You wait six months for one Mathmos product, and then three come along at once. Like Thaw and Float, Melt continues the candlelight theme that was devised as a design competition open to all. Basically, a "send in your design and if it's good we'll make it" deal. Unfortunately, Melt is the least imaginative of the project so far. It has the appearance of melted wax without all the fun: making little canyons for the wax to run down, or covering your fingertips and imagining committing untraceable crimes. Their fried egg demo doesn't help things either...
Available in three colours, in packs of two, for £10/$25 from Mathmos.
Knoll textiles has introduced three new designs, Whisper, Zen and Allure to their Imago lines of fabrics held between sheets of resin, as reported in the New York Times. The fabrics are sold in sheets and have different opacities and can be used as wall paneling, room dividers, or room accents. Imago is perfect for city apartment living. With it, you can create individual spaces without losing light.
4’ x 8’ sheets run from $480 - $1,472, depending upon pattern and thickness.
Show your geek pride. Old skool games rock and now you can take a bit of that old skool cool with you wherever you go. This Joystick Necklace is not fully functional. The .5”x.75”x.5" charm is only meant for ornamentation, but what you lose in playing power you definitely gain in appearance.
DVD Jon is all over the news, again. Where his team once hacked the encryption that prevented copying DVDs this time his sights are set on stop-gap software that will remove a large barrier to the digital rights game. DoubleTwist Ventures has picked up Jon Johansen to help develop code that will enable competing players to sidestep the restrictions that Apple has placed on who is allowed to play in the iTunes playground.
As an example, DoubleTwist could develop a new driver that makes a Zune or iRiver mp3 player appear to be an iPod when plugged into a computer. With this new driver iTunes would be able to copy music to all kinds of nonstandard devices. By licensing firmware updates from DoubleTwist competing manufacturers would also be able to make mp3 players wholly compatible with downloads from the iTunes store.
Increased competition in the MP3 marketplace will lead to lower prices for consumers... and the losers will be those companies who insist on shackling their users with any type of digital rights management. DoubleTwist claims that their software fixes are both difficult for Apple to block, and is currently trying to license their software to other companies. As the software modifies the devices, and not the locked downloaded content, Apple will have a difficult time forcing Hacker Jon's code into oblivion. Word on the street is that we can look for enabled devices in the first quarter of 2007.
We're about due for more Hello Kitty goodness on Popgadget, I think, so here are a few Hello Kitty mobile phones I came across on a recent trip to China. Manufactured by Taiwanese company OKWAP, they aren't exactly new on the market, but I think will be interesting to readers all the same, seeing as most of us won't have easy access to them.
We'll start with A268Kitty, a sweet pink clamshell model with dual colour screens. It's fairly conventional in its features, with the usual camera (3MP) and so on, but it'd probably appeal to many just because of the design. It's also got a basic bilingual dictionary, apparently quite a standard feature on Chinese phones.
The A236Kitty is my personal favourite. The keypad slides out at the bottom, with the 3MP camera at the top on the reverse. I've been using my O2 XDA II for so long, I'm not sure if I could live with a phone that doesn't have a touchscreen and stylus anymore - that alone makes this perfect for me. And check out the adorable menu icons.
In the interest of covering lifestyle issues as well as technology I thought that I'd write up a new gin named Bulldog. I was able to score a bottle, and thought that I would share my tasting notes so no one is caught unprepared when out with friends or in an after-hours business meeting. Though so far released only in a few markets along the right side of America, the Bulldog is going to be crisscrossing the States over the next year.
Bulldog is distilled four times in a copper pot still, and infused with exotic botanicals. The flavors of the Middle East shine show through on a light gin. This is a specific type of gin, and it's my absolute favorite style. Forgive me while I wax nerdy, but cocktails are my forte.
Get snaked. These charming Snake Bike Locks sold by Pylones are a wonderful way to differentiate your bicycle from the countless masses. With a reinforced metal interior, durable cloth exterior and hand-painted detail, the Snake Bike Lock is fully functional as well as cute, providing a safe way to secure your wheels. The whimsical design is a sure pleaser, with kids, adults, and everyone in between. It's the perfect complement to your ten-speed cruiser, adding that flash of color as you fly along city streets in the springtime.
A few months ago, I reported on the Sony Ericsson’s SO902iWP+ which is a water-proof phone. Now, Verizon has introduced the G’zOne, which is water, shock and dust resistant. The phone’s rather nautical look and feel is both rugged and clunky, which may or may not be a good thing. The G’zOne comes with a 2 megapixel camera, speaker phone and two screens. However, Bluetooth and mp3 player are notably missing. Still, if you are looking for a new phone and enjoy outdoor activities this phone is definitely something to consider.
For once, an interesting phone is available in the U.S. The Verizon Wireless site lists it at $299.99 with a 2 year contract.
"The average amount of time that a person spends looking
for misplaced things over the course of a lifetime is one year"
- Harpers Index
Geez, that's depressing. Remember those key fobs that beeped when you clapped your hands? They worked fine until you forgot to replace the batteries.
The SmartFinder comes with four color coded receivers which can be attached to things like keys, wallets, purses, mobile phones, and TV remotes. They even suggest adhering one to the kids, they're kidding about that (I think). With a remote control transmitter that can send a radio signal through walls and floors to activate the 85 decibel alarm on the receiver, locating items up to 25 meters away, you may never lose your keys again. It doesn't say anything about refrigerator doors, so "Uncle" Rog, who left his keys in the frig one time, may still be out of luck.
Unlike the "clapper" system I had before, the SmartFinder has a Low battery warning. Comes with 2 keyrings and 2 double sided adhesive pads provided for attaching the receivers to anything.
£29.95 or $56 at Girls Shop UK.
What does it take to be an A-List blogger when there are over 57 million blogs out there (and still growing)? Well, according to one measure, at least 500 other blogs linking to you in the last 6 months (alas, fame can be so fleeting). You can calculate your blogebrity standing using this Technorati-powered widget made by Terry Ng at Kineda, who was inspired by Dave Sifry's latest report on the State of the Blogosphere. Enter your URL and you'll get a ranking of A-list, B-list, C-list, or D-list, along with an explanation of these groupings.
Then, be obnoxious and flaunt your status by posting an A-list sticker on your blog.