TRACK YOUR LUGGAGE

“Trakdot” is a palm-sized device and an app that tracks your luggage. You get an alert when it’s 30 feet away. If your luggage gets on the wrong flight anywhere in the world, at least you’ll know where it is. The $90 device recently won an Edison Innovation award.  

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TAG YOUR PET

Tagg keeps track of your pet’s whereabouts through a GPS attachment on its collar.

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THE BEAT BEAT OF THE TOM TOM

We got two snazzy gadgets that seem like good bets for holiday gifts. One is a new TomTom GPS device and the other a TomTom-powered sports watch.

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ANDROID PHONES BECOME TOM TOM TOMS

A new app coming out in October will turn your Android phone into a TomTom GPS device, giving you turn by turn directions – and you don’t have to be online.

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GETTING THERE

Microsoft Streets and Trips is a $40 program that has been around for many years but is still popular with many, especially the recreational vehicle crowd, despite the existence of free Google maps, cheap GPS devices, and recommendation sites like Yelp. There’s a major difference here: You have to be able to get online with the Internet to use Google Maps, but Street and Trips works from information on a DVD or one-time download of the program. We did a comparison between the online Google Maps and the offline Streets and Trips on our Windows laptop. We chose Newport Beach, California (Joy’s hometown and the site of our most recent trip) as our base.  Streets and Trips found 236 restaurants […]

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“WATCHING” YOUR FIGURE

– Motorola has a new smart watch with enough features to keep a fitness buff humming. The “MotoACTV” is a GPS plus music player wrist watch that figures out which songs make you exercise harder and plays those more often. It does its figuring by monitoring your heart rate. It  tells you how many calories you burned and your average workout pace. It uses Bluetooth to talk to you through a headset. It can also broadcast FM radio. It’s $250 for the 8 gigabyte version. – You can turn an Apple “Nano” music player into a wristwatch just by adding a strap. We saw some at Amazon for $23. They even had leather ones. If you use a leather strap […]

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AUTO HINDSIGHT

We were a little envious of car backup viewers that show what’s behind you when you go into reverse. This now comes standard now with some cars now but you can also add it to any car. We’re trying out the new Magellan “Wireless Back-Up Camera,” which shows you what you’re about to bump into just before you bump into it.

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WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

Google “Latitude” and Apple’s “Find My Friends” are two free apps that help you, well, find your friends. “Find My Friends” works only with Apple’s latest mobile operating system, but Google’s “Latitude” works with anything. Still, if you really want to know what’s going on, you might want a tracking device, like “PocketFinder.”

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LOST IN THE AMAZON JUNGLES

If your summer adventures take you deep into the jungle, beyond even the reach of cell phone signals (social network death), Delorme’s new “InReach” two-way communicator could be useful.

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HELP, I’M LOST IN A QUANDARY

This GPS unit works even in the jungle, and you can send text messages with it.
(CLICK UNDERLINE BELOW HEADING FOR MORE.)

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