental availability and making the streaming rental system convoluted and inconsistent is likely backfiring by pushing customers in the wrong direction. This weekend my family had a show we wanted to watch – Ghost Hunters from SyFy. We had just heard that the show was going…


Review: Acer Iconia Tab A100 7″ with Android Honeycomb – Everything Right & Wrong with Android Tablets

Recently the Acer Iconia A100 Android tablet went on sale, and I have had a couple of weeks to play around with one and formulate some opinions. Dan also grabbed one, and we had been chatting about the Iconia back and forth until he returned his. Even before I got the A100 there were a few things I had read about it that were troubling, and other things that had…


Invasion of the Super-Cookies!

A few weeks ago it came to light that Spotify was using a special type of tracking cookie. Of course, once caught with their hand in … um, the cookie jar (sorry!), Spotify said they would suspend the use of the Kissmetrics cookie technology. But as Digital Music News notes, it is a bit late for the tens of millions of users worldwide who have used Spotify already! Spotify is…


Kids and eBook Readers — Perfect Together?

Not long after our nephew was born, Sarah and our sister-in-law had a conversation about how different life will be for the baby than it was for them. He’ll grow up in a world of computers and cell phones as completely normal, and not something that was a novelty or luxury until college. They also discussed how he would read on ebook readers, and might not have textbooks in printed…