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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, Tech Guy Labs on TWiT and on Computer America. But wait, there's More »

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    Welcome! This is the home of

    The Giz Wiz & Gizneyland Studio

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    The Giz Wiz® and Giz Wiz Biz® Are Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.

    Sunday
    Oct182009

    SafeStart – A way to stop unsafe restarts of tools and appliances.

    Monday, October 19th, 2009, Netcast 941

    The company, Safe Start Systems, says they’ve put 10 years of research and development in helping provide electrical safety gadgets for the home. The result is the patented SafetyGate. This is a simple, inexpensive safety device that prevents home appliances and tools from dangerous restarts after a power outage, breaker trip or accidental removal from the wall outlet. You know the story. You’re doing a lot of drilling so you lock the drill on “on”. A fuse blows or a circuit breaker shuts off. You go to fix the problem and forget the drill is locked “on”. When the power comes back on, the drill springs into action without supervision. SafeStart Systems says that there is no other safety product like theirs in the consumer marketplace today. Evidentially thousands of kids are injured each year when appliances restart after power is restored to the place they were plugged in. An important note: Some electronics do not have a "true" or "hard" on-off switch. Even though you may have it in the off position, it still may be using power. If this is the case, your SafetyGate will refuse to reset because it is still seeing a power draw. (You can tell from the pilot LED on the SafetyGate when power has been restored to the line.) Luckily the solution is simple: If your equipment does not have a hard switch, simply use it with a power strip that has an on/off switch. Attach the SafetyGate to the power strip's plug and plug your most electronics into the strip. You now can protect several pieces of equipment with a single SafetyGate. When you experience a power loss and the SafetyGate is lit, simply turn the power strip switch to "off" and then back "on" when you are ready. There are two models. Safety gate for mixers, blenders, toaster ovens, electric knifes, etc.  $18.95 + S&H. And coming soon: SafetyGate for drills, hedge clippers, power saws, etc. $23.99 + S&H.

    www.Safestartsystems.com

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw941

    Thursday
    Oct152009

    An amazing break-through for 2002! The San Disk Cruzer. 

    Dick’s Gadget Warehouse Friday, October 16th Netcast 940

    The press release given out at CES 2002 said it all! Introducing the San Disk Cruzer -  carry data, pictures, music from your computer in the dorm to the computer at home in your pocket! The Cruzer fills a void in the portable storage market that neither floppy disks nor CDs can address. The all-in-one unit plugs directly into the industry-standard USB port that is built into desktop PCs and without any additional components necessary. It's powered right from the USB port! The Cruzer is created for today's active, on-the-go lifestyle. Plugs into any USB port (PC or Macintosh). Push the button one way, a USB port pops out. Need more memory, push the button the other way, a removable card comes out which you can replace with a larger memory. Cruzers initially will be available in four capacities -- 32, 64, 128 and 256MB. Check out these amazing stats from a mere 7 years ago: Consumers can store 35 to 70 songs (depending on compression scheme used) on a 128MB Cruzer - or at least 64 high-resolution images on a 64MB Cruzer. More than 40,000 pages of double-spaced text could be stored on a 32MB Cruzer. As higher capacity cards become available users will be able to upgrade their Cruzers to these higher capacities. True "Plug-and-Play" operation when used with Windows with no cables, external power or drivers required.  Ready to hear the prices back then?? It is expected that the Cruzer will be available early in the second quarter of 2002. The device is expected to sell, depending on capacity, at prices ranging from $59.95 to $199.95. It is expected that the 128MB Cruzer will sell for $99.95. 256MB $199.95!

    www.twit.tv/dgw940

    Wednesday
    Oct142009

    Now kids can “print” their own one-of-a-kind stuffed dog, cat, bear, pony, etc.

    Thursday, October 15th, 2009, Netcast 939

    I know, how can  a kid “print” a toy?  Well it’s a new creative activity for kids called Printies. Kids design their pet online, picking out eyes, clothes, colors, and things like that. Then when they’re happy with their design, they print it on the Printies fabric sheet. On the first pass, the front of the toy is printed. Then the sheet is turned over and on the second pass through the printer, the back of the toy is printed. Each pre-sewn sheet is 100% soft cotton but works just like paper in any inkjet printer! The kit includes plain paper for testing the correct printing procedure and an on-screen video takes the kids – or you – through the process. After it’s printed, tear it out, stuff it and seal it shut with a pair of shoes! There’s no sewing, no gluing, no cutting – and best of all for parents, no mess! You do need a color inkjet printer & an Internet connection. The Printies Pet Designer Includes:  Patent Pending Printies Fabric sheets to make four Printies. 4 Pairs of shoes  / Stuffing for 4 Printies and stuffing tool / Sample Paper / Stickers / Exclusive access to the Printies Pet Design Studio online. Each kit (there are 3 varieties) makes 4 Printies! Age 6+. Under $20. There's a demo at the company website:

     www.myprinties.com

     Hear this Netcast www.twit.tv/dgw939

    Tuesday
    Oct132009

    The Coby CAM3000 SNAPP Mini Digital Camcorder/Camera

    Wednesday, October 14th, 2009, Netcast 938

    The SNAPP CAM3000 from Coby Electronics is a pocket-sized digital camcorder shaped very much like the Flip. You can use it to shoot video, take pictures, and play back your files on the built-in color 1.5" LCD screen. There’s a tiny bit of built-in memory, 32MB, but you’ll most likely just be using the built-in SD card slot. It can handle SD/SDHC cards up to 8 GB. That should give you more than 2 hours of recording time. But how does it record? Actually for the money – the results are amazing! You can see for yourself at the link below. When a friend who does PR for Coby said she wanted to try their new under $40 camcorder, I thought: “Under $40, this must be junk!”. Surprise, it shoot very decent video. This is a great camcorder for the kids. You can find it for as low as $29.95 if you do a price search on the web. That way the kids can have their own camera and they’ll leave yours alone. It ships with ArcSoft video editing software and YouTube uploader. I didn’t use the software but uploaded the video to YouTube from putting the SD card from the Coby directly into my computer’s card reader.  A USB cable and hand strap are also included. It runs on 4 AAA batteries which are also included.  Here from Coby are the specs: 1.5" TFT LCD Full Color Display / 1.3MP CMOS sensor(1280 x 960) with LED for low-light situations/ 4x digital zoom – (you can’t an optical zoom at under $40!)/ 32MB built-in memory, SD/SDHC card slot expandable up to 8GB/ 4 X "AAA" batteries (included) with over 4 hours of battery life / ArcSoft Media Impression for video editing and uploading to YouTube / Video resolution: VGA(640 x 480) @ 30fps, AVI fle, codec: Motion JPEG / Connects easily to computer for use as a webcam (driver included and installation required). Here’s a short piece of video I shot with the Coby right out of the box. I'm not using the zoom, but actually moving closer to this great little squirrel!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QhKUFWyubU&feature=channel

    And another of my outdoor backyard railroad.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic3DtP9YfhU

    I haven’t shopped here, but this place sells it for $30.52

    http://www.amazon.com/Coby-CAM3000-1-44-Inch-Digital-Camcorder/dp/B002DW96R6

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw938

    Monday
    Oct122009

    GigaPan lets you take the ultimate panorama photo.

    Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, Netcast 937

    Leo was off this week, delivery a keynote address in Dubai, so Alex Lindsay got to do the Turn the Table Tuesday. His pick: The GigaPan! I don’t have this device but Alex said it offered amazing results and is easy to use. He said it sets things automatically that would take a photographer endless hours to do – that assuming a photographer could do it at all! (Here’s some info from the GigaPan website: This gizmo is a unique robotic camera mount that empowers most small digital cameras with the ability to capture gigapixel images. It is easy to use and remarkably efficient. Simply set the corners of the panorama you want to capture using the LCD interface. The built in software works out how many photos your camera will need to take, hundreds or even thousands. Then the Epic begins snapping the photos, automatically organizing them in overlapping rows and columns. View list of tested cameras.

    Compact enough to fit into a small camera bag and weighing only 3.5 lbs the Epic is versatile and travels well. You may attach a tripod for stability using the 1/4” tripod mount and level with the onboard bubble level. 

    www. GigaPan.com

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw937