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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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    Ever heard of a Motorola cell phone with iTunes?

    Friday, February 19th, 2010, Netcast 1030 Back to Dick’s Gadget Warehouse

    It was back in September 2005 when I was invited to a huge disco/nightclub called Webster Hall for a ‘major announcement’ from Motorola. The rumors were rampant that the announcement would be that Motorola would be introducing new an iTunes capable cell phone. Hmm, I never recalled up to that point that Apple really liked to work with outside companies, so I had a ‘wait & see’ attitude. With music blaring and DJ’s playing we were introduced to the Motorola ROKR E1. (ROKR as in Rocker.) Yes, the rumors were true. You could use it with iTunes, but so it wasn’t too much like an iPod, there was a tune limit. You could only transfer 100 of your favorite songs from the iTunes jukebox on a Mac or PC to the ROKR. Another not too exciting announcement was that this new phone was exclusively available with Cingular service. (Now ATT.) The Motorola ROKR had a color display for viewing album art, dual built-in stereo speakers (which sounded very decent) and stereo headphones that doubled as a mobile headset with microphone. But there was another musical drawback to the ROKR. Although you could now use a version of iTunes on this phone, you could not listen to your music library via Bluetooth stereo headphones. No protocol to do that was included, and you also needed an adapter to use regular 3.5mm headphones. The cost was $199.99, which was quickly reduced to $149.99, which didn’t seem to help much. The phone was available for about a year before it disappeared.


    The Amazing – and Cheap Keychain Mini DVR.

    Thursday, February 18th, 2010, Netcast 1029

    A fan sent me an email about this Keychain DVR. I wish I could find their name to give them credit, but I went through more than 500 emails and can’t locate it. But I did buy one & I love it. Actually I ordered two more. Here are the details from the Ebay website:

    The car key Chain mini DVR is the smallest DVR in the world. The video is still very clear and vivid even if you are moving when you record video because it is 100% 720 X 480 pixels and 30 frame/second. Dimension:  1.2 x 1.95 x 0.4 inch   (3cm x 4.9cm x 1cm) Weight: 15g ( including battery) Real time recording in AVI Video format. Takes 1280 x 960 JPG photos. Color video with voice lets you clearly see who’s there & hear what they say. Playback video on Laptop or PC Time stamp on video. Built-in Memory: None. Micro SD card support︰ 128MB to 16GB (No card included) USB adapter charging cable. Battery build-in: 280mAH, charges via USB. Record Time︰ Around 70 minutes. Kit includes camera, usb cable and Instructions.

    The camera looks exactly like a key fob for your car. There are two working and two fake buttons. One button turns the cam on/off. The other button does all the operations. One quick click shoots a photo; or hold the button down until the LED light blinks 3X, which indicates you are in video recording mode. I paid $16.90 including shipping, but Leo found one on the web for only $12 including shipping! I have heard there are knock-offs of the original and that some of the lower priced knock-offcameras can only take 2 or 4 GB Micro SD cards and don't focus as clearly. I don’t know if Leo will get the exact same camera I have, although they look alike. To be safe, I reordered the exact camera I first ordered & paid the full $16.90! (Not a bad price for the amazing quality!!)

    Here’s a 1-minute video clip I shot at MAD Magazine with the camera I bought:

    Here’s where I bought mine:

    Hear this show:


    Seagate meets Pogoplug.

    Wednesday, February 17th, 2010, Netcast 1028

    DockStar Network Adapter shown with optional FreeAgent Go portable drive.Seagate has a line of FreeAgent Go portable hard drives. They can automatically back up files and folders on your computer with the software on the drive. And now you can combine a FreeAgent Go portable hard drive with Seagate’s new FreeAgent DockStar. It’s a combination of a docking station and network attached storage device. It allows for the data stored on a Seagate FreeAgent Go drive and up to three other USB connected hard drives to be shared via a network connection. It gives you an easy way to share and access digital photos, videos and files anywhere you can find an Internet connection. You can also access files from any networked PC or Mac computer in your home. Or access and share files with friends, over the Internet —no special software required. You can enable friends and/or family to upload content, creating a comprehensive share space. It appears as a local drive whether at home or accessed through the Internet. It’s just simple drag-and-drop access. The device keeps your workspace neat by letting you dock a FreeAgent Go drive and then connect up to three additional USB storage devices. If you like, you can send pictures straight from your iPhone to the FreeAgent DockStar network adapter. Now you’ll notice in my heading to this gadget I mentioned Pogoplug. That’s because this device uses Pogoplug technology for the Ethernet connectivity and file sharing. Seagate made a licensing agreement with them, which means they pay a fee to Pogoplug. They offer the Pogoplug service to buyers for free for the 1st year, but then there is a $29.95 annual fee after that. You don’t have to pay the fee if you just want to use the docking station as a networked device in your own network, but not over the Internet. Or you can buy a stand-alone Pogoplug, which does a little bit less, and looks a lot less techie for about $99.00 - and pay no monthly fee. But be warned: The current Pogoplug is available only in glowing pink for some strange reason. (Check it out at the link below.) The FreeAgent DockStar lists for $99.99, but do a web search and you can usually find it a bit cheaper. I saw it on Amazon for $79.99.  You can team your FreeAgent DockStar with a FreeAgent Go Portable Drive. There are now 7 models in various colors that run from 250GB to 1TB. They start at about $70 for the 250 GB model. 

    More info and video demo at the Seagate website:

    Here this Netcast:

    Here’s the Daily Giz Wiz on the original Pogoplug:

    Learn more about the current Pogoplug:


    Leo loves anything tech, even tech gloves!

    Tuesday, February 16th, 2010, Netcast 1027  Another Turn The Table Tuesday

    The openings are there on purpose! So you can control your gizmos while your hand stays warm. For this Turn The Table Tuesday, Leo demonstrates his new AquaTech Sensory gloves.  Sensory Gloves? What do they do? I asked the same question and Leo did a mini demo showing us how he could dial his cell phone and surf the web with this AquaTech Sensory gloves on! You see these gloves not only keep your hands warm like normal gloves, but they help keep you in control of your gadgets. How? Well this is the “tech” part – they offer instant exposure of thumb and Index for fine control of iPods, iPhones, MP3 players, etc. Yes, Leo almost seemed giddy as he exposed his fingers on “live Internet recording of The Daily Giz Wiz!” They also have a waterproof breathable outer shell, and double fast drying breathable insulation layers. But wait there’s more! Other features includes silicon palm for superior grip and wait there’s still more!!! And adjustable wrist lanyards. They’re available in your choice of Small, Medium, Large & Extra Large, but you get no choice when it comes to the color. All the sizes are black/moss. (Moss, as in green.) $49.95. I did a quickie web search and it seems for right now, discounts are not available.

    Hear this Netcast:


    Aerobie makes the jump from flying discs to making coffee on the fly!

    Monday, February 15th, 2010 Netcast 1026

    Aerobie, yes the folks that make those fun-flying rings have found a way to make a good cup on the fly! There’s a picture of their AeroPress on the left. It may look a touch complicated, but using it is pretty simple. First you place the Aeropress on top of your favorite coffee mug. Then put a measured scoop of coffee into the brewing chamber and pour hot water into the grounds. (Here’s something to remember, pour the hot water slowly. The fist time I used the AeroPress the water went right thorugh and make a super-weak brew. Then I started looking at the instructions. Turns out that if you pour the water slowly, the grounds get wet and slow down the brewing process so you get a deeper, richer flavor. Now that you’ve learned how to pour the water, once it’s in the brewing chamber, use the included stirrer to mix the coffee and water for about 10 to 15 seconds. Then a few seconds later place the plunger on top of the brewing chamber and push down gently. What’s neat about this coffee maker is clean-up is quick and easy. Unlike that French Press machines with the springy-thingy on the bottom, which is difficult to clean, with this unit you just pop out the block of coffee grounds into the garbage. They refer to that block of coffee grounds as the “puck” because it does like a mini-version of one. You can make 1 to 4 cups of coffee or espresso (enough for 1 or 2 mugs). It uses a micro paper filter and I was pleased to find that they include 320 of them! And the company says if you don’t mind giving the filter a mini-rinse you can use each one 3 or 4 times. Best news is that if you buy another 320 along with the AeroPress it only adds a few dollars to the order. Now there are sorts of tips on how to brew the best coffee and a quick web search showed there are devoted fans across the world offering videos and ways to improve your coffee making techniques. It retails for $25 to $35, but our friends at ThinkGeek have it at the low end, $25.99. (No, we don’t get a commission, but they did provide a sample so we could play with it.) There’s also a video on using the Aerobie at their website here:

    Hear this Netcast: