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The Real Deal 207: Power! (podcast)

Martin LaMonica joins us to talk about power usage with your gadgets. What should you be concerned with and what can you do to lower power usage.

Martin LaMonica joins us to talk about power usage with your gadgets. What should you be concerned with and what can you do to lower power usage.

Now playing: Watch this: Ep. 207: Power!


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Happy Earth Day. Welcome to the Real Deal, the weekly show where try to dispell the FUD around technology.
This week: The power show, with CNET writer Martin LaMonica, our go-to guy on energy.


I can see 3D, but I’m one of those people who gets a headache and nauseated watching 3D for more than a few minutes. The problem is going to a movie with friends. Is it possible to watch a 3D movie in 2D? Some sort of polarized glasses? Google is worthless; it keeps turning up “how to covert 2D to 3D” sites, but nothing about how to watch a 3D movie in 2D.



Answer: Not yet! But this is such a simple and great idea that I did a whole column on it for CNET To The Rescue. Here’s what we need: 3D glasses that display just one eye’s image in both eyes. Boom, problem solved. I’m working on it.

My take: A proposal for the stereo-blind:


Hey guys,

My parents are using a relatively new hand-me-down Acer Windows Vista
laptop. It’s a core 2 duo with 2GB RAM, but it’s a real clunker and
now also has decided to only display in green or pink. (Warranty
expired and Acer support are more useless than a fork while eating

I was looking to get them a netbook, the Asus Eee 1201HA. I usually
know my tech, but netbooks have never interested me and as a result i
am clueless about the Atom processor.

I went for the netbook because it’s cheap and all they to is internet
based stuff, look at pictures and run itunes for ipod syncing. The
issue is that now my dad has decided he wants to backup his DVDs and
put them into his ipod using handbrake. Will this be overkill for an
Atom? I dont want to get them a piece of junk thats gonna burn out
from overuse in very little time nor do i want to get them a state of
the art overkill that is going to be left twiddling it’s thumbs 99% of
the time.

I’d love to get them a macbook but the jump from potentially 400€ to
1000€ is waaaay too much.

Any advice? Thanks!!


A: You might look at the Gateway NV7915u
Pimp: Rafe’s take on refurbs:


Hey Tom and Rafe,

You have covered the topic of network cameras for home surveillance on multiple occasions, such as the Panasonic BL-C131A. I own the Linksys WVC54GCA, which is cheap, and works great. However it’s software is terrible, and does not work on a Mac, which is my home platform. I can view streaming video on the web anytime I want, but I have no way of actually recording the video, which makes it pretty useless. I have looked at network storage devices which support video recording, but if someone breaks into my house and steals the drive, that would also be pretty useless. Are there any cloud storage services that will cache the streaming video over the web? Thanks – love the show!

- Chase

Dallas, TX

Answer: Dropcam:
Workaround: Have your cameras set to record video on motion-capture and then email it GMail. 7GB. Just clean it out every month or so. That’s what I do.


I’m going to buy a Macbook, but also i love the windows 7 on my laptop right know ( i do have Gateway MC7833u which is fancy looking computer ) but i need a computer which i can carry everywhere easly. And i want to use Windows 7 in it. My question is which software i need to go with for that. I just watched your show from back in 2007 and you were saying that vmware is better then parallels. But, how ’bout know? I’ve been in parallels website and it was showing me the fancy things that it has.

So could you please tell me which one you think is better, and you recommend.


Jon Rayback
from Miami Beach, FL

A: Parallels has caught up quite abit. I’m about to try it out. Some people say it’s snappier. However I have no complaints with VMWare. YOu also might consider Virtual Box.


Hey Tom and Rafe!

I had my car window smashed a few days ago, and the unlucky thief took my 4 year old Mio Digiwalker c310 GPS unit. I thought, “Great! a chance to get a fancy new GPS!” Boy was I in for a shock! Apparently in the 4 years since the GPS industry cranked out the GPS I had loved so dearly, they spent their time coming out with hundreds of models with only the most minor variation in feature sets and almost completely negligible improvement in the actual products. So after getting depressed at the horrible selection available, I went into Radioshack…. and there was my savior!? They had an Archos 5 Internet Tablet on display with the GPS units. Now I know it isn’t a dedicated PND, and Donald Bell wasn’t very happy with it’s GPS reception skills, but doesn’t it seem like there should be some Android based PND’s out there? Maybe even small tablets like the Archos 5 that do the GPS thing?


Dwight the Key Grip,

Rafe: I recommend a Garmin or TomTom. Don’t get fancy. Just get a good dash-top device. You might want live traffic, which is a few bucks extra.
Josh: Just buy an Android phone with 2.1 on it (Droid, N1, HTC Incredible). It’s a GPS unit and a phone–and you never have to pay for maps again.


Next time: TBD The Evernote show is May 6