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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
    May242015

    You probably have an HDTV, but do you have a FakeTV?

    FakeTV is a burglar deterrent that recreates the light of a real HDTV television. So from outside, it looks like someone is home watching TV. Most burglars do not target occupied houses. Why not just go to a house that is totally dark. So when a prowler sees that flickering glow that means someone is home watching TV, he'll probably move on to an easier target. So, FakeTV can make a break-in less likely. At the National Hardware show, the spokesperson at Hydreon said their lower-priced FTV-7 simulates the light output of a 27" TV. It is a little smaller in size than the original FTV-10. Also, the FTV-7 has only one timer setting: Dusk +5 hours. The FTV-10 and very bright FTV-11 have two: Dusk +4 hours, and Dusk +7 hours. FakeTV's built-in computer accurately simulates scene changes, fades, and on-screen motion, in thousand of possible shades of color, just like real TV. A built-in light sensor turns FakeTV on at dusk, and it can be set to turn off after four or seven hours. The dynamic light from FakeTV conveys the impression of "alive" in a way that a light on a timer cannot. Consumes just the power of a night light. AC Adapter included. Model FTV-7 is $24.95. Amazon Prime, so free shipping if you're a Prime member. 

    FakeTV FTV-7-US Burglar Deterrent

    But I'd opt for the higher power, brighter Fake TV FTV-11 if you have anything but a tiny room. It's just about $6 more and the company says it's three times brighter. It's here for under $31.00 as of 5/23/15. (The Fake TV FTV-10 appears to be on its way out.)

    FakeTV FTV-11-US Extra Bright Burglar Deterrent

    Sunday
    May242015

    Helpful magnetic things!

    From the "Why didn't I think of that?" department!

    Find it hard to pick up a nail, or hold a nut as you try to thread it onto a bolt. This could be a big help for you.

    The Magnetic Finger Glove is a snug and stretchy one-finger glove that slips on  and puts a powerful magnet at your fingertip. It allows you to hold and retrieve any small metal object you might drop. Use it also to easily start a variety of ferrous screws and nails in tight fitting or difficult to reach places. It’s under $11 at the company website, or two for under $20, plus S&H.

    www.magneticfinger.com

    When you take your glasses off, or carry a pair of sunglasses you’re not ready to wear, where do you carry them?

    Here's is a simple solution for managing your eyewear. With ReadeREST, your glasses are always secure and within an arm's reach, thanks to the use of magnets. The device separates into two pieces. Place the back plate behind an article of clothing you’re wearing, and place the front piece on the outside. The magnets will attach, creating a v-shaped self-centering, secure holder for your glasses to hang. With the ReadeREST, never worry about glasses falling out of your shirt pocket, or keeping them secure when bending over. Depending on the style they cost $10 to $12.

    Available at stories like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Amazon, or the company website: 

    http://www.readerest.com/ 

    Sunday
    May242015

    Three high tech flashlights with a lot of features I like.

    Every year there are many new flashlights introduced to the marketplace, but these three from Panther Vision off some different features. The Panther Vision LED FLASHLIGHTS have a flat design that means you can carry them comfortably in a shirt or pants pocket. And when you put them down, they won’t roll away. Built of aircraft aluminum and polymer they're shock proof to 3 Meters, which means they can dropped from about nine feet and still work fine. They feature a sealed high/low switch and O-ring sealed plugs over the battery compartments. That means they're waterproof to 1 Meter, or about three feet. And yes, that's waterproof, not just water resistant like many others. The CREE high performance LEDs offer some of the brightest hand-held LED technology in the marketplace. Each model also has a built-in heat sink to dissipate heat from the Cree LED bulbs. And finally, the quad battery configuration offer excellent battery life: up to 5 hours on high and about 10 hours on low. That's a lot of time when you consider you use flashlights in very short sessions. The three models are the PV-210, 210 Lumens for $49.99 Pv-600, 600 Lumens/$59.99 /and the super-bright PV-1000, 1000 Lumens $79.99.

    http://www.panthervision.com/flashlights.html

    Sunday
    May242015

    New & Unique Gadgets From The National Hardware Show.

     From the National Hardware Show 2015, Las Vegas.  

    A New Cart Designed To Make it Easier To Go Up and Down Steps & Stairs. 

    The UpCart and its six-wheel design caught my eye as I roamed the aisles of the Hardware Show. The UpCart is capable of "walking" over curbs and stairs, or moving over irregular terrain. It combines a three-wheel chassis with a folding handcart. The company says their unique engineering design means it’s just as capable hauling a 100-pound cabinet up multiple stairwells, as it is to bringing the groceries home in comfort. When not in use, the UpCart folds to a depth of just over four inches, allowing for convenient storage. It has rubber tires and ball bearings in the wheels to lower rolling resistance and to make sure the UpCart lasts longer than other carts. It’s under $90 and available for preorder on the company website. (As of 5/14/15).

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/_vgdf9pyUgM 

    Company Website: http://www.upcart.com/ 

     

    A handy fire extinguisher for home, workshop, car, etc.

    The demo of this product I saw at the Hardware Show was impressive. I even took part in a demo myself, but watching the video after we shot it, I thought I wow, I’m glad that stuff really works. BUT DON’T TRY THAT YOURSELF. I WAS WITH A FIRE PROFESSIONAL. The company says you can stop a fire fast with a FireAde 2000 portable fire suppression extingusher.  Use it for kitchens, outdoor grills, RVs, camping, boating, garages and shops. This powerful personal firefighting technology is armed with FireAde, the world's most complete and advanced Firefighting foam agent. It is safe and effective. The company adds it’s environmentally safe, non-corrosive, biodegradable, nontoxic, has no CFCs and is made in the USA. There is a lot more info you might want to read at the company website. Price depends on the size you buy. IMPORTANT: This device is NOT designed to replace fire extinguishers required by NFPA 10 Regulations. 

    Giz Wiz Video: (DON’T TRY WHAT I TRIED IN THE VIDEO! IT'S DANGEROUS.) 

    https://youtu.be/7LcEGrYPv2o

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

    I haven’t shopped here, but I found this place on the web offering the 16 oz size FireAde for under $13.00 

    https://www.menards.com/main/electrical/safety-security/fire-extinguishers/fireade-2-000-16-oz-portable-fire-suppression-system/p-2289562.htm

    One of the things I found at the “tailgate” part of the National Hardware Show was the Chill Puck, a way to cool your can of beer or soda. Here’s what Amazon said about it, which makes it sound important, indeed! “The Chill Puck uses gel NASA originally designed to cool the nuclear reactors of satellites in orbit during the cold war. The design of each puck maximizes the surface area connecting the ice pack and the can. This connection is what sucks the heat out of the beer and into the ice pack, keeping your beer cold. The gel in a Chill Puck is modified to lower the freezing point of the puck to get colder than ice. The Chill Bands hold the puck to the can with suction and will not slip off. Lastly, the 4 small bottom legs prevent condensation from hitting your coffee table so it's really a coaster too. Over the course of an hour 1 Chill Puck will keep your beer 8-10 degrees colder then your friends naked beer. You will really notice the difference in the last third of your drink. Chills Pucks can be kept in a freezer or ice cooler.” And now back to me. I put two cans of chilled soda on a table in my backyard. One had a Chill Puck from the freezer attached to the bottom. At first the two cans felt about the same amount of coldness, but as we reached hour two, the Chill Puck can was colder, especially toward the bottom of the can. You can see they don’t claim miracles for Chill Puck, which I like, and I certainly think it will keep your drink cooler than without using one. Remember they only lock onto 12 or 16-ounce cans, not bottles. On Amazon, with shipping, they’re about $5 each or 4 for $15.00. 

    ChillPuck

    There seems to be a better deal at the company website: http://www.chillpuck.com/

    If you buy 3 of their 3 packs, you get a 4th one free. As a test, I put them in my cart and with shipping it came to just about $36 for a dozen of them. So they would be just about $3 each, assuming you want a dozen of them. 

    Sunday
    May242015

    More from the National Hardware Show

    A Tool Box You Wear On Your Wrist!

    Leatherman is famous for things like pliers that actually contain many other tools. And they always come with a leather carrying case. At the National Hardware Show 2015, they introduced something new. And here’s how they describe it. “Anytime, anywhere. The functionality of a Leatherman tool, with you everywhere. Our engineers designed multiple tools in each 17-4 stainless steel bracelet link, making usable tools like Allen wrenches, screwdrivers and box wrenches available at a moment’s notice. Adjustable to ¼” to accommodate any wrist size and fully customizable with the links you need most, the Leatherman Tread is as stylish as it is functional.” And now back to me. The Tread is coming August, 2015. And as you’ll see in the video, it’s available in stainless and a specially diamond like black coated stainless for $150 and $200. Yep, almost the price of a smart watch. But wait, there’s more! A version of the Tread bracelet that will include a watch is said to be available in Fall 2015. It will be called the Leatherman Tread QM1 and feature a unique Leatherman-designed and Swiss-made timepiece. It’s said to feature a precision quartz movement, and a shock resistant sapphire crystal to ensure scratch resistance for heavy duty wear. The price for that was not announced. In case you’re dying to know, the Tread Tools include: Cutting Hook, Bottle Opener, Oxygen Tank Wrench, Carbide Glass Breaker, 1/4” Flat Screwdriver, 5/16" Screwdriver, 1/8" Flat Screwdriver, 8mm Box Wrench, 10mm Box Wrench, 1/4" Box Wrench, 3/8" Box Wrench, 3/32" Screwdriver, 3/16" Screwdriver, #1-2 Phillips, #1 Phillips, 3/32" Hex Drive, 1/8" Hex Drive, 3/16" Box Wrench, 1/4" Hex Drive, 3/16" Hex Drive, 5mm Hex Drive, 6mm Hex Drive, 4mm Hex Drive, 3mm Hex Drive, #2 Square Drive, #2 Phillips, 6mm Box Wrench and 1/4" Socket Drive. I don't think it comes with a leather case like most original Leatherman tools. 

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/l6TTleR7Rvs  

    Company Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=72&v=gp8xR07rBH4  

    Company Website: http://www.leatherman.com/ 

     

    $150 to $200 too much to spend so you can carry tools around with you. Well for just about $6 you can carry 5 useful mini-tools with you.

    The DoohicKey SkullKey Tool is a simple, key-shaped tool that attaches to your key ring. This product features a file, a #2 flat-head screwdriver, a scoring point, a serrated edge, and a bottle opener. Made of durable stainless steel, the DoohicKey SkullKey Tool is travel and airport friendly. PRODUCT FEATURES: Key-sized multi-tool that easily attaches to an existing key ring Durable Stainless Steel construction A variety of useful tools in a compact, easy to use design Features the following tools: scoring point, bottle opener, file, serrated edge, and #2 flat head screwdriver Travel and airport friendly SkullKey-Size: 2.5" x 1.0" x 0.2" SkullKey-Weight: 0.73oz KMTSK-11-R3 , Nite Ize DoohicKey SkullKey Tool , multi tool , multitool , multi-tool , knife , screwdriver , key chain , key ring. And under $6 as of 5/16/15 on Amazon. They also make the same key without the skelteton design as seen in the photo at left. And Amazon Prime, so free shipping if you're a Prime Member. 

    Nite Ize DoohicKey SkullKey, Stainless

    How much do you like your coffee at the work site?

    Well if you work in construction, you’ll want to know about the OXX COFFEEBOXX. The company says it’s designed to work in the world’s harshest environments to brew a perfect cup of coffee in under 90 seconds at the touch of a button. It features an impact-resistant shell, a crush-proof core that can withstand a ¼ ton load, water-resistant and dust-resistant protection, rust-resistant hardware and construction, and a watertight system design that makes it spill-proof. (You’ll see a lot of that in the company video.) It has a 2.5L (84.5 ounce) water capacity, enough to make about a dozen cups of single-serve K-Cup Coffee. But wait, there’s more. There’s also a hot water outlet, so you can also make soup or brew tea. The unit empty weighs 12 pounds. And although the video shows it in many outdoor scenes, you have to remember that the OXX COFFEEBOXX has to be plugged into AC power. At the Hardware Show, the spokesperson said it required 1500 watts for operation. Price is $299, and it’s expected to ship in July 2015. 

    Company video: https://vimeo.com/123667930 

    http://www.oxx.com/ 

    My co-host on The Giz Wiz Show found this. It may have been at the Hardware Show, but even if it wasn't you should know about it.

    Moving and Storage Tape. 

    SHere's tape that can be very helpful if you have a move coming up. Although some reviews on Amazon say it's not the strongest tape you can use, it's adequate for the job. It's especially good for people using cartons that already has stuff printed or written on them. The labels printed right on the tape make it easy for you or the movers to know which room the boxes should go in at the new location. As you can see in the photo - the white writing on a yellow tape doesn't show up. But if you keep in mind 'yellow' tape means kitchen, you'll be okay. Although there isn't a lot of tape on each roll, $2.35 or so per roll is not a bad price. You get six rolls in six colors for $13.98, with free shipping if you're an Amazon Prime member. (As of 5/21/15)

    Amazon link:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A7I64R8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1