Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Great gear for guys
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Great gear for guys

Robert Downes - September 1st, 2008
The advancement of tech gear is whooshing along faster than a Mercedes in the left hand lane of the Autobahn. And given the innovations of the past several years, it’s more affordable than ever, too; things like miniature videogame systems, USB storage sticks, portable MP3 players, cell phones that can handle phone calls and text messages, plus video and miniature applications of all kinds. All of these high-tech gadgets were unattainable except for the wealthy folks a mere 10 years ago - but now they can all be snagged for around $100 or under. But what are the newest must-haves, especially for guys, in 2008? We’ve uncovered a selection from $99 on up that you just might find tugging at both your wallet and your gearhead sensibilities.


FRONTGATE 35MM-TO-DIGITAL FILM CONVERTER
Chances are you’ve already got a digital camera - but that doesn’t mean SLRs are defunct. But you’ve got to admit that cataloguing your images on computer is a lot easier than keeping track of boxes and boxes of bulky prints and negatives; what isn’t easier is getting those photos into the computer. That’s where Frontgate comes in. Its easy-to-use scanner automatically aligns each slide and negative, adjusting to the right focus and exposure and copying clear, sharp digital images of your original film photos right into your XP PC (sorry Mac folks, it’s not compatible with your system yet). And they mean easy - all you need is their included PC software and a USB cable, and all 15 rolls of your Mexican vacation will be precisely transferred before you know it. ($99.99 www.frontgate.com)
LUXEED DYNAMIC PIXEL LED KEYBOARD
There are plenty of illuminated keyboards out there, but none like this. The Luxeed offers up a whopping 430 LEDs, which makes it capable of individually lighting each key in your choice of color, as well as showing off with some pretty snazzy lighting effects. Customizable presets are included, or you can set up a glowing keyboard for your favorite videogame with different colors for different key actions. Create illuminated patterns and designs, or send the whole spectrum careening right across all of the keys. Perhaps the best feature of all is the “Spark Mode” - which makes each key light up only when you press it. Coooool. ($199 www.thinkgeek.com)
EPSON MOVIEMATE 55
Sure, sure, tech guy - your 40 inch widescreen TV is nice - but what if you could have yourself a screen up to eight times larger than that? The MovieMate’s larger-than-life entertainment system combines a built-in progressive-scan DVD/CD player and dual Dolby 5.1 Digital DTS 8W stereo speakers in one compact, 3-chip 3LCD unit - all you need is a (very large) blank wall or screen and an electrical outlet - there are no extraneous cables or other equipment to hook up. With its handle and carrying case, you can take the show on the road, to view movies - and more. That’s right; it will also hook up to your Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3, or XBox 360 for really feeling like you’re running around on that spaceship or urban battlefield. ($699 www.epson.com)

INTELLISCANNER MINI
Don’t worry, it’s not so futuristic that it’ll scan your brain - but it will scan pretty much everything else you’ve got, provided it has a barcode on it. This tiny handheld device is easy to cart around your place, so you can scan DVDs to videogames, comic books to regular books, even your groceries if you like to be uber-organized. Once you get it up to 150 barcodes, take the device back to your computer and download ‘em via USB, where the software you’ll get with the Intelliscanner will help you manage your collections no matter how much you’ve got. In addition, it’ll help you keep track of what you lend out, too, so if your pal Phil borrows your James Bond DVD, you’ll know where it vanished to and can pester him to give it back. And if you really did scan your groceries in, the Intelliscanner can help you manage recipes, and will let you know if you’ve got all the ingredients for that hearty meal you want to make for football night. ($299.99 www.intelliscanner.com)


YAMAHA BODiBEAT
Runners and speed-walkers, take note! The BODiBEAT (note that iTunes-like emphasis on the “i,” although of course Yamaha and Apple are not in cahoots) is for you. It
might merely look like a fancy sports watch, but there are a lot of unexpected things around your wrist with this one - the device contains an accelerometer that’s linked to an earphone-mounted pulse monitor. Tech-speak you say? Perhaps. But what it does is impressive - the BODiBEAT hooks in to the rhythm of your walking/running via the pulse monitor, and plays songs (from your personal uploaded collection) that precisely match your rhythm as you work out; gaps are covered by onboard preloaded loops that remix themselves at every tempo so you’ll (literally) never miss a beat. ($299 www.yamaha.com)


ARCHOS MEDIA TABLETS
Archos is offering up a touchscreen media tablet device that’s chock-full of features, and it’s available in 3 different models: the Archos 5g (30 GB with 3.5 HSDPA data and a 4.8 inch touchscreen), the Archos 5 (60-250GB, 4.8 inch touchscreen) and the Archos 7 (160-320GB, 7 inch touchscreen). But just what do they do? Media, of course - and they do it very well; on-the-go surfing, WiFi, and super-sharp playing of all your media files. The players can also record VGA video through an optional accessory, can work with their own “helmet camcorder” add-on, and all three are also extremely thin (about half an inch), which makes them extra-portable; so browse the internet, watch movies and TV, and download music and media, wherever you are. (Archos 5, $350, Archos 7, $550 www.archos.com).


BUDGET GEAR: UNDER $100
Perhaps you don’t have several hundred to spare - or you’re smartly saving up for one of the above bigger ticket purchases. That doesn’t mean you still can’t have a little gearhead fun. Just try these:
The RoboVacuum ($14.99 www.perpetualkid.com) arrives in three colors (black, red, or white), has futuristic bending pincher arms, and picks up the crumbs or pencil shavings on your desk with a mere push of the top of its mono-sunglassed head.
The awesome Space Invader Alarm Clock ($64 www.slashgear.com) arrives in sleek black, and wakes you up with those familiar neon-green Space Invaders aliens as well as blinking lights and videogame sfx.
The German SensoGlove ($99.00 www.sensoglove.com) injects a little tech into your golf game by providing digital feedback about your golf grip with sensor pads built into each finger, and an LCD display which shows you how to adjust your grip. And one more sporting item for you guys - the HydraCoach Intelligent Water Bottle ($28.95 www.fitfuel.com), which has an integrated LED display so you can check your hydration goal during sports and keep a check on your water intake.
 
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