November Cool Tools

A snapshot of the latest and greatest gadgets, gizmos and technology announced this month.

  • Visa Card with one-time code
    Key features: A new credit card demonstrated by Visa adds a couple of new security features to the usual tamper-proof signature strip and embedded chip: an eight-digit display and a 12-button keypad. The new features are intended to improve security in online payments.
  • Belkin Laptop CoolStrip
    Key features: Keeping your notebook from overheating isn't really that difficult these days, but sometimes you want to try something different. The CoolStrip is a rubbery plastic strip that you place the back of your notebook on top of, allowing heat to dissipate easily. (US$19.99)
  • ShotSpotter
    Key features: A network of electronic ears quietly monitors more than 6 square miles of high-crime neighborhoods, listening for the telltale sounds of gunfire ripping, booming or crackling through the air. (From US$200,000)
  • INQ Mobile INQ1
    Key features: Built-in support for Facebook, Skype, and Windows Live Messenger as well as a low price tag. (From US$22.50 per month)
  • RIM BlackBerry Storm
    Key features: The First BlackBerry with a touchscreen interface. 1GB of built-in memory and a microSD card slot that can hold up to 16GB of additional storage. Users can surf the Web and download e-mail using either EV-DO Rev. A or HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access), but there is no Wi-Fi.
  • Pure Digital Technologies Flip Mino HD video camera
    Key features: A no-nonsense interface allows you to press one button to shoot or play back video. It has a 1.5-inch LCD screen, weighs 93 grams and comes with 4GB of storage. After connecting the Mino HD to a PC, videos can be easily e-mailed or uploaded to video sites like YouTube. The device works with both the Mac and Windows operating systems. (US$229.99)
  • Ten One Design Pogo Stylus for iPhone and iPod Touch
    Key features: Old-schoolers like us prefer the stylus approach to our mobile devices, and this plastic stylus and snap-on holder let us do so with the iPhone/iPod Touch. Plus we're not getting our grubby fingerprints all over the display. (US$19.95)
  • UniversalMind SpatialKey
    Key features: A reporting and analysis tool that lays data on top of maps to help organizations identify location-based trends. It's being used by several police departments, and UniversalMind is now offering a version to small businesses using Intuit's software-as-a-service platform, which was released earlier this year.
  • Let us know what you thought of our picks for the coolest products of the month, and/or let us know what we missed.

  • Alienware Area-51 m15x notebook
    Key features: This 15.4-inch notebook includes as much power as similar 17-inch models, especially in the graphics department and Intel Core 2 Extreme processors. This is the one to get for fans of power gaming and high-end multimedia applications such as audio and video editing. Advanced wireless, a Blu-Ray drive, built-in Webcam and expanded memory are just icing on the cake - get your rock star one of these and they'll thank you. (From US$1,299)
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