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 is a weekly guest on The Tech Guy Show with -- who else? - The Tech Guy himself, Leo Laporte.

    Leo Laporte & I chat about some sort of fun or weird gadget weekly his The Tech Guy Radio Show. The show is syndicated by Premiere to over 180 radio stations around the country. Leo's closing in on 1.5 million listeners! I'm on the Saturday Show with The Giz Wiz Gadget of the Week. My spot is on about 1:45 PM PST / 4:45 PM EST. 

    And if you watch The Tech Guy stay tuned. Because after the Tech Guy Show  Leo does The New Screen Savers Show, and then I return to do Giz Fiz PM, a show with viewer questions, Match Game questions, videos, guest of the week and more! That starts when New Screen Saver ends..about 5:00 PM PST/ 8:00 PM EST. Watch it all at

    http://www.twitlive.tv/

    All The Tech Guy Labs show notes, shows & info can be found here:

    http://techguylabs.com/radio/ 

    Below are the gadgets we've talked about on the show.

    Friday
    Oct262018

    An instant print camera that can shoot video?

    When a Fuji press release about a new Instax (Instant printing camera) mentioned shooting 15 seconds of video I wondered “how could that work?” At PhotoExpo 2018 I got to see the new model, the Instax Square SQ20 in person, and yes it is able to capture video clips up to 15 seconds long. While you’re able to view them on the 2.7” TFT Color LCD monitor and store them on an SD card, the object is not to watch them as a video. (Besides, it doesn't record sound with the video.) You use the “motion mode” jog wheel to pick the frame you like best, and then print that one. That process can save you from wasting the 1920 x 1920 resolution 2.4” x 2.4” film sheets which are about a $1.00 a print. You can also add one of the 16 effects like blurring the motion, double exposure, collage, color filters, etc. It seems the new camera (released October 20, 2018) has also been given a smaller sensor. It's 1/4-inch on the earlier SQ10 and 1/5-inch on the new SQ20. The lens is said to be the same, with an f/2.4 aperture. Although it will most likely lessen the photo quality, there's also a 4X digital zoom function. The camera is now showing up online at $199.95 and the square instant film packs are a bit more than the smaller Fuji format prints at about $15 for 10 sheets. However in multi-packs, it can drop down it to a buck or a bit less per photo. More details about the new camera are here:

    https://www.fujifilmusa.com/products/instax/cameras/instax_square_sq20/index.html

     

    It's $199.95 on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2EJNX7t (In stock on Nov 4)

     

    It's also at BH Photo for the same price $199.95.

     

    Amazon link is an affiliate link. Pay exactly the same but Giz Wiz Biz gets a small credit to buy more stuff to talk about.

    Friday
    Oct192018

    Big Digit Alarm Clock with a lot of choices when you set it.

    Big Digit Alarm Clock with a lot of choices when you set it.

     

    When I saw “Large 9” LED display alarm clock” I thought the digits would be huge. But after I bought the clock I was a bit disappointed. Each digit is 3” high, certainly bigger than most clocks in the home. So they do make checking the time easy. I realize now the 'large 9” display” means measuring it diagonally, the way they measure TV's. You set the time, alarms, snooze, etc. with UP and DOWN arrows near the top of the clock. The back of the clock features two USB 5V 1A charging ports for charging small devices like smartphones. A dimmer setting can be adjusted for the brightness you prefer for sleep. Dual alarms mean you can set two separate wake-up times. A snooze button on the top allows you to have 5-60 minutes (you set that too) more to stay in bed before the alarm sounds again. All functions work under AC power, the backup battery (included) is for a memory function to back up time and alarm settings in case of AC power failure. There will be no display digits on the clock if the power goes out. But when the power comes back it will remember all your settings. Under $26.00 as of 10/20/18.

     

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/j8awrmF344w  

     

    Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2RW8Q25

     

    Giz Wiz Link: Pay the same as everyone else. Giz Wiz gets a small credit to buy more stuff to talk about.

    Saturday
    Oct132018

    Generate your own power with the SmartFlower Solar Tracker System.

    The SmartFlower Solar system was another 'big' gadget at the Luxury Technology Show. They had a unit out in the street so the press could see it in person. The SmartFlower is a fully integrated, all-in-one solar system that can live anywhere, but certainly the sunnier, the better. SmartFlower uses GPS tracking aligned to the specific longitude and latitude of the site where it is installed. This precise tracking can increase productivity by as much as 40%. They do want it setup by one of their installers to get the full warantee. There are two models that use the same moving solar panels, but the “plus” adds built in batteries to keep you in power when the regular power goes out. Within the next few months, all SmartFlowers will be upgraded to allow for remote monitoring. That means, using a smartphone/tablet, the owner and/or the dealer may determine the energy production and whether there are any problems from virtually anywhere in the world. I asked about how much power a SmartFlower typically produces. The answer is anywhere from 4,500 to over 6,500 kWh per year, depending on where it is located. So it's enough for a small house or cottage. And from The Giz Wiz: I asked what happens when it get windy. A spokesperson told me If winds reach 29 mph, the SmartFlower panels automatically move into horizontal position (Safety Position 1) to allow the wind to pass over and under them but the SmartFlower remains open to continue producing energy. If the winds reach 39 mph or higher the panels automatically fold up and down into secure position. The price is $24,950. Installation is about $7,000. The spokesperson said you get 30% rebate from the government for personal use or business use, but if you're using this for a business, you can write the entire investment off. (But check with your accountant to be sure!)

    http://smartflowersolar.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btdX8QdbyRQ

    A day done in a minute with SmartFlower in use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rk2bjO3hjY 

    Friday
    Oct052018

    At the Luxury Technology Show I discover the amazing robotic wine cabinet.

    The WineCab is a wine cellar that stands in any room of your house, assuming the ceiling is at least 9' 4” high. It's completely automated and it's a first from Calvary Robotics. They say their WineCab is the most advanced wine storage, and inventory system in the world. I have to admit I have never seen anything like it. A robotic arm uses advanced technology and data to store, serve and let you know everything about your collection. The 1300 pound 9”3” high, is 4' wide and 3.5' deep wood cabinet alone is impressive. With configurable LED RGBW you can easily personalize how you wish the interior to be illuminated. When I asked how the information about each bottle of wine is entered into the inventory, a spokesperson said you just put your bottles of wine in the front loading drawer, close it, and the robotic arm will pick up and scan each bottle and then download the data from it's inventory of 600,000 labels. You can then consult that data via one of the two included iPod tablets making you the expert with perfect knowledge of food pairings, wine notes, the winery, and its region. Calvary Robotics says the WineCab is their first robotic arm for the home. They add that their next two products will bring even more value to the home market in Safety, Security and Health Care. Now this is not inexpensive. It is---- ready?? $70,000! But only $60,000 if you order one before the end of October 2018. And Coming soon:Single Glass Pour option for the WineCab which will include an aerator needle system to pour one glass at a time. 

    https://winecab.com/

    Saturday
    Sep292018

    The Ultimate Saddle, Molded To Your Sit Bones, As You Ride!

    As you would expect at a top notch bike show leaning toward the high end biker, saddle comfort (a.k.a bike seat) is one of the top priorities. The folks at Landyachtz say that they have the world's only custom moldable saddle. How do you know it will be the right fit for your sit bones? Because the seat has a built in heating element which is used to start the customizing process. You bring your bike to a Reform equipped dealer where it is put on a trainer, one of those devices that lets you peddle in place. The Reform saddle is installed on your bike and then heated for 3 to 5 minutes depending on the ambient temperature. Now you, the rider, gets into the hot seat (so to speak) and let your sit bones create a saddle you can totally relax into. You perform your various riding positions for about 15 to 20 minutes. And now you should have the perfectly matched saddle! As you might expect, this is not inexpensive. The saddle I saw the the Interbike show will retail for $350. If you want to perform the fitting on your own, a version with the heater device that plugs into AC will be priced at $400. Available Spring 2019. 

    Reform sit bone gif: https://reformsaddle.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/PerfectFit1.gif

     

    Company video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSCd0bHBffk   

     

    Company website: https://reformsaddle.com/

     

    And one of handiest, least expensive gadgets at Interbike 2018 - Wraptor, the rotating smartphone bar mount.

     

    Keep your apps and maps conveniently accessible whether you are on a ride, running with a jogging stroller, or keeping the kids entertained in a grocery cart. The high-quality Wraptor design offers a secure hold on almost any handle. With 360 degrees of rotation, your phone can be easily changed from portrait to landscape or anywhere in between so that your screen is always easy to view. The Wraptor fits standard and plus-sized phones, with or without a case, as well as most handlebar sizes. The universal mount makes this rotating smartphone holder so versatile, it can be mounted on stems, handlebars, and more. My biggest smart device is the Samsung Note 4 at a bit over 6" with case, and it fit easily. And so does my LG G6 also at about 6" fit fine. Wraptor is from Nite Ize. Under $20. Best Buy or Amazon.

     

    Was $16.05 on Amazon as of 9/29/18 https://amzn.to/2zEUEDs

     

    Giz Wiz Link. Pay the same, The Giz Wiz gets a small credit to buy more stuff on Amazon.