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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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    A “stone” that weighs a fraction of an ounce!

    Daily Giz Wiz, Week of October 26th, 2009   Netcast 946

    Monday, October 26th, 2009  JabraStone

    From our friends at Slash Gear!Companies need to do something different to get any attention in the very crowded field of Bluetooth headsets. Jabra did that their new Jabra STONE. It looks like a highly polished, small round stone. The headset itself is really tiny and wraps behind the ear. And it eliminates the microphone boom. I like this too: The Jabra STONE carrying case is actually a sleek wireless portable charger. It’s tiny enough to fit pretty much any pocket. When you pop the headset out of the “stone”, it goes on automatically. The headset gives you 2 hours of talk time after you charge it. BUT by returning the headset to the “charger stone” you’ll get 6 more hours with the on-the-go charging. Pop your headset back in the Stone for a little over an hour and it will be charged for another 2 hours. You can do this 3 times. When the portable charger needs to be recharged, the light will turn from red to green.  When the headset is in the charger and paired with your phone, it has 12 hours of standby time. The headset & Stone are recharged via USB or AC. Something Jabra calls Noise Blackout Extreme takes the microphone arm off your face. They say that upgraded noise elimination technology (i.e. “Extreme”) intelligently filters out 24 decibels of ambient noise (traffic, office chatter, wind, etc.) – 12 more decibels than the original Noise Blackout technology. This technology uses dual microphones increase the amount of captured sound data, enabling the device to more intelligently filter the background noise. I made a couple of calls from the street and the call quality was very good, despite no visible boom mic! If you have a bit of hair on your head most people won’t even see the small headset resting in your ears. The Jabra STONE features Bluetooth 2.1 and can connect two Bluetooth enabled devices at the same time. To adjust the volume just slide your finder up or down the side of the headset. To use the answer/end button just click the “Jabra” logo on the headset: once to answer or end – twice to redial. There’s voice dialing, but the phone you pair it to must also support that. It can also stream music from A2DP enabled mobile phones. The Jabra STONE will be available exclusively at AT&T retail stores and on beginning November 8th for $129. (Being exclusive usually means that it will be hard to get a discount, but they may have ‘introductory’ offers.) The device ships with a Micro USB charging cable and wall charger.  For more information:

    Hear this Netcast:


    Oh, no! Zelco has given up on the Safety Fish Water Level Alarm!

    Back to Dick’s Gadget Warehouse, Friday, October 23rd, Netcast 945

    This is (was) a clever and useful gadget that I guess wasn’t a big seller. Zelco makes all sorts of useful gadgets. Their most famous one is The Itty Bitty Booklight that has been selling for many years, with new innovations along the way. But it seems the Safety Fish Water Level was not a big seller. It was a whimsical little gadget to prevent your bathtub from overflowing. You know how it is. You’re waiting for the tub to fill and you start to do something else and then forget the water’s running. With this gadget, you just attach the Safety Fish to the tub via its suction cup. Then you adjust it to the desired water level with the included string. When the water level starts to go above the Safety Fish, a powerful beep can be heard. The alarm will continue until the water level recedes back to a safe position. It could also be used in kitchen or laundry sinks. If you do a web search you might find a few places still selling the Safety Fish. Available in three colors. Suggest retail price: $12.00

    I found them here for under $7. One of the 3 colors is already sold out. (I haven’t shopped here, it’s for your info only:) 

    Hear this Netcast:


    We haven’t done one in weeks!!! So it’s time for another flashlight!

    Thursday, October 22, 2009, Netcast 944  

    It’s not just a flashlight - it’s the Clamplight. It uses a 1-watt Cree White LED bulb. We all know LED bulb life is virtually forever - or 100,000 hours, whichever comes first! Light output is up to 65 lumens which is brighter than most other mass distributed LED lights and comparable to many hi-end technical lights. It uses 3AAA batteries and has an IC chip for more consistent light output. Battery life is about 26 hours. The Clamplight is designed to clamp virtually anywhere and stay out of the way. A strong spring clamps securely to shelves, doors, pipes, branches and other objects. Two axis swivel head directs light to any position. It’s shaped like a traditional flashlight so you can indeed just use it like a regular flashlight when you don’t need the ‘clamping’ features. The Clamplight can also be used as a stand light because the non-skid feet swivel down for stability. It’s molded in high impact ABS plastic with stainless steel fittings. MSRP is $29.99.

     Hear this Netcast: 


    A good gadget that just might help if you have trouble falling asleep!

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009, Netcast 943

    NightWave was designed to eliminate tossing and turning in order to help you fall asleep naturally. Many people lie awake at night suffering from common insomnia or jet lag. Sleep loss can be due to: over stimulation from an active mind. (That’s me! Bouncing off the walls at 3 AM). Environmental and lifestyle stresses and unfamiliar sleep surroundings can hinder sleep too. With NightWave, adults and children can begin to relax within minutes and then easily drift into sleep. It can also be used to fall back asleep in the middle of the night. Here’s how it works: NightWave projects a soft blue light into your darkened bedroom. The "luminance" of the light slowly rises and falls. You lie with eyes open and synchronize your breathing with the blue wave as its movement becomes slower and slower. After a short time, NightWave shuts off and you roll over and fall asleep. And unlike sound machines, the soft light does not disturb others. (Well hopefully it doesn’t disturb them.) The regular cycle is 7 minutes, but there’s also a 25-minute cycle for people who need, or want a longer time to fall asleep. I used it for a couple of nights and found it does help. Of course from time to time my brain over-rides my breathing and I suddenly think –“Did I post tomorrow’s DGW gadget?” – or something like that! But the object is to retrain your brain to relax and breathe properly. So you don’t have to use it forever. When you’ve mastered sleep, you can pass your NightWave on to a friend or family member who needs fall-asleep help. At the company’s website, it’s $59.95. If you do a price search on Amazon, you can find it for $49.95.The company says people who take prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids, can recoup the price of the Nightwave quickly with the money they’ll save. It’s offered with a 30 day money back guarantee.  At it’s $59.95, but they offer a 90 day trial period.

    Hear this Netcast: 


    A worthy addition to those who love “The Toothpick Bird”!

    Turn The Table Tuesday, October 20th, 2009, Netcast 942

    It’s the amazing Penguin Tea Timer. And it’s from, one our favorite places to find – well, stupid stuff. I also love the way Gary Apple, the owner of writes descriptions.  Here’s their info on the PENGUIN TEA TIMER:

    We discovered this odd Penguin at a surplus inventory tradeshow. Apparently, nobody else in the world wanted to sell these little guys -- they were just too stupid. But not for! I guess you could say we "rescued" the little fellas. Unlike many of our products, the Penguin Tea Timer is actually useful. Here's how he works... Making tea, though easy to do, is also time consuming. Once you pour the hot water into the cup, you must patiently hover over it, waiting for the tea to steep. Well, the Penguin Tea Timer happily does the waiting for you. You can either hang a tea bag from the penguin's beak, or use the tea strainer (included) with your favorite blend of loose tea. Place your teacup under the beak and set it to the desired time. As you turn the timer dial, the beak lowers the tea into the hot water. When time is up, a bell sounds and the penguin automatically lifts his beak, removing the tea bag from the water. And it doubles as a kitchen timer. The Penguin Tea Timer can be set up to 20 minutes, so you can use it as a traditional kitchen timer! The Penguin Tea Timer comes in a nice box, so he would make a (thoughtful?) gift for someone who likes tea, timers, penguins, or weird kitchen gadgets. And at $11.89, the price is not steep at all!

    Hear this Netcast: