A clear polycarbonate sheet, polycarbonate skeleton, and silicone skin constitute OtterBox’s iPhone Defender case, providing three layers of protection against bumps, drops, shocks, and dust. While encased, the phone’s touch screen remains fully usable through a thin membrane. The headphone jack, dock connector, and hold button can be accessed through silicone plugs. Also available are an optional holster-style belt clip and arm band. And although the case may fit your iPhone like a wet suit, the only place you should take it surfing is on the Web. The iPhone First Generation Defender case costs $24.95. OtterBox also makes cases for iPhone 3Gs, BlackBerrys, Palms, and other mobile devices. Contact OtterBox at (888) 695-8820 or www.otterbox.com.
Did someone park a Yugo right in front of the soon-to-be-listed property you want to photograph? GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is free software that lets users retouch and edit photos. A full suite of painting tools for image and animation editing and composition are included. Compatible with Windows, Mac, and UNIX operating systems, the program also can be used for online batch processing, mass-production image rendering, and image-format converting. GIMP supports more than 13 file formats and more than 100 plug-ins. Contact GIMP Webmasters at www.gimp.org.
E-Mail by the Dashboard Light
Powered by the car’s 12-volt accessory port, iLane gives drivers hands-free access to e-mail and other smartphone applications via a Bluetooth connection. The device responds to voice commands, reads e-mail messages aloud, and composes replies. Users also can manage calendar events and listen to news and weather updates. ILane is currently compatible with BlackBerry 8000 and newer smartphones running BlackBerry 4.1 or more advanced operating systems, but additional smartphones are scheduled to become compatible this year. ILane costs $599 and $7.99 per month to maintain service. Contact iLane at (866) 925-8021 or www.ilane.com.
Designed to withstand relentless shellings on and off the boardroom battlefield, Panasonic’s Toughbook 19 laptop computer can endure three-foot drops and operate at temperatures above 140 degrees and below -20 degrees Fahrenheit. The computer comes equipped with an Intel Centrino 2 with vPro processor, a 160 GB quick-release hard drive, and a Windows Vista Business operating system contained in a magnesium-alloy case. To accommodate written notes and sketches, the Toughbook’s swivel touch-screen 10.4-inch LCD monitor transforms into a PC writing tablet. Optional built-in GPS, camera, SmartCard, and fingerprint reader also are available. The Toughbook 19’s cost ranges from $3,486 to $3,772. Contact Panasonic at (888) 223-1012 or www.panasonic.com.
Take It Easy
The phrase owner will carry makes almost any property more salable. As the market struggles and seller financing reasserts its importance among transaction strategies, Owner Will Carry: How to Take Back a Note or Mortgage Without Being Taken by William R. Broadbent, CCIM, SEC, and the late George Rosenberg are there to tutor the takers. Using a wealth of examples, the book explains how to safely structure down payments and carry-back notes to maximize value. Alternative financing structures, balloon payments, 80-10-10 transactions, and other relevant concepts are discussed. The book also includes a Stepped-Payment Amortization Program CD-ROM with interactive forms. The book costs $39.95 plus $5.00 for shipping. Contact Creative Solutions at (800) 366-6037 or www.arnettbroadbent.com.