Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Getting strange calls?
Get a ghost detector for your cellphone


If alligator leather cases and Swarovski Crystal Bluetooth headsets don't turn you on anymore, maybe this cellphone accessory will.

The ghost-detector clips to your cellphone strap, and detects magnetic field alterations and body temperature fluctuations, then warns you with changing light patterns and spooky ghost sounds. From StrapYa in Japan.
This is a preview, not a review.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Good FREE room layout software

Lots of companies will sell you software to help you arrange room furniture on a PC screen before you start doing the heavy lifting in real life; or you can do it the old-fashioned way with cut-outs on graph paper.

The folks at Better Homes and Gardens have an online program called Arrange-a-Room that costs even less than the graph paper (actually, it cost nothing if you don't print), and it does a lot of what the pay-for packages do.

First you choose a room size, and then you can easily plop in and move around furniture, doors, windows, rugs, plants, PCs, toilets, kitchen cabinets, stairs, lamps, etc. Items can be rotated and re-sized, and you save and modify and print whenever you feel like it.

The individual items may not look exactly like your own furnishings, and there is no 3D view and you can't paint the walls, and some items mysteriously vanish when you add others; but it works fine most of the time, costs you zero, and may be all that you need. Try it. CLICK

Monday, October 29, 2007

See the "Last Supper" with 16 billion pixels

There's no need to travel to Italy and wait in line for hours. The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most famous works of art of all time, can now be seen by all, in all its details, on the website: (Italian for "high definition.")

The highest definition photograph ever (16 billion pixels, compared to 10 million pixels in a typical good digital camera) lets viewers enlarge and observe any portion of the painting, giving a clear view of sections down to as little as one square millimeter.

The project started at the beginning of 2007, as a result of a meeting between the Ministry of Cultural Assets and Activities, De Agostini (a publisher), and HAL9000 (a digital imaging company named after the killer computer in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey).

The ultra-high-resolution photography has several benefits: it provides monitoring the state of the painting; it allows anyone on the Internet to observe all the parts and details of the work; and HAL9000 can create large high-quality fine art prints with detail never possible before.

Located in a former monks' dining hall adjacent to a church in Milan, the 500-year-old mural depicts Jesus and disciples at a Passover "seder" meal. It represents a scene as narrated in the Gospel of John, when Jesus announces that one of his twelve disciples would betray him. Da Vinci painted the reactions of each apostle, with various degrees of anger and shock.

The photograph of one of the most delicate and protected works in the world, is the result of many months of work and research, when lighting and photography techniques were developed.

The protection of the painting was the prime concern to HAL9000 technicians and the Architectural Assets Office. The photographic system was inspected by the Environmental Control and Physics Laboratory at the Central Restoration Institute in Rome, which decided the system was suitable.

The project was made possible with the assistance of various partners: AMD, which provided high-tech processing technology; Clauss, a German company which provided high-precision orientation technology; De Agostini, which provided web and communication support; I-Net, which provided Internet access; and Nikon, which provided photographic equipment.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Super book: "The Year of Living Biblically"

The Year of Living Biblically answers the question: What if a modern-day secular Jewish American followed every single rule in the Bible as literally as possible?

Not just the famous rules – the Ten Commandments and Love Thy Neighbor, but the hundreds of oft-ignored ones: Don’t wear clothes of mixed fibers. Grow your beard. Stone adulterers. Don't sit where a menstruating woman sat.

Esquire writer A.J. Jacobs’ experiment is informative, timely and funny. It is both irreverent and reverent. He's cynical, but not bitter or nasty -- even encouraging a Jehovah's Witness to keep talking.

Jacobs seeks to discover what’s good in the Bible and what is not relevant to 21st century life. When he can't follow the ancient rules perfectly, he improvises as faithfully as possible (including building a Sukkah booth in his Manhattan living room when not allowed to build one on the apartment building's roof).

Jacobs spent time with groups that take the Bible literally, in their own way, including creationists, snake handlers, Hasidim and Amish.

There are some great scenes, including a visit to the Creation Museum that maintains that the earth is just a few thousand years old and that teenage dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark, and a drunken dancing revelry with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn. And there's a visit with the author's ex-uncle Gil in Israel, who has been a Hindu cult leader, an evangelical Christian and an Orthodox Jew.

It's a Good Book. Thou shalt not put it down. Highly recommended. Available at Amazon It has been optioned for a movie by Paramount Pictures and Plan B productions.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Craftsman tool cabinets with a bit of bling

If you get no thrill from the traditional red rolling cabinets, put your tools in one of Sears' new Craftsman AXS cabinets, in your choice of FORTY-TWO COLOR COMBINATIONS and single colors.

You can get various size base cabinets, toppers and combination packages; and additional enhancements include slide-out LED lights for task lighting, multi-function LCD information center, power strip for charging power tools, and even under-cabinet lighting.

Less glamorous features include full-width drawer pulls, full-extension ball-bearing slides, fiberglass-reinforced soft-touch over-molded side handles, structurally-enhanced Stacked I-Frame construction, 1,200 lb. load rating, coated shell, vinyl drawer fronts, full-extension, slide-out work surface constructed of solid medium-density fiberboard, and painted interior drawers.

Full-extension ball-bearing slides are rated at 75 lb. capacity per drawer; self-closing slides return drawers to closed position the last half-inch of travel.

Security for the AXS system is managed by the MasterLock® One-Key™ learning lock system, enabling the user to change the chests and roll-aways cylinder lock to use the same key, or most standard house keys.
This is a preview, not a review.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New features coming to hi-def TiVos

TiVo will soon provide some long-promised features for its two high-definition digital video recorders, Series3 and TiVo HD, that will add support for expandable storage, Multi-Room Viewing, TiVo To Go, and progressive downloading of Amazon Unbox and TiVoCast videos.

Expandable storage: Unlike Series2 models, the Series3 and TiVo HD have an eSATA port on the rear that's long been reserved "for future activation." As previously reported, that port becomes active as of the 9.2 software rollout. The catch is that only one drive is verified to be compatible: the new Western Digital "My DVR Expander" drive, which is essentially just a re-labeled version of the storage company's MyBook external hard drive. The 500GB Expander is available for $200, and will add up to 60 hours of HD or 300 hours of standard-definition video capacity to either TiVo model.

Multi-Room Viewing: The forthcoming software update will add Multi-Room Viewing to the Series3 and HD, which lets users stream recorded programs from one TiVo to another on their home network. (The feature has been standard on Series2 models for years.) MRV functionality will allow transfer of standard and high-def content between multiple Series3 and TiVo HD models in a household, as well as standard-def recordings to other Series2 models.

TiVo To Go: As with Multi-Room Viewing, the absence of TiVo To Go was an annoying absence on high-def TiVos. But no more. "TTG," as TiVo fans call it, allows for the transfer of recorded shows to networked PCs or laptops for remote viewing, burning to DVD, or transfer to a variety of portable devices.

Progressive downloading: Previously, videos from Amazon Unbox and TiVoCast had to be fully downloaded before viewing could begin. Progressive downloading provides more of a YouTube-style experience, allowing you to begin watching it when enough of the video has been buffered. TiVo says that those with high-speed connections (where download speed exceeds playback speed) could begin watching immediately. While TiVoCasts and Amazon Unbox downloads remain offered on Series2 models, the progressive download feature will only be enabled on Series3 and TiVo HD models. (info from CNET)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Amazing athletics at

YouTube is not the only source of moronic stunts online. has fantastic stuff, too.

Two videos I particularly recommend:

Pogo Tricks has the most amazing pogo stick acrobatics I've ever seen. It makes Olympic athletes seem like wusses.

Unicycle tricks has the most amazing unicycle acrobatics I've ever seen. It makes Olympic athletes seem like wusses.

The site also has funny videos. If you're not careful, you can spend your whole life staring at your monitor, laughing hysterically. What the hell. It's better than spending your whole life crying hysterically.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sony wireless music streamer might be wonderful or crappy. I don't know.

Sony's Vaio VGF-WA1 allegedly makes it easy to listen to your PC music collection in any room of your home, or maybe even in your back yard, or on the balcony or front porch, or while visiting a neighbor. It's a compact portable design with built-in amplifier, speakers and a rechargeable battery. There's a nice flip-up carrying handle on the back.

The sexy-looking unit can connect to your Wi-Fi network to access music stored on your computer. If you don't have a Wi-Fi network, you can plug the included USB adapter into your PC and it creates its own wireless connection for the VGF-WA1. Cool concept.

Sony's PC software is supposed to search your computer's music files and build an index of tracks to play wirelessly. An input jack lets you connect other music sources, and you can even use it to listen to Internet radio programs.

The unit looks good in real life, and sounds good on paper; but I have no idea how it sounds in real life. After two hours of fruitless frustration trying to decipher cryptic error messages, endless page flipping, multiple reboots, and experimenting with different USB ports, I unplugged the beautiful white box and stuck it on a shelf.

I never figured out if the troubles were in my PC or the Sony. I notice it every few days, and have considered trying to set it up again, but so far: NO EFFING WAY!

I majored in electrical engineering for just one semester before I switched to journalism. Maybe if I stayed with EE for 3.50 more years, I could tell you how this thing sounds. I'm just not masochistic enough to try again. However, I just might become sadistic enough to give it to someone else to try.

HOWEVER, the folks at CNET were able to get their sample working, and gave it 7.3 points ("very good") out of a possible 10. CLICK to read their review.

Suggested retail price is $350. Available in black or white. CLICK for more at SonyStyle.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Clear protectors for cellphones & media players

If you're one of the million folks who bought an iPhone, or have an iPod, or another media player or phone with a beautiful screen, you know that the screen can accumulate slime from finger taps, swipes and squeezes.

Accessory maker Belkin has a good solution.

Their razor-thin ClearScreen overlays provide a clear, protective shield to your screen, against oil, scratches and minor cosmetic damage from everyday use. ClearScreens are custom-designed to fit iPhones, Zunes, Palms, Samsungs and others. Prices range from $13 to $17, including a dry/wet cleaning cloth. Buy a few, because even the ClearScreen can get scratched while protecting your real screen.
Info at
This is a preview, not a review.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Windows Vista: no compelling reason to upgrade

For over eight months, I've been using Microsoft's hyper-hyped Vista operating system on my office PC, and I stayed with XP Media Center Edition on my home PC, and XP Professional on my laptop.

Vista has some cute visual gimmicks that are fun to use, and it eliminated a couple of annoying problems on my office PC.

However, I can't honestly say that it does a lot of important things a lot better than XP does for me at home or on the road; and in some ways it's worse than XP.

After a re-boot, it can take 15 minutes for Windows Mail (successor to Outlook Express) to load, and I can't send documents to some of the printers in my office.

Google Desktop Search stopped working, but (THE SINGLE VISTA ADVANTAGE) Vista's built-in search feature works fine. Unlike Google, it allows me to open an old email with a simple click, but Google just provides a preview of the message.)

If you are buying a new PC, it will probably come with Vista (but you can still get XP if you want it). If you are now using XP and it's working well, stay with it.

CLICK for a report on my agonizing three-hour-and-twenty-minute Vista installation.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blu-ray freebie deal extended

Members of the Blu-ray Disc Association are extending their five-free Blu-ray Disc movie promotion through the holiday buying season.

The offer, which began this summer, enables purchasers of Blu-ray Disc players to receive free Blu-ray Discs. Consumers who purchase any qualifying Blu-ray player, including PlayStation3, between Oct. 1, 2007 and Jan. 31, 2008, can choose five free Blu-ray movies from among 18 titles.

Hardware manufacturers are: Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, and Sony.

Titles are: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Wild Hogs,” “American Psycho,” “Chain Reaction,” “The Devil’s Rejects,” “Flight of the Phoenix,” “Full Metal Jacket,” “Hart’s War,” “The Last Waltz,” “Omen 666,” “The Patriot,” “The Prestige,” “Species,” “Stir of Echoes,” “Superman: The Movie,” “SWAT,” “Swordfish” and “Ultraviolet.” (info from TWICE)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Something new in wall mounting

Vantage Point offers the evo system™, a modular installation solution for audio, video, gaming and home office electronics that changes the concept of wall mounting electronic equipment.

The evo system™ consists of an aluminum frame and track system that expands to support unlimited equipment configurations. The frame is hung on independently mounted rails and extends 4” from the wall, creating a hollow space for wire distribution, so there’s no need to cut into the wall.

16”x16” removable wood veneer panels, available five finishes, allow easy access to wiring and power connection while creating a furniture quality appearance, with no visible wires.

Also available are accessories such as tempered glass shelves, flat panel mounts and speaker mounts. The frames and shelf brackets are available in Black, Silver or Graphite to match electronic product finishes.

The evo system™ installs easily to wood or metal studs, concrete or masonry. It is good for apartments and rented homes since it can be easily removed, requiring only minor wall repairs. Equipment changes and upgrades can be accommodated by rearranging shelves and mounts or expanding the frame.

Visit for more information and to watch an informational video on the product and installation.
This is a preview, not a review.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Inexpensive compact folding speaker system from RadioShack

RadioShack's Mode 40-1441 is a terrific folding amplified stereo speaker system that's perfect for desk-top or night table use. It's great for any portable music player, or for improving the sound that comes out of a laptop PC.

On a recent trip, I used it with an XM satellite radio and iPod. It ran for 16 nights on just two sets of three AA cells. I could have used an AC adapter if I didn't mind having to deal with another cord; and there's also a 12-volt adapter available for in-car use.

The unique folding clamshell design and 3-way power capability make these speakers ideal for travel. You can stick them in a suitcase or PC case, or the case you carry your music player in. The included pouch provides added protection when not in use. An audio cable with 3.5mm stereo plug conveniently fits into a groove around the unit when not plugged-in.

It's certainly not hi-fi, but it probably sounds better than your laptop, weighs less than a half pound, fits almost anywhere, and costs a penny under twenty bucks. I recommend it highly. Available at your local RadioShack or online.

Friday, October 12, 2007

New Moto cellphones,
including gold-plated RAZR

Motorola announced nine new cellphones Thursday.

The RAZR2 V8 is a special edition of the new RAZR2, available in limited quantities for holiday giving. The signature RAZR2 form factor has been "bathed in gold and clothed in snake-like skin." Elegant 18K gold-plated accents showcase a luminous, black slate, vacuum metal finish. Other design elements include pin stripes on the CLI lens, an engraved diamond-cut pattern on the sideband and a linear etching on the navigation wheel.

Features include Motorola’s CrystalTalk Technology and quad-band technology to make calls clearer anywhere in the world, by automatically adjusting the audio controls to account for background noise. The large, color external display provides touch-sensitive music controls, picture caller ID, album art, self-portrait camera display, and more. Opera Mobile Browser 8.5 enables easy and intuitive Web surfing.
A 2.0 megapixel camera with 8x digital zoom records the moment with high resolution pictures and also provides up to 2 hours of video capture and playback.

Also: Up to 2GB of on-board storage for up to 1,000 songs. A powerhouse processor for fast over-the-air downloads. Windows Media® Player 11 delivers simple music management and playback and enables access to over 200 online music stores.
Consumers can take advantage of the large external screen to manage their music and read and respond to texts2 – without opening the flip.

This new phone comes complete with a black slate Motorola H680 Bluetooth® headset with 18k gold-plated accents, a wired stereo headset for music, a matching patent leather carrying case with strap, and a polishing cloth.
This is a preview, not a review.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wacky rotary-dial phone

Here's the phone for the phone guy who has everything. Or the phone guy who has nothing. It's a genuine AT&T black rotary dial phone, with a bunch of extra features.

Neon light flashes when a call comes in. Ringer volume control with OFF setting. Headset jack (for classic switchboard style headset, or use a modern headset with an adapter). On-Off switch so the phone can be used with a headset, without raising the handset. Plug-in handset cord and line cord. New Old Stock, made in USA by Western Electric for the Bell System.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Giant twist-tie beats the bungee

KwikTwist is an industrial size twist-tie able to hold up to 100 lbs. of weight. It has at least 1,746,324 uses in home, car, garage, office, warehouse, factory, etc. It's great for camping, boating, fishing and sports. You can use it to attach almost anything to anything -- and un-attach it quickly.

KwitTwist is made of a flexible heavy gauge steel alloy wire covered with soft foam plastic shielding to protect whatever you have to tie or wrap. KwikTwist will float in water and will withstand UV sunlight, but not gasoline or harsh chemicals.

Wrap it around any object, make three tight twists and the object is held securely in place. KwikTwist has male and female connecting brass ends. You can attach two pieces together by simply removing the end caps, to create a longer length. Unlike rope and bungee cords, KwikTwist is easy to use with no hooks or knots required.

I used them to secure suitcases and shopping bags to the headrest hardware in the rear of my van, on a recent 3,600-mile trip, to keep them from tumbling out when the tailgate was opened.

It's available at Lowes and other stores. Suggested retail price is $6.95 for two KwikTwists, each 32 inches long. I paid eight bucks at L. L. Bean, but I'm not complaining. CLICK for more.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Excellent Japanese food in Nowhere, NC

Serendipity is the term for accidentally discovering something good, especially while looking for something else.

We got off the highway to fill the gas tank and give the dog a pee break on our drive back to CT from FL, and had a spectacular serendipitous meal in a shopping center/office park that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere.

Iron Grill Japanese Express.
125 Trade Court, Suite F, (Mooresville Gateway)
Mooresville, NC 28117. (704) 662-3797
Off Route 21, Exit 33 from Interstate 77.

Eat in or take out. Chicken, steak, shrimp, salads. Absolutely delicious. Reasonably priced. Big portions. Boss is Chinese. Cooks are Latinos. It didn't hurt. Probably the best ginger salad dressing I've ever had. Teriyaki sauce was perfect -- not too sweet or too gloppy. Strangely, no miso soup on menu. Entrees come with strange shrimp sauce I never had before. Wife loved it. I didn't. Near gorgeous Lake Norman, and a real Jack-in-the-Box for great greasy tacos. Good shopping. Clean air. 30 miles from Charlotte. I'm ready to move.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Cellphone checks your health and gives advice
(but only in Japan)

It can take your pulse, check your body fat, time your jogs and tell you if you have bad breath. It even assesses stress levels and inspires you with a pep talk. Your new personal trainer and shrink is your phone.

The prototype Wellness phone from Japan's NTT DoCoMo targets users with busy lives who want a hassle-free way of keeping track of their health. Unveiled last week at the CEATEC electronics show, the phone has a motion sensor that detects body movement and calculates how many calories you burn.

The sensor can tell whether you're walking, running, climbing stairs, or resting, and counts the calories to tally daily totals. The handset also keeps track of jogs, letting users set targets and keeping track of time, distance, and calories burnt - all while listening to music through headphones.

Hold the phone with outstretched arms, and it turns into a mini body fat calculator. A sensor at the top of the phone takes your pulse from your fingertip.

Worried about bad breath? Use the phone's breathalyzer. After a demonstrator blew on a tiny hole on the side of the handset for about three seconds, the screen flashed, "Not too bad."

The phone also asks questions to assess stress, and offers advice.

When the demonstrator answered "Yes" to a series of questions -- including "Do you feel lethargic?" and "Do you go to bed after midnight?" -- a message on the screen warned he was under a lot of stress. "Don't worry, tomorrow's a fresh new day," the phone then flashed. "Keep your chin up!"

NTT DoCoMo is still testing some of the phone's other technology, including a function to keep track of meals and calculate calorific intake, as well as a networking capacity to let users share data.

DoCoMo has not set a release date or price for the Wellness phone. The company's phones are not sold ourside Japan. (info from The Associated Press)
This is a preview, not a review.

Friday, October 5, 2007

New Tilt cellphone from AT&T has QWERTY, GPS, Blackberry email, games, web, much more

Today, AT&T (formerly known as SBC and Cingular) will debut its Tilt™ cellphone, which it claims to be the most feature-packed smart device available in the US. It's the first AT&T-enabled Windows Mobile 6 smart device and features an innovative slide-out QWERTY keypad design, a 3-megapixel camera, 3G data speeds from AT&T's UMTS/HSDPA-based BroadbandConnect network and complete global connectivity.

Designed by Taiwan's HTC, the Tilt features a 2.8-inch color screen that slides back to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard, then tilts up to position the screen perfectly for reading and creating e-mail, browsing online, using applications or playing videos and games. Tilt supports Bluetooth® 2.0, which allows for up to six Bluetooth devices to be wirelessly connected simultaneously to the device and also supports Bluetooth Stereo.

Tilt features the latest version of TeleNav GPS NavigatorTM which provides GPS-enabled turn-by-turn voice and on-screen driving or walking directions, colorful 3D moving maps and traffic delay alerts with one-click rerouting. New features debuting with AT&T on the Tilt include address sharing, which allows users to share their current locations or the location of their favorite businesses with other mobile users. The new version also includes reviews and ratings for nearby restaurants and allows customers to rate them directly from their AT&T mobile phone. Business users also can use TeleNav Track™, a mobile workforce management solution that includes GPS-enabled tracking, timesheets, wireless forms, navigation, job dispatching and bar code scanning.

With 3G broadband speed connectivity across the globe and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA capabilities that allow the Tilt to operate in Japan and Korea, customers have access to the more than 135 countries in which AT&T offers UMTS, EDGE or GPRS international data roaming. Customers also can use AT&T's industry-leading international wireless roaming coverage to make or receive a phone call in more than 190 countries

Tilt provides access to AT&T's Broadband Connect network in more than 170 major metropolitan areas across the US, and coverage outside of 3G service areas is available via AT&T's EDGE network. AT&T's EDGE network is available in more than 13,000 cities and towns, and along some 40,000 miles of major highways. Users can also connect for an additional charge to Wi-Fi hotspots including any of the more than 10,000 AT&T-owned or branded hotspot locations in the US and tens of thousands more abroad. They also can use the Tilt to link to corporate wireless local area networks or home Wi-Fi networks.

Users will also find the highest-resolution camera available on any AT&T mobile phone today, with 3-megapixel resolution and auto-focus. The device also accommodates 4GB MicroSD flash memory cards and is capable of supporting up to 32GB MicroSD cards to expand storage for pictures, video, music and more.

Windows Mobile 6 provides Tilt users with the familiar look and feel of their desktop computers at home or in the office. Windows Mobile 6 delivers the ability to view e-mails in their original rich HTML format with live links to Web and Microsoft Office SharePoint sites, which means text and images are displayed as they would be on a Windows PC with pictures, fonts and colors.

All Windows Mobile 6 devices include Microsoft's Direct Push Technology for up-to-date email delivery and automatic synchronization of Outlook calendars, tasks and contacts through Microsoft Exchange Server. Windows Mobile 6 also offers a set of important device security and management features that include the capability to remotely wipe all data from a device should it be lost or stolen, helping ensure that confidential information remains that way.

Tilt will be the first Windows Mobile device in North America to include BlackBerry® Connect™ v4.0 software, which provides BlackBerry® email service, security and device management for IT administrators and the benefit for users of wireless synchronization of email, calendar, contacts, task list and memo pad information. BlackBerry Connect v4.0 supports push email for Microsoft® Exchange, IBM Lotus® Domino® and Novell® GroupWise® through the BlackBerry® Enterprise Server and personal email through the BlackBerry® Internet Service.

Customers can also use Tilt to access their personal email through AT&T's Xpress Mail service. AT&T customers can set up their Xpress Mail account and begin getting personal e-mail from most major POP3/IMAP personal email services pushed to their Tilt at pre-set intervals. They also can perform two-way wireless synchronization of their calendars, access contact lists and view attachments.

Tilt is made for fun and games as well. The device is preloaded with free and premium games and applications including Ms. PAC-MAN, Brain Challenge, Bubble Breaker, Midnight Pool, Solitaire (MS), Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, MobiTV, and MyCast.

The Tilt provides access to AT&T Mobile Music, that delivers "your music, your way" by providing simple access to a collection of music content including XM Radio Mobile, which comes pre-loaded on the device and is available for $8.99 per month. Tilt will also feature AT&T's CV streaming video service. Customers can watch a large selection of video clips of television shows, sports, news and weather, entertainment and premium content, including hit HBO programs and exclusive mobile content from World Wrestling Entertainment.

The AT&T Tilt will be available for a promotional price as low as $299.99 beginning Oct. 5 at AT&T retail stores nationwide, online at, at select national retailers and through AT&T's business-to-business sales organizations.

Unlimited monthly data plans that include corporate email are $44.99 with a voice contract. Personal data plans, which include personal email, begin at $29.99 a month for 20 MB of data. AT&T also offers an international data plan for the Tilt — 20 MB in nearly 30 countries — for an additional $24.99 a month. TeleNav GPS Navigator is available for additional monthly charges of $5.99 for 10 trips and $9.99 for unlimited trips. TeleNav Track service plans range from $12.99 to $21.99 for each device.

More at
Thisis a preview, not a review.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Techies can get more respect (and maybe hotter women) with CSI-style tool case

Attention Techies, Repair Guys and Maintenance Men:

Are you looking for more prestige and glamor? Do you want to meet better babes? Do you get pushed to the back of the elevator when guys with suits and Rolexes walk in. Do you yearn for better parking spaces?

Here's a great solution. Ditch your shabby tool belt or low-class canvas bag, and load your gear into this CSI-style case. When you enter the "crime scene," wear rubber gloves and hold your flashlight up high, and all eyes will be on you. You'll gain instant respect. Your buddies will be jealous. Mom will be proud!

This case can organize even the most un-organizable person. Adjustable dividers make it easy to customize the case to provide the right size spaces. Price is just $66, with free shipping in the USA, from

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Pre-charged rechargeables from Duracell

Duracell last month announced the introduction of Pre-Charged Rechargeable batteries -- nickel metal hydride (NiMH) cells that come charged and ready to use. The batteries use new technology which retains power for up to a year while not in use.

Designed specifically for use in high-drain gadgets including digital cameras, portable gaming devices and MP3 players, Duracell Pre-Charged Rechargeable batteries eliminate the need to charge cells before using them for the first time, and are said to stay charged longer and need to be recharged less often.

Available nationwide this Fall, Duracell Pre-Charged Rechargeable batteries can be recharged hundreds of times in any NiMH battery charger and can deliver hours of music and thousands of digital photos. Duracell Pre-Charged Rechargeables will have a suggested retail price of $12.99 for a four-pack.
This is a preview, not a review.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Retro Walter Cronkite phone flashes
but doesn't ring

Years ago, it was common to see telephones on the desks in TV news studios with "beehive" lamps that flashed when a director had to speak to the broadcaster. Instead of having a conventional ring that would go out over the air, the phones had a more subtle flash, that would still be noticed, but not be annoying.

These phones are still used in broadcast and recording studios, and other places where ringing is not wanted, or places where it's too noisy to hear a phone ring; and some people buy them just because they look cool.

Normally used for answer-only, these phones don't have dials, but they can make calls if connected to a phone system with memory dialing, or a ring-down circuit.

You can get one at

Monday, October 1, 2007

Kodak Picture Kiosks make amazing prints,
fast and cheap

Until recently, I've been printing my digital photos at home, with an HP printer. Quality is excellent, but it can take a long time to make each print.

I needed a big batch of prints to show to relatives on a recent 3,600 mile road trip, and uploaded a bunch of images for next-day printing at Costco. It was easy, fast and inexpensive, but a lot of the prints lacked the overall sparkle that I could achieve with my own PC and HP.

While on the road, I wanted to make some prints of an Ancient Aunt I had photographed in New Jersey on Day One, to show to a cousin in Maryland on Day Fifteen. I stopped in a Wal-Mart in Virginia to get see how long it would take to get some "one-hour" photos.

I noticed a group of Kodak Picture Kiosks in the department -- the same machines I had seen and ignored in countless other stores -- and decided to experiment.

I was quickly amazed. The print quality was absolutely spectacular. The prints popped out fast, and the cost was just 28 cents per 4-by-6. They have a protective coating to resist finger crud, and you can choose from several print sizes. It's possible to crop, zoom, correct red-eye and make other improvements; but I didn't need those features.

When I mentioned to the photo department guy how great the quality was, he admitted that it was better than he could make with the zillion-dollar minilab in the store.

There are more than 70,000 Kodak kiosks at retail locations worldwide. You can print from a wide range of digital media, camera phones, or even scan existing paper photos. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.