Internet radio, smartphone-Ipad keyboard, snow shovel

The Gadget Zone

By James Careless –

Your regular dose of cutting-edge consumer high-tech to ward off the winter blahs!



Freedom Pro keyboard


Internet radios are receivers that can tune to the thousands of stations on the Web, via an Ethernet or Wi-Fi Web connection, The new PURE Radio Oasis Flow is an FM/Internet radio that is built into a speaker cabinet. Trimmed in white with aluminum and black accents, it is a weatherproofed, rechargeable radio that lets you to hear Internet radio anywhere there’s an accessible Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection. (I use mine to listen to the BC World Service anywhere inside my house.) The Oasis Flow also can connect to the MP3 files on your home computer, and serve as a clock radio. No longer are you limited to local radio – which you can tune in on this radio’s FM band. Now the entire world is available to you on a portable radio platform. $212.46 at

Smartphones with full QWERTY keyboards are great, unless you have sausage-like fingers like mine. Then the buttons are just too small for easy typing. This is why I am rejoicing about the arrival of my Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard. Made by Freedom (, this $119.99 unit comes as a folded package about the size of a thin paperback novel. Open it up, and you have a full-sized QWERTY keyboard that can wirelessly connect to your iPhone, iPad, iPod Blackberry, Android or Windows 5/6/6.1/6.5 smartphone. This keyboard even has a removable stand to hold up your smartphone, so you can use it as a mini-monitor. Very, very cool, and a relief to people who have been trying to make sense of my typo-laden text messages.

Finally, if your car has ever been stuck in snow, you can appreciate the value of having a shovel in your trunk. But what kind? Most small shovels are useless, while full-sized shovels take up too much space! One practical compromise is the Garant SnoFlex folding shovel. Folded up, it is small and flat; easy to store in the trunk. But open up the SnoFlex, and you have a useful snow shovel. As well, the SnoFlex’s edge doubles as a scraper for cutting around snow around your wheels. Open it partway and set it down on, and the SnoFlex can even serve as a warning cone. $11.99; more at