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12.29.2006

La Lampe

Posted by Evan    Category: design
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12.29.2006

Designer USB/Firewire Hub from Lacie

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This one is a good example of how a geeky, boring device can be turned into something cool and desirable. All it required was computer storage firm LaCie and French designer Ora Ito to join hands to redefine the design of the ubiquitous USB hub. The octopus-like LaCie USB & FireWire Hub will surely make heads turn when it's released in early 2007. Done up completely in pristine white, it sprouts eight flexible cables - 4 USB 2.0 cables, 2 FireWire 400 cables, a USB light and a USB fan. The hub features eight glowing LEDs that light up in different colors to show which connection is currently active.

Compatible with both the PC and Mac, this one surely tops my shopping list for next year. Available on pre-order for $79.99.

Via Coolest-Gadgets.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices
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12.28.2006

365 days of stargazing

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Tammy Plotner and Universe Today have released an updated edition of her book, What's up 2007: 365 days of Skywatching as a free download. Tammy does a great job of explaining the history of astronomy while showcasing some remarkable phenomenon that can be seen with the naked eye. The book is set up like a daily study reader with an entry for every day of 2007, and starts off with simple exercises that slowly progress in complexity with each day of the calendar. Tammy's book is a fantastic resource for the astronomically curious, and includes all the maps and information that you'll need to get started.

An example from May 31 of 2006:

Tonight well begin our studies by checking out the slender crescent of the Moon. To the north you will see the eastern edge of Mare Crisium beginning to emerge. The bright point on the shoreline is Promontorium Agarum with shallow crater Condorcet to its east. Look along the shore of the mare for a mountain to the south known as Mons Usov. Just to its north Luna 24 landed and directly to its west are the remains of Luna 15. Can you spot tiny crater Fahrenheit nearby?

The previous version was available as a blog, RSS feed, and PDF download from Universe Today, and the 2007 edition should be available via the same avenues throughout the year. If you need a little celestial example to get your motor running, Bad Astronomy has a top ten list of the most amazing celestial images of the year, and they are truly breathtaking. (Number eight is my favorite).

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12.28.2006

Inkless pens from Grand Illusions

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Artists from the late Medieval period through the Renaissance used a small, sharpened metal rod for drawing precise compositions on paper or parchment. While the metal could be lead, silver, copper or gold, silver was used most often due to its suitability for permanent drawing. Using the same technique (without the silver part though), Grand Illusions has come up with an "inkless" pen that can write on virtually any type of paper.

The pen looks like any other normal stainless steel pen but the difference is visible when you unscrew its top. The solid metal 'nib' is made of a metal alloy and is capable of leaving its mark on most types of paper. On normal paper, the pen leaves writing similar to that of a pencil. However, there' no chancesof the writing getting smudged or being rubbed out. Theoretically, the pen can last infinitely since there is no ink to dry out, but I would expect the nib to wear off after a few years of grinding against paper.

Currently out of stock, this pen is available for $29.38.

Via Newlaunches.com.

Posted by kanchana    Category: accessories
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12.28.2006

Prada Phone

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When I first heard LG was coming out with a Prada phone, I yawned, "So"? But as it turns out, this isn't like the recent D&G phone which was just a dressed-up Razr, but a unique looking new handset. Check out the photos -- there's no keyboard, instead, it sports a sleek touch screen display which changes with the application.

The basic handset is the LG KE850, but with a Prada design and packaging, and white on black Prada user interface. As might be expected, it comes with a swanky leather Prada case. No word on the cost, but rumor is that it will be released in Europe in late March or early April.

Via dial-a-phone uk.

For more photos check out the Hungarian (?) site, Moblie Portal.

Posted by Evan    Category: accessories
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12.28.2006

Pink for your Blackberry

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All my gadgets are tricked out, from my Nano in it's stylish tokidoki iSkin, my laptop in it's Nucleus PC Portfolio (pink) Pacific Design's laptop cover, but what about my most indispensible item, my 8700 Blackberry? It sulks around in a boring black case from T-mobile.

Now I can satisfy the fashionable girly girl in me with a pink leather case from Inkerman, a classy British site, priced at �47.00 -- and yes, they do ship overseas.

ViaShiny Shiny.

Posted by Evan    Category: accessories
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12.28.2006

Booksling

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I admire the simple beauty of low tech innovations that remind me of simpler days when I read books and didn't check my emails 99 times a day, like this Booksling from Everyday Innovations. I still have the habit of marking up books as I read (on the rare occasion when I do read), using pens as awkward, lumpy bookmarkers. The Booksling holds your pen outside the book while marking the page where you left off. Nothing more to it than that -- comes in mango, grape or cranberry for $5.99 each.

Posted by Hoyun    Category: accessories
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12.27.2006

iTWYF

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If you happen to live in say, Denver, this week, you could use a pair of these gadget gloves. Before you get brain teaze trying to figure out this acronym, "iTWYF" stands for "I Touch With Your Fingers."

The secret to these $45 gloves are three "stylus pen point-like grasps" that are sensitive enough to use on touch screens, trackpads and other surfaces that require digital dexterity. The thumb has an adjustable Velcro band which frees up your thumb so you can manipulate your technological gadgets, take a call, or just dig for change in your pocket for change. Try that with wool mittens. They come in 4 different styles, and 3 leather colors, and are quite stylish.

Developed in Montreal, which knows from harsh winters.

Via Crave.

Posted by Evan    Category: wearables
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12.27.2006

Permanent (yet removable) tattoo ink

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If you belong to the category of people who would love to have a tattoo on your body but have been scared of its permanency, here is some good news. Based on research done by scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Duke University, a company called Freedom-2 LLC will start offering a tattoo ink that can be easily removed completely after just one laser treatment.

Current methods of removing tattoos suffer from multiple disadvantages. The root cause is the inks that are mainly derived from substances used in car paints and printing. Since these inks are meant to leave a permanent effect, removal involves multiple expensive laser treatments and in many cases undesirable scarring. The Freedom-2 (F2) ink adopts a body friendly approach to solve this problem. The ink consists of biodegradable dyes encapsulated in tiny polymer beads, and the same traditional delivery methods are used to make a permanent F2 tattoo from it. Removal is done using a single laser treatment that breaks down the beads in the ink, allowing the body to naturally expel the dye contained within it.

The tattoos created using this ink will be qualitatively the same as the ones created now using traditional inks. Since the ink as such does not contribute significantly to the cost of getting a tattoo done, the additional cost of the F2 ink will not prove to be a damper. To be released in early 2007, this ink promises to give you a second chance without pinching your wallet or skin.

Via Medgadget.

Posted by kanchana    Category: body
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12.27.2006

Camo cases for DS Lite

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Make a statement with your gaming case, like this Pink Camo street case for DS Lite. Or , if you prefer the traditional, go for the Green Camo.

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Both have room for 2 extra games in the back drop pocket. The pink comes with a wristlet and the camo has a carabiner clip to snap onto a backpack strap or belt loops. There's also a Pink Floral street case you might like, though I'm liking the pink camo myself.

$9.95 at Pacific Design.

Posted by Evan    Category: accessories
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