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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 TWiT.tv. But wait, there's More »

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    Welcome! This is the home of

    The Giz Wiz & Gizneyland Studio

    + World News Now, MAD Magazine, TWiT, & more!

    The weekly "Giz Wiz Show" with OMGchad & me  

    is on our video channel: http://www.gizwiz.tv/

    Gadgets I show on ABC's World News Now are here:

    http://gizwizbiz.squarespace.com/world-news-now-abc/

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    The Giz Wiz® and Giz Wiz Biz® Are Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.

    Sunday
    Dec272009

    An easy way to install smoke alarms & change the batteries.

    Monday, December 28th, 2009. Netcast 991

    It’s called Alarm Arm. The folks at Alarm Arm have some interesting information. They say that research shows 94% of homes in the U.S. have at least one smoke alarm, but more than eighty million smoke alarms in the U.S. are more than 10 years old. Smoke alarm manufacturers state that smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years, therefore most smoke alarms in use are considered "non-functional". This problem is due to the fact that smoke alarms are often hard to reach. Smoke alarms fail most often due to simple reasons such as missing, dead or disconnected batteries, thus the Alarm Arm makes the process of removing/replacing an existing alarm to check the batteries, or installing a new smoke alarm, an easy and quick process without a ladder or other tools. You start by installing a magnetic plate in the ceiling by using the Alarm Arm attached to a handle you provide. They’re the kind sold in paint stores to attached rollers to paint the ceiling. Then you attach your smoke alarm to another magnetic plate you just clips on to the installed plate. It’s real easy to do. There a video on the company’s website that shows how to install a smoke detector in under two minutes, and how to change a battery in under one minute! The Alarm Arm kit costs $19.95. You provide the handle and the smoke detector. In a demonstration with this product, even a four year old was able to install and remove a smoke alarm from a ten-foot ceiling – completely unassisted The video, product brochure, and much more information is available at their website:

    www.alarmarm.com

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw991 

    Thursday
    Dec242009

    Leo told me I should find something in the warehouse that fit right in with a Daily Giz Wiz Show that aired on Christmas Day!

    Back to Dick’s Gadget Warehouse, Friday, December 25th, 2009 Netcast 990

    That was the assignment, and I did it! The gadget I found was from 1989, 20 years ago. It was one of the Enesco Treasury of Christmas Ornament  Winter Wonders. But wait there’s more. It has even more names: It’s from the Tree-Top Treasures Hanging Ornament with Motion & Light” line! It is rather elaborate with a train going in one direction, and wooden soldiers turning in the other direction. But the box copy makes it sound even more thrilling! Here it is:

    WITH JUST A FLIP OF THE SWITCH, THIS INTRIGUING TOP COMES TO LIFE AND SO WILL YOUR IMAGINATION!  INCREDIBLY, DETAILED, WATCH AS THE SOLDIERS REVOLVE ABOVE THE MOVING TRAIN, AND BRIGHTLY COLORED LIGHTS FLASH ON & OFF. READY TO HANG ANYWHERE AND FASCINATE EVERYONE...UNIQUE ENESCO "WINTER WONDERS" ORNAMENT WILL PROVIDE ENDLESS HOURS OF ENJOYMENT THROUGHOUT THE HOLIDAY SEASON.  EACH ORNAMENT OPERATES SAFELY AND CONVENIENTLY ON FOUR AA BATTERIES. BATTERY PACK IS INCLUDED AND CLEVERLY DESIGNED AS A CHARMING CHRISTMAS GIFT PACKAGE...TWO ORNAMENTS IN ONE.  JUST TURN THE SWITCH ON AND DISCOVER ALL THE ENCHANTMENT OF "WINTER WONDERS"!

    The ornament does make a lot of noise when it runs. That could be the 20 year old motor needs oil, or perhaps the noise is supposed to be sound effects of the train. If you must have one, there is (or maybe was) one on Ebay at the link below:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/TREE-TOP-TREASURES-MOTION-LIGHT-ENESCO-ORNAMENT_W0QQitemZ300370398431QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item45ef788cdf   $12.99

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw990

    Wednesday
    Dec232009

    Here's a cute puppy that's perfectly house broken!

    Thursday, December 24th, 2009, Netcast 989

    WowWee’s made several animated gizmos we’ve talked about on the Daily Giz Wiz over the years. There’s was the growling Gorilla head that had sensors so it followed you as you walked by! And who can forget the short lived Elvis Live, a singing Elvis bust complete with a quivering lip! This time WowWee has created something a little more down to earth. They’re called Sleeping Cuties. I have the Labradoodle Puppy, an adorable, cuddly sleepy pet with a poseable head. He knows when you pick him up and starts to interact. You can also get him to wake up by scratching his head. Pet him and he will curl up, make himself cozy and get ready to fall asleep. Pet him again and he will wake up and uncurl while making gentle slumbering sounds. He also makes baby animal sounds to tell you how happy he is. I think kids will love their Sleeping Cuties. Here are the highlights of this puppy in "his own words". My eyes open and close! I make sleeping animal sounds! Pet me to wake me up or make me sleep! My paws move when you turn my head! I can lift my head and lay it down. I need 4  “AA” size batteries, but I bring them with me. Besides your Sleeping Cutie, you get a User manual, Blanket, and Adoption certificate. Age 3+. The place below sells them, but I have not shopped there. Most major stores with large Toy Departments should carry them too. Under $35.

    http://www1.shopping.com/xPO-Wowwee-WowWee-Sleeping-Cuties-Puppy-Labradoole

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw989

    Tuesday
    Dec222009

    This is an easy to set alarm clock. You just talk to it!

    Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009  Netcast 988

    It’s the new Moshi Voice Control Travel Alarm Clock. Pushing a button and then just giving a command sets the time of day and alarm time on this small travel alarm clock. A while back we did the Moshi Talking Clock for the home. This travel alarm clock is better. You push a button on the top of the clock and give a command. You can say things like “set time”, “set alarm”, even “temperature”.  The last thing you want to do when you arrive jet-lagged at your destination is try to futz with those confusing hotel alarm clocks or automated wake-up calls. With the Moshi VC Travel Alarm Clock simply say, "Set Alarm…7:30 AM” and wait for confirmation voice. Then you can fall asleep with ease. Something I really like happens when the alarm goes off in the morning. You don’t have to touch a button, just say “snooze” and go back to sleep for another nine minutes! It’s available in four different color options and it’s priced reasonably at $24.95.

    http://www.moshilifestyle.com/Product/VoiceControlTravelAlarmClock

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw988  

    Here's the link to info on the large size Moshi Talking Clock. You set the large clock by waking it up with "Hello, Moshi". I like the travel clock better, when you wake it by pushing a button. The bigger clock would sometime come on and start talking about it heard a phrase on the radio or TV!

    http://gizwizbiz.com/homecurrentdailygizwiz/dgwmarch09.html

    Monday
    Dec212009

    The new, official TWiT Podcast Headset!

    Turn The Table Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009, Netcast 987

    When TWiT had regular guests in far off locations they often provide them with webcam (currently the Logitech Pro 9000) and a USB headset. They do this so the audio and video quality of TWiT shows meets their high standards. They latest headset they zoomed in on, is the Plantronics Audio Headset 655. It’s for guests to use because it’s true Plug-and-Play. Once connected the headset's dual 40 mm speakers deliver full-range digital audio with a clear treble range and very decent bass. The Audio 655 is constructed with comfortable, cushioned earpieces to block distracting ambient noise. The 655 Headset also features a noise-canceling, full-adjustable boom-style microphone that transmits your voice clearly without the interruption of background noise. This makes the unit ideal for podcasting, Skype and other Internet calls. The headset's Fast Mic Mute technology lets you quickly mute the microphone by simply raising the boom. But wait, there’s more! One of the best things about this new headset is the price. The list price is $59.99, but it often sells for $29.99. There are more details here:

    http://www.plantronics.com/north_america/en_US/products/computer/voip-headsets/audio-655A  

    Selling here for under $30, but I haven't purchased anything from this vendor:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001SEQN3K/ref=nosim/11008311-rg1948-00-20

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw987