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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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    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
    Jun282010

    The new Droidx has a lot of great features for the traveler.

    The Droid x from Motorola Droid will be the newest smart phone when it's released on July 15th. It has a built in (720p) HD camcorder, 8 MP camera (with dual flash), Skype mobile (keep in touch with the folks back home)  GPS (don’t get lost), plays movies on a crytal clear 4.3” HD screen (use on the airplane) and HDMI output so you can watch your videos on the big screen at the hotel. (Be sure to bring your own HDMI hookup cable.) It's a lot of high tech travel gadgets in one small device.  There’s also Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and of course, GPS (with turn by turn voice navigation, but not live traffic.) The Droid x has some newer initials too: DLNA which stands for wireless Digital Living Network Alliance technology. It's a way for different formats to work on a wider variety of devices.  Droid X is shipping with Android 2.1 with an updated version of Motorola's Blur coming later in the summer. It will be an over the air update, so you don’t have to take your phone anywhere to have it upgraded. Something I’m really impressed with is the Swype typing app which is preinstalled. Swipe your fingers across the keyboard to spell words and they appear on the screen with a very high degree of accuracy. I was sure the phone couldn’t figure out exactly what keys I was dragging across, but the word I wanted appeared on the screen. It’s like typing with some amazing ESP app. But wait there’s more. This gizmo has three microphones. Two are for directional audio capture and one is to add in noise cancellation. If you're eligible for a Verizon Wireless upgrade at any point in 2010, you'll be able to pick one up for $199 (after a $100 mail-in rebate) starting on July 15. The phone comes with 8GB of internal storage and a 16GB microSD card installed. A data plan is set at $24.99. the Droid X lets you create your own WiFi 3G HotSpot that can connect up to five devices, but that will cost you an extra $20 a month. It comes with a perhaps unwelcome 2GB data cap.  

    www.verizonwireless.com

    Monday
    Jun282010

    Power to the pocket!

    You can have power in your pocket if your travel with the Scosche SolBAT II battery/solar charger. It has a full sized USB port so you can charge most small electronics on the run, on the plane, in the woods. It comes with removable suction cups that let you recharge it in the car as you travel. Inside this device is a 1500mAh capacity battery. The USB output is the typical 5-volts. Now there is a downside to this device being so small. It’s small, which makes the solar panel smaller. That means, according to the user manual, it’ll take up to 4-5 days to fully charge the internal battery using the solar panel. (I guess a day or two in the desert.) Reading some other reviews of this unit, it seems that the 4-5 thing is the absolutely worst case scenario. Our friends at Laptop Magazine placed a solBAT II outside for 3.5 hours on a mostly sunny day and it gathered enough power to charge an iPhone 3G to 75% before giving out. That’s seems really good to me! The kit includes a USB cable so you can charge your device with your computer. Or you can do what I did, hooked the charging cable to one of those AC plug/USB adapters and charged it with AC. Computer or AC charging will bring the battery up to full power in about four to five hours. But if you’re out in the sun use the included belt clip or suction cups to keep this device in the sun to the charge up. At the CEA Line Show in June, a spokesperson at the Scosche booth said that fully charged the SolBat II would charge most cell phones twice before the unit needed to be recharged. I also noticed in the instruction they call it the SunVolt. Seems like a better name than the SolBat II to me. It’s under $30, but on Amazon I saw this gizmo for under $20!

    http://tinyurl.com/2fejgmk

    Monday
    Jun282010

    As Sinatra never sang: "Come Fly With This!"

    When I get on a plane I try to pack all the things I want with me for the flight at the top of my carry-on so I can quickly dump into the seat and seat pocket before I put my bag away. Well this neat travel bag from the Magellan’s catalog makes doing that a breeze. It called the In-Flight Organizer Panel. There's no more struggling to reach all your in-flight essentials because they’re all there right in from you. This cleverly designed organizer attaches to your tray table with either a hook or Velcro straps. It has a roomy pocket for a newspaper, magazine or documents. Then there are padded pockets for your cell phone, eyeglasses, MP3 player or digital camera. But wait, there’s more! There’s even a pen slot and a key fob. When not in use, it zips closed so it can be packed in your carry-on bag. Two exterior zippered pockets are just the right size for boarding passes, passports, or itineraries. It has webbed carry handles and measures 12-1/2 x 7-1/2 x 2". Made of Microfiber, it’s available in black or red. The only thing that won’t work for some travelers is the clear pocket designed to hold your video phone so you can watch your own movies in flight, For most of the new iPhones & Droid phones, the pocket is too small. Under $35.00

    http://tinyurl.com/2dlahmn

    Audio & Video version of a Netcast I did on this product: www.twit.tv/dgw1121

    Monday
    Jun282010

    An emergency radio small enough to fit in a backpack, or Scottevest Windbreaker.

    It’s the Microlink FR 160 from Eton. (Some models are branded “Red Cross”.) This emergency radio can be powered by the built-in rechargeable battery pack, solar power (also built in) or an AC adapter/charger, which is not included. And of course, you can charge the battery pack with the built in cranking handle. Turn the crank for about 90 seconds will result in 30 to 40 minutes of low volume play. Outdoors, place the unit directly in sunlight and the solar panel on the top of the unit charges the internal battery automatically. About 8-10 hours in the sun will allow about 3-5 hours of radio play. A green LED glows to indicate when the internal battery is being charged. But wait, there's more!  You can also use this gizmo to charge your cell phone. (There's a the built in USB plug!) Because cell phone batteries vary in their current ratings, Eton cannot specify charging rates or usage time. But they say 10 to 15 minutes of cranking may result in 1 or more minutes of talk-time. Not the best ratio, but in an emergency, it's better than no calls. You could give your kids this radio & take away their cell phone AC charger. Having them have to "crank to call" will give them great exercise and cut down on the  minutes they use a lot!  In addition to AM and FM, there’s 7 weather band channels.  There’s also a 3 LED flashlight for emergencies at night. About $30. The Red Cross version tends to sell for more.

    Eton website: http://www.etoncorp.com/product_card/?p_ProductDbId=914953

    I haven’t shopped here, but they sell it for  under $29 http://tinyurl.com/2dqd9gt 

    Hear or SEE a Netcast I did on this product: www.twit.tv/dgw1123

    Monday
    Jun282010

    Don’t get hit with huge “over weight” fees when you get to the airport.

    It’s easy to know exactly what your bags weigh before you head to the airport with this neat device. (Be sure to check your carrier’s website to see exactly how many pounds are allowed per piece. It's usually very different for domestic & International.) This FlightLite scale's unique T-bar design makes it easier to lift and weigh luggage, even heavy luggage. Just thread the sturdy nylon strap through your luggage handle, secure with the quick-release buckle, and lift. The digital read-out window is positioned conveniently right in the handle. A red LED indicates that your bag is over 50 lb; a green LED means it's under 50 lb. Weighs luggage up to 100 lb/44kg, and even includes a built-in 6-LED flashlight. Batteries included. (5½" long; 1¼" dia; 7 oz) The innovative new Travelite Luggage Scale is the compact way to ensure luggage meets airline weight guidelines. This gizmo is a Magellans Catalog exclusive. Under $25.

    http://tinyurl.com/5kqtn8