Thursday, March 30, 2006

Kitchen Appliances Buck the Trend

The kitchen and kitchen appliances is one of the fewer consumer product categories where according to Damon Darlin in the New York Times Business Section style, new features and bragging rights "Buck the trend and cost more". The trend being the lower costs of consumer electronics such as laptops with dramatically improved functionality over the last 10 years at far lower prices.
Why? In a post 9/11 world the home and especially the kitchen is the center of family activity and socializing . Combine this with the promise of high tech electronic ovens to help conquer the fear of messing up the Thanksgiving turkey and infinite special purpose and very effective gadgets to save time, another precious commodity in an era of long commutes to big homes in the suburbs.
Kitchen Contraptions is a fun blog gathering together many of those neat gadgets we just can't live without...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS Watch

I previously had a Garmin Forerunner 201 watch which allowed me to see my pace and distance on the run or on skis. I managed to lose it after a 50K ski race but hesitated to buy another 201 due to its performance under tree cover

I found that on our New England forested trails if there was leaf/tree cover I would often lose the signal with the 201 . So I was very interested to hear the claim the new Forerunner 205 and Forerunner 305's (inlcudes heart rate monitor) had, along with a more watch like form factor has much improved reception under tree cover. An excellent blog by John Sun has an extensive series of superb comparative trail runs . Using some of the Google Maps based sites listed below he plots the performance and accuracy/wanderings of the 201 and 205 side by side on maps. John was able to convince me that the 205 is a significant improvement over the 201.

Several sites such as MotionBased (owned by Garmin), Sportstracks, Bones in Motion allow users to upload GPS data from GPS units, from certain Sprint and Nextel phones via a subscription from Bones in Motion, or to manually click out and measure your route via overlays to Google Maps. As previously discussed in one of my other posts all of these solutions use "mash ups" Google Maps.