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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 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

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

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


    An iPad, iPod, iPhone dock with some unique features.

    The Stem TimeCommand dock for iPhone, iPad and Ipod is one of the more unique iOS device docking stations. I didn’t quite understand why the Stem Innovations decided on circular design. But after hearing it, I think I know one of the reasons. Because the sound doesn’t come directly at you, but aims to your right and left, you really hear excellent stereo separation out of a device with a diameter of less than eight inches. You may not know the name Stem Innovations, but you probably know the name XtremeMac. Stem Innovations was started by the former CEO of XtremeMac, Gary Bart. There are other features that make the TimeCommand more than your basic iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone dock. There’s SafeWake, a back-up battery alarm that will sound at the preset time even if the power goes out. If there’s a power failure, instead of showing the time on a steady display, it will blinks every 10 seconds or so to alert you that there is no AC power to the unit. There’s also a 5-band graphic equalizer and bass enhancer to customize the sound. I was also surprised to find there was free Internet radio with about a dozen music style choices. Great if you get tired of the tunes on your iOS device. When I saw the large power plug had an AC outlet on the side I thought it was an AC pass through for another device. But it turns out that it’s designed as a place for you to plug in your bedroom lamp. Once plugged in, you have the ability to dim your light as you fall asleep and even ‘wake to light’ if you want. This feature is only for lamps with incandescent bulbs – and I assume for the new ‘clearly marked dimmable LED bulbs’. When setting up the unit for the first time, the digital clock doesn’t have to be set because it syncs with the clock time on your iPad/iPhone/iPod when it’s docked. But wait, there’s more! The Stem Connect App (free from iTunes) lets you control the brightness of your bed lamp, set alarm times and sounds, and set nap/snooze controls. The curved LED display is fully dimmable up and down, at the touch of a button on the unit itself. And something else unique is the pivoting dock connector, which can accommodate devices even if they’re in their protective case. TimeCommand is compatible with devices running iOS 4.2 and higher. Available from Apple Store at about $100.

    See or hear this Netcast:


    The Virtual Keyboard Becomes Real!

    At CES about five years ago reporters where given a look-see at the keyboard of the future. It was laser projected onto any flat surface with a tiny cube. I got to try it and it interesting, but using it was tricky. If you didn’t hit a key dead center it would type a letter you didn’t want. It took quite a bit of time, but now the Cube Laser Virtual Keyboard is ready for prime time. It’s very accurate and this I love –as you type – every keystroke is accompanied by a simulated key click.  (You can adjust the volume, or turn it off if you want.) On an airplane you'll get a lot of attention when you set this little cube on your tray table and start typing away on your Android phone or iPad.  With 63 keys and a full size QWERTY layout, the Laser Virtual Keyboard can approach typing speeds of a standard keyboard. Yet the Virtual keyboard projector is on about 1” X 3” in size. Connects wirelessly via bluetooth to iPhone, iPad, many Smartphones and most Laptops. But wait, there’s more! Mouse mode allows you to use your finger as a mouse rather than typing when using with a laptop. The rechargeable battery lasts for 150 minutes of continuous typing. It charges via USB. $169.95.


    Another solution to handling those giant transformer plugs.

    Do you have a lot of electronic devices with those big transformer plugs? You know the deal. You buy a power strip and find you can only use half the outlets because those big power adapter plugs ends up covering 2 or 3 other outlets. Pivot Power comes to the rescue with an easy solution: a flexible power strip that can bend and flex so you can find the most convenient angle to handle those monster transformer plugs. Because there’s a hinge between every outlet on the strip, you have a lot of flexibility of which way to face the plug. Currently it’s only available in white and it ships with six feet of heavy duty cord. There's also a flat plug at the end so it takes up less room at the outlet you plug it in. There’s 672 Joules of surge protection built in too. $29.99.

     See or hear this Netcast:


    Set up your tent in just a minute or two!

    I was set to record my own "Coleman Instant Tent" Video when I learned something important. It's really a two-man job. So I left this week's video to the professionals. The product managers at Coleman. They came up with the "Coleman Instant Tent -- quite a feat of engineering:

    Coleman Instant Tents - $137/Up – Coleman makes Instant Tents designed for four, six or eight people. , so they’re big. Set up takes 1 minute. The Coleman 4-Person Instant Tent is of course the easiest to set up. The tents feature an innovative one-piece design: the poles are pre-attached to the tent, so there's no assembly and no parts to lose. Just unfold the tent, spread out the fabric, extend the poles, and click and lock. The 4-Person Instant Tent has a footprint of 8'x7', with a center height of 4'11". It's made of heavy-duty 150D polyester taffeta. Coleman says that that's twice as thick as standard tent material. Every seam is fully sealed, so you don't need a rain fly. Campers who reviewed this tent said that is a big time saver. The 16mm and 20mm steel poles are durable and strong. There are also six and eight person tents available. There are a lot of videos of people setting up their Coleman Tents on YouTube. From watching many videos and doing a little experimenting of my own I've learned that you really need two people to set it up quickly. If you know what you’re doing, a minute set is possible, but heck - even it takes 4 minutes, that’s pretty quick! MSRP for the four person tent is about $140. But I found it Amazon for $110 with free Super Saver shipping here:  (I have not purchased anything at this e-tailer)

    An excellent video to watch is the two Coleman product managers setting up one of their tents and explaining each step:

    See or hear this Netcast:


    You can stream your media library from this cordless hard drive to your WiFi enabled device.

    The GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage device allows you to carry your media library with you while on the go. Then you can wirelessly stream movies, photos, music and documents to your iPad, tablet or smartphone via WiFi. The GoFlex Satellite provides both a fast USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connection. The downloadable Media Sync software makes it easy to transfer media and documents from your PC or Mac computer. The 500 GB GoFlex Satellite device can store over 300 HD movies, so you'll never have to worry about running out of space on your iPad or tablet. At the demo I went to I saw an two iPads and a smart phone displaying three different videos all being feed wirelessly from a single GoFlex Satellite. It was pretty impressive. With a full charge you should get up to five hours of wireless streaming. Now there’s no more worrying about running out of space on your iPad or Smart Phone. Price is $199.99.


    See or hear this Netcast: