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 »

Search Giz Wiz Biz
Latest Tweets
This form does not yet contain any fields.


    As East Coast Editor, I was in every issue of Powerboat Magazine for 40 years. Although Powerboat ceased publication, my love of boats, and marine gadgets continues and you can find some unique and interesting products here. If you're into Performance Boating Jason Johnson and Matt Trulio of Powerboat Magazine carry on with news for the go-fast set with their web based http://www.speedonthewater.com/.


    This could be perfect for a bigger boat, when it becomes available later in 2019.

    Wash your dishes, clean your hats, cook your dinner --- all in one really small appliance! Yep, that's what the company says.


    The Heatworks Tetra, an internet-connected compact countertop dishwasher requires no plumbing and can be placed and used anywhere with a standard electrical outlet. With a smaller capacity than the average dishwasher Tetra holds two full place settings or 10 plates or 12 pint glasses. There are no faucet connections required and water is loaded by hand so users know exactly how much water is being used - about a half a gallon per load. Tetra is transparent so you can see exactly where in the dishwashing cycle it is. It's powered by Heatworks' patented Ohmic Array Technology. It does not use traditional metal heating elements that can rust and scale over time. Instead, through graphite electrodes and advanced electronic controls, the naturally occurring minerals in water are excited, directly and efficiently heating the water. But wait, there's a LOT more! The company says because of the precise temperature control you can easily use the Tetra to sanitize baby products, wash plastic storage containers without melting, cook seafood, clean fruit, or run a load of wine glasses on a gentler cycle. All this in just 10 minutes a load. Now one of their press releases says Tetra will cost under $300 and will be available for purchase in late 2018.Well it is late 2018, and at CES Unveiled 2019 we learned we would see a working model at CES 2019. So it seems the 'on sale' date is still far away.


    Company video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4UgIijI0Z0


    Compay website: http://www.myheatworks.com/  


    Little dog on board? Can't reach the shore? This could help!

    This could be perfect for seniors with dogs who are paper-trained, or anyone who can't get out of the house on a terrible winter day. Designed to handle #1 and #2, the highly absorbent BrilliantPad soaks up liquids and dries out solids. It wraps and seals waste to keep your home clean and odor free. A built-in timer replaces pad automatically or you can refresh anytime at the touch of a button. I asked what happens if there's a puppy on the pad when the machine is set to automatic and the spokesperson said a sensor won't let the machine start until the pad is clear of your pet. Waste is sealed inside while outside remains dry and your hands stay clean. Biodegradable caps prevent leaks and foul odors. One long-lasting roll lets you enjoy your pet without the clean-up chore. The company says one roll = 27 regular wee pads. The company says it's perfect for small dogs up to 25 pounds who already use pads or for puppies you're going to train to use pads. Medium dogs 25 to 40 pounds might use it, but it not for dogs over 40 pounds. Was $149.99 but as of 11/24/18) it was $99.99 on Amazon. Refills are $20 to $32 depending on the number you buy and if you subscribe to one of their refill plans.

    Giz Wiz Video from the pet expo: https://youtu.be/HMYNlufFZpw


    Company website: http://www.brilliantpad.com/


    Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2RcpHgm  ( $99.99, but that price could change at any time.)


    This 4-in-1 Multi-functional LED Light also does SOS.

    The Worx 4-in-1 LED Light. This new 20V Multi-function LED light has a telescoping design for compact storage, and the ability to adapt to multiple working conditions. It's 4 functions are; flashlight, 360 degree lantern, desk lamp with Hi and Lo settings, and an emergency SOS light. You can easily toggle through the functions by pressing the single convenient switch. Pulling the light up releases a left and right pivoting head which you can adjust for best angle of illumination. (You can see a quick demo of all the functions in my video on this week's show, which is also at the link below.) For convenience, a carry lanyard and hook are attached. The light is rated for 50,000 hours of burn time. The kit includes the light, a 1.5Ah battery and a 5 hour charger. The 4-in-1 light is compatible with any WORX 20V battery. It's model WX027L. And it retails for $69.99 complete with battery, or $59.99 if you already have a compatible Worx 20V battery. (But I think getting the battery for $10 is a good way to go.) 


    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/4NQ-dAw7VH8  


    Company Website: https://www.worx.com/worx-20v-multi-function-led-flashlight-wx027l.html 


    Mercury Engines, Sea Ray Boats & Marine Max have a media day on the water!

    Who could resist an offer like this from Lee Gordon, Director of Global Public Relations and Communications at Mercury Marine. - Dear Dick, Can you join us for a day on the Hudson? We will have 5-6 boats on the water at Chelsea Piers. You guys can drive a boat sideways (seriously), drive it with a joystick, and see how the technology has advanced or get on a pontoon that can go 70+ mph. We will have media from the marine industry as well as mainstream and while their stories may be different, the one thing we all have in common is a love for New York and there's no better way to see it than on a boat. We will also have our Skyhook virtual anchor which uses your GPS coordinates to keep you in place, our Active Trim technology that trims your engine with a push of a button – there’s so much to choose from. Our goal in the marine industry is to make boating easier, and like the automotive world, we are trying to take any fear out of boating and make it so easy my kid (with supervision) can drive the boat. Lee G.

    Yes, of course I accepted! I choose one of the more traditional boats with just twin 300 hp Merc outboards. It was a 31 footer open bow to stern which is a huge segment of the market these days. Here's a link to the video. So people can get a better idea of our test boat I inserted some video from the flash drives provided at the event.


    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/79Ar57nhK38  


    Sea Ray:http://www.searay.com/page.aspx/pageid/160944/pmid/366053/SLX-310-OB.aspx


    Mercury Marine:https://www.mercurymarine.com/en/us/engines/outboard/verado/250-350-hp/


    Marine Max:https://www.marinemax.com/stores/manhattan/marinemax-manhattan



    The Giz Wiz Gets A Visit From The Folks At BoatUS

    I've been a member of BoatUS since it started. In the December / January 2018, this article appeared in their trendy BoatUS magazine. Thanks to Rich Armstrong and Scott Croft for doing that. 

    'MAD' Man Across The Water

    By Rich Armstrong

    Humor writer Dick DeBartolo has a passion for both punch lines and fast powerboats.

    Dick DeBartolo aboard his pilothouse powerboatFunnyman Dick DeBartolo aboard his 23-foot Farallon pilothouse powerboat, the 26th boat he's owned. (Photo: Scott Croft)

    Among the rites of passage among American men of a certain age, especially the smart-alecky ones, was growing up reading MAD, the wickedly funny satirical magazine still publishing after 65 years.

    Dick DeBartolo holds the distinction of having his writing included in every issue dating back to 1966, earning him the comedic title of "MAD's Maddest Writer." You also may know him as the Giz Wiz gadget guy on TV, and he initially made a name for himself writing the humorous, evocative questions for the popular celebrity panel TV game show Match Game.

    "Just do the things you want to do is my philosophy," he says. "I've had good-paying jobs that weren't fun, and I left them."

    Born in Brooklyn, New York, he moved across the East River to Manhattan and never left. Funny by nature and searching for a career, he submitted a satirical TV commercial script to the New York City-published MAD, which he enjoyed reading. To his surprise, it was accepted and DeBartolo had his career, which he merrily continues today at age 71.

    "I always try to get involved in things I really love — like boating," he says. "In the mid-1960s, I moved to [Manhattan's] Upper West Side. I used to walk along the Hudson River and I loved looking at the boats, even though I knew nothing about boats."

    Although this city boy has never owned a car or even had a driver's license, he's now the proud owner of his 26th boat.

    "I started with an 18-foot boat, which had a 225-hp sterndrive and went 52 miles per hour," he recalls. "On my first trip, I tried running it at full throttle, and at that point I was hooked on fast boats."

    With his newfound love of fast boats, DeBartolo pitched another magazine he liked, Powerboat, which is all about fast powerboats. The publication accepted him, and he had a second career writing about boats, which he did for 42 years, until the magazine ceased publication in 2011.

    A lifelong New Yorker who boats regularly is a bit of an anomaly in "the city that never sleeps," but this funny man has a simple answer for that.

    "I love the water, but I hate the beach," he explains. "People ask me why I got a boat. I tell them it's the only way to get to the ocean without walking across sand."

    His latest boat is a 23-foot Farallon, a stout, seaworthy fiberglass pilothouse boat built in California to handle sloppy seas.

    "I got tired of worrying when I hit a log in the Hudson," he says, and keeps the boat, named Applause 26, in the water year-round at the West 79th Street Marina, a four-block walk from his apartment. He has a new 250-hp Yamaha outboard for power. Farallons are designed as workboats, but DeBartolo customized his with a small berth that sleeps two, a dining area, and plenty of storage.

    "I wanted a boat I could use year-round, and a closed cabin where I could warm up," he says, and he does. Even on a bitter January day, DeBartolo could very well be the only pleasure boater cruising the Hudson. In his mind, he has a cottage on the river that he can escape to any time he wants.

    "To me, boats are like therapy. You leave the dock with hands clamped on the wheel, and then the time on the water just relaxes you and you come back refreshed," he says. "Forty years later, it still feels the same way."