Great sound, fascinating hard drives and some Focus

James Careless —

Welcome back to the Gadget Zone, our regular look at what’s cool in consumer tech! Here’s what has caught our eye recently.

“Internet radio” – radio and music streamed across the Web – has come a long way from its bug ridden beginnings. Today, all kinds of great stations and music services are available in full stereo via the Internet; such as Canada’s own edgy, fun music station!

The Gadget Zone

gracedigital-resizedNow you can listen to this audio on your PC’s speakers or smartphones/earbuds. But if you want a truly full audio experience to enjoy Internet radio, get an Encore Wi-Fi Music Player. Made by Grace Digital, one of the most consistent and reliable designers/builders of
high performance Internet radios, the Encore features dual stereo speakers and a subwoofer for rich, deep sound. It is controlled by the radio’s built-in 3.5″ colour touchscreen, or you can use the Encore app on your Android/iOS smartphone. The Encore can also connect to your PC via Wi-Fi to access your own music collection, and can play the world’s most popular music file formats. Find it at for

Who says external hard disk drives (HDDs) have to be boring? Seagate makes a full range of external HDDs that are as beautiful to look at as
they are fast and reliable to use. The Seagate LaCie Mirror external HDD comes encased in a slim, mirror-like case that sits angled in a polished wooden base. Despite its elegance, the Mirror holds 1 whopping terabyte of data and has a USB 3.0 port (USB 2.0 compatible) for uber-fast data transfer. Meanwhile, the Seagate Seven external HDD is just 7 mm thick, yet packs 500 GB into a tiny form factor that slips easily into pockets.
The Seagate LaCie Mirror is $349.99 at; the Seagate Seven is $124.99 at


ford-resized I got a chance to drive the 2015 Ford Focus for a week. It’s a peppy little four-door with all the high-tech bells-and-whistles that today’s drivers demand; including touchscreen control panels, AM/FM/satellite radio, and a full on-screen navigation system. The 2015 Focus also has a great rear-view backup camera, which makes it easy to get out of a driveway while looking forward at the car’s LCD screen. What I like about this car is that is roomy yet small, easy to turn and get around,has good pickup, and sips gas yet looks classy and easy on the eyes. In Canada, the price starts at $16,799 ( This is a lot of car
for very little money! Ford has really stepped up its game when it comes
to performance, value, and quality.

Note: This edition of Gadget Zone is dedicated to the late, truly great
Donna Messer. We miss you!