Lousy Gadgets To Avoid
Today's market is flooded with gimmicks and gadgets appearing to make our lives more technologically advanced. This is not the case with the majority of the products out there, especially in the technology department. WIRED has created a list of products to keep your hard earned money away from.
Fusion Garage JooJoo Tablet
Twice the weight of an iPad with half the usability and an interface buggier than bucket full of cockroaches. And no access to apps. And a $500 price tag. No 3G connectivity, Google Talk or Adobe PDF reader. POP3 e-mail? Support forMicrosoft exchange? Keep dreaming. A battery that conks out after only a few hours of use. All this can be yours for the low, low price of $500. We wish the JooJoo were just a bad joke with no punch line. Sadly it was a real thing and the absolute worst gadget we reviewed.
The Shake Weight
When was the last time a pushup made you laugh so hard, you actually got in a decent ab workout? Say hello to the infamous Shake Weight, a device that's been spoofed so rampantly (see SNL's faux commercial) that most people probably don’t realize this thing's actually a real product.
In practice, the "workout" wasn't terribly satisfying. We'll admit you do feel reasonable tension in your muscles. However, jerking this 5-pounder only got our max heart rate up to 114, which pales in comparison to a standard weightlifting session, let alone back-to-back sets of pushups. More importantly, after a few days of use, our muscles didn't feel nearly as sore as they do from weightlifting. And, as everyone knows: no pain, no gain.
D-Link Boxee Box
The Boxee came close to being tossed into the vaporware pile, but low and behold, the media-streaming device came out late this year. It should have been put back in; it's not even close to being done yet.
The hardware, which is made by home-networkinggiant D-Link, is unusual-looking. It's cool, but it won't fit on a narrow entertainment center shelf, and it doesn't go nicely in front of the TV, either. You need to find a tall shelf somewhere.
The remote sometimes gets confused if you press buttons on both sides at once, which is easy to do unless you hold it carefully. Also, entering passwords using the QWERTY (as you have to do for secured Wi-Fi networks and to access your Boxee account) is extremely frustrating, especially if your passwords have a mix of upper and lowercase, because you can't see what you’re typing on the screen.
Looxcie Bluetooth Headset-Camera Combo
Warhol was only half right. Sure, everyone is famous these days, but only for 15 seconds and in 15 fps. At least that's what the Looxcie, a wearablevideo camera, presumes. Integrated into a flashyBluetooth headset, the device is meant for capturing happenstance moments where whipping out a phone or cheap portable camcorder may not suffice.
In practice, Looxcie still doesn't seem quite ready for its close-up. The entire headset is less than 28 grams and fairly comfortable -- until you really start moving around with it on. A light jog crossing the street required holding the camera in place. Every time we bent the flexible boom to frame a shot, the whole package jerks out of ear. The problem isn't just hardware, either. Looxcie's app is easy to use: Short clips are e-mailed within a minute. But for now, it's compatible with Android cell phones (sorry iDrones).
Is Nathan's Hot Dogs in Kyrgyzstan? The GPS-enabled 12-megapixel Samsung HZ35W certainly seemed to think so, placing Coney Island's culinary landmark in the mountains of Central Asia when we pulled our images into Apple Aperture 3's "Places" mapping feature. When the same thing happened with a replacement camera, we switched to Apple's iPhoto, which also has Places, and the geotagged photos were dropped properly into a map of New York City. Go figure.