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08.30.2006

Pet Phone Remote Food Dispenser

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This is exactly what it says it is....a cell phone remote controlled feeder for when you're out of town. Just punch in the right number code on your cell phone and viola! Kibble.

You can also chat it up with your pup via the built-in speakers and a microphone.

Talk about "calling it in."

Available at travelizmo

Posted by Evan    Category: pets
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08.29.2006

Biodegradable dinnerware

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It's true, I don't host many brunches or entertain a lot from home, but if I did, I would definitely get these biodegradable dinnerware sets, not just because they are attractive (call me boring, but I hate paper plates with designs on them, especially seasonal and holiday themes), but because they are made of 100% biodegradable, compostable sugar cane fiber, and the utensils are made of 80% potato starch and 20% vegetable oil.

Sugar cane fiber is a renewable resource, and these pieces are much sturdier than paper; thus they're "microwavable, freezer safe, oil resistant, and capable of handling hot foods and beverages." Never mind that some people consider using disposable dinnerware tacky when entertaining (maybe it's a cultural thing, but I grew up using paper plates at every family gathering), but if you'd rather use your fine china when guests are over, consider these the next time you're planning a picnic.

Get them at Branch.

Posted by    Category: eco | home
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08.29.2006

Get a Quadski and ditch the hitch

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No, you’re not viewing a still from a James Bond movie. And, no, it’s not a Lotus Esprit, either. But, it is a vehicle that’s just at ease on the open road as it is on the open water.

Gibbs Technologies Limited, based in the UK, has harnessed the High Speed Amphibian Technology it perfected into an RTV, sports car and an SUV.

The recently released Quadski combines the fun of a jet-ski with a four-wheeler. This true ATV is more than just for fun, as the manufacturer points out, it has great potential as an emergency vehicle for beach rescuers.

The Aquada sports car [pictured above] and the Humdinga SUV have appeared to date only as concept vehicles, but production is moving along and even the US government has expressed interest in the SUV for military purposes. With it’s convertible top and water skiing apparatus, the Aquada is definitely for the fun-in-the-sun crowd.

So, whether enjoying a seaside holiday on your Quadski, outrunning men with steel teeth so you can save the world in the nick of time in your feisty roadster, or performing military maneuvers in the Humdinga, there’s sure to be a hybrid vehicle just for you. So, now instead of driving your car to the water with your boat in tow, you can ‘ditch the hitch!’

Posted by Brian    Category: cars
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08.29.2006

Cardboard Speakers

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How many times have you thought "I wish I could just fold up these speakers and take them with me?" OK, me neither. But for the travel vagabond, student, art student, MUJI has designed these fold-up speakers. Known in Japan as a company that makes simple, elegant products that are environmentally friendly, their name literally translates into "No Brand Goods."

These MUJI Cardboard speakers retail for $42 for a pair, and are easily assembled . Besides, they would be a big conversation piece when you pull them out of your purse at a party.

Small in size, big in design.

Via Ubergizmo

Posted by Evan    Category: accessories | design | devices
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08.29.2006

KeyPod: a little padlock for your keys

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Though originally designed with surfers in mind, the KeyPod might end up being useful in any number of situations. The KeyPod is a small little three-digit padlock with an integrated compartment to stow keys. The idea originated with surfers, who typically have to decide between taking their car keys with them into the water (tucked into wetsuits, boardshorts, or a little compartment on the leash) or leave their key "hidden" somewhere under a bumper or edge of their car. Unfortunately both options have their risks, and stories of being locked out or without one's belongings are familiar. Enter the KeyPod, which locks to your vehicle, while also ensuring your key stays safe! In an era where more and more car models are only providing electronic keys (try taking those into the ocean) and keyless fobs for access to work proliferate, the KeyPod is becoming an increasingly necessary accessory. In fact, even if you're not the type to hit the beach with your board in hand you may find the KeyPod useful. You never know when you may need to stash something away quickly and securely. With a generous compartment for storage, you never, never know.

Posted by Katherine    Category: accessories
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08.29.2006

Spore: simulated amoebas

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If you've ever thought you could do a better job than God, here's your chance to shine. Sims creator Will Wright has a new game called Spore that was due to come out this fall, but now appears to be scheduled for release in June of 2007.

The game allows you to create your own life forms and guide them through the Tide Pool Phase, where your little dudes are microscopic single cell organisms, all the way to the Space Phase, where you'll find yourself terraforming planets. If you want, you can try to make your creature a cute little fuzzy animal, or go in the other direction and make a mutant, grotesque, enormous bug. You can even do some disturbing mixes and come out with something like the picture above. Your creatures can be pretty much whatever your perverted mind desires.

Posted by    Category: toys
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08.29.2006

Wormie water sensor

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After my most recent failure in keeping my plants alive for longer than a month I promised myself I wouldn't buy any more plants; after all they are living things and I started feeling really guilty. Then I came across Wormie the water sensor, and now I am thinking maybe I can give my non-existent gardening skills one last try.

This funny looking object, which can be identified as a worm with a smiley face only thanks to its name, will keep track of your plant's need for water. Stick Wormie into the pot (or the ground) and if there is enough moisture, it will turn red; as Wormie turns paler and paler you know that it's time to water your plant.

Wormie water sensors come in different sizes and in two variations from the original design, Bella the Butterfly and Seymour the Seehorse. Prices start at $ 10.95 on Amazon.

Via apartmenttherapy2

Posted by Camilla    Category: home
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08.29.2006

Sophie & Sophie demi-sec wine spritzers

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There are lots of alcoholic beverages marketed towards women, but most of them suck. Madison Avenue assumes that the female drinker likes syrupy sweet cocktails, candy finish wines, and lightly carbonated malt beverages. A Norwegian company has taken it upon itself to offer a more mature alternative. Sophie & Sophie is an uncarbonated rosé wine spritzer that doesn't contain lots of calories or artificial flavorings.

The taste profile addresses a demographic that has been largely ignored until recently. As new drinkers develop a mature palate, they begin to enjoy more subtle flavors and find themselves switching to drier wines and cocktails. Most bartenders are well versed in the lowest common denominator of very sweet drinks, and they know what professional drinkers prefer; but the middle tongue largely gets ignored.

These spritzers aim for the middle ground of the alcoholic palate; semi-sweet rosé wines are diluted with nonalcoholic wine and unfermented juice to make crisp refreshing drinks that have about the same alcohol content as a Budweiser. They make for an easy drinking journey instead of a one way ticket to a "passed out on the bathroom floor" destination.

Sadly Sophie & Sophie bottles are only available in the Netherlands for now. Those guys at Springwise have all the fun.

Posted by Johnny    Category: body
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08.29.2006

Let USB make your desk lava-ly

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Need to fab out your blah workstation? Lava World International, the inventors of the original Lava Lamp, have gone USB for your office enjoyment.

Now you need only to plug in to an available USB port on your desktop to enjoy hours of glittery excitement, all while skirting around the company’s policy forbidding you to have anything on your desk that plugs into the wall [Note: we really don’t endorse you doing anything against the rules at work].

I happened to catch a few minutes of the classic comedy Nine to Five the other day, and wondered how Roz (the office spy, played by Elizabeth Wilson) would have addressed one of these with Violet (Lilly Tomlin).

Available in pink, blue, clear, purple, and lime green, the USB Lava Lamp joins Lava World’s ever-growing array of USB-powered lava lamp variants including lamps that double as vacuums and fans!

Posted by Brian    Category: design
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08.28.2006

A microwave beyond the ordinary

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This is the era of intelligent gadgets – those that not only feed the couch potato culture, but also take away your cerebral exercise with panache. The simplest personal example is how I have become utterly dependent on my cell phone to call even my closest friends or family. All because I really don’t have any of their numbers in my own (natural) memory like I did a years ago when cell phones were inaccessible to the masses. So I always have to guard my cell phone to help me remain connected.

So what’s the relevance here? The new Beyond Microwave Oven which claims to determine exact cooking times by automatically scanning the barcodes on food packaging, set me thinking. Each food item that you wish to heat up is compared with the 4,000 pre-programmed barcodes within the microwave, and the cooking time for the item is determined. Provided the food is still within its packaging as the microwave’s barcode reader scans the UPC code on the labeling of the package. For non-packaged food, or for packaged food that does not fall within the pre-programmed codes, you will have to program the cooking times in yourself. Which means, once you get dependent on the automatic cooking time concept, you definitely will not be able to use an ordinary microwave oven again. And there you have my cell phone analogy.

Well, I am not so sure about this one. For starters, my guess is that it is useful only for people who do not like to experiment with their cooking. And moreover, the barcode scanning is completely useless when it comes to heating leftovers. Or for an exotic dish that you want to try out over the weekend. If you would still like to check it out, the Beyond Microwave Oven is available from Smarthome for $149.99.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices | home
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