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Products
Only the Best Earn the PET Seal of Approval from
The 15 Minutes Products Evaluation Team (PET)

Tim Boxer
Senior PET

Johnathan Boxer
Junior PET


[ Fujifilm FinePix Camera ] [ Harman Photo Paper ] [ Franklin Dictionary & MP3 Player ] [ Norton 360 ]
[ The Best of Toy Fair ] [ More Hot Toys ]


Move Up To FinePix S6000fd

LOVE a consumer friendly userís manual. The booklet of directions for the Fujifilm Digital Camera FinePix S6000fd is a beauty. Running 195 pages long, it packs a lot of information on using this fine 10.7x optical zoom camera.

You can tell I am not thrilled with cameras that come unaccompanied by a printed userís manual. Some companies store their manuals online. How convenient is that when youíre on location and need to look up some guidelines? Itís easier to carry a printed manual in your pocket than a laptop.

The FinePix S6000fd fits snugly in one hand. Reduce camera shake by selecting the Picture Stabilization in the shooting mode. This will give a fast shutter speed to minimize shaking and blurring. Use it when your subject is moving.

The "fd" stands for face detection, another cool attribute of this camera. When shooting a person, the best shot often is the unexpected, the unposed. If thereís no time to adjust the camera, the intelligent face detection feature boldly adjusts the brightness of the face. Your subject will thank you for that.

In addition, the high sensitivity of the S6000, with an ISO of 100-3200, captures images that are sharp in low light.

The FinePix S6000fd is the perfect camera for the advanced enthusiast who wants to upgrade from a compact camera.

 

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For Black And White Prints

N this color-saturated photo world, there are times when you require a print of black and white proportions. In that case you canít go wrong with the new Harman photographic paper launched this year in the United States.

The Harman Photo Matt FB Mp Warmtone photographic inkjet paper is specially designed for black and white prints.

FB (fibre base) means its baryta base increases paper whiteness. Mp (microporous) indicates an ink-absorption layer that minimizes fading and enhances its longevity and archival properties. Whatís more, the paper doesnít curl; it lies flat during and after printing.

Harman Photo paper is geared for the professional photographer, so you canít go wrong if you want the best in quality. Itís ideal for pigment and dye based ink printers including Lexmark, Canon, Epson, HP and other brands.

The paper comes from Harman Technology in Mobberley, Cheshire, England, where it manufactures Ilford Photo monochrome paper as well as Harman Photo inkjet media for both color and monochrome photography.

See more information at www.harman-inkhet.com; purchase product at www.calumetphoto.com.

 

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Music While You Learn

RANKLIN Electronic Publishers allows you to do more with the Merriam-Webster Dictionary & MP3 Player. It includes a calculator, clock, crossword solver, five games and a currency/metric converter. Whew!

While using the standard qwerty keyboard to access 274,000 definitions, you can listen to your favorite tunes with the included earbuds.

With phonetic spell correction, type in a word the way it sounds and get alternatives; for example, type "nolige" and get "knowledge."

Listen to songs, audio books and podcasts. The product has 119MB internal memory to store your MP3 files, and a USB cable. There is an SD expansion slot for additional memory, but the SD card is sold separately.

It lists for $79.95 in the stores but you may get it for less at www.franklin.com.

 

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The Best Gets Better

YMANTEC has produced another computer protection product that goes further than their highly acclaimed Norton Internet Security. Itís called Norton 360, and does everything Internet Security does, and more.

Besides blocking hackers, suspicious programs, worms and spyware, removing viruses from your email, Norton 360 also restores damaged or deleted files, offers online storage, fixes computer problems and removes clutter.

To help you backup Norton 360 offers 2GB of online storage. Need more? You can buy 5GB for $29.99, 10 GB for $49.99 and 25GB for $69.99. You may choose to backup to an internal CD/DVD drive, USB drive, or external hard drive.

While youíre surfing, banking or storing photos, this all-in-one security service works automatically to protect against online fraud. Price $79.99 at www.symantecstore.com.

 

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The Best of Toy Fair 2007

HE 104th Annual American International Toy Fair, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, is the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere. Truckloads of new imaginative playthings are on exhibit. Junior PET Johnathan, being under age, was restricted from perusing the goodies at the showcase so he checked out the pick of the crop off premises.

Learning Resources has a catalog brimming with excellent Interactive Electronics designed to teach youngsters as they play. Johnathan evaluated several offerings from the company. These are his choices. The first three items are suitable for children 3 years and up; the fourth is for 5 years and up. See more at www.LearningResources.com.

Supermarket Checkout, $42.95, is an all-in-one set consisting of nine play foods, swivel price display, credit card, shopping basket, produce scale sitting atop a cash register with plastic credit card and coins, complete with a conveyor belt that moves the groceries toward scanner with flashing light.

If your youngster has all that and needs only a cash register, check out the Teaching Cash Register, $49.95, which talks to you during transactions with lights, sounds and voice messages. Comes with a scale, actual size play money, and credit cards that you scan. The 32-page Activity Book, $4.95, contains 19 math projects.
Teaching Telephone, $32.95, is easy to program and will help kids learn ho to call home and call for help on 911. Record a personal message, and when the child dials correctly, heíll be rewarded, and delighted, with your message. You can program any number and record over and over again. Comes with a notepad holder and a place to pencil in important phone numbers. You can learn more things to do from the Teaching Telephone Activity Book, $4.95.
Stethoscope, $12.50, really works. Kids hear their own heartbeats or try it out on their friends. This can nicely prepare them for a doctorís visit.

 

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More Hot Toys

Playmobil has a huge number of toys to delight the kids with hours of fun. Our Senior PET was delighted to get his hands on Grande Mansion ($129.99) which he declared to be perfect for his little sister. The interlocking wall assembly results in a front that looks like a magnificent three-story mansion. The open back is where all the action is, with a kitchen on the main level, bedroom and bathroom on the second floor, and a playroom on the top level. See more at www.playmobil.com.

Mix Ďn Match Bingo Game from Briarpatch is a fun game for the kids. Roll three dice and find the picture on your board that matches the dice. This is party of the Thomas & friends line of products, a top brand for boys 3-5. The companyís 32-page catalog is full of wonderful games. For the more mature child, age 7 and up, we liked Sudoku on a three dimensional game board with 81 double-sided number tiles. Includes a Puzzles & Solutions Booklet. All pieces store inside the game board so you can take it with you. www.briarpatch.com.
Trivia Arcade is a DVD game that tests your knowledge of people and places. Six categories are covered: sports, pop culture, science, world, arts and a wild card for famous dates. Watch trivia unfold with video clips on your television. Answer questions as you compete, as scores are kept on the screen. Suitable for ages 12 and up, $24.99.

Senior PET Johnathan will review more cool toys and hot games from The Best of Toy Fair 2007 in the coming months.


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