Here's another way to get answers from your cell phone when you're lost, need a sports score, or are looking for other information: Call 888-Ez-AskMe and ask your question. BlackBerry users can text their inquiries via the downloadable AskMeNow app. Automated answers are free; text replies from AskMeAnything employees cost 49 cents and are charged to your phone bill.
Who says every laptop case has to look the same? Timbuk2, known for its messenger bags, has come out with a series of totes, including a bright Marina handbag style, specially padded to carry your computer. There's even one to fit the new 17-inch Apple G4. Most bags, priced from $60 to $100, come with a rugged ballistic nylon exterior, rubberized bottom, and removable shoulder strap.
I Spy ...
The $299 Wireless-G WVC200 PTZ Internet camera with audio from Linksys is a nicely appointed wireless security camera that can be used and controlled from the Web. The camera is enclosed in a hard, clear astronaut-helmet plastic bubble that protects the lens and electronics from damage and dust. Along the front panel are the LED lights and an LCD that shows the camera's IP address. The device can be easily mounted on a wall, or use the removable stand and place it on a shelf. A built-in Web server means you don't need to connect it to a PC or a server. Up to 10 users can access the camera at once.
Small But Mighty
Dell's newest Latitude notebook is a 3-pound portable that the company says can run more than seven hours on a battery charge. The D420 weighs in at 3 to 3.5 pounds, depending on the capacity of its battery. It sports a 12.1-inch wide-screen display, Wi-Fi 802.11g or 802.11a/g, and an Intel Core Solo processor. Prices start at $1,149 after a $190 discount.
Fun With Linux
The Gamepark GP2X gaming device, based on Linux, sports a 3.5-inch TFT LCD and two separate processors (one for video and another for everything else). Out of the box, the $199 GP2X has a built-in video player, music player, photo viewer, and an e-book reader. But what sets the GP2X apart is that, because it's based on Linux, there's a wealth of free software you can install on the device. For one, you can play more than 1,000 arcade games in their original coin-operated form. Installation isn't hard, but it's not simple either. But hey, it's all free.
A sign that consumer electronics have taken over your living room: You need to buy an organizer for all your remotes. The $15 Remote Organizer from Get Organized costs a lot less than a universal remote. It's 8 inches tall and made of steel, prompting the postmodern dilemma: What happens when you lose the thing that holds your remotes?
On The Long Road
Now that school's out, the family road trip can't be far behind. A new portable DVD player from Philips could help pacify the backseat crowd. The $130 PET320, which looks a lot like a CD player, also plays music. Its 3.5-inch display is bigger than the video iPod, and a rechargeable battery lasts up to 2.5 hours. For double features on those really long trips, a car adapter is included.