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11. 4.2006

Koo-ki Sushi: a chocolate-lover's paradise?

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Suedy's Koo-ki Sushi is really kooky. I mean, really. If you're expecting some savory maguro or ebi, get ready for a surprise, because this sushi is actually made out of chocolate. As a novel specialty item, Koo-ki Sushi sure gets your attention. The craftsmanship is exquisite, with faithful attention to detail. Each confection really looks like sushi, but tastes very different (I'm sure.) The site allows you to shop online, and even ship to your desired destination, ensuring that even if you don't live near a Koo-ki sushi store you can still savor and give the gift of choco-sushi to your friends and family. You'll be sure to astound (or confound) them with your efforts. Even the included wasabi (green tea flavored) and soy sauce (chocolate) is a sugary treat.

Posted by Katherine    Category: body
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11. 3.2006

Mia in the Intel Blogger Challenge

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Intel has launched its Centrino Duo Blogger Challenge with six bloggers -- including our own Mia -- and a "mystery blogger." Here's the premise:

On October 1, 2006 - Intel provided laptop machines with either the Core™ Duo or Core™ 2 Duo processor and built in Centrino wireless technology to 6 rising stars in the blogosphere. In return for these machines, our participating bloggers agreed to contribute to this group blog over the course of 5 weeks sharing their honest opinions and responses to a series of questions about blogging, the blogosphere and technology. Apart from recieving a laptop computer, none of these bloggers have been compensated in any way or asked to write anything specific about Intel. The aim of this blog is meant to stimulate discussion and bring bloggers together regardless of their “categories.”

The identity of the mystery blogger, described as "a person who many believe may just have defined the entire category of blogging itself," will be revealed on November 15th.

See Gawker's take on the blogger challenge.

Posted by Hoyun    Category: current affairs
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11. 3.2006

BlackBerry Pearl

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Executives have always been the addicted client base for the BlackBerry, due to it's impressive email abilities. But the developers at RIM (Research In Motion) realized they were missing a huge segment of the market. So they spent two years engineering the Pearl and it was worth every minute.

I asked Mark Guibert, the VP of Corporate Marketing at RIM, who their target audience is for this device: "The new BlackBerry Pearl is helping attract many cell phone owners that hadn't previously considered BlackBerry. It's one of the smallest and lightest smartphones on the market and yet it still delivers the full BlackBerry experience that so many people have come to love. That's a powerful combination."

Now drastically slimmed down -- 4.2 by 2 by 0.6 inches -- it's smaller than it's competitors, mainly the Treo, Motorola Q and Sidekick. With it's snazzy black and silver polish you're tempted to show it off at any opportunity.

The discreet "pearl" in the middle of the device acts as your tracking wheel and is surpisingly easy to use. The new features are a camera (1.3 megapixels, with flash), memory-card slot, voice dialing, movie playback and a music player. Four instant-message programs are built in (AOL, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ). Texting teens weren't interested in a BB until they could download ring tones and take pics.

Continue reading "BlackBerry Pearl"

Posted by Evan    Category: devices
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11. 3.2006

An open letter to those who make machines

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I was reading Design Spotter this week and came across a very attractive appliance. So taken was I with Pierre Ittner's Red Hot that I will declare it to be the prettiest espresso machine on the planet. Beyond looking like it was stolen from Dr. Seuss the design calls for 100% all metal construction throughout the piece.

Sadly, this design is still in need of a home. I've corresponded with Pierre, and he's currently shopping for a house willing to adopt his machine for production. This could be a perfect match for a company like Illy, Alessi, Francis Francis, Starbucks, Kitchenaid, or Target. I don't care which company sells me an espresso machine, but someone needs to get behind Ittner and bring this machine to my countertop! Truth to tell, I'm only slightly biased because the Red Hot would perfectly match my newly refinished kitchen cabinets.

Dear People Who Decide Such Things,
I am proud to fly my colors as a patron of companies which have wisely invested in designers who do not produce boring products. If your company builds this espresso machine I will buy one. What's more, I will write to encourage other people to buy this machine for themselves, and as a gift for any friend who appreciates good design and superior aesthetics.

Your buddy,
Johnny Brookheart
xoxoxo

Posted by Johnny    Category: home
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11. 3.2006

Mathmos Float

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Time for yet another Mathmos lamp! Continuing their candlelight theme, Float, instructs you to fill its glass with water, insert a candle into the glass, and then light it. Instead of the candle burning down the way, the light remains where it is, and the body of the candle moves upward due to its desire to float on the surface of the water. I'm a huge Mathmos fan, but Float just seems to want to be clever rather than fit in with its good-looking siblings. Why can't you do both, Float? Although, I know that at some point soon my universal love of Mathmos will kick in, and I'll have to buy one. Hmm, that frosted glass one looks really good.

£35/$67 from Mathmos direct.

Posted by Stuart    Category: home
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11. 3.2006

Make your iPod stand out with Gelaskins.

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What do you do when everyone has the same product?

In the 90s, screen saver programs became a popular way to personalize computers. Originally, screen savers were created to protect your monitor from having an image "burned" into the screen if nothing changed for a long period of time. Even after they solved this technical problem, people still loved and used screen savers because they could project their personalities onto these beige boxes.

Today, protective cases for iPods allow owners to individualize their mp3 players in a similar way. Some of my favorite examples are iPod Gelaskins, which have a diverse range of quirky patterns and playful illustrations. They fit all the major kinds of iPod, including the Nano, new Nano, mini and video lines. These covers are made with scratch resistant 3M vinyl (sort of an ironic choice of material for an mp3 player accessory.)

For £9.95 (US$18.40) on Urban Retro, the Gelaskins are an affordable way to both protect and personalize your iPod.

Posted by Ray    Category: accessories
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11. 3.2006

Get a dog, without all the work.

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The Street Muttz Interactive Puppy is a cute addition to the various lines of interactive pet toys. These cute creatures have been programmed to activate when they sense your presence and react to different kinds of touch (mess with their noses and you get a growl).

All the cute of having a pet and none of the work sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Street Muttz are available at I Want One of Those for £19.95 or US $35.91.

Posted by Ray    Category: toys
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11. 3.2006

Being Cleopatra with CoCo Nose Clamp

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It's hard to meet people nowadays who are completely happy with the way their bodies are. Hence, it's is no wonder that there's a multi-billion dollar industry ready to alter every aspect of our bodies to our satisfaction. The CoCo Nose Clamp is one more offering from this industry, and promises to transform your ugly nose to one similar to Queen Cleopatra’s.

The product claims to be a support tool for the beautification of your nose. The technology itself seems to be pretty simple, with the device using pressure applied over repeated intervals of time to get that crooked nose a bit straighter. The areas that contact your nose are made of silicon, so you can supposedly wear it without any pain or discomfort. One size fits all since the size of the device can be adjusted by turning the knob. The company recommends that you not wear it all the time or while driving or sleeping.

Though I'm sure that wearing this on your nose is not a pleasurable experience, if it saves you from going under the knife, it may well be worth it.

Available in blue only, it can be ordered online at Kenko (Japanese site).

Via MedGadget.

Posted by kanchana    Category: body
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11. 2.2006

Fancypants UMPCs by Crispin Jones for PBJ

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PBJ is a company that specializes in all types of tablet computers. Designer Crispin Jones was commisioned to reinvent the most boring part of all technology... the plastic box that holds the sexy electronic components. With a goal of bringing classic craft designs to the technology scene Mr. Jones has created a pleasing case modeled after the Japanese suzuribako boxes used to store writings implements. Beyond the stylistic reasons for the deep decorative lines; the texture carved into the surface provides a no slip hold for fingers.

Though I admire the aesthetics I don't agree with the design philosophy that Mr. Jones has used here; there are no external buttons, and input is entirely through the touch screen. The lack of any type of sensor pad for scrolling is pretty limiting when it comes to daily use beyond reading a single page; "tap the screen to continue" went out of fashion with my Handspring Visor.

Personally, I'm a fan of large numbers of programmable buttons that can be chorded to help ease the lack of keyboard shortcuts. Common functions like copy, paste, page down, page up, volume controls, minimize app, ALT-TAB, are perfect for dedicated buttons. The lack of a proper keyboard shouldn't mean a lack of control. The UMPC is a new breed of machine, and it will take innovative control schema providing the full range of PC functions before a keyless box can be fully welcomed into the fold.

Via your friends and mine at Core77, and photos were taken by Dan McAlister.

Posted by Johnny    Category: design
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11. 2.2006

Brookstone’s Giant Remote

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The first thing I thought when I saw the picture above was: When gadgets are getting smaller and sleeker by the day, who would want a large bulky remote control? Well, according to the company, a large remote provides ease of use and no possibility of losing it. One way to look at it: Since plasmas and LCDs are getting larger by the day, there's no reason why their controllers should lag behind.

As for technical specs, they're the usual for a universal remote with support for six devices including TV, VCR, DVD player, satellite, cable and auxiliary A/V device. The company claims that IR codes for most popular A/V devices are included. The large buttons glow in the dark so that you can continue to use the remote even when the lights are switched off. If you thought that being so big would mean more batteries, no worries there – all it requires are 2 AA batteries.

One thing is for sure - families that have one of these are never going to have those panic attacks when their favorite TV show is about to come on and the remote control is nowhere to be seen. If this is important to you, the $35 that this will cost you will be money well spent.

Available online at the Brookstone shop.

Via Random Good Stuff.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices
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