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Author Archive for Julie Strietelmeier – Page 2

ADATA DashDrive Durable UD320 USB OTG flash drive review

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Here’s another portable and relatively inexpensive way to expand the memory of your Android device. It’s the ADATA DashDrive Durable UD320 USB OTG flash drive, which comes in 16 and 32GB capacities. I was sent the 32GB version to test. Let’s see how it works.

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Withings launches new Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

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Three years ago Withings introduced their first blood pressure monitor for the iPhone and now their latest version of this convenient health tracking gadget has been updated to be completely wireless. Hypertension is know as the silent killer because there are often no symptoms until it’s too late. Regular blood pressure checks will allow you to track your levels to make sure they are under control and help prevent a major medical incident like a stroke.

The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor consists of a Bluetooth enabled arm cuff and a smartphone app. When turned on, the BPM will automatically connect with your iOS or Android smartphone and open the Withings Health Mate application. By tapping the start button within the application, the cuff will inflate and record your systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as heart rate. Results are then saved to show trends over time, and comparisons to population standards. The Withings Health Mate application also allows users to set reminders to take regular BP measurements and send readings to a medical professional, family member, or caregiver.

The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is available today exclusively from Withings for $129.95

Leef Access microSD card reader for Android review

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If you’re an Android user with a device that lacks a microSD card slot, you need to pay attention to this review. Don’t worry, I won’t take much of your time because there’s not a whole lot I can say about the Leef Access microSD card reader for Android, other than it’s tiny and only does just one thing very well. It adds a microSD expansion slot to your Android phone or tablet. Let me show you.

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Faveable wants you to know what time it is with these ultra cool watches

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Welcome to the weekend edition of our partnered posts from Faveable, a gadget discovery site for men. Today’s list is a collection of 14 unique and awesome watches. Several of these watches appear to have landed straight from sci-fi movies. And then, there are the “smart” watches which interact with your phone so that you’ll never miss a call. Let’s also not forget the totally weird and funky watches that have non-traditional ways to tell the time. The Faveable team has tapped into their inner-geek self and researched the best sci-fi, futuristic watches for men.

Check out: 14 Extraordinary Futuristic Watches for Men 

ADATA Elite CE700 Wireless Charging Stand review

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Some people will scoff, but I love wireless charging. Not having to plug a micro USB cable into my phone every time I need to top off the battery is a hassle, when wireless charging is an alternative. Once you’ve experienced the luxury of simply placing your device on a flat charging pad or a dock, you’ll be forever spoiled. Luckily more and more phone manufacturers are starting to add Qi charging to their devices. One of the newest wireless charger that I’ve had the opportunity to try, is the Elite CE700 Wireless Charging Stand from ADATA.

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Hop into Spring giveaway!

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I don’t know what it’s been like for the past 5 months in your neck of the woods, but here in Southern Indiana, it’s been one of the worst and longest Winters ever. Spring officially started last week, but we’ve seen snow and sleet since then. But I think I can see a light (what is that big yellow orb in the sky???) at the end of the tunnel. Flowers are beginning to bloom, so Spring is here and it’s time we kicked Winter to the curb and celebrate the best way I know how with a gadget giveaway! It’s easy to enter, so pull off your mittens and click through!

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Nokia Lumia Icon Windows Phone 8 smartphone review

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I enjoyed reviewing the Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows 8.1 RT tablet a few weeks ago and since it’s been over a year, I thought it was time that I reviewed another Windows Phone device as well. Verizon offered to send me the Nokia Lumia Icon (aka Lumia 929), which is available exclusively from them. I swapped SIM cards with my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and have been using the Icon for the past week. Do I love it? Hate it? Let’s find out.

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Faveable shares essential tools for your outdoor adventure

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A good match kit, compass and pocket knife should be at the top of your check list for any outdoor adventures you may be planning. Our friends at Faveable have compiled one such list with a good option for each of these product categories.

UCO Stormproof Match Kit: If you’re planning to do some camping and need a reliable set of match sticks, this UCO Stormproof Match Kit is just what you need.

It’s a waterproof case that includes 25 matches and 3 strikers. The case features an integrated striker on the outside to provide an easy location for lighting matches, and can hold up to 40 matches. Each match can stay lit for up to 15 seconds, even after being submerged in water!

Silva Explorer Compass: A good compass is on the top of every hiker’s check list. Not only is this compass good enough for hiking, but it can be used for orienteering with the extended baseplate. It’s easy to grip and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand.

Buck Trio Folding Pocket Knife: This is a mid-sized 3-bladed traditional folding pocket knife, perfect for your fishing, hunting or other outdoor adventures.

This bird doesn’t fly or tweet, it humidifies

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Even though the seasons have just changed and it’s officially Spring time (finally!), the air is still very dry – at least it is here in Southern Indiana. Who cares if the air is dry you say. Look down at your hands, are they rough and chapped? That can be a sign of low humidity. One way to remedy the situation is with a humidifier. I’ve been thinking about adding a humidifier to my home because winters here are always very dry. I’m always getting zapped when I touch metal objects (and sometimes non-metal objects) due to static. A humidifier could help that too… The only problem is that I don’t want another appliance taking up floor space somewhere in the house. Enter the USB Bird Humidifier from Brando. This cute little bird shaped humidifier gets its power from a USB port. Just place it on the rim of a cup filled with water, press the button once for a 60 minute runtime and twice for 30 minutes and you’ll soon enjoying moisturizing steam. This USB gadget is priced at $24. Visit Brando for more info.

KOR Nava hydration vessel water bottle review

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We all know that we should be drinking more water, but it can be tough to accomplish that task when your tap water tastes like…well, tap water. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I prefer the taste of bottled water over tap water, which can often have a funky flavor. Bottled water just tastes better. But it’s expensive and there’s the issue with all those plastic bottles going into the landfills. A better alternative for taste, expense and the planet is to drink filtered tap water. There are different ways to filter your water from whole house filters, filtering pitchers and filters on your faucet. All of those solutions require you to be at home though. What do you do if you want filtered water while you’re at work or somewhere else? Enter the KOR Nava hydration vessel which is a sports style water bottle with a built in filter.

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Snag a copy of “The Windows 7 Guide Volume 1 – Setting Up, Optimizing, and Using Your Win7 System” Free through 3/18

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The Windows 7 Guide Volume 1 – Setting Up, Optimizing, and Using Your Win7 System is a 57 page eBook that is normally $9.95, but it’s free through today (expires 3/18/14). This book contains Windows Secrets’ best articles on getting started with Windows 7 and includes topics such as the best ways to install, upgrade and optimize your Win7 setup for safety and ease of use. If you’re new to Win7, this eBook will get you up to speed quickly. You will also receive a weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox courtesy of Windows Secrets Newsletter.

There are a few hoops to jump through to get this guide, but it helps The Gadgeteer to earn some some affiliate fees that can help us to bring you more cool product reviews.

JetPens paper clip roundup review

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Have you ever given much thought to the evolution of the paper clip and other methods of attaching papers together? Yeah, me neither. But let’s think about it now… A patent for the first bent wire clip was issued in 1867, but the style of paper clip that we know and use today was introduced in 1892 as the Gem paper clip. A few years later the staple, which had to pierce the papers in order to hold them together, came on the scene. Then in 1910, the binder clip was invented. If you thought those were the only ways to hold papers together, you would be wrong. Today I’m going to show you five other clips from JetPens.com that will help you manage your documents and might put a smile on your face at the same time.  Read More →

ToneFone – The world’s healthiest (and heaviest) iPhone case

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Most people want their smartphones to be light weight and sexy, so they buy barely there cases that won’t cover up their phone’s slim lines. Those thin cases may look great, but they are doing nothing for your not so thin physique. Imagine if there was a way to use your phone in a normal fashion that could help you burn calories and tone muscles. There is. It’s the ToneFone, which is made of 100% British steel covered in soft, durable and grippy rubber. It’s basically a case for your iPhone 5/5s that turns the phone into a 1 kg or 1.5 kg dumb bell. For those of us who are metrically challenged, that translates 2.20 and 3.30 pounds. That doesn’t sound like a lot of weight, but if you are constantly picking up your phone to check text messages, facebook, emails, and calls, all those reps will add up to at least a little extra calorie burn by the end of the day. Currently available in white with gold and space grey ToneFones due in June 2014, these cases are priced at £22.90 for the 1 kg version and £25.40 for the 1.5 kg version ($38.02 – $42.17). Visit DesirableBody.co.uk for more info.

Bacon makes everything better

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Do you love bacon? Is there anyone besides a vegetarian who can honestly answer no to that question? Bacon aficionados will appreciate today’s partnered post with Faveable.com, a gadget and cool-stuff discovery site for men. Their team has shortlisted some really interesting products with a bacon theme! Some of the items on the list are products that you never imagined existed.

Bacon Scented Air Freshener: Looks like bacon, smells like bacon, but doesn’t taste like bacon. (Don’t eat it, okay?)

Bacon & Cheddar Popcorn: The perfect blend of gourmet popcorn, bacon and cheddar cheese flavors. Yum!

Bacon Soap: Looks and smells like bacon, but it’s a bar of soap! Comes in a fancy tin, perfect for a gift for all bacon fanatics.

Marini’s Hand Dipped Chocolate Bacon: Exquisite combination of two favorite foods – bacon and chocolate. These boxes of chocolate-dipped bacon are perfect for a gift or a guilty personal pleasure.

Maple Bacon Flavored Coffee: Did you think this list would conclude without a mention of the popular beverage? Obviously not. This should be perfect early morning brew for those among us who are crazy for bacon.

Dyson Digital Slim DC59 Animal rechargeable vacuum review

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You might be wondering, “Julie, what’s up with all of these vacuum reviews that you’ve been posting lately?” You’re not alone, I’m also wondering why I keep saying yes to vacuum review offers. Maybe it’s some deep seated need to make sure my carpets are clean. Nah… More likely it’s because I hate my 1000 pound 20 year old Kirby vacuum and I’m looking for a light weight alternative with a few tech bells and whistles. The Dyson Digital Slim DC59 Animal rechargeable vacuum ticks both of those boxes. It’s light weight and it has a rechargeable battery for cordless operation. But does it suck in a good way or a bad way? Let’s find out.

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LinkSprinter is Fluke’s latest network testing tool that sends results to the cloud

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If you’re a geek or nerd worth the salt in your bread, you’ve no doubt heard of Fluke. They make those easily recognizable yellow digital multimeters that I used to see on every workbench when I worked at Cummins Electronics back in the day. Their newest tool is a small network tester called the LinkSprinter 200. It retains Fluke’s iconic rugged yellow housing, but offers some up to date tech bells and whistles that will make IT guys want one for their tool box or pocket. This small handheld network trouble shooting tool is powered by 2 AA batteries and has one button for foolproof testing. Just turn it on, plug an Ethernet cable into the jack built into the LinkSprinter and the panel of LEDs that light up in either green, yellow or red to show the status for internet connectivity, gateway, DHCP, cable connectivity and Power over the Internet status.

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The LinkSprinter has a built-in Wi-Fi access point that will allow you to use your phone or tablet’s web browser to display detailed test results in real time. The LinkSprinter cloud service will upload each set of test results to the cloud where you can access them via your desktop browser or via emails which are sent to you automatically with the results. The cloud service is free for the first 120 days. After that, 10 tests per month are included per tester. Additional tests may be purchased in 100 or 1000 packs for pennies per test. Test packs can be shared across an organization. You can buy the LinkSprinter 200 for $299. For more info or to order, visit LinkSprinter.com

Gadgeteer: Show us your desk series – Julie

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Do you ever wonder where all the writing magic happens for the Gadgeteer news and reviews that you read on a daily basis? Do you picture us hunched over a keyboard in a Starbucks or a library somewhere? We want to give you a glimpse into how and where we get things done. This first series will share our work environments and later we’ll follow up with a how we work series. I get to go first since it was my idea! Welcome to Gadgeteer HQ. Oh, be sure and take off your shoes. Jeanne gets cranky if we wear shoes in the house.

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It’s official, Amazon Prime membership fees are going up

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I just received this email from Amazon:

Dear Julie Strietelmeier,

We are writing to provide you advance notice that the price of your Prime membership will be increasing. The annual rate will be $99 when your membership renews on December 21, 2014.

Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years. Since 2005, the number of items eligible for unlimited free Two-Day Shipping has grown from one million to over 20 million. We also added unlimited access to over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video and a selection of over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

For more information about your Prime membership, visit our Prime membership page.

Sincerely,

The Amazon Prime Team

A $20 bump stings a little bit, but honestly, you can’t beat Prime. I use it ALL the time. If I could order my groceries through Amazon, I would… I don’t take advantage of the video features as much as I should though.

I haven’t been a member for more than a couple years, so it is impressive that this is the first increase since the service was started in 2005.

Are you a Prime member? Will you be canceling when your renewal comes up, or will you just deal with the $20 increase?

Faveable wants to help you pick an ultrabook

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Welcome back to another edition of our partnered posts with Faveable. If you’re in the market for an ultra-portable laptop, today’s article will be something that will interest you. There are a lot of choices in the laptop market right now and it’s very easy to get lost – it’s not just about processors and screen-size anymore. Besides Windows and Mac laptops, there are also Chromebooks which rely entirely on your internet connection. There are also extreme light-weight laptops called Ultrabooks which are very trendy right now. If you’re interested in lightening your load, check out some of the popular ultra-portable laptops listed below.
Toshiba Chromebook: The 13.3″ Toshiba Chromebook CB35-A3120 is an Intel-powered Dual-core Laptop running Chrome OS. It’s perfect for surfing the web, emails and watching videos on youtube. It also comes with 100GB of Google Drive storage free for 2 years.
Acer Aspire S7: This 3lb Acer Ultrabook is 0.5″ thin and has aluminum body with glass lid. It’s powered by Intel’s latest processor, Full HD 1080p screen and provides up to 9 hours of battery life.
ThinkPad X240: This ThinkPad is the ultimate laptop of choice for on-the-go business professionals. It’s thin, light, built to last and powerful enough for most tasks. What more could you ask?

Snag a copy of “Learn to Build with PHP – A Crash Course”

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Learn to Build with PHP – A Crash Course is a free 29 page PDF book that will teach you the basics of the PHP programming language. It starts out with instructions for setting up a development environment for Windows, OSX, Linux and even Android. Then you are shown how to make the all important “Hello World” first program. The guide covers a lot of info to help you get your feet wet with PHP. You’ll learn how to create forms, databases and more. This guide won’t turn you into an expert, but if you’ve always wanted to learning a new programming language, why not start with PHP?

There are a few hoops to jump through to get this guide, but it helps The Gadgeteer to earn some some affiliate fees that can help us to bring you more cool product reviews.

As seen on TV: Wow Cup spill free drinking cup review

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I don’t have any little ones running around at my house, but I’ve seen enough kids to know that when cups and beverages are near them, a mess is bound to happen. When the sippy cup was invented, I bet parents all over the world cheered. Sippy cups definitely can help prevent messes, but they aren’t totally spill proof like the Wow Cup spill free cup from Telebrands. If you have kids or know an adult with dexterity issues, you’ll want to know more about this product.

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Keep your grocery list organized with the Hiku Scanner and your iPhone

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The Hiku Scanner is a small handheld scanner that recognizes both barcodes and your voice. With a real 1D linear imager like the ones used at grocery store checkouts, the Hiku Scanner instantly adds items to your shopping list without any need for writing or typing. When you finish that last box of Rice Crispies, just press the button on the Hiku and scan the barcode. It  will then be added via WiFi to the shopping list app on your iOS device. If Hiku doesn’t recognize your item from its database of grocery products it will notify you with a couple of beeps and let you speak the name of the item that you want associated with that code. Hiku’s cloud service will then transcribe your note and add it to the grocery list. Your list can be shared with your family or anyone else. When you add or cross off an item, your list is updated everywhere.

The Hiku Scanner has a soft silicone case with a built in magnet so you can leave it attached to your fridge so it will always be handy. It uses an ultra-low power standby mode that enables up to two months battery life with normal use. The internal battery is rechargeable via the built in micro-USB port.

The Hiku is priced at $79.00 and is on back order until April. For more info visit hiku.us

Keep your Moto G smartphone warm and toasty with this laser cut cover

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Portland Oregon based company Toast has just announced an addition to their line up of real wood thin, lightweight covers. This new easy to apply – peel and stick cover has been designed especially for the Motorola G Android smartphone. There are four woods to choose from including Walnut, Bamboo, Ebony and Ash. You also have the option to add a front cover and custom text engraving. Prices start at $25 for the back cover without engraving and go up to $40 for a front and back cover with engraved text. Visit www.toastmade.com for more info!

Faveable helps you choose your next HDTV

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Several years ago when I was trying to choose my first HDTV, I found the task to be confusing and time consuming. That was back when the main choice was between plasma, LCD and LED TVs. These days there are even more technologies you need to consider along with multiple brands to choose from. Our friends at Faveable have compiled a list of ten popular HDTVs that are currently on the market from leading brands. These choices include the much-talked about 4K sets, TVs that feature 3D, and even regular Smart TVs. Be sure to go through their entire list and find one that is right for your needs.

Engrain Tactile Keys add a little nature to your Apple Wireless Keyboards

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Engrain Tactile Keys are handcrafted wooden key cover stickers for your Apple wireless keyboard (both the compact and standard sized version with the numeric keypad). They are made of Sassafras wood with a 3M adhesive that is strong enough to hold up to years of use while still allowing for easy removal without damage to the keyboard. The wooden sticker sets are made in Brooklyn, NY and are available in different layouts including: USA, UK, German, Scandinavian, Russian/English and Arabic/English. If you need another language, they are available by request. The compact keyboard set is priced at $98.00 and the standard set is $118.00. Visit Michael Roopenian Design for more info.