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Great New Gadgets for Work and Play

By Hannah Wallace December 31, 2006

FREE AT LAST You've bought that fancy laptop or tablet PC and have entered the world of computer wireless communication. Your laptop can access your desktop and its Internet connection-maybe. Fact is, the range is limited and many factors and forces can disrupt it. If that happens to you, you need Wi-Fire. Wi-Fire is like high-octane fuel for your wireless connection; instead of 300 feet, you can connect from 1,000 feet or more. Plus, your connection is said to be much faster using Wi-Fire. It's a $150 piece with a directional antenna that can attach to the top of your laptop. www.hfield.com

BIG SCREEN The 103-inch Panasonic TH-103PF9UK-the world's largest high definition plasma TV-hit the stores just in time for Christmas. Panasonic doesn't project that a lot of home TV enthusiasts will buy them, but does see applications for businesses and video production companies. Part of the reason this big guy won't be in many homes is the suggested retail price: $69,995. And it's definitely not a hang-it-yourself project; the TH-whatever weighs in at 474 pounds. But just imagine the Seminoles-Gators game on this beauty. And, psssst, we found it on sale for only $49,995. www.computeronline.com/panath103pf9uk.html

FISH 'N FLUSH Here's a toilet that will startle every guest. At first blush, it appears that marine life is swimming in the toilet tank. But it's sleight of sight, really, and no goldfish will go down the drain with a flush. The Fish 'n Flush is a two-piece aquarium toilet tank, with functional toilet plumbing behind the aquarium piece. The Fish 'n Flush stole the show last year at the Kitchen and Bath Industry show in Chicago. It costs $400, not including fish or water. And it was designed for AquaOne with help from a marine biologist, so problems should be minimal. www.fishnflush.com

HELLO, FIDO? Now that you own a cell phone that will text message, display maps, retrieve your e-mail and play Tiger Woods golf games and 50 Cent MP3s, the next thing you need is a cell phone for your dog. Don't laugh. The PetsCell is practical. It's waterproof, of course, and contains a GPS tracking chip, so if Fido wanders off, you can find his location quickly. It even has its own fiber optic camera, so it could be used for search and rescue operations. Or you can just watch what your dog watches all day. No price announced yet. www.petsmobility.com/petscell

 

 

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