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Whiz BANG! Gadgets That May Just Change Everything

Whiz BANG! Gadgets That May Just Change Everything

There is something that I realized earlier today, and I have to admit, this should have come to me earlier: it’s 2013.

Yes, it’s well into September, I know. I need to “get with it.”

Let me explain. I haven’t always been the most reasonable person. I don’t mean irrational, by any stretch. I mostly mean that I have a funny way of going about things, and that my way sometimes may not make the most sense, especially when you consider that it’s 2013. For example, two weeks ago, I was looking for a book, and instead of sitting still, and calling the bookstores in my area, I got on my bike and rode to each one in turn, only to find that the book was out of print, from 5 different booksellers. Why didn’t I just order it online, or at least call the bookstores before I went riding all over creation to find something that it turns out doesn’t even exist?

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I couldn’t give you an answer, though I wish I could. And odds are, I’m not going to start doing things differently. Somewhere down inside, I like running around, searching and hunting for things. But the little book episode made me wonder what clever little gadgets I could find that would make my life easier, and maybe even give me some more time to run around town looking for stuff. So here’s a list, just for you, of time and trouble saving gadgets that will hopefully make your life a bit easier.

MiLi Power Spring

MiLi-Power-Spring-4-2000mah1

    Next time you’re waiting in line at the movie theatre, or stopped at a red light, take a look around. What’s the first thing that you notice? Wait, let me guess, people staring at their phones, right? In all fairness, I can’t judge, being one of these phone-starers myself. And like most others who are glued to their smart phones, it’s an iPhone in my hand. There’s little doubt that iPhones are the most popular smart phones on the market right now, at least for the time being, and if there’s one thing most iPhone users have in common, it’s that they always carry a charger with them. Why? Because despite the brilliant design and functionality of the iPhone, the charge just doesn’t last, not if you use it all the time. Luckily, MiLi has the answer with their Power Spring 4/4s. It basically an iPhone case with a built in battery that adds 7.5 hours of life to your phone. You don’t really need me to list the advantages, do you?

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    Gunnar Computer Eyewear

    Gunnar Computer Eyewear

      How many of you out there spend all day in front of your computer screens? I’m going to guess quite a few. As we all know, starting at a back-lit screen for hours on end is anything but good for your vision. And I have to admit, when you’re in the middle of a days work, odds are you aren’t following the 20-20-20 rule (Google it, it’s really good advice). So for those of you who can’t tear your eyes away from the screen, Gunner Computer Eyewear has invented a pair of lenses that protect your eyes against Computer Vision Syndrome and helps fight the fatigue that comes with gluing your eyes to your monitor.

      HAPIFork

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      hapifork

        File this one under wacky, and possibly useful. The HAPIFork has sensors on either side, and tracks your bites by monitoring how often you lift your fork from the plate. If you are eating too quickly, the fork lights up and starts buzzing. Expect shorter meals and slimmer waistlines.

        Parrot Flower Power

        parrot flower power

          A house plant can brighten up any room, whether it’s in your office or your house. And while not everyone was born with a green thumb, keeping your plants alive may no longer be a problem thanks to Parrot’s Flower Power. This Bluetooth-enabled device is shaped kind of like a twig and goes right into your potted plant’s soil. It then sends information straight to your smartphone so that you know if your plant is getting enough sunlight, water, and fertilizer. It even  measures pH levels. Mother Earth will be so proud!

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          HzO WaterBlock

          HzO WaterBlock

            I had to debate a bit before I added this one, since it isn’t technically available for purchase yet, but then idea is so cool that I just had to find a place for it. At the Consumer Electronics Show this year, HzO showcased a nano-material that actually waterproofs electronics from the inside out. That means that you can completely submerge your phone or tablet in water without doing any harm. Unfortunately, HzO is only going to deal with manufacturers for the time being, so there won’t be any trips to Target so buy some “iPhone waterproofing goop,” but a boy can dream, can’t he?

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            8 Replacements for Google Notebook

            8 Replacements for Google Notebook

            Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

            1. Zoho Notebook
              If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
            2. Evernote
              The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
            3. Net Notes
              If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
            4. i-Lighter
              You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
            5. Clipmarks
              For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
            6. UberNote
              If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
            7. iLeonardo
              iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
            8. Zotero
              Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

            I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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            In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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