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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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    When watched, this kettle boils and turns colors!

    Dick Gadget Warehouse Friday, December 18th, 2009, Netcast 985

    It’s November, 2000 and Russell Hobbs introduces the Thermocolor Colour Changing Kettle. You can tell by the “u” in colour that this product was imported from England. There’s not too much you can do to jazz up a kettle, so Russell Hobbs hoped an appliance that changed colour as it boils water would be a hit. I don’t think it was.There were three models each it is own special name. The ThermoCrystal, which changes from black to crystal white, the ThermoPink (blue to a funky pink) and the ThermoGreen (dark green to lime). I found the ThermoPink in Dick’s Gadget Warehouse. The kettles were available as direct plug-ins where the AC cord was attached directly to the kettle. Or like the one I have where the kettle sits on a special rapid boil heating plate and can be removed and brought cordlessly to the table. As soon as you click the kettle on, it sounds like the water is boiling. Mine is quiet loud. It does boil pretty fast because it uses 1800 watts! (An electric heater is normally 1500 watts.) That’s why they tell you not to use it with an extension cord. There’s a power-on neon light and the kettle automatically shuts off when the water starts to boil. Russell Hobbs is still very much around and they still make kettles, but not this particular model. Strangely I found it at the link below for 999999 pound which equals $1.6 million. I’m willing to sell mine for 1/100 of that price! In case that link hasn’t been changed since I wrote this, here it is!

    Hear this Netcast:


    Instead of buying a spare battery made just for your laptop, here’s another idea.

    Thursday, December 17th, 2009, Netcast 984 

    If you buy a spare battery for your laptop and get rid of that machine, the battery had to go with it since it’s not much use anywhere else. But the Energi To Go XP18000 Power Pack for Laptops (from Energizer) is a different way to go. This versatile on-the-go battery pack can give your smart phone, camera, or laptop hours of extra life. The power pack comes with an assortment of cords and adapter tips making it compatible with a wide range of devices. The Energizer XP18000 is guaranteed to work with ANY laptop in the world! (It's 18000mAH of power) But what there’s more! Use it as a power adapter or you can charge three devices at the same time like your cell phone, iPod and laptop. It weighs less than a pound and it’s compact. Energizer says it provides up to 6 hours of additional laptop power. Here’s how I used mine, and the results. I ran my Toshiba laptop until the battery was totally dead. And I did the same with my LG ENV 3 cell phone. Then I plugged them both into the XP1800 Power Pack and went the gym. When I came back from the gym the XP1800 had used up all its power, but my Toshiba laptop and my LG cell phone were both fully charged in just a bit over an hour. Of course all I had to do was charge up the XP1800 again and it was to go. The Energizer XP18000 comes with 3 power cables, 6 cell phone tips, 3 media tips, 9 laptop tips, an AC adapter and a carrying bag. Energizer also offers FREE TIPS FOR LIFE. You do pay about $5 for shipping, but it means that you can get new tips as new devices are introduced. That way your battery pack will be useful for year to come. Visit for more details. List price is about $170.00. But do a web search. I’ve seen it for $129.99, and once it was a Deal of the Day for $99.99, but that a one-day special price!

    Hear this Netcast:


    See the light at the end of my showerhead!

    Wednesday, December 16th, 2009, Netcast 983


    Do you have one of those showers that you have to run forever to get the water to the temperature you want? And you have to stand there the whole time with your hand in the running water. Here’s a gizmo that can help end that tiresome task. It’s the Water Glow LED Showerhead Light. It uses 3 distinct colored LED lights to let you know the temperature of your water. Now the colors they picked are a little weird. Green means the water flowing is less than 89 degrees. Then when it turns blue, it’s a safe and comfortable 89 to 105 degrees F. (You would expect these colors to be reversed, no? Blue for cold, green for nice & warm.)  The color that is correct is red. When red shows up, the water is HOT, over 105 degrees. When the red starts blinking – it’s HOT and DANGEROUS! Set up is easy, just unscrew your existing showerhead and replace it with the LED shower light. What’s really neat is that this showerhead doesn’t need any batteries. It uses the current generated by the running water to change the color that corresponds to the temperature. The company gives it a fancier name. They say an “Electro magnetic turbine powers unit.”  The price is under $20. But do a web search because sometimes it’s on sale. It’s $20 with free shipping at the link below. I didn't get mine there though. I got it on a "deal of the day" sale for $16.00. But that sale is long over.$20+++free+shipping

    Hear this Netcast:


    I'd like to thank the Academy....

    Guess what? The Daily Giz Wiz won as "Best Comedy Podcast" at Saturday Night's Podcast Awards Event.

    It wouldn't have happened without the driving force of Leo Laporte and the amazing TWiT Network. And it certainly wouldn't have happened without our devoted fans caring enough to vote for us!

    I LOVE doing the Daily Giz Wiz, and winning this Podcast Award was a great surprise. When I heard people could vote everyday I figured the Daily Giz Wiz was dead. We couldn't ask our fans to vote daily. But evidently a lot of you did. So thank you ALL. Whether you voted once, or many times. Or even if you hacked the system and voted 10,000 times! A great big THANK YOU! It's just great!

    Dick De / The Giz Wiz

    All the winners are (or will shortly be) posted here:  

    And here's the program. The "Best Comedy Podcast" Award is the second category, about 7 minutes in.


    It’s been almost 3 weeks since Leo got a new cell phone, so it’s time for another new one!

    Turn The Table Tuesday, Tuesday, December 15th, 2009, Netcast 982

    This photo is from our friends at CNET.COMThis time Leo bought himself the brand new Nokia N900. He bought it unlocked on Amazon for about $600. (Unlocked phones aren’t wedded to any one phone service, but then again you don’t get the big discount you get when you sign your life away for two years with a major cell phone carrier.) Leo said that Nokia needed a big winner to stay competitive, much like Motorola did when they introduced the Droid recently. (Which Leo also bought.) Leo’s first impression is that that the N900 will be an excellent addition to his phone collection because it’s sort of an internet tablet capable of multi-tasking. It’s a little on the large size, a touch bigger than a pack of playing cards. It has an impressive high-resolution screen and a slide down keyboard. Since I don’t have one of these phones, and have not every even played with one I found some other specs on the web. It’s features an ARM processor, OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics accelerator, a 1GB of applications memory and run on the Maemo 5 operating system. You can create your own design for the opening screen with pretty much everything on the display customizable. And you’re not limited to just one screen, but four which can flick back and forth. The phone offers full flash support the phone offers. Web browsing on the N900 is powered by Mozilla, which Leo said worked fine. He had just gotten the phone when we recorded this show so he had used the 5-megapixel camera. Actually this phone has two cameras. You can shoot photos with one, and use the other camera for Skype. (But not at the same time.) The slide out keyboard is a bit different because it only has three rows of keys. Leo plans on returning to this camera on a show in the future once he’s had some time to use it. By knowing Leo if he doesn’t do it the next month or so, he’ll buy another new phone first!

    Hear this Netcast: