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Previews for 2006

Since all of the interns at RainyDayMagazine started their vacations today, there won't be anyone in the office to do any actual work until the start of the new year.

However, before they left for the holidays, they were nice enough to compile a preview of some of the upcoming reviews they have been working on for 2006!  From the looks of things...they have been busy and it looks like it will be a great start to the year!!!

RainyDaySports is a brand-new section of the magazine for 2006. There are already alot of great reviews in it, and there is a LOT more cool stuff in the pipeline. 

There will be alot more reviews for our female readers from companies such as Yogitoes, Hugger Mugger, and NuMetrex.  There will also be professional training gear from Suunto, outdoor gear from Miox, Nalgene, 180s, Dunham, Adidas, and SeaScooter.

We will, of course, have tons of reviews on Gear&Gadgets!  We will have reviews of Motorola's new MPX220 SmartPhone and Bluetooth headsets from Plantronics (Voyager, Explorer).  We'll show you how to install the CoPilot Live 6 GPS software onto it so you will know EXACTLY where you are going at all times :-)

Along with SmartPhones, CoPilot Live 6 also runs on lots of Bluetooth-enabled PDAs. 

Most of the PDAs today have Bluetooth built in, but just in case yours doesn't, we will show you how to upgrade an iPaq 3850 to run a Belkin Bluetooth card so it will work with the CoPilot Live!

Media centers will be a big deal in 2006.  We have been gearing up for that since we got back from the DigitalLife conference in NYC in September! 

In 2006, we'll show you how to set up a Media center using a Mac mini, a 500GB Seagate drive, an ADS Drive Kit, and other Mac mini gear (Hubbell mount, iRocks keyboard ).

We'll also have many reviews of ipod, computer and other gadget bags and cases (Marware, Bihn, Marsus, Slappa) to take all that gear with you when you travel :-)

For the RainyDayGarage folks, we will show you yet another way to get your iPod working in your car, this time with a product from Neo Car Audio

For those who hate to fumble around in the dark, we'll show you how to replace all your car fuses with SmartFuses, the "glows when it blows" fuses:-)  In February, RainyDayGarage will be organizing the first New England Porsche BoxsterTechFest to be hosted by Bentley Publishers at their facility!  It will give the New England Boxster fans a chance to tap the brains of the Bentley Porsche mechanics on how to keep the beloved Porsches in top running condition!

Of course...we didn't forget our younger readers!  We'll be bringing more to the Unaccompanied Minor section in 2006.  To start, we'll have more from folks at Wild Planet.

We also plan to have other super fun games and tech toys from innovative companies such as Deflexion, Lego, and Digital Blue.

We are excited about the coming year at RainyDayMagazine!  We have lots of new plans and ideas (more video clips, new sections, events, etc...)  We hope you will join us as we explore great gear and gadgets in 2006!!!!!


December 21, 2005 (WowUsWednesday)

Want to defy gravity? Go weightless on G-Force One! The guys at Zero Gravity Corporation outfitted a Boeing 727 that enables some lucky folks to experience "zero G" just like the astronaunts.

We think this would be a perfect RainyDay outing!  The trick would be to convince the accounting folks that this was a business trip :-)  Thanks to Jim S. for sending this tip!


December 20, 2005 (TavoTuesday)

We received these Tavo gloves this morning and they have already got the office all a buzzing :-)  Maybe it is because we keep the heat at a crisp 58 degrees during the day in the office.  Why?  We have found it makes the RainyDayMagazine worker bees (interns) more productive.  The prevailing theory is that either they keep moving or they will freeze to death.

Anyway...back to the Tavo gloves.  These gloves were designed with textured fingertips and palms.  In our quick little test, they worked great for manipulating the clickwheel on devices such as the iPod.  We usually don't post comments until we've done a FirstUse review, but these were so cool that we decided you shouldn't have to wait until January to read about them!  Do come back for the full FirstLook review in a few days:-)  It will be in our new RainyDaySports section!


December 19, 2005 (ManicMonday)

Yes...the Holiday Season has officially started for us because yesterday we got the Christmas tree for the entry way downstairs.  We had to rearrange some of the sitting room furniture to accommodate this rather large tree.   Anyway, if your brain is anything like ours, it's only Monday but we already need a mental coffee break:-)

What better way to take your mind off shopping than with a go at the BrainStrainer!  Check out this little online diversion courtesy of GlobalSpec.  Send us a screen capture (.jpg please) of your best score with a machine that actually launched the rocket by the end of the year...we'll post the winner.  Who knows...there may even be a prize involved!

One interesting thing we did see while surfing the web (we don't do nearly enough of that ) is a great review on Creative Zen's new Vision:M video player.

We loved the side-by-side comparsion with Apple's video iPod.  It was quite surprising how much better the Vision:M display was.  However, we know that Apple's iTunes software is one of the big reason why the iPod is such a mega-hit.  However, we are happy to see strong competition in this product space!


December 17, 2005 (WeekendEdition)

Looking for amazing Holiday gift ideas?  Go check out RainyDayMagazine reviews for help!  In the Gear&Gadgets section, you will find a huge collection of reviews on electronics and gadgets.  These are items which we thought were interesting, innovative, or just plain fun.  We tested them first-hand to see how well they worked, if they met our expectations, and whether they were worth it.  In most cases, there is a direct link to Amazon for your shopping convenience.

Technology is not limited to electronics and video gear.  In 2005, we started RainyDayKitchen and RainyDayGarage to bring you reviews of products when technology has improved gear in those categories.

In 2006, we will be adding a lot more to RainyDayGarden and bringing you some brand new sections...like RainyDaySports and RainyDayRenovations. 

RainyDaySports will focus on gear for those who want to get fit or stay fit using the latest in technology.  This section is still in final stages of development, but feel free to check out our progress!!!

RainyDayRenovation will be for those interested in products for home renovations.  We have been following a house renovation project in Somerville MA since June 2005.  We will be writing up some of the article soon and will continue to follow Jay and Lisa's renovation progress to the end!

So if you are still looking for that special gift...check out the write ups in the various sections (Gear&Gadgets, RainyDayKitchen, RainyDayGarage, RainyDaySports).  We are positive you will find something interesting.  Just keep reminding yourself that you are supposed to be shopping for gifts for others...not yourself :-)


December 16, 2005

Here at the RainyDayGarage, we believe that everyone has the ability to work on their cars.  All that is needed are good, clear, step-by-step instructions and the willingness to get their hands dirty. The Bentley Boxster Service Manual will go a long way in giving Boxster owners the confidence to tackle a wide range of projects.

In our FirstLook, we found the manual to be a well-produced and comprehensive collection of Boxster technical information.  We think any Boxster owner who is interested in what makes his or her car tick will find it a worthwhile reference source.  Go take a closer look for yourself here.


December 15, 2005 (ToolsThursday)

The Dremel kit we told you about last week came with three fully stocked boxes of tips, discs, pads, and wheels.  Each box has a varied combination of these accessories

In total, 90 pieces came with the kit...for cutting, grinding, carving, and sanding.   Go get a closer FirstLook at the accessories here.


December 14, 2005 (WowUsWednesday)

Laser Chess was created by Mike Duppong back in the late 80s, and you can find lots of software versions (regular, 3D, Advanced) of the it on the web. However, what actually wowed us was that a  brazilian student named Alexandre Van de Sande actually made a actual working laser version of the game!  The dry ice effect definitely made it really cool looking.  Thanks goes to our reader Mark T. for the tip...we'll be sending you something fun in the mail :-)

We didn't make anything as cool as Laser Chess, but we did set up the Lazer Tripwire we told you about a few days ago. 


The Wild Planet Lazer Tripwire works quite well and it's a lot of fun.  It will make a perfect gift for the junior spy-in-training or the grown-up spy-wanna-be on your list this holiday season. Go check out the FirstUse videos here.


December 13, 2005 (TechTuesday)

Electronics run much better when they run cooler.  Some desktop units have very elaborate cooling systems to keep the CPU and the associated chips from cooking themselves when pushed.

Orbitron Internations has created a laptop cooling device called JustCooler NB-808 for those that want to keep their laptops from frying themselves.  Go here to get a closer FirstLook.

Here is a cool deal from Edge Tech Corp: a 5.6" 640x480 digital LCD picture frame with an integrated card reader so you can download images directly from your camera's memory card (no need for a computer).  The normal price is $190.

For the holidays, Edge Tech Corp is offering a $40 rebate and FREE SHIPPING!  It is a great companion for that new digital camera :-)

iPods and MP3 players are great personal music devices.  They let us store, carry, and listen to thousands of songs on devices not much bigger than a deck of cards.  Sometimes, though, it would be great to play the music on these devices through our home stereo system.

StarTech.com's AirLink may let us do just that...wirelessly hook up our computer, iPod, or MP3 players to any stereo system or powered speaker.  Go check out the AirLink FirstLook here.


December 12, 2005 (MoneyMonday)

Today many people use the web for their financial transactions (banking, stock trading, shopping, etc...).  Online transactions are simple, convenient, and fast.  However, with all the cyber threats (phishing, keystroke logging, etc...) and scam artists constantly testing the vulnerability of online systems, it is also fraught with danger. 

E*Trade has now made it a LOT safer for their customers with the introduction of SecureID password keys.  The customer picks their own password, but in order to access the account they must also enter an ID from the RSA SecureID tag.  The ID changes every few minutes so it would be impossible to track.  This combination is probably the most secure setup available to date.  We hope this catches on because if a static password is the only thing standing between the crooks and our money... we are going to move all of our money to E*Trade.


December 11, 2005 (ShowshoeingSunday)

We got whacked with a huge snowstorm in Boston on Friday so the weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to take out the new Tubbs snowshoes for their FirstUse.   We had done cross-country skiing around the city, but not snowshoeing.  We were eager to see what it would be like to hike around the Arnold Arboretum with snowshoes.

Even though the main goal for this outing was to take a FirstLook at the Tubbs Adventure snowshoes, it was also a good chance for us to give a quick check on some of the other gear (Magellan eXplorist GPS, UnderArmour, Columbia Skier Cross jacket) that we'll be taking with us on our January outing.  Take a FirstUse look here.


December 10, 2005 (ShobuSaturday)

Some of us at RainyDayMagazine study Aikido at Shobu Aikido of Boston.  There wasn't a Beginner's program when we started.  It was challenging to jump right in with folks who have been training for a long time.  After 3 years, we now feel more at home :-)

For those curious about this amazing martial art, starting Tuesday January 31st, 2006, Shobu Aikido of Boston will be holding an 8 Weeks Beginner's Program!  The goal of the course is to introduce beginners to Aikido basics, focusing on building fundamentals.

At the completion of the program, students will be fully prepared to enter regular Aikido classes. Everything learned in the introductory program will apply directly to further training and life in general... which is the real beauty of Aikido.   Go here to check it out!


December 9, 2005 (FoodFriday)

Ever since the TurDucKen feast at GadgetFest 2005, the meating-eating members of RainyDayKitchen have been on a mission to find great food on the web.  One interesting find was The Buffalo Guys.  They have an entire line of buffalo products (steaks, patties, jerky, ribs, etc...)

The shipper dropped off a huge styrofoam box at the front office yesterday afternoon.  We didn't know what to make of it until we saw the TheBuffaloGuys logo.  Go here to see what was inside :-)

Hey...how about some A1 with that buffalo steak? No, not the A1 the sauce... ugh...it sounded like a such a nice segue when I thought of it at 2 in the morning but it doesn't really work, does it?

Anyway, Simpl Acoustics has a new iPod headphone amplifier called the A1.  We'll be testing it out the next few weeks, but we thought you might want to get a FirstLook at it here... perhaps someone you know has an iPod and have been complaining about the quality of the the sound when using it with their high end headphones?  The A1 may just be the thing they need. 


December 8, 2005 (ToolsThursday)

If you need to get a present for your Do-It-Yourself significant other, you WILL NOT GO WRONG with this amazing Dremel 400 XPR Rotary Tool kit. Dremel is a name folks have associated with high-quality rotary tools ever since we can remember.

Dremel has put together a rotary tool kit that has a large collection of tips and attachments useful for all kinds of applications. We thought it would be perfect for our RainyDayMagazine readers so we got a unit to see just exactly what can be done with it.  Go check out our FirstLook now, but don't spend too much time reading it... this item is flying off the shelves at Home Depot!


December 7, 2005 (WowUsWednesday)

Notice anything with the three photos above?  Yes... only one of the faces are in focus at any one time.  Notice anything with the images below?  Yes.  In the last image, both statues are in focus. 

What you may not know is in both instances, the camera only took ONE shot of each of the two images.  This also meant the different parts of the image were brought into "focus" after the shots had been taken!!!

The technology is called 4D Light Field Photography.  Another way to think about it is a camera that could focus at a bunch of different depth of fields for a single shot.  Traditionally, we get around the "depth of field" issue by using a small aperture, but that means less light...which means it doesn't work well when it is dark out, a problem with most images taken by security cameras.  4D Light Field photography captures all the information in a single shot... focusing on the area of interest is done via software AFTER the shot has been taken!  This is amazing.  This is not AutoFocus... more like ALLFocus :-) Hmmm... I better go trademark that name!


December 6, 2005 (TraxTuesday)

We took advantage of the first snow storm of the year to test the YakTrax.  We decided to put the YakTrax on a pair of new boots and on a pair of very worn Nike ACG boots to see how they would compare.

Both the toe an heel section of the Nike ACG boots were well worn past being safe to use on snow.  Some sections were almost totally smooth!  We thought it would be a good test for the YakTrax's grip. Go read all about our YakTrax FirstUse outting here.


December 5, 2005

Bank and museums use laser intrusion detection systems to safe guard their valuables.  The cubicles at RainyDayMagazine does not need the same level of protection, but that does not mean we would use anything less high tech :-)

The Wild Planet Lazer Tripwire looks to be a perfect gift for the junior spy-in-training on your list this holiday season.  Go here to see our FirstLook.  Go check out this and other fun items at Wild Planet on Amazon.


December 3, 2005 (SimpleHumanSaturday)

Single cup machines are starting to become the "thing" and we are happy about that because here at RainyDay Magazine we love our coffee.  Some of us even have a machine right in our office.

simplehuman has added a single cup pod coffee/tea brewer to their line of user-centric home products.  The RainyDayKitchen folks could not wait to get their hands on one!  Go check out their FirstLook and FirstUse reports now.


December 2, 2005 (FoodFriday)

If you have not been to the BlueRoom, we urge you to go check it out.  The atmosphere is relaxing, the food is superb, and the staff is fantastic! 

The BlueRoom at One Kendall Square in Cambridge is having their 2nd annual lunch on Dec 15th to benefit the Lynn Shelter Association.  All of the proceeds will go the the Lynn Shelter Association

Call Nick at 617-494-9034 and tell them you heard about it at RainyDayMagazine... he'll make sure you get a great table.  Ok...they are all great tables :-)  RainyDayMagazine will be there.  We hope you will as well.


December 1, 2005 (ToolsThursday)

At first glance these Stanley watches appear to be a gadget lover's dream.  However, even though we do not read Japanese, we figured out enough to realize there is only one tool for each watch.  Hmmm...if the tool is THAT important, maybe Stanley should focus on embedding a TimeTag into the tool instead of a tool into the watch.

Everybody has heard of Craftsman, especially for their pliers, wrenches, and automotive tools.  Craftsman has been quietly adding "appropriate" high technologies to their tools for the past few years...especially with lasers.  

We have been using their gear for years now and recently added their Laser Trac Level to our collection of Craftsman tools.  The Laser Trac Level is fantastic if you are doing major renovations, but it is also great just for getting all the picture frames around the room to line up :-) 

ColdHeat has been heating up lately.  We have two of their soldering irons in the RainyDayGarage and we used them all the time.  Recently, ColdHeat announced a partnership with Weller.  We look forward to see lots of cool stuff from these guys in the near future!


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