Tag Archives: charger

Save on Holiday Shopping with Griffin

Yes, it’s nearly that time of year. Heck, I know people who are already finished with their holiday shopping! . I’ve long been a fan of (and supporter for) Griffin Technology. Not only do they have a wide array of products for most of your mobile devices, the products look great and work well. I use a Griffin case and screen protector much of the time on my devices. I have excellent news for those of you who tend to buy gifts late in December. Griffin has graciously extended an excellent coupon offer to everyone in our community!

Use coupon code PIRILLO1510 when ordering from Griffin, and you will save 15% off of your entire order – AND you will receive free standard shipping! This offer runs October 1st, 2010 through December 31st 2010.

Griffin offers a wide array of products, ranging from cases and stands to power solutions and cables. One of the coolest things I have ever seen may be of great interest to you this holiday season: the Woogie. A Woogie is an adorable (and durable) solution when letting your toddler or youngster handle your mobile device.

Woogie is 50% stuffed animal (for your kids) and 50% protective case (for your iPhone or iPod touch), and 100% fun! A protective pocket velcroes shut to hold your iPhone or iPod touch secure, while a touch-through screen protector lets you choose movies, apps, or music for your child. Woogie’s built-in speaker is powered by 2 (included) AAA batteries, or you can plug in headphones (we prefer MyPhones of course). And Woogie’s six arms (or are they legs?) tuck under to prop it up for viewing, or to sit comfortably in your child’s lap.

What an awesome way to let your kids enjoy the content they want to interact with while you have the peace of mind to know your device is safe!

Don’t forget to take advantage of the great Griffin offer before the end of the year.

Zagg Your Way to Extra Power for USB Devices


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The people at Zagg asked me if I wanted to take a look at the ZAGGsparq.Their claim is that it is the world’s most powerful battery backup and charger. They aren’t kidding, folks. This thing packs 2000mA hours inside of it! The 6,000 mAh Lithium Polymer Battery has enough juice in it to fully charge an iPhone four times.

The ZAGGsparq plugs into a regular old wall outlet and allows you to charge two devices by way of USB while plugged in. The cool thing, though, is that it will hold charge inside when you unplug it from the wall. You can throw it into your pocket or bag and then use it to charge any personal electronic device that requires a USB plug for connectivity. It’s small and lightweight, so it’s easy to take with you when you’re traveling or attending a conference. If you fully charge your ZAGGspark before you head out for the day, you don’t have to worry about finding an outlet to recharge your gadgets while you’re busy and on the run. Just pull out the ZAGGspark and get the go-go juice you need.

The ZAGGsparq does have UK adapters in case you’re traveling abroad. There is also a lighted indicator on the side that will tell you exactly how much juice you have left. This thing will definitely be a part of my accessory kit from now on. I’ve done reviews on what I use when I’m moving around, and this is going to be a perfect addition to the mix.

Zagg Coupons:

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Get Rid of the Trojan From the Energizer DUO

The Department of Homeland Security has discovered that Energizer’s Duo USB charger left Windows computers open to remote control, thanks to a back door in the product’s battery monitoring software. The DUO is a USB and AC charger for NiMH batteries. The software that comes with the product allows one to see how much oomph is left in their batteries. Apparently, though, the Windows software for this device had a lovely little bug in it.

The software installs a backdoor that allows remote access to your computer. That includes “the ability to list directories, send and receive files, and execute programs,” according to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team. If you downloaded the Mac counterpart, you have nothing to worry about. If you have downloaded this software for Windows, you’re going to need to execute a couple of steps in order to secure your computer.

  • Uninstall the software! his will remove the Windows registry value that executes the Trojan when starting Windows.
  • Reboot your computer after the uninstall has finished.
  • Navigate your way to C/Windows/system32/arucer.dll. This is the file that is the backdoor component itself. Delete this file, empty your Recycle Bin, and reboot once more.
  • To add one additional layer of protection, you can have your firewall block access to 7777/tcp. Energizer doesn’t list this step as necessary. It’s just an extra step for safe computing.

The DUO itself is a good product. The hardware is still available through Amazon. However, the software download has been discontinued. The product’s main function of charging by USB or AC still works. However, if you own one of these devices and would like to complain, I suggest you get in touch with them through the Energizer Contact Page.

Idapt to Your Gadget Adapters


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While covering the recent CES conference in Las Vegas for us, Traci stopped by the Idapt booth and met up with company founder Jacques Guadamillas. Picking up a box from the table, Traci was astonished! She was certain that they had snuck into her home and taken a picture of the mess of cables and adapters she has lying everywhere. Thankfully, Idapt can help her!

IDAPT allows you to charge several portable devices at the same time, through a simple system of interchangeable tips. To change the tip, press the buttons on each side of the tip and replace it with a different one. It really is that simple to use!

The Idapt comes with several different tips, as well as different-colored bases. You can choose from silver, black or hot pink! I’m thinking the hot pink one might look pretty good here in my home office, don’t you agree?

In any case, stop throwing fifteen different cords in a drawer, or letting them stay scattered all over your desk. Just grab yourself an Idapt, and be done with it!

Thanks, Traci, for all of your hard work – and the awesome inside look! – during CES.

Thanks also to the folks at Creative for sending the Vado 3 to Traci for use in recording during the conference!

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Solar Power Battery Charger


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Aside from communicating with the opposite sex, what is a Geek’s greatest fear? I’d have to say it would be the fear of losing power! We are always worried about our batteries dying just when we need them most! Due to this, I spent a bit of my own money to buy a Solio Universal Solar Hybrid Charger. That’s right… it can charge from the Sun!! It also has a proprietary cable (ARGH!) that you can use, as well, in case you happen to live where the Sun never shines.

I can use the Solio to charge any number of things, including my iPod. I had to buy some iGo tips to attach to the end of the cable, but it worked like a charm. The Solio, by the way, is compatible with the Universal iGo tip system for use with hundreds of different portable electronics. I can leave the Solio sitting on a windowsill in order to keep it full of juice. It won’t charge as fast that way as it would if it were outside.

It takes about four hours in the Sunlight for the Solio to obtain about 2 hours worth of talk time on a cell phone! So, 5 minutes will give me about 15% of battery life. That’s not too bad, eh? What a great (and economic!) way to charge things!!

I will absolutely be carrying this with me from now on. If I happen to run out of battery, I will hopefully be able to find my way to the Sun!

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Do You Condition Your Rechargeable Batteries?


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I’m testing my batteries with a simple little battery checker. I simply slide the battery in, make contact on both ends, and it will tell me how much charge is left on them. The problem is that not all of these batteries have the same amount of charge left. I could just recharge them, of course. Or, I could use a LaCrosse BC-900 Battery Charger. It’s not just a simple battery recharger. The features include:

  • Works with all NiCd and NiMH “AA” and “AAA” Rechargeable Batteries
  • LCD shows capacity for each battery when charging is complete
  • Charges AA & AAA rechargeable batteries simultaneously
  • Will not charge defective batteries
  • Select different charging current for each channel
  • Automatically switches to trickle charge when charging is complete to ensure maximum battery capacity
  • Automatically defaults to 200mA charge (the optimal setting for prolonging battery life)
  • Overheat detection to protect over-charging
  • 7 Easy to Use Function Keys
  • Charge Mode (charging current)
  • Discharge Mode (discharging current)
  • Refresh Mode (time elapsed)
  • Test Mode (accumulated capacity)

Using one of these will extend the life of your batteries by quite a bit of time. Why not pick one up today? You’ll be happy you did, because you’ll save a ton of money in the long run.

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Are Mobile Car Chargers Good for Phone Batteries?

Chris Levo is the President and Chief Editor of Nteract Solutions. He sent me the following email after watching my video about charging my iPhone on the go. It’s excellent information, so you should read it carefully.

I was watching your video about leaving your house with your iPhone, and needing to charge it if it runs out of juice. You mentioned a car charger being a very good idea and what should be done (retract, iGo, whatever you want to call it). Any charger that goes into the car is bad for the device battery. Why? Because the power is not regulated like in your home. In my line of work, I have seen many batteries die because people use their car chargers WAY too much. A car charger should be a LAST resort. I try to explain to customers that when they get home they obviously (well I guess 99.9% of the world) take out their wallet, keys, coins, or whatever is in their pocket before going to sleep. Make it a habit to charge your phone with your home charger.

The same goes for purchasing cheap home chargers just to save a buck. Many customers frown at $30 for a home charger because they lost theirs and say they will just go to the “flea” market and get one for $10. The ones for $10 are worse then the vehicle/12v charger port (not called a cigarette lighter in any vehicle anymore because the lighter portion does not come with the car unless you add the option. That is another answer to a question you had at the beginning of the video).

I’m tired, it’s late, but I just wanted to get this out and make you aware of the fact that using a car charger can kill the length of the battery by as much as 50% (if used more then the home charger). Just something to think about before you go plugging in your expensive device in your car charger or don’t feel like running upstairs or where ever it is in your home to plug in your device because you might be too tired. Take the extra 2 minutes and plug it into the home charger.

The moral of the story here is to be proactive when it comes to keeping your mobile device charged. Use the proper home charger. Trying to save a few bucks or some time now will end up costing you far more down the road.

Which USB / Firewire Car Charger do You Use?


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How many of you out there have an iPod? How many of you leave the house? What about having a car? Even if you don’t have an iPod, you may have a device that requires a charger of some type. I’m sure you have a mobile power adapter. Today, I picked up the ultimate charger. The Emerge Tech Retractable 5-in-1 iPod Charger is an awesome little travel option. The features include:

  • Compatibility: This accessory is compatible with iPod, iPod mini and iPod nano.
  • Versatile charger: A car power adapter, wall power adapter, USB and Firewire charge plug are all included, so no matter where you are you’ll be able to stay powered up.
  • USB and sync cables: Sync with your Mac or PC, or use the USB cable to transfer music, pictures and video to your iPod.
  • High-quality: Durable ABS housing means this accessory will be particularly hard to break in any situation.
  • Retractable components: The cords retract into the shell for protection and to save space.

Even if you don’t own an iPod, I still recommend this gadget. It’s well worth the $20 I paid for it, even if only to have the USB and Firewire charging capability. What other travel devices do you use and cannot live without?

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