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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 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.

    Thursday
    Jan272011

    An iPhone case with a built in battery - that you can change quickly.

    I don’t own an iPhone 4, (I do have the latest iPod Touch) but people who do own them and use them a lot, often seek out a case with a built in battery. Tekkeon has introduced a different kind of iPhone 4 case. Like all the others on the market, the myPower battery case separates into pieces. With other cases, the battery is always built into the bottom of the case and the top is a bezel that completes the case. But the folks at Tekkeon told me that had decided to make a different kind of iPhone 4 case. (Not to be confused with their earlier iPhone 3 leather case.) When you open the package of the myPower for the iPhone 4 you’ll still find a case in two sections. I knew this case would work with my iTouch 4, even though the it wouldn’t fit properly. So I docked my iPod Touch to the bottom section of the case which contains the 30 pin connector. I click the myPower switch to on – and – and nohing happened. Oh well, time to read the instructions. Opps, I see now! No wonder nothing happened. The bottom part contains the connector, but it’s the top piece that includes the battery! I clicked the top part on, connected the two together and flipped it on. Yes! Now it worked. But it works in a different way from  other charger/cases. When you switch it on, the Tekkeon myPower battery alone powers your iPhone 4. You’ll see the iPhone 4 power icon switch from battery to the AC symbol. It powers your phone without charging the internal battery. I asked the folks at Tekkeon why they took that approach and they said it was easier on your iPhone 4 battery not to be constantly charged, drained a bit, charged, etc. Their idea is to run your phone off the myPower battery knowing you still have all your iPhone 4 battery power. When the myPower battery dies, it automatically switches to the iPhone 4 built in battery. Another feature of the myPower is the ability to switch out the top battery section for a spare, assuming you bought one.  A second battery is only about 1/3 the cost of the entire kit. The myPower ion battery adds 1200 mAh to your iPhone 4. (A spare is priced at about $25) A 2200 mAH module will be available soon for about $10 more. But, of course, it will be thicker. If you like lights, the Tekkeon will disappoint you a little. Rather than a segmented battery level indicator, it uses a single light with two colors to indicate the amount of power left. Weighing in at only 1.84 oz (51.5 g) the myPower for iPhone 4 is almost undetectable from a plain old hard case without power. MSRP: $80. Discounts can be found by doing a web search.

     http://www.tekkeon.com/products-mypower-iphone-1280.html 

    See or hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1273 (If this link isn’t active, please check back in an hour or so.)

    Saturday
    Jan222011

    Home theatre for folks who want someone else to totally set-it up!

    I was invited to Bose Mountain for the unveiling of a new product. All the great Bose PR people would tell me was: “It's something we have never produced before.” Well, that let out new headphones or speakers. I went for the demo. It seemed to a new surround-sound system, which sounded great, but they've made surround sound systems before. Even though the sound seemed to come from the sides and behind us, it turned out all the cloth covered speakers we saw, didn’t exist. Not even the subwoofer on the floor was real. But what we weren't expecting to hear was that out ALL the sounds, including the surround sound, were coming from within the 46” LCD TV! Yes, it's the VideoWave TV from Bose, their first complete TV system. The VideoWave consists of four pieces – the 46-inch 1080p LCD TV, a separate console connected by a proprietary Bose cable, an iPod dock, and a remote control. The TV weighs over 100 pounds because of all the goodies inside! There are 16 speakers, six subwoofers, and a lot of brand-new technology that sends high-frequency sound from the set to every corner of the room. You also get Bose AdaptIQ technology that adapts the sound to the acoustics of your living room. But wait, there’s more! The remote is incredibly simple, just like the remote that might have come with your very first TV. It has Power, Input, Channel Up/Down Volume Up/Down, Mute, and Back. But it also has a touch pad.  When you put your finger on the touch pad, the picture on the screen shrinks, and around it appears a rectangle menu with just the controls for the device you’re using. It can control up to five devices connected to the VideoWave system. All in all it’s amazing product. As you might expect, it’s not inexpensive. Before you guess the price you should know it includes “white glove” delivery and setup of all your components in your home. Only what’s your guess? It’s $5,349 and you won’t find it at any of the big box stores, just Bose retail outlets.

    http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/videowave/index.jsp

    Hear or SEE a Netcast Leo & I did about this Bose TV: www.twit.tv/dgw1199

    Saturday
    Jan222011

    Add WiFi & a Router to a room just by plugging in these two units.

    As I reported on Daily Giz Wiz 1243, www.twit.tv/dgw1243 I used the TV Orb to send video from my office to my apartment, which are back to back in a Manhattan brownstone. Basically I wanted to use my Roku box in my living room where there is no WiFi. Although the Orb worked with the doors open, the video was less than good with the doors closed. So I figured wired was the way to go. But I didn’t want to drill a hole through the wall for the cable, so I came up with another solution. Western Digital offers a gadget that lets you stream high-speed encrypted video and data wirelessly to connected devices via electric lines anywhere in the home.  It’s called the Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit. Belkin offers a similar solution, but I’ll tell you what Western Digital added to make it more convenient to share your WiFi.  The Livewire Powerline AV Kit features two adapters, one for the room where the WiFi source is, and one for the room where you want WiFi. While the Belkin unit offers an adaptor that handles a single WiFi line, each of the Western Digital units offer four ports that allow users to connect the router to seven Internet-enabled appliances. (One of the eight ports requires the WiFi in cable.) One WD adaptor plugs into an available electric outlet in each of the two rooms you’re connecting to create a high-speed network. (Western Digital says the system is capable of handling up to 200 Mbs - megabits per second). Installation is easy, but there is one warning you should pay attention to! Do not use these units with power strips or UPS units. They should be plugged directly in an AC outlet. When I was setting up the units I found the two required AC plugs, but I couldn’t see where they plugged in on the adapters. Then I realized the place the AC wire & plug go had a warning stickers covering the port. That warning was the one NOT to use extension cords, power strips, etc. Of course I had to see if that was true, and it was. It doesn’t work. But when connected as instructed, they work fine. A green LED light on each unit lights to let you know they’re connected. Now I can watch Netflix on my HDTV via the Roku box using the WiFi that’s in my office! Works perfectly. The Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit lists for $139.99, but if you do a web search you can find them right around the $100 mark.

    http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=310

    SEE or hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1256 

    Friday
    Jan142011

    A high quality mini-speaker system at an affordable low price. 

    At CES quite a few manufacturers introduced portable speaker systems as more and more people carry their music files with them. At Show Stoppers, Pure Acoustics launched their own wireless, ultra-portable speaker: the HipBox. (Pure Acoustics is known for building high-end speaker systems and this certainly is their smallest entry ever!) The HipBox is a smart looking, pleasant sounding and ultra-portable speaker. You can connect the HipBox to any device, from smartphones to iPads and iPhones, and of course, any mp3 player via the headphone jack. With dual inputs, it can even play music or podcasts stored on USB flash drives or SD cards. The HipBox weighs less than nine ounces, so you can share your music and podcasts (know of any good podcasts??) anywhere: at home, the park, the beach, etc. This gizmo would also be good as a speaker for laptops or desktop PC’s. The company says the built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery can also be used to recharge a dead smart phone if necessary. Fully charged, it offers about four hours of portable playtime. At the show, I saw two models. One had an FM radio and a small LCD screen that displayed the radio station frequencies. The other model, without FM, had slightly larger speakers and to my ear, sounded better. On the company website they only show the unit without FM. For now maybe they decided to just go with the one that sounds better. HipBox is available in four designer colors and retails at an affordable $39.95. 

    www.myhipbox.com 

    SEE or hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1265

    Saturday
    Jan012011

    With these "tech" gloves, you can leave them on and still use all your touch screen devices.

    So what’s a touch screen-lover to do in the cold? You probably already know that regular gloves will not let you operate a touch screen device. They keep you warm, but they create a barrier between you and your touch-screen device. That’s where Agloves are different. These “tech gloves” can be worn while you use any of your touch screen phones, cameras, multimedia devices, etc. Why? Because of silver. Silver is the most electrically conductive element. Agloves are made with silver-coated nylon fibers knitted into a comfortable fabric that puts the conductivity back in your touch. (The company says silver is the most electrically conductive element.) Agloves’ silver fibers are not restricted to two or three fingertips. They’re knitted into the fabric of the whole glove so all ten fingers can be touch-screen ready. This is important because it provides greater surface area for the natural bioelectricity in your hand.  If the tips of your fingertips are not conductive enough due to dryness and cold, the bioelectricity from the palm of your hand flows through the super conductive glove to your fingertips to maintain your connection. And a great little side benefit, no fingerprints! I used these gloves down by the Hudson river with a stiff wind blowing. Down to about 40 degrees they’re nice and warm. Below that, you might want use these as liners, under other gloves. (But you'll have to remove the top gloves when you need to use the touch-screen.) Under $18. For now, they’re only available on the web. 

    www.Agloves.com  

    See or Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1248