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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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    The Giz Wiz & Gizneyland Studio

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


    This tiny LED offers big help unlocking doors in the dark.

    Monday, January 4th, 2010,

    This tiny LED light is called the NanoLite. It’s so small you actually stick it on the side of a key, any key that fits into a lock shrouded in darkness. It’s a one handed operation – you just squeeze your thumb against the NanoLite button as you put the key into the lock. It provides plenty of extra light when opening car and home door locks Actually it good to open any lock that could use a bit of light shined on it. It uses a bright red LED to avoid night blindness that is often associated with a bright white light. Yes, there are other see-in-the-dark mini flashlights and key chain lights but you have to remember to carry them with you. (Of course if you have your Giz Wiz LED baseball cap, you can use that too!) NanoLite is smaller than a penny and a bit thicker. It easily attaches to a key with high-bond 3M adhesive. I’ve been using my NanoLite for about a month now and even though it hits up against other keys on the ring, it’s stayed perfectly in place. The Lithium battery is not replaceable, but a spokesperson at the company said it should last for about 3 years. I found this interesting: NanoLite was created by Madeline Canfield who sought a simple solution to an everyday problem – fumbling with her keys in dark or dimly light places. Canfield, a former teacher, discovered family members and friends also struggled with the same hassle and decided to patent her idea. I'm glad she did! Cost is $3.99, but a much better deal is to buy 4 NanoLites for $9.99.  That knocks the cost down to $2.50.

     www.nanolite.net   store: www.nanolitestore.com

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw996  


    HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE GIZ WIZ!! (Fairway too.)

    Friday, January 1st, 2010  Netcast 995

    How timely is this Gadget Warehouse Friday gadget? Very! First we need a little background, thanks to Wikipedia. (If you’re in a hurry just read the “bold print” part.)

    The 2000-2007 version of the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball, designed by Waterford Crystal, made its first descent during the last minute of the 20th century, at the Times Square 2000 Celebration. The Ball was a geodesic sphere, six feet in diameter, and weighed approximately 1,070 pounds. It was covered with a total of 504 Waterford crystal triangles that varied in size and ranged in length from 4.75 inches to 5.75 inches per side. For the 2007 New Year's Eve celebration, 72 of the crystal triangles featured the new "Hope for Peace" design, consisting of three dove-like patterns symbolizing messengers of peace. The remaining 432 triangles featured Waterford designs from previous years, including the Hope for Fellowship, Hope for Wisdom, Hope for Unity, Hope for Courage, Hope for Healing, Hope for Abundance, and Star of Hope triangles. These crystal triangles were bolted to 168 translucent triangular lexan panels which were attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball. The exterior of the Ball was illuminated by 168 Philips Halogená Brilliant Crystal light bulbs, exclusively engineered for the New Year's Eve Ball to enhance the Waterford crystal. The interior of the Ball was illuminated by 432 Philips Light Bulbs (208 clear, 56 red, 56 blue, 56 green, and 56 yellow), and 96 high-intensity strobe lights, which together create bright bubbling bursts of color. The exterior of the Ball featured 90 rotating pyramid mirrors that reflect light back into the audience at Times Square.

    What I have in the warehouse is one of those Philips Halogena Brilliant Crystal light bulbs specially designed for the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball! In June of 2006 at a Philips Press Event, the parting gift for members of the press was one of the run of extra light bulbs Philips manufactured as replacement bulbs for the Times Square Ball. I figured this bulb was the perfect gadget for the first Daily Giz Wiz episode of 2010!



    Creative Labs introduces the third generation of their Vado Camcorder.

    Thursday, December 31st, 2009 New Year’s Eve, Netcast 994

    I haven’t done a Creative Labs gadget since we talked about their great little travel dock speakers. So when they called me to ask if I’d like to try their third generation Vado HD camcorder, I was very interested. It has some neat features carried over from earlier models in the Vado HD line such as HDMI out and a wide-angle lens, great for shooting indoors. The new model adds improved quality of video in low light or brightly lit conditions with manual exposure adjustments. Another welcome addition is an external stereo microphone support (Leo liked this a lot because the built-in mics on most mini-camcorders are just so-so) and there’s a headphone jack for private listening. Another interesting feature is the Motion Detection Mode that enables you to program the camera so it begins recording as soon as motion is detected. (Hmmm, security camera, maybe?) It’s Mac and PC compatible. With the new Vado Central 3.0 software users can upload their videos to a number of popular social media sites, including Facebook and YouTube with just one click. (Most mini camcorders can do that too.) You can also do some simple video editing directly in Vado Central 3.0. The third generation Vado HD has better compression but can still hold more than 90 minutes of HD quality video or up to 7,000 still photos. It has 4GB of onboard storage. There’s no SD card slot, but there is a removable, rechargeable battery. Creative Labs says it provides more than two hours of recording or viewing. You recharge the battery and upload videos via the flexible, pull-out USB cable. The flexible cable is easier to match up with USB ports on laptops. (Extra batteries and an AC wall plug-in battery charger are also available.) The camera is about the size of deck of cards, but a bit thinner. Available in black or white for $179.99.

    For more information about the complete line of Creative Vado Pocket Video Cams visit www.myvado.com.

    Here’s 6 minute tour of the Gizneyland Studio I shot with the Vado right out the box. http://tinyurl.com/yzoz3se

    And other folks Vado videos: http://myvado.com/videos/video.aspx?vd=124

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw994


    What could more exciting than the Traffic Sounds Alarm Clock?

    Wednesday, December 30th, 2009, Netcast 993

    It started with an email from Chris.Fredette. He sent me a link to a gadget that would as Chris put it “one up Leo”. Just seeing what the gadget was had me instantly interested. It was the Traffic Sounds Alarm Clock.  Here’s the copy from the company’s website. You have to remember that this is from a Japanese website, so whoever did the English translation didn’t get it exactly right. But tell me if this doesn’t sound really exciting!

    Wake Up!! Have you ever been so tired, you feel like you can just pass out in the middle of the intersection? Well, if you are having a tough time waking up in the morning, this alarm clock is well recommended! This alarm clock comes with a 4-centimeter speaker that will be more than glad to wake you up with some scary sounds from the crowded streets! If you think you can sleep through anything, see if you can sleep through noises like, screeching tires sound, loud honking noise, and some famous music that plays when you are crossing the intersections in Japan! By the way, if you get scared easily, this might not be the right alarm clock for you!

    So I sent to Japan for the clock and it arrived in about 8 days. The clock looks really nice with blinking red, green and yellow traffic lights. But the sound chip is really a joke. You hear either a short tune, or the sounds made by the what I assume is the actual traffic signal in Japan. But then when the traffic sounds start, they last about 2 seconds! Scary? I don't think so! Here judge for yourself with this video from YouTube:


    If you’re still interested The Traffic Alarm Clock costs just about $29 at the link below. I still pleased with it because I can add it to my train board as a traffic light for my miniature village.


    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw993

    IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! I guess any publicity is good publicity, because I see the alarm clock is sold out!


    Leo picks something really low-cost for this Turn The Table Tuesday!

    Turn The Table Tuesday, Tuesday, December 29th, 2009, Netcast 992

    On this episode of The Daily Giz Wiz Leo talked about a bit of really neat software called Dial2do. It uses voice commands to do all kinds of useful functions like sending a text, an email, a TWEET or you can even leave yourself notes and reminders. You'll find a list of commands to use at their website. You can actually do several different things with just one phone call. There’s a barebones option that’s free, but even the full-blown account is only $39.95 a year. You start be setting up an account at www.Dial2Do.com. It’s pretty quick and easy. Then they’ll send the phone number to call to your cell phone. I put their number in my auto dial and started by calling it and sending a TWEET. My TWEET ended with: “this service is great”, but it was sent out as: “This service is late.”  However at the end of my TWEET there was a link. When I clicked on the link I actually heard my voice calling in my TWEET! So even though the TWEET had an incorrect word, people could hear the actual TWEET if they wanted to. That’s all I’ve had time to so far, but I’m looking forward to getting and sending emails, and leaving myself reminders. Leo thinks there are some human beings involved, so that if the computer can’t figure out what you said, a human might intervene. There’s a free 30-day trial of the full-blown program. If you opt for the full version it’s $3.99 a month or $39.95 year, which drops the price down to about $3.33 a month.


    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw992