About Me

 

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  

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

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

    Thursday
    Oct012009

    Like to “feel” the bass in your music? You need VMSS!

    Friday, October 2nd, 2009, Netcast 930. Back to Dick's Gadget Warehouse! 

    It was back in 2002, which is about 3 decades ago in gadget years, that Panasonic introduced their VMSS (Virtual Motion Sound System) headphones. These were behind the head headphones that had a VMSS control switch, which let you actually feel the bass. It was the model RP-HS900 that was also known as The Brain Shaker Extreme They featured Neodymium rare-earth magnets, a gold plated plug, and a single cord that wouldn’t get tangled in things so easily. The folks at Panasonic didn’t want to tell the “secret” behind the little box behind your head that let you feel the bass. I think there was a separate little amplifier and speaker back there facing your next. So you really felt the bass. It was unique, but more of a novelty. More than using the VMSS headphones to listen to music some people liked them for gaming because shots & explosions sounded real powerful. They were $50. While I was talking about them Leo did a web search & said they still found someone selling them on Amazon for $50. So if body shaking bass in your thing, they may still be available! Panasonic has long given up on them though.

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw930

    Wednesday
    Sep302009

    Gadget I Had Picked For Today ---- or unopened package just delivered?  

    Thursday, October 1, 2009 ---   Netcast 929    

    This was one of those days where Leo let the folks in the chat room who were watching us record the Daily Giz Wiz decide if I should talk about the gadget I had planned for the day, or if I should open the box that was just delivered and make that the gadget of the day. Everyone voted for the “surprise package”!

    It turned out to be quite a neat gizmo, something new from Verbatim. It’s the InSight Portable USB Hard Drives with Always On Display. To prove that the “always on display” was really always on, when I opened the box, the screen read: “Verbatim 297GB free”. That’s what the InSight Hard Drive does, displays drive name and available free space, even when disconnected. It has a sleek piano black finish. You can customizable the drive name, so if you have several drives one could be “business”, one “music”, one “photos”, etc. This new palm-sized external hard drive lets Windows and Mac users instantly add 320GB or 500GB of removable memory to their notebook or desktop system.  Your personalized drive’s name, along with the free space, shows on the 32 x 128-pixel display even when the drive is unplugged from everything. Both the 320GB and 500GB drives include Nero BackItUp Essentials. This software allows full, automatic system backup and restore functions. Nero BackItUp Essentials also features data encryption with password control options. So you can have peace of mind when traveling or storing the drive. The InSight Portable Hard Drive weigh less than 6 ounces (164 g), and measure 6 in. X 3.4 in. X 0.63 in. (153 mm x 87 mm x 16 mm). The 2.5” drives have a 5400rpm spindle speed and 8MB of cache memory to optimize performance. USB 2.0. Available through Verbatim or retail partners such as Best Buy. Suggested retail prices are US$119.99 for the 320GB drive and US$149.99 for the 500GB drive.

     www.verbatim.com

     Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw929

    Tuesday
    Sep292009

    A software program that helps you write that book hidden inside you!

    Wednesday, September 30th, 2009, Netcast 928

    So you’ve been wanting to write a book for years, but you can’t stand staring at that blank page. Here’s a program that just might help Here’s info from their website which I find very exciting! FastPencil is a free self- publishing platform that allows authors to write, share, publish and sell their books. And now it offers writers the new Color Book Creator, perfect for projects such as children’s books, cookbooks, comic books and coffee table books. The enhanced FastPencil Marketplace provides members with the ability to promote their projects. It’s a place for authors, illustrators, graphic designers, editors and anyone else involved in the book-writing process to market themselves and offer their services to other FastPencil community members. Aspiring writers have access to an end-to-end solution that enables them to write a book, share their work and publish hardcover, paperback, Kindle or e-books instantly. Once the book is complete, the FastPencil self-publishing wizard steps authors through the process of formatting their projects. The distribution functionality then allows writers to sell their books direct to customers or through outlets such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon. You select from a variety of book templates: Personal Memoir, Great American Novel, Children’s Book, Cookbook, Comic Book, Coffee Table Book, Photo Book (wedding, vacation, reunions,etc.), even Blog to Book

    I spoke to the folks from FastPencil and they said a person can self publish and buy a single copy if they want, for as little as $10! But they offer all sorts of professional services if you need help. Check their website for pricing and availability. But you don’t need to pay anything to start your book & use their templates. I’ve started my own book at FastPencil: The 237 Most Memorable People I ever met!

     www.FastPencil.com

     Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw928  

    Monday
    Sep282009

    Leo finds an really excellent buy!!!!

    TTTT, September 29th, 2009, Netcast 927

    Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 

    Leo loves his new Motorola Bluetooth Headphones, model S805. Once you pair these with your Bluetooth cell phone you can listen to music in full stereo. If the phone rings it will automatically switch over to the caller and must the music. When the call is over, the music comes back up. The headphones also allow you to control music from your phone (of course your phone has to support the proper protocol). If it does, & Leo’s iPhone does, so he can go forward and backward through various music tracks and control the volume. There is also a jack on the headphone so you can plug in the supplied cable and use them as regular corded headphones. They charge via USB.  Leo demonstrated the call quality by calling himself through the headphone mic and putting the output from his answering machine on the air. I could hear some echo, but that was probably because Leo was both talking and listening at the same time. Okay, on to the knockout excellent buy part! On the Motorola site it looks like the S805 sold for as much as $200. They’re no longer available on that site, but Leo found them on Amazon for ----- READY?  $33! I checked on Sunday, September 27th and they still were available at that price! (Plus S&H) Most likely a new version is on the way, but that is one heck a deal!

    http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-S805-Bluetooth-Stereo-Headphones/dp/B000HDTXDA

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw927

    Sunday
    Sep272009

    Hey, I invented that!

    Monday, September 28th, 2009

    It started with an email from Ian in Sydney, Australia.  He told me about a device he bought that – from the outside of your house – it makes it look like the family is watching TV.   Here’s part of his email: It's a led light that imitates the flashing, intensity and colour changing of a TV as seen indirectly through a window.  At first I was suspicious this was a scam or something, but shelled out for one. It is smaller than the picture makes out but is bright enough to do as described.  Ian, Sydney Australia.

    The gizmo is called FakeTV and yes, it’s designed to make it look like someone is home watching television! The company says the effects of scene changes, fades, swells, flicks, on-screen motion, and color changes and more are faithfully reproduced, and look just like they came from a real TV. The computer controlled, super-bright multi-color LED light output equivalent to a typical 27" HDTV LCD television. And they point something you may not know: Most digital televisions do not work with timers-- they turn on with push buttons. So that means you can’t use your own TV to go on & off when you’re not home. What I did years ago was put a bunch of flashing Christmas light on some tin foil. It was to decorate a fireplace in the summer, but one night I left it on when I was out. When I came home it looked like someone was inside watching TV! The commercial version is called FakeTV. It can be set to DUSK +4 HRS or DUSK +7 HRS or just plain ON. Just place it in a room so that you can see the light from the FakeTV from outside, but you cannot see the FakeTV unit itself.  Plug into the wall using the included adapter.  The built in light sensor will turn FakeTV on at dusk, and the unit turns off after a switch selectable 4 or 7 hours. The company could be right when they say: Burglars will almost always circle a home once before entering.  They are looking for the easiest way in, and looking for signs of life.  FakeTV gives them just those signs!  Few burglars will enter a home that they think is occupied. There’s a video of the product at the company website. It sells for $39.99, but do a web search. Sometimes other sources like Home Shopping Network sell it for $10 less!

    http://faketv.com/

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw926