More Cool Stuff From CES

By  |  Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 10:17 am

The Consumer Electronics Show is still on my mind — and the products I found are the topic of this week’s TechBite.

I still have lots of products in the queue, so these are short blurbs; if something gives you a jolt, I’ve included links so you can dig deeper.

LoJack for Notebooks

I get the weekly rap sheet from our local sheriff’s department, and I’d say that in auto and home burglaries, the notebook is the grab-and-run favorite.

Maybe you can’t prevent the theft, but AbsoluteSoftware‘s LoJack for Laptops might be able to recover your notebook. The software installs on a hidden location on the drive (MBR or partition tables; the company’s cagey with details) and is untouchable by the run-of-the-mill knucklehead thieves.

Depending on the plan (ranging from $40 to $60 per year with discounts for three year subscriptions) you can freeze the notebook remotely or delete selected files. The software uses Wi-Fi or GPS to track the notebook’s location and report it to authorities. The $60 Premium edition pays you up to $1000 if the notebook’s not recovered. (Note: I didn’t read the guarantee’s fine print, but being cynical, I’m guessing there are loopholes. [You, cynical? Ha! — Copyedit.])

Great idea: If you’re shopping for a new notebook, check these 14 brands of notebooks with LoJack built into the BIOS.

Encrypted Cell Phone Calls

Have a trade secret you need to mention while gabbing on your cell phone? For $5 per month, Kryptos makes your peer-to-peer voice and data communication safe with 256bit AES and 2048 bit RSA key encryption. The FAQ is ideal if you’re feeling paranoid.

Unlimited Remote File Access

It looks like a double-headed Flash drive and it sort of is. Stick one half of the iTwin into, say, your home desktop’s USB port. Take the other end to Timbuktu and slip it into your notebook’s USB port or an Internet cafe PC. Now view, copy, or edit files on the remote PC. This ain’t magic, folks, you need a fast Internet connection. Nothing’s stored on the device, so there’s no storage limit; the devices act as encryption tokens with AES-256 encryption. About $100. Read the specs.


Remote access from anywhere



TabGrip for iPad

I easily saw 50 ways to hold your iPad. TabGrip caught my eye because it seemed more versatile than the others. $40 on the site (I haven’t seen it discounted elsewhere.) Watch the video, but lower the volume first because of the dopey music. (Why do marketing types think loud music is so appealing, eh?)

The iPad Needs a Keyboard

Your iPad’s cool, sure, but with the on-screen keyboard, you can forget about doing any serious writing. That’s why I thought Zagg’s Zaggmate Case was so smart. Built into the aluminum case is a keyboard that uses Bluetooth for a wireless connection to the iPad. About $100 (Remember, I said smart, not cheap.)


iPad users to get a real keyboard

iPad users to get a real keyboard



Find me, Fast

Have a child or other family member you need to keep tabs on? Wrap a watch-like EmFinders band on their wrist and if they stray, you’ll be able to find them. Unlike GPS devices, EmFinders uses cell phone tower triangulation; the company works with 9-1-1 responders to find the lost person. The wristband is $185 and there’s a $25 monthly charge.

It’s CoolHotNot

I told you about CoolHotNot weeks ago and the site’s cooking. Eight industry experts extolling the great products we use, the ones we wish we had, and the lemons that no one ought to get near.

CoolHotNot’s CEO, Dave Whittle (former PIBMUG members will remember him) and the super curmudgeon, John Dvorak, talked to Dave Graveline about the new site. Watch the video, then sign up to win products at CoolHotNot by clicking on the I Want It button.

[This post is excerpted from Steve’s TechBite newsletter. If you liked it,¬†head here to sign up–it’s delivered on Wednesdays to your inbox, and it’s free.]

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