Here's proof that cables and smart badges can be both smart and cool.

Home Theater Cable Kit
$400
planetwaves.com/ci

Cables in the past had to be crimped, soldered, cut or stripped in order to be changed or adapted. And you needed specialized tools to make the adaptations.

The PWCK03 Home Theater Kit comes with cables to cover HDTV, cable, and satellite and DVD. These guys have made it simple by putting all the cables in one box. Open the box and it looks like a candy tray filled with connectors and cables.

The beauty of this all-in-one solution is that you can tailor it to your own personal home-theater system. So, for example, if the Blu-ray DVD player is on a shelving unit that is farther away from the speaker system and you want to hook them up, then just cut the cord to the exact length you need, insert the right connector and then screw it in to tighten the connection.

Included in the PWCK03 kit are:

  • 25' single cable
  • 25' dual cable
  • 25' triple cable
  • 38 RCA male connectors
  • 4 F connectors
  • 20 elastic cable ties
  • 1 cable cutter/tester
  • 1 screwdriver
  • With the included cable cutter/tester you can test to see if the cable has proper termination. You may be wondering about the price of the kit, but if you've ever picked up a cable at a local electronics store you know that buying individual cables for home theater can add up fast.

    If you can screw in a light bulb, you can create cabling for your home theater system.
    Bluetooth Smart Badge
    $80
    iqua.com

    Corporate ID badges have inspired this company to add-on a Bluetooth wireless headset. As a result, the BHS-608 Iqua Bluetooth Smart Badge, is a dual-purpose product.

    The way this works is you pair the device with your Bluetooth phone. Once paired, the earpiece that is attached to the lanyard enables you to receive calls and can also redial the last call. The Smart Badge can be used with any brand of Bluetooth mobile phone that supports the headset or hands-free profiles. One other use for this device would be for VOIP calls.

    There is a vibration feature for incoming calls so you won't disrupt meetings, as well as the ability to use three-way conference calling.

    At this price don't expect state-of-the art crystal clarity on the earpiece, but the idea of combining your corporate ID and a hands-free headset is unique.

    What you'll get for $80 are the Smart Badge, lithium-polymer battery (inserted), wall charger, mini USB cable for charging compatibility with a PC or laptop, carrying case, user guide and quick guide.

    One note for those of you who don't like reading instruction manuals, you need to charge the device for five hours prior to first use.

    Site to See

    Verizon Users Speed Test

    Do you want to see how fast (or slow) your broadband speed really is? If you are a Verizon user, go to this site to test your speed then (depending on the results) call your friends and brag or call the company and gripe that you're not getting the speed you're paying for.

    Either way, it's nice to finally know how fast your connection is.

    Diana Forbes is a Los Angeles-based writer and media personality. Her "Gadget Grrl" reviews appear in various national print and online publications, and she demonstrates consumer products on national and local television shows. Click here to visit her Gadgetgrrl Web site.

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