Upgrade - January 2006

Upgrade - January 2006

okay, they're each sold one by one, but perfect's PocketPro virtual multimeter, Ratch-A-Nut screwdriver and Kinetic Reflex T-Stripper twine strippers paintings so well together, we will't consider them aside. the precise property owner's again-pocket electrical toolkit, this new trio grants robust production, proper business design, affordability and revolutionary functions. If you could't handle the activity with these gear, name an electrician.

every so often, all it takes to make a notable layout even better is one little tweak. Locking pliers had been patented in 1924, and the era is as beneficial these days because it turned into then--simply twist a screw knob to regulate the jaw, then clamp down. but the new pliers line from startup company LockJaw ($18 to $30) has removed the adjustment screw in want of a spring-action cam that robotically adjusts the aperture of the jaws, which lock with steady stress. lockjawpliers.com

Aren't those rub down chairs at the mall relaxing? until the $800 fee tag gets you in your ft brief enough to slide a disc. The homedics QRM-400 ($a hundred and fifty) is the reasonable opportunity, a cushion that suits over a chair, with 4 rollers that glow an eerie blue as they knead your lower back. The Spot Shiatsu feature helps you to positioned the rollers where you want them. homedics.com

whilst Apple's video iPod changed into busy hogging the spotlight, creative's Zen imaginative and prescient ($four hundred) transportable media participant slid in below all people's radar. It data FM radio, performs four.five hours of video on a 3.7-in. display, has 30GB of storage and reads compact flash playing cards from most virtual cameras. innovative.com

After beer, WD-forty is the maximum loved liquid-in-a-can across the house. The handiest element extra frustrating than no longer having it handy isn't always having its little red straw. So when we noticed the brand new, not possible-to-lose, twin-function WD-40 clever Straw at this 12 months's strong point equipment marketplace association show, we had to provide it an award. wd40.com

you can see them tapping away in eating places and film theaters throughout the land: BlackBerry addicts. For better or worse, these connected parents can send and receive e mail everywhere. With the new RIM BlackBerry 8700c ($300 after rebate), they now have high-speed wi-fi internet get admission to over Cingular's aspect community and a brighter, higher screen to draw their interest far from the relaxation people. cingular.com

it would be satisfactory if we may want to positioned films on our pcs like we do with our music, however film studios make it hard to rip DVDs. Sony's VAIO XL1 digital residing machine ($2300) is a Media center laptop that works with a 200-disc DVD changer to digitally organize your collection-with out breaking any legal guidelines. sonystyle.com

some humans might name a titanium-coated kitchen knife overkill. precisely. That coating makes Kasumi Titanium Knives ($eighty four to $150) lightweight and extremely long lasting, even as a molybdenum vanadium steel facet remains sharp, even after heavy use. however the lack of heft can turn sawing through a T-bone right into a dicey maneuver. chefdepot.internet/kasumi.htm

Even if you don't play paintball, there's some thing irresistible about the Tippmann C3 Marker ($229), the primary propane-powered paintball gun. It uses an inner-combustion process similar to that located in a few nail weapons. gas and air are pumped into a chamber, then ignited with a spark plug. The end result is gas price savings--a sixteen-ounce propane tank charges $nine and fires 50,000 photographs. compare that to a 20-ounce CO2 tank that expenses $20 and fires a thousand pictures. tippmann.com

each paintings website online needs an awesome, strong platform. Husky's X-WorkHorse ($35) weighs handiest 15 pounds, but can assist as much as 750 pounds. It has a lock-on platform with mounting holes for a miter noticed. Plus, like an old-faculty sawhorse, X-WorkHorses can turn a piece of plywood into a worktable. And whilst now not in use, it folds up for smooth storage. homedepot.com

For a great part of the us of a, January is a unhappy time as barbeque gear is covered with snow. however what if you may bring that gradual-roasted goodness interior? The Crock Pot BBQ Pit ($a hundred and twenty) is an electric roaster constructed to difficulty meat to hours of low-heat cooking. Our take a look at rack of ribs was fall-off-the-bone smooth--despite the fact that we ignored the smoky timber taste. crockpot.com

because it turns out, what goes on behind the curtain in Hollywood is a long way more interesting than studying Us Weekly could lead you to consider. The films ($50) computer game helps you to create and guide your very own studio--handling the whole lot from movie directing to an actor's mental breakdowns. themoviesgame.com

For each boot owner extolling the brand new technology, there's an military surplus aficionado who snobbishly swears by way of the warfare-examined army shoes of a bygone generation. So we ran a couple of unissued GI Mickey Mouse boots through one day of our ice-water regime. This version changed into used by U.S. troops on snow patrol in the Korean warfare.

With a category-motion lawsuit over scratched screens now pending, we saw it as our civic duty to put the Apple iPod nano 2GB ($199) via our torture test.

A firm footfall from our a hundred seventy five-pound tester snapped the colour display screen with an audible "pop"--inflicting it to display a glowing fractal sample. however, the scroll wheel kept clicking away at unseen menus.

since it became nonetheless technically alive, we dropped it in our beaker of water. The display filled with fluid, but stayed on. subsequently, it started out blinking on and rancid, then shut down for true.

The iPod nano is certainly sensitive. It survived the drop, however the liquid crystal display didn't stand up to direct stress. And don't dare get the nano wet. We observed water nonetheless trapped in the screen every week later. in case you love this little machine as much as we do, buy a protecting sleeve.

We tested three pairs of boots--all classified as water-resistant and rated to -forty F or -50 F-by means of sticking our ft in ice water for a complete hour. After 3 testers and 3 days, right here are the bloodless, wet information.

it may seem counterintuitive, however the next time you take a trip, you would possibly want to bring your own home cellphone with you and depart your cellphone in the back of. a brand new generation of Voice over internet Protocol (VoIP) phones can move cordless around your house via using the 802.11b wi-fi trendy. And in view that VoIP phones are net-primarily based, they could faucet into nearly any wi-fi hot spot around the world as well.

two of the primary such handsets are Vonage's $100 UTStarcom F1000 telephone and Voiceglo's $150 ZyXEL P-2000W smartphone. each require monthly VoIP telephone carrier. unlimited neighborhood and long distance from Vonage starts at $24.ninety nine; one among ZyXEL's partners, Voiceglo, fees just $15.99 for limitless local and long-distance calls. since the smartphone carrier is tied to the smartphone, instead of any specific location, you may use any open wi-fi network as if it were your home telephone line--that means no international roaming prices whilst you travel overseas. So if you were to discover your self at a wi-fi hot spot in, say, Kabul, Afghanistan, a name for your mother in Albuquerque, N.M., would be unfastened on Voiceglo, as opposed to $three.99 according to minute on Cingular. And VoIP calls sound as properly as or higher than typical cellular phone calls.

but don't toss your mobile phone but. Logging in to overseas wi-fi networks may be difficult. We couldn't log in to a hot spot in Tokyo with out the security codes, which we ought to handiest acquire by--duh--speakme japanese. Plus, VoIP over wireless phones can tap into hot spots, but the telephones received't will let you depart the region wherein you first related--at the least, no longer but. companies consisting of Intel have shown prototypes of hybrid cell/wi-fi phones that tap into whichever community can make the decision maximum cheaply.

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