Best Gadgets of 2007

So yesterday I was nytimes.com, trying to find the electronic version of an article I read so I could post it to the blog (it was all about how the gifts from the 12 Days of Christmas would cost thousands upon thousands of dollars--and really, what on earth would anyone do with partridges, calling birds, maids a milking, etc? Give me a pear tree, and --of course--the golden rings, and I'm good); but I found something much more interesting instead: The Pogies.

I don't read David Pogue's column on a regular basis, but I do enjoy it once in a while. And I'm a sucker for all things "best of 2007" so this column was a natural read. So here's what I think is cool, based on Pogue's list:

VISUAL VOICE MAIL, from the iPhone. Well, duh. I don't know who came up with the current voice mail system now (that Pogue argues--and I agree--is meant to eat up your minutes), but it seems awfully archaic to listen to your messages in the order they were received, compared to listening to whatever message you want, in whatever order you want.

T-MOBILE HOTSPOT@HOME. This is the freakin' BOMB. The Hotspot @ Home is just that, except instead of wireless internet access, it's mobile phone access. Which roughly translates into this: all calls made from a T-Mobile Hotspot are free, and don't count against your monthly minutes. Which means that if you have the Hotspot @ Home, all calls you make from home are free. And anywhere else there's a T-Mobile Hotspot (Starbucks, Borders, Kinkos...). Brilliant.

AUDIO-LIMITING EARBUDS. Earbuds for kids that only allow the volume to reach 80 decibals, as opposed to 120 for a standard ipod. Awesome if you've ever been in the position of hearing your child's backseat music--via earbuds--from the front.

MAPPING BREAKTHROUGHS. I love love love google maps. The technology just gets better and better. Over the summer, mapping out a route to Ridgefield, I found that you can take their directions, and modify them by dragging the route line onto another road. If that's not cool enough, there's the live traffic data.

CELLULAR FLASH DRIVE. You know those cell phone modems you can get, so you can have internet access anywhere there's phone service? Well, Novatel's gone one better: they've made a USB antenna that doubles as a flash drive. Awesome.

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