Archive for category Gadgets

Suunto Core All Black Military Edition

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For most of my life I have been a classic watch guy.  For the past 10+ years I have relied on my trusty Tag Heuer, but after years of abuse I decided that I needed a true sports watch to handle some of the heavy lifting.  Following the advice of many of my Colorado friends, I decided to go with a Suunto.  Not only are Suuntos big, bold and stylish, I’ve seen them provide some very accurate info in a variety of outdoor scenarios.  After a month or so with my new Suunto Core Military Edition, I have yet to take it off (other than to hand it to friends to try on).  Out of the box, the compass and altitude seem to be pretty accurate but you can tweak and calibrate it to be even more accurate.  For my general use of skiing, surfing, biking, running and camping, it’s exactly what I need.  It has just the right amount of functionality to be super useful but isn’t over the top.  What sets the Suunto apart from other digital/outdoor watches is the style.  Most digital watches with a boatload of cool functions look pretty geeky and made for sport and not a night out on the town.  Suunto combines outdoor capability with a bold style that gets more compliments for it’s cool design than any watch I have owned.  If you are looking for a solid do everything watch that you can feel comfortable wearing all day and night, check out a Suunto Core.  For a special tour of it’s features head here.

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Altec Lansing Orbit: Big Sound From A Little Speaker

Altec Lansing Orbit

Recently I was looking for a portable iPod speaker to bring with me to the park or beach to blast some beats.  Most on the market are a bit bulky and require a backpack or bag to transport, but I wanted something I could fit in my pocket.  I found a deal on an Altec Lansing Orbit, which is about the size of my fist and runs on 3 AAA batteries.  It’s simple, well built and emits a clear, quality sound.  Unlike some no name portable ipod speakers that start to muffle and break up when the volume increases, this little guy keeps the sound quality up no matter what the volume is.  Although the volume is controlled through your ipod or MP3 player/phone, it is surprisingly loud for the price and size of the unit.  Don’t expect to blare it over a neighboring party or a loud street but if you are hanging with some friends, playing some corn-hole in the park, or want to play tunes at hotel room on vacation, this is your guy.  Available for around $20 on Amazon and it even comes with a little case and carabiner for easy carrying.

Altec Lansing Orbit

orbit speaker mp3 from altec lansing

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Fuji Finepix X100: Old School Meets Digital

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Ever since I showed up to photography class in High School with my fathers heavy old Nikon SLR, i’ve been hooked. Black and white photography pulled me in but now in the digital world, the ease and instant gratification of digital photography keep my interest going. Although i’m happy with my affordable Nikon D40, which takes great pictures, it’s hard not to salivate over the high end cameras that have more features than I would ever know what to do with. Most high end cameras today are packed into a modern looking package but some companies like Leica try to keep the look vintage.  This vintage look and feel however, often come at a very steep price.

This year Fuji has entered the scene with the X100, a new and powerful compact digital camera that looks like a vintage SLR complete with leather like wrap and alloy body, but with the heart of a digital camera. Although still very expensive at just around $1,200, it is almost half the price of a comparable Leica.

To learn more check out the Fuji site.

Fujifilm   FinePix X100 | Video

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Square: Mobile Payments Made Easy

Last December, word hit the street about Jack Dorsey’s latest startup Square, which drew a lot of press and excitement.  Yesterday the public version of the product was finally made available.  Square is a smart new way for people to accept credit card payments on a mobile device such as an iPhone.  Once you sign up for a Square account you receive a free card reader that plugs into your headphone jack.  Once you pop on the Square, you can slide a credit card, have the purchaser sign with their finger on the screen, create a secure transaction and email or text a receipt in just a matter of seconds.

I made a transaction through a company that was using a beta version of Square the other week and I was very impressed.  It was easy to use, fast to process and small.  From a local kid running a lemonade stand to a larger company selling products at a sample sale, to your neighbor putting on a yard sale, Square is sure to be used and appreciated by all sorts of people.  Before launch, Square was valued at $40 million so it will be fun to watch its growth and see just how many people are able to benefit from taking mobile payments on their phone.  Although there are other mobile card readers out there, no other reader requires no costs upfront or contract, you simply pay around 3% per transaction when you do use it.

To learn more or sign up for a free account, head to https://squareup.com…….and sorry for now, iPhone, iPad, iTouch and Android Devices only

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New iPhone This Summer? iPhone on Verizon This Fall? Woah!

Although just rumors, these two Apple tidbits are being reported by a very reputable source: The Wall Street Journal.  In an article today, The Journal states that a new version of the current iPhone should be ready this summer.  The new version should be faster and thinner and the timing couldn’t be better as i’m due for an upgrade at the end of the summer.

The other big news coming from the Apple camp is the rumor that a CDMA version of the iPhone could be starting production in September.  Obviously this is big news as most people aren’t too happy with the AT&T network.  Soon you will no longer have an excuse not to have an iPhone.  The old excuse of, “oh I would get an iPhone but I hate AT&T” will no longer be valid.  With the possibility of the iPhone on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, the already popular iPhone should grab quite a significant share of the smart phone market.  If this happens, the Android makers will surely have to step up their game if they want to compete with Apple.

Click here for the Wall Street Journal Article

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GateGuru Enhances Your Airport Experience

Screen shot 2009-12-28 at 10.05.02 PMI probably should have reviewed this iphone app about a week ago when everyone was packing their bags and heading to the airport to see family and friends for the holidays, but I guess I was a little busy doing just that.  With plenty of people heading out of town for new years this week, I thought it was still an appropriate time to review a new iphone app designed to make your airport experience a little bit more enjoyable.  GateGuru was designed as an easy to use iphone app that allows you to locate the best food, shopping, and services in whatever airport you may be in.  I usually never think to much about airport food or what services are available in an airport so I end up just settling for the first thing I see.  GateGuru, however, let’s you read reviews and locate the best options, allowing you to search by airport and terminal.  Need to find an ATM before heading out to grab a taxi at LGA, GateGuru will help you out.  Although most dining options in airports are usually pretty sub-par, the review function allows you to search for the best of what’s out there.  Pick up the GateGuru Lite app for free or spring for the enhanced version at just $1.99.  If you are a frequent flier this simple but helpful app is sure to make your airport time a little less stressful and a little bit more productive.

Check out their website for more info: http://gateguruapp.com/

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Automatic Hammer = Awesome!

craftsman-hammerheadAlthough I don’t technically own any tools right now (other than a bike multi tool), this new automatic hammer from Craftsman looks like a great gadget to add to your tool box.  If you have ever had to hammer nails in a tight space, this auto hammer would be the answer.  Although pros may have a nail gun, this more user friendly adaption is the first of its kind and aims to make life easier for the DIY guy or gal.  At $99 its not cheap but the reviews look pretty positive and if you are someone who has a tool for every job, then why not.

To get your Craftsman NEXTEC 12V Auto Hammer, head on over to Sears.

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Powermat: A New Way To Charge Your Gadgets

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In today’s tech fueled world, we seem to be adding new gadgets to our lives on a weekly basis. However, with every new gadget comes a new power cord. If you are like me, your power cords have become a tangled mess in an old shoe box that is begging for a solution. When traveling, you are bound to forget at least one of the cords and when it comes to charging them all at home, they take up all the outlets and often look messy and ugly. With wireless technology improving, The Powermat may be the solution you are seeking. The Powermat, which I saw on a Best Buy commercial, seems to be a pretty solid wireless charger that aims to make your gadget life a little less cluttered. It is not cheap but it’s a new technology so the price is bound to come down as competition comes to the market. At $99, it’s a little pricey especially if you have to buy additional receivers for your different gadgets, but the concept is great. Simply place your gadget (with receiver attached) on to the mat and charging will start. Also, the receivers can be kept on the gadgets so there is no hassle of taking the receiver on and off to charge it. Some of the receivers may be a little bulky so that could be an issue but it’s a new product so I’m sure they will improve over time.

If you are tired of lugging around multiple cords or tired of wires tripping you up, the Powermat could make your life a little easier. Even if there are some complaints about this product, it is still a great concept and I hope to see more wireless functionality with various products in the future.

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My Top 15 Free iPhone Apps

After owning my iphone 3G for a solid 9 months now, I am still amazed by how much it can do. After the big switch from Verizon and my BlackBerry, I would say that the iphone is worth it in every way (except typing long emails).

Ever since I bought it, I have paid extra attention to the iphone commercials that show a person using different apps. After every new commercial I always check out the apps that were featured and usually end up with at least one of the apps on my phone. Pretty smart ad campaign in my mind. Other than the commercials or looking at the top 25 downloaded list, I usually check friend’s iphones and see if they have something new and exciting on theirs.

Although there are some great apps out there for a fee, I prefer to peruse the free bin and find the apps that do a lot, but don’t cost a thing. Although there are thousands out there, I find myself using the same apps over and over. Here is my humble list of the top 15 free iphone apps……

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