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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

    Sunday
    Aug232015

    Unique "Back to school" gadgets.

    It looks exactly like Captain America's shield. This 18" diameter red, white and blue hard plastic shield protects your important items, and maybe you. Inside there's a large main pocket, two accessory pockets, and a padded laptop/tablet pocket. You WILL stand out! It's a Think Geek exclusive, and here's a little more about it from them: The Avengers: Age of Ultron Captain America Shield Backpack is a true labor of love. On your back, it looks just like Steve Roger's shield, straps and all. A hard plastic shield will protect your important items. Inside, you'll find a large main pocket, two accessory pockets, and a padded laptop/tablet pocket. And to make sure your Avengers: Age of Ultron Captain America Shield Backpack is comfy on your back for long missions, we've made it all nice and padded. $79.99

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/vPywh94lH9M

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/iiur/?itm=captain_america_backpack&rkgid=2014500844&cpg=ogtee1&source=google_tees&adpos=1t1&creative=66538129725&device=c&matchtype=b&network=g&gclid=CIuVns-Pr8cCFVBqfgode5kB_A

    And for the younger set meet the Rocket Raccoon Backpack!

    How cute is this Rocket Raccoon Backpack? This Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket Raccoon Backpack Buddy could make your kid ready to save the galaxy or at least enjoy carrying stuff around. The fabric armor on Rocket's back unzips to reveal a compartment that's a little bigger than a piece of paper in terms of length and width, so it can hold your papers, books, even an iPad, (that's if your child has one.)  And although this might be intended for very young kids 3+, I'm sure some older kids and adults will want to try it on! The nylon straps adjust to 18" long. It's $39.99 and it is also a Think Geek original.  

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/htvo/?pfm=Search&t=rocket%20raccoon%20backpack%20buddy%20-%20exclusive

    Giz Wiz Video: (Same link as above.)  https://youtu.be/vPywh94lH9M

    Sunday
    Aug232015

    Save money while eliminating daily waste.

    Juice in the Box is a green-friendly reusable juice and drink box. It can offer a healthy alternative to disposable, juice boxes pre-filled with all sorts of artificial juices. Saves money spent on packaged drinks & their disposable packaging. It's far less expensive to fill the Juice in the Box daily from economical large size juice bottles. It will be healthier too when you buy 100% juice options. Juice in the Box is made of nearly indestructible, chemical free Tritan. It's spill proof when locked as I showed on air when I turned one of them filled with water upside down. Not a drop spilled out. There's also a built-in soft bendy straw. Available in many colors. Holds 8 fluid oz. Retails for about $12 at major stories and online. If you do a web search you might be able to find them for as low as $10.00.

     

    http://www.juiceinthebox.com/

    Sunday
    Aug232015

    A fast & easy way for a student to change sheets in their dorm bed.

    Simple Sheets. This product has an interesting back story. The short version: Mom goes to visit son in his dorm and realizes he almost never changes the sheets. Why? Because it's too much trouble, especially since it's a bunk bed. Mom figures she can come up with an easy way for a college student to change sheets. She, with help of her son, invents a fitted sheet with a fast strip-off velcro top. When the velcro sheet gets dirty, strip it off in seconds and press on the provided 2nd clean sheet. Now the student has time to launder the first sheet to get it ready for the next quick-change. A 4 piece starter kit which includes a storage pocket for bedside electronics ,is $48.00. There are other options on their website, along with an animated video explaining the invention story.  

    http://www.simple-sheets.com/ 

    Sunday
    Aug232015

    Three security gadgets at one decent price.

    Sabre Dorm/Apt Alarm Kit.. Here's a very inexpensive solution to help keep college students and their belongings safe. (And yes, it's perfect for an apartment or for travel.) Door Wedge Alarm. Extremely loud - 120 dB. Wakes you, alerts others and prevents the door from opening with a non-skid pad. The personal alarm is also extremely loud - 110 dB. It has a built-in LED light and you activate the alarm by pulling a pin. The Door or Window Alarm is also extremely loud - 120 dB. (On the web I found a 'Noise Thermometer". There's a link below so you can judge how loud things are.) Magnetically triggered alarm sounds when window or door is opened. During the day you can easily change the sound from alarm to chime mode. It's easy to install with included self-adhesive pads. MSRP is $24.99, but you can find it on Amazon for about $18.00 and that includes all three security gadgets. Two have batteries, but you'll need a 9-volt battery for the Door Wedge Alarm.  

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

    Noise Thermometer:

    http://www.coastalplainent.com/content/print/id/30/   

    Company website: https://www.sabrered.com/pepper-spray/dorm-apartment-kit

    Amazon Link: Under $18 here as of 8/19/15:

    Dorm / Apartment Security Kit by SABRE - Includes Door Stop Alarm, Keychain Alarm, and a Door / Window Alarm 

    Sunday
    Aug232015

    If you like 'ticking' sound on 60 Minutes, you'll like this watch.

    A video I made about 5 years ago is relevant again today, because it's seems the Spy Watch I bought all those years ago is back and on sale! It looks like the exact same Spy Watch. If it is, and you want to buy one, read this review first and more importantly, watch the video at the link below.

    About 5 years I saw an ad for the Wristwatch Spy cam and I bought one. The watch wasn’t bad looking in the picture and I thought it might be fun to always have a camcorder with me. (Also this was before I had a Smart Watch.) It was about $45 with shipping. Learning how to use it was not very easy. The flimsy little instruction sheet is written in poor English, so you have to play hit and miss as you try to get it to work properly. If you want to set the proper date & time you have to write a mini program and download it to the watch. I never got that to work properly. If you can’t locate where the special USB connector goes, you'll discover you have to unscrew the left stem to find it. And don't lose the supplied USB cable, because it’s probably specific to the Spy Watch. The watch keeps time pretty well, but it turns out the tide function, which I was excited above, is just painted on the dial and doesn’t actually work. It has 4GB of memory and you can’t add more. The video it shoots is okay, but there it a major problem with this watch that no one seems to mention. On the video you record you will also record a VERY LOUD ticking of the watch!!! It pretty much ruins anything you shoot and makes the watch useless as a DVR. Snapshots are okay because there’s no “ticking” to ruin them. The company says the watch has 1.3 mega-pixel high-definition AVI video recording at 30 frames. Oh yeah, the sync between my voice and the video was also terrible. I didn’t bother shooting any JPEGs because I really wanted the watch for video. The internal lithium-ion 3.7v/260 mAh battery charges via the USB cable. The light is supposed to turn steady red when it’s fully charged in a few hours, but I left it plugged in for two days and it never showed as fully charged. Here’s a test I did with the watch. I think you’ll NOTICE the annoying ticking sound.  

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VBNwSI0JDU