Ten... tech stocking stuffers
Last minute shopping ideas to treat your geek
Product Round-up Stuck for ideas for someone who has everything or just in need of inspiration to top up a stack of gifts you already have? It's certainly tricky sorting out gifts that are going to please over those that will be destined for eBay come the New Year. So here we have a bit of mixed bag – or should that be Santa's sack? – ranging from simple to sophisticated, cheap and cheerful to costly and cool. That said, a little idle searching online can deliver substantial savings, so if you're buying for someone with a tech habit that needs feeding, then feast your eyes on this selection.
Now here’s something for discerning designers and photographers... or just folk who want things to look right. Datacolor’s Spyder4Elite goes beyond just calibrating a Mac or PC monitor for colour accuracy, as it can perform the same tricks on iOS devices too. Colour calibrated iPhone, anyone? The Spyder hardware is placed on your monitor or touchscreen and seven sensors gather information from an array of colours that are fed to the display. On a Mac or PC this is a simple matter of running the Spyder4Elite software, measuring the ambient light and then placing the Spyder on the screen. With an iPad or or iPhone you need to instal versions of the SpyderGallery app on both the computer and the iOS device and away you go with easy walkthrough instructions.
The Gallery app allows toggling of calibration on/off and the results certainly make a marked difference. Typically, you notice how blue and bleached out the uncalibrated display is with the Datacolor treatment bringing out more natural skin tones and detail in shadows. The Spyder4Elite even has profiles for video, so if you know anyone serious about imaging you can be sure they don’t have a blue Christmas with the gift of a Spyder.
More info Datacolor
I remember thinking that £50 for a guitar pedal was a bit steep as I mused over the usual line up of dreamy effects from Boss back in the day when Do They Know It’s Christmas? was charting for the first time. And today, I feel the same way about the £139 pricetag for the iStomp – alas, pedals are still costly. That said, Digitech’s box of tricks can be any pedal you want it to be, all you need is an iOS 4.0 or higher device and you can feed it new effects from the StompShop app.
App Shop updating with owned pedals ticked, also the pricey but priceless Lexicon reverb treatment
The app itself allows you to preview effects with short audio clips. You can make in-app purchases and send an e-Pedal to the iStomp hardware using a docking adapter cable. Apps typically range from 69p to £6.99, with the heady £13.99 for a classic Lexicon reverb. But have no fear, earlier this month Digitech announced the iStomp would now feature 10 free e-pedal effects devices and those who already own one will find the new effects are added to the My Pedals library in the StompShop app.
The real pedal accommodates only one effect at a time and it takes less than 30secs for a transfer to complete. As this is a lump of guitar effects hardware, it has the usual effect/bypass footswitch, four controller knobs and features two pairs of 1/4in jack sockets for true stereo set-ups of instrument and amplification – no headphone output here though, sadly. Due to the increased range of free e-pedal apps – that include blissful modulation effects, searing distortion and the resplendent reverb and delay lines – there’s little to complain about here given Digitech’s pedigree. For those whose guitar gear has lost its flavour of late, an iStomp sounds like it could be Santa’s little helper.
Thanks to Sound Technology for the loan of the review sample.
Next page: Disgo 9104 9.7in Android tablet
I was already pretty dubious about taking the article seriously when it's supposedly about stocking fillers, yet there's nothing in this list at what I would call stocking filler price. I stopped reading altogether when you feature an iPhone case which supposedly reduces mobile "radiation" yet increases signal strength. If you're going to put out such an obvious marketing puff piece based on stuff you've been handed/loaned, next time please put the complete and utter bull***t on the first page so I won't have to waste any of my life on it again.
Putting aside the claims of "radiation" from mobile phones causing harm, you cannot at the same time reduce "radiation" and increase signal strength - THEY ARE THE SAME THING. If you block/attenuate the signal coming out of/into the phone, your signal strength and quality will drop.
"Weird science? Snake oil modelling? Take your pick, it’s going to be hard for a user to determine if the improved signal strength is noticeable or if Pong’s redirection of TRP (total radiated power) is going to save your life or not"
No, it won't be hard for any user with any ounce of common sense at all. Any user with any common sense at all will realise that if you block something you cannot amplify or improve it at the same time. No, they'll stay the hell away from the company foisting quackery on you at an inflated price; they'll get A.N. Other brand silicone case/skin for their phone and pay £5-£15 for it. Which, incidentally, will also stop your phone sliding around and protect it from falls without the exorbitant price tag that this thing commands.
There is no depth of fail low enough to describe the depths that TheReg has plumbed with this "article".
"Stocking fillers" are usually cheap!
I thought it was going to be serious
Ha ha ha ,
Bob Dormon picked 10 completely random tech items, which probably have a decent kickback, threw them onto a webpage and gave the page a title.
A Spyder4 screen calibration tool for photographers........had me rolling about the office floor
A Dlink routeur .................... had the rest of the office rolling about the floor
An Aston Martin mouse ......... we had people coming in from the street to see why everyone had tears in their eyes whilst flailing about wildly on the office floor and they too joined in....
It's wednesday and Bob must have some serious problems coming up with anything original, so we got this............
ha ha ha.
I'm still wiping away the tears as I write
Hmm, thinks...... Want a few fun items to fill my Geek's stockings? I know I'll buy him/her a £180 monitor calibration thingumy and some £250 headphones.
Who at El Reg HQ seriously believes that as a last minute Christmas present, any of us is going to waste £180 on a monitor calibration tool just because it'll work on a FruitPhone? Or £260 for headphones, for that matter?
I mean, yes, I understand that these articles are at least 50% about the affiliate program clickthroughs, but still...had you offered stuff that people might even remotely be interested in picking up as impulse-buy last-minute gifts, it could've worked. I've no idea who this list is targeted at, only that they clearly have far more money than sense.