Upgrade - January 2006

Upgrade - January 2006

okay, they're every sold one after the other, but ideal's PocketPro digital multimeter, Ratch-A-Nut screwdriver and Kinetic Reflex T-Stripper twine strippers work so well collectively, we are able to't imagine them apart. the best home owner's returned-pocket electrical toolkit, this new trio grants strong creation, accurate commercial layout, affordability and progressive functions. If you could't handle the activity with those gear, call an electrician.

every so often, all it takes to make a first-rate layout even better is one little tweak. Locking pliers had been patented in 1924, and the generation is as beneficial these days as it was then--just twist a screw knob to alter the jaw, then clamp down. but the new pliers line from startup organisation LockJaw ($18 to $30) has removed the adjustment screw in prefer of a spring-movement cam that robotically adjusts the aperture of the jaws, which lock with steady stress. lockjawpliers.com

Aren't those rubdown chairs at the mall relaxing? until the $800 price tag receives you to your ft brief enough to slide a disc. The homedics QRM-400 ($150) is the affordable opportunity, a cushion that suits over a chair, with four rollers that glow an eerie blue as they knead your lower back. The Spot Shiatsu feature helps you to put the rollers wherein you want them. homedics.com

even as Apple's video iPod became busy hogging the highlight, innovative's Zen vision ($four hundred) transportable media participant slid in underneath everyone's radar. It records FM radio, performs 4.5 hours of video on a three.7-in. display screen, has 30GB of garage and reads compact flash playing cards from maximum digital cameras. innovative.com

After beer, WD-40 is the most beloved liquid-in-a-can around the residence. The simplest component extra frustrating than not having it reachable isn't having its little purple straw. So when we noticed the new, not possible-to-lose, dual-function WD-forty smart Straw at this yr's specialty device market association display, we had to provide it an award. wd40.com

you could see them tapping away in restaurants and film theaters throughout the land: BlackBerry addicts. For higher or worse, those related folks can ship and receive electronic mail anywhere. With the brand new RIM BlackBerry 8700c ($three hundred after rebate), they now have excessive-velocity wi-fi internet access over Cingular's side network and a brighter, better screen to draw their attention faraway from the relaxation people. cingular.com

it might be fine if we may want to put movies on our pcs like we do with our track, however film studios make it hard to tear DVDs. Sony's VAIO XL1 digital residing gadget ($2300) is a Media middle laptop that works with a 200-disc DVD changer to digitally organize your collection-with out breaking any laws. sonystyle.com

some human beings might name a titanium-lined kitchen knife overkill. exactly. That coating makes Kasumi Titanium Knives ($84 to $150) lightweight and extremely long lasting, at the same time as a molybdenum vanadium metal aspect remains sharp, even after heavy use. but the loss of heft can turn sawing via a T-bone into a dicey maneuver. chefdepot.internet/kasumi.htm

Even in case you don't play paintball, there's something impossible to resist about the Tippmann C3 Marker ($229), the primary propane-powered paintball gun. It uses an inner-combustion technique much like that located in some nail guns. gas and air are pumped right into a chamber, then ignited with a spark plug. The result is fuel value savings--a sixteen-ounce propane tank charges $nine and fires 50,000 photographs. examine that to a 20-ounce CO2 tank that expenses $20 and fires a thousand photographs. tippmann.com

every work website online needs a terrific, robust platform. Husky's X-WorkHorse ($35) weighs most effective 15 kilos, however can guide as much as 750 pounds. It has a lock-on platform with mounting holes for a miter saw. Plus, like an vintage-college sawhorse, two X-WorkHorses can flip a piece of plywood into a worktable. And while no longer in use, it folds up for smooth storage. homedepot.com

For a terrific part of the united states of america, January is a sad time as barbeque equipment is protected with snow. however what if you can convey that slow-roasted goodness indoors? The Crock Pot BBQ Pit ($one hundred twenty) is an electric roaster constructed to situation meat to hours of low-warmth cooking. Our check rack of ribs changed into fall-off-the-bone tender--despite the fact that we ignored the smoky wood taste. crockpot.com

as it seems, what goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood is far more thrilling than reading Us Weekly might lead you to trust. The films ($50) pc game helps you to create and manual your very own studio--coping with the whole thing from movie directing to an actor's mental breakdowns. themoviesgame.com

For each boot owner extolling the latest era, there's an army surplus aficionado who snobbishly swears by the battle-tested military footwear of a bygone era. So we ran a pair of unissued GI Mickey Mouse boots through in the future of our ice-water regime. This version turned into utilized by U.S. troops on snow patrol within the Korean war.

With a category-movement lawsuit over scratched displays now pending, we saw it as our civic responsibility to put the Apple iPod nano 2GB ($199) via our torture take a look at.

A company footfall from our one hundred seventy five-pound tester snapped the color display with an audible "pop"--inflicting it to display a sparkling fractal sample. however, the scroll wheel saved clicking away at unseen menus.

because it become nonetheless technically alive, we dropped it in our beaker of water. The display full of fluid, but stayed on. in the end, it commenced blinking on and off, then shut down for exact.

The iPod nano is indeed delicate. It survived the drop, but the liquid crystal display didn't arise to direct strain. And don't dare get the nano moist. We observed water still trapped within the screen per week later. in case you love this little machine as a great deal as we do, purchase a protective sleeve.

We tested 3 pairs of shoes--all labeled 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, moist statistics.

it is able to appear counterintuitive, but the subsequent time you're taking a ride, you may want to convey your house telephone with you and go away your cellular phone behind. a brand new generation of Voice over internet Protocol (VoIP) phones can go cordless round your home by the use of the 802.11b wi-fi general. And due to the fact that VoIP telephones are internet-based, they could tap into nearly any wi-fi warm spot around the arena as nicely.

of the primary such handsets are Vonage's $100 UTStarcom F1000 cellphone and Voiceglo's $150 ZyXEL P-2000W phone. each require month-to-month VoIP cellphone provider. unlimited neighborhood and lengthy distance from Vonage starts at $24.ninety nine; one among ZyXEL's partners, Voiceglo, costs simply $15.ninety nine for unlimited nearby and long-distance calls. for the reason that cellphone provider is tied to the telephone, instead of any specific region, you can use any open wireless network as if it were your home smartphone line--that means no global roaming expenses whilst you travel abroad. So in case you have been to find yourself at a wi-fi hot spot in, say, Kabul, Afghanistan, a name to your mom in Albuquerque, N.M., might be loose on Voiceglo, as opposed to $three.ninety nine in step with minute on Cingular. And VoIP calls sound as properly as or better than usual cellphone calls.

however don't toss your cellular phone yet. Logging in to overseas wireless networks may be intricate. We couldn't log in to a hot spot in Tokyo with out the security codes, which we ought to most effective attain by using--duh--speaking jap. Plus, VoIP over wi-fi telephones can faucet into warm spots, but the telephones received't can help you depart the place in which you first connected--at the least, not but. companies together with Intel have shown prototypes of hybrid mobile/wi-fi telephones that faucet into whichever community can make the decision most affordably.

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