The Gadgets Page

August 31, 2015

Your Facebook Status Sounds Stupid When You Read It Out Loud

Filed under: Social Media — Laura Moncur @ 9:04 am

One of the more annoying thing about social media are the posts like these ones:

This video reminds me of a Studio C video: Facebook Friends Song

I find when these videos hit a nerve for me, that the problem is ME. I’m spending too much time reading Facebook or Twitter. I’m spending too much time looking at pins on Pinterest. It’s not my friends’ fault that I am bothered by their posts, it’s MY fault for reading too much. Oh yeah, and I’m jealous, too.

Finding things for myself to do that are post-worthy helps both of those problems. When I do things that are worthwhile, I feel less jealous of my friends who are doing awesome things. I also have less time to get sick of the annoying posts because I’m not on social media as much. When you start feeling like this about your friends on Facebook, take a break and do something awesome instead. It sure has helped me.

Via: Facebook Status in Real Life | POPSUGAR Tech

August 25, 2015

Swatch CEO Is Baffled By The Apple Watch

Filed under: Wearable Tech — Laura Moncur @ 2:55 pm

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek is baffled by the Apple Watch from The Gadgets PageQuote in this article, «Die Alleskönner fressen zu viel Strom» – Wirtschaft – tagesanzeiger.ch, Nick Hayek, the CEO of Swatch is baffled by the Apple Watch. I had to rely on this article for the translation:

It’s quite obvious that he doesn’t quite understand what the Apple Watch does and doesn’t do and overestimates the “burden” of charging one every day.

The Apple watch is an interesting toy, but not a revolution. These devices, which all eat so much power that they last no longer than 24 hours without needing to be plugged in. In addition, the user immediately loses control of their data. I personally don’t want my blood pressure and blood sugar values stored in the cloud, or on servers in Silicon Valley.

The Apple Watch doesn’t track blood pressure or blood sugar on its own. He seems to be confused. He also said that he wouldn’t create a fitness watch.

As a watch producer, I cannot accept the responsibility of whether my device warns a customer in time before a heart attack.

It amazes me that this man thinks he has the ability to talk about a product he obviously knows nothing about. If we want to be honest, let’s about we talk about the latest Swatch collection. Let’s talk about how “useful” their watches might be.

Swatch Miami Peach Flamingos from The Gadgets PageThere is a Swatch that’s black that tells you the time. There’s one that’s blue that tells you the time. There’s one that is red, green and yellow. Wait! Here’s one that’s a little more useful: it’s pink with flamingos and it tells the time. The most complications you will get are date, day of the week, and stopwatch. If you want to talk about an “interesting toy,” all of Swatch’s watches have been demoted to that status, merely because all they do is tell time. When I have SO much connectivity on my wrist, the fact that I have to charge the watch on my nightstand is insignificant.

The thing that bothers me is that Swatch had a head start. They had a head start on easily changeable bands. They had a head start on watches for fashion instead of lifelong timepieces. They even had a head start on the smartwatch category. Instead of advancing and making their products better, they stagnated and abandoned every good idea.

All of this, coming from a HUGE Swatch fan. I have an immense collection of Swatches:

Swatch Touch Zero from The Gadgets PageI have been a fan for almost thirty years and I feel betrayed by them. I WANTED a smart watch from Swatch, but what they gave me is laughable, even if the battery lasts six months.

When I saw that monstrosity, I wanted to swat Nick Hayek on the nose like a dog who has just piddled on the floor. I have been faithful to this company for thirty years and THIS is what they give me?!

It all reminds me of when Steve Ballmer said that Apple had no chance in the smartphone market. Nick Hayek is someone who should know better. He is someone who should have teamed up with Apple TEN years ago. Instead, he is an outsider in his own industry that is changing so quickly that he honestly can’t keep up with it.

August 17, 2015

Coverage? App – So Helpful

Filed under: PDAs and Phones,Software — Laura Moncur @ 9:27 am

My contract is almost up. I have been unhappy with AT&T ever since I was forced to change over to them to get that very first iPhone so long ago. I used to use Sprint and I loved them, so it was hard to accept that changeover. It’s time to make another change and I had no idea which company to go with.

Fortunately, the Coverage? app really helped me decide. Here is a quick video describing how the Coverage? app works.

I have been using Coverage? for years in order to tell whether I would be able to use my phone when I travel, but today I used it to decide what company I should go with.

The MOST important coverage is how it works where I LIVE, so I looked at the map for each of them:

St. George Coverage Maps from The Gadgets Page

Sure, there were a few dead spots in the Sprint and T-Mobile coverage, but Sprint offers virtually unlimited data, so that seemed like a really good option for me. It did until I decided to check some of my favorite vacationing spots, like Quartzsite. That map told a VERY different story.

Quartzsite Coverage Map from The Gadgets Page

Sprint and T-Mobile were useless in Quartzsite, so our annual trek with the camper would have me go completely dark every year. That wasn’t good. Then, I tried the holy grail of phone coverage: Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. For years, we have wanted to camp there, but have avoided it because we had no phone coverage. When I checked the map today, I was shocked to see that Verizon had the entire park covered! AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are no where to be found in Valley of Fire State park.

Valley of Fire Coverage Mapfrom The Gadgets Page

It’s amazing how quickly all my opinions can change just based on a few snapshots. I hadn’t even considered Verizon when I was thinking of switching, but now it is the only one I’m interested in. Coverage? has helped me numerous times when we have planned our camping trips. It’s why I reviewed it on Starling Travel instead of here:

This is the first time I’ve used the app to help me decide which company to choose. I am additionally grateful for Coverage? for helping me all these years.

August 10, 2015

The Pendulum Collection for Apple Watch

Filed under: Wearable Tech — Laura Moncur @ 9:08 am

I have always worn a watch since I was about six years old, but for those who want the functionality of the Apple Watch without wearing it on their wrist, these Kickstarters are looking to make your Apple Watch a necklace or pocket watch.

Here is a video of it in action.

I think they are beautifully designed.

The Pendulum Collection for Apple Watch from The Gadgets Page

The pocket watch design looks good, too.

The Pendulum Collection for Apple Watch from The Gadgets Page

Because the band on the Apple Watch is so easily changed, it makes this an accessory you could use for special events when you want to look more elegant.

The Pendulum Collection for Apple Watch from The Gadgets Page

These start at $100 for the first few investors and the prices go up from there. Personally, I LOVE the look of the Apple Watch, so I have no desire to hide it. Additionally, I have become so dependent upon the silent alarms tapping on my wrist that I would be fearful of not feeling the alarm if I wore it as a necklace.

If you are looking to make your Apple Watch prettier, however, this looks like an interesting option.

Via: Apple Watch Necklace | POPSUGAR Tech

August 6, 2015

Epson EcoTank – FINALLY A Printer That Makes Sense!!

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 8:10 am

Epson has finally created a printer that makes sense!

Epson Ecotank All In One Printer from The Gadgets Page

It’s a printer that you can just refill the ink by putting in ink, not buying an expensive and plastic loaded cartridge! At $399, the printer is more expensive than a similar printer that wants to charge you tons of money for cartridges. Honestly, I would rather pay $400 for a printer that prints for a year without needing refills. I’d rather pay $400 for a printer where I can visually SEE whether it’s low on ink or not.

Here is a commercial showing how it works:

All of my biggest complaints about printers was just erased with one idea! Thank you, Epson!!

Via: Epson’s new printers ease refill woes with ink tanks

August 3, 2015

hitchBOT: A Hitch-hiking Robot Who Died Before I Ever Heard About It

Filed under: Robots — Laura Moncur @ 11:47 am

I love robots, so the idea of a hitch-hiking robot that makes it way across the continent, sharing its photos and location sounds amazing to me. That’s what hitchBOT was:

hitchBOT Farewell

It got all the way across Canada with no mishaps, but in Philedelphia, it came to a brutal end. It was found by AndreaWBZ:

hitchBOT Vandalism

Here is the message from hitchBOT and his team at Ryerson University:

Oh dear, my body was damaged, but I live on back home and with all my friends. I guess sometimes bad things happen to good robots! My trip must come to an end for now, but my love for humans will never fade. Thank you to all my friends.

A message from the family:

hitchBOT’s trip came to an end last night in Philadelphia after having spent a little over two weeks hitchhiking and visiting sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City. Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia; sometimes bad things happen to good robots. We know that many of hitchBOT’s fans will be disappointed, but we want them to be assured that this great experiment is not over.

I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!!

July 29, 2015

The BASICS Notebook Kickstarter: Back To Paper?!

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

The BASICS Notebook from The Gadgets PageI saw this Kickstarter and it really appealed to me. It’s a paper planner.

About three years ago, I went back to paper for my to-do lists. I still have my scheduler in my iPhone because that works much better than paper because it can sound an alarm to remind me. To-do lists, however, are woefully inadequate on the iPhone. I have yet to find a to-do list program that worked as good as Ecco Pro for the Palm did for me in the Nineties.

The BASICS notebook looks good, but it’s not what I need. It’s an undated date book with not enough room for to-do lists and journaling. For years now, I’ve been printing up my own journal pages on paper using Excel. That is what the loss of Ecco Pro did to me. It sent me back to paper; both for journaling and to-do lists.

I have recurring to-do items that I do every day to keep myself from going insane. While those things might work for me, they might not work for you, but unlike the BASICS people, I’m willing to share mine with you for free.

These pages print up on normal 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper. You set the date on the first day of the “Front” and the rest of the days will update for the month. Then you print the Front, put it into your printer and print the Back. Cut them in half and you have a month’s worth of journal and to-do lists. Change them however you want they are yours to play with.

Journal and To-Do Pages to Download from The Gadgets Page

You can make them pretty like I did by adding a picture and reducing the opacity to about 35%. You can trim the edges and use a six-hole punch and they will fit in that old Franklin Planner from the Nineties. Go back to paper? Yes. Until they create a to-do list for the iPhone that actually WORKS, I am stuck with paper.

July 27, 2015

Saved by Selfie Stick

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

This video just made me cry. I have a huge fear of being pulled in by the undertow because it happened to me when I was a little kid in a lake up in Wisconsin. This girl, was filming herself and her family when the riptide hit. Fast forward to the 2:13 mark to watch it.

At the 2:25 mark, when her panicked voice said, “I can’t,” I felt that terror of being pulled under the water again. Her father grabbed her by the selfie stick and got her away from the riptide. Fortunately, the life guards swooped in and saved all three of them. You can see the point when the life guard got to her because she let go of the stick and it just swung by the lanyard.

The next time I feel that self-righteous rage at someone filming themselves with a selfie stick, I will remember this and relive the horror of being pulled under the water, knowing that one time, a selfie stick saved someone’s life.

Via: Girl Caught in Riptide Saved by Selfie Stick – POPSUGAR Tech

July 24, 2015

The Spacelander Bike

Filed under: Cars & Transportation — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

A post from Juliet Peck Moore on Facebook introduced me to the coolest bike I’ve seen in a long time. It’s called the Spacelander and it was designed in the Sixties by Benjamin Bowden.

Spacelander Bicycle from The Gadgets Page

In the early or mid 1950s, Bowden moved to Michigan, in the United States. While in Muskegon, Michigan in 1959, he met with Joe Kaskie, of the George Morrell Corporation, a custom molding company. Kaskie suggested molding the bicycle in fibreglass instead of aluminium. Although he retained the futuristic appearance of the Classic, Bowden abandoned the hub dynamo, and replaced the drive-train with a more common sprocket-chain assembly. The new name, Spacelander, was chosen to capitalize on interest in the Space Race.

Spacelander Bicycle and Benjamin Bowden from The Gadgets Page

Financial troubles from the distributor forced Bowden to rush development of the Spacelander, which was released in 1960 in five colours: Charcoal Black, Cliffs of Dover White, Meadow Green, Outer Space Blue, and Stop Sign Red. The bicycle was priced at $89.50, which made it one of the more expensive bicycles on the market. In addition, the fibreglass frame was relatively fragile, and its unusual nature made it difficult to market to established bicycle distributors. Only 544 Spacelander bicycles were shipped before production was halted, although more complete sets of parts were manufactured.

Spacelander Bicycle from The Gadgets Page

There is some hope for being able to own one yourself, though.

Beginning in the 1980s, there was a resurgence of interest in the Spacelander as a collectors item. Two bicycle enthusiasts, John Howland and Michael Kaplan, purchased the rights to the Spacelander name from Bowden, and have manufactured a small number of reproductions and replacement parts. The first reproduction was sold in 1988 for $4,000. The reproduction’s design has been modified to improve durability.

Spacelander Bicycle from The Gadgets Page

I found a couple on eBay, but they are priced way too high for something I’d be willing to ride around town. They are so gorgeous, though.

Spacelander Bicycle from The Gadgets Page

I feel so sad that awesome designs like this disappear and are unavailable. I am happy with my Schwinn cruiser that I bought at Kmart for $125, but I can’t believe that we don’t have awesome bikes like this on the road and in stores today.

Images via:

July 21, 2015

The Henn-na Hotel: A Robot Staffed Hotel in Japan

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets,Robots — Laura Moncur @ 9:10 am

I love robots, so the idea of a hotel staffed by robots sounds like ten kinds of awesome.

Robot Staffed Hotel in Japan from The Gadgets Page

And then I remember what kind of robots we’re talking about. These are like Disneyland Robots who give automated speeches. They don’t look at me, recognize the RFID tag on my hotel key and say, “Hello, Laura! How are you today?” They tell me where to go if I want to find the swimming pool.

The Luxor hotel had this back in 1993.

These camels bragged about the hotel and all the fun things to do there. I’m sure the dinosaur and woman in the pill box hat do the same thing. At least Henn-na has robots deliver food to you.

Of course, they keep getting stopped for photo ops, so I think I’d just prefer to get my food myself.

In the end, I think robots are cool and every step toward their development is a step in the right direction. I just wish I was to that House of the Future time when the robots were actually helpful and interactive.

Via: Meet the faces of Japan’s first robot-staffed hotel

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