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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

    Saturday
    Apr232016

    A light that's light enough to travel.

    A compact folding LED travel lamp for under $27.00. Hate it when there's not a desk lamp at the hotel or cabin when you travel. Now can bring your own. The Premer LED Desk Lamp has a built-in battery, but also can be powered via USB, or the included AC adapter. It's dimmable and folds flat for packing. It's weighs a little over a pound, even though Amazon says 2 pounds+. It's good for camping too, even for emergencies with up to 8 hours of light on the built in battery. The touch-sensitive switch offers 3 brightness levels. The company says it 950 lumens at its brighest setting, but being LED, it only uses 6W. Built in 1800mAh Rechargeable Lithium Battery. The only downside for me was the charging cable. It special to the lamp, so you have to carry it with you, but it won't take up much room. This lamp got 4.6 stars out of 5 on Amazon. I paid $27.99 for mine on Amazon, but it was a dollar cheaper as of 4/22/16. And free two day shipping if you're an Amazon Prime Member. $26.99. Here's a longer video description I made: 

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/IzjMLnRhEv8

     

    Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1U2GgZR

    Saturday
    Apr232016

    Charge four devices using just one AC plug at the hotel or cabin.

    The Satechi Dual Compact USB Travel Charger provides power to up to four devices simultaneously! It is equipped with two outlets for AC devices and dual 2.4A USB charging ports that deliver enough power to charge most tablets or smartphones. Compact and portable, it measures only 3.8 x 2.6 x 1.25 inches, perfect for tight places or limited space. It features removable prongs for easy storage and is ideal for light travel, as it effortlessly fits into a purse, backpack, laptop bag or carry-on bag. Please note that this offers USA prongs only and charging cables are not included. MSRP $19.99. It's here on Amazon for $14.99 (as of 4/18/16) Free shipping for Amazon Prime Members.

     

    http://amzn.to/1SVaoBv

    Saturday
    Apr232016

    Sound Advice on some 'sound-fixing' software.

    I learned about SoundSoap just in time to avoid a disaster. Here's the backstory that involves the two videos above. When Dennis (who shot the videos) and I got back from the Pepcom Spring event and uploaded the videos we were in for a big surprise. I had used an older mic with the much newer Galaxy S6. You can do that with no problem as long as you insert a special dongle between them. (It does something important like changing the way audio connections are wired between the two devices.) Without that dongle, the Galaxy S6 not only records the external Audio Technica mic audio, it also records all the unwanted and loud background noise via the built in phone mic. So for a while we thought the videos for the Waspcam & the Kube+Clock above were totally unusable. (We couldn't reshoot them because Pepcom is a one-time 3 hour event.) But after doing some quick research online I found out about Sound Soap and it saved the day. (And the two videos.) All I did was open the media to be cleaned in SoundSound and I let it adjust the settings. Then I saved the results in a different file than the source video. Its was that easy! They were more adjustment that could be made but I was happy just to know I could use our two videos. SoundSoap works on Mac OS X or Windows 7/8/10 as a standalone application or a plug-in. The company says it supports most popular media file formats. I used SoundSoap5. There's a more advanced version called SoundSoap5+ which allows for more adjustments. The plug-in version is $79.99 and the full desk version is $149.99. There's more info on the company webssite. 

    Here's a quickie Giz Wiz video demo: The first 10 seconds of the video is the way it was recorded. The second 10 seconds is the result after SoundSoap Software automatically cleaned it up enough for us to use.

     

    https://youtu.be/WbRSy7m8LnU

     

    Company demo: http://www.soundness-llc.com/products/soundsoap5/soundsoap-examples.html

     

    Company website: http://www.soundness-llc.com/

    Saturday
    Apr232016

    A product you probaby don't know about it....

    We love the folks at Hammacher Schlemmer because they always find some very unusual gadgets. This one strikes me as very odd, but there are most likely folks who will want this and be glad to know about it. That's why I wanted to make sure people know about it before the mosquito season is in full swing across the country. (Especially this year with the Zika Virus. There are various versions of this garment, but here's the info on the Knee Length Mosquito Netting Socks, exclusively at Hammacher Schlemmer. And their description: These are the lightweight socks made from fine 1.2-mm netting that shields the skin from mosquitoes without the use of harmful and malodorous chemicals. Worn over regular clothing and shoes, the socks protect against insect-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus and Zika, as well as the discomfort of itchy welts. Only available from Hammacher Schlemmer, the socks stay in place with elastic collars that conform to shoes. While standard insect repellents must be reapplied after several hours, the socks provide continuous, nontoxic, and environmentally friendly coverage without DEET or fragrances. The machine-washable polyester stretches to allow freedom of movement while engaging in outdoor pursuits, and is breathable so it won’t trap heat, helping you stay cool even in tropical climates. For best protection, a loose fit is recommended. Olive. Unisex sizes S/M and L/XL. But wait, there's more! There's also the Hooded Zip Up Mosquito Jacket, the Wearable Mosquito Pants, Mosquito Thwarting Camp Shirt and Wearable Mosquito Net Top. They range in price from $19.95 to $59.95. 

    http://www.hammacher.com/Product/88149?source=EML00416&cm_ven=WC&cm_cat=EMW050_20160409

    Saturday
    Apr232016

    A few new high tech goodies from the Spring Pepcom Event in NYC.

    The “TACT” is WASPcam’s newest camera model, (#9905). The TACT records HD video up to 1080p, and snaps still-images up to 12-megapixels. Built-in Wi-Fi connects the camera to an iPhone or Android for live viewing, recording and sharing content online. The TACT camera package also includes a wireless wrist remote, (which is worn like a wristwatch) which can control video and photo recording up to 5 meters (15 feet) away. The WASPcam TACT is completely waterproof, down to 98 feet, without the addition of a waterproof case, and includes a 1.5-inch LCD viewing screen on the back of the camera. There's even a built-in speaker. Cyclic recording and an auto looping function allows the camera to be used as a dash camera. Unique on this model are two LED safety lights that be set to steady on for camera use, or flashing for safety. And it comes with a great assortment of accessories, including the Wireless Wrist Remote. / Bar Mount. / Helmet Mount. / Tripod Mount Adapter

    / Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery / Wall charger. / USB Cable. The #9905 TACT Camera supports microSD cards up to 32GB. Battery is included, but not the micro SD card is not. But they're very inexpensive these days! You'll see two other model WASPcams in the video, one under $100!

    The 5200 mAh Power Stubbie can power the TACT camera for 6+ hours, and power other brand cameras too via it's USB port. It can also be used to charge cell phones, etc. It has a MSRP of $79.99. It's due out May/June 2016.

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/pL-8F35v4Q4

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