Sole Unisex Softec Ultra Insole

The SOLE Softec Shoe Inserts by NatureWorks replace the inserts that come with off-the-shelf sneakers. They improve comfort, balance, alignment and pressure distribution by giving extra arch support, and can help flat-footed people. Besides being Eco-friendly (they are made of corn and not petroleum) these inserts differ from others in that they can be heated in your kitchen oven so they will form to the shape of your foot. 

How do I power my USB devices on an airplane?

If you are going on a short plane ride, we suggest instead of plugging in, you just bring fresh batteries and maybe a backup. You cannot guarantee the plane will have power, and getting it to work requires even more hardware, wires and luck.

  • Choose the Right Seat

Planes do not have a power adaptor at every seat, so when booking a flight and you are prompted to choose a seat, go to, look up your plane and locate available seats with power. SeatGuru indicates seats with power by a black dot. You may be warned that not all versions of your plane are have the same and may not have available power.

Using the Garmin 260 GPS to Navigate European Streets

It was time to update my original Garmin GPS and I had two options. I could get a Garmin that read street names or, for the same price, a Garmin that has US and European maps. Since I had a vacation to Germany planned in the near future I opted for European maps that come with the Garmin 260.

Apparently there are "maps" and "Detailed" maps and the Garmin came with "detailed" maps, which appears to be true. All the tiny little streets (some only a block long) all seemed to be there in the various towns I checked.

  • Works well in open areas, but not in narrow streets

Many of the streets in the 'Old' part of towns are very-very narrow (Just a few feet wide in some places). Although the buildings are not tall (mostly 2, 3 or 4 stories) there is not much clear sky and unfortunately that seems to be enough to block the satellites.

  • Doesn't work well turning it on and off

Since I didn't want to approach the end of the day only to find my GPS was dead, I would only turn the GPS on until I had a clear shot to my next location. The problem with this is that because of the poor reception it sometimes took 10 min before it had a lock on the satellites. That is a long time waiting, or a long time heading in the wrong direction.

Coby CV-E195 Noise Canceling Headphones

At $20, these are going to some of the cheapest noise canceling ear buds you can buy. If you were considering picking up a cheap pair, don't. They do practically nothing for canceling airplane engine noise. In fact, I would argue they make engine noise worse by adding to it a high-pitched hum -- even when there is audio input. They are cheaply made and the control box is unnecessarily large.

Panasonic RP-HC30 Noise Canceling Headphones

The Panasonic RP-HC30 noise cancelling earphones remove some of the persisten background noise from your environment.  The $40 RP-HC30 ear buds are not as good as $400 over-ear headphones, but they do work well and they easily fit in a pocket or carry-on. Where more expensive over-ear headphones block out virtually all airplane engine noise these ear buds mostly take the edge off of the droning of the engines.

When first using the RP-HC30 on a flight it was disappointing how little engine noise it seemed to block; seeming to old make the engine noise sound 'different'. After being removed thirty min into the flight it became obvious how much engine noise was actually being reduced. Although "Reducing outside noise by 75%" does not make an immediate difference, it makes a huge difference over time.

Structurally the device is well built and very compact. The oddly shaped ear buds fit nicely in the ear canal and offer excellent sound quality (including bass). There is virtually no hiss when noise reduction is enabled and even then it is only noticeable if there is no audio input.

Thanks to the compact size, decent sound quality and ability to make flights more pleasant, the Panasonic RP-HC30 Noise Canceling Ear Buds are now a permanent addition to the carry-on bag.

How to Convert a Digital Camera for Infrared Photography

Infrared Picture of a Palm taken by a Nikon D70My Nikon D70 has been sitting around unused since I bought a Nikon D300.  To make it useful again I decided to convert it to an infrared camera.  After doing some research, I found that will convert your camera for you or sell you a filter to do the conversion.  Feeling adventurous, I decided to do the conversion myself.  Life Pixel's site offers decent directions and assures you that the Nikon D70 is relatively easy to convert.

Digital camera sensors are inherently sensitive to infrared light--they have a low-pass filter that block most of the infrared light from reaching the sensor.   You can take infrared pictures by putting a filter in front of the lens that block the visible light and just lets the infrared light through to the sensor.  The disadvantage of this is that so little light reaches the sensor that you end up with a very long exposure times.  Also, with SLR's you can't really compose using the viewfinder anymore since so little light is going to the viewfinder.  Life Pixel replaces the infrared filter in front of your sensor with a visible light sensor so the camera's viewfinder still works and the exposure times are normal.

Life Pixel offers 3 different Infrared filters, Standard IR, Enhanced Color IR and Deep BW IR. They also offer clear sensor filters and original Low-pass filters in case you scratched your filter and wanted to replace it. I chose the standard infrared filter. The filter replaces the stock low-pass filter that the camera comes with. By removing the Low-pass filter and replacing it with an IR filter, the camera is as sensible to IR as it was for normal photography. The major benefit of this is that you can see through the view finder and easily compose your shots. There is also no need for long exposure times, and no need for a tripod. This is a huge advantage over the standard way of doing Infrared photography. Life Pixel has filters for quite a few cameras. For the complete list check out their web site.

Issues When Upgrading Blackberry from BIS to BES on T-Mobile

When switching from BIS to BES on my Blackberry I had some issues that I was not able to find easy answers for on Google, so I thought I'd pass it on to you incase anyone has the same issues (and so I have it written down). My internet didn't work, my personal email didn't work and I ended up with duplicate Calendar Entries.
1. My bookmarks did not work. I had to:

  • Edit each bookmarks from "Internet Browser" to "Blackberry Browser".
  • Set the default browser to "Blackberry Browser" (Options->Advanced->Browser).

2. After setting up Exchange I was able to get my Exchange email, I did not getting my Yahoo/Gmail email. I also could not get Google Maps or Blackberry Maps to work, I had to:

xRite ColorMunki Photo - Monitor, Printer & Projector Color Profiler

Color MunkiColorMunki Photo is a color profiling tool that offers monitor, printer and projector profiling technology for a reasonable price.  Although the price is reasonable, it uses the same high end spectrophotometer found in the high end profiling devices sold by X-Rite.  A significant advantage over similarly priced competition is the ability to create custom printer profiles.  The ability to create printer profiles is important for digital photographers to allow them to create color accurate prints of their images.  ColorMunki also has color creation and communication tools that allow you to grab colors from virtually anywhere, including your entire image library, preview your color palettes under different light sources and even preview for PrintSafe production under a variety of different printing methods.

Leatherman Serac LED Flashlights

As you know we are big fans of Leatherman multitools--they are well made and handy. Now Leatherman has come out with a series of pocket-friendly, hard-anodized aluminum Leatherman Serac LED Flashlights.

Internet Companies Introduce New Reverse Cell Phone Search Technology

By and large, cell phones are marvelous technological developments that make most people's lives far easier.  With a cell phone, users can stay in touch with friends and family regardless of geographical location. One aspect of cell phone usage that can prove to be frustrating to many, however, is the fact that the white pages equivalent for cellular phones is non-existent, and moreover, against the law. To address the growing demand for cell phone directories, internet companies have developed an online service that allows users to lookup up phone cell phone numbers online in order to retrieve the name of the person associated with the cell number account.

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