Open Thread: What Latest Tech Do You Love?

We haven’t talked about technology finds for a while, so I thought I’d ask — what have you guys been using and loving? I’ve been thinking about trying some of the many sleep apps that are out there, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

The latest techie thing that I’ve been using and loving are these Foscam cameras, both to monitor my son as well as to monitor his caregivers, whether it be the babysitter or a family member. (Yes, everyone knows they’re on camera.) Ever one to outsource, I asked my father (the true techie in our family) to look into baby monitors, and this is what he found. Originally I was annoyed that the camera feed is only viewable on the Internet — “in the middle of the night, you expect me to roll over, boot up my netbook, and check on my son?” I asked incredulously — but with the iPad app (and an app for my Droid) it’s incredibly easy to check on him. I like that I can buy multiple cameras and view them through the same app (right now we have two, one for his nursery and one for the living room), and that you can use the apps to “pan” the camera. You can set the cameras up to be motion-sensitive, and even to have them email you when there is motion. They only require a nearby power outlet (no batteries, thank goodness) and a WiFi connection. I’ve recommended these “nanny cams” to other new moms, but I think they would be great for busy women who have workers coming in during the day, if you have pets at home, if you have a vacation home, or I’ve even heard of them being used to monitor grandparents and other older people (particularly ones who don’t always hear the phone ringing). Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle)


  1. Not a techie, but looking for techie advice: Does anyone know of an iphone app that can track mileage during runs that won’t drain the battery?

    • heatherskib :

      are you using Nike+?

      • Anything with GPS running will drain the battery. I second Nike+ as the fave, but I also have iMapMyFitness and it works too. Maybe try both and see which one has the least battery drain?

        • I’m using “Every Body Walk” but have looked into Nike+. Thanks for the recos!

    • Runkeeper is *awesome*.

      • Second runkeeper, I don’t think it drains the battery too much.

        • Third

          • Ditto. It’s surprisingly accurate.

            On a related note – what’s everyone’s favorite training program. I am doing a 5k training one right now that I am finishing up and would like to start a 10k next. thanks.

          • Bette– I like Hal Higdon’s plans.

      • I use Runkeeper and like it; it gets off track once in a while but overall I’m pleased. Just make sure you turn off the screen on your phone, or it will stay lit up the whole run, which will drain the battery.

        I also love that it emails you if you haven’t run in a while, good motivation!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I like Map My Run app but I don’t know how that would effect your battery. I never notice a problem with mine.

    • Eloise Speghetti :

      My tracks by google?

  2. My father got me an I-PHONE and I am having alot of fun acessing the INTERNET with it from work.
    The manageing partner thinks I am busy answering email, but I am accessing my GMAIL, not my WORK e-mail and am surfing the WEB!!!

    I also can even see the CORPORETE websight from my I-PHONE!!

    I also use GOOGLE.COM from it!

  3. heatherskib :

    back to the original thread- I love my ipod nano. The newest ones are so small, and you can get different watch bands for them that work with the built in watch faces. I eternally get compliments on my watch- – and it fascinates people to learn it’s an ipod. My only wish- is that it would run apps that don’t require large amounts of screen space. ( ex. couch to 5k, etc)

  4. I love my satellite radio. I have the XM Onyx radio (link to follow). It’s a small, portable radio that docks into a set of speakers. I have a vehicle kit for my car and a speaker dock for my office.


    • karenpadi :

      Second the XM radio! I was lucky enough to buy a lifetime subscription right before they merged with Sirius. My only beef is that, since the merger, the sound quality has deteriorated to FM-radio level.

  5. This post threw me for a loop when it showed up in my RSS feed–I work for a company that sells video surveillance equipment, and I come to Corporette to get away from work reading!

    But Kat makes a great point about all the uses for surveillance cameras. The newer cameras aren’t nearly as hard to install as people seem to think.

  6. Is it bad that I’ve considered setting up the equivalent of nanny cams so I can find out what my dog does all afternoon while she’s home alone? Not that I need to know really, I’m just curious. How much of her time is spent trying to get into the trash? How much barking at things? How much sleeping?

    Someone tell me this isn’t a valuable use of my time and money.

    • I had never even thought of this! I think it’s a pretty cool idea if it wasn’t too expensive. Plus it can still be put to use if a baby ever comes along…

    • Always a NYer :

      Do it! And be sure to report back what she does all day ;)

    • I’ve seriously considered setting up my webcam for a day to find out what my cat does while I’m gone at work. Though I highly suspect it’s just sleeping.

    • I totally want a webcam to watch my cats — mostly because I think they’re the cutest things ever and just want to coo at them all day.

      • this

      • If I could have a streamed feed of my cats at my office all day… words cannot describe the joy this would bring.

        Although, it would absolutely drive me nuts to see the mischievous one run across the screen with one of my hair bands or piece of paper or errant thread and not be able to do anything about it.

    • I’ve thought the exact same thing. The problem is that I think everything she does is adorable, so I would spend all afternoon watching her do whatever it is she does.

    • You all are enablers. Thanks. :-P

    • Rose in Bloom :

      My husband set one up with an extra webcam we had lying around. I was also really curious to know what our dog did and would watch while at school. FWIW, I learned that she spent most of the day curled up in a ball sleeping (figures, I have an incredibly lazy dog).

    • My friend did this. She first couple of days she thought it was broken, but when she got home everything seemed to be working fine. Then she realized that her dog just slept in the exact same spot and position (by the door) ALL DAY.

      • This isn’t bad at all – we have seriously considered, but can’t justify the expenditure just to satisfy our curiosity.

      • I know someone that did this for her rescue lab.

    • That was the first thing I thought of when I read the post. I am curious if my dog plays with her toys by herself during the day or just sleeps. Also, I’m curious if she makes noises (roo/howl/bark/etc.), or if she saves that for when we’re around. I would also like to know if she greets our house cleaners like she greets us (we are still figuring out if she likes people in general or actually likes us as “her” people).

    • Wednesday :

      I did this actually! I highly recommend doing so. I went traveling for two weeks, and I wanted to see my cats and know that they were eating and drinking properly, so we set up a webcam by their food area. (The sitter still came by every day.) It was awesome to see them, and the webcam took stills and sent it to our email – it was hilarious getting random photos of my cat’s tail, giant paws etc…

    • I do this too! They definitely sleep all day and don’t have the big house parties with their friends that I’d been hoping for.

      Seriously, it’s great and really useful. I like being able to check on them if I need to work late.

    • I totally want to do this with my cats! I have come home and seen some crazy things and everyone swears they didn’t do it so I would really REALLY like to know what they’re doing all day!!

      It’s not really a valuable use of time and money, but I totally want to do it too.

    • I completely have this same thought about my cats!! And I travel for work constantly, so I have the same thought about the cat sitter!

  7. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d put my Sonos stereo system at about an 8. The sound quality is superb and there is nothing better than listening to an audiobook while I clean house on Saturday mornings and never missing a thing as I move from room to room. The alarm system and interface through the iPhone app (you can get a special remote if you don’t have an iPhone) have been life-changing for me. I set the first alarm for Pandora’s Duran Duran channel at a soft volume and then my actual alarm 30 minutes later is a slightly louder “Sonos Chime.” You can even set different alarms for different rooms. This alone has made it worthwhile for me – waking up is now a delight, not a chore.

    I learned about Sonos from Farhad Manjoo,’s technology columnist. I find his technology recommendations excellent.

    • Oh forgot to say why not a ’10.’

      I do not like how fussy Sonos is about syncing with my iTunes library. They market it as being super-simple, but it’s not. If I knew more about networks and file sharing, it probably would have gone more smoothly in the beginning, but because I am not very network-savvy, it took some jiggering and a few emails to Sonos support to get it set up. It’s still not 100% as smooth as I’d like it.

      And, it does not update my iTunes library with play-counts or let iTunes know when I’ve played a podcast. Not a biggie, but it is kind of annoying since I primarily listen to my podcasts via Sonos now. I have to go in to iTunes and manually delete them from my library once I’ve listened to them.

      • Thanks for the suggestion..I just moved into a house and was thinking how awesome it would be to have a wireless speaker system throughout the entire house.

        Right now, I seriously carry around a small battery powered speaker attached to my MP3 player haha.

        I’ll have to do more research to see how well Sonos works with non Itunes players and Amazon MP3s. If the reviews are good, I’m sold.

      • I love our Sonos system too! We have a distributed audio system that the Sonos plugs into, we can run the CD player, Pandora, Radio (webcast), Sirius and everything else through it. We also synced a Time Machine to hold all the random music!

        Other tech – don’t forget the iPhone!

    • That sounds awesome. Especially the “waking up is now a delight” part.

  8. Seriously? You monitor family who babysits your son? Seems a bit over the top.

    • It sounds like the cameras are always on so she has the option of checking in on her kid whenever. If I ever set something like this up, I know I’d never turn it off. It’s not like I’d have to swap out cassettes or anything.

    • AKB, I thought the same thing…. The family thing is mystifying. Monitor Grandma holding her Pumpkin Ball?!! I’ve had several nannies over the years whom I’ve trusted with everything that is dear to me (my babies!). I consider them family friends. It would be weird to tell them they’re under surveillance. Maybe I’m just a vintage early-mid 2000’s Mommy who is just naive?

      • Diana Barry :

        Ditto – I would never check on my parents when they are here with the kids!

    • Ditto.

      Monitoring family is a little creepy.

      If you trust your family, you don’t need to monitor them. If you don’t trust your family, they shouldn’t be near your kids or anything else important.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        I do not “trust” my mother in law. I would never insult my husband by refusing to allow her to babysit, though. There are different levels of trust. I trust her not to drop/drown/smother the baby. I do not trust that she will not disregard my wishes for whatever reason.

      • I don’t think there’s anything creepy about it. You can monitor events even if you trust someone completely. Sometimes when I’m at work and I miss my daughter who is 22 months, it makes me feel great to schedule a 3-minute break to log in and ‘watch’ and see how happy/sleeping/contented she is – then I can go back to work and be more productive.

        • Consulting :

          I have a video monitor in my kids’ room and I don’t ever turn of the monitor….I don’t record it, but it’s there as a stream. So if I’m working in another room, I can hear what’s going on in the house…I think the video part is pointed at the ceiling or something. With non-family caregivers, I think it’s nice to have a way to see how things are going, especially with someone new who is getting used to the kids. It doesn’t mean I don’t trust them. With my family, it’s a way to know if the kids are being cranky or whatever, and maybe my partner or my mom or whoever could use a hand. I like being able to take a temperature on the mood in the house.

      • LCDR Susan Ivanova :

        Does your handle refer to what I think it refers to?


    • Amelia Bedelia :

      As a person whose mother in law COMPLETELY disregards my wishes, I feel like this might have its use. I think Granny would be less likely to, say, give the one year old a sippy cup of coca cola if she knew I was watching . . . so many parents think they know better. I can see how “monitoring” is not bad — as long as that person is made aware of the surveillance.

      plus, maybe the family member is a 16 year old cousin? monitoring in that case is wise to a. ensure the boy/girl friend isn’t coming over; and b. watch for pointers that you may be able to give to help that teen give better care (holding/feeding the child incorrectly, etc.).

      • I do think the nanny cam idea is a little creepy, but I had to laugh at your MIL giving your one year old a sippy full of co-cola. Is she southern, by any chance? :)

        • My Grandma made me little cups of coffee when I was, oh, 4-5 yrs old. Super duper sweet with LOTS of cream. Tasted kinda like caramel. Um um good! (Yes, I’m Southern, and no, my Mom didn’t know about it. LOL).

        • Oh co-cola. I also like the sippy-cups of Mountain Dew, also known as moun-dew.

          Have no comments on nanny cams, but great memory of my grandad: he would always keep a six-pack of glass bottles of co-cola in the fridge, and we’d drink them with salty peanuts. Classic Southern child-rearing moment.

          • haha, I’m not southern, but my dad was, and child rearing tips from my southern relatives ranged from co-cola to help tummy aches (and every time the baby cries, that’s a tummy ache, apparently) to a little brandy in the bottle when baby has a cold. Ha!

            And, to a., my dad drank RC Cola with peanuts. Sometimes raw peanuts, and to this day, I can still vividly conjure up what a raw peanut tastes like. :)

          • My Southern grandparents always had glass bottles of RC Cola in the garage (to be brought in to the kitchen fridge 2-3 at a time to chill) and we drank them while eating cheese straws (and, at Christmas, homemade Chex mix made with Parkay).

            Yikes. Now I want cheese straws.

          • Oh man, the memories of having RC Cola with the grandparents. Amazing.

        • My niece calls diet pepsi bubbles and is exceedingly fond of it. Its a wee bit concerning to me, but everyone else seems okay with it, so whatever. :-)

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          hee hee. No, she is from a country with less “awareness” (for lack of a better term) of health issues. She thinks that a child should partake of all benefits of this country. Unfortunately, most “benefits” are unhealthy!

    • Yeah, I have to say that the whole nanny cam thintg strikes me as a bit overboard. I get that it’s reassuring to check in but I think it’s just too intrusive.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        how can it be intrusive when it is your own child?

        • Because you are intruding on the space that the caretaker and child need to form a bond and relationship.

          • Hi, I agree with your post totally. Twitter is a great way to get more business.
            use it regularly to get lot’s of traffic to my websites and build popularity for my brand. If your in business and your not using twitter. Your truly missing out on a goldmine.

  9. I love the to-do web app ToodleDo. I can email a task in, and it’ll show up with my default parameters (start date, due date, etc.), or I can code the email to personalize it. It makes maintaining my list very easy. It handles repeats well, and it has many views available, both native (by due date, by folder, by priority, etc.) and custom (you can create and save your own search patterns). It works on my phone, too. And I have a really good spreadsheet of travel tasks that I personalize then upload for each trip I take — that’s made a world of difference!

    Another web app I am now completely reliant on is LastPass, which is a password keeper. I now have “real” passwords (i.e., random strings of characters) instead of 3 or 4 variations for every site. There are browser add-ins which will auto-fill forms, so I rarely have to type a password.

    I also love my Kindle, but not for its inherent Kindle-ness; I love e-readers in general. The idea of being able to travel without half a suitcase full of books is wonderful.

    And even though I generally hate headphones, I won’t travel without my noise-cancelling ones. My current set is by Audio Technica.

    And stuff in the technology graveyard I completely miss: my Palm. Any one of them (I went through several). I was so sad when that went away.

    • I’ve tried noise-cancelling headphones and they make me so sick. Horrible sinus headaches and nausea within moments of turning them on. I am envious of people who can use them without ill-effect because they do sound so much better.

    • My noise canceling head phones are the best things ever — especially for long (read trans-Atlantic or continental flights).

      Though I love the Bose ones, I can’t justify the cost. We have imitation Bose that we bought at Costco that work great (forgetting the brand off the top of my head).

      • Agree on the Bose. They are better, but like 10-15% better, not 100%. I found mine by searching Amazon for 4+ star reviews … there were like 700 reviews of them, overwhelmingly positive. I don’t remember the price, but I think it was something like $150 — half the Bose price. And, these have lasted quite a while. I’ve had them at least three years, maybe four. Before that I was going through a pair a year.

    • I’ve been meaning to pick up a pair of noise-canceling headphones, thanks for the rec on the Audio Technica. I’ve just wasted a good 20 minutes on Amazon reading reviews (so far).

  10. I don’t use any of those sleep apps, but I have the White Noise app and I absolutely love it. I have always slept with a fan / white noise machine, and this means I can have my soothing noises while I’m away from home. Plus there’s a great variety — air conditioner, fan, or oscillating fan? So many choices!

    • Maine Associate :

      Me too! I am light sleeper so I won’t get any sleep without it.

    • breuckelen :

      I really like the White Noise, Sleep Pillow, and Ambiance apps, and make use of all of them. Ambiance will let you mix sounds so if you want to listen to fall asleep to something like both the sound of the ocean and the crackle of the fire at the same time you can create that. To have up to three sounds are free and I think you can just change out the three for another three.

      White noise apps are very useful for soothing to sleep but are also useful to help cover other noises, such as a sleeping partner getting up early or coming in late.

      I have not used any of the sleep apps that Kat linked to that track your sleeping pattern, but I do use the Lark and its app as my Silent Alarm Clock. The wristband itself costs $99 and the sleeping coach is an additional $60 that I didn’t spring for. I didn’t think the wristband vibrating would wake me as I’m a very deep sleeper but after 3 weeks I continue to wake up to it. And more importantly, my sleeping partner does not. I also enjoy that it was created by a woman in tech.

  11. I like my Mia so far! I do have questions, though, which I know have been discussed previously but I couldn’t find the threads.

    1. Does anyone know what head comes with the Mia? I’ve seen people mention that they like the deep cleaning one the best; I’m assuming that’s not the one I have, but I’m not sure.

    2. Do you put the cleanser directly on the head? It doesn’t really foam that way, so I am unsure if I’m doing it right.

    3. How often do you use it?

    • I’m not sure what head came with mine… I’m just assuming the normal-strength one. I put cleanser (not the Clarisonic one, but an Olay one I use) directly on the head. it doesn’t foam, but it’s a creamy cleanser, so it doesn’t anyway. I use it twice a day, in the morning and at night– I have very dry skin so this is necessary for me!

    • I had read somewhere (maybe here) that facial cleansers work better if you put them on a dry face, massage them in, then start adding water. So how I use the Mia is to rub cleanser over my face, wet the Mia head and then use it on my face. After the Mia stops, I use my cupped hands to rinse my face with water several times.

      I use the Mia every night before bed. My intention in buying it was to make sure I got every last bit of my makeup off in the evening.

      I don’t know the answer to the brush question.

    • 1. My Mia came with the sensitive one. I now have the normal one (when I replaced it, I hadn’t planned ahead and did not know what I already had on it, and the salesperson at Sephora was the least helpful person in the world), and I am thinking about trying the deep cleaning based on reccs here.

      2. I wet my face, rub cleanser on my face with my hands, and then I use the Mia–I usually run it under some water first.

      3. I use it every night in the shower, face/neck only.

    • 1. Not sure.
      2. I alternate between putting cleanser on my face and putting it on the brush. It doesn’t foam much either way. Not sure if there is a “right” way.
      3. Every night, usually. In the morning only if I was really lazy the night before and didn’t wash of my makeup (GASP!).

    • 1. If you pull it off you should see the plastic has a color to it. you can go to clarisonic’s web page and click brushes and see the different types. If yours is a white brush with grey plastic its normal. The deep pore one the brush is white with blue in the center.
      2. I do this way too. No idea if its right or not. I try to rub it in a bit first and then use it to wash my face.
      3. I do it every night to get off all my makeup, but I don’t have sensitive skin. I had a lot of blackheads and now they seem to be virtually gone. My complexion has dried out a bit since then.

    • 1. My Mia 2 came with a sensitive brush, and I also have the deep pore one, which I like better.

      2. I put the cleanser on the dry face, then wet the brush. I think the instructions said that either putting the cleanser on your face or the brush was fine.

      3. I use it every night, and occasionally in the mornings.

      Related Threadjack: When I first got my Mia, I was using the sensitive brush, which worked fine. Mine also came with the deep pore brush (it was a QVC deal), and I ‘ve been using that one exclusively for about 2 weeks. I’ve noticed that my face is breaking out more than before, and I think I read that this is something that happens when you first start using the Clarisonic. Is that right? My assumption is that the sensitive brush (which I used for about 2 months) wasn’t getting down deep enough, and now the deep pore one is getting the gunk out.

      • I have this same problem with my Clarisonic. I googled it and read that apparently it just makes some people break out. Some reviews said this went away after a while, and some said it never went away. I’m nervous to keep using it since I don’t really want to keep bringing on unnecessary breakouts….

      • I got the same QVC deal as you. I started with the sensitive brush and now am using the deep pore cleansing brush. I had the same issue – chin breakout – for about 2 weeks. It has not cleared up. I put the soap on my face then use the wet brush.

        I have an oily tzone and normal cheeks. I focus the brush on my tzone and then hand wash the rest of my face. This works best b/c my cheeks were getting very dry when using the brush on them. My face is so clear that I don’t really wear foundation anymore. Just a tinted moisturizer.

  12. I really enjoy the Pandora app for the Iphone. It is so great to listen to continual music at work with only a few advertisements. I like that you can “shuffle” your different stations.

  13. Mom of a toddler :

    A have to say, I think nanny cams are really creepy. If I felt the need to supervise DS’s babysitters that closely … well, they wouldn’t be babysitting them at all. Besides, I would never be fully engaged in anything (work, socializing, etc.) if I were constantly checking on DS via a camera.

    The most useful app I’ve found lately is Sleep Pillow. I plug my iPod into my alarm clock/docking station, and the Sleep Pillow app plays soothing nature noises for up to an hour while I drift off to sleep. I’m partial to the sound of rain or gently crashing waves. It works wonders on those nights when I’m too mentally keyed up to fall asleep.

  14. Roomba (robotic vacuum). It forces me to pick up the clutter from the floor (and put all my shoes away) and then cleans my floor for me!

    • Public Service Announcement on Roomba – We loved our Roomba right up until we installed dark colored hardwoods. Turns out, if you find someone at the customer service number who is honest and you ask the right questions, that Roomba reads dark hardwood floors as a series of edges that it might fall over. Needless to say, Roomba spent a lot of time in one spot once the new floors went in and we switched to the (manual, sigh!) Swiffer Vacuum Sweeper.

    • how does the Roomba work with area rugs and dining room chairs (all those legs)? Do you have to put your chairs up when the Roomba is running?

    • Eloise Speghetti :

      Yeah my dog would kill that thing….

    • Anonymous :

      I couldn’t stand mine. I always had to move my chairs, power cords, etc. to feel like it was actually cleaning my floors and not just bouncing around. It was a huge pain and I would have to separate my 600 sq ft apartment into 5-6 smaller segments using the invisible walls and move furniture around constantly. It took over an hour to run all of these segments, and with all of the furniture moving and babysitting it to keep it from aggressively crashing into my furniture, it was more work than just regular vacuuming. It also required very frequent cleaning and getting all of the hair out from the brushes was pretty gross and time consuming (and I don’t even have pets!). I bought a Dyson and haven’t looked back. I wish I could sell the Roomba to get some of my money back, but I’d feel bad sticking someone with it. When I switched, it would barely run for more than 3 minutes before the red light would come on claiming it was trapped under something–in the middle of the room with nothing over it.

      • I didn’t have a good experience with the roomba. Hardwood floors; it always seemed to get stuck and clogged with not a lot of fur.

  15. Diana Barry :

    I would like to try one of the sleep apps, but not until the baby is sleeping through the night (after she is born of course, lol) – otherwise it would be too depressing.

    I have a question about a different kind of technology: Spanx. Has anyone ever tried Spanx swimwear? I will be a few months postpartum this summer and am thinking I should get something in case I take the other kids to swim lessons/etc, but the Spanx ones are expensive! Also, does anyone know how they run size-wise? I normally can’t wear one-pieces bc I am tall and thus long torso.

    • I have not specifically tried Spanx suits, but I know that Target carries less expensive Spanx suits. You may also want to check out J Crew. They have a tankini top that floats away from the body that I think would be perfect postpartum.

    • Also try Land’s End for swimsuits! They are not too expensive and have a wide variety, and a lot are “slimming” and whatnot.

    • Are you going to be nursing? Something else to think about is that your breasts will be much larger – I ended up with a lands end tankini last summer (4-8 months post partum) because certain ones had sizing by bra size and had much larger cup sizes than were available in normal swimsuits. It also had a control top bottom, which was nice. I ordered a bunch of different sizes and styles, which was a good idea because I ended up with something very different than I thought I would want, and didn’t really have any clue what size I was at that point.

    • Lands End!! They suck in your tummy and come in specific cup sizes.

  16. Roku! It has an incredibly intuitive interface and it really is plug and play. Our computer & wireless antenna are as far away as they can be from our TV and the Roku, on another floor and the opposite corner of the house, yet Roku still downloads a thirty minute show in just a few seconds.

    It’s about the size of a smallish paperback book & really not expensive at all. I got the 1080p version so it was a bit more than the $49 they advertise everywhere, but still really reasonable.

    • Agree – have had mine for 3 years and its great to watch netflix instant on my real TV and also movies or shows from Amazon or Hulu-plus. We’re thinking of dropping cable and buying another one for our other TV.

  17. I love my TripIt app. I email all my flight/hotel/rental car reservations to them, and it’s organized nicely on my iphone with travel tips and weather for the area I’m going to!

    • And you can share! I totally forgot to list this — I love TripIt too.

  18. I’m kind of a travel geek, so a lot of my recent tech finds are all about making my life easier when I am traveling – or at least making me feel that way! Very low tech, but I recently got the Belkin mini surge protector. Love it! – it’s small and light so I can just throw it in my bag, and it’s really helpful for those times when you only have one outlet in your hotel room (it has two USB charger ports plus three actual outlets). I also have an Apple AirPort Express for using in those annoying hotels with no WiFi, only wired access. I’d also been planning to look into using it for wireless music but haven’t gotten that far with it yet.

    Sticking with the same theme, I do like the TripIt app for managing my schedule on the road. The iHandy translator has 52 languages with some audio capabilities, and I’ve also downloaded the Japanese-specific apps Kotoba (translation) and Japan Map (with English labels!) Flightboard is nice for monitoring specific flights (or general airport status) for any airport. My geeky entertainment is to browse airports to see how I can get somewhere exotic. :)

    • That’s another thing I forgot (I’m also a traveler). We don’t go anywhere without our surge protector — no more fighting over who’s device can be charging in the hotel!

    • lucy stone :

      Thanks for recommending this – it’ll be perfect for our honeymoon to charge up our cameras and readers. :)

  19. Oh, I just remembered another one. The Charge Pod by callpod. It’s a little heptagonal base with slots for six customizable chargers. We can charge my iPad, my daughter’s iPod, my son’s Nintendo 3DS, my husband’s iPod and both my husband’s and my phones, which use Micro USB, all at the same time.

    Though for some reason, my husband and I fight over who gets the “good” Micro USB port. (We have one we both prefer, I have no idea why.)

  20. Tech question:
    I keep my calendar on my iPhones built in app, and sync it with my MacBook pro. Now that I have an iPhone 4, I thought it would be easy to let my son use the iPhone 3 as an iPod–it is–and copy the calendar from the laptop. That doesn’t work. I know this isn’t a new issue for Corporettes, can someone tell me how you do it?

    • So your iPhone 4 and your MacBook pro don’t sync iCal automatically? My first guess is that if you have iCloud enabled on your phone, but haven’t upgraded your MBP to Snow Leopard (or whatever the newest version is called), that would be why.

    • Sorry – I meant Lion. For me, I made the mistake of switching to iCloud without realizing I also needed to upgrade my Mac to Lion. Could not sync iCal wirelessly until I did that.

      • My phone and computer sync fine. Problem is when I try to keep the same calendar on my son’s iPhone. The cloud filled up very fast for us & I couldn’t take pix until I turned it off or paid for storage space. I elected to turn it off.

  21. Loving my iPad I finally bought for myself after Christmas!

  22. The Wish List Add-on button for Firefox. I really just need to get Amazon Prime already.

    • My phone and computer sync fine. Problem is when I try to keep the same calendar on my son’s iPhone. The cloud filled up very fast for us & I couldn’t take pix until I turned it off or paid for storage space. I elected to turn it off.

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