Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Draginol's Articles In Gadgets & Electronics
September 11, 2012 by Draginol

Anyone out there get a Nest?

I was thinking of getting one for our cottage up north. It’s a “smart” thermostat that will hook up to the Internet and let you monitor and change the temperature from remote (along with a zillion other features).

But I wanted to find out if anyone has this and whether they liked it or not.
October 30, 2010 by Draginol
So we’re in the process of setting things up so that a series of computers runs the lights, audio, televisions, heat, etc.

We’re using Control4 and so far, I’m mixed on whether I like it or not.  It has both an iPhone and iPad app which is a major plus.  But its user interface (in those apps) is terrible and ugly (ugly to the point of being distracting).

Given the popularity of Control4, I wonder if I’m missing something given how awful and primitive it seems to be so far....
March 10, 2009 by Draginol
I’ve long stopped using the highest settings on my cameras because there’s really no quality difference that I can tell other than when I want to zoom in and crop a piece.

On cameras, we need a new spec to help us know what quality image we can expect.

In the meantime, check out this Ars article on the topic:
January 27, 2009 by Draginol

SlotMusic cards look to replace CDs it appears as a means to purchase MP3 files in a physical form:

January 27, 2009 by Draginol
March 9, 2008 by Draginol
As part of my growing flash light fetish, I picked up the Surefire Executive Defender E2D flashlight.  It's a small flash light that fits in the palm of your hand but provides serious utility.

At 60 lumens of brightness, it will light a dark area extremely well. It is also designed for self-defense with enough brightness to blind an assailant immediately. The front and back are reinforced with a very very solid steel that is slightly surrated to ensure that anyone you whack it wi...
January 26, 2008 by Draginol
One of the more interesting devices I saw at CES was the Weather Direct series of weather info gadgets.

These stand-alone devices pick up 5-day weather forcecasts and display them on an LCD screen. While not necessarily something I would have at my home, it is something I plan to pick up for the cottage.
October 7, 2007 by Draginol
I have a new cell phone and I absolutely love it.  LG's new Env is an amazing phone that I prefer considerably to the iPhone.

The phone has two keypads. The one you see to the right also opens up into a pretty decent sized QERTY keyoard. 

For me, the highlights of the phone are:

The keyboard. I can use this to send meaningful text messages, IMs, email, etc.Navigation. It is the best GPS navigator I have ever used. Thanks to its seamless Internet integration with navigation, I...
September 7, 2007 by Draginol
I am in an airport right now communicating with my Verizon 5750 which is an awesome air card.

I am also finishing my first business trip with the LG Env cell phone which just rocks.  The cell phone part was very helpful (it has great speaker phone capability) but where it really came in handy was its built in GPS and local search features.  Being in Manhattan, there's a lot of stuff everwhere but it's really nice to be able to look up the local Best Buy or a good Italian restraurant...
May 5, 2005 by Draginol
If you've always wondered how light sabers work, has a thorough article outlining how light sabers work, various safety tips and practical uses such as defending yourself against would-be muggers.
February 21, 2005 by Draginol
iTrip is a gadget that connects fairly seamlessly to your iPod. What it does is allow you to play your iPod music on an FM radio.  You set the station with your iPod and if you tune in your radio (that is within several feet) to that station you can listen to what's on your iPod.

I've used a number of these things in the past and this is by far the best one (the Belkin TuneCast II, for instance is total crap).

ITrip is ideally suited for the iPod because a) It connects right up to...
November 7, 2004 by Draginol
I was watching the June 4 "Bullseye" that I appeared on and in the interview I predicted that Ohio would be the key state and that it could end up being the "Florida of 2000". I also said that unlike the 18 states at the time, we really saw only 5 states (which I don't mention but they were Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Mexico).

Obviously, we would like to take that and put it on-line so people can see -- since this was on June 4.

But how do you get it off there? VCR really doesn...
April 22, 2004 by Draginol
I have a Samsung A500 which uses SprintPC's 3G service.

I bought off of eBay a special USB cable that connects it to my computer and then bought a program called Snapdialer from fututerdial which uses my cell phone as a wireless internet access point.

It gets about 256K/sec which is quite fine for browsing the net. I used it a great deal this week (been traveling on business).

If you have a SprintPCS phone, I highly recommend getting set up on this kind of thing.
October 29, 2003 by Draginol
I have quite a few portable MP3 players and each one has its pros and cons.  For those of you who like to listen to music when you work out, the Sports MP3 player available at CoolNewGadgets.Com might be exactly what you're looking for.

This portable MP3 player also plays .WMA files as well (though it doesn't seem to play Digital Rights Managed WMA files -- i.e. ones you buy) and holds 128MB of memory.  The main selling point of this is that it is just a headset.  So when I go...
January 11, 2004 by Draginol
There is a chink in the mighty iTunes armor. Those of you who follow this blog know that I've been a strong proponent for Apple's iTunes. But today I discovered something I wasn't aware of before: iTunes will not burn MP3 CDs with commercially downloaded music.

Why is that a big deal? The other players probably don't do that either right? (actually I'm pretty sure that Windows Media Player does but I could be wrong). The reason it's a big deal is that if I want to make an MP3 CD for liste...