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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on But wait, there's More »

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    From the mail order corner of Dick’s Gadget Warehouse comes...

    Friday, July 16th 2010. Back to Dick’s Gadget Warehouse. Netcast 1135.

    Power Scissors! The Most Amazing Scissors You’ll Ever Own!! Tougher than Nails! ….The Last Pair You’ll Ever Have To Buy!!!

    Not sold yet? Wait, there’s more! (From their copy:)

    It’s hard to believe, but true. The Power Scissors are tough enough to rip through a can and even cut a penny in half easily – they’ll even cut through nails!

    So on the Daily Giz Wiz, I put them to the test. I was quite amazed to find they actually did cut through an empty soda can. Of course these days those 12 oz. Aluminum soda cans are so thin you can bend them and tear them. Then it was on to the nail. I picked a thin finishing nail, clamped down on it with the Power Scissors and --- and nothing! The penny? Forget about it! It didn’t even make a mark on the penny. In fact, on closer examination it turns out the nail sure made a mark on the Power Scissors. It blunted the blade and knocked it out of line. Since these scissors are probably 20 years old, I doubt if the guarantee to replace them for free --- well for $2 shipping – is still in effect. $2 then is probably about $6 now, hardly worth it to get another pair of crap scissors in the mail!

    Hear or SEE this Netcast:  


    Avoid overweight charges at the airport by easily weighing baggage before your trip.

    Thursday, July 15th, 2010 Netcast 1134

    The innovative new Travelite Luggage Scale is the compact way to ensure luggage meets airline weight guidelines. (This gizmo is a Magellans Catalog exclusive.) It’s easy to know exactly what your bags weigh before you head to the airport with the FlightLite. (Be sure to check your carrier’s website to see exactly how many pounds are allowed per piece. You'll most likely pay for each piece of luggage, but on top of that fee can be overweight charges! The weight allowance is usually different for domestic & International flights.) This FlightLite scale's unique T-bar design makes it easier to lift and weigh luggage, even heavy luggage. Just thread the sturdy nylon strap through your luggage handle, secure with the quick-release buckle, and lift. The digital read-out window is positioned conveniently right in the handle. Although it will give you the exact weight in pounds, a red LED indicates that your bag is over 50 lb; a green LED means it's under 50 lb. (50 pounds is the weight allowed for International flights on many airlines at the time of writing.) Weighs luggage up to 100 lb/44kg. Another nice feature is a built-in 6-LED flashlight. Batteries included. (5½" long; 1¼" dia; 7 oz) Under $25.

    Hear or SEE this Netcast:


    Scan ‘em and leave ‘em!

    Wednesday, July 14th, 2010, Netcast 1133  

    The VuPoint Solution Magic Wand Portable Scanner lets you scan documents, photos, receipts, etc. anywhere and save them on a Micro SD card. You choose between 300 x 300 dpi standard resolution and 600 x 600 dpi high resolution. You copy in color or black and white (monochrome). Setting up the Magic Wand is very easy. Insert the batteries, which are included, scan the white sheet of paper (also included) until the green light goes out to indicate the device is calibrated. Then starting scanning. Outside of being a little lopsided, because I didn’t scan in a straight line, my first scan was really good. This is a perfect, inexpensive device that will let you turn stacks of documents into organized digital files. Scan just the portion of a book you need. Or a recipe from aMy first scan. A little off-center, but not bad for 1st try. cookbook. It features a Contact Image Sensor, scanning status LCD display and Optical Character Recognition software. Scan speed is about 13 seconds for high resolution with color and 3 for standard with color. Your speed may vary. The Magic Wand supports Micro SD cards up to 32GB (card not included). Works with Windows / Mac OS 10.4 or above. The kit includes USB cable, software, carrying pouch and 2 AA batteries. Although there are a few other mini portable scanners on the market, this one does an excellent jou and  retails for less than $100. Available on the web, or at Bed, Bath & Beyond. $99.99.

    Company website:

    Hear or SEE this Netcast:


    Leo buys another Bluetooth Headset – and this one has some really unique features.

    Turn The Table Tuesday, Tuesday, July 13th, 2010, Netcast 1132 

    The BlueAnt T1 Bluetooth headset is designed to offer durable and reliable high quality audio in challenging conditions. The company calls one of the new features of this gizmo Wind Armour Technology. It’s designed to deliver clear audio in wind speeds up to 22 mph. BlueAnt says that’s the best wind noise reduction of any Bluetooth headset on the market. Leo used it on the Daily Giz Wiz to make a Bluetooth call so we could all hear the audio quality which was quite good. The T1 features removable and interchangeable soft-touch silicon covers to protect and cushion the headset from moisture, minor bumps and accidental impact. Now here are the unique features that Leo liked. It has Caller Name Announce - the first Bluetooth headset that can read out the name of the incoming caller. It copies and stores up to 2,000 names from your phone’s database. Respond to the call by just saying Answer or Ignore. The T1 also offers A2DP for streaming audio of podcasts and turn-by-turn directions from GPS applications on your mobile phone. Users with Android devices can further enhance this device by installing the BlueAnt T1 Android application. The application provides text message readout directly into the headset and includes help and support for your T1. Although the list price is $79.99, Leo found it on Amazon for about $56, so do a web search when (and if) you’re ready to buy one. 

    Hear this Netcast:


    Put the sun to work for you!

    Monday, July 12th, 2010, Netcast 1131& Leo's back at the TWiT Cottage controls!

    You can have power in your pocket if your travel with the Scosche SolBAT II battery/solar charger. It has a full sized USB port so you can charge most small electronics on the run, on the plane, in the woods. It comes with removable suction cups that let you recharge it in the car as you travel. Inside this device is a 1500mAh capacity battery. The USB output is the typical 5-volts. Now there is a downside to this device being so small. It’s small, which makes the solar panel smaller. That means, according to the user manual, it’ll take up to 4-5 days to fully charge the internal battery using the solar panel. (I guess a day or two in the desert.) Reading some other reviews of this unit, it seems that the 4-5 thing is the absolutely worst case scenario. Our friends at Laptop Magazine placed a solBAT II outside for 3.5 hours on a mostly sunny day and it gathered enough power to charge an iPhone 3G to 75% before giving out. That’s seems really good to me! The kit includes a USB cable so you can charge your device with your computer. Or you can do what I did, hooked the charging cable to one of those AC plug/USB adapters and charged it with AC. Computer or AC charging will bring the battery up to full power in about four to five hours. But if you’re out in the sun use the included belt clip or suction cups to keep this device in the sun to the charge up. At the CEA Line Show in June, a spokesperson at the Scosche booth said that fully charged the SolBat II would charge most cell phones twice before the unit needed to be recharged. I also noticed in the instruction they call it the SunVolt. Seems like a better name than the SolBat II to me. It’s under $30, but on Amazon I saw this gizmo for under $20!

    Hear or SEE this Netcast: