Tuesday, December 14, 2010

KING-TV's New Day Northwest w/Margaret Larson: Holiday Gadget Guide - 14 December 2010 (KING-TV)

HP Touchsmart 310 – Perfect new computer for the entire family. Has a built-in TV tuner and HP’s touch software for navigation.

Epson Artisan 835
– Family-friendly wireless printer makes printing activities and brilliant photos fast and easy!

Sodastream home soda maker ($80+) – make soda from your own kitchen using regular tap water!


Logitech Harmony 650 All-In-One Remote control ($75) –Universal remote cleans up the clutter and controls up to five devices for under $100.

Blackberry Torch White ($100 w/service)
– Blackberry’s latest smartphone is now available in winter white! Runs the newest operating system from Blackberry and has a sliding keyboard.

Samsung Galaxy Tab from AT&T ($650)—full-screen web browsing and multimedia on a brilliant 7” display running the Android operating system.


Speck Products Port Pack 10 and Core Pack Fly ($50 each)
–slim profile cases feature protection for electronic devices, netbook, digital readers and cell phones.



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

KING-TV's "New Day Northwest" w/Margaret Larson: TV Tech - 26 October 2010 (KING-TV)

Logitech Harmony programmable remote controls ($50-250)
Dump the multiple remote controls for receivers, televisions, entertainment devices and simplify your life with one easy-to-use Logitech Harmony remote control. Easily programmable on your computer, these marriage-saving gadgets make using the various functions as easy as pressing the cleverly-named “Watch TV” button.

Slingbox ($180-300)
Take your television programming with you anywhere you are! Watch your home TV, live, over the Internet using software on your laptop or smartphone at the office or while on vacation. Imagine letting your kids watch the same television back home in the backseat of the car! Use with the free computer software or pick up a handy Sling Player app for your mobile device.

SlingPlayer Mobile ($30)
Used in conjunction with a standalone Slingbox, or with a compatible satellite receiver from DISH Network, the SlingPlayer Mobile takes your TV viewing experience on-the-go! Android, iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry and more phones are $30 each, a high-definition iPad version is “Coming Soon”.

Google TV / Logitech Revue ($179+)
This companion box to your DISH Networks receiver adds the web into your TV viewing mix. Look up information while watching TV, browse the latest in web videos, run apps designed to enhance your home entertainment experience, or listen to streaming radio—all using your television. It’s been tried before, but Google TV finally gets it right. Look for further convergence of the TV and Internet in the coming year.

DISH Network VIP 922 Slingloaded DVR
Everyone needs a DVR! The ability to pause live TV, record shows when you want, and –dare I say—skip commercials… if you’re not watching TV with a digital video recorder, this one has it all. It comes “Slingloaded” so you can watch your TV anywhere using the Slingplayer software on your computer or smartphone, but also has dual-tuner capability and the largest built-in hard drive available!

Apple TV ($99)
Forget trips to the video store—Apple TV brings HD movies and TV shows to your television via. the Internet. Watch Netflix, stream video clips from your local network, and “rent” movies and commercial-free TV shows for under a dollar an episode. This super-slick and tiny second-generation Apple TV requires an HDMI port on your television and connect via. WiFi or Ethernet cable to your network.

Westinghouse 32" TV ($350)
Great content requires a great television! The Westinghouse LED TVs have a brilliant display, energy-efficient LED technology (as opposed to LCD), and won’t bust the bank. When looking for a television, look for features such as number of inputs, consumer reviews, and manufacturer warranty.

Any tips for others on how YOU watch TV? What devices are an essential part of your home entertainment system?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Video: Parallels Mobile-- Windows apps on your iPad?

A friend of mine created and passed along this video... (apparently it was 'last night from a hotel room-- whatever dude, it looks great). I'm a VMWare Fusion user myself, but I gotta say-- this video makes the Parallels argument pretty compelling. I'll give it a whirl, but in the meantime, watch:

Looks like the guys over at Parallels found a way to separate themselves from the competition. Seems an easy way to run Windows apps on a Mac you're away from. Sure, sure, there are inherent limits-- but for many this is a brilliant solution. Get it at iTunes store for iPhone and iPad.

Let me know what you think?

Friday, August 6, 2010

KXL: Back-To-School Tech Guide 2010 Edition

In less than a month students will be heading back to class, and with them... the latest tech gadgets.

Let's start with some fun gadgets I've found for this year's back-to-school shopping:

Neverlate 7-day Alarm Clock ($35, ThinkGeek.com)
Set each day's wake-up alarm based on your class schedule. Set the snooze time from 1-30 minutes and up to 7 independent daily alarms. The 5" cube has a battery backup and even has a "nap" timer. Brilliant!

USB Memory Watch ($20-$40, ThinkGeek.com)
It's a watch! It's a USB memory stick! This handy combo-accessory comes in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB versions and is even shock proof and anti-static.

LightWedge Reading Light ($20-$25, ThinkGeek.com)
An ideal accessory for late-night studying, it wedges between the pages and illuminates the entire page. Available in paperpack and textbook sizes, the LightWedge Reading LIght runs on 4 AAA batteries for up to 40 hours of light.

Speaking of reading... what about the e-book readers? A good idea for students or a waste of money?

It all depends on your situation. Think about what titles are available for a specific platform of e-book readers, and consider the pros/cons of lightweight travel vs. not being able to highlight in the books or, potentially, sell used titles back at the end of the semester. Do the math, often the pricing is only slightly cheaper for electronic titles. That said, e-book readers such as the Amazon Kindle have dropped in price dramatically and may be the perfect back-to-school accessory.

Many listeners ask about which computer they should buy. I hear often: netbook vs. notebook... and Mac vs. PC. Here are a pair to consider, one of each (I happen to use both regularly):

HP Mini 210 in Preppy Pink ($300+, Amazon.com)
Ultra-portable netbook from HP slides from class-to-class with lightweight ease. Available in six colors including "preppy pink" he netbook boasts battery life that leaves its bigger brother laptops in the dust. The 93% keyboard takes some getting used to, but the portability will more than make up for it. Not the best bet for those seeking degrees in graphics design, programming, or other technical fields.

Apple Macbook Pro 15" ($1800+, http://www.apple.com/store)
Graphics and creative students may opt for a Mac OS X-based Macbook. Starting at $1000 for the basic Macbook and two hundred bucks more for the Pro series, Apple notebooks are well-designed robust systems. Add Parallels, Fusion or Apple's own bootcamp for full Windows support.

If you have other questions about gadgets and tech for back-to-school, leave them in the comments or email: techexpert AT brianwestbrook DOT com

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Welcome President Obama to #SMCSEA Aug 17?

11 AUG 2010 UPDATE: I wish I could say it was to accomodate POTUS' travel schedule, but really, I can't. Regardless, the 17 August 2010 Social Media Club Seattle event has MOVED! Now at Bell Harbor Conference Center Rooftop. If you didn't get a ticket, let me know... I may be able to hook you up on my guest list. (shh!!)

Earlier this afternoon I read a Seattle Times blurb about an August 17th visit by the Commander In Chief to Seattle. Officially, the article reads, President Obama is planning to speak about the economy and help raise funds for Senator Patty Murray's re-election bid against Dino Rossi.


And whenever a sitting President comes to town, I'm always asked to attend... (uhh, ya... right, no.) See August 17th is also the night of the next Social Media Club Seattle event... So... I did what any resourceful person would do: Iinvited the President of the United States of America to the Seattle Geek Week edition of SMC Seattle's monthly event.

Join the Faecbook Group!!In "it's 2010 and this is how we do things" fashion, I even created a Facebook group. Remember, it worked for getting Betty White to host SNL.

What are the chances the President wants to talk social media with one of the premiere organizations dedicated to the booming industry? Who knows. But it's worth a shot, ehh?

I'm even willing to personally spring for his ticket when they go on-sale next week.

For now, help me spread the word, ehh?

UPDATE: Thanks to TechFlash for giving this effort some attention. Check out their coverage of my campaign to invite President Obama to Social Media Club Seattle's August event, and Seattle Geek Week. Thanks guys!

Friday, June 18, 2010

KGW-TV's "The Square" Live @ 7: Bike Tech - 18June2010 (KGW-TV)

(Originally broadcast on KGW-TV's "The Square Live @ 7" on 18 June 2010)

Gyro Bike kids bike wheel:

12”/16” Kids Gyrowheel ($115-155)

Dump the rickety training wheels and teach your kid to ride with the latest in high-tech biking for kids. With three levels of gyro-stabilization, this replacement front wheel helps kids learn balance in safe and staged approach. Available now in 12 and 16 inch versions and powered by rechargeable batteries. http://www.thegyrobike.com or check out their Youtube channel with lots of fun clips at http://youtube.com/gyrobike ($115 – 12” wheel, $155 – 16” wheel available soon)

Garmin Cycling GPS:

Garmin Edge 500 Cycling Computer ($250)

Perfect for serious cyclists in the Northwest terrain, a mere 2 hour mini-computer clips on to your handle bar to give instand access to current stats. Quick mount is secure, yet easily removable and when you’re done—link it up to Garmin Connect for a peak at your ride and a map of your route. I’ve seen a few of these reports from my cycling buddies on Facebook, and nothing brags about your 50+ mile bike ride like documentation! (GPS-enabled super cycle computer displays power data from ANT +™-enabled third-party power meters, barometric altitude and vertical profile, tracks speed, distance, calories burned, average and max speeds)

Garmin Forerunner 110 ($25)

Another option for those wanting to track their cycling journeys, especially if they’re also a runner—the Garmin Frontrunner 110 gives access to “just the facts”: distance and speed. But the slim watch-like monitor still has access to the super-cool Garmin Connect website to download, evaluate, and boast your ride, run or athletic activity. Plus, it tells the time!

Garmin Forerunner 310XT ($350)

Combining the best features of the Forerunner 110 and the Edge 500, the Forerunner 310XT does it all—and it’s waterproof. Designed for triathletes, or the Portland weather, the 310XT goes from bike to bracelet in seconds. Giving you access to the essential information via. a wireless ANT+ link to your computer—you’ll have instant access to the hard work you put into your ride in no time. (GPS-enabled personal trainer heart rate-based calorie computation, automatic sync, multisport, high-sensitivity receiver, courses feature, advanced workouts, rechargeable lithium-ion battery)

PrincetonTec Bike Lighting:

EOs Bike ($50)

The EOs BIKE is light enough to throw into your jersey pocket for a late afternoon ride ensuring you’ll have enough light to get home Its use of high-grade materials ensures durability and strong resistance to water/weather and impact Includes helmet and handle bar attachments and headband. Self-contained and rechargeable. http://www.princetontec.com/?q=node/110

Swerve Tail light ($30)

With two high-powered LEDs, the Swerve creates a 180-degree beam. Flip the switch to go from flash pattern to steady light. The high-tech tail light also mounts on a handle bar, seat pos and includes seat and fork mounts. It also clips on to your pack or messenger bag. http://www.princetontec.com/?q=node/124 ($30)

YUBZ Bluetooth Speakerphone ($150)


A hands-free speakerphone for your bike! 10 hours on 4x AA batteries and an optional bike mount. Listen to tunes while you ride or take a call at a stop sign.

Sanyo eneloop electric-assist bike ($2300)

The SANYO Synergetic Hybrid Bicycle is a next generation bicycle that transports you efficiently with minimal effort. The SANYO Synergetic Hybrid Bicycle features innovative functions such as "loop charging," which charges the battery while riding. "Two-wheel drive" allows for smooth start-up on hills and slopes and ensures a steady, stable ride. For the truly lazy rider, like me! ($2300+)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DirecTV Software Update Causes HD DVR Outage

Earlier this morning the KXL newsroom received a tip from an, understandably, frustrated listener who couldn't get through to DirecTV support... seems the caller's DirecTV HD DVR had locked up and they were unable to change the channel.

Some surfing of the Internet this morning helped me discover the problem was, apparently, a software update overnight blast to the receivers that didn't quite work as planned for some customers.

DirecTV has since responded using their own Twitter account with this simple advice:

HDDVR customers: If your HDDVR will NOT power on, unplug the unit from the wall, wait 15sec, then replug, & repeat 1x to restore service.

(If you have a DirecTV DVR and can verify this worked for you, please comment below.)

Using the above software glitch as a case-study, there are some things you might try before any service call:
  • First off, don't panic. Often you can make matters MUCH worse... we've all torn apart the home entertainment system or ripped apart our computer to discover it was a cable that fell out of the wall, or another simple fix. Take a deep breath, relax, analyze the problem systematically and don't add to your problems.
  • Power cycle everything. Sure, your monitor might appear to be working just fine and your lamp doesn't *appear* to be having troubles, but sometimes it's best to take a few extra seconds to disconnect power (unplug it from the wall socket or power strip completely) from the electronic gizmo causing grief, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in.
  • Check for loose cables.
  • Are others having the same issue? (Ask around your office, check online (do a Twitter search), call a buddy)
  • Gather the necessary information before calling tech support (account numbers, serial numbers, exact description of the problem, what you've tried previously)
  • Be patient. They may walk you through the exact same things you've already tried-- but remember they're trying to help. It will take a few extra minutes, but best to try again and be confident.
  • Disclaimer: The above tips are general suggestions only and not meant to replace your hard-working IT staff and the manufacturer's own recommendations. Actual mileage may vary

And now, just in time for World Cup Soccer, your DVR is back up and running! Right?

For more on this and other tech stories, tune to Newsradio 750 KXL (750 AM in Portland, OR and online at KXL.com) each Friday morning at 6:20am & 8:20am.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Does Sprint's New 4G EVO Work in NA's Tallest Building?

I recently received a pre-release demo of Sprint's new EVO 4G mobile smartphone. I'd heard the device would be the world's first 4G smartphone, operating on faster data networks available in select markets-- but previously only available to mobile broadband cards and routers.

With a freshly-charged EVO in my pocket (I immediately fell in love with the mobile hotspot application piggy-backing my iPad WiFi to use the EVO's faster data connection), I thought I'd bust out of the Northwest and try another Sprint 4G city: Chicago.

Aside from being the ultimate travel companion (often the built-in 4G was faster than the hotel's own WiFi) with it's giant movie-friendly screen, the coverage was much better than I had expected.

Would it work on top of The Sears Willis Tower, 103 stories up and anchoring the Chicao skyline?

In a word: Yup.

Spring 4G EVO at Willis Tower Chicago Skydeck

(In a side note: Ever tried to take a photo of a handset screen, while managing a Digital SLR, in front of a bright window, in North America's tallest building, with a fear of heights? Apologies it's hard to read the screen... but there is, in fact, 4G coverage on the Skydeck... enjoy!)

In other news... I did stand out on THE LEDGE. Those photos will follow at some point.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

KING5's New Day Northwest: Going Handfree Guide 3June2010 (KING-TV)

On June 10, Washington State will start enforcing driving while holding a mobile telephone as a PRIMARY offense. Previously you could be cited, but only if pulled over for another offense (speeding, burnt out tail light, etc.). The new law aims to reduce distracted-driving crashing...

Obviously the BEST solution is to talk when you're done driving... But if you need to stay connected while on the road, there are some technology solutions to make it safer.

Pairing your device via. Bluetooth is actually quite easy... most phones offer on-screen menus, and many manufacturers are offering step-by-step guides to make it simple. Of course your phone carrier's store is a good place to go if you need help (or to try on devices).

Devices are either handsfree headsets or in-car / portable wireless speakerphones. Of course sometimes the simplest solution is the wired headset your phone came with.... nothing to charge!

Some ideas....

(Originally broadcast on KING-TV's "New Day Northwest" with Margaret Larson on 3 June 20100)


Plantronics Discovery 975
$130, plantronics.com
  • Minimalist design, one-touch controls
  • Small charging case for triple talk-time
  • Sleek elegant design, great call quality

Plantronics Voyager Pro UC
$100-200, plantronics.com
  • Dual-purpose mobile phone and computer headset
  • Perfect for office / home-office and on-the-go
  • Clear wideband audio for crisp call quality and audio
  • Sturdy over-the-ear attachment

Jabra Go 6430
$150, buyjabra.com
    Long-range wireless (good for around-the-house use)
  • Useful with mobile phone and computers (video chat, etc.)
  • Switch between a computer and mobile phone easily
  • Comes with travel charger and bluetooth adapter for older computers

Jabra Stone
$130, buyjabra.com
  • Wraps around your ear, not on your face
  • More comfortable to carry
  • Easy to transport, toss in your bag / purse
  • Designed for right ear-wearing only

Jawbone Icon w/NoiseAssassin
$75, jawbone.com
  • Stylish, small headset available in six colors
  • Tank & helicopter technology provides noise-cancelling
  • Talks back to you (recharge me, incoming call, etc.)
  • Fun names such as "The Ace", "The Thinker", "The Bombshell"

Plantronics Explorer 395
$50, plantronics.com
  • Latest technology, easy to use with comfortable fit
  • Simple design with volume, power, call answer/end buttons
  • Affordable, solid quality headset for average users

Built-in Vehicle Solutions
  • Most new car vendors now offering Bluetooth speakerphone options
  • Cost varies, can be a few hundred with new cars, thousands to "retrofit"
  • Often has best call-quality- designed with car in mind
  • Integrates with car stereo, speakers, in-dash display
  • Some phones are more / less compatible, check with dealer

BlueAnt S4 Wireless Speakerphone
$100, blueantwireless.com
  • Voice-activated wireless speakerphone (speak "BlueAnt Speak To Me")
  • Clips to visor (no installation costs)
    • Incoming text messages are read using Vlingo SafeReader
    • Bing-optimized (movie times, stock quotes, weather, and more)

    Scochse: solCHAT Solar Speakerphone
    $100, scosche.com
    • Announces calls as they come in for hands-free driving
    • Features a simple three button design and automatic, user-friendly cell phone pairing
    • Comes with a USB charging cable and car adapter charging at night and on SEATTLE days
    • Includes a windshield suction cup mount and sun visor clip for easy operation and solar charging

    If you have questions, or need more information... hit me up on Twitter: @BMW or send me an email (listed above).

    Thanks for watching!
  • Friday, May 14, 2010

    Rogue Satellite Could Interrupt TV, Microsoft gives away the Office and WebVisions 2010

    Back in April a satellite known by operators as Galaxy 15 experienced what experts are calling a "solar storm". This knocked out communications to the bird floating some 22,000 miles --roughly from Portland to NYC...the long way-- above the ocean near Hawaii. Once ground controllers lost contact with the satellite, it went rogue and is headed for ultimate shutdown.

    Unlike many satellites that shut down immediately upon failure, Galaxy 15 seems to be humming along, continuing its duties of transmitting cable television programming to cable television operators in the United States. (Although all services have now been shuffled off to other satellites.)

    That, unfortunately, is where the story gets interesting.

    While not, experts say, in imminent danger of actually colliding with another quarter-million dollar technical marvel floating around in the sky, the signals from the rogue Galaxy 15 could cause interference with those from another satellite: AMC 11.

    As one might imagine, every effort is being made to steer the still-functional AMC 11 as far from it's rogue neighbour as possible-- there's still some cause for concern.

    Best-case scenario? The two satellites wave as they pass by roughly between May 23rd and June 7th. Worst-case scenario? Services on AMC 11 are interrupted for the same window causing a loss of programming to viewers on the ground.

    Comcast technicians are said to be monitoring the situation, while DirecTV was quick to point out their customers would not be affected.

    [Update 14MAY2010 7:13AM-- Comcast spokesperson Theressa Davis tells me quite matter-of-factly, "There is no impact to us at this time and we continue to monitor this industry-wide situation." (A smart reader, such as yourself, will certainly pickup on ominous keywords: "at this time". To be fair, however, Comcast is certainly not alone in this potentially precarious situation.]

    We'll see. (Or, perhaps... Not.)

    Next week's "Get out of the office free" card is courtesy of Web Visions 2010. The "nationally recognized conference that explores the future of Web design, technology, user experience and business strategy" runs May 19-21 at the Oregon Convention Center.

    Registration may end today, but their site will tell you much more: http://www.webvisionsevent.com

    Don't forget to tune in to my reports on Newsradio 750 KXL each week for the latest in tech news and information. And if you can't wait, I'm always on Twitter: @BMW

    Friday, April 30, 2010

    Portland's InnoTech Tech Conference May 6 -- Free Pass!

    InnoTech – The Business & Technology Innovation Conference & Expo returns to the Oregon Convention Center May 6th (with the eMarketing Summit starting the day before). The annual event brings together the area's business, IT, and social media leaders for a series of compelling sessions and thought-provoking discussions. I've personally attended most of the last dozen or so years.

    For details visit their website: http://www.innotechoregon.com.

    To make it even more compelling-- I convinced conference organizers to pass along some free passes to give away:

    • A limited number of complimentary passes are available.
    • Register at http://www.innotechoregon.com
    • Use BMWKXL in the Discount Code field for complimentary admission.

      (This pass does NOT include the NW CIO Summit, NW ISSA Security Conference or eMarketing Summit, extra registration fee is required.)

    There are a lot of great speakers... including some local rockstars such as Rick Turoczy, Jason Harris, and a host of others... Will you be attending or speaking at this year's InnoTech? Speak up!

    From the conference schedule, a few of the InnoTech conference tracks & special events:
    • Microsoft Technology Symposium including SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 demos

    • Wireless/Mobile Applications Track including Native vs. web, mobile application panel
    • Talks on Cloud Computing, iPad Demos, Social Computing, Augmented Reality, and much more
    • Green IT/Clean Technology Track
    • InnoTech Happy 45-Minutes (the perfect place to mingle over complimentary beverages, appetizers, live music and exhibits)
    • And more!

    See you at InnoTech!!

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    iPad Launch Day at University Village 3 April 2010 (KXL-AM)

    My live report with KXL-AM's Chris Brown on Portland's Weekend Morning News on iPad Launch Saturday.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    List of Riskiest Cities: Seattle #1, Portland #10

    The 50 riskiest cities, according to a Norton from Symantec survey:

    1. Seattle 18. Oakland, Calif. 35. Chicago
    2. Boston 19. Nashville-Davidson, Tenn. 36. Baltimore
    3. Washington, D.C. 20. San Jose, Calif. 37. Oklahoma City
    4. San Francisco 21. Columbus, Ohio 38. Philadelphia
    5. Raleigh, N.C. 22. Dallas 39. Jacksonville, FL\la.
    6. Atlanta 23. Kansas City, Mo. 40. Tulsa, Okla.
    7. Minneapolis 24. New York 41. San Antonio
    8. Denver 25. Indianapolis 42. Milwaukee
    9. Austin, Texas 26. Albuquerque, N.M. 43. Cleveland
    10. Portland, Ore. 27. Miami 44. Tucson, Ariz.
    11. Honolulu 28. Omaha, Neb. 45. Long Beach, Calif.
    12. Charlotte, N.C. 29. Virginia Beach, Va. 46. Fort Worth, Texas
    13. Las Vegas 30. Los Angeles 47. Fresno, Calif.
    14. San Diego 31. Cincinnati, Ohio 48. Memphis, Tenn.
    15. Colorado Springs, Colo. 32. Houston 49. El Paso, Texas
    16. Sacramento, Calif. 33. St. Louis, Mo. 50. Detroit
    17. Pittsburgh 34. Phoenix

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    Google to buy Seattle's own Picnik

    Word today is that Google is buying up Seattle-based Picnik.com.

    More on the Picnik blog and the Official Google Blog

    You may recall we've talked about Picnik on this blog before, first in Fall 2007 when they had announced Premium features. Since then, I've enjoyed meeting CEO Jonathan Sposato at various events around town and have enjoyed watching Picnik grow.

    The team has been nominated for a 2010 WTIA Industry Achievement Award-- the awards are this Thursday. Will Picnik win one last award for their online photo editing software as Bitnik, Inc? Certainly the acquisition will be the talk of the town for a few days.

    Congratulations to the entire Picnik gang!

    Updated 1:00PM: to include additional information, link to Google blog, and a look back at previous posts.

    Disclosure: I have a personal relationship with a Google employee. This person didn't contribute to this -or any- report, nor would this employee probably even read this blog. *sigh*

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Dear Google, I'm Confused.

    Now, I'm (mostly) a smart guy. I consider myself fairly technical. But I have no idea what Google wants me to do in this situation. Perhaps I'll search for a solution. (Or if you can bail me out of this apparent no-winner, drop a comment.)

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    The Square Live at 7 - Tech Box: CES 2010 Gadgets 18Jan2010 (KGW-TV)

    Sony Bloggie MP4 1080p 360degree camera Sony debuted this Flip-wannabe at CES, but not without adding useful features. Swivel head for recording your own clips, and a bundled attachment for 360-degree video after software processing. The camera uses USB to transfer videos and charge. (Buy: Amazon | SonyStyle)

    Samsung TL225 Dual-view camera Taking self-portraits has never been easier. This digital point-and-shoot sets itself apart from the rest by offering a screen on the front. Tap the camera and a forward-facing screen lights up to get the perfect shot of you and your friends! No more guesswork. (Buy: Amazon)

    Casio EX-G1 rugged digital camera It’s waterproof and shock-resistant. The Casio G1 takes all the benefits of the Exilim series and goes underwater! The ultimate cruise or beach camera it’s also quite slim, unlike many waterproof models. (Buy: Amazon)

    Verbatim Insight Hard drive Want to know how much space you’ve got left? The integrated two-line display will title this portable drive and show you how much space you’ve got to backup your photos, videos, and other files. (Buy: Amazon)

    Verbatim Tuff N Tiny memory stick Barely larger than your thumbnail and up to 8GB capacity. Built to resist dirt, water, and other elements. (Buy: Amazon)

    PogoPlug at-home network attached storage Plugs into your home network, then attach any USB hard drive or flash memory stick and access those files securely from anywhere in the world. (Buy: Amazon)

    Sprint Overdrive 3G/4G portable hotspot battery powered WiFi router now offers 4G speeds. Home-connection speeds from a go-anywhere device! (Buy: Amazon)

    Google Nexus One Android 2.1 mobile phone $179 with T-Mobile service, $530 without. “THE” Android phone to own, it sports the latest version of Google open-source Android operating system complete with real turn-by-turn navigation. Favorite feature? “Car mode” for driving. (Buy: Google)

    BlueAnt headset One of the first handsets to offer downloadable firmware, when the headset technology improves, you don’t need to buy a new one. (Buy: Amazon)

    Plantronics 975 This handsfree headset comes with a battery-pack case. Slide the comfortable noise-cancelling headset into it’s cradle and it’ll top up the juice so you can talk longer. (Buy: Amazon)