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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Roundup: Unlock doors with smartphones, iWatch trademark, dog's fitness tracker, more

iWatch watch: Rumors for the device have been swirling for a few months now. Now, according to a publication in Russia, Apple has filed a trademark there for the Apple iWatch.  Geeky Gadgets

NSA surveillance:
A National Security Agency's program to collect phone records has thwarted several attempted terrorist attacks in the U.S., Senate Intelligence Committee chair says.   NBC News

Track your dog's fitness:
Whistle is a new wireless device ($99.95) that tracks your dog's activity and rest patterns, and syncs to your smartphone or web app. There's also Tagg, a dog fitness tracker and GPS locator ($99.95 plus monthly data charge of $7.95).   ABC News

Drivers, start your engines... With an app. General Motors says its free smartphone app will give you the car's key-fob functions on your smartphones, starting with all of the 2014 model-year vehicles with OnStar capability. (But you'll still need to carry your actual key fob to start the cars.) OnStar subscribers ($19-$28 a month) already has this capability. The free app will be a limited version of what subscribers get. Detroit Free Press

Tell your Disney story: Share your experience at Walt Disney World with your friends online with a new app that lets you tell your story about your trip. Not just tweets and Facebook updates, but in a narrative form.  Orlando Sentinel

Google tease: Google Glass get its first porn app. But the Tits and Glass app gets banned soon after because of Google has banned "sexually explicit" Glassware.   Digital Trends

Windows Phone catching up:
New data from Canalys says Microsoft is expected to almost catch up with Apple in global shipments of the Windows Phone smartphones by 2017. Google's Android OS will continue to dominate, but iOS and WP will compete for second place.

Travel aide: A set of free iOS apps from Rosetta Stone helps users learn the basics and common phrases of another language in French, Spanish, German and Italian. The apps use speech recognition to help you pronounce the words correctly.  Reuters

Phone security: Experts, including Microsoft's chief online safety officer, says the single most important way to protect your mobile device is to lock it with a password.   Computerworld

No more jangling keys: Smartphones can control the house alarm, garage-door opening, AC, and now, even the front door. Use your phone to unlock or lock the front door of your home with a August Smart-Lock just by being in proximity of the device that's attached to the deadbolt on the inside of the door. The $199 Smart-Lock is due out later this year.  ABC News

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Perfect gift for a weather fanatic

Acu-Link weather monitoring system. $199.95 for the main kit which includes the Internet bridge, sensor and desktop display.


Acu-Link weather monitoring system. $199.95 for the main kit which includes the Internet bridge, sensor and desktop display.

Has Tropical Storm Andrea and recent meteorological events in Oklahoma got you all jazzed up about the climate? You, too, can keep track of the weather with Acu-Link by AcuRite, a platform for remotely monitoring environmental conditions.

It lets users observe indoor and outdoor conditions, including temperature, humidity, wind, rainfall, water temperature, atmospheric pressure and forecasts, using one or more sensors placed in locations of your choise. You can share the data you collected online via an Internet bridge, which connects to your router. The information is sent to the Acu-Link servers in the Cloud.

Access the data using your free iPhone or Android app, or go online at

The Professional Weather Center with Acu-Link Remote Monitoring is $199.95, and includes the bridge, a sensor and a tabletop display. You can add sensors, which cost anywhere from $7.50 to $65, depending on type. The kit and accessories are available at

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