Author Archive

The Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth Headset – excellent

November 7, 2006

I recently bought the Plantroncis Voyager 510 headset for about $60.

It is by a wonderful, reasonably priced bluetooth headset.  It connected easily and without difficult the my Palm Treo 650.

The headset controls (Call Control, Volume up and Down, on/off) are very easy to differentiate both visually and by touch.

Pairing was a little tricky only because I didn’t wait long enough for the red light to blink and the blue light to blink – actually I was holding the call button + the down volume button instead of the volume up button – but despite that gaff, it was easy to link and set-up.

Call quality is excellent.  In my car, a few people have mentioned my voice was a little quiet – but most have been very happy with the microphone’s quality.  Somehow blue tooth sounds better than a tethered microphone.  The 6 hour talk time exceeds the battery on my Treo.

All in all, this is an excellent single function product.  It beats the pants off the motorola ear piece my phone dealer sold me for $100.

Enjoy, gadgetology.

Where do you go when you need a fast answer?

October 29, 2006

A few minutes ago my wife asked me how many ounces are in a pint?  How many are in a cup?

I never cook and seldom use weight measurements for anything – except when I blush at my morning weigh-ins – however my scale is digital and uses decimals.

Where did I go?

I went to www.ask.com.

I typed in “how many ounces are in a cup” and the same question for a pint.  What was particularly interesting is the response:

 You can see it here, but I’ll describe it below:

The first thing it told me was the actual answer – not a list of confusing search results.  Then it gave me a very nice list of relevant websites.

I highly recommend ask.com for quick answers.  I usually try wikipedia.org for more involved questions.  Google last.

-Gadgetology

brazen, balzy and bullish … tcsdaily.com

October 29, 2006

Yesterday I received an article frowarded from tcsdaily.com.  An online news journal I had never heard of before.

The article, was quite brazen.  It was a civil analysis of the vigilante killing sprees that have recently started in Iraq.  The author characterized them as akin to the South American death squads.

 He also asserted that most modern democracies had death squads or vigilante reprisals as part of their transition from fascism/absolutism/communism/autocracy to modern democracy.  In the author’s view, such dark movements are civil society’s only practical response to implacable violence-pledged fanatics.

While the argument is compelling and quite brave, in principle I find it quite frightening.  It strikes me that there is little difference between the vigilante death squads and the squads of the various dictators (think Hitler, Idi Amin, etc…).  Perhaps the only difference is the timing of the group’s activities and their potential composition.  Can evil accomplish good goals?

While an uncomfortable topic, it certainly is a brave one to address.  Worthy of attention.

After reading the arcticle, I was certainly motivated to see who would publish such an article, hence my discovery of tcsdaily.com.

It’s openly ideological – more to the free market than price controls, open societies rather than closed ones and a strong belief in the idea of progress.

Whether or not you agree with it, it is worth examining.

-gadgetology

Kill-a-watt Energy Meter

October 29, 2006

I recently saw a posting for the Kill-a-watt energy meter at My Money Blog, a blog I often read.

I’ve had the Kill-a-watt meter for about two years.  The idea is quite intersting – it’s a nifty gadget.

You plug it between an electrical device and the wall outlet.  It will track your consumption for whatever period of time you choose.  It has a small built in LCD that tracks your electricity consumption through different methods.  However, you must have the discipline to actually check and take measurements.  You also need to contact your electrical provider to learn your cost per killowatt hour.

For me the device does not work too well, as it sits blindly attached to a television for several months.  For others, it may be a great way to identify high energy consuming appliances, etc….

-gadgetology

DEAL: year long subscription to gametap at 50% off

October 19, 2006

I saw this one at the Digital Life Conference in NYC.

Gametap is a provider of downloadable games.  You pay a monthly or annual subscription and can enjoy unlimited downloads.

Most of the games are older, maybe two generations out:  Far Cry, Civ III, etc….  However there is a very rich supply of ancient games from the earliest console days as well as more recent console games.  GameTap let’s you play these games without complex console emulation, etc… (so they say).

The cost is $59.40 for a year if you act on this deal:  www.gametap.com/digital.  The demos at the conference looked pretty interesting and the games should be fairly fun.

Since the games are downloaded they should perform at a fairly spiffy pace.  I’m not sure how well (or if) Gametap works when a laptop is untethered from the Internet.

Gametap also offers a free monthly trial.  We put this one up because it looked very interesting.  If you try it out – please leave comments.

-gadgetology

Just remember it for me…MobiPassword – password and link manager

October 18, 2006

Mobipassword is a very useful password and web link manager.

It provides useful categories and templates for storing information for a vast variety of common facts:  everything from websites URLs and passwords, to bank accounts and airline loyal program information.

MobiPassword runs on either your PC or concurrently with your PC and a hand held device, such as a Palm or Windows hand-held.  I personally have run MobiPassword on various Palm tungsten models, Palm Treo and HP handheld.

Links, passwords and data are synchronized automatically when you hot-synch your PDA.  Data is stored in an encrypted format that makes it costly and difficultto try to steal.

MobiPassword sits in the system tray of your PC.  You can right click on the icon and select a website for Mobipassword to launch.  It can then – at your request – automatically log you into the website – saving you time by remembering the password and URL for you.

MobiPassword is mostly stable.  It works and runs well about 97% of the time.  Every so often (about every 2-3 days for me) the program throws an error and mysteriously quits.  No other programs are effected, but it is an inconvenience.

You can check MobiPassword out at www.mobipassword.com.

Enjoy, N

Our mission – if we choose to accept it

October 14, 2006

N & J, two wild and wooly guys, have decided to diagram, dialogue and display their diverse gadget adventures.  In this blog you’ll find reviews, rants, raves, ideas, comments and projects all about handy dandy gadgets we find in everyday life – or gadgets we wish we had in every day life.

Feel free to comment and recommend a gadget for review.

Otherwise, we’ll pick our own gadgets and hope you like them, too.

Have wonderful weekend,

n&j