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08.31.2006

Xantrex PowerSource Mobile 100 for on-the-go charging

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08.31.2006

Jetboil: personal cooking system

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Heat, eat, and drink from this ultra-compact 1 liter unit. Ideal for coffee or tea on the go, dehydrated meals, remote worksites, emergency kits.

The Jetboil PCS (or personal cooking system) is another gadget designed for specialized use that may have greater applicability to the general public. The Jetboil PCS is an integrated system for outdoor cooking. No assembly is required and the system fully activates with just the push of a button. The 1 liter insulated hard-anodized aluminum cooking cup has a high-performance burner base, drink-through plastic lid, and a protective bottom cover that can also be used as a measuring cup. The burner base has a built-in piezoelectric igniter. The entire system stacks securely, and when packed is smaller than a Nalgene bottle. Typically favored by backpackers I could see the PCS taking off with anyone who desires the ease and convenience of preparing hot food in challenging circumstances. With its compact size and copious accessories (extra companion cup, coffee press, color cozies or maintenance kit) you could just as easily take this into the forest or the backyard. And if you're with friends, check out the Group Cooking System.

Posted by Katherine    Category: devices
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08.31.2006

Healthy Body Ball

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Over the last six months or so, I've developed tension and pain in my back and arms (probably from too much computer use) that never quite goes away no matter what I do. Occasionally, I get acupuncture, and I'm sure that weekly massages to work out the really big knots near my shoulder blades would provide some relief. But who has time to go see a massage therapist on a regular basis? I can barely make it to the grocery store once a month.

I have six or seven massage gadgets in my house, including a Shiatsu massage chair attachment, a neck roller, an odd-looking massage cane, and one of those percussion massagers that looks like a big hammer. By now, I know that no single instrument is going to cure me of my aches and pains, but I still try every new thing I come across.

My next purchase is this Healthy Body Ball recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, my favorite holistic health expert. Based on Trigger Point Therapy, the ball has nodules which act like thumbs to press on various trigger points on your body. The idea behind it seems to be similar to the idea behind the massage cane, which also has nodules that you press into problem muscles. But the Healthy Body Ball is more portable and looks a lot less like a torture device than the cane. Like everything else I've tried, I know this won't be an adequate substitute for a pair of skilled hands, but for $21.95, I may as well add it to my arsenal.

Posted by Hoyun    Category: body
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08.31.2006

Newes form the Wlord Of Sceicne

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The Australian Gadget Association reports:

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.


Posted by Evan    Category: current affairs
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08.31.2006

Press-Bot: great coffee anywhere

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Whether you're out in the wilderness or just hanging in the urban jungle, you'll love the Press-Bot. The first coffee press to fit into Nalgene outdoor bottles, you'll have your coffee your way, anwhere. With a hinged shaft and plunger, the Press-Bot folds neatly into a wide-mouth Nalgene, popping nicely back to full size once engaged. (Remember to put coffee grounds in BEFOREhand!) Unlike the traditional french press, the Press-Bot has an integrated pour spout that allows you to drink directly from the bottle, or if you are with friends, share. An absolute boon to coffee addicts, this allows you to bring a bit of civility into any situation and in the most remote places.

Posted by Katherine    Category: accessories
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08.31.2006

Urban Basketball Backpack

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I don't know whether to wear this or vacuum with it.

But once you see it with the basketball, it's clearly form following function.
The basketball is not only stored, but also becomes an inherent design element.

Designed by Ramon Villanueva on the wild and wooly design site Yanko Design

Posted by Evan    Category: accessories
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08.30.2006

Sea Specs: protect your eyes in the water

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Lately, a lot of attention has been given to how damaging a waterman/waterwoman's outdoor lifestyle can be to the eyes over time. In addition to a greater risk of skin cancer, surfers of all types run the risk of developing pterygiums and cataracts due to sun exposure. And while wearing sunglasses is the best defense, this is often hard to do when engaged in water sports.

Many companies have surged to fill the void, creating sunglasses which are meant to be worn in the water. One company Sea Specs, offers pretty good value for price. At just $59.00, Sea Specs seem to win out over more expensive brands in recent reviews in both the New York Times and About.com.

With so much at stake, it only makes sense that protection both in and out of the water is a necessity. With 100% UVA and UVB protection and polarized lenses, a little investment now can mean not having to pay the price for sun exposure later on.

Posted by Katherine    Category: accessories | body | wearables
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08.30.2006

Renova designer toilet paper

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What do you get for the friend who has everything? May I suggest high fashion toilet paper from Portugese paper products company Renova? Just look at these gorgeous colors, and the swirly design on the sheets. And when you order them in gift packages of three (for $14.99 to $19.99), they arrive in attractive tubes of similar color. A regular pack of six wrapped in plastic retails for $12.99 to $14.99.

You can find Renova toilet paper in some of the most upscale clubs and restaurants in New York, but it's also available in home product stores, so you can dress up your guest bathroom with them along with those crisp linen towels you never use yourself. At the moment, they come in the four colors shown above: red, orange, green and black (fall and winter holiday colors?). And they're not meant to be purely decorative -- the sheets are nice and thick and soft enough to use on your baby.

I know what some of you will say: how can you even think of using something so pretty as toilet paper? Well, you could ask the same question about decorative soaps and colorful Q-tips (okay, I've never seen colorful Q-tips, but I bet someone will make them now). And consider this thought that inspired the creation of this product: the bathroom has become "the most sanctified shrine of alone time in our global culture."

If you happen to be the recipient of such a gift, and don't feel you deserve to use designer toilet paper for its intended purpose, then you can still make use of them as party streamers.

Posted by Hoyun    Category: design | home
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08.30.2006

Pocket Eyelash Curler: click and blink

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"Click & Blink" is the name of the new pocket eyelash curler design from Rubis. With a sleek design that replaces the bulky scissor-type curlers that we girls are used to, the Click & Blink uses a steel lever and silicone pad to kink your lashes into their desired shape. Simply lift the lever, place your eyelashes on the pad, and bring the lever down across the eyelashes... and behold! You're left with pair of baby doll eyes to die for. Perfectly sized for those on the go, this will fit inside that little makeup bag without all the awkward bulges your ordinary lash curler causes. Just what you wanted, I'm sure, for when you're carrying that cute little clutch or evening purse.

(Thanks Takashi!)

Posted by Katherine    Category: accessories | body
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08.30.2006

Amandana Bamboo Earphones

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The Amandana Bamboo Headphones sure are lovely. With movable hangers that adjust easily to your ears and quality sound, it's no surprise that these are a coveted item. The headphones support a frequency range between 10 to 24,000 Hz, a maximum input of 50 mW, and a 16 ? impedance. Neodymium rare earth magnets and an ultra-thin 6?m diaphragm provide clarity and resonance. Because the earphones are made with natural bamboo, each piece has an individualized beauty and would match beautifully with other wooden briefcases, accessories, bicycles, and flash drives previously blogged here.

Dimensions: 2h x 2.25w x .25"d. Designed by Shuwa Tei, and now available at the Momastore for $125.

Posted by Katherine    Category: accessories | devices
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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.

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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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08.28.2006

Poseidon Resorts: spend your next vacation with the fish

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We all know there are plenty of places in the world that let you enjoy interacting with the beauty of perfectly clear blue-green waters and undersea life. But, is there really anywhere you can immerse yourself in it . . . literally?

Presenting Poseidon Resorts, where your entire vacation is spent underwater. Based on submarine technology, with more than 60% of the exterior surface consisting of transparent acrylic "windows," Poseidon offers guests the opportunity to spend every minute of their stay enjoying spectacular panoramas. Each guest suite is built around a private reef that is lit for viewing. A food dispenser is included, as well, to attract various, view-enhancing undersea creatures.

The five-star luxury complex, which is accessible by a series of tunnels from the surface, includes a revolving restaurant, pool (?!?!), bar, café, tennis courts, dive shop/water sports center (of course), library, and luxury spa/hydrotherapy center.

Poseidon’s website indicates that, although construction has begun on the system of pods that make up the individual suites and common facilities, the resort is due to be relocated from its original site. So, alas, the time has not quite come yet to whip out the rewards card and book a long weekend; but he reality of this next step in vacation retreats seems near.

Posted by Brian    Category: current affairs
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08.28.2006

Tiny REVA electric car

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I swear I have a motorozied Barbie Jeep bigger than this!

The REVA is a little number from India, one of their line of electric cars . Last year the company introduced the REVA-NXG prototype which comes with GPS naviagation, MP3 and modem capability (pictured above.)

With the regular Reva, customers can choose from over 2,000 shades and can customize their REVA by mixing 'n' matching these to add a personal touch.

Their site boasts that it's one of the safest in it's class with dent-proof ABS body panels, side-impact beams, a steel space frame and dual-braking system. .

REVA is currently being commercially sold in Malta and the UK. No word on when we can get our hands on one.

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Posted by Evan    Category: cars
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08.28.2006

Neverwinter Nights 2 & Warcraft expansion

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Once upon a time, I wrote about the second Neverwinter Nights game, back when there was virtually nothing to know about it besides that it wouldn't be coming out for a very long time (or what my impatient mind makes out to be a very long time.) That date isn't so far away now (EB Games' pre-release date is Oct. 17), and being a huge fan of the first game, I can't wait for it to come out. Like the previous game, NWN 2 takes place in Dungeons & Dragons's Forgotten Realms, and you will be able to create your own character and recruit others into your group. Unlike in the previous game, NWN 2 utilizes the 3.5 Edition D&D rules (that will mean something to us RPG geeks), and of course there will be new classes and subraces; and the toolset for building your own worlds has been made more user-friendly.

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On a similar note, The Burning Crusade - World of Warcraft's new expansion pack - is scheduled to be released Nov. 28. Two new races will be added - the Draenei for the Alliance and the Blood Elves for the Horde. Although I'm still confused about what the Draenei are (big, blue, alien-like creatures), the Blood Elves are pretty much Alliance rejects on a mission to hunt the demons who lay their homeland to waste. The level cap is being raised from 60 to 70 (I was already having enough trouble trying to get to 30), and there will be flying mounts. Whether I'll ever be able to afford one though, is another question.

The Burning Crusade is $39.99 and Neverwinter Nights 2 is $49.99, both at EB Games,

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08.28.2006

Ultra protection for your laptop with style

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Radian Technology, a company that specializes in computer accessories and peripherals, has just launched a new line of stylish laptop bags both both men and women.

Radian Laptop bags come in five different styles (April, Laurel and Fiona for the girls, and Maxwell and Maverick for the boys) and promise to offer maximum protection for your laptop thanks to the incorporated AirSHIELD™ gel impact system.

The different styles can accommodate laptops that range from 12’’ to 15’’; all are water-resistant and have extra compartments for papers, mobile phones and more.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any price information on their site, nor where one can purchase the bags, though I have a feeling these won’t be very cheap.

Posted by Camilla    Category: accessories
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08.28.2006

Desktop boyfriend and girlfriend

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Having a long day at work and missing your partner? Want to tell them how bad your day has been? Just want someone to listen to you? Well, that's what the Desktop Couple do best. They are photo holder figurines, where you slot a picture of your partner's head into a clip at the top to make a perfect recreation of your other half. You can then sit the figure upon your monitor, allowing their feet to dangle annoyingly over your screen.

The Desktop figurines can be bought individually for £4.99 each, or as a couple for £8.99 from iwantoneofthose.com.

Posted by Stuart    Category: home | toys
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08.27.2006

iGallop now available in the U.S.

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Having fallen victim more than once to those late-night infomercials about too-good-to-be-true exercise machines that supposedly firm your butt and thighs, I dismissively chuckled (or maybe I guffawed) when I saw Saresha's post about OSIM's iGallop earlier this year. At that time, it was still only available in Asia, so it was at a safe distance from my impressionable mind.

But, uh oh, then I saw it at Brookstone the other day, and of course, I had to try it. I stayed on the thing for about 4 minutes (the maximum amount of time I'm willing to embarrass myself in public), and, believe it or not, when I got off, I felt a definite burn through my glutes and thigh muscles. Though this may say more about how out of shape I am than about the effectiveness of the machine, I was very impressed. My lazy side (which dominates over my not lazy side), likes that it's sort of a passive exercise. Basically, you just react to the movements of the machine while assuming a proper equestrian posture, so you can do it watching tv or with your eyes closed. My feeling is that $599 is not a bad price for something that does most of the work for you.

So which muscles are you working out as you breeze through imaginary green pastures on your headless iGallop? It's zero-impact "tri-axial action," working at three levels of intensity, works out your abs, back, seat, hips and legs.

Lots of silly videos on YouTube of people trying it out.

Hmm, as long as I'm considering the iGallop, maybe I should take another look at OSIM's slimming belt.

Posted by Hoyun    Category: body
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08.27.2006

Fashion headbands and dangles to go with your earphones & headphones

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Since it's important to look fashionable at all times, these headphones coordinate with a line of headbands and dangles. The earphones are attached to bendable boom arms that allow you to adjust them individually to fit, and the specially designed clasps on these headphones fit directly into the line of Steffi Thomas Headbands. The dangles (drop earrings, basically) attach to the specially designed clasps on the headsets and headphones.

The headphones feature a 3.5mm plug that is compatible with most portable music players as well as most computers. The clasps are designed to fit all of the Steffi Thomas Dangles as well. Figure $34.00 for a set of headphones, $26 for the coordinating hairband and a mere $8 for the dangles.

At their online store, Swapsets.

NOTE: Popgadget readers can get a free carrying cases for their headbands and headsets or headphones and a free dangle by typing in POPGADGET in the customer notes at checkout .

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08.27.2006

Pink Laptop

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I am not sure how long I could stand owning a glossy, pink laptop, but I can’t deny that at first I would seriously consider buying one; at least it’s a change from black, dark grey, silver and . . . more black.

The Pink Samsung Q40 is available at PC World for £ 1,300; it features an Intel 1.2GHz Processor, a 60GB hard drive and 512 MB Ram.

Via Gadgetcandy

Posted by Camilla    Category: devices
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08.26.2006

My Preciiious Palette is a tight little package

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Look, it's no secret that I don't wear makeup. The closest I get is a combination of styptic pencil, aftershave and skin softener when I butcher my face in a shaving frenzy. I am, however, a sucker for neat design.

A buddy of mine dropped a $25 My Preciiious Palette from Sephora on the bar this weekend and the "toolbox compact" layout caught my eye. A top compartment holds twelve eye shadows, and two blushes. The second tier holds six lip glosses, and the bottom tray holds highlighters, mascara, applicator brushes and some kind of shimmery substance that I'm unable to wrap my brain around.

The box is three by three inches, but the two top sections slide laterally to widen it out to an eight inch wide makeup station. Ever seen a tackle box? It's a pretty similar layout. Clean, classic, and nifty. It only comes in a juvenile translucent pink so you might wanna paint the sucker white.

There's a complete list of the tones and pieces in the set below the fold.

Continue reading "My Preciiious Palette is a tight little package"

Posted by Johnny    Category: wearables
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08.26.2006

Palm Defender: designer pepper spray

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Ordinary self-defense just doesn't cut it these days. I mean, why be safe if you can't look good while doing it? Well, unlike unglamorous fanny packs, over-the-shoulder bags, or even dorky outfits for kickboxing, the sleek-lined and bejeweled Palm Defender by Pepperface.com looks hot. Designed with a wraparound safety to prevent accidental discharge and a straightforward release for when you really need it, the Palm Defender can be gripped firmly with one hand, releasing a cone-shaped spray on target. Using special "Heat" inserts, the Palm Defender uses Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), a non-lethal yet very irritating high-grade derivative of hot peppers that causes severe pain when in contact with the skin. When OC gets in the eyes, it causes temporary impaiment of vision, and intense burning and swelling; get your attaacker on the nose or in the throat and lungs and it will cause coughing, choking, and nausea. With effects lasting up to 40 - 45 minutes, you can be sure that you'll have a fair amount of time to escape if you need to - and still look good!

(Thanks Chantal!)

Posted by Katherine    Category: accessories | wearables
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08.26.2006

Fish n' Flush aquarium

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Ok, before you start thinking god knows what, this is an aquarium toilet tank. Strongly reminiscent of the Aquariass toilet aquarium that made its appearance on Popgadget a couple of years ago, the Fish n' Flush aquarium is wrapped around a clear inner tank.

Designed by AquaOne Technologies, the two-piece aquarium toilet tank fits most toilets. The site says that all you need to add is fish (they recommend small ones), gravel and water. It comes with a 12-volt dual filter system which makes it safe for children, two 9-inch plastic plants and LED lighting from the top, fill valve, flush valve and flushing system. Fish ‘n Flush even has a built-in feeder door.

Though not inexpensive (sells for $450 on their site), the Fish n' Flush is still cheaper than the high-end Aquariass was selling for a couple of years ago.

Special thanks to Popgadget reader Sunny for turning us onto this!


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08.26.2006

Aurora Rocket Clock: start your day with a blast

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If you want to have a blast without even leaving your home, check out the Aurora Rocket Clock. Cute, stylish, and somewhat retro, the rocket-shaped clock changes across a twelve-color spectrum according to three modes of operation. The first mode changes from color to color as the hours pass. The second mode only lights up for 30 seconds when you press the main clock display. And mode three is the demo mode, which scrolls quickly through each color. At 25 cm tall, you may not want to hide it away in your bedroom (and at that size anyway, it will be hard to miss!) The Aurora Rocket Clock comes with a mains adaptor, alarm function, and snooze feature.

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08.25.2006

Spread some light around with Lumalive technology

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In the world of wearable electronics, the idea of embedding LEDs into fabrics is not a new one. But here’s what is new - with the latest Lumalive technology from Philips, product manufacturers can integrate LEDs into fibres without leaving a trace whatsoever. Which means, if you are, say, wearing a jacket with Lumalive technology, you would have all the electronics, batteries and LEDs so seamlessly integrated into the fabric that it would be invisible. This adds up to the result that the fabric would be soft and washable, yet you won’t feel like you're lugging a sack around when you wear it. With the lighting technology, you can activate your choice of dynamic messages, graphics etc on the Lumalive surface at the simple flick of a button.

Philips plans to unveil this technology at the consumer electronics show IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) this year. This technology will not be limited to textiles alone, as Philips is going to demonstrate its use with furniture as well. Now, that makes me think: if this technology is going to become really popular and accessible to the masses, the applications could be enormous. And probably distressful as well. Just imagine how much more garish the fashion industry would get. I shudder at the thought. And with a table that can light up with a flick, would it be the end of candlelit dinners ? Ok, that was an exaggeration . . . but really, is Lumalive going to be self-indulgence or necessity ? Wait and watch.

Posted by kanchana    Category: wearables
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08.25.2006

My 3rd Hand

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Ever dropped your cell phone -- or had it slip off the passenger seat -- while driving? The cursing doesn't help, but this invention might. My 3rd Hand is specifically designed to grab the offending object with an extended "grabber." When it retracts, It's small enough to store it in the glove compartment or attach to your key chain. What a good idea.

The company does post a disclaimer that the product is not intended to be used while actually driving a motor vehicle.

They currently have a summer promotion for the month of August only: Buy one and get the second one for free.

$19.95 @ My 3rd Hand.

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08.25.2006

MyDeathSpace.com

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I can't tell if this is a joke or not: MyDeathSpace.

The site says it's "your global resource for MySpace.com member obituaries" and a place to "pay your respects and tributes to the recently deceased MySpace.com members via our comment system."

I'm too spooked to check out the "Latest Death" section or, god forbid, "Submit a Death."

Any questions you're dying to ask?

Oh, you can also buy MyDeathSpace buttons and magnets for 50 cents.

Posted by Evan    Category: current affairs
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08.25.2006

Hamburger CD Case & Banana Cell Phone Holder

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Now, this is a CD case you can sink your teeth into. Just looking at the Yummy Plush CD Case makes me want to head to the nearest In-N-Out. But alas, I'm in New York, so I'll have to save that craving for when I head back to SoCal for a visit. In the meantime, however, this super cute carrying case for your most coveted CDs will surely get your appetite worked up. And if your tarty reply happens to be "who the heck listens to CDs anymore?!?" I might respond with "who cares!" Back up some data or some mp3s spoilsport. Any excuse to carry this cutie around. Besides, can you imagine the equivalent for a flash drive? Puhleeze...

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Then you have this cell phone holder... Don't go nuts, go bananas! Trust me, when people see you answering your phone with this Banana Cell Phone Holder you'll have no trouble convincing everyone that you're totally crazy. The banana cell phone holder comes in both flip and bar phone models, ensuring that no matter what kind of mobile you carry, you'll be able to enjoy this silly novelty. Get ready for some monkey business!

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08.24.2006

RAmos RM150 portable media player released

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No, that’s not a spelling error, the company is deliberately named RAmos, and the two caps at the beginning aren’t for any reason that's obvious.

After receiving a lot of flak last year for releasing a kitschy “gold” mp3 player, RAmos is out to make amends this time by releasing their latest RM150 portable media player and sticking to two safe colors - black and white.

In the already over-crowded PMP market, the USP of this device seems to be its support for the XviD video format. If you are not yet tuned-in to XviD, it is the latest video compression format being developed as part of an open-source project to combat the other paid alternatives in the market. That probably is a major plus for the RM150, as most other PMPs don’t support this format as yet. The other features of the PMP include a very decent 2.2-inch TFT screen, built-in FM radio, text and photo viewer, and support for all the standard audio formats in the market.

One niggling shortcoming of the RM150 PMP is its storage – the highest is 1GB – and you can't store too much with that kind of space. However, if you're someone who doesn’t mind that, you could get yours from the Chinese market - the RM150 retails in 512 MB and 1 GB versions in China for $50 and $63 respectively. Which is really cheap. And as the popular Chinese saying goes – “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without one”.

Via Ubergizmo.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices
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08.24.2006

Show some skin

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Is your laptop looking lackluster? Try showing some skin… or Skyn, that is.

Skyntones are the latest in laptop accessories, allowing your portable PC (or Mac) to show a personality outside the usual, drab out-of-the-box drib.

Skyntones not only remove cleanly and are reusable, they protect the surface of your precious mobile device. Available in bright, splashy colors and patterns, there’s even a monogram style that is so very reminiscent of Laverne DeFazio’s customized wardrobe.

Available for about $35 each, you can change covers with each season.

Posted by Brian    Category: accessories
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08.24.2006

Music publishers are attacking fans (again)

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I play bass and guitar (badly), and I'm entirely self taught. One way people teach themselves to play stringed instruments is through guitar tablature for popular songs. Guitar tabs are similar to sheet music, but instead of reading clefs and bars the notation is a pictoral walkthrough of a song using lines and numbers to represent the strings and chords. Basically, they show where to put your fingers. Timing and technique all has to be figured out alone, and it's one method of passing along musical history.

Tabs are made by amateur users who listen to songs and transcribe the notes into the proper notation. As such, a lot of guitar tabs are incomplete or incorrect, but it gets the job done for the most part. These user submitted tabs are available for free on many websites, but that may not be the case for long. Many have been served copyright infringement cease-and-desist letters sent by the MPA and NMPA music publishing companies. OLGA, the "OnLine Guitar Archive," is the internet's oldest tab site, and they have voluntarily removed their content while trying to formulate a legal strategy to respond.

The two companies are claiming that the existence of user submitted tab archive sites impair their ability to sell officially sanctioned tablature and sheet music. In an NPR interview Rob Balch of Guitar Tab Universe discussed attempting to arrange a licensing agreement to keep his site online, but was told that there would be no discussion.

A couple of big names have come out in support of the independent tablature sites. Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Moby, and Mike Happoldt (Sublime) have made statements criticizing the music publishers, and supporting the little guys. Moby was quoted on Kevin Maney's blog as saying that not only does he support tablature archives, but he often uses them to learn songs by other artists.

Posted by Johnny    Category: current affairs
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08.24.2006

Pet Chime

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Don't know when your pup needs to go out to do his business; that scratching on the door isn't a clue?.

If you don't have a dog door , here's a handy pet chime. You just teach Fido to press the portable wireless electronic doorbell in the shape of a paw. (They make that sound so easy; they don't know my dogs.)

They say you can use it with both dogs and cats. The chime gives you two choices of tones - either a dog bark or the traditional ding-dong chime. I wouldn't recommend the dog bark for your kitty cat. The remote control works up to 100 ft. away from the chime. Paws are weather-resistant and battery operated.

$29.95 at Cool Pet Stuff.

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08.24.2006

Baby Hammock

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We all love hammocks, and it turns out, so do babies. Apparently, hammocks are good for them too:

Hammocks are also useful in helping the proper development of the spine and hip joints. A hammock offers all-over support for the back and does not force the baby into a specific position.

You install the hammock in the playpen (see photo) for babies between 0 and 4 months. In case the older sibling is jealous, they also offer vertical seat-style, suitable for kids up to around 10 years.

Available at one of my favorite sites, thinkingliving.

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08.23.2006

It's a dog's dinner

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Japanese pet food maker, Judge's choice, has created the ultimate treat for you and your dog - a romantic meal for two. They've created a dog food that has been carefully devised to allow maximum taste enjoyment for both you and your pet. It's nutritionally good too; no onions or peppers are used and fat and sodium content is at a minimum. Each meal can cost up to 3,000 yen ($26/£14), which is not cheap, but worth it, to impress your dog I suppose. You'll have to buy some dog wine to go with it though, and then tickets to the doggy cinema. It all adds up. Expensive nights on the town will be expected by your dog from then on, however. You'll have to take a 2nd job at night to cover costs, but that means you're spending less and less time with your best friend. Your dog is getting annoyed with you, it just seems to be arguments at home all the time. You were only trying to impress! All this grief from a dog food. Maybe just leave this product on the shelf if you ever happen to see it.

Via Crisscross.

Posted by Stuart    Category: pets
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08.23.2006

Dream Musician: a few steps up from air guitar

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Anybody who plays music wishes, at one time or another, that they could play with their favorite band, and although Dream Musician won't get you on stage with them, with a little imagination, you can have a near-genuine experience. Dream Musician is a music download service which is a little bit like karaoke, but for instruments like guitar, bass, drums, etc. Whether you play along well is beyond their control, but again, with a little imagination . . .

Tracks are $2.00 each and in Windows Media Format; by the end of 2006, they're hoping to have over 1,000 songs. It's no iTunes selection-wise, but it's a start. The selections include major label content plus independent label content, and indie artists are invited to submit their music, with revenue to be shared 50/50.

Hey, and even if you aren't that great a musician, if you buy the track without the instrumental part you fancy yourself playing, at least there will be nothing there to compare your performance to.

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08.23.2006

Bisque radiators are fun, functional, and totally hot

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We've covered the Heat Wave electric radiator from Droog, but I came across Bisque Radiators from England today, and I think I'm in love with radiant steel heating again.

Most American households have converted to forced air heating partly because vintage radiator designs did not age well. Though perfectly serviceable, the majority of older radiators just don’t match our modern design sensibilities, and they were promptly ripped out when it was time to redecorate. A few of Bisque's electric or steam pieces installed in a new home could help to remind homeowners of the wonderful feeling of sitting next to a toasty radiator.

Whimsical radiators like the Power Plant and Hot Spring add fun functional touches to serious rooms. Freestanding pieces like the Zanzibar and X-Stream double as decorative metalwork for living areas. A row of X-Streams could provide a great functional screen for separating a sleeping area in a large loft, and just imagine lying in a cozy bed next to a wall that radiates heat. I'd probably sleep all winter.

All of Bisque's bathroom radiators include towel warmers, and most models are available in painted finishes to match existing decor. Sadly, high design heat doesn't come cheap; their radiators run the gamut from $500 to $3,000.

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08.23.2006

Shockolate Vault Jar

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First we had the lock for our frig, now comes the Shockolate Vault Jar. Put your verboten candy or your partner's cell phone in the jar, set the timer, and if you try and break in prior to the set time, you recieve a nasty shock. Lovely.

You can set the timer for up to 24 hours ahead. The product warning is enough to put you off your choclate bar.

This product can emit an electric shock and should not be used by anybody suffering from heart problems or epilepsy and should be kept out of the reach of children.

Buy this torture device for approx. $18 from GoBaz It is currently out of shock, I mean "stock."

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08.23.2006

Forget breakfast bars -- liquid cereal is here

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For the "don’t have time for a real breakfast" crowd, along came the breakfast bar that was packed with all the vitamins and nutrients that a wholesome, home-cooked breakfast would normally provide.

For those bored of the blah breakfast bar, the latest in on-the-run breakfasting is Liquid Cereal from Brain Twist.

Blending fat-free milk and real cereal, Liquid Cereal comes in a variety of flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Fruit, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate.

I guess this ends the worry about whether or not your cornflakes will stay crispy long enough.

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08.23.2006

Mr. Jones Watches: keeping their own time

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Having trouble getting to places on time? Then don't get one of Mr. Jones Watches. While these timepieces may look great, wearing one of these won't keep the hours or minutes straight - and they're not supposed to. Designed by Crispin Jones (in collaboration with Anton Schubert, Ross Cooper, and Graham Pullin) the watches in Mr. Jones Watches are meant as an investigation into the cultural messages that the watch, as an accessory with personal and social meaning, expresses. For example, Summisus, or "the humility watch," intersperses its time display with the reminder that one day, the wearer will die. Inveteratus, "the television watch," displays television listings as its way of keeping track of time's passage.

As a proponent of "critical design," Mr. Jones isn't interested in marketing his creations, but in drawing attention to the objects in order to "provoke reflection about the watch and it’s cultural functions." However, all the watches (seven in all) were produced as working timepieces. Mr. Jones Watches were most recently exhibited at ISEA 2006 as part of Edgy Products.

Posted by Katherine    Category: current affairs | design | wearables
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08.22.2006

Succumbing to the lure of MySpace

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Being the youngest member of the Popgadget crew, supposedly I should know my way around social networking sites such as MySpace. That's why I've been given the task of managing Popgadget's MySpace page. As of now, we have twelve friends (including Tom), which in the world of MySpace, is pretty pathetic. So if you've done what we finally have and given into the MySpace phenomenon, friend us. Every time we have a giveaway, contest, or a great deal from a sponsor, we'll post it on our MySpace page. Maybe one day I'll even put up a crazy layout or something.

Go to Popgadget on MySpace.

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08.22.2006

Solution for Road Rage?

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The perfect gift for the passive-aggessive driver in your household.

It's called the Drivemocion, which is a small electronic display that can attach to the back window (replacing that moldy "Baby On Board") and types out messages such as "Back OFF," "THANKS," and a few we can't print.

It even has smilie faces and frownie faces, for the computer geek in you.

If you program it to read-off one of the four-letter words, you'll vent your anger but don't blame us if the guy behind you rams your car.

Available in versions with 2 messages, 3 messages, or 5 messages on the Drivemocion website (which shows all three as being sold out at the moment).

Via techeblog.

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08.22.2006

The handSteady helps those with hand tremors

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Chris Peacock recently won two design awards for his innovative solution to overcome the awkwardness of uncontrollable hand tremors. The design goal of the handSteady was simply to allow partially disabled people to socialize over cocktails. By holding the cup in a shock absorbing mount the liquid inside the glass remains calm though the hand holding it is unsteady. It’s truly a simple implementation, but a fantastic one none the less.

The BBC tells the story of Tonia Wells, who has lived with the condition for over thirty years. She relates that many sufferers will not drink in public due to the embarrassment over spills and broken glasses. Three hundred million people suffer from body tremors. Some are hereditary, but other cases are caused by afflictions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Last March Jim Levine, an IBM engineer, developed the Assistive Mouse Adapter to help an uncle who is afflicted with tremors use a standard computer mouse. By applying the same stabilization algorithms found in digital cameras, he was able to filter out unwanted hand movements. I’ve always loved design which addresses a problem of the human condition, and I'd like to say "bravo" to Mr. Peacock.

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08.22.2006

Soundbike: everywhere you pedal laughter follows

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Imagine yourself on a sunny day, biking through the beautiful countryside. In one of those shots that could come straight from some 70s film, the sun arcs behind you and the wildflowers and trees bend lightly in the breeze. The sound of laughter (your own) trailing behind in your wake. It's a far cry from the typical grunts and shouts of those lycra-clad distance cyclists who often clog the park, or the lean mean (and ever decreasing in number) bike messengers who zip through city streets. The Soundbike, a project by Jessica Thompson, seems to be trying to interject some lighthearted fun back into urban cycling. The project, at the core, is just a regular old bike, but what makes it special are the motion sensors that respond to the velocity of the bicycle which trigger audio samples of laughter. The end result? A thrilling ride that brings giggles everywhere you go. Imagine a fleet of these touring around Central Park or flying through Times Square with Critical Mass. It would be a nice pick-me-up for all the grumpy pedestrians and tourists.

Posted by Katherine    Category: current affairs | design
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08.22.2006

Pickle what????

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Claiming 30 times the electrolytes of Powerade and 15 times that of Gatorade, the newly released Pickle Juice Sport already has major sports figures endorsing it.

Yes, you read correctly… pickle juice. Developed through market research that confirms many people sneak a drink of pickle juice from the jar. Apparently there was a market, after all, for a manufactured beverage that tastes of dill, salt, and vinegar. This was later reinforced by an NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, which received national attention over the Eagles’ consumption of pickle juice to beat the 120 degree heat and led them to victory. Who knew?!

I wonder if there are half-sour or bread-and-butter flavors in the future.

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08.22.2006

i-Luv

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I have to admit that what first attracted me to this product was the name: i-Luv.

But on further inspection, I realized what a good - and useful --product this really is. The iLuv i603 Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery with Silicone Skin is a battery pack that boosts your iPod's capacity by 4x, adding more than 9 hours of video playback or 60 hours of audio play time.

It's available in white or back with a matching wall charger, for $70 at iLounge.

Posted by Evan    Category: devices
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08.21.2006

Karaoke Ice: travelling karaoke in an ice cream truck

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"Ice, ice, baby... too cold, too cold... " So the infamous lyrics by Vanilla Ice go. But Rob Van Winkle wouldn't have been able to have anything on you if you had been in San Jose from August 7th - 13th. Karaoke Ice a project by Nancy Nowacek, Katie Salen and Marina Zurkow features a souped up ice cream truck replete with screaming day glo colors, microphones, speakers, otter pops, and a dancing squirrel. Throughout the ISEA 2006 festival Karaoke Ice roamed the streets of San Jose, enticing ordinary people to join in the fun of public street-side Karaoke. Participants were invited to sing along for the crowd and follow the bizarre rituals of Remedios, the dancing squirrel (which was really just a guy dressed up in a squirrel helmet and tail, but he looked cool.) While not everyone had the courage to engage in inpromptu performance, many got a great kick out of the unexpected spectator opportunity. In an artful maneuver positioned between low art and entertainment, Karaoke Ice was not cold at all. In fact, it was smokin' hot.

(Above is a picture of the truck parking next to the SRL performance that night, providing some pre-show entertainment for those waiting to line up.)

Posted by Katherine    Category: current affairs | design | toys
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08.21.2006

Pretty sandwich bags from Mobi

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I am pretty sure that Mobi’s zipper sandwich bags are not much different from regular ones when it comes to fulfilling their purpose, namely storing a sandwich (or anything else you feel like putting in them), and yet I wouldn’t hesitate a second before buying a pack. They are just too cute to resist.

They have a good selection of different motifs to choose from -- I would buy a box for each design. Mobi’s sandwich bags are available for $4.99 a box (each box contains 20 bags) and can be purchased directly on their site.

Posted by Camilla    Category: home
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08.21.2006

PSP Vespa

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Long ago, I came to terms with my inefficiency in operating anything that has a motor attached to it and functions in some kind of traffic. A quick evaluation of my car driving skills will induce a panic attack in anyone who tries to imagine me on a moped or motorbike. So I never even seriously thought about getting either one.

Of course Vespa had to come out with the White Vespa PSP, so now I want it! Even I would look cool on a white Vespa PSP!

The White Vespa PSP features Sony’s handheld logos pretty much all over the vehicle (hmm yeah, free advertising for Sony) and its purchase will entitle you to a free white Playstation Portable value pack.

This limited edition Vespa LX 50 costs € 2,699 and can be ordered and purchased only from Vespa Dealers in Benelux … and I can get one!!! [theoretically]

Via Uber-Review
[press release -in Dutch-]

Posted by Camilla    Category: cars | toys
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08.21.2006

Focused Bags

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Of all the accessories made out of recycled materials Focused Bags are probably the most far-fetched ones I have seen so far. The idea of turning an old - hard - wooden skateboard into a fashion accessory is just … pretty damn cool! Especially if it’s your own old board you can get turned into a pretty bag. I can’t think of a better way to retire your old board.

Sophie Manson is the designer of Focused Bags; each bag is unique and hand crafted and there are four main styles to choose from: Switch, Big Spin, Hurricane and No-Comply.
They can be purchased on eBay, but the site also offers a custom order service.

Focused Bags will also buy your old boards in pretty much any condition you have them: whole, snapped into two halves, and even just pieces of it … maybe not the most ‘romantic’ way to retire your old board, but still a lot better than just throwing it into the garbage.

Via Ektopia

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08.21.2006

Morpheus mood lighting pod

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The mood ring was child's play -- this is for us adults.

You can program the the Morpheus mood lighting pod to change colors as fast as your moods. It looks like a high-tech light so it can go just about anywhere. You can choose colours that add warmth in winter, go for cool blues in the summer or just set it to a colour you look good in. Permanent candlelight, in my case.

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There are a number of presets, so you can let Morpheus do some "morphing" - changing the colour range in your room subtly, which sounds like fun.

It's available from Morpheus Lighting for about £65, which is my way of telling you that you can't buy it here yet.

Posted by Evan    Category: design | home
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08.21.2006

Light Bead Curtain: trippy effects for ordinary furnishings

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The Light Bead Curtain by Jin-Yo Mok and Ami Wolf is described as an "interactive musical installation," but to the unschooled eye, it looks rather suspiciously like some tripped out home accessory you'd find in your local head shop. The curtain, which was most recently installed in the cafe of the San Jose Museum of Art for ISEA 2006 as part of the Interactive Cafe category of the festival has several modes. The most basic mode allows participants to illuminate and produce sound through touching the beads of the curtain. Other presets allow for cascading patterns and sonic behaviors. While this artwork may not find itself into commercial production anytime soon, it's really a shame that you can't throw this up alongside your Grateful Dead posters and kick back while getting all psychedelic with your friends. It's art and tech for the retro-hippy set!

Posted by Katherine    Category: current affairs | design | home
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08.21.2006

Baby Love: spinning teacup musical bumpercars

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Ohhh baby! Artist Shu Lea Chang's new work, titled Baby Love was on exhibition during ISEA 2006 from August 7-13th. The installation, which is comprised of several spinning teacups (like the Disneyland ride!) allows for the exchange and remix of uploaded MP3s. Taking the teacups for a spin is kind of like bumper cars, but with a sonic twist. Each teacup is comprised of an autonomously moving unit, which participants are encouraged to board. As the wheel is turned, the teacup spins round and round, eventually colliding with one of the other units. When a "bump" is achieved between teacups, the musical track that plays during the ride (which is specific to each teacup) is mixed between riders. The result is zany and fun! If you missed Baby Love at ISEA you can always catch them later at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York City, opening November 30, 2006

Posted by Katherine    Category: current affairs | design | toys
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08.20.2006

MP3 toilet

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Boy, this just shows how far we are behind the Japanese.

For years now they've had toilets that raise automatically; the seats are heated and I don't even need to mention that they come with bidets....

So it's no surprise to discover that the Japanese manufacturer Toto (not to be confused with the band) has developed one that comes with an MP3 player and an SD slot.

Thankfully, it's not integrated into the seat but rather in the control system/computer on the wall beside the commode.

Now if they could just program it to shout, "PUT DOWN THE TOILET SEAT, BUSTER!"

Not available state-side yet.

Via Akihabaranews.

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08.20.2006

Kate Spayed Bag for your dog

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I don't know about you, but I never thought my Barbie (punked out, mind you) should have her own car and condo until I had them first.

Same thing with this dog toy. Until you own a real Kate Spade bag I don't think you need to buy Fido a Kate Spayed Bag, but I couldn't resist because it's so darn cute.

Keep in mind that I have the two most spoiled doxies on the planet.

Costs $10.95 from PugCafe.com.

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08.20.2006

Naughty Gift: iPod attachment

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Wondering what to give your girlfriend for her birthday, job promotion, better yet .... bachelorette party?

Get her the iBuzz . It's an add-on for her iPod that comes equppied with a bullet-shaped vibrator that attaches to the iPod and pulsates in time to the music.

I think the photo tells the whole story, don't you gals?

Used to be available only in the UK, but it's now available in the U.S. for around $60 at iBuzzusa.

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08.19.2006

Large Gourd Speaker with Amplifier

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Bet you don't have one of these.

It's a speaker made from a real gourd -- you know, that vegtable-type thing. Bird-Electron Japan boasts that it utilizes the "natural resonance of the gourd" and makes a stylish addition to your house.

Now, it is true that the gourd has been used for centuries as a musical instrument, so maybe they're on to something.

Because they're making them from actual gourds, each speaker is different, so the one you order will not look the same as the one in the photograph you see above. The 2-sided gourd speaker comes with Bird-Electron's special designed mini amplifier for better sound playback.

The Bird-Electron EZ-HY2ST Large Gourd Speaker with Amplifier is available in "natural brown" (What? You expected blue?) and sells for $199 at Audiocubes.
Posted by Evan    Category: design | devices
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08.19.2006

Ho Fatso: high tech sumo wrestling

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What happens when you mix those sumo wrestling fat suits with arty digital media? The answer is Ho Fatso, a new interactive installation by artist Rania Ho. Made of rip-stop nylon, high powered leaf blowers, and motion detectors, Ho Fatso is comprised of inflatable fat suits corralled by an inflated wrestling ring. Participants gear up and get "fat," folds of air-pumped flesh jiggling whilst engaged in battle. As long as there is movement, the suits and ring stay puffed with air. However, without activity, everything deflates. Ho Fatso was most recently shown at ISEA 2006, but you never know, it may be coming soon to a venue near you.

Posted by Katherine    Category: current affairs | design | wearables
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08.19.2006

A handheld for all your AV needs: LG's MFJM53

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The LG MFJM53 mp3 player not only handles mp3s, but also displays mp4, jpgs, and text on its screen with a 128 x 160 display resolution. LG claims that battery life enables an impressive 30 hours of music play. Perfect for passing the time when you're on the road. The narrow width allows for easier one-hand control.

Pricing and a release date have not yet been announced.

Posted by Ray    Category: devices
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08.18.2006

Search engine for recipes

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Have you ever found yourself staring at a sufficiently filled refrigerator and still having no clue what you can cook with what’s in it? Ingredients are available, but you just can't come up with a final plan; next time you find yourself in this situation, try visiting either Recipe Matcher or SnacksBy.

Both sites allow you to search for recipes by entering the ingredients you have available at the moment. It’s just that simple: insert pepper, cucumber and pasta in the search field and, voilà, you have several recipes to choose from … at least in theory.

Continue reading "Search engine for recipes"

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08.18.2006

Virtual Villagers

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If you killed off your Neopet, maybe this game isn't for you.

The idea behind Virtual Villagers is basically the same; If you forget for a few days you might come back to skeletons. Yew.

The premise is simple and the game is designed so you can play just a few minutes a day, if you wish. You're given some shipwrecked, helpless people on a desert island and you have to teach them to farm and fish, build huts etc. The fun is in watching them grow up and "marry" (the boy kisses the girl and she goes in the hut and comes out carrying a baby" -- that's JUST how I explained sex to my daughter).

You can get it for 20 bucks for your computer or your Nintendo DS.

Download it from RealArcade.com or anywhere games are sold.

Posted by Evan    Category: toys
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08.18.2006

Pimp My Heart: unity between car and driver

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ISEA 2006
and the Zero One Festival in San Jose took place between August 7th to the 13th. There were some fun projects on exhibition. One in particular, titled Pimp my Heart by Takehito Etano and David Tinapple has already garnered a good deal of attention. Pimp my Heart is described as:

a performance/vehicle intervention that uses an invented HBBB (HeartBeat Bass Booster) system to amplify the heartbeat of a car driver in real time through an interface with a beefed up car audio aftermarket system. The intervention/invention achieves an ultimate unity between car and driver.

So imagine if Xzibit and West Coast Customs got together for the ultimate pimped ride, a car that responds to the driver's heatbeat with a flurry of light and sound. Definitely hot stuff.

Posted by Katherine    Category: cars | current affairs | design
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08.18.2006

Immortalize your profile in wood

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Turn Your Head takes a digital image of your profile and curves it out of wood. On one level, it's a little weird, because it looks like you are about to kiss yourself. On another level, it's unique and intriguing. They look the best when placed next to the model's face. And it will be a great conversation piece for your next house party.

Via Atomic 17

Posted by Ray    Category: design
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08.17.2006

Chargebox

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To all of those readers who have found themselves on a trip hopelessly looking for the cell phone charger that has just as hopelessly been forgotten at home, I am sure the ChargeBox service would be more than welcome.

ChargeBox stations look like mini storage lockers where you can safely place and recharge your mobile devices; a full recharge will cost you just £1, payable either by inserting a coin or by SMS. An indicator at the top will let you know when your device is fully charged.

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Each ChargeBox has six lockers, each of them suitable for a different device or manufacturer. The service is available for all major cell phone brands, the Blackberry, the iPod and the all important PSP.

ChargeBoxes can be found in locations such as hotels, gyms, train stations, airports, hospitals, internet cafes and on the high street, though, as far as I can tell, currently only in the U.K.

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08.17.2006

Philips SBA1500 portable speakers

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Philips has brought out its latest offering in the portable speakers category – the SBA1500, which is not only unique in design but has good sound quality as well (unlike some of the other portable speakers floating around in the market).

The unique thing about the speakers is their portability – after you're done, you can fold up the speakers into a neat little egg-shaped package which easily fits into a small bag, and it's ready-to-go the next time you're traveling. The other features are quite standard and include the speakers themselves (2 x 1 watt) which come with an amplifier base unit. The speakers are attached to each other via cable. The package requires 3 AAA batteries which will have the speakers going for a good 20 hours of decent sounding audio.

You might go for the SBA1500 if you're primarily a non-headphones person. The package looks cute and is worth its price. The SBA1500 is currently available only in Europe at $48.

Via Unobtainable Info.

Posted by kanchana    Category: accessories
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08.17.2006

Motorola's 2nd-Gen Wearable Electronics

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It 's not enough for clothing to keep us warm and stylish anymore -- it's got to be Bluetooth enabled and provide music.

So Motorola and Burton Snowboards joined forces to create the 2007 Audex collection of wearable electronics.

The Audex Bluetooth stereo system is built into a plaid jacket that wirelessly communicates with Bluetooth phones, so users who are outdoor fanatics can control music and phone calls with transport and volume controls sewn into the jacket's sleeve.

My favorite is the beanie and helmet with built-in controls so you can take a call or blast your music while navigating a 90-degree slope.

It's everything you ever wanted , except maybe fashion.

Posted by Evan    Category: wearables
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08.17.2006

Recycled rubber purses

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I'm a big fan of DIY and recycled chic. Take for example these recycled rubber purses. With contemporary shapes and serious hardware, both pieces look durable and edgy. With army green twill tape handles for the "mini" and seatbelt straps for the "model T" you will find your belongings well secured. Great as an everyday bag and especially cool for vegans it seems.

Also available: rubber bi-fold wallet.

Posted by Katherine    Category: accessories
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08.17.2006

A mobile and its cradle never looked so good: benQ Siemens

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The benQ Siemens SL91 is one sweet phone. This 3G capable mobile phone is also equipped with a 3.2 megapixel camera and a 2 inch QVGA display which offers 16.7 million colors. It also comes with a sleek cradle, which seamlessly fits the contours of the phone.

The phone comes out in November, 2006. No pricing information has been released yet.

Posted by Ray    Category: devices
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08.16.2006

Give your iPod a makeover with iPod Mods

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If you want to play around with the look and feel of your iPod but you don't have that hacker inclination, try one of the many iPod modding services, like iPod Mods. Besides doing repairs on Apple's portable music player, they also make cosmetic mods like changing the backlight coloring to blue, orange or green. I like green (and to a lesser extent orange) because it reminds me of my monochromic monitors from the 80s. Note, they are not just adding some colored film, but going into your iPod and changing LEDs to your requested color.

Posted by Ray    Category: design | devices
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08.16.2006

Make movies for your cell phone with muveeShow

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Brought to you by the same wizards who make that great editing software for your home movies (muvee autoProducer), this is cell phone software for all you budding Spielbergs,

muveeShow automatically sets your pictures to music, with synchronized style effects and graphics. The music, effects and graphics are determined by the muvee "style" that you choose (3 to choose from.)

The "Quick muvee" option lets you choose a style and automatically creates a muvee using the most recent pictures taken on your phone.

The "Custom muvee" option gives you more choices by letting you select the pictures, style and music that you want. You can also personalize the title of your muvee (yes, they are out to change the English language while they're at it.)

For your soundtrack, select "Free Music" to download more music directly to your phone via their WAP site. muveeShow supports WAV format music clips (up to 44KHZ, 8 Bit, Mono).

muveeShow supports JPEG, BMP, GIF, and PNG images.

Here's the twist though -- at the moment muveeShow only supports the following phone models:

- Nokia 6600
- Nokia 6620
- Nokia 6260
- Panasonic X700

A one-day free trial of muveeShow is available for download; Users can subsequently purchase a 30-day license for �2 (US$2.40) or get the full license for �9.90 (US$12). The muveeShow free trial can also be shared with others by sending it to another phone via Bluetooth using the "send software" function.

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08.16.2006

Grandma's Cell Phone

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Your Granny probably doesn't want a sleek, pink RAZR -- heck, she can't even read the buttons -- so Emporia has designed a cell phone for the senior set with big buttons and an LCD with large text. Smart.

The other senior features are a red emergency button to call for help and back-up batteries for the forgetful. It even works with hearing aids.

The downside: when Grandma learns to text message: "U kds come visit soon!"

No word on how much this is going to cost you.

Via Slashphone.

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08.16.2006

Don't leave a CD trail

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There was a time before flash drives really hit the market but writable CDRs were rather inexpensive. During that period, it was sometimes just easier to burn a CD in order to share files. For a long time, I was wondering what I was supposed to do with the tons of CDs with temporary work files on them. Enter this cool CD/DVD shredder to remove your concerns about having important or not so important data at risk.

Buy it at ThinkGeek

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08.15.2006

Segways get updated styling and controls

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The Segway Personal Transporter didn't wind up revitalizing the way cities are built, but it did find uses with a few commercial entities and police departments. New updates to the Segway line are hoping to encourage more average consumers to purchase Segways for short commutes and leisure activities. Features on the updated i2 and x2 include a wireless key that does double duty as a dashboard, and new Saphion lithium ion batteries that have increased drive time. Both models have been redesigned with sleeker profiles, but the i2 wins the beauty contest with clean Italian modern styling.

The control system has been greatly improved. Novice riders reported problems coordinating the handlebar turning controls on previous Segways, but the new models use lean-to-turn steering. Wanna go left? Lean left! It's a control scheme similar to skiing, but not nearly as difficult or dangerous.

Of the two new models the ruggedized x2 is the more attractive for leisure. Monster truck styling with aluminum fenders and big knobby tires make this the option for rolling over hill and dale. There’s even a golf bag attachment for ditching the caddy when running through the back nine.

I originally agreed with the naysayers that declared the Segway as a gadget without purpose, but divergences from their original business plan will be what finally saves the Segway. For example, the 2004 Centaur concept makes me salivate. A four wheeled cross between a Segway and a go-kart could be just the fun zip machine that the city street commuter is looking for. (That’s a hint, Mr. Kamen!)

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08.15.2006

Fun Soap Dispenser for kids

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This one might interest you if have kids around. It's a strange new product called SquidSoap. A soap which claims to change your kids’ washing habits for the better by (as the company puts it) ‘Training Tomorrow's Great Hand Washers’. How so? The company claims that most of us with grubby hands are not the ones who refuse to wash them, but the ones who refuse to wash them long enough. So, this soap picks up from where the others left off – when you push down the SquidSoap dispenser, it puts an orange dot on your palm along with the soap. And then you're supposed to keep washing your hands until you get the ink off as well – which is roughly going to take you 15-20 seconds, the average time recommended for a thorough wash.

The soap dispenser is also adorned with orange tentacles that look like a squid, which, the company claims, kids will have fun with. So the next time you're at the dinner table and your kids haven’t washed their hands well enough, you could catch them orange-handed!

Via Strange New Products.

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08.15.2006

Kensington FM transmitter & car charger for iPods

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Yet ANOTHER FM transmitter and car charger for your iPod, you ask?

My brother, a real gadget-head, turned me on to the Kensington RDS thingy-majig .
What I like about it is that you can see the song and artist's name displayed on your car stereo . It has 3 easy to use FM pre-sets and, if you believe everything you read, the "ClearFM technology reduces noise and enhances stereo separation providing superior wireless audio quality and FM reception."

The unusual design ensures that it can fit most hard-to-reach car power outlets, and the nifty black body and stainless steel accents most car types.

I want one.

Available for $89.99 from Kensington.


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08.15.2006

Find your inner spy with super ear

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I'm pretty sure that I should avoid getting one of these, because it will just encourage me to be more nosey. Small and lightweight, the Super Ear gives you a 50 decibel gain. The description states that it can be used for birding, listening to lectures, and frogs at night, but I'm sure that we can find more interesting applications for it.

Get your own at Super Ear for $39.99.

Posted by Ray    Category: devices
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08.14.2006

Elecom antibacterial USB mouse

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My family has a major grouse against my heightened paranoia about cleanliness. A mere speck of dust anywhere in the house is enough to arouse my "clean it" radar, creating panic all over. Often my near and dear ones tell me that I would probably be happier living in the "clean and disinfected" environs of a hospital instead.

Now imagine what a product like the Elecom antibacterial mouse would do for a person like me. This one tops my "must-have" list, especially since recent studies have shown that an average desk harbors more bacteria and germs than even the toilet seat. The Elecom M-ABUR series mouse comes with a special resin coating that prevents bacteria from growing on it. However the general rules for health and hygiene still apply since the mouse will only keep the bacterial count on your hands to a minimum, while you still have to deal with the billions of other bacteria floating around.

In keeping with the spirit, the mouse is shaped like a bar of soap and comes in attractive blue, orange, pink and green colors. Costing approximately $33, availability is currently restricted to Japan.

Now, if only I could use this technology for everything else in my house as well...

Via AkihabaraNews.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices
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08.14.2006

iPod Nano Uptown Clutch Wallet

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What I like about Pacific Design’s iPod Nano Uptown Clutch Wallet, is that it's not just an iPod Nano case, and that it combines good visual and functional design. I am down with it; retailing for just $29.99 it seems less expensive than other iPod cases whose only purpose is to protect the precious MP3 player.

The "Nano case–wallet combo" features a built-in, dual-access iPod nano case; slots for up to four I.D. or credit cards; my favorite feature, the Ear-bud/cord mesh storage pouch; a billfold; and finally, a small bus pass or credit card pocket inside front flap.

The iPod Nano Uptown Clutch Wallet comes in two different styles. The first one offers a full brown or black leather exterior, with cross-hatched stitching over a quilted inset, while the second model is crafted from Italian-sourced faux leather, with perforated inset, in red, blue, and pink.

The Clutch wallet can be purchased at ebags.com and kolobags.com.

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08.14.2006

Your car will love the Speck MobileTune for your iPod

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I know there are a million FM transmitter/chargers for your iPod, but this Speck MobileTune actually looks good in your car as it's designed like a gearshift knob, complete with leather and gleaming metal.

The 5-inch-long device plugs into the car lighter adapter and a 26-inch cable attaches to an iPod dock connector. It's small enough that you're not going to try and shift with it (we hope) and their press says it passed a 70-foot transmission test (rivals are 40 or 50 feet), AND it charges your iPod faster than other chargers. Again, their claim, not mine.

The downside: no pre-sets, which is a huge deal for me as I can't be fiddling with it while I'm driving, talking on my cellphone and returning e-mails on my Blackberry.

The MobileTune will work with all dock connector iPods except the 3G iPod. Unfortunately, there is no audio line in, so you can't connect other audio devices (such as another MP3 player, a laptop, or a drum machine). But the lack of line in and presets shouldn't be a big deal to an iPod owner who wants an affordable and compact FM transmitter/charger.

Availalbe for $49.95 from the Speck Products website.

Posted by Evan    Category: cars
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08.14.2006

Be ready for anything: Cybertool 41 Swiss Army knife

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You may remember the Swiss Army Knife that came with a mp3 player that we posted about earllier this year. Check out the Cybertool 41 from Swiss Army, which can satisfy all your hardware maintenance needs. The knife comes with a hex bit, pozidrive bit, wire stripper, AND a DIP switch setter.

Available for purchase at Thinkgeek for $74.99.

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08.13.2006

Lexar USB flash drive lets you take your apps with you

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Lexar USB flash drives now come installed with "PowerToGo" software, which allows you to run programs off the drive. So, if you're on the road, and need to use someone else's computer, the concern of having access to your applications is eliminated.

Via Atomic17

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08.13.2006

C64 music makes a comeback

In the 80s, I was involved in many intense playground discussions on which was better, the IBM 286, Apple II series or the Commodore 64. Although my loyalties rested with my trusted Apple IIc, I had to admit that the C64 had some pretty sweet games. Back then, musicians needed to be assembly language programmers in order to compose music for these machines. Currently, the newly formed C64 Orchestra is in rehearsals for a concert devoted to music from C64 games. Two C64-composers, Rob Hubbard and Jeroen Tel, are involved, which brings the street credibility a project like this deserves. Of course, they have a myspace page, where you can get more information.

The concert will be held on Sept. 22, 2006 at the Gigant, in Appledoorn, Netherlands.

Via Rhizome.


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08.12.2006

SonicBoom PSP speaker system from Gear4

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Judging from the press release in my inbox one would think that the SonicBoom is a must have accessory for PSP or iPod owners. It might be, but only if you’re desperate for a third party speaker system to improve the sound quality. The device supports any 1/8th inch stereo jack component, so an iPod or vintage Walkman will snap right in.

This is mostly a run of the mill external speaker system, but it does have the capability to recharge the PSP between gaming sessions. The SonicBoom really wins as an attractive charging cradle, and the speaker system is mostly secondary. If you find yourself continually using your PSP at work you might want to pick up a SonicBoom to add a little class to your desk.

The external boom box rolls out soon at roughly $100, and will be available in either white or black.

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08.12.2006

Window shopping gone wild

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Just when I thought the ultimate decadence was shopping at my home computer in my PJs, they come out with "window shopping" -- literally.

At Polo Ralph Lauren's flagship location in NY, customers can tap on the huge store window which has a projected image of a Lauren tableau. All 67". A "thin touch foil" mounted on the glass powers the touchscreen. Tap what you want -- those rustic suspenders, say -- and swipe your credit card on the wall-mounted card reader.

The company will experiment with this through Sept 10 and then evaluate it's success - or failure.

Talk about an impusle buy. This is just plain dangerous.

Posted by Evan    Category: current affairs | devices
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08.11.2006

Play music from your PC on your stereo system with Logitech wireless DJ remote

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Have lots of great music on your PC but not able to play it on your stereo system? This common problem now has a classy solution - in the form of the new Wireless DJ Music System from Logitech.

This 3-piece package consists of a wireless transmitter that plugs into your PC’s USB port, a receiver that plugs into the auxillary inputs of any stereo system and a wireless remote control that allows you to access and navigate your music. The receiver also serves as a docking charger for the remote. The most glamorous component of the package is definitely the sleek remote which has a pleasing blue backlit LCD display and an iPod-like scroll wheel. Using the remote, you can navigate through all your music files, playlists and internet radio stations, play a song, playlist or station of your choice and also see what is playing on the screen. With Logitech's Music Anywhere wireless technology you can access your music over a 300 feet range, without having an existing wireless network. Wondering why it's called "DJ" ? With the remote, you can configure an active playlist called the "DJ List", and add songs or albums to the queue without stopping the music. What's more, you can also use iTunes and WMP playlists as well - the device supports MP3, AAC, WMA, Internet radio, and podcasts.

Check out the first CNET review which has labelled their experience with the device as a "positive first impression". The wireless DJ will be out late September at $250 in the US and Europe. Definitely something to watch out for.

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08.11.2006

Automatic beauty software from Israel

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We've seen cheap parlor tricks used in cameras to provide a slimming look, and we’ve all seen Brittney’s heavily airbrushed spread in Bazaar. Four researchers from Tel Aviv have developed a system that could remove the human interaction from retouching photos and let machines decide just what true beauty will be. “Digital Face Beautification” can autonomously manipulate a photo of a woman's face to be more aesthetically pleasing.

The two part system analyzes the distances between facial features, and adjusts the spatial relationships to bring the photograph more in line with accepted perceptions of beauty. The perceptions are based on 200 photographs of women rated by volunteers, where facial structure and features were assigned points to weight the look that the participants found most attractive.

The changes made are minimal, almost imperceptible, but they do make a difference. Minute changes in face shape, cheekbones, nose lines, eyebrows, and lips manipulate the original photos into slightly different looks. Judging from the before and after photos I would equate the changes on par with a proper makeup job. While this might be a triumph for computer science, the makeup counter at Famous can also conjure cheekbones out of thin air.

Via Celeste Biever at NewScientistTech and Stefanie Olsen from FutureTech.

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08.11.2006

Retro robots, rockets and rayguns

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LockWasher Design takes found objects and turns them into rockets, robots, and rayguns. I love the retro-sci-fi vibe, which makes this vision of the old "future" feel new again. Harking back to a time when the future wasn't dark and scary, this future is shiny and full of chrome.

Via atomic17

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08.11.2006

The 2006 Machinima Festival is taking submissions

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The 2006 Machinima Festival has just announced that its submission form is up for all you gamer filmmakers out there. The festival will be held on November 4-5, 2006 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY. Watch the promo video and then get to work!

Via Rhizome

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08.10.2006

Zyb will keep your contacts safe

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Helpful reader Roar Nielsen remembered reading a post where I admitted to dropping my Treo in a toilet after a night of carousing. He recommended a new service called Zyb that lets data enabled cellphones replicate all the important information via the internet. The service is very similar to the online storage that the Hiptop uses, except this is manual and currently supports over 200 phones. Yahoo Mobile's Contact Backup service is very similar, but Zyb has many fewer restrictions as to who can sign up.

Zyb users can manage synced contacts with a web interface, and they can be shared with other Zyb users. Each account can be linked to multiple mobile phones, and Zyb can be used to push old contacts to a new phone. The early adopter geek in me is thrilled at the prospect.

Most cellphones ship with the required SyncML data interface so the majority of phones are compatible. There's no cost to use the service, and the founders guarantee that it will remain that way. The company's business model shows plans to roll out additional fee based premium features in the future. Eventually you'll be able to sync your contacts from the website to Outlook or an iPod.

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08.10.2006

Fiddling with digital photos with Photofiddle

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I am a lazy ass photographer. I still have rolls of 35mm film sitting around from 1999 that have never been developed, and now I have several years' worth of digital photos in my hard drive which have never seen the light of day. I always think I'm going to print them out, put them in albums, and frame a few when I have a sufficient block of time free -- which of course will be never, since it would take me nine months to do this project.

Meanwhile, rude friends keep asking me why, a full year after I moved into my house, there's still nothing on my walls except dirty paw prints and post-its. "Why don't you slap up a few of your family photos?" they say. These are the same people who send you baby pictures when their baby is six hours old, and Christmas cards before April. How superior.

The truth is, I think family photos are kind of boring except to members of your own family (and sometimes boring even to them). I'm playing around with Photofiddle, a new web service that turns your mind-numbingly bland photos into sillly or stunning works of art. The one above is a photo of Brooke Shields taken at a Photofiddle event -- done up in one of the Pop Art selections.

Continue reading "Fiddling with digital photos with Photofiddle"

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08.10.2006

Sony's mylo for mobile wifi chatting

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Sony has been pushing the mylo product line since 2001, and Sascha at PCMag has the lowdown on their newest addition. The mylo is a mobile instant messenger device that doubles as a Skype phone, web appliance, and media player. Sony is dubbing the mylo as a way to take advantage of open hotspots for those who use instant messaging as their primary form of communication.

In no way is the mylo a cell phone. There’s no cell modem, and it needs a hotspot to be useful. Luckily, JiWire’s services are built into the handheld so locating hotspots in a metro area should be a piece of cake.

Google Talk, Skype, and Yahoo Messenger are all supported, but curiously there's no AIM or MSN. A redeeming feature is that the mylo runs a mobile version of the Opera web browser; a browser which I fanatically support. Web support is full HTML, and there are several display and scaling modes to help fit big pages to a small screen.

The device ships with a paltry one megabyte gigabyte of onboard memory, and expansion is provided with Sony’s Memory Stick Duo. In a strange twist of a retro feature set the device also supports .txt file editing, so it can double as a mobile emergency essay machine.

Haha - Thanks to Jennifer Chase for pointing out that I misread the spec sheet.

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08. 9.2006

Popgadget writing positions

We're looking to add two new freelance writers to our writing crew:

1. A morning news writer who can commit to being available every weekday at a specific time to scope out the day's news, talk to our editor and write up pieces for posting the same day or the following morning. If you're already a tech news addict with an eye for products and events that appeal to women, and can consistently deliver at least 25 posts per month, this may be your perfect outlet. Professional writing experience is not required, just humor, an original voice, and an avid interest in pop/tech culture.

2. A weekend writer available at least one day every weekend, and a couple of days during the week to write up pieces primarily on new consumer electronic devices. Let us know if you also have interest and knowledge about cars. Minimum of 5 posts per week (20 per month) required.

Our payment rates are competitive with other high-profile commercial blogs.

To apply, please send an email to Mia with the following:

1. Name and location (city and country),
2. Languages spoken/written,
3. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: Three to four sample posts of approximately 300 words (images not necessary) (these should be examples of what your actual posts will look like on Popgadget, so articles from another publication may not be helpful),
4. Current profession/job,
5. Your areas of knowledge,
6. Some background information (formal resume not necessary),
7. Days and times you can be regularly available;
8. Any other information you think would be helpful (though please keep it brief).

Deadline to apply is August 18th. We'll look at all responses as they come in, and start calling people this week. If you've applied previously, we may be calling you (and my apologies for not replying to each person who responded), but please feel free to send us another email if you're still interested.

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08. 9.2006

Event: metaverse roadmap pre-release party at eyebeam, august 10th, nyc

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Taking its name from Neil Stephenson's seminal book "Snowcrash," the Metaverse Roadmap (MVR) is a ten year project which investigates the intersection of 3D virtual worlds, such as Second Life, with Web 2.0 applications.

The project site describes areas of study as:
"... the convergence of Web applications with networked computer games and virtual worlds, the use of 3D creation and animation tools in virtual environments, digital mapping, artificial life, and the underlying trends in hardware, software, connectivity, business innovation and social adoption that will drive the transformation of the World Wide Web in the coming decade."

After an initial summit last May, they are holding an event, a "Metaverse Roadmap Pre-Release Party," at Eyebeam. Presumably, they will be showing some preliminary findings from May. Eyebeam is located at 540 W. 21st Street, (between 10th and 11th Avenues), NYC. The event is on Thursday, August 10, from 6 to 9 PM. The event is free and open to the public.

Posted by Ray    Category: current affairs
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08. 9.2006

Tux toys for the entire family

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I always liked Tux, the mascot for Linux, which was created by Larry Ewing. Tux has much more personality than the branding for Windows and the Mac OS X. Now, open source fans can start off their kids early by giving them a Tux plush toy. That way, with fond memories of Linux's penguin mascot, they will grow up to contribute code to the Linux kernel.

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08. 9.2006

Virtual laser piano

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Do you ever pretend to play piano along to a song on the radio by making imaginary chord shapes on your desk? Yes, don't deny it! I've seen you, pretending to be Jamie Foxx pretending to be Ray Charles. Anyway, this is for you. The eggheads at Digital Information Development have created a virtual musical keyboard for your desktop, so you can actually turn any flat surface into a piano. The keyboard uses two laser modules - one to draw the keyboard onto the desk, and the other to detect your keypresses. It has the ability to detect chords, and has a few different voices too; organ, pipe organ and harpsichord. Excellent for practising on a break at work. I can see the books already - "Learn at lunchtime with Stevie Wonder's guide to laser harpsichord".

The keyboard will be released in Japan by the end of the year, and will cost 15,000 yen ($130).

Via Pink Tentacle

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08. 9.2006

Liven up your furniture

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I have always wondered why furniture needs to be so drab and plain looking. What if I could design it with some of my favourite photographs or patterns?

Cloth gives me that choice to print any image, design or pattern onto virtually any surface imaginable. This digital printing technology was originally meant for fashion designers to produce prototypes of their work, and is now being offered to consumers. If you're not sure of the kind of images that will go well with your furniture, their website offers you help with a wide variety of themes. You can even design your entire home using the really simple to use design studio.

The prices are not exactly cheap, but if you've always fancied a Picasso in your living room, this will be a lot less expensive.

Posted by kanchana    Category: design | home
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08. 8.2006

More cool USB flash drives

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The cd-rom drive on my laptop died the other day, and I've been reduced to shuttling files back and forth on a flash drive. I think that getting the iDuck might add a little humor to the experience. It even glows in the dark and comes in other colors, including blue, strawberry and white.

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08. 8.2006

Show your loved ones you care

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If you feel like roses or chocolate are passe, here is something extra special for your loved one on Valentines Day. You've got 7 months to prepare, which is plenty of time to order and assemble this perfect gadget-oriented Valentine. The LED Flashing Sweetheart Kit produces a 3.0" by 2.75" beating heart made of 28 flashing LEDs. You will need to do some soldering, but that's the price of love these days.

Posted by Ray    Category: accessories
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08. 8.2006

The Apple MacPro and 10.5 Leopard previews

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Apple held its World Wide Developer Conference yesterday, and the rubber finally hit the road. Some of the rumors, like the ones about a video store and the iPhone, didn’t pan out, but what did come down the pike is very exciting to the nerds of the world. New desktop towers have been released; and they’re packed full of computing power at a very affordable starting price. Each new Mac Pro will come with two 64-bit Intel Xeon 5100 dual core processors boasting 4MB of shared onboard cache. Speed choices are 2, 2.66 and 3.0 GHz, and the machines support up to 16 GB of fully buffered memory. Apple is claiming that the new architecture is up to twice as fast as the quad G5 systems.

Apple is also planning enhancements for the 10.5 (Leopard!) release of the Mac OS, but claims to be holding all the juicy bits a secret until closer to release. The exciting things that were mentioned are a virtual desktop implementation called Spaces, more powerful search tools through Spotlight, and automatic data backup through Time Machine.

The promised release of Time Machine is hot on the heels of Symantec’s announcement that millions of people are in danger of losing their digital photo albums. Desktop data backup has always been a slightly annoying task that required extra hardware and software. Users don’t always stay vigilant even with pushbutton external solutions. Time Machine makes a running incremental backup to an external hard drive, and allows restoring single files in the timeline. The intuitive interface reminds me of flipping through a Rolodex file. Time Machine also tracks file revisions, so it will no longer be a big deal when I accidentally save over an important document.

One of my longstanding complaints with Apple is that they spent a decade worrying about their image and not working on new features. It’s nice to see them come full circle and once again concentrate on providing the neat features that make using a computer fun.

Edit: Just to clarify, the WWDC isn't over yet, but the Steve Jobs keynote was the big event for those of us who don't code. Thanks to Angela Mitchell for smacking me upside the head with the reminder.

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08. 8.2006

Keep the monkeys away with Banana Guard

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Suffering from bruised bananas because they get squashed in your lunch bag? The Banana Guard can help keep your fruit scratch-free. Designed to fit 90% of all bananas, it comes in five brilliant colors, including Mellow Yellow. Also features a secure locking mechanism (to keep the apes at bay) and air holes to allow for proper ripening.

Banana Guard is the brainchild of three Canadian emergency room doctors. Apparently their sensitivity to trauma extended to their favorite fruit.

Strangely enough, the only retailer listed on the website for the US is a bicycle parts store?!?!?!? The Canadian network of retailers also includes bicycle parts stores, but adds in golf equipment stores, and even . . . a few kitchen stores . . . imagine that! Guess I’ll stick to ordering online for this one!

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08. 8.2006

EuduraPro keyboard: old-fashioned or smart

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Call me a diehard, but I think I’ll be going to my grave using an EnduraPro keyboard.

To those of you who are old enough to remember what typing on an IBM typewriter or an original PC keyboard, you’ll know exactly why I stand where I do. To the young ones out there, it means typing on a keyboard that uses IBM’s proprietary buckling spring technology. Yes, these are the ones that make the comparatively loud clickety-clack noise with every keystroke. But they are also the ones that give a more positive response, which is proven to improve speed and accuracy and reduce fatigue.

The EnduraPro, offered by Unicomp, comes in several varieties, including models with integrated trackball and point stick devices. Most computers today come with cheap, "throw in" keyboards. You’ve been quick to upgrade your processor to bigger and better. Why not do the same for your keyboard?

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08. 8.2006

Telecommuting, teleconferencing, tele-airhockey

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The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has created, Airhockey Over a Distance. This prototype of "computer-mediated human-to-human interaction" allows you to play an actual game of airhockey with a physical puck (well two of them) over the network. A player with one half of the table sends his puck across the rink. When it reaches the "center," the system catches the puck and records the location, angle and velocity of the puck. Then, it transmits this data to the other table. On the other end, the table ejects its own puck to the opponent and play continues.

Via Engadget

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08. 8.2006

NES controller mod of the day: tv remote

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I love mods and hacks of old stuff to make them new and useful. This savyy moder turned an old NES controller into television remote control. The directional keypad changes channels, the A and B buttons work the volumn, and the Start button is for power.

Via Game Girl Advanced

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08. 7.2006

DNA testing restaurant menus

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A couple of great journalists from the St Petersburg Times took local restaurants and seafood sellers to task this weekend. After a Florida fish importer was convicted of mislabeling one million pounds of Alaskan catfish as grouper the paper decided to start testing the authenticity of seafood dishes at local restaurants. Out of the eleven dishes sampled only six were as advertised.

The fish were identified by Therion, a DNA testing company specializing in establishing the genetic history of animal lines. Fish typing has been a booming business as import taxes designed to protect American fishermen have encouraged importers and restaurants to save a couple of bucks wherever possible by illegally passing off cheaper substitutes as premium products.

The grouper is a very easy fish to fake as there are ninety-nine distinct members of the Genus Epinephelus, and any of those fish may be legally designated as a grouper. The restaurants mostly blamed their importers, but it isn�t surprising that over 50% of the dishes were substitutions. Without an in depth knowledge of ichthyology it can be almost impossible to tell a real grouper from a good fake.

(Thanks for the tip, Drew)

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08. 7.2006

Whole-body air dryer

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Akin to the hand air dryers found in many public rest rooms, UK shower specialist Triton introduces a full-body version in their Luxury Body Dryer.

Triton’s dryer eliminates damp towels in the bathroom and provides a gentler and more hygienic way of drying off. It also doubles as a fast, efficient heater for those cold winter mornings. Also reduces moisture in the air and keeps the laundry bill in check.

Easy installation and a full-function remote control make it a breeze to operate.

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08. 7.2006

Don't look like a tourist with help from Mircosoft's Pocket Street 2005

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Whenever I'm in a new city, I always hate having to walk around with an open map, because it immediately broadcasts that fact that I'm from someplace else. Microsoft has come up with a nice solution to end my clandenstine peeks at street maps that next time I get lost. Microsoft Pocket Street 2005 allows you to download street maps of North America and Western European onto your Pocket PCs and Smartphones. There are also versions in different languages, including: French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish.

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08. 6.2006

Bluetooth goes haute couture

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Tired of Bluetooth headsets appearing in black, black, or black? Wait… maybe there’s an occasional silver, silver, or silver. Anyway, headset giant Jabra has come to the rescue with their BT160 model.

Now you can quickly switch the faceplate on your headset to one of 33 styles (all of which are included in the box)!! Choices like zebra, glam squares, powder pink, houndstooth, red velvet, rainbow, and lime spirit give you almost limitless fashion opportunities.

On the technical end, the BT160 features up to 8 hours of talk time and 110 hours of standby time, giving it very solid performance.

Don’t forget to make sure your bag, shoes, and belt all match . . . your headset!


Posted by Brian    Category: devices
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08. 6.2006

Blister Elixir

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Purporting to prevent blisters and irritation from all kinds of footwear, Save My Feet Blister Elixir (formerly known as Tippy Toes) gives hope to those impossible-to-wear shoes.

Whether sporting those new stilettos that scrunch your toes, or squeezing into and suffering through your prize Jimmy Choo’s for a special occasion, you can prevent the inevitable pain and suffering that was always a given.

A greaseless, non-medicated lotion, Blister Elixir was invented by a marathon runner who doubles as a fashion diva. Lasts for up to 8 hours and won’t stain your high-end heels.

Posted by Brian    Category: body
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08. 6.2006

The next gen ant farm

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Ant farms used to fairly simple, usually just a plastic box, dirt, and ants from the back yard. Antworks is an ant farm for the 21th century. It comes with this weird non-toxic aqua-blue colored gel, actually developed by NASA, which is both a habitat and food for the ants. So, you can watch the ants eat the gel and make tunnels, and other ant activities. The kit comes with the gel, a case, and blue LED lights attached in the base for extra sci-fi effect. Ants are not included but are easily ordered from the internet or can be found at any summer picnic. Add a webcam, and you've got yourself a pet webcam site with very little maintenance, because the ants require no additional food or water.

Posted by Ray    Category: pets
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08. 6.2006

Sprint says “Hello, Moto”

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As reported by Reuters, Sprint has announced that it has reached an agreement with Motorola to start selling Motorola’s extremely popular phones like the Q Phone PDA and the new SLVR line beginning in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Sprint has historically sold Motorola phones in a very limited fashion. Since Sprint’s takeover of Nextel, the gap has closed as Nextel uses Motorola almost exclusively.

Although Sprint users have access to quality phones from Samsung and the like, they always seem to be in second place for getting the best of the new phones. This news gives hope to loyal Sprint customers who have long felt short-changed.

Posted by Brian    Category: devices
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08. 5.2006

Game on: World Cyber Games 2006 is here

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For our gamer readers, the World Cyber Games 2006 is underway, with preliminary rounds currently going on in six continents. Games include: Counterstrike 1.6, Fifa Soccer: 2006, Most Wanted, Brood War, Winter Assault and WarCraft III: Frozen Throne for the PC and for the Xbox, Project Gotham Racing 3 and Dead or Alive 4. More than 700 players from 70 countries will descend onto Monza, Italy from October 18th to 22nd for the grand finals. Not just for kids, serious cash can be made here; last year's tournament had $2,500,000 USD in total prize money.

Check out the Official website for more information, and their crazy hard rock theme song, "Beyond the Game".

Posted by Ray    Category: toys
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08. 5.2006

Add some bling to your earphones

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It's said that in LA, people have cars to separate themselves from the masses, while in New York, we have portable music devices. For many New York subway riders, earphones are in constant use, which makes them the perfect place to start adding some individual flavor. These tricked out earphones, with fake diamonds, will add a little luster to your daily commute or workout. Cheesy? Perhaps. Geeky? Certainly. Must have? Well, that's up to you.

Via Akihabara News

Posted by Ray    Category: accessories
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08. 5.2006

It looks like a credit card and a calculator: the Samsung P300 mobile phone

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OK, I'm going to date myself by admitting that I remember when I thought the credit card thin calculators that were included in Day Planners in the 80s where rather nifty. Oh, how times change. The Samsung P300 mobile phone is a mere 9 mm thick, the same width of a standard credit card. Somehow, they managed to squeeze in a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth and a MP3 player into this tri-band phone. Best of all, it sort of looks like a calculator.

You can get it now from Dynamism for $449, unlocked and ready to use if you have a sim card for a GSM service provider like Cingular or T-Mobile.

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08. 4.2006

Electronic modulation will protect your TV

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Thomson SA, the French parent company of RCA, is proposing a new method for locking our expensive gadgets to a single domicile, and it's a pretty neat idea. The plan is to have a watchdog transmitter modulate the home's electricity supply along a specific pattern, and configure appliances to recognize that pattern as an approved signal.

Electronics check in for the proper pulse pattern when they are plugged in, and refuse to operate without the authorization. A thief that steals a computer would be unable to power it without having possession of the in line watchdog device. This could be a great idea for high security military installations where machines are never meant to be used outside of approved areas.

The system is sufficiently sneaky since the authorization device could be hidden anywhere in the house, or even secreted inside of a ubiquitous gadget like a clock radio. The only way to defeat the system would be to steal everything plugged into the electrical system, or to hack the hardware, providing the thief was aware of the limitation.

From New Scientist's Barry Fox, and SAWF.

Posted by Johnny    Category: devices
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08. 4.2006

Japan Rail's people power

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Traveling around Tokyo by train is quite simply astonishing. The sheer volume of commuters within a station at any given time is terrifying at first glance, but as soon as you witness the frequency of trains and general efficiency of the station, you'll be quickly hopping from station to station with ease. This efficiency has recently expanded toward environmental and cost cutting issues with regard to power. A successful trial at Tokyo's busy Shibuya station has proven the power generating ability of real live people. By using special pressure pads at the ticket gates, electricity is generated by the vibration of commuters trampling through the gates. While not linked into the powering of the station yet, the gates light a lamp on the gate showing that power has been generated.

Via Pink Tentacle

Posted by Stuart    Category: eco
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08. 4.2006

Vin Eau Carafe

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What a charming way to share refreshments. The Vin Eau Carafe has an integrated handle and two glasses which stack easily when not in use. Perfect for a summer afternoon or intimate evening at home, the clean easy lines suggest luxury, leisure, and fun.

Posted by Katherine    Category: home
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08. 3.2006

Happily is a lady's best friend

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Japan is in love with convenience stores, but they've mostly been targeted at men. In a first, Japanese am/pm has rolled out a new chain of convenience stores designed with women in mind. "Happily Lady's Convenience" offers fresh flowers, cosmetics, nutritional supplements, and all other types of necessities and luxuries. Healthy box lunches are available, and grocery items are packed in single serving containers to entice younger working women.

Fun and relaxation are the goal in Happily, and the store boasts lavish powder rooms where all types of sample cosmetics are on display for customer experimentation. Women are encouraged to linger in the store and enjoy the atmosphere while stealing a few minutes respite for themselves during a busy day.

Picked up from Springwise, Web-Japan, and Convenience Store Decisions

Posted by Johnny    Category: current affairs
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08. 3.2006

The Pod Safe has got it all locked up

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I've always wanted to stage a daring daylight raid involving helicopters and machine guns, but unlike my Steve McQueen dreams most gadget robberies seem to be crimes of opportunity.

The Pod Safe is a new iPod case cum lockbox designed to prevent those casual bouts of larceny. The safe is constructed of a strengthened PolyCarbon ABS and featuring a user changeable four digit rotary combination lock. The iPod remains useable while it's all locked up, so it's a good option for locking it to a desk drawer at work.

To repeat: The Pod Safe is not a hardcore lock for protecting your gadgetry, but more of an inconvenience device designed to slow down anyone attempting to abscond with your iPod. In truth, all locks are based upon this principle. Consider the front door of your home; it's a solid slab that will keep random people from walking into your domicile, but most decorative lock sets only take a few minutes to smash with a hammer.

The Pod Safe is available directly from the manufacturer and it's a smooth forty bucks. Please don't get it confused with the other PodSafe from a different manufacturer.

Posted by Johnny    Category: devices
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08. 3.2006

SoniColumn : the music box made new

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SoniColumn is one in a series of works, The MusicBox Project, by artist Jin-Yo Mok. This elegant interactive art installation consists of a cylinder of LEDs, which react to users with both light and sound. You can activate the light and sound by touching the column or by turning the hand crank. Watch the video to see this artist's use of light and sound. The music box metaphor is quite thoughtful, as SoniColumn reveals how the music box is the analogue predecessor to today's artwork which use interactive sound.

SoniColumn is currently on display at Bitforms Seoul.

Via Make

Posted by Ray    Category: design
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08. 3.2006

Accordion Card/Pen Holder

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With the mess that covers my desk, I could use some organizational help. And, if I were to acquire the Accordion Card/Pen Holder I'd even manage to clean up with a little style. When unfolded this organizer can hold pens, pencils, and business cards. And when closed, the entire unit folds into a neat little brick, making transportation or storage easy. Now if only my life were so easily put neatly into place.

Posted by Katherine    Category: home
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08. 2.2006

Sony Cybershot GPS unit

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Over the years, I've gathered a silly amount of holiday photos. So much so that one holiday blurs into the next. "Where was that again?" I frequently ask myself. Not that I'm some amazing world traveler who wakes up in a different country every morning, but I forget little details, like which particular district of a city I've visited. The boffins at Sony have come up with a solution to my problem. That's right, all that time and R&D money spent just to help me and only me. The GPS-CS1 is a little GPS device that records your whereabouts as you travel the globe, or even as you take your dog for a walk. You then go about your normal photo taking process: Smile! Snap snap! After you have transferred all your photos onto your computer, time to plug-in the GPS device. This syncs up the GPS data to the time stamps from your photos, providing you with a little map with markers of where you've taken a photo.

This is an excellent idea that will hopefully be implemented as part of the camera itself at some point in the future. Unfortunately, Sony has continued their usual idiotic Windows-only software policy. Nice work people. The GPS-CS1 will hit the shops next month for $150.

Posted by Stuart    Category: devices
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08. 2.2006

Purses that complement wooden shoes

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Timmy Woods makes purses. Her purses are solid treeware; shaped by hand out of the naturally fallen branches of Acacia trees. These fanciful designs are carved to resemble three dimensional dogs, horses, slot machines, telephones, and more. The sizes and weight are pretty close to solid wood cigar box purses, but with much more vibrant colors!

Kaylene Peoples from Agenda Magazine did a great job documenting the labor intensive carving and shaping process. It takes at least 30 days for a carver to complete a handbag, and the hand crafted character makes each purse unique. All bags come with a registration certificate that entitles the holder to limited edition offerings of short run purses. The company does accept commissions in case you’re wanting a replica of the White House bag that Timmy made for Laura Bush.

Priced from $150 to $2,500 these hard case clutches and shoulder bags are not for the squeamish. These signed works of art are delightfully functional for those occasions when making a statement is required: Sure they’re over the top, but that’s the point. And in an emergency you can probably beat a mugger senseless with one.

Spotted at CubeMe

Posted by Johnny    Category: wearables
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08. 2.2006

What to do with those digital pics

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As digital photography increasingly replaces print photography, the question which begs to be asked is: So, what exactly are we supposed to do with the thousands of photos we are taking?

Digital picture frames seem to be becoming a popular way for viewing photos that are not tethered to desktops or laptops. Using an old laptop, a wireless card and some mounting supplies, Mike Haney has written up some extensive instructions on how to make your very own DIY Digital Photo Frame. It's not as expensive as it seems, because he suggests that you use an old/almost obsolete laptop, which you can often find for free or at very low cost. The laptop doesn't need to be powerful because the images are stored in flickr and displayed via a web browser in flickr's slideshow mode. The added benefit is that anyone can upload photos from any location if they can log into flickr. Ah . . . the power of the wireless network.

Posted by Ray    Category: devices
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08. 2.2006

Sony VIAO/ Intel showcase their wares at Heathrow Terminal 1

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If you happen to be traveling through London's Heathrow airport in the next couple of days, try to stop by Terminal 1 to check out Sony and Intel's "experiential stand," which showcases some of their latest efforts. On display are the new Sony VAIO laptops, such as the AR11S, as well as interactive and HD demonstrations.

Make it quick because the event ends on August 3rd.

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08. 2.2006

Mobile phone based surveillance system

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The mobile phone has had a long evolutionary journey from being just a phone to functioning as a camera, mp3 player, digital assistant, what not…and a personal style statement as well. Now this ubiquitous device can serve as your surveillance system too. 3rd-i, a provider of mobile security camera solutions, is going to launch the first ever mobile phone-based security system in the UK this month.

The system works this way – you first position tiny cameras in areas in your home, office etc. that you want to monitor. These 360-degree cameras are configured on your mobile phone so that when you're, say traveling, you can just press the assigned buttons on the mobile and get live video footage from the cameras. The video is streamed live to your mobile and can be accessed from anywhere in the world, depending on your mobile’s network coverage. And even when you are not watching them, the cameras can detect intruders based on infrared and motion sensors. As soon as an intruder is detected, the control center will send an alert to your phone. These images are stored at the control center for a month from the time they're captured, so that if you have switched off your phone, you can still obtain the evidence in case you've had a break-in.

The 3rd-i mobile security system will be available this month across the UK, and is priced at £200, which is very reasonable - considering what you would be spending if you were to hook up a CCTV system to serve the same purpose. Check out a usage demo on the 3rd-i site.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices
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08. 1.2006

iCapOpener

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I am frequently disappointed by my iPod's inability to perform tasks in the real world. Well, not really. I bought it to listen to music on the go, but I do find it funny when people come up with some odd concept designs. This is the iCapOpener. I would've thought 'iCap' would've been catchier, but anyway... This is a little attachment that gives your iPod shuffle some additional functionality, namely the ability to open bottle caps. Relax after a music-fueled workout with an easily opened cool drink. For more pictures on a novel way to snap your shuffle in two, and to watch a little video, visit the Andalux website.

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08. 1.2006

ShieldZone invisible shield for portable devices

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Some people are persnickety about maintaining the pristine appearance of their portable devices (now say that fast 10 times), mourning every little scratch and dent as a little loss of innocence, and dressing them up in protective armor as if they're being sent off to war. So what if the case covers up the very thing that attracted them to their favorite gadget -- it's lovely, sleek, come-hither design.

But for those who like a more minimalist approach, ShieldZone makes shields that are invisible, using material originally "designed to protect the leading edges of military helicopter blades from wear and tear while traveling at hundreds of miles per hour." Though it won't cushion the fall if you drop your gadget onto concrete, it promises high quality, scratch-free protection that doesn't change the original appearance of your device. Each shield is specifically fitted for your particular PDA, cell phone, iPod, GPS, gaming system, watch, laptop, etc. (see full list of product categories on the site), and sells for $10 to $40.

Take a look at the customer-made demo video in which an iPod is viciously attacked by a metal key 12 hours after application of the shield.

Posted by Hoyun    Category: accessories
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08. 1.2006

Google Vision concept to explore physical objects

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I was recently given a pack of exotic fruit by a friend of mine who didn’t know the popular name for it. And the next day, in my quest to dig out the name, I googled and googled and googled . . . in vain. But I guess most folks would empathize with me because I really didn’t have an exact idea about what I was searching for.

So this new concept proposed by UK designer Callum Peden, called Google Vision, really excites me. It's a concept for a new googling device that will provide you with information about real-world objects based on the pictures that you take of the objects and feed into the device. In my case, if I could feed the photos of the fruit into this device, it would map the fruit with its actual name, origin and other relevant information (similar to Wikipedia) based on built-in image recognition mechanisms. The information would then be displayed on its roll-out LCD screen. The device will only make use of already existing technologies and building it would just mean putting all the parts together. Cool, huh? If Google (or anybody else) would sponsor this device, it would take google search out of the computer and into your hands. Literally.

Via I4U News

Posted by kanchana    Category: current affairs | devices
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08. 1.2006

Etsy is where we go to sell handicrafts

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I can't remember how I stumbled upon the website, but I managed to blow a large chunk of time looking at neat-o items that the craft kids have been making in their living rooms. Etsy is a year old site for selling sundry types of handmade goods. Knit sweaters, paintings, prints, engagement rings, and sock monkeys can all be found on their cute little sampler pages. The site makes their money in much the same way eBay does; $0.10 listing fees, and 3.5% of the sale price. Listings come with a firm price for purchase so there’s no bidding involved. My favorite portion of the site is the Alchemy section for taking bids from members for commissioned pieces. You too can be a generous patron to a bedroom Michelangelo!

Digging through such a large amount of handcrafted goods can be a hassle since no two crafters like to make sock monkeys the same way (1, 2). The digging is simplified by a couple of advanced search tools that can show items based on time criteria, geography, or featuring a dominant color. Their Color Shopper is one of the best I’ve seen, and greatly simplifies the hassles involved with trying to tie together the four walls of a room. Take their flash powered search tools for a spin; they’re just as fun as they are informative.

I know that Apartment Therapy covers Etsy occasionally, and the ReadyMade mag did a writeup on them a few issues ago.

Posted by Johnny    Category: wearables
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