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


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


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


    You've heard of road rage. What about wrap rage?

    Don’t you hate trying to open those sealed plastic packages with the edges that seem like they’re welded together? OpenIt! is a big help. We reported on the first version a couple of years ago, but now there’s a new, improved version. The original was a four-in-one and the newer one is a five-in-one. OpenIt! features a set of incredibly sharp blades that will cut through the toughest plastic packaging. The company says it will cut like a hot knife through butter. I don’t quite agree with that, but it sure will make your life easier!  Its recessed blade design protects your hand from plastic "shards" as you cut. There’s also a built in retractable utility knife to slice open CDs, DVD’s, and boxes. (But use the blade with care. It is not replicable.) And once you get the kid’s toy out the plastic tomb, you can open the battery compartments with the concealed double-sided screwdriver – slot and Philips. You can even crack open a cold beer with the built-in bottle opener. That’s the newest addition. But although you can probably live without that, the whole design is new.  It’s smaller and easier to grasp. My estimate is that it’s about 20% smaller than the original. And now the hidden screwdriver is removable. In the older model, it folded out and you had to use the whole device to turn a screw, which was a bit awkward at times. The cardboard back on old packaging used to be scored for easy removal, but it’s not on the new package. But someone told me to squeeze the package to pop it open. Price is about the same, anyway from $10.99 to $12.99. The new one is the 5-in-1.  It's also at Bed Bath and Beyond,Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Walgreens, and Kroger as well as Amazon.com. At the company website, the older 4-in-1 is on sale - 2 for $14.99.  


    See or Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1224


    Is your cell phone another place for germs to socialize?

    Violight says your cell phone is probably one of your most often touched electronic devices; you use it everyday wherever you are. The warmth of your phone creates the perfect environment for germs to live. That means many germs are lurking there! One report said your cell phone could have more germs than your toilet seat. Ugh! Not to fear! Now you can sanitize cell phones and other small devices like Bluetooth headsets, earbuds, and MP3 players in just minutes with the Violight UV Cell Phone Sanitizer. The company says germicidal UV light eliminates 99% of germs and bacteria. (UV light is widely used in hospitals to kill germs.) Place your cell phone is the Violight Phone Sanitizer, slide the top on and it works automatically. With dual UV bulbs it sanitizes your device in less than 5 minutes and then shuts off automatically. There are two safety switches so it only operates with the cover in place. You also get an accessories basket to sanitize small devices like headphones, MP3 players, and cell phone headsets. It works on 3 AA batteries so you can operate it anywhere. (Batteries not included.) It won’t work on flip or slider phones, but it will work for cell phones with the following maximum dimensions: 3 L x 0.75 W x 5 H inches. Remember this is a sanitizer, not a washing machine. At a recent demo I heard one reporter remark: “I can still see fingerprints”. It doesn’t remove fingerprints, but the ones that are there should be “germ free” fingerprints! Under $50. If you do a web search you’ll probably find it for less. 



    With the cold weather coming, here's a way to find where the warm air is leaking out of your home.

    Black & Decker Thermal Leak Detector lets find leaks around doors, windows, your air conditioner, etc. It even can check to see if air is coming in around electric outlets. If the light is green, there’s no leak. When you first turn it on it will get a ‘reference’ temperature of the room and the light will turn green. Then you start your scanning, moving the device 1 to 4 inches from each part of the room where outside air might enter. If the beam turns blue it means cold air is leaking in. Use this when checking for leaks in the winter. When the light turns red it means hot air is getting in. Use that in the summer when you want to keep cool air-conditioned air inside. You also set the Leak Detector for the range of temperature difference you want, 1, 5 or 10 degrees. Black & Decker says their Thermal Leak Detector could save you up to 20% of your heating and cooling energy costs. Not bad for a device that sells for under $50. Runs on one 9-volt battery.


     Hear or SEE this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1186


    Turn an empty cardboard box into a speaker, instantly!

    The Vibe is a speaker like no other. It’s about the size of a triangular shaped hockey puck. It looks nothing like what it is - a small speaker, or as the manufacturer Tunebug calls it, a sound generator. It weighs a mere 5.3 ounces, which is good, because you most likely will want to pack it when you travel. Why? Because the Vibe uses something called SurfaceSound technology to turn small objects into big sounds. Basically it turns anything you place it on, into a fairly decent sounding speaker! You can even use the cardboard storage box that comes with it as the speaker. Any device you have that has a headphone jack, like your iPod, iPhone, laptop, netbook, MP3 player can now offer really decent sound any place you go. Connect any one of those devices to the Vibe using included 1/8”cable and then set the Vibe on a flat surface. Turn it on and listen as the Vibe turns that surface into a larger, louder sounding speaker. It’s pretty neat. You charge the Vibe’s internal rechargeable battery via a USB-to-mini-plug cable, also included. The company says you’ll get about five hours of play time on a full charge.  The best sound from the Vibe comes when you place it on a hollow surface, such as a box. That's why the Vibe comes with a small box, called a Sound Base. In my testing, sound quality and volume varied wildly depending on the surface on which I put the Vibe, but empty boxes do work best! (You adjust the volume level using your iPod, iPhone, or other connected device's volume control.) A tissue box worked really well, so if you travel, you’d most likely have one already there in the hotel bathroom. At a party, I played some music with my MP3 player and placed the Vibe on a round table. As folks walked around it sounded like the entire table was playing! Everyone was really impressed. This certainly wouldn’t be your prime listening speaker (it’s mono) but it’s ideal for the office, hotel room, or any place you need decent sound without carrying a ton of equipment. List price is $69.99, but I did a web search and saw it for as low as $55.


    Hear or SEE this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1209


    Roku adds 3 new HD devices, one that sells for under $60.

    Roku, the folks who build those neat little black boxes that let us stream high-definition content from the Internet to our flat screen TV, have introduced 3 new models. They range in price from about $60 to $100 and they’re smaller than ever. All three models can stream high-definition playback from Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, even TWiT. (Assuming, of course, the original content is in High Def.)  Yes, you can even watch The Daily Giz Wiz on your big screen TV. The price of the Roku box depends on the number of connections and features you want. The more expensive high-end boxes include an Instant Replay feature that stores content briefly, so you can see it again, even though it’s streaming video. Here’s something to be aware of. If you’re going to use the component video (red, blue, green) connection, you will need a special cable with a 3.5mm connection for the Roku box end, and the standard red, blue, green connections on the other end. This cable is not included. That was one way to make the new Roku boxes much smaller, by eliminating the jacks for each of the separate component cables.   Check out the Roku website to see the various features for each of the new boxes which are now available. I love my Roku box and use it to stream all the TWiT video to a flat screen TV at Gizneyland. All 3 boxes include remote control.


    Hear this Netcast www.twit.tv/dgw1193