July 5, 2011 |
We have woven ourselves into a ubiquitous braid of tiny musics. Sweet, grating, deafening; ringtones, beeps, startup and shutdown jingles, notes of welcome, questioning, and warning. We have remade our sonic universe to reflect all the things we want our gadgets and tools to do for us. Sound is our ongoing conversation with all these aids. A Hamilton Beach microwave oven beeps a C when you hit a button, when a cooking task is done, or when it wants your attention for some other thing.
June 29, 2011
THE GIZMO: The consumer electronics industry turned New York City into a tech wonderland of product showcases and seminars recently. And they called it CE Week. SPECTRUM GRAB: In his keynote speech, Consumer Electronics Association president/CEO Gary Shapiro called for Americans to sign a "Declaration of Innovation," supporting policies that promote creative and economic growth for U.S. tech concerns. Tops on the agenda - Senate passage of the Spectrum Act (S-911)
June 22, 2011
THE GIZMO: Having fun now that summer's officially here? Gizmo Guy hopes to get you in the mood with good-to-go gadgets for your outdoor entertainment, recreational and dining pleasure. TV IN MOTION: Much improved over earlier battery-operated models, the 3.5-inch, color-screened RCA DMT336R Pocket Digital TV pulled in most locally broadcast channels in my reception-challenged neighborhood with crystal-clear images and sound (with connected headphones). A nonglare screen allows for outdoor viewing in indirect sunlight.
May 25, 2011
THE GIZMO: New cleaning accoutrements for your four-legged friend. FUR'S FLYING : All we have to do is look at our furry cat friend Rufus, and he starts to shed. Now with the arrival of warmer weather, the boy's really gone into overdrive. But lately, I haven't minded. Rufus has given me good material (literally) to try out a trio of new pet-friendly cleaning gizmos. SCOTCH BRIGHT : I'd heard mixed reports about 3M's previously available cleaning system for extracting animal hair from upholstery.
May 4, 2011
THE GIZMO: Funny how we think about giving gizmos seasonally - in February for lovers, in May for moms, in June for dads and grads. Lots of companies pitch products with just such a hook. But the truth is, a smart gadget is always welcome. Herewith, some options that are good for Mom but not just for moms. BABE MAGNET: We're hearing buzz about digital cameras going "bye-bye" (the newly discontinued Flip camcorder line being a sore case in point) because people are content taking digital stills and video with mobile phones.
April 27, 2011
THE GIZMO: How'd you celebrate the Earth this month? We've been checking out new products that use precious resources more responsibly, saving our planet one gizmo at a time. IT'S A GAS (HYBRID): Love the petrol-sipping charms of the Toyota Prius hybrid, though not its relatively compact proportions? Maybe you'll be won over by the Prius V, now making the rounds of car shows and coming to dealers late summer. That's if Toyota can get its earthquake-shaken Japanese parts suppliers and assembly lines running at peak volume again.
December 28, 2010
IF YOUR FAMILY is anything like mine, they could be found the day after Christmas working their thumbs. That is, they probably spent the day hunched over a five-inch screen on the latest electronic game or gadget in their collection of virtual realities. I almost sat on my youngest granddaughter, who was on the sofa curled up under a blanket. She was blotting out the light around her to create a sharper contrast for her digital screen. Fortunately, her parents insist that she spend an hour or so reading every day. So she keeps her e-reader just outside the blanket in case her mother or father get medieval on her and enforce their reading rule.
December 22, 2010
THE GIZMO: Stocking stuffers for gadget lovers. YES, MARTHA: There's still time to find a smart something to please the gadget geek on your shopping list. OPEN ME FIRST: Need motivation for tree-trimming and present-wrapping? One of Sony's "Yule Log DVD" videodiscs , featuring a burning fireplace visual scored with a classic holiday album, could do the trick. Hit play with "Elvis' Christmas Album," Barry Manilow's "A Christmas Gift of Love," the rocking REO Speedwagon "Not So Silent Night" or the classic Phil Spector "A Christmas Gift For You" featuring Darlene Love and the Ronettes.
October 17, 2010
Nowadays, it's easy to become too dependent on wireless communication gadgets. Apostcardaday.blogspot.com reminds us of times when life was simpler. What's hot: Readers get to view a postcard each day from a different part of the world from the collections of Sheila Milne, of Dover, England, and her father. Some listings add notes about the card's significance or a quotation from its back. Scroll down the right side of the home page to find an archive by destination or topic, or click on the interactive map to see recent postcards by geography.
September 23, 2010
College kickoff Make your kitchen football-friendly with a flexible cutting board that has your team's insignia. These are 12-by-15 inches, have a nonslip coating, and come with 80 different college emblems. An extra-point Oreo Themed snacks and gadgets for eating-while-watching-football have gotten ridiculous. A pigskin-shaped grill? A helmet as a chip-and-dip tray? But we'll give these Oreos a pass.