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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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    Leo gets another _______(Blank).

    Sounds like a Match Question, doesn’t it. With Leo the blank could be filled with car, flashlight, camera or phone. This time though, the correct answer is “another phone.” Leo bought the new Google Nexus One. As you would expect, the Nexus One runs Google’s Android. But it’s the first phone to be marketed by the folks who came up with the operating system. I bet it was in the works for a long time, because I remember when I first showed the Palm Pre, I was told to make sure I didn’t call it the “Google phone!” Guess they wanted to save that name for the real Google phone. The Nexus One is built by HTC, and available through You can purchase it without a carrier if you wish, but it will cost you! Leo paid $529, but there’s no contract. It will cost $179 from T-Mobile online with a two-year contract. And then you need service that’s about $80 a month. Leo said Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and Vodafone in Europe will sell the Nexus One, probably in the Spring. Prices are not set yet. Leo showed us that the Nexus Phone has the shape and size of the iPhone, but it’s a bit thinner. There’s an OLED 3.7-inch display, which Leo considers better than the one on the iPhone. (480 x 800 OLED  compared to iPhone’s 480 x 320 display. It has a 5MP camera with flash, shoots video and has something I really love in a phone, a real (non-menu driven) volume control. It has enough different screen so Leo can do all the multi-tasking he likes. I believe he said the Nexus has 5 customizable screens. I haven’t handled one of these phone yet and Leo’s 3,000 miles away, but there’s a ton more info on the phone at Google’s website at

    TTTT, Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, Netcast 1007
    3D tour from Google:
    Hear this Netcast: 


    Charge your cell phone and exercise at the same time!

    Daily Giz Wiz, Monday January 18th, 2010, Netcast 1006

    CES had a lot of “green products” on display. The YoGen by Easy Energy was one of them. It’s a slim pocket-sized, hand powered electric charger that the company says produces a previously unmatched level of charging power when driven by the repeated pulling of a cord. A spokesman at the booth said it generated 5 watts of charging power, which is pretty much the same as your AC charger at home produces. The “Yo” part of the name came about because the way you use the device is sort of like using a Yo-Yo. The “Gen” part of course is for generator. Once again, quoting the company: The YoGen represents a major break-though in hand-powered chargers in that it offers an industry leading ratio of power output to input effort and that its ergonomic design allows for extended charging effort with minimal operator fatigue. When the user repeatedly pulls the YoGen’s T-handle, an internal alternator spins continuously, generating power to recharge the batteries of your cell phone or any other like-sized portable electronic device.  (Back to me.) There are several versions available depending on what you want to charge. The YoGen device is the same but you should order a package that includes the proper tip for your phone or iPod. Each package includes tips for four devices. It also comes in various colors, but I like the clear plastic model so you can see the inner workings. There’s a green LED that glows when you are sending charing power to your device. The only switch on the YouGen is one that lets you custom tailor the output of the YoGen to the gizmo you’re charging. You try either the "up" or "down" position to see which appears to be generating more power. $39.99.


    Hear this Netcast:


    You asked for more of those “mail order bargains” I have in Dick’s Gadget Warehouse….so here’s another one!

    Friday, January 15th, 2009 Daily Giz Wiz 1005

    Why are we giving away GIANT DESIGNER 5 PIECE LUGGAGE SETS for only $9.95? This is not a misprint! -----  

    Yes, this is how so many of those “mail order scam ads” of the 70’s & 80’s started. You still got something for your money, but nothing like what the photo promised. Or what the glowing copy led you to expect when your package arrived. Here’s more copy from the ad:

    Hard to believe, but true. As part of a nation wide publicity campaign, the New York firm of Peabody & Wright, Ltd. will distribute one million nationally advertised GIANT Designer 5 piece luggage sets for the astonishingly low price of of only $9.95 plus shipping and handling to the first one million persons who write to the company address. (Only one million people?)

    These are the most expensive and fastest selling luggage sets ever sold by this New York company. (and how much would you want to bet it's the only luggage set ever sold by this company!)

    Each set consists of: Expandable folding garment carrier with 2 sturdy handles. Super roomy Pullman to hold an entire vacation/business trip wardrobe, with convenient full length shoulder strap, toiletry kit/super-cushioned cosmetic case.

    These will not be sold in any store! (That's because in a store you would see that they were just just thin nylon shells!) Each piece is covered by the company's full one year money-back guarantee and will be replaced or refunded if it ever fails to function. There is a limit of 3 sets per address at this low price but if you send in your request early enough you may request up to six!  (And I bet if you said you needed 12 sets they would say, "oh, okay!")  

    What you received via a uniformed employee of the government (the mailman)  was 5 flimsy nylon shells. They arrived rolled up in a small reinforced paper envelope. That's when I knew I was in big trouble! I used to say: "Don't throw out the pape envelope. It could be the 6th piece of this cheap luggage set.

    While $9.95 + $5 shipping doesn't seem like a lot of money, but don't forget this was 30 years ago! Even in today's money I sure wouldn't pay $14.95 for these nylon shells! They might good for the TSA personnel at airports. They could practically see through them without bothering with the xray machine! 

    Hear this Netcast:    


    Forget Baby’s First Words. Here’s Baby’s First Gadget!

    Thursday, January 14th, 2010, Netcast 1004

    If I were a baby I’d want this. Even as an adult, I find it a lot of fun. (But the bib doesn’t fit. Yes, I tried it!) It’s the Illuminated JetBib from ThinkGeek. When you can’t get your baby to eat, what’s the ploy every parent relies on for food delivery! Yes, the airplane!  ThinkGeek has updated that airplane with a Jetliner they call OmNomNom (sound familiar?). It has LED’s and a sleek yellow and blue body. This is the 2010 way to transport your delicious deliveries from the land of Gerber to your baby. There are flashing red lights on the tips of the wings of the airplane spoon. The LED lights in the bib are motion activated, causing the sides of runway to illuminate. It’s designed for ages 12 months and older. ThinkGeek says it will keep baby’s attention and makes mealtime more fun. The Lighted LED jet plane has an on/off switch and three spoon attachments. The spoon attachments are dishwasher safe, but the airplane is not. The bib and airplane are washable with a damp cloth. Button cell batteries are included and are replaceable in the plane, but not replaceable in the bib. However since LED’s use a tiny amount of power they should last a long time. $19.99, plus shipping.

    Hear this Netcast:


    If today’s gadget looks familiar it’s because it was the choice for our last “What The Heck Is It?” game.

    Wednesday, January 13th, 2009, Netcast 1003

    It looked exactly like a heart, and that’s what it’s supposed to look like. It’s to remind people to help their heart in an emergency by carrying what could be “life-saving" aspirins wherever they go. I met the woman who started the Aspirin Pod company. She lost two loved ones to heart attacks in a single month. She said they might have survived if there was aspirin immediately available. So she made it her goal to make more people aware of the value of aspirin in preventing heart attacks by coming up with an easy way to carry them any place you go. I hope you'll check out her website and purchase a few for yourself, family and friends. She is doing all this on her own (and her family's) funds and is very sincere in making it work. And it’s not just to help her, you could help yourself and others and maybe save a life! Even your own. For just about three bucks, you can buy an Aspirin Pod and clip it onto to purse, backpack, belt loop, etc! Again, it could save your life! I’m not a doctor, but it is generally recognized that aspirin can be a life saver in the event of an on-coming heart attack.

    Full info is at:

    But four Aspirin Pods for under $12 here: 

    Hear this Netcast: