Saddleback has started offering two new writing instruments to their product line. The Copper Pen comes in a simple and fancy version. The pen itself is the same, but the leather holder/protector is different between the two versions. The 5 ⅛” long Copper Pens feature a hand-hammered barrel made of 100% copper which will develop a patina over time. The barrel has been designed to use BIC ballpoint ink cartridge refills. The simple version of the Copper Pen has a short full-grain leather grip, while the fancy version of the pen features a longer grip that also doubles as a protector that will cover the point when you’re not using the pen. Although I’m not excited about the fact that the pens are designed to use a BIC refill (ick), I can’t help but love the look. The pens are priced at $19 and $25 and are available now. Please visit Saddleback Leather Company for more info and to place an order.

Posted in: News, Paper and Pens

Not all gadgets require electricity. Many things are developments and improvements on existing products that make you think “I shoulda thoughta that!” Such it is with the latest item in my gadget queue, the P-Lock. These red corkscrew-like tie-downs are sold in pairs (the reason will become obvious) and will enable you to secure anything anywhere you can get to a patch of dirt to screw them in to! [click to continue…]

Posted in: Outdoor Gear, Reviews


The clock called Ferrolic by Dutch designer Zelf Koelman is like a lava lamp clock that does not emit light. The magnetic fluid (a black fluid with magnetic particles suspended in it) within an aluminum casing is attracted to the clock’s electromagnets to form the numbers. The best part is that it comes with software that is accessible on the web so users may design their own entrancing custom creations. The clock is still in development, but a small number will be available for pre-order sometime in the future for only $8,300. Now, don’t all of you rush to order them all at once when they become available – let others have a chance! 😉 Please visit the Ferrolic website for more information and updates about this project. But first, watch the fascinating video as the black fluid in the clock seems to come alive – reminiscent of the X-Files’ black oil don’t you think?  [click to continue…]

Posted in: Home and Kitchen, News, Watches and Clocks


Recently, I’ve been trying to put more of an effort into working out and exercising. Like many other activities I do, I won’t even consider exercising without having music or TV playing in the background. My house is littered with wired earbuds, but the long cord always manages to get in the way while working out. A while back I ponied up the dough and purchased a pair of Bluetooth earbuds, but they still had their issues, the worst of which is always falling out of my ear at the most inopportune time. Fortunately, I was given the chance to review the AfterShokz Bluez 2S bone conducting Bluetooth headphones. With no cords and no buds to fall out of my ears, will these be the headphones I’ve always hoped for?
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Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Bluetooth Gear, Reviews


The NFC Ring is back with a new Kickstarter campaign, an updated look and improved tech under the hood… or I guess I should say under the band since it’s a ring. Smartphones are cool and smart watches may be fun, but a smart ring is the ultimate in geek gear. Let’s check out what’s new with one of my favorite wearable gadgets.

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Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reviews


Google just released an update to Google Maps that brings Apple Watch support. When you set a route on your iPhone, the Google Maps watch app will automatically show you the directions, in text format, as you go. You can also scroll through upcoming directions to get an idea of where Google wants you to go.

To obtain directions directly on your Apple Watch, you can select directions to your home or to work (if you have them set up in your Google account), or directions to your last route. You can force-touch the watch to choose the travel mode — Driving, Transit, or Walking.

You can find Google Maps on the App Store.

Posted in: iOS, News, Travel Gear

Petzi Treat Cam review

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We have had pet cams around our house for at least 15 years. We set up the cameras to find out what the animals do all day. (Sleep, mostly. No surprise there.) My cameras of choice tend to be Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, which include their own web server and don’t need to be connected to a computer. However, they are a pain to set up. That’s why I was excited to learn about Petzi’s new Treat Cam. Not only is it easy to set up, it tosses goodies to the beasties. [click to continue…]

Posted in: Pet Gadgets, Reviews


The Chromecast app is completely redesigned and is now available in Google Play and iTunes. It works with the latest Chromecast and the first generation Chromecast as well. It allows the user to browse through the content on all the Chromecast enabled apps on your phone (under the What’s On tab); use playback controls like Pause/Play, Volume controls, etc. which turn your phone into a remote control for each of your Chromecast devices (under the Devices tab), and discover new apps that are Chromecast enabled (under the Get Apps tab). The Chromecast app also allows you to search for content like a TV show across all cast enabled apps. After performing the search for a TV show or movie, it will list which apps on your phone have that TV show/movie and also provide a link to those apps that you can download to access that show/movie. While casting, you are able to search for other things on your phone without interrupting the streaming of your content. [click to continue…]

Posted in: Android, Audio, Video, TV, News


Most people will agree that working out isn’t exactly fun, but add some music and it becomes more bearable. Add a pair of Jabra Sport Coach sweat-proof wireless earbuds and a virtual coach who talks in your ear and you might just start looking forward to your next workout session. Let’s find out.

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Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Bluetooth Gear, Health, Fitness, Sports, Reviews


When I purchased my current Chromecast, I was disappointed that it didn’t support the 5 GHz WiFi band. The 2.4 GHz band is just a bit crowded in my neighborhood and my streaming can sometimes suffer. But today Google announced that the newest Chromecast (which works with iPhone, iPad, or Android devices, plus Chromebook, Mac, and Windows laptops) is available for purchase for $35 and now includes 2.4 GHz/5 GHz dual-band support. In addition, it has a “built-in adaptive antenna system” (three antennas) and an algorithm that “ensures that the WiFi chip is always using the best antenna and radio frequency for the changing WiFi conditions in the home” (from the Google Nexus 2015 Live Event). According to Google, this new design results in superior throughput across the entire range of changing WiFi conditions in your home when compared to competitors of the same form factor. This means higher quality video and audio and less buffering. The latest version of Chromecast has been redesigned into a circular disk that is smaller than the palm of your hand and has an attached HDMI cable. Simply plug Chromecast into an available HDMI port in your TV, plug in the power cord, connect it to your home WiFi network, and start casting from any of the apps that support Chromecast.

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Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, News


I’m a huge fan of wireless charging (otherwise known as Qi charging) and own several wireless chargers for home and office. Not long ago I gave Jeanne my older Samsung Note 2 smartphone and a TYLT VÜ Wireless Charger. The charger works great, but we keep it on the kitchen table, which doesn’t look very nice with the dangling power cord which plugs into the wall. The soon to be released WallJax charger looks like a great solution for kitchens and homes. It features two styles, the WallJax EZ plugs into an existing wall outlet while still offering access to the outlets and the WallJax Float is mountable shelf for any wall. Both WallJax wireless chargers features a Qi charging coil that is compatible with phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Nexus devices, some Motorola devices and more. It will even work with iPhones if you use a 3rd party cover. The chargers also feature magnetic attachment points under the shelf that can be used to hold your keys, and a USB port for charging other devices. You can view a demo video here. Pricing for the WallJax chargers have not been announced yet, but the WallJax will be available for pre-order starting October 6th on Indiegogo. For more info visit

Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, News


While living less than 20 miles from downtown Seattle, we live out in the middle of no where at the end of a very long gravel road on a piece of property that we can’t see any of our neighbors. It is a quiet and relatively peaceful place but remote enough people could drive up our drive, empty our house, and get away without anyone realizing what’s happened for quite some time. That said, I have reviewed/tried various surveillance systems over the years to better protect our home from thieves. In this case, Maximus has created the Smart Security Light, a well made motion light with stealthy built-in camera, speaker, and microphone that should hopefully bring even greater awareness and capabilities to my fight to fend off the hordes ;). [click to continue…]

Posted in: Home and Kitchen, Reviews


Today is the day that Google will officially unveil their new Nexus smartphones. I’ve been looking forward to this day for quite awhile because I decided I that this would be the year that I would buy a Nexus phone. I’ve been wanting the stock Android experience and quick OS updates for a long time, but just haven’t been that thrilled about Nexus phones until this year. As info about the 5X and 6P Nexus devices started leaking, I became more excited about the new phones. That is until yesterday. The latest news is that the Nexus 6P will not have a micro SD card, wireless charging or optical image stabilization. When I first heard that there would be no micro SD card, I wasn’t happy, but I figured that I could always get the 64GB or 128GB version of the phone. Then later in the day when I heard that there would be no wireless charging, I became more annoyed because that is one of my favorite features from my past three phones. I have wireless chargers at home, at work and was even thinking about buying the TYLT car charger for my MINI Cooper. Then the last bit of news I heard last night was that the camera in the Nexus 6P would not have optical image stabilization. ARGH! Really? Come on, what is going on Google? It seems like you’re removing some of the best features from what is supposed to be your high end device. I know these are still rumors until the official unveiling later today, but if they turn out to be true, I’ll be skipping this generation of Nexus devices and will have to decide on another replacement for my current LG G3. Yes, I know this is a first world problem, but I’m still bummed. Does anyone else feel like I do? [click to continue…]

Posted in: Articles

Back in March I posted about a fun physics game called Freeze! I’m a puzzle game fan and found Freeze! to be easy to learn, but a fun challenge. The gist of the story behind the game is that the main character, who is a rolling eyeball, is being held prisoner on a planet. Unfortunately he was never able to escape, but his little brother (a smaller eyeball) has come to his rescue in a new sequel called Freeze! 2 – Brothers. This new game uses the same control mechanics as original game, where you use a finger to spin the screen and freeze buttons to freeze gravity for the brothers. That’s right, this time around, you have to control two rolling eyeballs in each level.  Another difference is that the game is no longer free. It’s priced at $1.99. Freeze! 2 – Brothers is a premium game with 100 new levels, a new music soundtrack, no ads and no in-app purchases. Visit Google Play or the iTunes store for more info, screenshots and a game trailer. I’ve been playing it for the last few days and it’s as fun as the first one but a little more challenging since there are two characters that you have to pass through each level.

Posted in: Android, iOS, iOS, News


It’s no secret I really like Braven speakers. Their small 600 series of speakers were sonic wonders which Braven eventually replaced with the newer 700 series. However, it was the 850 the knocked it out of the ballpark for me. When new, this large and heavy Bluetooth speaker blew away every other Bluetooth speaker I had heard up to that point. Since then, the portable Bluetooth speaker field is getting crowded with other, excellent choices in all prices. The new Balance Bluetooth speaker is Braven’s attempt to stay ahead of the pack.

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Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Bluetooth Gear, Reviews


Why didn’t I think of this before:  A charger that doubles as a dock?  Or a dock that doubles as a charger?  Which is it?

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Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, Reviews


Entomophagy is “the human consumption of insects and arachnids as food” according to Now don’t get squeamish, but this may very well be the future for feeding the world. Did you know that there are an estimated 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) insects (about 900,000 species) on the planet according to Smithsonian Information? That seems like a wonderfully massive untapped source of animal protein that would be valuable for feeding the world’s growing population. Even with today’s current food production technology, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to feed our exploding population. Producing the kind of protein that we need using animals like cows, chickens, and pigs is resource intensive and problematic, and many scientists believe that entomophagy will play an increasingly important role in keeping up with this task. In fact, countries in Central America, South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia have long since made insects an integral part of their diets. All that is left is for North America and Europe to join them. Did you know that we already consume trace amounts of insects in our food (the FDA states that “it is economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects” which includes insect parts)? Additionally, if we start to look at insects as the “shrimp” of the land (insects, shrimp, lobsters, and crab are all a part of a group or phylum called arthropods), maybe we can learn to get over our aversion and start including them as a part of our diets. (FYI – there are actually a few restaurants in the United States that serve insects, but they are obviously not commonplace). [click to continue…]

Posted in: Home and Kitchen, News


The Gadgeteer turned 18 years old last month (August, 2015). As the old saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun” and it is so true. I can’t believe I’ve been writing gadget news and reviews for that long. I thought it might be fun start a new feature where we take a trip down memory lane and revisit some reviews of gadget days gone by. I’m going to start out with a review from fifteen years ago (give or take a day or two) of the Sony CLIE PEG-S300 Palm PDA. Climb in my time machine with me and let’s turn back the clock to September 24th, 2000. [click to continue…]

Posted in: Articles

Stilo stylus review



Steve Jobs may have hated them, but I’ve always liked styluses. I have a collection of them because I’m always trying to find the perfect one that doesn’t feel like a stylus at all, but more like a pen on paper. The latest stylus that I’ve had the opportunity to test is the Stilo stylus. The Stilo is an active stylus, which means that it is battery powered. Does that mean it’s better than a generic two dollar stylus? Yes and no. Let’s take a closer look.

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Posted in: Android, iOS, Reviews, Styluses


Let’s see a show of hands, how many of you have ever used a binder clip as a wallet? I use one whenever I want to travel light and only need a couple cards and some cash. The Edwin wallet by Hive Design is a Kickstarter project that is trying to raise $15,000 and is already 2/3rds of the way to their goal. The Edwin wallet is available in two versions, the Edwin Classic and the Edwin+. Both feature a thin light weight design with a wide binder style clip made of steel which is used to hold up to 15 credit cards and will not lose clamping force over time. Both wallets also feature a slot for easy access to a most used card and a cash stem that can be used to hold paper money. Where the versions differ is that the Edwin+ has an integrated bottle opener, hex wrenches, flat head screw driver and a Phillips head screw driver. The Edwin wallets will ship in January and are available for pre-order now through The classic wallet is priced at $30 and the Edwin+ is $35.

Posted in: News, Pocket Gear, Wallets