Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dyson Air Multiplier

Digital FM Stereo Transmitter

The season's tech toys

Looking for some high-tech fun this summer? We've got the gadgets for you.

Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News

Reading cool

Here's a theory: Putting reading material on a high-tech device makes the contents more appealing. Try it out on the $20 (discounted) game cartridge called 100 Classic Books, the healthiest distraction of the season for the Nintendo DS portable video game system.

Most titles are staples of summer reading lists — A Tale of Two Cities, The Call of The Wild and the like. An on-screen quiz matches you to a selection. Go online (via the DS WiFi link) and see which titles are most popular with other readers. As with bigger e-readers, you swipe or tap a DS's dual screens (held vertically, like an open book) with a stylus or finger to fly through the pages, insert an electronic bookmark or browse titles.

Want a bottomless library? Prices have just dropped for two full-fledged e-readers: $149 buys a Barnes & Noble Nook with WiFi connectivity to the book store; and $189 nabs an Amazon Kindle with almost-anywhere store connectivity via 3G mobile phone service.

Living cool

Dyson Air Multipliers are expensive, starting at $300. But these bladeless fans are quiet and safe, with no accessible spinning parts that could take a curious kid's finger off. Air Multipliers have a hidden fan whirling in the enclosed, vented base. Just introduced, $499 floor-standing pedestal and tower models look like works of art.

Start me up

Don't you hate how long it takes for the charcoal to get hot enough to barbecue? If you have a Looftlighter, you can get that party started in seconds — and without pouring on the noxious lighter fluid.

This $79.95, Swedish-designed device blows out air so hot it will ignite wood or coal after just 15 seconds. Five more minutes of continued Looftlighter application produces the white coals needed to throw on the goodies. Available at amazon.com.

Music, music everywhere

The compact, battery-operated Digital FM Stereo Transmitter from ccrane.com ($69.95) turns any audio source (with a headphone-style "mini" output jack) into a miniature radio station for reception on all nearby devices equipped with an FM radio tuner. The full-bodied output signal can be adjusted to any open frequency and beams at least 100 feet across the house, yard or beach in all directions.

Dive in

The folks at Flip Video have come out with a $50 Underwater Case designed to take the second-generation Flip Ultra and Flip Ultra HD camcorders to depths up to 30 feet.

The most important thing when using this or any underwater camera case? Don't even think of opening it unless you're indoors in a clean, dry environment.

And inspect and clean the case carefully. A single hair or grain of sand on the rubber edge trim breaks the seal, allowing water in. Fortunately, Flip cameras easily hold a battery charge for a week or two. And playback on the Flip screen can be enjoyed without opening the clear-bodied plastic case.

Starting from scratch? Consider the high-definition, waterproof Kodak PlaySport Zx3 camcorder ($129-$149), reasonably rugged and with image stabilization and face-tracking features not found on Flips.

Available in several colors and rated for plunging 10 feet into the pool.

The season's tech toys 07/23/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 22, 2010 5:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Philadelphia Daily News.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays sure made it interesting Sunday, taking an early lead, watching their beleaguered bullpen blow it, rallying to tie in the ninth, battling the Twins to take a lead in the 14th then giving it up again.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  2. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  3. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  4. South Korea military: North Korea fires unidentified projectile

    World

    SEOUL — North Korea launched a ballistic missile early today that flew 280 miles and landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, the South Korean military and the Japanese government said.

    S. Korean President Moon Jae-in is assessing the launch.
  5. Rays blow lead, rally, blow lead, rally again to beat Twins in 15 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays sure made it interesting Sunday, taking an early lead, watching their beleaguered bullpen blow it, rallying to tie in the ninth, battling the Twins to take a lead in the 14th then giving it up again.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates scoring a run against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on May 28, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010990