REVIEW: Griffin SmartDeck Save Lives?

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Date: Monday, November 28th, 2005, 00:34
Category: Review

Griffin SmartDeckHow many people do distracting things like using their iPod while driving? C’mon, you know who you are! How many people still have a cassette player in their car? Enough. How many people don’t have a auxiliary input jack available on their head unit? Most, especially those with a cassette head unit. How many people have serious problems with interference and sound quality using an FM transmitter to get iTunes music to their car stereo? Tons, especially in major urban areas. How many people have US$30 to spend on in-car iPod connectivity?
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Review: EDGE Dock & Multi Flash Card Reader for iPod

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Date: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005, 01:40
Category: Review

ipod-dock-flash-card-reader.jpgEdgeTech’s new Dock & Multi Flash Card Reader for iPod is like a traditional iPod dock with the additional functionality of being a flash memory card reader. If you keep a flash media reader on your desk, the $45 dock provides a nice way to get rid of an extra peripheral and clean up some of the clutter on your desk.
The Dock & Multi Flash Card Reader charges and syncs the iPods, nano, mini and photo. It’s USB powered and has an S-Video output for viewing photos on a TV. The main difference between it and the Apple iPod dock is that it reads most flash memory cards including: xD Picture Card, SD Memory Cards, MultiMedia (MMC) Cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo, SmartMedia Cards, Type I/II CompactFlash Cards, and IBM Microdrive.
Unfortunately it doesn’t act like Apple’s iPod Camera Connector accessory and allow you to transfer images directly from your digital camera’s memory card to an iPod. Maybe in version 2.0.
I was a little disappointed that it won’t sync my iPod with the included standard USB cable (despite the fact that all iPods are now USB only). Instead it requires using Apple’s expensive, proprietary 30-pin “docking cable” (which I’d rather keep in my bag). The standard USB cable is reserved for the card reading functionality only.
All-in-all it’s a good iPod dock for users that also use a lot of media cards and don’t want an extra accessory cluttering up their workspace. However, if you only use a single style of media card or if you usually cable up your camera or use a PC card reader to sync your photos, you’d be better off with Apple’s US$39 Universal Dock.

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REVIEW: Griffin Technology iMic 2 (Updated)

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Date: Friday, November 18th, 2005, 11:03
Category: Review

imic2.jpgI recently got my hands on the iMic 2 from Griffin Technology. In this exclusive review, I’ll take a look at what makes the iMic 2 different from its predecessor, the original iMic.
iMic was the original USB audio adapter that enabled Mac and PC users to add stereo input and output to their USB computers that, otherwise, lacked the necessary hardware support. The iMic was the perfect solution to the “microphone deafness” that plagued all Macs built after 2001. Unfortunately all modern PowerBooks and iBook only have a line input and lack a microphone input. Griffin’s US$40 iMic is the easiest way to add a microphone input to your PowerBook.
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Review: Custom Fit Sleeves From Future Sonics

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Date: Monday, November 14th, 2005, 07:00
Category: Review

future-sonics-customs.jpgI received a pair of SoftWear custom fit sleeves for my Ears Model EM3 earphones from Future Sonics this weekend and they’re outstanding. Wether you’re a music snob or just like a little extra kick in the low-end frequencies coming out of your iPod, you definitely should investigate custom fit sleeves.
The first part of the process is to make an appointment with a certified audiologist in your area to have them make ear impressions (look up Audiologist and your zip code in Google to find one.) Shout out to Certified Audiology in Linwood, NJ that did mine. Impressions cost me US$25 per ear (or US$50) although your mileage may vary. To make them they insert a foam “dam” that is attached to a string deep into each ear. Then they pump a purple silicone substance from something resembling a caulking gun into your ear. While it sets (about a minute) you alternate saying “ahhh” and “eeee” to get the best fit.
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Review: Garmin Quest2 GPS

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Date: Monday, November 14th, 2005, 07:00
Category: Review

garmin-quest2.jpg

Imagine a gadget that’s so supremely cool in its ingenuity and usefulness that your wife dubs it, “damn near as good as TiVo.” In my home that’s quite a revelation. Such was my experience last Saturday night as we drove home from a party at the home of an old friend. A friend who moved some 130 miles away into the deep woods of south-central Pennsylvania. We had never been to their new place, but we were guided all the way there and all the way home by a sultry, British voice I’ve affectionately named Irene. Irene isn’t real. She’s a product of my robust little Garmin Quest2 GPS, and Irene is fast becoming the second most important woman in my life. How did I live without a GPS?

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Review: FS1 Earphones for iPod

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Date: Friday, October 28th, 2005, 10:29
Category: Review

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It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of the earbuds that Apple includes with the iPod, they’re cheap and sound terrible. Some people find the Apple earbuds acceptable and happily use them while others replace them with better (and much more expensive) models. Many rationalize Apple’s decision to include basic earbuds with the iPod as a way to keep costs down

Review: Noreve Case for iPod nano

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Date: Friday, October 28th, 2005, 10:02
Category: Review

noreve-nano-open.jpgOne of the fatal flaws with the iPod nano isn’t its scratchability, it’s the lack of cases that were available at the launch of Apple diminutive music player. Apple is so secretive about new product announcements that they don’t include third parties in on them. As a result, there’s no cases or sleeves available at launch and people get their shiny gizmos scratched to hell. I still haven’t received my “nano tubes” from Apple that I ordered at launch. Well, it looks like I can finally cancel that order.
Noreve is a high-quality case manufacturer from France that has released a nice leather case for the iPod nano that I totally dig. I reviewed one of their iPod cases back in April and liked it, and their nano case didn’t let me down. Noreve’s EUR 32.99 (~US$39.97) iPod nano case is an operate-in type case with a protective flap to cover the screen and clickwheel.
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New PowerBooks! New PowerBooks! Oh and PowerMacs too…

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Date: Wednesday, October 19th, 2005, 21:46
Category: Hardware

Apple used a press event in New York today to announce some new hardware and software. The event was held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on the eve of PhotoPlus Expo, a large photography trade show. The new announcements included new PowerBook G4s, PowerMac G5s and a new professional post production photo application called Aperture. Specifications are as follows:
powerbook-g4-17-oct05.pngPowerBook G4 (15-inch)
- 1.67MHz
- 1440 x 960 pixel display, providing 26 percent more resolution
- DVI output with dual link for Apple 30″ Cinema display support
- 512MB PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM @ 333MHz, expandable to 2GB
- 80GB Ultra ATA/100 (5400 RPM) hard drive w/Sudden Motion Sensor
- 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support
- 22% greater battery life (an extra hour of run time)
- US$1,999 (down from US$2,299)
PowerBook G4 (17-inch)
- 1.67MHz
- 1680 x 1050 pixel display, providing 26 percent more resolution (The same resolution as Apple 20″ Cinema Display.)
- DVI output with dual link for Apple 30″ Cinema display support
- 512MB PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM @ 333MHz, expandable to 2GB
- 120GB Ultra ATA/100 (5400 RPM) hard drive w/Sudden Motion Sensor
- 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support
- 22% greater battery life (an extra hour of run time)
- US$2,499 (down from US$2,699)
The new 15 and 17-inch PowerBooks are available with 100 and 120GB (5400RPM) hard drives and up to 2GB of SDRAM as built-to-order options.
The PowerBook 12-inch (1.5GHz) remains the same but is available with a 100GB/5400RPM hard drive and up to 1.25GB of RAM as built-to-order options. US$1,499 (down from US$1,699). All three PowerBook models had their prices lowered by $200.
Apple also announced new PowerMacs G5s today with dual-core processors. Click through for all the specs…

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The Apple Core: The Mac mini

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Date: Thursday, October 6th, 2005, 12:49
Category: Hardware

It appears that Apple has quietly released an upgrade to the Mac mini – and they’re not fessing up to it. Rather than do it with their usual press release and updated product page Apple’s quietly rolling out the zippier 1.5GHz minis in the 1.42GHz packaging. Read more…

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Sirius Previews s50 Portable Satellite Radio

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Date: Thursday, September 29th, 2005, 13:36
Category: Hardware

Sirius s50 portable satellite receiverThe new Sirius s50 portable satellite radio looks like a very cool little gadget. the Sirius Web site is vague on the details but I’m sure we’ll hear more as the release date approaches. Here’s the quick skinny from their Web site:
- Save up to 50 hours of your favorite programming by simply pressing the (heart shape) button. Or save individual songs and programs, then sort and replay by artist, title or genre.
- Use the Media Dial, or simply turn/tilt your S50 to pause, rewind and fast-forward.
- Bring your own MP3 or WMA library (when docked to PC) via USB cable
- Combine audio files to make customized playlist.
- Game Alerts – Prompts when your favorite teams are playing
- Sports Ticker – Get up to the minute score updates of your favorite teams without changing the channel
- 30 channel presets
- One touch JUMP to access traffic and weather reports for your city or use to tune to your favorite SIRIUS channel
- 6 hours battery life in portable mode

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