The convenience factor of buying items online isn’t worth the trouble for some people. It’s simply not worth the risk of a computer hacker stealing credit card information and using it to make unauthorized purchases. NetSecure Technologies hopes its SmartSwipe device can erase the fear that can come with e-commerce.
The SmartSwipe is a small card swiper that hooks to a computer’s USB port. Once the initial setup disc has been installed, the device will allow you to make online purchases without typing, or storing, credit card information into the website.
Upon swiping a credit or debit card, the software scrambles the information as it passes through the computer and to the final destination. This provides an extra layer of security that will keep hackers away.
It’s important to note that the SmartSwipe stores no data, so you can loan it to a friend or family member. This also eliminates the risk of losing the device. You won’t have to worry about someone accessing information if your SmartSwipe is stolen.
The included software supports Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JBC cards.
My lone criticism is the non-support for Mac computers. The software will only run on PCs running Windows XP, Vista or 7. This is frustrating as Apple continues to gain more and more of the computer market.
As someone who makes about 50 percent of my purchases online, I encourage a device that makes such situations safe.
Personally, I feel safe putting my card details into the standard web interfaces. For those who are hesitant, the SmartSwipe could provide the peace of mind needed to make online purchases.
SuperTooth Buddy Bluetooth headset by SuperTooth; $69
Talking on the phone while driving is a sensitive subject. Some will argue that it’s completely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Others feel that they are fine and that a conversation provides no distraction to the driver. The SuperTooth Buddy Bluetooth headset is a great compromise.
The device is a small, thin and circular piece that has a clip for attaching to the sun visor above the driver or passenger’s seat. This makes for a great spot as you have access to touching the buttons and are within inches of the microphone.
The face of the SuperTooth has buttons for turning on or off, ending a call and controlling the volume. There is also a special button that carries features such as voice dialing, accepting a call and transferring audio.
A simple press of this multi-function button is all that is needed to answer an incoming call. From there, you’ll be able to talk hands-free.
The voice quality is extremely good. The quality of audio diminishes as the volume is increased, but that is to be expected.
One of the great features of the SuperTooth is the lack of installation. Bluetooth 2.1 support means the device will pair with your phone automatically.
Another cool feature is the ability to pair two phones to the device. This works great when going on an extended vacation with a friend or family member.
Battery life is hardly an issue, as you’ll get thousands of hours of stand-by time and up to 20 for talking.
The SuperTooth Buddy Bluetooth headset is the only way I’ll answer a phone call in my car now. The added safety level of hands-free talking is extremely important to me. I recommend this device to anyone who talks on the phone while driving.