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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, Tech Guy Labs on TWiT and on Computer America. But wait, there's More »

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    WORLD NEWS NOW

    With Co-hosts Diane Macedo & Kendis Gibson

    "Where more insomniacs get their news than any other source!"

    On these pages are gadgets I've shown over the past few years on the show. 

    To find out when I'm on TV again, or to learn about new gadgets between shows, follow me on Twitter:

    www.twitter.com/thegizwiz

    Want more Dick De?

    The Giz Wiz does a gadget show every week with co-host OMGChad Johnson on TWiT - This Week in Tech!

                                                      www.twit.tv/giz

    Monday
    Apr052010

    Here's a handy helper for road travel and for many emergencies.

    The powerful, new Cobra Jumpstarter/powerpack can be used to jump start cars, run your 12 volt auto accessories outside the car  via its DC output and even power small appliances via the built-in AC outlet. It's good for tools and household appliances up to 400  watts. But wait, there's more! There's also a 5V USB port to charge cellphones or other electronic devices and a 260 PSI air compressor for flat tires, air mattresses, etc.  Use the built in LED worklight for nighttime emergencies. The powerpack comes in 4 sizes/models based on the amount of power needed.  It has auto, home and outdoor applications. Charge it from an AC outlet with the included AC adapter. Use the four LED power meter to see when it's time to recharge the Jumpstarter/powerpack. The most powerful unit (the one I showed on World News Now)  puts out 1800 watts and costs under $130. Smaller units start under $50. You buy the amount of power and the onboard accessories you need. Be sure to do a price search on the web. I saw the 1800 Watt unit for about $112.00.  

    http://cobra.com/categories/power-inverters

    Monday
    Apr052010

    Don't let your GPS get lost when thieves take it!

    These days almost every driver I know has a GPS unit. Many of them are built in, but many are portable units. GPS units become easier to use and more feature laden every year. But along with tech advances comes the attraction of thieves. That’s why I think the Maplock GPS anti-theft device is a good idea. It’s a two part locking system. There’s a stainless steel tether that attaches around the steering wheel. It’s connected to the Maplock device, which fits over your GPS unit and is locked with a key.  The Melbourne-based auto accessory company Who-Rae Australia developed this gizmo, which they say is the world’s first in-car GPS security device. It’s made to protect most portable GPS units with screen sizes between 3.5” & 5”. The bright colors of the Maplock are intended to deter thieves from breaking a window to gain entry. If thieves are roaming through a parking lot taking GPS units, I think they’d skip one that had this device in place and pick something easier. Why hassle cutting a wire and breaking a locking device when the cars all around probably have no locking device? GPS theft is not an isolated crime. According to the FBI, the number of thefts has increased by 700% in recent years. There are estimates that 2.6 million GPS units will be stolen over the next two years, so an under $50 anti-theft investment could really be worthwhile. It’s on pre-order right now and should be shipping in about a month.

    www.gpsmaplock.com

    I did a Daily Giz Wiz Netcast on this gizmo: Hear it here: www.twit.tv/dgw1023  

    Monday
    Apr052010

    Jumper Cables for Dummies!

     

    What seems like an easy task to some, hooking up jumper cables, can actually be dangerous if not done correctly. Improper use of ordinary jumper cables can result in sparking or shorting, which can result in injury to the user. It can also produce a power surge that causes damage to a vehicle’s electrical system. And that’s bad news for your entertainment and navigation functions. Yes, it should be easy. The red battery cable goes to the positive side of the battery, and the black battery cable goes to go to the negative side of the battery. These days the usual recommendation is to connect the black battery cable to exposed metal on the engine block or the car frame to complete the ground. But if it’s dark, if the battery itself is poorly marked or just dirty, it may be difficult to make the connections properly. That’s where MICHELIN’S new Smart Jumper Cables come into play. They can help avoid problems during an improper jump-start. The first thing you notice is that these jumper cable ends are not marked with red or black, or negative or positive. That’s because it doesn’t matter how you hook them up. The built-in safety technology (a sealed box at the center of the cables) in Smart Jumper Cables provides surge protection and automatic polarity adjustment from either positive or negative connections. A green LED light tells you the circuits are complete. If the green LED light does not come on it might mean one of the cables is not making good contact. You’ll know which side isn’t making contact because there’s an LED light for both ends of the cables. They also have a textured grip to improve handling, especially in cold weather. But wait, there’s more! These cables stay flexible and tangle free because Michelin says they’re made with cold weather resistant materials. They also come with a sturdy zip-up storage case Under $40. 

    www.michelinsmartcables.com 

    I found them at the link below for $34.99, but I haven’t bought anything there.) 

    http://www.amazon.com/Michelin-5100-Smart-Jumper-Cables/dp/B002RRZX06 

    I did a Daily Giz Wiz Netcast on this gizmo: www.twit.tv/dgw1046

    Monday
    Apr052010

    Useful car gadgets that can save you time, money & sanity!

    CarMD. It's like a doctor for what ails your auto!

    Car MD is designed to give drivers two things they need most when it comes to their vehicle’s health:  easy-to-use tools and empowering information. Leo said it’s very easy to use. It should work on any 1996 and newer car, light truck, SUV and minivan. To get started you plug Car MD into the data link connector (DLC) of your 1996 & newer vehicle. That gives the device access to the vehicle’s on-board computer. (Videos on the company’s website can explain a lot more.) After the CarMD gathers the info it needs, a LED light tells you to disconnect it. It usually takes less than a minute to get the info downloaded into your Car MD. Then you use your PC to upload the information and tap into the CarMD online database for a specific report about what’s ailing your vehicle. The company says their easy-to-understand reports let you determine things like why your vehicle’s “check engine” light is on and find out how severe the problem is and how much parts and labor should cost. It’s like getting a second opinion on your repair estimate by comparing your CarMD report with your mechanic’s to ensure they located the true source of your car’s pain and bill you fairly. The CarMD database has real-life fixes from thousands of ASE certified technicians across the country and a range of resources to help you decide to attempt repairs yourself or refer to a qualified mechanic. Cost is $99.

     http://www.carmd.com/Shop/Products

    Friday
    Feb192010

    TOY FAIR 2010!

    Folkmanis Cow Puppets are new and so cute!!What a hard-to-take assignment. Go to Toy Fair with cameraman Peter Martinez, Jr. & Giz Wiz producer Dennis Wunderlin and play with toys!  Arr-gee, okay, I'll do it!

    Here's a link to the spot from air, World News Now, Friday, February 19, 2010

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=597291096890#!/dick.debartolo?ref=profile 

    And here are most of the gadgets you saw. I didn't see the spot until air, so I'm refining this list throughout the day.

    Chompers from Wild Republic is the only toy I showed that should be available in toy stores now as they started shipping right before Toy Fair. The T-Rex and Velociraptor dinosaurs,
    Great White Shark, Tiger, White Tiger and Lion Chompers have
    oversized heads and child hand-sized bodies that open and close mouths. Kids can they show them off or even use to pick up things from the desk & floor. Colorful and about $5 each.

    www.wildrepublic.com

    The Spy Video Tracker is coming in October, 2010 & will cost about $120. This was not yet listed on their website when I checked at Toy Fair time in February.

    www.spygear.net

    The Folkmanis Puppets start at about $20 and range up to about $60. For the quality and construction these puppets are a great value. There are available at  stores, but you can see the line and find retailers at:

    www.folkmanis.com

    Puppy Tweets is available for pre-order at Amazon.com for $29.95, plus shipping. It contains 500 random Tweets. Depending on how active your dog is - a Tweet is sent from the internal database. Your dog does not have to know how to type! You can pre-order it now on Amazon in pink or blue.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mattel-T7005-Puppy-Tweets-Blue/dp/B0037W6TX0/ref=pd_sbs_t_1 

    Sole Skate is made by Razor & will be availble soon. It's sort of a mini skate board that's small enough to fit in a backpack. It will retail for under $50. Amazon has the price listed up to $65, but you should be able to get it for under $50.  It's prelisted already here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Razor-2005-SS-Sole-Skate/dp/B002S0YPUQ 

    You can reach me at:  dick@gizwiz.biz

    I have no connection to anyone at any of the links above and make no money no matter where you purchase them, so always shop for the lowest price & check the store's reputation on line.