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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

    Monday
    Sep222014

    Now your logo or your photo can became 'toast'. But in a good way.

    That TwiT logo on toast is not Photoshop. It is REAL toast that can have your face or your logo toasted on it.  A piece of Computer America toast any one?

    Here’s a bit of info from the company,Burnt Impressions.“Totally custom Selfie Toasters with no minimum orders. Give us your art and we will create a personalized toaster for you. Clip art. Line art. Logos. You name it. We will do it or your money back. Truly custom toasters are now available to all. Great promotion gifts for small businesses. Lots of fun for families. What would you say in 1-3 lines with up to five characters each? Our Toast Note Toasters will say it every morning. The original Jesus toasters are still available in limited numbers; but don't fear the Rapture Toaster is here! Jesus on toast has never been easier. Cost is $75.00 for an image on side of the toast, $100 for an image on each side of a piece of toast. Free shipping within the US." And now back to the Giz Wiz. I don't own one of these toasters, but I saw it action. It's kind of fun, but of course that fun will wear down quickly unless you have a place show off your toast. So maybe buy one for the office, with the company logo on it.

    http://www.burntimpressions.com/ 

    Monday
    Sep222014

    Ever thought about buying 'a mystery box' of stuff? I did, and I bought one.

    I subscribe to the DailySteals email of the day and I’ve bought stuff there from time to time. Recently they had a “mystery box” of gadgets for $10. You got to pick from about five categories. I ordered the “Tech Accessories Mystery Box.” With tax it was $10.89. The ‘mystery box’ turned out to be an envelope with four gadgets inside. They were: 

    An unbranded device for Apple devices that looks like it converts the old 30-pin connector to the newer Lightning Connector. I don’t have anything that uses the Lightning Connector, so I can’t use this device. 

    The EZ Secure Proximity Computer Lock. This seemed like a good gadget until I read the reviews. It doesn’t seem to work very well and it’s not integrated into Windows. It runs under it’s own program which must be loaded from the enclosed mini-CD. Also it retails for under $10. But I’m not going to use this since the reviews are so dismal. 

    An unbranded dashboard sticky pad that has a rather large cut in it, almost down the middle. I won’t be using that. 

    An Innergie 15W Dual USB Adapter. Plugs into the wall and can charge tablets and smart phones. It’s on Amazon for as low as $9. This gadget is okay, and will probably use it, so I didn’t totally waste my $10.89

    If you want to get their daily deals, you can find them here. You need to subscribe to purchase. 

    www.dailysteals.com

    Giz Wiz Mystery Box Video: http://youtu.be/xjpz4E-37Oc

    Monday
    Sep222014

    Wow, talk about a high tech gadget!

    I’m impressed with the newCapresso CoffeeTEAM PRO Glass 12-cup coffee maker. It features a sleek stainless steel exterior and has a lot of new features. Like many other Capresso models, this automatic coffeemaker features a professional-grade conical solid steel burr grinder to grind beans slowly. This imparts minimal heat, preserving more flavor and aroma. New is an easy to unlock removable 7-ounce bean container to lift off to refill beans or access the grinder for cleaning. There’s also a removable upper burr, for easy cleaning. Capresso says this is the only coffeemaker/grinder combination that allows you to remove and clean the burrs. Also new is a removable water container with a convenient built-in carry handle. Another exclusive CoffeeTEAM PRO Glass feature is a two-step grind and clean chamber that automatically cleans the grinder after every cycle. (That’s great!) Plus there’s a special setting for oily dark roasted beans, which move slower through the grinding process. After brewing, the warming plate keeps coffee warm, with a safety shut-off after 2 hours. A charcoal water filter removes up to 82 percent of water impurities, so you can brew with the freshest water possible. I set my CoffeeTEAM PRO Glass to brew at a pre-set time in the morning. That way I wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee! It makes getting up a lot easier. There are more features explained in my video below. The Capresso CoffeeTEAM PRO Glass has a retail price of $219.99. It’s available at specialty and online retailers. And at: 

    Company website: www.capresso.com 

    Giz Wiz Video: http://youtu.be/TlCx6spBm9w

    Monday
    Sep222014

    A color changing mouse and pair of small hands. 

    The Satechi Spectrum Mouse Wired Optical Mouse is a sleek mouse that offers 7 different LED colors to customize your workspace. The ultra-smooth surface of this mouse has a comfortable grip and the chrome finish looks techie on any workspace. When the switch on the bottom is in the On position, the bright LEDs cycle through blue, yellow, violet, turquoise, white, red, and green. To stay with a single color, switch to the Lock position when your desired color is lit. The LEDs can be turned off completely by switching to the Off position, but why would you want to do that? The ergonomic design of this mouse fits comfortably in your hand to help reduce wrist strain. It’s plug and play so no drivers or other software downloads are required. Just plug it into a USB port and watch the glowing lights! Under $25. 

    Giz Wiz Video: http://youtu.be/swzfO_qEo6E 

    Amazon: 

    Satechi® Spectrum Mouse Wired Optical 7-Color LED Changing Computer Mouse with 1000 DPI (Silver)

    Gadget two in the video: Felix Small Hands can give you ‘helping hands’

    With Felix SmallHands, watching movies, FaceTime, photography and many other apps are just that much easier. With its slim profile and lightweight design,SmallHands is the perfect portable iPhone stand. From your kitchen counter, to your desk at work, to an airplane tray table, you'll be pleased at all the places it comes in handy. Use it landscape or portrait mode. Simply squeeze, clip, and tilt to the desired angle to enjoy. Toss it in your pocket, purse or bag. Comes in a range of colors: Green, Red, Blue, Pink, Black, White. Size: L 2" x W 0.75" x H 3.5". Made of aluminum, plastic, and silicone. Fits all generations of iPhone, iPod touch and most smartphones, including the large Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4. It won't fit my Galaxy S5, and I don't know about the upcoming iPhone 6's. And note too that SmallHands may not work with thick cases. Suggested retail price: $14.95. I suspect discounts will be available once it’s widely available. Shipping mid-Sept 2014. 

    Company website:http://felixbrand.com/products/smallhands

    It's the 2nd Gadget in this GizWiz Video:http://youtu.be/swzfO_qEo6E 

    Monday
    Sep222014

    I field-test a gadget that I talked about a few months ago.

    The folks at Cobra have been making car travel gadgets for a long time. But I’m particularly impressed with their new JumPack device. Cobra says you can use this small, lightweight device not only to charge your mobile devices, but also to start your car when the battery under the hood won't! It packs 200 Amp Starting Current, 400 Amp Peak Current, which they say is enough to jumpstart most cars, even those with V-8 engines. And you can jumpstart your car multiple times on one charge. I don’t have a car, but I do have a boat. Recently I went down to the marina to find the battery that starts my Yamaha V-6 225 hp outboard was dead. I have a stand-by battery, but I wanted to test my JumPack to see how it would do. It did great, starting my outboard on the 1st turn of the key! JumPack can start cars, but it also has a 2.1 Amp USB port to rapid charge your portable devices including cell phone, smartphone, tablets and other mobile devices. But wait, there’s more! There’s a built-in superbright LED flashlight, plus strobe and S.O.S emergency blinker. 7500mAh Lithium-Cobalt Battery. And unlike an acid-lead battery jumper device, which loses power quickly, theJumPack will hold a charge for about a year. The device is about the size of a small paperback book (5.04” H x 2.87” W x 0.98” D) and weighs only 11 ounces. It comes with a 12-volt cigarette lighter plug charger, 110-volt charger and jumper cables, which plug directly into the JumPack. Charging takes just a few hours. Model CPP 7500.

    Under $130 on Cobra website as of 9/10/2014.  Also as of 9/10/14 it was $120.04 on Amazon with free shipping for Prime Members, but check for the last price. 

    Company website: www.cobra.com 

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

    Amazon Link: Cobra Electronics CPP 7500 JumPack Portable Power Pack