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Author Archive for cobinrox

Gobble Gob– er Scrabble Scrabble

I saw this on BookOfJoe and thought it could be fun to exercise some literary talent while waiting for my bagel to thaw out in the micro. This could be a fun thing for the office fridge too.  As we run to the magical mystical appliance this weekend looking for gobble left overs, why not scramble up some scrabble scraps?

From the FredFlare web site: “It has 100 letters using the standard English Scrabble distribution”.

$15 Refrigerator and frozen bagels not included.

Don’t Text on Your Bike Either, But . . .

Although you would be hard pressed to find it on their site, the Ozaki iPod bicycle mount could be a nice addition to help make your commute on Ride Your Bike to Work Day enjoyable.  It’s a bit pricey ($50) but for those who live by the iPod it appears to be a solid holder for your gadget.  Makes me want to go out and get one (an iPod that is) and ride my bike.  Or maybe not.

Thanks to 7Gadgets.

Keep Fido Cool

You’ve probably seen those cloth neck coolers for bipeds and I bought one for my dog last year but of course it would not stay on: you have to tie it like a scarf and with one swoop of his paw my dog could strip if off faster than the Gentle Leader.  The people variety is also pretty bulky and heavy when filled.  This Cool Collar looks like a good alternative since it has a built-in clasp and comes in three sizes: yip, Bark, and WOLF.  From $7-$10.

Via 7Gadgets

Allowing You to Become Even MORE of a Hermit

I actually saw one of these in action at my company and thought I’d share with others who are trapped in a cube farm just like in a bad Dilbert strip.

It reminded me of a Shoji screen presented on all the chic home-improvement shows, but a Modular Privacy Wall is meant for The Office.  As with most interesting or unique office equipment designed for the comfort of the employee, it’s fairly expensive ($1300), but maybe you know someone who could build such a steampunk version on the cheap?  Just a cool idea.

Just Indulge ‘Em: Crust Cutter

My parenting or kid-monitoring skills are simplistic: just shut ‘em up if there is little or no work on my part.  These crust cutters (this one available from Amazon, $7) is the type of gadget that fulfills that philosophy.

For anyone who just doesn’t want to deal with crust (pie crust not included, of course), here you go.  The fact that it also slices your samich into two dinosaurs in this photo is really a personal choice, though: Just like pancakes, I prefer my samiches to be in the shape of airplanes.

Just in Time for Spring: Glove Radar

This looks kind of cool for us sedentary office nerds whose only social interaction is on a company-sponsored softball team that is run by the jocks of the company and only allow nerds to play catcher or left field or some other innocuous invisible position and . . .   oops, sorry TMI.

Anyway, the GloveRadar ($90) attaches to your baseball glove and reports the speed of the ball as it nears the glove.   It does not do this by the impact ( which is what I originally thought, too) so it could be a neat way to gauge your or your friends’ ball speed.  Er, well, you know what I mean.

Keep it simple with the Kogan Agora Internet Portal

From the land down under (OK, now I’ll be thinking of that song all day…) comes the Kogan Agora Internet TV Portal” which promotes the invention I dreamed up (OK wished for in an inebriated state) ten years ago:  Easy Internet connection to your television.

“Yah, I can do that with my WII”; or “Yah I can do that with my PC”, or “Yah I can do that with my Hulu” you may proclaim.  But the previously mentioned YahDah YadDah YahDahs do not take into consideration the complete laziness and disenchantment (not to mention cheapness) I have with techno gizmos.  (I am still steamed with my  digital cable and the lack of an easy and free way to record shows.)

But something about this Kogan device looks worth-while.  It’s a simple-looking box with one input (your home network cable) and one output (an HDMI cable to your TV).  And the price is nifty: from $99 to $150, depending on where you search.

Granted, I don’t really expect streaming video to work (although it claims that it does for those who have fast enough connections and service providers that don’t limit your bandwidth) but using this for email or bringing up photos from Picasa or Flickr seems inviting.  I need to go have another drink and think up the next invention for 2021.

Wesent MP3 Headphones Review

I’ve been on the prowl for an inexpensive MP3 player headset and didn’t realize how hard it actually is to find one.  One that I found and looked promising:  the Wesent-860 headphones offered by Brando.   These gadgets allow you to listen to your audio files without getting tangled in cords, which is great for walking the dog, doing your workout routine by audio only, bopping to Beethoven in a busy bus or listening to books in your car.  So how’s the Wesent-860 working out for me?

Read More →

IR Wireless Motion Detection Auto LED Light Review

Got a dark cabinet or kitchen sink counter?  Me too.  Maybe trying to catch a mouse scrounging around at 3AM?   Me too. Wish that you had a light for your scary closet that would work like your refrigerator light and are too much of a total klutz to wire up a real light?  Me too. Think the wireless auto-lights are a nice idea?  Me too.  But after having been disgruntled by past attempts at so-called automatic “puck” lights, which only turn on “automatically” when ambient light is available, I didn’t expect much from the newer PIR LEDs, like these from EFO,  floating around on the Internets.  So, do these new infra-red detector LED lights work any better than their predecessors? Read More →

Arctic K381 Keyboard Review

You’re probably in the same boat, or cube anyway, when it comes to keyboards.  I’ve tried a variety and thought the Arctic K381 which claims to be “perfect for comfortable typing” and allows “continuous typing without fatigue” was worth a try.

The keyboard comes from a company called  Arctic Cooling so at first I thought the keyboard might have a fan inside of it.  A closer look at their website, however, touts the keyboard as a very slim, compact unit.  It’s the company’s name that has the frost.  (The above photo is courtesy of the Arctic Cooling website.  The keyboard comes in both black and white.  The Gadgeteer received a white keyboard for review.)

Read More →

Hey That’s Neat

This is actually a hummingbird feeder.  I thought it was neat because it doesn’t look like the standard plastic-y looking run-of-the-mill feeder.  It’s a little late in the season where I am to expect many visitors, but I found it at WallyWorld for about $12, but I also see it on the HomeDepot site and a few other places on line.

Split Personality? Get an iPhone Dual SIM Card Adapter

I’m just the messenger here.  I don’t have an iPhone (GASP!) but  if I were in the market I would take a double take at this dual SIM card adapter (seen on SlipperyBrick), especially given the posts I’ve seen that describe adapting a SIM card for the iPhone via a pair of scissors.  Anyway, we are here for your elucidation if not entertainment, and so, with that, indulge…

Just in Time for Fall : Amazing Rake

Yeah, yeah, I hate raking leaves too.  Actually raking is not the hard part.

Transferring them to trash bags is probably the worst aspect.  This rake from the ImprovementsCatalog ($40) looks interesting.  Just like a pooh-scooper (but without the grossness) this rake swoops and scoops.

I’ve tried snow shovels, cardboard boxes, bear claws (which really aren’t too bad except for the bending over aspect) and bare claws.  None of them are highly effective.  So this idea, which combines raking and cleaning could be a good alternative.

SmartCrutch – A Crutch for the 21st Century

This is a product I hope to never have to review, but for anyone with mobility issues, it does look like a better way to help you get around.  Plus it comes in hot pink, how bad could it be?

This is the SmartCrutch, an ergonomic crutch with a multitude of adjustable settings (perfect for Gadgeteers).

It’s only $135 for a pair which seems pretty reasonable given how geeky it looks.

Mace Pepper Spray Gun

For the third time in a month, my dog has been attacked by other dogs (unleashed) while out on our walks.  I started carrying a pepper sprayer after the second incident but this last time I could not get it whipped out fast enough, determine where the nozzle was, and could not fumble for the trigger, which requires you to rotate it before it can be squeezed.  So I started looking for an alternative and bumbled upon the Mace Gun.

It uses a disposable pepper (0.74 Capsaicinoids) cartridge and has an LED light.  The site even lists water cartridges so that you can practice without actual pepper.

$50.99 at SafetyGirl

The site also lists several holsters for the gun.


A few folks commented on the color of the gun, it does come in a few other colors:

Always Cool Pillow – But Does it Really Work?

I found this on the Hammacher Schlemmer site — “The Always Cool Pillow”, $90.  I’ve tried a cool pillow that was on sale at a certain drug store a while ago that but was disappointed in it– you had to fill it with water and listen to sloggying noises (not to mention getting your head smashed into it).

The Always Cool Pillow is described as using a “fabric developed for NASA” and is filled with fabric, so no filling it with H2O.  Sounds promising.  Anyone tried it?

A Fun Way to Squirt Water Up Your Nose – Tapi

The Tapi from DreamFarm adds a water fountain capability to your regular tap.   Just squeeze-n-snort. It doesn’t impede the normal flow and comes in a range of colors. $5

[Via OhGizmo!]

Two Tails Up: Shapoopie Review

I wanted my dog to actually write the review for the Shapoopie trial period we experienced, but he kept misspelling all the words and it was hard to read.  Example paragraph he typed:

uy 7KL&:& ypr9e9yha; 7hjksbjkaa Hag;]    ]a;48*(&*38848kjkkjmnmn        mnnkljkljhg3s

So I let him draw some of the illustrations instead.

In short, the  Shapoopie ($24.95) is a collapsible poo catcher.  You carry it with you on your walks and, when the time comes, extend it and position it so that your dog makes his deposit in the Shapoopie’s catcher cup.  The cup’s liners can then be disposed of.  Like a lot of gadgets I’ve reviewed and liked, it’s a niche but nice contraption.  It helps me avoid lower back pain when otherwise bending down to scoop up the little gifts with a plastic bag.

So read on to see if you think this niche is up your alley. . .

Read More →

Sometimes it’s Worth it to Surf it

Hey I found this on Lifehacker, Hipmunk gives you a gantt-chart view of flights at a glance.

Wow check out the most expensive flight -- also the longest layover.

Thanks to Lifehacker

What is That?

What is that? Do you have a guess?

VuPoint Magic Wand Scanner Review

I have an e-book reader I’m finding that I want to put everything that I have that is on paper into the device: books, magazine articles, users/owners manuals, cheat-sheets, blah, blah and blah.  But after spending several hours scanning an out-of-print book that was falling apart using my standard Epson desktop scanner a few weeks ago, my enthusiasm faded.  It just took too long per scanned page and I had to sit in front of or very near my desk for several hours.  Plus, it required booting up my PC, logging on, waiting for boot up, firing up the scanner software, yada, yada and yada.  And yes, I DO happen to be the laziest person on the planet. Read More →

So, what are your thoughts on the iPad after 106 days?

So, now that you’ve spent a few months now with your iPads.  So let’s hear what you have to say about them!

  1. So?
  2. So is the battery life ok for you?
  3. So is it heavy or awkward to hold on to when you are in full couch-potato slouch?
  4. So does it get hot in your hands when using it for, say, more than an hour?
  5. So have you tried reading PDF files on it?
  6. So can you zoom in and out on PDF files?
  7. So how is it for reading other eBooks on it?
  8. So if you find a video on the internet that you want to download so that you can watch it later, can you do that easily?
  9. Likewise, if you find, say, a PDF document or other file on the internet, can you download that directly to the iPad for later viewing?
  10. So if a friend gave you a USB stick with a cool video or PDF file or pictures on it, how do you get those onto the iPad?
  11. So when you play MP3 files, does it play them in order and does it remember the last file played if you turn of the iPad and restart it later?
  12. So how many people have seen you with it and asked about it?
  13. So would you prefer to have had an Android or Windows-based operating system?


Looks like a golf club, but the Shapoopie works with the other kinds of divots.

What’s more fun than scooping up poo on your dog walk?  Doing it with a new gadget.  The Shapoopie ($25) is a telescoping rod with a fetch pocket (ahem) at the very end.  Position the device under the uh, hot spot (ahem) and voila — no bending, scraping, squatting (er uhm well you know what I mean) involved.

Not another Laptop Desk? Rocketfish Mobile Laptop Desk Review

No wait wait ! This one is worth looking at !

Hate laptop desks because most of them force you to use the useless touchpad or run your mouse over a fluffy arm rest?  Hate laptop desks because most of them are just a big blob of wood or plastic that just takes up space?  Looking for a laptop desk that isn’t too bad?  Interested in a product that has some interesting features even if you aren’t interested in laptop desks?  Tired of laptop desk reviews?  Ok, well then you probably don’t want to click to continue.  Otherwise, this Rocketfish laptop desk has some subtle features that even Inspector Gadgeteer would approve of. Read More →

What is that?

Sloppie photo-shop art not included

Hint: I found this at a real brick-n-mortar store and have never seen it again.  Too bad, cause it works pretty well.

What do you think it is?