From:         Patrick Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 14 Jul 2005 - Gadgets!

TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: GADGETS!

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, a dark granite stone which provided modern researchers with translations of ancient text in Egyptian demotic script, Greek, and Egyptian hieroglyphs.

In a recent post I inaccurately wrote: > now that my name has been successfully destroyed on the surface
> of Comet Tempel 1, I am proud to announce I am now an astronaut.

This misstatement could prove costly. According to the BBC: > A Russian astrologer is suing NASA for crashing a probe into a
> comet, claiming it has distorted her horoscope. Marina Bai is
> seeking $300m (170m) in damages, saying the probe's impact on
> Comet Tempel 1 violated her "life and spiritual values."
> Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4649423.stm

In light of this new information, I would like to set the record straight: I am *not* an astronaut [or a librarian.] I am a Russian astrologer. I regret the error.

On with the show...

Last March we took a quick tour through three of my favorite gadget sites. A lot has changed since then, so I figured we drive our little bus of internet happiness past these sites one more time to see what's new.

Mmmm... Gadgets! Audience: Everyone

Hi. My name is Patrick ["hi, Patrick"] and I am a gadgetaholic. That's right: I am addicted to gadgetahol.

Actually, I'm completely and totally addicted to electronic gadgets like cell phones, laptops, digital cameras... One of my weekend rituals--a ritual with which my girlfriend is less than pleased--is to visit the neighborhood electronic stores to see what's new and exciting. I can also tell you from memory what software my local Costco Wholesale is selling and how much they're charging. And there are so many gadgets spread around my home that when I turn out the lights the glow from all the LEDs looks like I am making a night landing at LAX.

I'm a sick, sick man. :P

And I'm not just addicted to gadgets, mind you, I'm also addicted to information ABOUT gadgets: What company has just released the next cool toy; what new gadget doesn't live up to its hype; stuff like that.

Fortunately, I can satiate my gadget information addiction by frequently visiting some of the gadget blogs that have popped up over the past couple of years. I usually start my daily trek through blogspace at

http://www.gizmodo.com/

Created by Peter Rojas back in August of 2002, Gizmodo is a constantly updated collection of stories and reviews about the latest must-have gadgets. Gizmodo is a little like Slashdot [ http://www.slashdot.org ] with pictures. The site offers one paragraph snippets of gadget information from other sources along with links to where you can find more information about a particular tech product or issue.

Gizmodo's editors do a great job of finding both neat and weird gadgets to talk about each day, but I should warn you that you may want to stay away from Gizmodo if you are easily offended. Most of Gizmodo's entries are both innocuous and informative--for example stories about the new Samsung cell phone [ http://tinyurl.com/bq3qq ] and the absolutely hysterical iPod Fea spoof [ http://tinyurl.com/alo4y ]--but occasionally the site links to stuff that may offend. Two of the site's current stories are about a gadget that decreases the cleaning expenses of men's public restrooms and a special audio accessory that you place in your nether regions. Some people may take offense to one or both of these stores.

Gizmodo-founder Peter Rojas left the site in 2004 to create a new blog called "Engadget" that is, in my humble opinion, a touch more family- friendly. You can find Engadget at

http://www.engadget.com/

Like Gizmodo, Engadget offers one paragraph snippets of gadget news and reviews with links to more in-depth coverage. And while both Gizmodo and Engadget talk about the latest gadgets, I've discovered that the two blogs complement each other quite nicely. If you want to keep up-to-date with the latest in the gadget world, your best bet would be to visit both Gizmodo and Engadget every day.

Our third and final gadget blog is Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools blog at

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/index.php

Cool Tools is kind of like a Sears catalog of neat stuff. Not only does Kevin Kelly talk about the best "high technology" like personal video recorders and body fat meters, he also talks about low-tech stuff like the best emergency teeth fillings or camping accessories. And if you are looking for a great way to kill an hour or two, check out the archives on the left side of the page.

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

That's it for today! I hope you enjoy these three sites as much as I do. And if you know of any other gadget sites--or gadgetholic support groups--drop me a line!

           .~~~.  ))
 (\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
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