Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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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