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I'm Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, host of The Giz Wiz on TWiT, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now and on Computer America. But wait, there's More »

 

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    Welcome! This is the home of

    The Giz Wiz & Gizneyland Studio

    + World News Now, MAD Magazine, Computer America & more!

    Gadgets I showed on ABC's World News Now:

    http://gizwizbiz.squarespace.com/world-news-now-abc/

    Looking for MAD stuff on Dick's eBay page? (And why would you?)

    It's here: www.dicksMADauction.com

    Wednesday
    Aug132014

    The Giz Wiz, Week of August 14th 2014, Show # 1481

    When we're multi-tasking, every minute counts.

    The folks at UNU know that and created the Ultrapak to maximize the limited amount of time available to keep their electronic gear up and running. The conventional way of dealing with a low battery is to plug the phone into a wall. In 15 minutes an iPhone 5 will have 9% power, and a conventional AC charger will have 11% power. With the UNU Ultrapak, 15 minutes charges it up to 75% power, enough to power your phone for the day. Go about your business with your Ultrapak plugged into the phone and let the phone charge normally, away from AC power. UNU says their Ultra-X battery packs collect energy at record speeds –up to 8X faster than conventional recharging methods. To achieve such charging speeds, Ultra-X deploys a much stronger charging input, rated at 31.25W. This means that within approx 15 minutes the Ultrapak has stored the equivalent of a full iPhone 5 battery. I drained the battery on the Ultrapak Go to zero, then plugged it into AC power. Using a stopwatch, the Ultrapak Go was up to 76% power in 15 minutes. Pretty amazing. It takes less than another 15 minutes to fully charge it 100%. UNU says traditional charging methods serialize all battery cells and charge them one at a time. Their Ultra-X charges several battery cells in a parallel sequence, utilizing the highest power possible. An IC chip is deployed to monitor the charging process of multiple cells simultaneously to ensure safe heat levels. Be aware that the Ultrapak does not increase the charging rate of the device it's charging. The increased charging rates happen when charging the Ultrapak. There are currently two models: Ultrapak Tour ($99.99) 10,000mAh with two charging ports. and Ultrapak Go ($59.99) 3,000mAh ultra-portable w/ one charging port. They’re available on the UNU site starting August 25, 2014 and on Amazon starting August 31, 2014.

    Company Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHEo2RmYR3o&list=UUqyGHQOJXhi_AqfissH9S3A

    Company website: http://www.myunu.com/ultrapak-go-battery-pack.html

    See or hear this show: www.twit.tv/giz1481 (Goes live late 8/14/14)

    Wednesday
    Aug132014

    Mini Lights, Camera, Action!

    Need more light for a project, but don't want to carry a lot of gear? iblazr is a powerful, portable flash and light solution for smartphone and tablet cameras that struggle in low light situations. The iblazr fully synchronized flash apps work with smartphones and tablets that support iOS 7 (iPhone 4 and higher, iPad 2 and higher, Android 4.0 and higher. The most popular smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S series have received more attention from the iblazr app development team so you will find better synchronization. It connects via the audio jack of your compatible device. I did find I had to insert the iBlazr several times into my Galaxy 5 for it to make proper contact. It’s because the water resistant jack is slightly different on the Galaxy 5 than the Galaxy 4, where it worked perfectly. The iblazr’s flash features four hi-end CREE LEDs that provides great adjustable lighting with 60-degree optics for a softer look on subjects. Additionally, the company says that the position of the iblazr cuts out red-eye or white-eye. There’s a built-in, rechargeable 200mAh battery, so the device won’t drain your smart device’s battery. It allows more than 500 flashes on a single charge or up to 40 minutes in full power and constant light mode which is ideal for taking videos. The iblazr free Android and iOS app lets you adjust various settings, including the intensity of the light. It ships with unique multifunctional USB charger.  It can be used as light source for macro shots, a light for your keyboard, or even as a compact lamp by connecting the iBlazr to your charger and using the included mini-stand. The stand is also a cold shoe mount, so the light can be mounted directly to a camera that has a standard shoe mount. A diffuser is also included. Available in black or white for $49.99 at

    http://bitemyapple.myshopify.com/products/iblazr

    Giz Wiz Video: http://youtu.be/hIFrWPYWBLc

    See or hear this show: www.twit.tv/giz1481 (Goes live late 8/14/14)

    Wednesday
    Aug132014

    Read My Mask!

    Here’s a totally unique take on the sleeping mask. It’s called Total Eclipse. It not only offers you instant total darkness, but it offers you a whiteboard on front to leave a message for anyone to read as you sleep! The Patent Pending white erasable writing surface comes with it own dry erase marker with an eraser integrated into the cap. I wish I had a Total Eclipse for those times when I wanted to sleep on an airplane, but didn’t want to miss the meal. Just write “please wake me for food” and doze off. The company says other features include comfort foam that conforms and contours to your face for a perfect fit, eye cutouts to eliminate pressure on eyes, and a fully adjustable elastic strap with integrated earplug storage. And don’t worry - it ships with free earplugs. Storage slots for the earplugs right on the mask is great, since finding earplugs in your carry-on is always a hassle. Other potential messages to write on your Total Eclipse Mask: "Please leave food on tray". "Please wake up for Main Street stop". "Do not disturb". Or even “Honey, I’m sleeping, but dinner’s in the oven”.  It’s $24.95 on Amazon it’s Amazon Prime, so free shipping if you’re a Prime member. 

    Company website: http://www.bestsleepingmask.com/

    Company video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9L5CjYNfJXE

    Amazon Giz Wiz Link: (pay the regular price but Giz Wiz Biz gets a small credit to buy more stuff for the show. And thanks.)

    Total Eclipse - Instant Total Darkness - Whiteboard Sleep Mask with Adjustable Strap and Free Earplugs

    See or hear this show: www.twit.tv/giz1481 (Goes live late 8/14/14)

    Wednesday
    Aug132014

    Chad's Crappy Corner! The 2nd gadget in Chad’s theme for August: Home Improvement Gadgets.

    As picked by fans of the Giz Wiz in a strawpoll, here’s Chad second gadget in the winning category, Home Improvement. And Chad pick of the week: 

    Ultra Blue Glow in the Dark Paint

    (Here’s what Amazon says about it.) Glow Inc.'s glow in the dark paint is made from Grade 0 Strontium Aluminate pigments in a durable, high adhesion acrylic medium. Two pounds of top grade pigment per gallon of medium produces the brightest glow in the dark paint available. Glow in the dark paint absorbs bright light as energy. When placed in the dark, glow in the dark paint releases this energy as a glow. You can repeat this cycle millions of times. Applied properly, glow in the dark paint will lose 5% of its brightness every 10 years. Any light will charge the paint. Direct sunlight, high wattage bulbs, or black lights are needed to obtain the maximum glow. Glow in the dark paint is often used for professional murals and to paint glow in the dark stars on ceilings. Due to its durability, it is also perfect for painting glow in the dark fishing lures and outdoor signs. Each color has a different brightness and glow duration. The Green V10 is the brightest and will glow throughout the night. Glow Purple does not glow very brightly and requires a high wattage charging source. Check the brightness rating for comparison. And now back to me. There’s more at Amazon, so check it out. $9.98 for ½ fluid ounce. And Amazon Prime, so free shipping if you’re a Prime Member.

    And Chad’s take? Chad was truly under-whelmed with this product. First of all 1/2 oz is a tiny bit of paint and what arrived didn't look anything like that picture on Amazon (above). And it's more like toothpaste than paint, so it's hard to apply. Chad and Jeff Needles painted several spots in the studio, but found that unless you energize the paint with a bright light source right before you shut the lights, the glow is rather faint. Chad said it's far easier to use Glow Tape, than to try to use this product. 

    Amazon link:

    Ultra Blue Glow in the Dark Paint 1/2 Fluid Ounce

    See or hear this show: www.twit.tv/giz1481  (Goes live late 8/14/14).

    Wednesday
    Aug132014

    Dick's Gadget Warehouse. And how to submit your video to the show.

     

    This week’s 'viewer video of the week' came with this very short email:

    From: D J 

    Subject: my gadget warehouse

    heres my submission for the show

    http://youtu.be/g046yUkT5Q4

    thanks, Daniel

    See or hear this show: www.twit.tv/giz1481 (Goes live late 8/14/14)

                                         +++++++++++

    We need more Viewer Videos! We’d love to include your video in an upcoming Giz Wiz Show, so let’s go going!

    Here’s what we’re looking: Your home shoot video – 2 to 3 minutes long, in any of the following categories:

    I bought a piece of crap: Did you buy something you ended up hating? We won't get you a refund, but we might be able to give a platform to vent your disappointment. Remember, "family friendly" language applies.

    I invented this! Did you invent something? (Or did a friend or relative invent something.) We can't market it for you, but we can help get the word out. Show us what it is, and how it works. Even if it's a prototype, you can get our (and the audience) reactions. No professional ads please.

    My Gadget Warehouse: Okay, so you don't have a warehouse. It doesn't matter. Just tell us about your favorite old gadget(s). When and where you bought it, and why you're still hanging on to it.

    My Favorite Gadget of All Time: Show us what it is, tell us what it does and why you love, or loved it! It can be a new gadget you just bought too.

    Post them on YouTube and send our producer, Jeff Needles, the link! We'll do the rest. (Or possibly nothing, but that's unlikely.) Remember, videos should be just 2 to 3 minutes long! Low production value is fine, but we should be able to hear you and see you! If we select and show your video on The Giz Wiz you will now be awarded with some sort of prize. Like an autographed MAD magazine and some piece of crap. So that's one more (so-so) reason to send in your video!

    All show submissions go to gizwiz@twit.tv 

    Letter of the week:

    Hi Dick & Chad!

    First, I must apologize for having the nerve to take a vacation and fall behind on my Giz Wiz episodes. 

    I'm watching Episode 1475 and just saw Chad struggle with the pronunciation of "ABCDEF." I immediately thought of an episode of Sesame Street that my kids watched in the early 80's:

    http://youtu.be/qTvhKZHAP8U

    Thanks for the laughs and keep up the good work!

    Ken Berger, Philadelphia, PA.