One of the worst things about exercising with a heart rate monitor is the strap. It sticks to your sweaty body. It gets wet and smelly. If it’s too tight, it can irritate your skin. Garmin just announced a new Forerunner that does away with all that nastiness. The Forerunner 225 GPS Running Watch can measure your heart rate at your wrist.
Using Mio Heart Rate Technology, the Forerunner 225 displays your heart rate and beats in real time. The watch also includes a built-in accelerometer, which captures distance and pace when you’re running on a treadmill or an indoor track.
You can wear the new Forerunner all day long. It captures steps and calories burned, and it can even remind you when you’ve been sitting for more than an hour. Battery life ranges from 4 weeks in watch mode to 10 hours in GPS mode with an optional heart rate monitor.
Like most Garmin fitness devices, the Forerunner 225 can upload data to Garmin Connect, Garmin’s online community. The watch also offers live tracking and social media sharing through the Garmin Connect Mobile app.
The Garmin Forerunner 225 is available for preorder for $299.99. It is scheduled to ship in the second quarter of 2015. You find more details on the Garmin website.
It appears as though the endless East-coast Winter may have finally given way to Spring. With the warmer weather, refrigerators will soon be packed with fresh fruit from local farmer’s markets, co-ops, and grocery stores. However, even in the refrigerator, these fruits are prone to begin to spoil in just a few days. In the height of summer, I’m never able to make it to a full week without seeing signs of mold. BerryBreeze is a device that claims to extend the life of these perishables by 2-3x longer than normal. With those promise, how could one possibly say no? [click to continue…]
Speck’s new Candyshell Fit for the Apple Watch is based on the dual-layer construction of their Candyshell line of cases for other devices; the hard polycarbonate outer case protects against impact and a TPU inner layer absorbs shocks. The Fit will cover and protect your Watch, whether you are working out or just going about your day. It snaps easily on or off your Watch, and it has a raised bezel that surrounds and protects the edges of the Watch’s screen. The Candyshell Fit was designed to complement the colors of the Sport bands, but you can use the Fit on the Watch, Watch Sport, or even Watch Edition models. It will be sized to fit either the 38mm or the 42mm Watch.
The Candyshell Fit will be available for $29.95 later this month. Sign up at Speck to be notified of availability.
Marshall Headphones has produced some home speakers in the past, but their newly announced Kilburn is their first portable speaker. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Marshall without that iconic Marshall amp style, grid, and classic logo. It connects via Bluetooth v4.0 + EDR or a audio cable. It has a 4″ woofer and 2 0.75″ tweeters inside. The active stereo loudspeaker system with Bass Reflex system has a class D amplifier (2X 5W and 1X 15W) and a frequency range of 62 – 20,000Hz. Cross over frequency is 4200Hz. The speaker has a rechargeable battery inside that’s good for up to 20 hours (at 50% volume level) of music between charges. Marshall Headphones says: “Setting the bar as one of the loudest speakers in its class, the Kilburn is a compact stout-hearted hero with a well-balanced audio which boasts a clear midrange and extended highs for a sound that is both articulate and pronounced. The analogue knobs allow you to fine tune the controls to your personal preferences while the guitar-influenced leather strap enables easy and stylish travel.”
The Kilburn will be available in black or cream for $300 USD starting in June 2015. Read the Marshall Headphone’s press release for more details.
Yesterday was my first day testing a phone on T-Mobile’s network. I was very encouraged with the speedtest.net results at my house and even in my basement. Considering that I live in the middle of 12 wooded acres with no DSL, cable, etc., it’s surprising that they have LTE in my immediate area. But I just happen to live less than one mile from a cell tower which has Verizon equipment on it and I’m guessing it now has T-Mobile equipment on it as well. So last night I checked the box for acceptable home coverage and looked forward to test number two: coverage on my drive into work. [click to continue…]
In 2013 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) overturned a longstanding ban on using electronic devices during takeoff and landing. While the rest of us were thrilled, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) was less than pleased. In 2014 they filed a lawsuit arguing that the FAA overstepped its authority. The AFA argued that passengers are too busy playing with their electronics to pay attention to pre-flight safety warnings. Additionally, they stated that electronic devices could become dangerous projectiles if a flight experiences turbulence. The FAA countered, stating electronic devices are no more harmful than books, which have always been permitted for use during takeoff and landing.
On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. ruled against the AFA and dismissed the lawsuit. Ultimately, the court determined the FAA did not overstep its authority:
The guidance offered in Notice N8900.240 reflects nothing more than a statement of agency policy or an interpretive rule. The Notice is therefore unreviewable. The Notice does not impose any obligation or prohibition on regulated entities.
The court also took note of the following:
It is uncontested by the parties that airlines do not force passengers to stow small items like keys, smartphones, or books in approved carry-on baggage locations like overhead bins or under the seat. Instead, passengers are generally allowed to hold such items in hand, on their laps, or in clothes pockets.
Just remember, even though you’re free to play Candy Crush or watch Game of Thrones throughout your flight, you’re still prohibited from making calls or sending texts. If you want to read the entire decision, you can find it here.
I’ve been searching for ways to attach my phone and tablet to the dash of my car. Up until now, the options have been either destructive to the dash or I had to use a device that extended from the windshield. Neither of these were satisfying, so the MagicMount from Scosche seemed to be a perfect solution. Let me be upfront about this, I was skeptical that the mount would not fall off the dash, but I gave the MagicMount a try anyway. [click to continue…]
The Flexson VinylPlay Digital Turntable has been selected by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Design Store to appear in its NYCxDesign 2015 London Tech City collection, celebrating the best and brightest in British technology. Flexson designed the VinylPlay turntable to “bridge the gap between complex, audiophile turntables and poor-quality digital decks”, and it is designed to stream music through the SONOS system for music in every room. The VinylPlay has an “analog-to-digital converter and phono amp that make it simple to connect to a modern streaming system, and it also works with conventional hi-fi and AV systems.” You can also use the VinylPlay to help you digitally archive your vinyl collection. The VinylPlay Digital Turntable is available for $500 ($450 for members) at the MoMA Store.
The Saat Stand charging stands for Apple Watch are available in your choice of aluminum, wood, or Plexiglass. They can accommodate Watches with the loop bands as well as bands that can open. The charging cable is corralled in a channel in the charging stand, and the magnetic charger is held in the top; a high-friction rubber pad on the bottom stabilizes the stand and protects your furniture. When you order a stand, you’ll need to specify which Watch you have (Watch, Sport, or Edition) and the size (38mm or 42mm). All stands are available for pre-order at special pricing that continues through May 31; shipping from Turkey will begin in the last half of May. The pre-order price for the Plexiglass stand is $29.99; the wood stand is $39.99. The aluminum stand is also $39.99, and it is available in aluminum finish or anodized blue, black, space gray, white, or pink. Learn more and place your pre-order for the Saat Stand at the watchstand store on Etsy.
Yesterday I posted about my discovery that T-mobile coverage in my area actually exists now. I was excited to give them a try so I signed up for their free Test Drive plan on Friday and received an iPhone 5s this afternoon. I get to use the phone for seven days before returning it to a T-mobile store. The whole idea of the Test Drive plan is to test the phone in the areas I normally frequent to see if their advertised coverage area really matches what is shown on their website. [click to continue…]
The HP Sprout is an all-in-one desktop computer with the power to set your mind and hands free to design. The Sprout runs Windows 8.1 on a machine with a 4th generation Intel® Core™ i7-4790S processor, 8 GB DDR3-1600 memory (expandable to 16 GB), NVIDIA™ GeForce GT 745A graphics with 2GB DDR3 dedicated memory, and a 1TB SATA solid state hybrid drive with 8GB flash acceleration cache that offers SSD-like speed and HDD capacity – all these are components necessary for a powerful designer’s tool. The Sprout comes with a wireless keyboard and optical mouse for data input, but you don’t create and refine a design with a keyboard. You need to draw, you need to use your hands to design, and you need a combination of 3D models and digital representations of those models as you work. You often also need the ability to work with others as you create the design and take it from concept to reality. [click to continue…]
Steven Elliot is at it again with a crowdfunded Kickstarter campaign for his newest wallet design, the Dash 4.0. It retains the quick-access thumb slot for a frequently-used card and the coated, synthetic Saffiano “leather” front from previous versions. It also builds on the previous three Dash wallets with several improvements including a flexible 4-way stretch elastic back for expansion and a cash through-pocket. Intended as a slim, minimalist wallet, it fits back pockets, front pockets, shirt pockets or just about anywhere and appears to be available in at least black and blue colors. Although rewards started at $12, the $13 level is still available as of this writing. Visit the Dash 4.0 Kickstarter campaign page for more info and note that the campaign ends July 3, 2015.
If you have been reading my posts on The Gadgeteer you probably already know that I have increased the amount of travel I do, if you haven’t, I have increased the amount of travel I do. The reason I mention this is because I have previously reviewed iPhone 5 cases that either had built into them or made attachable backup/emergency batteries. The two mainstays we use have been the Dog&Bone BackBone case and the Jackery Leaf, but with progress and since we have decided to go to the iPhone 6, I needed to get a new backup/emergency battery case. EasyAcc offered the EasyACC MFi 3200mAh case for review just in time for my new purchase.
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The weather is getting warmer and summer is just around the corner. Across the country BBQ enthusiasts are dusting off their grills and wondering the same thing, “Is there any propane left in the tank?” Wonder no more with The Smart GasWatch.
The Smart GasWatch is a propane tank scale that uses Bluetooth to communicate with your smartphone. It measures the weight of the tank to determine how much propane you have left. The Smart GasWatch also provides an estimate of how much cooking time you have until the tank is empty. Additionally, The Smart GasWatch will alert you when you’re at 10% capacity so you’ll never worry about running out of gas mid-BBQ again.
The Smart GasWatch is an IndieGoGo project that will be available on both Android and iOS. Those interested can back the project here for $35. Shipping time is estimated for September of this year if the project is successful.
Nothing disturbs a relaxing nap in the hammock under the shade tree like a swarm of mosquitos or other biting insects. The Mosquito Thwarting Hammock keeps the pests at bay because it’s covered by a 4-sided canopy made of super-fine nylon netting; it unzips on two sides for easy entry. The roof of 180g polyester provides shade, even if you don’t have a shade tree, and even repels light rain. The hammock is 72″ X 32.5″ and comes with a pillow. The rigid metal frame is made of powder-coated steel tubing and supports 225 pounds. The Mosquito Thwarting Hammock is $349.95 at Hammacher Schlemmer.
I was complaining to Dave Rees last Friday about my flaky LG G3 and telling him that I was torn between upgrading now to a Samsung Galaxy S6 or waiting to see what the LG G4 might be like. An upcoming vacation had me thinking about upgrading sooner rather than later in order to get a better camera. But I told him that the place we’re going to is supposed to have pretty poor coverage because it’s in a forest. He then started talking about the WiFi calling feature that he’s used with T-Mobile, which got us talking about their latest family plan deal that is $100 for two lines of unlimited data. That would be a savings over what I pay now with Verizon. But I told him that we don’t have T-Mobile coverage in Columbus, IN or even a T-Mobile store for that matter. Just for kicks, while we were chatting, I pulled up T-Mobile’s site and clicked on their coverage map. I typed in my home address and almost fainted when it showed as having full 4G LTE coverage. When the heck did that happen? I was completely shocked and told Dave who told me to go sign up for their Test Drive, which I immediately did. Dave wrote about his experiences last year when he made the switch. Now I’m checking into it. [click to continue…]
Last month I published a news post making fun of a special wireless charging receiver for PMA style wireless chargers. I didn’t see the point of such a device which seemed to offer no benefits over a regular USB cable because the adapter was so bulky and clunky. Then today Brando sent me news about a similar product that he’s offering on his site for smartphones with micro USB and lightening connectors. These adapters work with Qi charging pads instead of PMA (Powermat) chargers. I’d be more likely to buy and use these adapters from Brando because they are smaller and half the price of the other ones. These adapters are only designed to work with smartphones though, which is a little disappointing because I’d love to use one to charge my tablets like my iPad mini, Samsung Tab and Nexus 7. One of these small adapters would be neater and more tidy than a tangled cable. You can find these adapters for $25 each at Brando.com
I love trying out the latest in heart rate monitors, especially those that do not require straps. I currently use a Polar M400 (which Dave Rees reviewed in February of this year) with the Polar H7 Bluetooth heart sensor chest strap and they work really well, but it would be nice not to have to use the chest strap because they slip from position if not tucked under a sport bra or can even chafe. I tried the Spree Fitness Monitor last year, which is a heart rate sensor that you wear around your forehead, without much success. The Mio Alpha 2 Heart Rate Sports Watch is another heart rate sensor that does not require a chest strap, but will it be able to detect an accurate heart rate during a high impact workout?
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The gavel comes down against the NSA: On Thursday of this week, The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, ruled that the National Security Agency’s (NSA) hotly debated policy of collecting bulk data from American citizens’ telephone conversations, was unconstitutional. This ruling in ACLU, et al. v. James Clapper, et al., is a blow to the U.S. Government’s interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allowed for this practice. The Appeals Court here overturned the lower Court’s ruling that the collection of this metadata, precluded judicial review and was not a violation of the Fourth and First Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Court here expressly ruled that Section 215 of the Patriot Act is not beyond judicial review and that the collection of this metadata, was not constitutional.
What does this mean for the Patriot Act, which comes up for re-authorization on June 1, 2015? Besides the political ramifications that the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R. Ky), is firmly against any change in the law, this could be the beginning of a crack in the armor of what lengths the government can go to in order to protect “national security,” while preserving and protecting American citizens’ civil rights. Let us hope that our government gets the message soon that just because the technology is there, it does not mean that it is right to use.
Many of the commenters on my Keurig 2.0 Model K550 Coffee Brewing System review, and those at Amazon and other online retailers, said they were through with Keurig machines if they were restricted to using only official Keurig coffee pods. Reasons varied from the higher prices charged for the Keurig-branded pods, to concern for the amount of non-recyclable waste generated by the pods, to a simple desire to use the brand and roast of coffee they prefer. These weren’t idle threats, either, because The Washington Post reported: “Worse for Keurig, as executives acknowledged Wednesday during its quarterly earnings briefing, sales of Keurig machines tanked and they began to accumulate on the shelves across the country. Sales of brewers and accessories declined by 23 percent, the company reported. Its stock price fell 10 percent in after hours trading.”
Brian Kelley, the company’s CEO, has announced that they have realized their mistake, and he said the company will reintroduce a reusable My K-Cup that can be used with the version 2.0 machines. Customers will again be able to use their own coffees in the 2.0 machines using the reusable pod. I wonder if Keurig will completely drop their attempt at restricting the use of non-licensed, disposable pods in the next version of their machines? Sounds like that might be a good idea to consider, anyway.
Source: The Washington Post