Posts in Category: Gadgets

There's Dealextreme also in Europe!

When I want to buy cheap chinese stuff, instead going on ebay, that's a scammer paradise, I always go on Dealextreme.

The main problem is getting the stuff. Italian mail is SLOW and something sent from China will arrive after MONTHS.

The great thing, is that there's free shipping on everything. I need a plug converter? Good, it's less than a dollar, with free shipping, no minimum to reach!

In August I needed a lithium battery for a Canon 1000D, I searched and I found one for $6. A few days after ordering it, I received this message:

We’re writing to inform you that the package RI********CN from your order 140908******1 has failed to pass the airline security check as it contains lithium batteries/knives or products that contain liquid which are now under extra scrutiny in world air cargo services.
We therefore have switched it to another delivery channel to ensure the order is sent to you as soon as possible.
Here is the new package tracking number RE*******SE.

Did you notice something different in the package tracking? I only noticed when I received it: there was a SWEDISH stamp???!?!

I go on the website to leave a review and I see now a small european flag.


I click it, I'm shocked! If it's shipped from Europe, that means I can get it in a few days!

But the rules are a bit different:

  1. The stuff is a bit more expensive (VAT?)
  2. Minimum order for free shipping is $30

But, going to see coupons, they gave me an 8 dollars one!


But the minimum amount is $50, what can I buy? I'm used to do $5 orders, 50 it's a lot. Also I need to understand what they mean with "coupons cannot be used with other discounts", because the hottest stuff is already carrying a discount...

How to sync Keepass with BlackBerry 10 using Dropbox

Do you use KeePass and have a BlackBerry 10 smartphone?

Do you know that you can automatically sync the passwords database with your computer via Dropbox?

How to do that?

You need:

  1. KPD, it's a slightly edited version of KeePassDroid (GPL source here)
  2. OI File Manager, it's a file manager that integrates with many Android apps like KPD/KeePassDroid
  3. A BlackBerry 10 smartphone

And then it's a piece of cake!

  1. Put your KeePass database in a Dropbox folder
  2. Open KPD and tap the "open folder" icon
  3. OI File Manager will open
  4. Now, click on the top, on the "home" icon, on the left of the SD card icon
  5. Browse to ACCOUNTS, then 1000, and then SHARED
  6. Inside there is our Dropbox folder: the system-level integration will download the file when needed, uploading edits, if needed.
  7. If you want to have offline access to the database, you just have to open the BlackBerry file manager, select the database in the Dropbox folder, long-press it, and "star" it: in this way it will be automatically synced in the background, over Wi-Fi and also via 3G, if you enabled it in the settings.

Which is the best shaver?

A friend of mine wants to give a shaver to her dad as a gift, but, as a girl, she has no idea about which one is good and which one isn't. When I was living in Japan my German shaver broke, and I did a long comparison in the stores, trying them and searching the one that has the best cost/performance ratio.

I wrote a long email to her, then I realized that I can share my findings with everyone, if someone else needs it.

Basically, the best brands are just three: Philips, Panasonic and Braun. Other brands are cheaper but it's way more difficult to find replacement blades after 2-3 years.

And there are two kinds of blades: circular or linear.

What is important to have in a shaver is:

  1. Waterproof - in this way it's MUCH easier to clean: just place under the tap and rinse it.
  2. Battery powered - shaving tethered to a wire is not that comfortable: my old shaver was one of those. Anyway, almost all of them have a battery nowadays. Just make sure it has a lithium battery, as it will last a longer time and won't discharge when unused.
  3. A trimmer or blades to cut long beard - if you don't shave everyday, the facial hairs will be too long to be cut by the shaver blades.

The one that I bought in Japan is similar to this:

It's not exactly a Panasonic ES-RT51-S, as in Japan they have different product numbers and brands (on certain products, like this, Panasonic products are labelled "National", in Japan)

Why I chose it:

  1. It has an extra blade between the side blades to cut long facial hairs - perfect for who doesn't shave everyday
  2. It has a trimmer
  3. It has a battery charge indicator
  4. Waterproof
  5. Has a lithium battery
  6. Has a pivoting head to follov the shape of the face (it does not make a great difference, though)

If you want to save some money, you can settle for the ES-RW30-S, it does not have the extra blade for long hairs, so you need to trim them with the included trimmer before you shave. If you shave everyday, it can be ok.

If you like circular blades, this is the best:

It has a trimmer, waterproof, lithium battery but has two missing options compared to the Panasonic: no battery charge indicator (it just says when it's low battery), and it does not shave well if your beard is long if you didn't shave everyday.

But, the circular blade has a more comfortable shaving, in my opinion. If you shave everyday, this is good. If you often "forget" to shave, and shave 3 times a week, this isn't very good.

If you want to save $10 you can get the PT720 model, but it does not have the trimmer.

For Braun shavers, the best ones are expensive in my opinion, so I don't have a model to recommend.

Not all USB chargers are the same

I always thought that, after all, a $2 Chinese USB  charger is almost the same of a $30 Apple USB charger.

Then, I read this article where various chargers are compared... and I was shocked to see the quality of the current given to my handset. 

That's why when I charge my BlackBerry Dev Alpha with a $2 Chinese USB charger the touchscreen goes nuts!
Since it's a prototype, it doesn't have CE or FCC certifications and it's not shielded by electromagnetic interferences, and the very bad quality of the charging input has a noise that makes impossible to use the capacitive touchscreen.

The Minority Report interface is real!

For the end of the year it might be commercialized the LEAP, an USB device that watches your hands in front of the screen to use as input.

You did not understand? See the advertisement to see how it works:

When I saw it, I was really speechless! The future is now! I said to myself: this thing is gonna cost thousands, I go to see the preorder page and... $70??? Incredible!

Will it manage to really be commercialized or it will be just one of the endless vaporwares that made us dream? And, when it will be available, will it be comfortable to be used, or the gorilla arm will made it awkard to use?E quando uscirà, sarà comodo da usare, o la sindrome del braccio del gorilla lo renderà poco utile? (An interface designed to be used with hands on a vertical surface gives to the user an higher fatigue than an horizontal surface)

Taking pictures framing with fingers

A prototype of a japanese camera doesn't have viewfinder or display, just insert a finger in a slot and frame with finger. Explain with words is much more difficult than really it is, this is the video:

Nowadays, springs are so expensive...

At job I bought a Xerox Phaser printer, and it's not bad. That printer has an optional kit to that enables to take extra thick media. Cool, I say, and I order it. I open the box, that is a normal dvd case, and the content is this:

The kit it's just a cheap spring???????

Before that I tell you how much this spring is sold, let's do a survey: How much this spring is sold for?

After answering the survey, you can see the price on the official Xerox price list.

Is Apple thinking to a slimmer dock connector?

All Apple fan-sites are publishing that there is in the works new connector for the iPhone, slimmer and with new useful features like Thunderbolt.

Reading this story makes me wonder: what is the point to use a special connector instead of using the micro usb, (which can also bring HDMI signals, with MHL) that it's a standard, it's cheaper, it's used by the rest of the world, and it's required to use in the European community??

Option A: in this way they can sell for 20 bucks the data cable (real price: $1)

Option B: in this way they can sell for 30 bucks the plastic dock with no electronic parts inside and which still requires the $20 data cable to work (probably the beautiful box it's more expensive to make than the dock)

Option C: in this way they can make millions with the "made per iPhone" certified accessories, like radios and so on

Option D: in this way they can make millions selling another adapter to who already owns the dock connector accessories

Option E: all the other options

Mattel Apptivity, the funnest way to break your iPad

Are you one of those that, having got a new iPad, are eager to see the screen with heavy scratches, scuffs or even get it broken?

Thanks to the new Mattel Apptivity toys, your dream can become true! (video in the link)

Those toys have contact points on the back, to interact with some games, so by placing an Hot Wheels car on the screen it will be posible to drive it, or slice fruits in Fruit Ninja, or eat om-nom candies in Cut the Rope; or crush your opponents in a Wrestling match by hitting the screen with the bundled figure.

Letting play a kid with a toy car on a 600 bucks screen looks like an AWESOME idea, I wonder why nobody ever thought about it 

It looks like the BlackBerry PlayBook doesn't sell like hot cakes...

Maybe due to the Kindle Fire at $ 199, and rumors of poor sales, at the beginning ot the month, RIM lowered the price of the BlackBerry PlayBook: pick any model at $ 299

It would seem a good opportunity to have a discount of 400 dollars on the 64 gig PlayBook, but almost three weeks are passed and it's still in stock, even the 64 gig model... (for the same price, what will you choose: 16, 32 or 64 gig?)

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