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Author Archive for Julie Strietelmeier – Page 2

Volkswagen, Garmin, Belkin, Philips and more – Weekly roundup

To help make sure that you didn’t miss any of our gadget related news, reviews or articles from this past week we’ve compiled a list for you. Click through to see the full list of news, reviews and articles from this past week. You can thank us later.
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Moto Hint is a Bluetooth headset that doesn’t make you look like a tool or does it?


Earlier this week Motorola took the wraps off two new smartphones and the Moto 360 smartwatch, but the new device that caught my interest the most is the Motorola Hint Bluetooth headset. This is the first headset that I’ve seen in a very long time that I’d actually consider wearing – in public. That’s because the Hint is small and much more inconspicuous than traditional Bluetooth headsets. But probably the most interesting feature is that this headset is completely handsfree. You don’t have to touch it to interact with it because it relies on your voice commands to control it. Just say “Ok Moto” proceeded by a command like “What’s the forecast for today?”, “Call mom”, etc. The Hint features a 150 foot roaming range and pass thru audio so you can still hear what is going on around you when it’s in your ear. It will automatically power on when you put it in your ear and will turn off when you remove it and put it in the included charging case. The Hint will be priced at $149.99 and will have an outer cover that will be available in a variety of colors and materials. Visit Motorola to sign up to receive a notification when the Hint becomes available.

Play games on your smartphone using only your breath


Do you play games on your smartphone to relax and de-stress? The Zenytime Puck is a small handheld Bluetooth gadget that pairs with your iOS or Android smartphone and is used like a joystick to play games – but instead of manipulating it with your hands, you breath into it. No, I’m not kidding.

The Zenytime solution enables gaming apps to act as breathing coaches thanks to a Bluetooth accessory called “the Puck” which features an exclusive patented sensor that tracks controlled breathing and translates it into game controls. To deliver a comprehensive experience, the Puck also captures heart rate and blood oxygen levels. It integrates Bluetooth 4.0 for long battery life and seamless connection with iOS and Android mobile platforms.

Zenytime games are founded on scientifically proven breathing patterns for improving stress management, cardiovascular health and cognitive and athletic performance. The Zenytime dashboard provides stats, tips and rewards toward a healthier you.

“Our games have been designed to promote deep, rhythmic breathing to bring more oxygen into your cells and to trigger the many short-term rewards of controlled breathing,” said co-founder Celine Vignal. “Zenytime games are adapted to people of any age, as well as exercise enthusiasts and professional athletes.”

It sounds kinda kooky, but it’s true that deep breathing can help calm you down when you’re stressed and it’s also true that most of us are very shallow breathers that could benefit from conscience breathing exercises. I don’t think I’d use the Puck out in public for fear of looking like a complete dork, but it does look like an interesting gadget.

The Puck can run for several weeks on a single charge and can be recharged with the included USB cable. The Zenytime Puck comes in 5 colors and will be available this winter (2014/2015). It can be pre-ordered for $79 from

PlayTape lets your child (or you) lay down roads or train track quickly and inexpensively


PlayTape is a roll of tape similar to painter’s tape that looks like a 2-lane blacktop road or railroad tracks. It’s a low-tack adhesive tape that is easy to tear and sticks to any flat surface without leaving behind sticky residue. Kids can stick it to hardwood or low pile carpeted floors to create race tracks or cities for imaginative play. It is non-damaging and can be re-positioned however your child desires 3-4 times before it starts losing its adhesive properties. PlayTape comes in a few different types/sizes:

Roads: 2″x 60′ and 4″x 30′
Train tracks: 2″ x 60′

Tape widths are compatible with most common wooden trains including Thomas the Tank Engine, BRIO, Melissa and Doug, Ikea, Big Jigs, and some LEGO trains. The 1:64 scale road PlayTape is compatible with popular toy cars like Mattel Hot Wheels and Matchbox.

PlayTape is priced starting at $7.99 a roll up to $12.99 and can be purchased from InRoad Toys and Amazon.

Garmin vivofit activity tracker review


I have a thing for activity trackers, fitness trackers, pedometers or whatever other name you like to call them. I’ve reviewed at least a dozen of them in the last couple of years and don’t see an end to their popularity anytime soon. The latest tracker to track my steps is the vivofit from Garmin. The vivofit is a wrist worn tracker capable of tracking your steps, calories, sleep, activity and even your heart rate if you opt to purchase the bundle that includes a heart rate strap monitor. The vivofit has been strapped to my wrist for the last week. Let’s take a look.

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Veto Pro Pac introduces new smaller sized Model MC tool bag

Veto Pro Pac, makers of some of the most rugged tool bags in existence, have just added a brand new bag to their line up. It’s the Model MC and it claims to live up to the old saying that good things come in small packages. This tool bag has all the features Veto fans have come to expect: a waterproof base and body fabric, webbed grab handle with an over-molded rubber grip, heavy duty zippers, oversized zipper tabs, marine grade snaps and rivets and lots of pockets. There are 20 pockets to hold all your tools which includes vertical tool pockets for easy access. The Model MC has a 2.5″ H X 10″ L X 8″W footprint and comes with Veto’s 5 year no downtime warranty. The Model MC is available now from Veto Pro Pac for $104.99.

Dyson unveils the Dyson 360 Eye cyclonic robot vacuum cleaner


In all my gadget reviewing years, I have yet to try or even test a robotic vacuum cleaner. It hasn’t been from lack of desire, I just haven’t found one worth trying – till now. Today in Tokyo, Dyson unveiled the Dyson 360 Eye cyclonic robot vacuum cleaner and it looks very impressive. From its 360 degree panoramic camera that lets it see the whole room to map and navigate its cleaning course for maximum cleaning coverage, to the tank style tracks that are used instead of wheels. The tracks allow the vacuum to easily go from hard floor to carpet without getting hung up and stuck. The Dyson 360 Eye also features a 78,000 rpm motor which has the highest suction power of any robot vacuum currently available. It’s so powerful that it can pick up dirt and dust particles that are 0.5 microns – 600 times smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. Wow, this robot vac looks like the one to beat. And what would a robot vacuum be without the ability to control it with your smartphone. The Dyson Link app allows you to schedule how and when your Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum cleans and enables you to even see a map of its cleaning progress when you’re not at home.

The bad news is that the Dyson 360 Eye cyclonic robot vacuum cleaner won’t be available for sale in the US till later in 2015… And there’s no info on pricing yet either although Dyson says it will be competitive within the robot vacuum market. More info can be found at Check out the demo video after the jump. Read More →

New WD My Passport Wireless is a backup hard drive that streams to smartphones and more


I’m not a very good geek because I don’t have a backup of my backups. I use an Apple Time Capsule with a WD USB drive hanging off of it. Lately that drive has been acting a little wonky, so it’s time to replace it AND come up with a strategy for backing up that backup, preferably offsite. Backing up your files is obviously important, but having another copy somewhere other than where the first copy is stored is just as important. Today I received news that WD has just announced the availability of a new backup drive. It’s the WD My Passport Wireless and it looks pretty spiffy.

The My Passport Wireless drive broadcasts its own wireless network that allows up to eight devices to connect at the same time and access any content stored on the drive. Available in 500GB, 1TB or 2TB models, users now have the ability to store and access up to hundreds of hours of movies and music, as well photos and other digital files, from their smartphones and tablets that are typically limited by minimal storage capacity.

The WD My Passport Wireless drive is currently available for pre-order online at the and will be shipping later this week. The price is $179.99 USD for 1 TB and $219.99 for 2 TB. The WD My Cloud mobile app currently is available for download for free from the App Store™ and Google Play™.

Gadget deals – Save on iTunes, iPad mini, iPhone and a Nokia Lumia


If you’re in the market for a new iOS tablet or an unlocked iPhone, today’s quick deals will save you a bundle. And if you’re not a huge fan of Apple products, we have a deal for the popular Nokia Lumia unlocked Windows smartphone.

iTunes Gift Card – $50 for only $40
Available for today only on eBay.

Apple iPad mini
35% OFF the Apple iPad mini. $279 at eBay. Hurry while stocks last, 300 sold in the past hour!

Nokia Lumia
Nokia Lumia 900 Factory Unlocked only $99 @eBay right now. 81% OFF!

Apple iPhone 4
More than 75% Sold – Almost gone. iPhone 4 8GB $79.88 from eBay.

Apple iPhone 5 32GB
44% OFF @eBay $420

Gadget deals – 62% off an HTC One M7 and a $2.99 iPhone 6 case

Today’s gadget deals will save you money on an HTC One M7 Android smartphone, two popular Xbox games, and accessories for the Nintendo 3DS, Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6 (yes, you read that right, the iPhone 6).

HTC One M7
Unlocked HTC One. 62% OFF @eBay. Only $249!! Hurry while stocks last (700 people watching this item / 560 Sold).

COD: Ghosts Xbox One
Limited quantity / 4,700 sold. New on Xbox One only $19.99 @eBay. 67% OFF.

Assassins Creed Black Flag Xbox One
Massive deals @eBay today. Black Flag on Xbox One only $22.99.

Nintendo 3DS Case
Snap-on 3DS case, 9 colors available! @eBay $4.99.

Clear Screen Protector: Galaxy S5
Premium quality screen protector Samsung Galaxy S5 @Staytrendy for $10. 71% OFF.

iPhone 6 Case!!
iPhone 6 Case
Get in early with an 85% discount on a new iPhone 6 Case!! Only $2.99 @Amazon.

Rockabye baby automatically with the Nuna LEAF


Parents who are looking for a battery, electricity and noise free way of gently getting their little ones to sleep should look into the Nuna LEAF. It’s a leaf shaped chair attached to a sturdy frame that can be locked into a stationary position or unlocked to swivel side to side with a slight push. The side to side rocking motion will last about 2 minutes without any assistance. The LEAF can accommodate up to 130 pounds so even older kids can enjoy it.

The Nuna LEAF comes in five colors and is priced at $219.95. It can be purchased directly from Nuna.

Ice cream scoops, monkey lights, sumo chairs and more – Weekly roundup

For our US readers it’s a long holiday weekend and that means you have plenty of extra time to relax, kick back and catch up on the news and reviews that we posted this past week. For everyone else not located in the US, don’t be left out, click through to see the full list of news, reviews and articles from this past week.
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Be ready for zombies or the hunger games with this folding bow


Whether you’re preparing for the apocalypse, want to become the next Katniss Everdeen, rob from the rich like Robin Hood or just enjoy shooting arrows with a bow, the Compact Folding Survival Bow is a bow that takes up very little space when it’s not in use. Folded down it’s only 23″ long x 1.5 x 1.5in. allowing it to easily stow in a backpack or vehicle. Open it’s 59″ long. This bow is made of milled aircraft grade aluminum with fiberglass bow limbs. When you’re ready to use it the limbs easily fold out and secure in place with thumb screws. The bow can be setup for either left or right hand use and only weighs 2.25 pounds. The Compact Folding Survival Bow is available for $149 from Primal Gear Unlimited.

Sumo Lounge Omni Reloaded review


I love my Lazy Boy couch and my double recliner, but most furniture items want you to adapt to them instead of the other way around.  You can’t easily move a recliner around your home from room to room or fold it up and shove it under the bed when you don’t need it. But with the new Sumo Omni Reloaded from Sumo Lounge you can do exactly that.

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Gadget deals – Savings for gamers


It doesn’t matter if you’re a console gamer, an iPhone gamer or if you care less about games and more about music, we have some gadget deals for you today.

JLab High-Performance Earbuds
High-performance earbuds, slim, soft with the very latest ultra-compact titanium drivers. 86% OFF @Woot. $12.99 ($89.95)

Turtle Beach II Ear Force Kilo Limited Edition
The Turtle Beach Call of Duty®: Black Ops II Ear Force Kilo Limited Edition Headset. $34.99 @Woot.

Injustice God’s Among Us
Grab the popular DC Ultimate Edition for 75% OFF @Amazon. $7.49 Digital Download!

Etekcity Scroll Optical Gaming Mouse
Professional gaming mouse, 5 star reviews. 32% OFF @Amazon for $16.98.

Logitech iPhone 5/5s Controller
Turning your iPhone into a Gaming Pad!! 42% OFF @eBay $39.95.

blink(1) is a USB LED status light that can alert you to almost anything


The blink(1) is a small USB LED status light that plugs into your PC, Mac, Linux or even Raspberry Pi device and can be set up to flash a certain color and pattern when something happens that you need to know about. That “something” is entirely up to you. For example:

Do you want to know if a friend has signed onto Skype, but don’t want a window popping up every time anyone has logged on? Do you want to be notified when a long download has finished? Do you want to know the snow conditions at Tahoe without checking every hour? Do you want to make a “busy” light for your office that glows red when your calendar says you’re in a meeting?

You can assign multiple alerts to one blink(1) and have each alert show a different color, pattern and brightness. You can also connect multiple blink(1)s to the same computer. The alerts are setup using easy-to-use open source Mac & Windows GUI application that connects the blink(1) to IFTTT, your mail, URLs or your scripts.

You can buy one blink(1) for $30 and larger quantities for a discount. Visit blink(1) for more info.

Buck Knives 941 Travelmate Kit review


The next time I go camping will be never, but if you love that activity, the Buck Knives 941 Travelmate kit is a nifty addition you should consider adding to your camping kitchen gear. It packs a knife, fork and other tools in a convenient sheath that even prevents the spread of bacteria. Let’s take a closer look.

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Gadget deals – Accessories for PS4, iPad, headphones and more


Sony PS4 Color Pack
Pack of 4 Color Combo Protective Case’s For the Sony PS4 Game Controller for $5.67. 66% OFF

SUPCASE Beetle Defense Series
Full-body Hybrid Protective Case (with a Built-in Screen Protector). Dual Layer Design and Impact Resistant Bumper’s for $16.99. 66% OFF

These Audio-Technica Pro DJ Headphones are currently at 50% OFF listing price for $104.99 from Amazon.


Deals for our UK readers

Superman DVD Collection
The Superman 5 Film Collection (1978-2006) on Blu-ray, and it’s Region Free from Amazon for only £10.

11″ Apple MacBook Air
Save £100 on this brand new MacBook Air. £654 from eBay.

Turtle Beach Gaming Headset
Only £11.89 from Amazon.

New series of Moleskine notebooks are compatible with Livescribe smartpens


Livescribe smartpen fans who also happen to be fans of Moleskine notebooks will be happy to learn that these two companies have teamed up to offer a new series of Livescribe Notebooks by Moleskine. These notebooks have Moleskine’s classic design features which includes ivory-colored acid-free paper, rounded corners, ribbon bookmark, elastic closure and an expanding inner pocket. Included in the notebook’s back pocket are 2 bookmarks that include a full set of controls for each Livescribe smartpen. If you aren’t familiar with Livescribe smartpens, they are an actual ink pen with electronics built in that sends each pen stroke in real time to an iOS device via Bluetooth, or via WiFi to Evernote or via USB to a computer depending on the Livescribe pen model. The pens can be used to capture drawings and notes from special Livescribe paper like the paper used in these new Moleskine notebooks to a computer or mobile device. The pen also records audio that can be linked to the written notes.

Limited stock of the new Livescribe Notebooks by Moleskine, including the #1 and #2 series journals, can be purchased now in the US and Canada on and globally on for $29.95.

New LG G3 Offers a Simplified User Experience (Sponsored)

New Smart Features Offer a Simplified User Experience

This post is brought to you by LG G3.

Boasting a revamped user interface and host of new features, the new LG G3 is the ultimate in smart technology. Unveiling the first 5.5­Inch Quad HD display announced in the U.S. market, Laser Auto Focus, Smart Notice and “Tap to Shoot” features, the G3 offers an overall simplified user experience. Additional design elements offer a sophisticated and sleek look and feel.

For more information, visit

ScoopThat! and SpreadThat! self-warming ice cream scoop and butter knife review


I love ice cream and I love butter, but what I don’t love is having to wait for them to soften and melt so that I can scoop and spread them. Is there a solution other than just waiting? Maybe… The self-warming ScoopTHAT and SpreadTHAT ice scream scoop and butter knife claim to solve these issues. I’ve been testing samples of each. Let’s see if their claims are true.

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Venostech SideCar connects your phone or tablet to your laptop for multi-display productivity


Small laptops are great when you need something that is ultra portable, but the trade off is that they usually have smaller displays which ends up making you feel cramped and squinty. The Venostech SideCar is an interesting solution that doesn’t require any power and uses devices you already own to add additional screen space to your laptop. The SideCar is a plastic clamp with protective neoprene inserts that has been designed to fit a wide range of devices from smartphones to tablets. The SideCar has two clamps. One for the edge of the laptop screen and the other for a smartphone or tablet. A center knob adjusts the amount of clamping power desired. Once connected to the laptop, the extra “display” can be operated independently or with the use of third-party apps it can be used as a external screen.

The Venostech SideCar is made in the USA and is priced at $29.99 for the black clip or $34.99 for one in white.

This baseball cap will defend you against bad guys


If you ever find yourself in a sketchy situation where you feel threatened by bodily harm, the Fab Defense “Gotcha” Cap Less-Lethal Self-Defense Tool may help you escape. The Gotcha cap looks like an ordinary cloth baseball cap, which comes in five different colors and has an area on the front to attach your favorite Velcro patch. Hiding under the brim of the cap is a reinforced durable polymer composite striking weapon that can be quickly deployed to defend against an attacker. The weapon is has an ergonomic shape which was designed by a martial arts expert. Before anyone leaves a comment, no, I am pretty sure it’s not TSA compliant, so don’t be a dork and wear it to the airport. The Fab Defense Gotcha cap is priced at $35-$40 from Amazon.

Dashcams, Android gadgets and more – Weekly roundup


This week we featured reviews about two different dashcams and news about interesting products like a three port USB hub for your Android devices, a special Belkin charger for Android devices and lots more. Click through to see the full list of news, reviews and articles from this past week.

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Loyal Stricklin Ruck Sack is so gorgeous (and expensive) that you might be afraid to use it


I don’t even like backpacks, but the Ruck Sack from Loyal Stricklin is so lovely to look at that I can picture myself hiking picturesque trails with it strapped on my back. These bags are handmade in a studio which is located in an historic train depot in Alabama. The ruck sack is made of 4 ounce Tan Horween Chromexcel leather with 9 ounce Natural Chromexcel leather straps. Horween Chromexcel leather comes from oldest continuously running tanneries in the United States. This type of leather that has been around for over 100 years. It is a combination tanned leather that undergoes at least 89 separate processes taking 28 working days to produce. This particular bag from Loyal Stricklin is 12 ” wide x 5″ deep x 19″ tall (rolled up) and extends to 25″ tall when unrolled. The ruck sack is meant to last a life time and they back that up with free repairs to craftsmanship for life. The only “problem” with the bag is the price. At $750, most people won’t be able to afford one. If you’re a person who has that much disposable cash on hand and want to strap on one of these bags for your next hike, head on over to Loyal Stricklin and place an order.