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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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    As "Special Correspondent" - once a month, for a full hour, I join Craig Crossman and Co-Host Ben Crossman on Computer America - America's longest running nationally syndicated radio talk show about computers. But when I'm on the show we talk about every kind of gadget! To hear the show, or to go to the archives (which now covers the past two years) click below www.computeramerica.com

    Friday
    Jan222016

    New & Unique Gadgets from CES 2016

    It's easy to carry reading glasses just about everyplace you go.

     

    ThinOPTICS are the thinnest, lightest and most durable reading glasses in the world. And there are three ways to get them so you'll always have them with you. You can buy the ThinOPTICS glasses alone for about $20. Or in a universal pod for about $25. Just attach the Universal Pod case to the back of your existing phone, phone case, e-reader, tablet, laptop or slide them in your wallet, purse, or make-up kit. Or you can buy them as part of a smart case for later versions of the iPhone 5 & 6 and the Galaxy 5 for about $40. ThinOPTICS free you from having to remember to carry your reading glasses everywhere no matter how you choose to carry them. And the company says they're very rugged. Constructed with ultra-flexible titanium alloy bridge made from Nitinol (10x more elastic than spring steel). Lenses are shatter-proof polycarbonate. Frames weigh less than a nickel, and are about as thick. 3 strengths available,1.50, 2.00, 2.50. Their website says they'll replace broken glasses for free (probably just pay shipping) and there's a 'torture test' video here to show how rugged the ThinOPTICS are: https://vimeo.com/76780114?autoplay=1

    Here's a link to many styles at Amazon: ThinOPTICS 

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

     

    When you get a thin, easy-to-carry-notebook computer, you’re often forced to carry a large, ungainly looking power supply to charge it. At Showstoppers, a company called Zolt changed that with a new laptop charger that they say is the world's smallest and lightest. Dubbed the Zolt Laptop Charger Plus, it’s actually more than a power brick for your computer. The top of the Zolt has 3 USB ports built in that allow it to charge multiple gadgets at the same time. One USB port can power your laptop, (up to 70 watts, which company says is about 90% of all laptops) while the other two can charge other USB devices, like your smartphone, and tablet. At three inches long, 1.3” in diameter and weighting just three ounces, it is the smallest I’ve seen. Available in three colors, it also features a fold-down plug that rotates 90º to squeeze into tight spots. 110V to 240V voltage. The Zolt Laptop Charger Plus ships with a 6ft. laptop charging cable, 8 Interchangeable PC tips and Travel Pouch. $99.99. (Cable for an Apple laptop is an additional $19.99.)

    Giz Wiz CES Video: https://youtu.be/fsuZ_kQkWoI

    More infohttp://www.gozolt.com/laptop-charger-plus/ 

    Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1OzxFHz 

    Want to drink your coffee at exactly the same temperature every time?

     

    I love coffee, but I don't know what the exact temperature I like to drink it at. But if you do, this info is for you. Ember says they plan to revolutionize the way the world eats and drinks. Ember’s flagship product, the world’s most advanced temperature adjustable mug, creates an unforgettable drinking experience that will forever change the way we enjoy coffee or tea. Ember’s patented technology rapidly cools your drink down to the temperature you choose and then holds it at that exact temperature for hours on end. Experience the pleasure of enjoying your drink, in its perfect state, from the first sip to the last drop. Ember’s patented temperate-control technology combines a phase change cooling system with an active heating system, creating the world’s most precise temperature controlling mug. Leak-proof and highly portable, Ember will keep your coffee or tea at the perfect temperature for up to two hours on the go or all day long when used with included charging coaster. Ember is currently available for pre-orders on Indiegogo . Depending on when you order it, it could be 'as low as' $129.00. People definitely are interested, they've raised over $337,000!

    More information about product and features: http://www.embertech.com/

     

    Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ember-temperature-adjustable-mug#/

    Friday
    Jan222016

    Segway Ninebot Mini PRO

    In the past most new hoverboards were often described as a Segway with the upright handlebars. At CES 2016 I was surprised to see Segway decided to make their own Segway without the upright handlebars. Actually, it's a lot more sophisticated than any of the hoverboards I've seen. This new model is called the Segway Mini PRO via Ninebot. It's still a hands-free self-balancing scooter but it looked a lot move stable because of its knee control bar. Also instead of being plastic, the wheels on the Mini PRO are air filled tires which should give you a better ride over uneven surfaces. Watching the young model drive it, made it look easier to control because of the central control stem that rises up about 18” from the stand-on platform. You still don't have handlebars, but putting pressure on the stem that sits between your knees gives the Mini PRO all the direction it needs to go where you want it to go. According to spec sheet the Mini PRO has a range up to 19 miles on a single charge and a top speed of 10 mph. It weighs 28 pounds and recharges in about four hours. A rider can weigh up to 220 pounds. But wait, there's more! You can also drive the Mini PRO via a smartphone app, and there's even an Segway Advanced Personal Robot add-on planned for a future release. The suggest retail price of Mini Pro is $1495, but it should be available on Amazon for $1,299 in the next month or two. Actually, that's less than the IO Hawk I saw at Toy Fair which sells for about $1600. Also the name Segway instills confidence. I doubt if we'll hear of any shoddy battery problems from one of their devices.

    http://www.segway.com/products/consumer-lifestyle/minipro

    Ninebot Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCVwM809Roc

    Friday
    Jan222016

    How's this for amazing. A webcam that lets you monitor the breathing of person who could be thousands of miles away. Or just at home while you're at work! 

    Here's a look ahead at the Onelink by First Alert Envirocam with a non-contact respiration monitor. It is brand new and expected to be available around third quarter, which translates to 'in the fall of 2016'. Tom Russo, the vice president of marketing at First Alert, (and the gentlemen in the video on this show) thinks that this will be the top product on everybody's baby registry list. In addition to monitoring for low levels of carbon monoxide which infants, pregnant women and the elderly are more susceptible to, it monitors for drastic temperature and humidity changes in the room. So in addition to being a 1080P hi def video camera and also a non-contact respiration monitor. The camera can pan, tilt and zoom and when it is aiming at a person within 15 feet of it in the room, it monitors breathing and will send push notifications if there is a change in the breathing pattern. It can even monitor more than one person at a time. The price is not set, but a good guess is probably in the $400 to $500 range since it can do so much. Here's the link to other Onelink by First Alert devices.

     

    Company website: www.firstalert.com/onelink.

     

    The under $100 Windows 10 machine!

     

         

    As you'll see in the CES Pepcom video on this week's show, Laurent Moy, CEO of AromaCare, (PhD in Medicinal Chemistry) feels that over-medication is increasing worldwide. As a result he says, people are turning in greatly increased numbers to alternative medicine. More from Laurent Moy: Aromatherapy is a complementary natural alternative use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes. The essential oils are extracted from plants by distillation and provide natural positive health benefits for the user. Aromatherapy has been around a long time but its use has always been complicated. Which oil to use for which ailment? How to administer it? How many drops? How long should it be diffused? Etc ... With AromaCare, aromatherapy becomes accessible to everyone! AromaCare is the world’s first WiFi-enabled, fully connected essential oil diffuser! Each capsule contains only essential oils encapsulated in microbeads. A capsule allows thirty 20-minute aromatherapy sessions. These six blends each impact the following highly-specialized needs: sleep, calm, tonic, memory, breath, allergy. You can see the breakdown of what scents are used in each of the six blends at their Kickstarter site. There, you can also see how the project is going. As of 1/13/16 you can order one for about $65.00 via their Kickstarter project.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aromacare/aromacare-the-worlds-first-connected-essential-oil 

    Thursday
    Jan212016

    Scramble an egg, in its shell!

    In keeping with Amazon's love of giving products long names, here comes the DOB Hand Powered Golden Egg Shaker Egg Scrambler Beater. Scrambles Eggs Without Breaking The Shell. And here's more about this device from Amazon: Creative and magical product-Golden Egg Shaker,made by ABS. UFO-style streamlined design, which is safe,light and practical.

    Product features:

    1. The high-quality rope and non-toxic odor food-grade silicone liner,100% safe to use.

    2. The shaker handle is circle, unique arc to avoid the use of friction caused by the opponent, and enhance the use of comfort.

    3. The egg cradle is designed to fit eggs of all shapes and sizes. Awesome item.

    4. High density and strength nylon rope, ABS plastic non-toxic odor shell,100% safe to use.

    And The Giz Wiz adds: We tried to use this device with a jumbo egg and we ended up cracking it. So probably stick to a small variety. The badly translated instructions are ridiculous, but you'll learn a bit more about using it from watching our video. It's just about $20 on Amazon where it got pretty good reviews. Actually $19.45 (as of 1/1/16) and Amazon Prime, so free shipping for members.

     

    And now back to me, the Giz Wiz. Well it did work, but we found it's really not meant for the Jumbo eggs we bought. Also the instructions are beyond comprehenion in many cases because they're so badly translated. Finally, if you want to spend $20 to scramble an egg in a shell, this device does work.

     

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/RgMcTk-mTAk

     

    Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1murf4V

     

    If you're handy, maybe you can make your own. One that scrambles three eggs in their shells. I haven't tried this, but I found the video online:

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKCkR6L85vg

    Monday
    Dec212015

    You know Keurig Makes Coffee, but now there's one that makes soft drinks.

    Will you crave a freshly made cold soda, as much as you crave a freshly brewed cup of coffee? Meet Keurig Kold.

     

    If you have a Keurig K-Cup machine, you'll be probably be surprised at how much bigger their new Keurig Kold is. It's 19.25” deep, 12” wide and approximately 15” tall. It's not a good fit for a small apartment because it takes up a lot of counter space. It does have a water tank like the hot beverage Keurig machine, and it uses it's own special pods. To make a cold beverage, take a pod and remove the 'freshness' tab from the bottom. Then insert it in the machine and push the lighted button. It takes about 90 seconds to make an 8 ounce 39 degree (Fahrenheit) carbonated beverage. Surprisingly, carbonation is done by the pod, no gas cylinder is needed. As you'll learn in the video, there is a very wide assortment of drinks available, especially drinks from Coke who helped finance this machine. The mojito I had was great - the pod contains everything but the liquor. I also had a Coke-Zero which is my favorite soda. It was okay, but it did have an after-taste I don't find with bottled or canned Coke Zero. And then there's the price. The machine is $299.00, and the pods are four for about $5.00. That means each 8 ounce soda serving is $1.25. I'm not sure people will pay as much for a 'fresh' soda as they will for 'fresh' cup of coffee. Time will tell how successful Keurig Kold will be.

     

    Giz Wiz YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/w5l2ruw_VsI

     

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