PAPAGO GoSafe Tire Pressure Monitoring System

tpms2When I was asked to review the GoSafe Tire Pressure Monitoring System it was the first time I have reviewed a aftermarket accessory for a vehicle. My every day drive vehicle is a 2009 Mazda CX9 and even though the vehicle is feature rich it did not come with a TPMS.

Installation of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System literally took about 15 minutes. It comes with a receiver, power plug 12v, 4 tire pressure sensors, Anti Theft Nuts, and Anti Theft Wrench. Plus you communicate via an Smart Phone app which communicates via bluetooth. There is a syncing process during setup and then you simply install the tire pressure sensors.

I spend a lot of time in my car each day, and it was cool to track tire pressure on the fly. I was able to make small adjustments to get the pressure in each of my tires exactly the same, which over time will reduce tire wear and improve gas mileage.

tpms1The sensors job is simple, it lets you know when the pressure is low or too high and give you a quick check for actual pressure. My wife is always nagging me saying a tire pressure looks low, this system allowed her to quickly look on her phone to check the pressure.

This product is a great aftermarket product, I found though that we did not need to leave the receiver plugged in all the time. We pulled it out of the glove box when we wanted to do a quick check.

This aftermarket tire pressure monitoring system is priced at $200.00 on various websites. For peace of mind and to keep track of tire pressure this is a very cool aftermarket product to extend the life of your current vehicle and add a level of safety to a loved ones vehicle that may not be used to checking the tire pressure like they should.

GNC #963 – Guest Host Mike Dell

Todd is still out for one more show, enjoying his Vacation somewhere in the lower 48, I’m Mike Dell, from Podcast Help Desk, former Geek of the North and I will be your host for tonights show. Most of you don’t know me unless you have been around podcasting a long time. I used to do a show called Geek of the North which was a Tech Show. I have since Podfaded that show and I now do a relatively new show called Podcast Help Desk  at podcasthelpdesk.com where I talk about the geeky techie side of podcasting and help people get setup and going with their podcast.

It’s great to be back with the GNC listeners!  I last hosted this show on November 10th 2008 Show #415.   A LOT of water has gone under the bridge since then!

NO VIDEO Today.  I have a Face for Radio :) g

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Show Notes:

 

Smaller, better Google Glass?

Square Phones?  What are they thinking??

Android Screen Mirroring to chromecast is out now

Drone Operators Arrested in New York

Cockpit cameras – Good idea or bad?

Solar Sail craft to hitch ride with Spacex in 2016

Want a tour of the USAF Museum restoration hangers?

Smartwaches reviewed

Aereo uses Supreme court ruling to get back in business as a cable provider.

Company with $39 in assets now worth over $5billion!

Happy 6th Birthday Apple Appstore

The most common misconceptions about the big 8 tech companies

Applebees No Tech Tuesdays

5 to 8 times more battery on your tech toys!

10 highest paying Tech Companies to intern for

President Proclaims National Day of Making

The White House by Gage Skidmore on FlickrPresident Obama has proclaimed that June 18, 2014, is the National Day of Making. He is calling upon all Americans to observe this day with programs, ceremonies, and activities that encourage a new generation of makers and manufacturers to share their talents and hone their skills.

The White House will be celebrating the National Day of Making by hosting the first-ever White House Maker Faire. It will feature students who are learning STEM skills, entrepreneurs that are launching new businesses, and innovators that are involved in American manufacturing. You can tune in to watch the first-ever White House Maker Faire live from the official website.

The inspiration behind the National Day of Making comes from America’s history of innovators who have created inventions that transformed the world. The National Day of Making is intended to encourage people to carry forward with that tradition. It also acknowledges the Maker Movement that students, families, and entrepreneurs have gotten involved in.

The White House is also starting #NationOfMakers on Twitter. Everyone is encouraged to use the hashtag to post photos of the maker project that they are currently working on, or to share plans for their next project. The White House website about the first ever White House Maker Faire has a map that shows where all the tweets that include #NationOfMakers are coming from. Click on any tweet that is featured in the list, and you can read the tweet and view the photo attached to it.

Image by Gage Skidmore on Flickr.

Bayan Audio Soundbook X3 Review

bayan

The Bayan Audio Soundbook X3 is unlike any wireless speaker product, I have ever reviewed at Geek News Central. Immediately I had to tell the gang hands off this thing after about 5 minutes of testing. The first thing you notice when you are unpacking the Soundbook is that this not some cheap piece of gear. The build quality is solid and as you see in the picture has some serious style.

This mobile wireless speaker is packed with features it will play continuous audio for 10 hours on its own battery. The sound quality via Bluetooth connection is rich and just the right amount of base. I am pretty picky when it comes to sound quality, and the Soundbook really surprised me they have packed a lot of quality into this speaker.

It has 2.1 stereo with a combined 25 watts of output power. At max volume of the unit it did not have any distortion, I was shocked at the total output level it was capable off. The on-board battery as I said will give you 10 hours of play, and if you are in need of a charge you can even charge a smartphone with the included USB port on the back. It is designed with Smart Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX.

bayan2You can bridge the unit to other devices but we did not test that functionality. It has an integrated FM Radio with built in antenna that worked great. The biggest surprise was that it has a built in Microphone for hands free conference calling. Testing this on my desk audio quality was great and feedback from the call participants said the incoming audio quality was excellent.

The front of the unit has the retro lcd display hid behind the grill and you can change easily change the functions. The speaker functions include Bluetooth, Aux Input (Back) & FM.  Adjusting the audio level can be done by your phone or from the recessed volume control buttons on top of the unit. There is a power button and channel up/down buttons as well. Finally there is even a jack in the back to plug headphones into.

Overall this is a fantastic portable wireless speaker that comes in three colors. Quality does come at a price, I looked around the net and found an average price of $420.00. Bayan Audio has a wide range of wireless speakers / sizes at a variety of price points worthy of checking out.

D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug Review

smartplugI have had a huge interest in home monitoring of electricity for quite some time, and love to have more control of the plugs I have stuff plugged into.  So I was excited to get my hands on the D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug model DSP-w215. In fact I tried to get D-Link to send me enough of these for my whole home to do a case study sadly that did not happen. What is cool though is that they are cheap enough @ $49.95 each that I can buy as many as I need over time and will have a near 100% picture of power consumption and control of power in my home.

I installed the Smart Plug in my garage on a plug that powers a band of stuff. The kids have a gaming center there, and I also have a network cabinet with some gear in that runs 24/7.

The D-Link smart switch allows me to turn the power on/ off on a schedule or via the Smart Plug app. The smart plug also reports back the temperature in the room, and of course the actual power usage.  I found when all gaming gear is off, and only the network cabinet running that I’m burning about 67 watts continuously. When the big screeen LCD and the gaming gear is turned on it jumps to over 400 watts.

With the monitoring I can tell know during summer vacation how much time the kids are gaming and if need be I can turn off the switch via the mobile app. The smart plug app and device can be set up to actually shut off the power when your budget for that smart plug has been reached.

The plug communicates via Wi-Fi and setup was as easy as pushing the WPS button on the device.  Priced at $49.99 for those in high energy areas the smart plug cost can likely be recovered over time.

Leef Bridge USB 3.0 Drive for Android Review

leefbridgeThe Leef Bridge 3.0 is the first time I have reviewed an Android Data Transfer device.  It’s design is unique in that it has 2 plugs, a full sized USB plug to stick on your computer and Mini Jack USB that will plug into your Android devices.

I copied a couple of media files from my PC to the Leef Bridge, and then plugged the Leef into my Android Device and used a popular file browsing application to access the media. The Leef Bridge could not be anymore easier to use. The drive I received was a 16gb drive and is perfect for loading some movies.

I love dead drop easy solutions that have a lot of utility. The Leef Bridge is a bit smaller than a standard USB stick and will be easy to carry in your pocket or purse. There is a list of compatible devices so be sure to check their website. At $18.99 the price is right as well.

 

D-Link Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender Review

dap-1520I have reviewed 4-5 Wi-Fi extenders over the past couple of years, and I usually dread the setup. Expecting no less pain this time, I was shocked when I plugged in the D-Link DAP-1520 Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender it was shockingly simple.

1. Plug it in
2. Connect to it via Wifi
3. Configure it to connect to my homes Wi-Fi
4. It reboots and your finished.

All told 5 minutes to set it up that includes opening the package and plugging it in. Next was the speed test. I tested with Speed Test on my primary home connection and had 50mbps down and 5mbps up to a server 2400 miles away. Then I disconnected from my home network and connected to the Range Extender and run the same speed test. 47mbps down and 5mbps up.

My installation point was about 50 feet from my primary wireless router, the kids are happy no because they have a strong signal in the back bedrooms. Great device at a $69.00 you cannot ask for a more easy way to extend your primary Wi-Fi signal.

Underwater Audio Waterproofed iPod Shuffle Review

shuffleSeveral weeks ago we received an iPod Shuffle from the folks at Underwater Audio. They included with the Shuffle a set of swimbuds that athletes use in pools and ocean. They asked us to stress test the durability of their Waterproofing. I had the perfect event to test just how WaterProofed this iPod Shuffle was.

My Daughter was competing in what is known as Warrior Challenge. It is 3 days of swimming, running and muddy obstacle courses. I told her to load the shuffle up with her favorite jams, and put this thing through the torture test. Well two weeks later and I cannot get the iPod shuffle back.

The iPod shuffle survived the Warrior Challenge, and now has been with her in the pool daily for the past couple of weeks. She is practicing for an upcoming ocean lifeguard test. As I sit here tonight testing the device, with the included swimbuds, there is no degraded functionality it works as if it was brand new out of the box. So far it has been exposed to the open ocean salt water, fresh water pools. I did ask my daughter to rinse it with fresh water each day after use. Not that I think it makes a difference.

If your into water sports, this will likely be the best $149 you spend this year. Both of my boys are active in water sports here and now want there own. Visit UnderWaterAudio.com today.

WattVision

Last year I participated in a Kick Starter for a new product called WattVision. Today I installed the sensor on my electric meter, and I can now see my electricity usage minute by minute. We have been having fun with it this afternoon. Keep in mind electricity is .36 cents a kilowatt in Hawaii about 4-5 times the national average. So if you want to observe me spending money watch the widget below..

Buy your own WattVision today.

Has Apple Lost It’s Mojo?

For quite a number of years I was completely put off by the aura of negative, often downright vituperative groupthink exuded by Apple users. Regardless of the merits of Apple products, the Apple user base itself gave me pause and kept me away. An analogy is to be found with Bittorrent. The technology itself is neither good nor bad, however a substantial portion of the Bittorrent user base has made Bittorrent synonymous with digital piracy.

Once Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he opened the company up to the mainstream by switching the Mac to Intel processors and making Apple products compatible with Microsoft Windows. Jobs was able to open Apple up to the mainstream at the same time he seemed to push the bitter user base aside somewhat. Also there was the long succession of great products, including the iPad I'm typing this on that helped make Apple fabulously successful.

In the wake of the death of Jobs, a deterioration of attitude has taken place. Apple has lost it's mojo. Apple software updates are much more likely to contain serious bugs, or as in the case of “Maps” were not even close to being ready for prime time. Jobs wanted things perfect before he would let them out the door. Most concerning to me as a consumer is the bitter groupthink portion of the Apple user base seems to have come back out in force.

It's not only the increasingly vocal bitter Apple user base that is disconcerting. Apple itself seems to be hell-bent on revenge. These never-ending, completely absurd lawsuits against Samsung demonstrate an organization that's lost its innovation mojo trying to get it back via abuse of the legal system, very much akin to an abusive spouse trying to get respect back via violence.

As a technology consumer, my brand loyalty is quite shallow. I have a long track record of buying products and services that are the most innovative, and if that means switching brands, I switch brands.

I recently switched smartphones for the 5th time. At any point I could have had an iPhone. I thought about it more than once. However, this bitter decline helped me vote with my feet and go with a Galaxy Note 3. If current trends continue I will likely never but another Apple product. The Mac computers I have are being used less than ever, so by the time they completely wear out I won't bother replacing them. The unpleasant behavior of Apple and the groupthink user base will likely prevent me from purchasing any future Apple mobile devices.

Once Steve Jobs' health problems were made public, there was a period of ongoing speculation about what would become of Apple once he was gone. Alas, now we know.