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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    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.


    Here’s a smart coin jar. It counts your loose change for you! 

    Monday, June 29th, 2009 Netcast 861


    Okay, so this jar is mainly made of plastic, but it’s still pretty ingenious. At the end of the day it's the perfect place to deposit those loose coins you’ve collected all day long. Check the easy-to-read LCD display as you drop in each coin. First it shows the value of the coin as it slips through the slot, and then it displays the total deposits in the jar. (Assuming you haven’t cheated and taken money out!) It’s a great way to get kids to save. Or to save a specific amount to buy  something special. You can even make money from family and friends when you say: "It's fun to use! Do you have some loose change to put in? Try it!" When the jar is full, twist off the lid, empty out the coins and reset the coin counter to zero. It requires 2 AA batteries, which are not included. The jab is 8.45H x 5.25" diameter. And need I say it, “Coins not included!” Retail is $19.99, but I found it for $9.99 at the link below.




    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw861


    The Missing Button! A neat idea that never caught on.

    Back to Dick’s Gadget Warehouse. Friday, June 26th, 2009 Netcast 860                                                              

    This is another gizmo I thought would be BIG!

    I met the man who found “The Missing Button” being marketed overseas. He decided to be the exclusive importer and contacted me to see if I would be interested in showing them on television. The Missing Button is actually a tie tack, except instead of a mini design on the front, there is an actual button. The idea is to keep a package of these tie tacks – there were two in a package – in your luggage, your glove compartment, your desk drawer, etc. Then in case you suddenly lost a button, you didn’t need to look for needle & thread, or even look for the missing button. You would just clip a new one on. And it functioned like a real button. The kit, which is a bit bigger than a book of matches, contained two button tie tacks. The larger one fit most shirts, and the smaller one was designed to replace a missing button on a man’s shirt collar. I liked the idea and showed them on Live! With Regis, but I never saw them on sale anywhere. And I couldn’t find any information on the web about The Missing Button. So I was really off base thinking they would be big seller! (I didn’t invest any money.) Today, there is a company that sells something very similar.

     You can see by the photo, that I dragged this around for years & years in my luggage. But I never had to use it.

    A similar item: http://tinyurl.com/mfg5dj


    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw860


    A Wearable Aqua Alert Wristband.

    Thursday, June 23rd, 2009 Netcast 859


    Aqua Alert Model A-100. The company says the alarm can be heard over 100ft. away depending on weather conditions.(I’m not quite sure exactly what that means.) The alarm is activated when wristband gets wet. Just a few drops of water was enough to activate it when I tried. It’s also difficult to stop the alarm once it starts. It stops when the wristband is dried. You can wave it about, or blow air on it to speed up the drying process. The band was too small to fit my wrist, but the company says their safety latch prevents the wristband from being removed by child. So the alarm is loud there is a warning to never place the unit close to your ears. It is LOUD! There are several important things to know about this device. And you should read them carefully and understand them. Aqua alert alarm is not a life saving device. When a child is near water parental supervision is always required. Also very important! The Aqua Alert Alarm cannot be heard when completely submerged underwater!


    On the company’s website check out the Model A-5000, which could be a better choice because it has a remote alarm. I called the company to find out when the A-5000 would be available, but so far no one has called me back. If they do, I’ll post an update.


    Company’s website: http://mx3technologies.com/aqua-alert/products-a100.php


    On Amazon, I found the Aqua Alert A-100 selling for about $10



    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw859


    How about swiping your credit card when you shop online at home!

    Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 Netcast 858

    Back on a Dick’s Gadget Warehouse Friday I talked about a Compaq keyboard that had a credit card slot built right in. The object was to eliminate the hassle of entering the info by hand. You would just swipe your card at home the way you do at a store. (That show is here: www.twit.tv/dgw400) That credit card keyboard never made it to the market place, but now there’s a new device called SmartSwipe that is available. The next time you buy something online with your credit card, you don't have to type the number, just swipe your credit card. It’s from NetSecure. They say their SmartSwipe desktop device lets you shop online while bypassing keyloggers or other malware that could sneak onto your PC. You download the SmartSwipe software and plug the mouse-size card reader into a USB port. (It has great blue lights!) Then next time you shop, click the SmartSwipe button inside Internet Explorer when you're ready to make a purchase. Then you swipe your credit card. The company says that SmartSwipe uses Dynamic SSL to encrypt your card data before it reaches your PC, and then inserts the information into the proper fields in the site's shopping cart. It works with thousands of e-tailers from Amazon to Zappos, and functions in Internet Explorer 6 or 7. Support for IE8 and Firefox is in the works. There are software updates in the works that will enhance the number of fields that SmartSwipe will automatically fill in. This device is available now in Canada and should be in US markets soon. The company says it will retail at about $80 US. It’s $90 Canadian at


    Company website: www.smartswipe.ca

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw858


    Leo adds a new Polar Heart Watch to his exercise regimen. 

    TTTT – June 23rd, 2009, Netcast 857


    Leo is getting so serious about his exercising he bought the Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor watch. I don’t know much this watch, so here’s info from Leo and from the web. First a word from Polar: “For effective training, depending on your body’s daily condition, you might benefit from either a low or high intensity training session. This monitor checks your daily condition, and guides you to a suitable intensity. If you want to be sure that you are training at the right intensity, this is the right product for you. Get guidance for optimal training intensity based on your daily condition See how many calories you have burned, get interference-free data with coded heart rate transmission.” Leo likes the fact it can be connected to one of his many computers. He can edit wrist unit settings with the Polar UpLink Tool and transfer them to his his F6. And here’s why Leo thinks it’s a good choice at the gym. The F6's coded transmission prevents crosstalk with other monitors like in a class workout. And Leo like the Zone Pointer. It’s s a visible and audible feature on the display of your heart rate monitor showing your target heart rate zone and where your current heart rate is within that zone. The Fitness Bullets feature shows a bullet on the monitor's display for every 10 minutes spent exercising/training in your target heart rate zone. It calculates the amount of total exercise time spent in your personal target zone. But there’s more! Other features include: 24-hour clock with day/week indicator and stopwatch, large easy-to-read display with split screen, and even water resistant to 30 meters (100 feet). List is $120, but if you search you can find it for under $100. Here’s one place I saw it for less than $100. (I haven't shopped at this dealer.)




    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw857