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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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    Back to Dick’s Gadget Warehouse --The Alfred E. Neuman Wristwatch Clock

    Friday April 9th, 2010, Netcast 1065 

    The dollar bill is there to show the scale. The clock has a 6" diameter.At last I found something that's probably worth something at Dick's Gadget Warehouse. It's the Alfred E. Neuman Clock that looks exactly like a GIANT version of the Alfred E. Neuman wristwatch. The clock face is a full 6" across. And the case is 24K plastic-looking gold. (Because it IS plastic, or somethinglike it!) It was put out in 1987 as part of MAD’s 35th Anniversary. It was produced by Concepts Plus, Inc. In late 1987, or early 1988 Concepts Plus joined with, or became Applause. The clock/watch was not wildly popular, but who cares - that makes this one more valuable.  On the clock, as on the watch, MAD’s mascot Alfred E. Neuman is in a straightjacket with his often quoted  “What, Me Worry?” printed next to him. MAD publisher William M. Gaines didn't want Concepts Plus to merely take one of their regular watches and just put the MAD logo on it. He wanted it to really be a MAD Watch. So on this clock (and the Alfred E. watches) that's how Alfred ended up in a straight jacket. Since he can't use his hands, his animated legs function as the hands. In small print on left side of the clock dial it says: Concepts Plus, Inc. And one the right side of the dial it says: 35th Anniversary Edition ©1987 E.C. Publications Inc. The one pictured here hung on my office wall at MAD's 485 MADison Avenue address for a few years. Then when William M. Gaines passed on and Time Warner moved MAD Magazine headquarters to DC Comics, I packed up everything in my office and sent it to Dick's Gadget Warehouse. (Time Warner told us we'd have to be a lot neater at the new MAD offices.)  So this clock has been in the warehouse for almost 20 years. But the warehouse costs $355 a month and I've been storing crap, I mean, storing valuable memorabilia there for all those years and now it's time to sell stuff and pay down that bill! So this rare some-of-a-kind item will be offered on Ebay. I'll post a link when it's up t here. The fastest way to know about the auction & other MAD items I find at the warehouse is to follow me on Twitter. Add me as a friend

    Here's a video with more about this unique Alfred E. Clock:

    Hear this Netcast:



    Oh no, not another Bluetooth headset!

    Thursday, April 8th, 2010, Netcast 1064 

    That’s what I said when someone from Jawbone told me they had a brand new model. But when they started to explain what was new about the Icon Hero, I was immediately interested. First off, this headset is tiny and it has almost no controls to learn about. There’s an actual slide on/off switch, so a quick peek & you’ll know if it’s on or off. That’s easier than trying to decide if that LED light blink meant your headset just turned off, or off? Then there’s a micro-USB port for charging and a single multi-function button. There is no volume control because this headset uses something called Jawbone Active Dynamic Range Management. It sets volumes based on the way you set up your phone for the first time. Something I’ve never seen on any other Bluetooth headset is the voice that whispers how much battery life is left – in hours and minutes – when you first turn the unit one. But wait there’s more! If you have an iPhone you can also have an on-screen battery icon. Pairing was a breeze and I had no trouble letting the Icon Hero control the volume for me. The voice that tells you the condition of the battery also announces the number calling in. You can change the voice to man, woman, sexy voice etc. at the Icon MyTALK website. And if you like, you can pick Spanish, French and German. There’s voice dialing, directory assistance, even Jott voice-to-text (provided you subscribe). Something Icon calls NoiseAssassin worked well too. It suppresses background noise while letting your voice push through. I made a couple of calls standing right next to a loud TV and the party I called was able to hear me with just some low background noise - like I was calling from a busy restaurant. It’s offered in six different fashion colors and flashy styles. List is $100, but if you do a web search you can find it for about $75. Read all the details of the Icon and see the six styles at the company website: 

    Hear this Netcast:


    A whole new way to learn a foreign language that’s actually fun!

    Wednesday, April 7th, 2010, Netcast 1063

    Rosetta Stone, the folks who pretty much own the “learn a foreign language” category have added a new, innovative language-learning system called Rosetta Stone TOTALe. (It’s pronounced tow-TALLY) With TOTALe you learn at your own pace (at your computer) while receiving personalized coaching and encouragement. It’s a 3-part system. In Rosetta Course you learn to speak, listen, read and write -- all without translation or memorization. Pictures & phrases come up on the screen & you instinctively start to put them together, all in the foreign language you’ve chosen. (Your course comes with a microphone for interaction.) The Rosetta Course website keeps track of your progress and if you like, you can reinforce your learning on the go with the included Audio Companion. In Rosetta Studio Practice your speaking skills are matched with native-speaking Studio Coaches and other learners at your level in a real-time, interactive online environment. And finally with Rosetta World you play in a community dedicated to language learning. An online environment helps you and other learners engage in conversation with native speakers and practice skills designed specifically for your learning level. Giz Wiz Logo designed Dennis Wunderlin took advantage of a 3 month press preview and said he learned more French in those 3 months then he did during four years of French in high school. (A long time ago!) It’s not inexpensive at $998.00, until you consider that’s for a full year of learning, for as many hours as you like, and with a live instructor when you need it. They also offer a free month trial, but please check their website for all the details!|16819|rosetta%20stone%20totale||S||3918175215&gclid=CMjsq4jg36ACFQtx5QodjgvdDw 

    Hear this Netcast:


    Leo finds another winner for this Turn The Table Tuesday. It’s Sickening!

    Tuesday, April 6th, 2010, Netcast 1062 

    It’s getting impossible to make fun of Leo’s gadget choices for Turn the Table Tuesdays. He’s on a roll, but how long can he go for? Anyway, this week he picked the Targus Premium Laptop Charger as his choice. The nifty laptop charger is half the size and weight of the typical AD/DC charger and is about the size of a blackberry. Right now it’s the smallest adapter on the market, so it’s ideal for travel. But wait, there’s more! It can charge two devices at one time! The kit includes 9 laptop tips, one mini-USB tip for cell phones, cameras or other compatible devices and one iPod/iPhone tip. Easily power or charge a laptop and one additional item such as a Blackberry or iPod at the same time. So you have less wires to carry, the charger plugs directly into the wall and the AC prongs rotate 180 degrees, allowing the user to plug the charger into a power strip without blocking other outlets. The prongs also lie flat for added portability. To charge or power multiple devices in the car, the charger includes a portable auto adapter. The thin, lightweight cord packs quickly and easily and includes an elastic band for cable management. The integrated tip storage clips onto the power cord so tips stay with the charger and are readily available when needed. The Premium Laptop Charger also comes with the Tips From Targus Program which supplies users with a free tip for your 2nd laptop and/or cell phone and free tips. $149.99 

     It’s $132.07 here on Amazon. I have not purchased anything here:

     Hear this Netcast:


    Riddle: When is a sandwich a puzzle?

    Monday, April 5th, 2010, Netcast 1061 

    Answer: When you use the Match & Munch Sandwich Cutters. It’s a set of 4 puzzle shaped sandwich cutters from a company called Lunch Punch. The Spoon Sisters, two high-energy gals who run a fun website called, what else, found the Match & Munch at the National Housewares Show in Chicago recently. They know I’m always on the lookout for unusual stuff so they sent me a sample so I could see them in person. These cutters could be used if you have finicky little eaters who have to coaxed to eat their sandwiches - especially if they are members of crust-haters anonymous. This is creative way to eliminate pesky crusts while making sandwiches into an intriguing interlocking puzzle pieces. Kids will want to eat them, and most likely, show them off at school lunchtime. You can make a giant puzzle sandwich for a party. (If you hate crusts, also check out KrustBuster at the link below.) The Match & Munch cutter is higher than a regular cookie cutter so it easily cut through two pieces of bread without flattening the sandwich. You can create single sandwiches pieces measure about 3.3 inches X 2 inches -- or build an amazing interlocking puzzle with as many pieces measuring about 2 inches square as you want. Dishwasher safe. Made of ABS, USFDA approved food-grade virgin plastic. BPA, Lead and Phalate Free. Both product and packaging are 100% recyclable. Price: $16.95  

    Hear this Netcast: 


     To buy from Benny – he sells it a bit cheaper:    

    Hear Krustbuster Netcast: