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This article was published 23/8/2014 (699 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Wind meter a wonder
WHEN I saw an email inviting me to test the Vaavud wind meter, I thought it was just another one of those gimmick smartphone accessories.
But I decided to give this one a try, because I'm a smartphone junkie and my wife thinks I'm a weather junkie. This could bring all my worlds together.
Much to my delight, the Vaavud works as advertised to "turn your smartphone into a high-tech meteorological tool."
The cup-anemometer tool attaches to your headphone port (Android and iOS), and combined with the Vaavud app, you instantly know the wind speed.
The day I tested it there was no wind, so I took it along for a ride through my neighbourhood, holding my iPhone 5s out the car window with the Vaavud attached. It worked like a charm, reading the speed as I went faster or slower.
The app allows you to interact with other Vaavud wind-meter users around the world to share your wind speed and find out what it is in other locations -- the fun is endless!
DETAILS: US$49.95 in choices of green, red or white; vaavud.com.
Watch live TV on the go... when you're in the U.S.
IF turning your smartphone into a wind meter wasn't enough, the Audiovox Mobile TV device from Dyle Mobile TV lets you watch live local TV on the go in select U.S. markets. This can include local news, sporting events or sitcoms.
It has no effect on your cellular data plan, and you don't need Wi-Fi to receive the broadcast.
In a nutshell, you create a network from the Audiovox Mobile TV to send its signal to the Dyle app on your smartphone or tablet.
It works with smartphones and tablets running the latest Android, Kindle or iOS operating systems.
The device is about the size of a deck of cards and has an extendable antenna.
You need to check the availability of networks on the Dyle website. Just enter the zip code you're in, and you'll get a list of channels available for broadcast. Blackouts apply for some sporting events.
There is pause and rewind, but it's not a DVR for recording. The internal battery will last for up to four hours before a USB charge is needed.
DETAILS: US $99.21 at Amazon.com; dyle.tv.
Wireless keyboards, mouse merit a look
THE slim-styled Rapoo wireless keyboards are just 5.6 millimetres thick but are big-time on performance.
They work with a tiny Nano receiver that plugs into your computer's USB port for a wireless connection up to about nine metres.
There are two versions: Model E9080 has a touchpad and number pad on the right side, while model E9180 has a wireless touchpad on the same side. Both have a great looking aluminum design.
Other features include multimedia keys for shortcuts such as audio playback or quick Internet access.
With its Surfree laser technology, the Rapoo wireless laser mouse (model 3920P) runs smooth on most surfaces. It's built with aluminum alloy and an ergonomic design. There's an on/off switch that allows it to last for up to 18 months.
DETAILS: US$59.99 for the keyboards, US$39.99 for the mouse; rapoo.com.
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