The days of the bulging Costanza wallet may be numbered now that Apple Pay and other forms of mobile payment starts to become popular. WaterField’s new Spike wallets hold your driver’s license, transit card and a few bills (plus a house key when necessary), and will fit into your front pocket. They are made with WaterField’s rugged grizzly brown distressed soft full-grain leather. The wallets are offered in two sizes. One that is perfect for business cards or credit cards and a slightly larger version that holds folded currency. Either size of the Spike wallet is priced at $25 and shipping now. Visit WaterField Designs for more info.
Do you use your smartphone to stream music while you’re driving? If you do, you have probably struggled to interact with the music application while operating your vehicle. Especially during the winter months when you’re wearing gloves. The biggest issue is that you should not be focusing your attention to skipping music tracks or giving a thumbs up to the latest song from Hozier even though every song of his is worthy of a thumbs up because he’s great. That’s not the point though. Your eyes should be on the road when you’re driving. But how do you safely control your favorite media app in your car? One way is with the Satechi Bluetooth Button Series (Media Button). Like Hozier, this button rocks! [click to continue…]
I used to be the cold one, but now my daughter is the family member who feels like she lives in an ice box. She always wants the heat turned up or the air conditioner turned off in the car, while her dad and I are sweltering. I need to get her the Trillium Worldwide Car Cozy 2 12-Volt Heated Travel Blanket. It plugs into the car’s 12V power supply and heats up to warm up that one
trouble maker person who needs some extra warmth. The blanket is 58″ X 42″, so it’s big enough for sharing. It’s made of 100% soft, high-quality fleece, and it has a 30 or 45 minute timer with automatic shutoff. The Trillium Worldwide Car Cozy 2 12-Volt Heated Travel Blanket is available from Amazon in navy ($27) or red plaid ($40).
Beginning March 20, AT&T will exclusively offer the Modio LTE Case for all three versions of the iPad mini that will add access to AT&T’s 4G LTE network to WiFi-only minis. In addition to giving you a secure LTE connection, the folio case also “comes with expandable memory (up to 32GB) so that you can bring more of your content with you. The companion AT&T Modio™ Data app, available for free on the App Store for iPad, connects to your Modio case and provides useful data usage information.” Modi has a 4,600mAh battery to power the case for up to 16 hours of continuous use. It has smart cover features that will put the iPad mini to sleep when you close the cover, and it will also put the cellular network connection to sleep as well.
The Modio case is $49.99 with a 2-year contract, you can purchase it on an installment plan for $10/month for 20 months, or you can purchase it outright with no annual commitment for $199.99. There’s a $10/month access charge when you add the case to a new or existing Mobile Share Value plan.
You’ve seen it, I’ve seen it, we’ve all read the warnings claiming that sitting too much is the new cancer. Trust me, cancer is no fun (voice of experience here), so finding alternatives to sitting all day is something everyone should consider. There are apps that will remind you to get up and move around every hour or so that you’re inactive. This is an easy and cheap way to sit less – as long as you actually heed the reminders. Or you can get yourself a standing desk like the Varidesk Pro Plus that was sent to me to test. It’s been almost two weeks since I started using it, let’s see what the experience has been like for me. [click to continue…]
The Olde Book Messenger Bag may look like an old leather-bound book, but it’s actually a messenger bag that can hold up to a 15″ MacBook. It has a 100% polyurethane outer, 100% polyester lining, bronze-colored findings, and gold details. The bag has a grab handle on top and a removable shoulder strap that adjusts from a 21.5″ to a 25″ drop. The exterior dimensions are 15.5″ wide x 12.5″ tall x 4.5″ deep; the interior main compartment is 15″ wide x 11″ tall x 2.5″ deep, and the padded laptop compartment is 13.75″ wide x 8″ tall (open at top to accommodate up to 9″ item) x 2″ deep. There are also pen loops, an open pocket, and a zippered pocket inside. The Olde Book Messenger Bag is a ThinkGeek exclusive. It’s available for $49.99.
This Blue Rely-A-Light Lamp looks too pretty to be emergency lighting, but it is. It functions as a normal reading lamp, but it has the added bonus of a USB charging port built into the base. When you lose power, the lamp has bright LED emergency lights that switch on automatically and can stay on for up to 16 hours. You’ll even be able to charge your phone with the USB charger while the power is still off. You can even switch the emergency lights on and use them separately. The lamp has a blue art glass body, white linen-look shade, brushed nickel base, clear acrylic finial, and stands 22″ tall. It has an inline power switch in the 6-ft clear power cord. You can use an incandescent 3-way bulb up to 100W, compact fluorescent bulb, or LED light bulb in the reading lamp socket. The Blue Rely-A-Light Lamp is $130.00 at Solutions.
I love tea. Hot tea and iced teas are what I drink 99% of the time. When I’m home and at work, I drink from ceramic or glass mugs, neither of which are convenient to use when I need to be mobile like walking to and from meetings, etc. The MIU COLOR glass water bottle with tea infuser is an elegant solution for those times and actually any time. Let me show you.
The KeyBiner is an active Kickstarter project that has exceeded its funding goal by more than 6000%, and it still has 17 days to go in the funding period. It seems everybody wants one of these carabiners with a tool kit (1/8″- 3/16″ – 1/4″ – 5/16″ – 3/8″ 10mm wrenches; screw bit driver; and flat blade screw driver/pry bar/file). It also comes with various sized screws and hardware so you can custom fit the key retention bar to hold as many keys as you need (up to 14, depending on size and orientation). There’s even an optional 32GB flash drive that you can add to the KeyBiner. Pledge $35 for an aluminum KeyBiner with the tools and key retention hardware; a pledge of $51 is required to add a flash drive to the aluminum KeyBiner. Higher pledge levels get you a copper or titanium KeyBiner. The funding period continues through .
If it’s ever not winter again, you’ll probably plan some picnics or pool parties to take advantage of the sun and warm weather. With the Spruce Silicone Wine Glasses, you won’t have to worry about breaking the glasses should you drop one. They are made of BPA-free, hypoallergenic food-grade silicone that is flexible, virtually unbreakable, reusable, and dishwasher safe. Although they are called red wine glasses, you can actually use them for any beverage, and they can withstand heat or cold. A set of two Spruce Silicone Wine Glasses is $19.99 at Reuseit.
The iBolt Command Remote is a stand alone button that can be programmed to perform a variety of functions for iOS and Android devices. The button is powered by a coin cell battery and pairs with your phone using Bluetooth. Andy Chen and I decided to do a dual review to talk about how the iBolt works with iOS (Andy) and Android (me). Let’s check it out.
IKEA just announced they will be introducing a new line of bedside tables, lamps, and desks with Qi chargers built-in. The wireless charging furnishings will be available in Europe and North America beginning this April, with global availability soon after. You can read the entire press release at PRNewswire. Check the IKEA website for availability information for the Qi-enabled furnishings.
This leather sleeve from Levenger is a great way to carry and protect a tablet, phone, cables, cards and currency, and the other small things you need throughout your day. The All Together Now sleeve has a large compartment that can hold most tablets. There’s a slip-in pocket on the back that accommodates an iPhone 6 or similarly-sized phones. The exterior of the bag has pen sleeves, various other slip-in and covered pockets, and even a clear window for an ID card. The case measures 11″ X 8.4″ X 0.75″ and is made of textured full-grain leather in black or red. The tablet pocket is lined with neoprene, while the rest of the interior is lined with faille. The All Together Now case is available for $119.00 from Levenger.
Today in Barcelona, Spain at the 2015 Mobile World Congress convention, Samsung took the wraps off of two new Galaxy smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. These two devices feature a metal chassis, glass on the front and back, and a 5.1 inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. The phones are very similar to each other except for one notable difference, the S6 Edge has a dual curved display. I recently reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung’s first device with a curved display. But that device only had one curved edge which to me felt a little weird and asymmetrical. The soon to be available S6 Edge has curves on both edges. Unlike the Galaxy Note Edge, the curved edges on the S6 Edge are not separate displays and do not offer quite the same functionality. If you recall, the Note Edge used the curved edge as a launcher bar with customizable icons. Unfortunately, that functionality is not included on the S6 Edge. What you do get is the swipe to wake gesture, notification ticker, night clock and some new features like swipe in from the edge to call favorite contacts and special glowing notifications when the phone is face down. [click to continue…]
These new new journals from Moleskine have 96 – 128 pages and five to seven chapters depending on the notebook’s size. Chapters notebooks are available in a slim pocket size that is 3 x 5.5 inches, slim medium which is 3.75 x 7 inches and the largest size which is 4.5 x 8.25 inches. They feature a table of contents, textured cardboard cover, colored title pages, acid free paper and external stitched binding that allows the notebook to lay completely flat. Moleskine Chapters notebooks are available in three sizes, four colors, dotted or lined pages and are priced from $4.95 – $9.95. For more info visit Moleskine.com.
To say that we are in the golden age of headphones is an understatement. There’s never been a better time to find excellent sounding headphones in almost every price range, especially the higher-priced headphones. When you include the countless names entering the market, you have a recipe for awesomeness. Adding to this aural soup-de-jour is the newcomer Master & Dynamic with their flagship MH40 over ear headphones. When you’re this new and previously unknown, it begs the question: Are the MH40 headphones unique or yet another me-too product in an already overcrowded arena?
If the thoughts of turning your “dumb” home into a smart home sounds appealing but also too expensive and too daunting, consider Neurio. Instead of connecting individual sensors to all of your main appliances, Neurio is one sensor that installs into your home’s electrical panel (no cutting or disconnecting wires is required). This one sensor uses WiFi to talk to your iOS and Android devices to allow you to track your energy usage in real time to help you understand where and when you are using the most power. More exciting capabilities are due with Neurio’s next major software update which will enable the sensor to detect individual appliances to understand whether they are on or off. Other features that are planned for future upgrades include sending alerts to let you know things like when your laundry is done, if your freezer has stopped working, when the gaming console in a child’s room is turned on, and more.
Once the Neurio Sensor is installed on an electrical panel, it sends the data via WiFi to the cloud where the smart algorithms identify the unique power pattern by each device in real-time to tell whether a specific appliance is in use or off, and how much energy it consumes. Unlike other smart home systems, Neurio does NOT require that each appliance in the house be connected to a sensor. With Neurio, everything is monitored directly through the home’s circuit box.
The Neurio Sensor costs $249 and is available for pre-order at www.neur.io.
Whether you’re cleaning out broken branches from the recent winter storms or planning to clean up and shape some trees this spring, the Sun Joe Electric Multi-Angle Telescopic Pole Chain Saw might help you with your work. This Sun Joe saw has a 6.5A motor that can power through up to 7.5″ diameter branches (depending on type of wood). It has an 8″ Oregon cutting bar and chain; an auto-oiler keeps the bar and chain fully lubricated during use. The telescoping pole adjusts from 78″ long to 113″ long, so you can reach more of your tree without having to climb a ladder. It has an ergonomic handle and a multi-position head that adjusts the cutting angle from 0 to 30 degrees. The Sun Joe Electric Multi-Angle Telescopic Pole Chain Saw comes with safety glasses and a hex key wrench/blade screwdriver. It’s QVC‘s Today’s Special Value, selling for $92.95 until March 2, 2015 at 2:59 a.m. ET.
It’s Saturday night, which means it’s time to catch up on all news, reviews and articles that we posted in the last seven days. Click through to view a list of all of our reviews, articles and news from the past week. [click to continue…]
There are few people, real or fictional, who end up becoming a part of our global culture. Leonard Nimoy was such a person. He portrayed first officer Mr. Spock, a half Vulcan, half human, in the original Star Trek series which aired from 1966 – 1969. Although the sci-fi series was cancelled after only three seasons and 79 episodes, it spawned many other TV series and movies.
I remember as a kid watching Star Trek reruns on the weekends on a small TV set that I had on my dresser in my bedroom. I also remember my mom sitting at the end of my bed watching them with me from time to time because we shared an interest in sci-fi and horror shows. Of all the Star Trek characters, Spock was my favorite. As a very lonely gay kid, I identified with him because he was different than everyone around him. It probably sounds lame to a lot of people, but the fact that Mr. Spock could be so different AND that he mattered, gave me hope.
I have a life-size sticker of Spock on the wall of my office (Gadgeteer HQ) which flashes me the “live long and prosper” gesture every day. Leonard Nimoy lived to the age of 83, so he definitely fulfilled that wish for himself. He will be missed by millions of fans, including the geek who is writing this tribute. If there is something after this mortal life, I hope Leonard is out there having some fascinating adventures.