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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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    Fight those germs on your toothbrush! It's more important than ever now.

    Thursday, October 29th, 2009 Netcast 949

    Sure, you’re the only one that uses your toothbrush, (well usually) - but it still gathers germs. The folks at Verilux say their CleanWave UV-C Portable Toothbrush Sanitizer is a safe and easy way to sanitize your toothbrush. Germs and bacteria thrive in the moist environment of a toothbrush, and live long after you’re finished brushing and rinsing your toothbrush. A powerful UV-C light safely eliminates germs from your toothbrush that are the common cause of colds, the flu and infections. It’s so easy: just place your toothbrush inside the sanitizer and snap it closed. The sanitizing cycle begins automatically. The 6-minute built-in-timer provides a complete sanitizing cycle. I timed mine and I got a little bit of extra sanitizing at 6 minutes, 19 seconds. Now when it’s time to brush your teeth again, your toothbrush will have been sanitized and safe to use. The sturdy case is perfect for traveling. I called the company and asked if the sanitizer killed H1N1 (swine flu) germs, and the spokesperson said: “absolutely”. The CleanWave is powered by 2-AA batteries, which are not included. (Note: As a safety precaution, the automatic UV-C light shuts-off if opened during operation.) Dimensions: 8.58” H x 2.17” W x 1.18” D •Weight: 5.3 oz / Under $20.

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    A nifty new card reader from Kingston.

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009, Netcast 948

    It’s the Kingston MobileLiteG2, their second-generation portable Flash card reader. What’s nice about this card reader is it shows up as two separate devices on your system. That makes it easier to transfer data between Flash memory cards using only one USB port. This would be a good way to move files off your phone’s micro-SD card onto the computer, or onto a full sized SD card. The MobileLiteG2 comes with retractable covers on each side. Slide one end out to protect the USB connector. The other end slides out to protect the memory cards from damage. It ships with a short USB extension cable in case the USB port you’re going to use is hard to reach, or in case the card reader might block another open port or hit another plugged in USB device. Prices are really good! The card reader alone is about $11. But there’s a better bargain if you buy one of “package deals”.  For $28.50 (about $20 on Amazon) you can get the card reader bundled with a 4 GB SDHC card. For $46 (About $28 on Amazon) you get it bundled with a 8GB SDHC card. Dimensions: 2.45" x 1.16" x 0.646" (62.15mm x 29.40mm x 16.40mm) Weight: 18.90g    And it weighed only .08 ounce on my Ultra-Ship scale. Supported formats: SD, SDHC, microSD, microSDHC, Memory Stick PRO Duo (M2), Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo (M2) and Memory Stick Micro (M2).

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    Leo likes his tea, and he loves his new Breville Variable Temperature Kettle.

    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009, Netcast 947

    This is no ordinary plain old “boil water” kettle. This Variable Temperature kettle allows you to heat water to specific temperatures. Yep, if you want to achieve perfect tea taste for the four major types of teas and French press coffee, this kettle can do it! 5 Pre-set brewing temperatures include: 175F for Green Tea; 185F for White Tea; 195F for Oolong Tea; 200F for French Press: and 212F for boiling and black tea. Not ready when the kettle is? Hit the Hold Temp button and it keeps the heated water at the selected temperature for 20 minutes. (That feature can be activated before, during or on completion of the water heating cycle.) There are water level indicators located on both sides of the kettle for the left and right handed viewing. The brushed stainless steel base and kettle make this a device you won’t put away when you’re not using it. It’s something you’ll want to show off.  Okay, now the price. It’s very high-tech, very trendy, stainless steel and it costs $149.95. I’m not sure what store Leo used on Amazon, but here’s one place I found on the web that sells it:

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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:

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    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:) 

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