One of the downsides to glossy devices and touchscreens is fingerprints. It's amazing (and let's face it, kind of gross) how quickly they can soil and muck up an otherwise gorgeous gadget, isn't it?
Since cloudy smudges do nothing but serve as reminders of just how filthy our fingers really are (they're also one of the reasons I usually refuse to touch display models in stores), something cute and silly like StrapYa's paw cleaning pad seems like the perfect antidote. Just slip your finger into the little "mitt" and wipe away the visible germs and general ickiness. Sure, the bacteria from strangers is probably still there, but that's really not the point.
Available from Japan in various colors and prints for about $5.
Via Plastic Bamboo.
At first, the Logitech KINETIK 15.4 Backpack looks like a turtle, with it's strange "shell," but after you test out the extra protection the lightweight exo-shell provides your trusty notebook, you won't care if you do look a little like a tortise. (My husband, on the other hand, thinks it's a really "cool feature.")
With the added pockets, there's room for a notebook, a digital camera, music player -- all your electronics in fact - and even if you load it up, the contoured back panel makes it comfortable. The convenience pockets and cargo bays are plentiful and the padded notebook sleeve is expandable. (I hiked around the block with it packed with my 15" laptop, a bunch of peripherals, camera, iPhone, two paperbacks, tons of pens, one school notebook, headset, earbuds, one collapsible headset, 3 magazines, a snack for the trip...)
Have you ever thought about the countless times you've placed your purse on the floor at a restaurant or bar? Did you just get that "ew gross" feeling? Now that you think about it, the floors of public restaurants, bars, and other places you travel are really gross. Luxe Link Purse Hook is a delightful and elegant space-saving, germ-beating option.
Lighter than your cell phone, and simpler to use, the Luxe Link has a pretty chain that wraps around a circular top (which doubles as a compact mirror). Secure the hook to the edge of the table and hang your handbag on it to keep it protected, clean, and within site. Functional and sophisticated your Prada, Gucci, Coach, or well-designed knock-off will thank you for the extra care!
Worried that your husband isn't getting his daily requirment of beer? I know I was, so I was thrilled to discover this inflatable beverage bar for the pool, for those of us too lazy to get out of the pool for their liquid refreshment.
Not only does it keep your beverage ice cold, there are 6 cup holders around the base so you can swim back to your drink. Just load it up with ice and put in your 24 cans.
I guess you could put water in it but that wouldn't happen at our pool. Now if it could make margaritas....
$44.95 from those wackos at Brando.
Love your laptop, but hate its baggage? If you're like me, you must be tired of bland black nylon and really tired of reading about expensive unprotective gear like Hertha's Laptop Sleeve.
Dilemma solved! Abbi New York's laptop boutique features an abundance of gorgeous laptop bags that are perfectly functional, designed, and priced. Some new designs have surfaced since we last posted about Abbi. Yes, we know you already have a laptop bag, but if you're a serious geek-gal you collect laptop baggage the way fashionistas collect purses. And, we're happy to note that bland-but-purposeful black nylon is nowhere to be found at Abbi's (think sequins + black nylon).
Although designed to make "cool storage easy and fashionable" and marketed as "the first multi-use chilled accessory bag," I'm still quite sure that the IcyBag is just a slightly girly cooler slash insulated lunch bag.
Cuter purse-like incarnations of this radical new concept already exist, but this "leave your cosmetics . . . in the car on a hot day" angle has got to be a first. The $14.99 IcyBag measures 8" x 6" x 2", ships with a freezable gel pack and coordinating nylon pouch, and (lo and behold) can also be used to keep small food items from spoiling.
Andrew English is a London-based jewelry designer with a cleverly unique design strategy. Commissioned rings and wedding bands can be hand-engraved with the fingerprint of your partner.
Break out of the bag routine, keep up with the go-green theme, and pack your lunch in To-Go Ware.
The sleek food carrier is modeled after the concept of the Japanese Bento Box. Two stainless bowls balance on top of each other, separated by a stainless plate, which keeps the different compartments sealed and separate. The unit snaps easily inside the frame, which doubles as a handle.
The fact that my husband didn't want to see Transformers on opening day makes him an unlikely recipient of one of these limited edition Destron and Cybertron rings. But if you know someone whose life would be incomplete without a commemorative token of a summer blockbuster and you wouldn't mind paying $185 for the honor of completing said person's life, then you better hurry because only 50 of each will be made.
Preorders are being accepted right now, and shipping is expected to begin by the end of next month.
Via The Uber-Review.
Smart-but-scatterbrained, my keys will always elude my most acute sensibilities. I know I don't suffer in this mental ailment alone, there are lots of us "key-losers" out there. The Wheels Key Holder is a unique solution for keeping track of your keys.
This stealth chrome-plated holder has two parts: the wheel, which is mounted to the wall, and a dummy key that you attach to your keys. After you've attached the dummy key to your own keys, you then insert the dummy key into the wheel. Voila! Never lose your keys again. If you do, you'll be left with a decorative, but now useless, keyless wheel holder on your wall.
Dogs (and I imagine a few cats) have voted and demanded some political animals to play with, namely a George Bush, Hilary Clinton and Arnold doll.
A part of the Bamboo Pets family, Fat Cat offers dog toys that are genuinely unique and fun, except maybe for these "politcial animals" which are a little scary. Instead, go for one of the doggy purses, Wee Doggies, a doggy toy you'll enjoy cluttering the living room with. Or you could always spring for one of the clever dog toy shoes, in wonderful whimsical designs.
Tired thumbs, heavy hands? If you're a tech geek, fatigued fingers are a part of your daily life. I hate to refer to this as "Carpal tunnel syndrome," mostly because that's just a precursor to arthritis and other age-revealing ailments (I'm only 30 after all!). Whatever it is, it hurts, tingles, and frustrates me.
The GripGlider helps relieve joint and muscle pain and is the perfect device for improving range of motion, dexterity, and endurance. There are a number of exercises ranging from a gentle rocking glade to tension band stretches, all working towards strengthening your hands, wrists, and arms.
Defy age by looking great and working out. But, secretly do these stretches to keep those fingers of yours nimble and ready for the next great gadget!
Price: $45 at the FeelGoodStore.com
*Includes nylon carrying case, instructions, weights and 4 tension bands.
These bright, colorful, playfully-themed magnets give you a regret-free way to decorate your car. Easy to put on and take off, this pop-art won't damage your car's gorgeous paint job. They can also help cover up any unwanted auto-personality (e.g. dents, dings, scrapes, scratches, gaping holes!). Don't have your own car? Use them to decorate a limo for a wedding, play a trick on your favorite friend, or even tag the office refrigerator.
Waterproof and fade resistant, each package comes with two identical sheets, and in four fun themes: Halloween, Patriotic, 1960s Flower Power, and Just Married.
Price: $16.95 at Solutions.com.
There's a trend afoot for modern watch wear. Digital facing, weather-telling, heart-rate sensing watches are all really wonderful. Still there's something about being able to see and study the live innards of old watches; greasy gears click and time magically changes.
Old watches don't last forever, and designer Nicole Rimedio of Inhabit Structures has found a wonderful use for their retired parts in her unique line of truly timeless jewelry.
You can find several of Rimedio's well-known pieces, including open-faced earrings and cuff-links, at Brooklyn-based 3R Living. Our favorite yet, is this pendant that features recycled watch parts and polished stones loosely encased in glass (2" across).
Price: $80 at 3rliving.com
*3R = Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. (We rejoice!)
Like you, I'm a huge fan of cupcakes.
I even had them at my wedding. Seriously, I worked with a pastry chef to create a cupcake tower and an independent artist, who designed and handcrafted the cupcake liners, and everything. Long story short: I spent months explaining what I wanted, complete with sample photos and detailed instructions, and ended up getting, oh, just about the opposite. Not the nicest wedding-day surprise, no, but not traumatizing enough to swear off cupcakes for the rest of my life.
Good thing, too, because then I wouldn't have cared about these Cupcake Stereo Speakers by Semk Products Limited. Little is known about the speakers at the moment, but they're expected to be available later this year.
Is it possible to peel potatoes (boiled) without a traditional peeler or say, a knife? Apparently it is – a company by the name of Tater Mitts claims that its brainchild, the potato peeler gloves, will help you do so with ease in under 8 seconds.
So all you have to do is to wear the gloves and rub the boiled potatoes, one at a time, in between your palms. The gloves have a serrated inner surface which pulls out the skin of the potato, leaving the flesh behind. And the gloves take away only a thin outer layer, ensuring that the nutrients are preserved.
Sounds simple, right? Wrong. Because, according to this Wired review, the process turns out to be quite messy and thus rules out their usage in high-volume potato peeling environments. From their stress test statistics, peeling a dozen potatoes not only leaves stubborn tuber residue on the mitt but also wears out the gloves significantly. A pretty raw deal considering the $20 price tag that it carries. Personally, a pair of strong hands is what I'd prefer over Tater (tattered?) Mitts anyday.
Also available at Amazon for $14.95.
After decades of chomping pellets, blinking ghosts, and the occasional cherry or ice cream sundae, Pac-Man has evidently developed a taste for human heads.
That's the only explanation I can come up with for the Pac-Man Plush-Head, anyway. Otherwise it's just something so ridiculous-looking that not even someone desperate for cash could be paid to model it.
Made for both children and adults, the $30 hat-of-sorts is available only in the U.S. and for some reason can't be shipped to Massachusetts, Ohio, or Pennsylvania. Hmm. The fashion police must be in top shape over there.
Plan your urban adventures without getting lost, or, if you're like me, just look like you know where you're going in your hometown.
I recently moved to New York, but you wouldn't know it the way I effortlessly navigate the insane gauntlet of the subway system without glancing at a map! Directionally challenged, I owe my entire knowledge of getting around in the city to HopStop.com.
HopStop is the must-know city transit guide, providing maps, door-to-door walking, subway, and bus directions, and time estimates for Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, DC, New York City, Long Island, and Metro North (including White Plains and CT).
If you've made an investment in your kitchen knives, you'll want to keep them sharp, protected, and proudly displayed. This uncomplicated, clear tempered-glass block features a single slit for your knives. You can see exactly which knife is where and arrange them in any order you like across the space. As a space-saving bonus, you may discover that there enough extra room to add another couple of stainless beauties to your sharp collection.
Designed by Rama Chorpash for CulinHome, this knife frame can be hung on a wall or placed on a countertop, leaving plenty of room for dessert . . . plates.
Price: $80 at ShopFosters.com.
This week, Best Buy kicked off a new promotional contest over at YouTube called the "Tech U Out Video Challenge." The gist of the contest is that you need to tell Best Buy how you'd pimp out your dorm room with tech toys in two minutes or less on a video submitted to YouTube. Entries will be received through August 22, 2007.
Now, I'm not saying that you should fib about still being in college, but the rules are a little vague (e.g. you must be over 18 years old, there's nothing in there about being enrolled in a school). Aren't there plenty of days when your small apartment, nosy neighbors, and unruly house guests makes you feel like you still live in a dorm?
Then again, when I think about how poor I was in college, I'm anticipating some really pathetic stories like this one from BoonBill titled "I need a computer chair."
For more information, visit the site here.
When my daughter was little, just a couple of years ago but a century for her, our house was decorated in early Vtech. We liked their products because they were interactive, fun, and Mom felt her little Mackenzie was learning something. Her favorite was the laptop (go figure.)
We now test toddler products on our neighbors' adorable children, Nicole, age 2+ and Carson, just one year.
Disguised as a toy, this new Vtech laptop -- the Tote and Go -- for pre-schoolers features 30 activities that teach language, math, games and music. Vtech recommends it for ages 3+. Nicole immediately loved it, and is especially fond of the animated monkey on the LED screen that guides her through the programs. More on her later.
“Oh Zephyr winds that blow on high, lift me now so I can fly.”
If this incantation brings back memories of Saturday morning live-action TV to you, then fly over to your nearest video retailer because your heroine has made it to retail shelves.
Released this week, The Secrets of Isis – The Complete Series on DVD will let you re-live the adventures of your favorite Egyptian themed superhero.
For those of you whose memories have been erased by an evil villain, Isis tells the adventures of high-school science teacher Andrea Thomas who, while on a visit to the desert, finds an amulet that gives her the powers of the ancient Goddess, which put her in control of the Earth’s animals and elements. She is aided by her aptly-named pet crow, Tut, the only creature entrusted with her true identity. Other show regulars include fellow teacher Rick Mason and teacher’s pet students Cindy Lee and Rennie Carroll.
Isis got her start as part of the Shazam!/Isis hour on CBS in 1975 and was spun off into her own show for the second (and, sadly, the last) season. The DVD includes all episodes from both seasons, including 3 cross-over episodes with Captain Marvel from Shazam!. The DVD set also includes extensive special features.
Eggs are excellent and easy to cook. But, from our own misadventures in the kitchen we're aware that when it comes to preparing a hardboiled egg even the best among us can make mistakes (think: raw vs. rubber). Apparently eggs are enough of a challenge that there's a market of expensive electronic gadgets to help you achieve boiling point perfection. Much like eggs themselves, a great gadget doesn't have to be expensive or electronic. In fact, elegant and simple will do.
SUCK UK recently added the Egg Cup Timer to their quirky online store. Made of Borosilicate glass and filled with a minute's worth of golden-colored sand, the old-fashioned timer also doubles as an elegant egg cup (can your iPhone do that?).
Price: £15.00 at Suck.uk.com
A few years ago, I bought a cute set of food-shaped magnets (Christmas cookies) as part of a rather weak attempt at holiday decorating. I put them up after Thanksgiving and, of course, never took them down. I need magnets to stick stuff on the fridge at home and on the filing cabinet at work year round, after all. Unfortunately, Christmas wreaths and stockings look quite out of place in the middle of the summer.
Sushi, on the other hand, is obviously perfect for any time of year. This pack of magnets is fresh from Japan and contains 1.2-inch plastic replicas of six of the most popular sushi varieties: ebi (shrimp), tamago (egg), ikura (salmon roe), ika (squid), toro (bluefin tuna), kanpachi (yellowfin tuna).
Agree with me when I say that your laptop can rarely be used as an actual lap top? Then you probably agree with at least one of the obvious reasons as well – for one, the heat dissipated from the laptop is pretty distressing. And for another, it's a tricky thing to adjust (and maintain) the screen at a comfortable viewing angle once the laptop is placed on the lap.
Well then, say hello to the Futura laptop stand from LapWorks. There isn't any dearth of laptop stands in the market, but what I particularly like about this one is that it is robust in spite of being made from ultra light-weight ABS plastic (weighs just around 16 ounces), ensuring hassle-free mobility. Though this stand is not as stylish as the Lapdawg stand that we covered earlier, it scores higher in the functionality department. The Futura ensures effective heat dissipation through the smart ventilation slots on the surface. And if you're using it as a desk stand, just fold it right down the middle and fasten at any one of five different angles to position the screen to a level that suits you.
If you're still holding back because of its dull looks, fret not - the company promises to release colorful versions pretty soon because of popular demand. The Futura sells for a very reasonable $30 at LapWorks.
It's a headset, it's a headphone -- it's two, two in one! Featuring a sleek hands-free microphone, the Duo is great both for listening to your tunes, or taking a call. Like their other earphones, the Duo incorporates the noise-isolating (BLISS) technology which reduces ambient noises and enables deep bass so you can enjoy hi-def sound.
Vibe Duo’s minimalist design goes well with the streamlined look of your iPhone, with a discrete microphone that blends seamlessly with the durable black fabric cable. For comfort and mobility, VIBE Duo features three sizes of ultra-soft silicon fittings.
VIBE Duo is compatible with the iPod and all other portable music players. Available in Nero (black) and Chrome, it's packaged with a leather pouch for safe travel and storage.
$99 at v-moda.
Let the people of world think they know you inside and out with Xposed bags and totes. This eye-catching funky style subtly nods at x-ray technology, revealing faux-contents by design. The three designs reflect an interesting assortment of contents from the expected (cell phone, keys, pills, lipstick) to the unexpected (brass knuckles and booze).
You may even catch a twinkle from TSA when inspecting the liquid contents of your cosmetic bag, or draw the curiosity of a sexy doctor who can't help but admire your tech-savvy taste and humor.
$7.99-11.99 at Perpetualkid.com.
Unless you want to see your children come up with all kinds of other creative uses for liquid soap, don't show My Pet Fish Soap to them. Even though the vegetable-based glycerin soap used here is actually solid with a colorful plastic goldfish embedded into it, it still looks so much like real water that you might be in for a soapy surprise the next time your kids offer to get you something to drink.
The soap has no scent and is available now for $6.95.
Via Nerd Approved.
Sometimes you write the news, and sometimes the news writes you. Two great smoking related posts came up today, and let's just roll 'em in together. The first is the SoloPipe - a sleek collapsible pipe with an internal container for holding your fine smokables. What defines this as a creative designer solution is the built-in butane lighter (YouTube). No longer will les fumeurs du monde be forced to carry both lighter and one-hitter; these paragons of modern design have forever solved the age old mystery of "Dude, my lighter was like right here a minute ago." UnCrate reports the price as $80, and a common complaint seems to be the time involved with cleaning. (Via GadgetReview)
Jansport's brand-new LiveWire Bluetooth backpack offers full remote control of your iPod functions and Bluetooth compatible phone technology, while still carrying your laptop in a cushioned compartment, and that 15-pound math book.
When I took it out for a hike, I got some strange looks; afterall, it looked like I was chatting it up with my backpack. But really, was I any stranger than those aliens talking on their ear pods?
The Livewire bags have a universal headphone port mounted on the shoulder strap, with an internal connection cord that is compatible with any mp3 player, and a soft-fabric keypad integrated into the shoulder strap so that you can have full remote control of your iPod or your phone. Another backpack strap has a built in microphone for hands-free use with your headphones.
Like all Jansport backpacks, they feature the AirLiftshoulder straps and breathable mesh back panel which stays dry and comfortable. When I had it fully-loaded, I really appreicated the foam padded haul handle.
And if you want to win one of these $299 LiveWire bags, make sure you're signed up to our newsletter! Contest details later this week in your email.
I've had a Helio Ocean for a couple of months, and when some of our crew started using iPhones, I noticed that I stopped receiving text messages from them. I figured they were just having too much fun on their iPhones to bother replying to my messages, that they'd formed their own little iPhone clique and I wasn't a part of it because I refused to get caught up in the hype. (See my Helio Ocean vs. iPhone post later this week.)
But then fingers started pointing at me: "Why don't you reply to my texts?" So we ran some highly technical tests (sending messages to each other across a table at a diner), and concluded that the iPhone refuses to play with the Helio. I can send text messages from my Helio to iPhones, but can't receive messages from iPhones to my Helio. Calls work fine.
Anyone else experiencing this weird glitch? Has anyone solved this mystery or had any conversations with AT&T, Apple or Helio about what's going on here?
I think people at any workplace can be categorized into two kinds – those who take breaks in between work and those who work in between breaks. If you belong to the latter group (good for you), then concerns about protecting your PC from prying eyes could be quite valid. In which case, the Security Ring by designer Yang Hai could perhaps let you wander in peace.
Essentially, this strange-looking device (still a design concept) consists of a base station which is connected to the PC and a ring which you wear on your finger. So if you wander out of a certain range, the base station gets notified and all your programs on the PC are locked. The concept seems pretty neat. Except, personally, I couldn’t be bothered to wear a bulky ring for long. Unless of course, if the device could get all my work completed automatically as well…
I apologize in advance for my growing vulnerability to stupid dog toys (not toys for dogs, but dog-related toys for seemingly intelligent adult humans). You lay this little guy on the ground and he appears to be digging his way to China, together with sound effects -- including farting and barking noises. You can add to our gi-normous affiliate sales coffers by ordering this fun picnic/backyard toy for $17.99 from Amazon. I am bothered by one thing, though: placed in the wrong environment, the headless dog may scare small children or adults with no imagination.
If it appears that I'm heading in the direction of those people who buy little doggie statuettes to line their wndow sills, please help me.
Meanwhile, I blame this one on bookofjoe (note that I've spared you the link for the sound effects, but you can listen on Joe's blog - just make sure your office door is closed tight).
Immortalized by Van Gogh, staring starry nights is a year-round and timeless pleasure, shared by the Greeks, Galileo, and even us. Planetariums use technology to help your eyes learn how to navigate and detect thousands of stars, planets, constellations, meteors, and more. While you could travel to a planetarium, we've discovered a portable planetarium that you can own.
The Sky Scout Planetarium is a handheld planetarium that reveals the many mysteries of the heavens no matter where an individual stands on this planet. Enjoy astronomy alone or entertain friends and family any day of the year and anywhere--from a rooftop in Manhattan to a beach in Bali.
Yes, it's just a box, but such a cute one! The straightforwardly named Computer Storage Box is a simple wooden cube with felt pads inside to protect whatever computer accessories and peripherals are tossed inside. The lid, secured by magnets, is also imprinted with a little reminder: "Computers are useless, they can only give you answers."
The box measures 22 cm in length/width/height - a handy size to add a little old-school charm to a desk or workstation. Available for £15 at NotOnTheHighStreet.com.
I was wary of putting ANYTHING on my brand new iPhone, let alone a skin, soooo . . . I experimented by putting a DeCal Girl's Motorola RAZR one on my daughter's cell phone first. It was like a new phone, and fortunately, she thinks so too. (And hopefully, I've bought myself another month before she starts asking for a device with a full QWERTY keyboard.)
Cheap and easy to apply, my daughter and I decided to do her DS Lite next, in Peach Dots. Beautiful, except getting the stylus out is a bit of a pain. Then my husband's Playstation in the Blue Neon Flames . . .
There's no shortage of skins for any kind of gadget either; laptops, Apple TV, Xbox, Playstation, Game Cube, cell phones, iPhones, you name it.
I first learned about the Butler Bag a year ago when it was touted by a handful of major publications as a savvy bag for moms. Well, I'm not a mom, but this past year I've become addicted to my gadgets. In addition to all the usual suspects found in a 30-year old gal's purse, you'll find a cell phone, memory stick, camera, Flip, battery charger (for the cell and the camera), and honestly way too much else in mine!
In a desperate attempt to regain control over my now scary-purse, I caved and ordered this mommy-friendly bag for my gadget gear. There's no doubt in my mind when I tell you that the Butler Bag is a "tech lover's best bag."
We knew this was coming -- the newest BlackBerry model, the 8820, which is the first dual-mode BlackBerry handset, combining EDGE/GPRS/GSM cellular service with Wi-Fi connectivity. (Whom do think BlackBerry is competing with? Yes, starts with an "i".)
The sleek new BlackBerry 8820 seamlessly switches between cellular networks and Wi-Fi connections, enabling users to access email, Instant Messaging, organizer, Internet and other mobile applications via Wi-Fi networks in the office, at home or, say, Starbucks.
While it's RIM’s thinnest design yet, it still features a full QWERTY keyboard, a necessity, if you ask me. The mobile phone features include advanced noise cancellation, Voice Activated Dialing and Bluetooth 2.0 for hands-free use. But of course. A microSD expansion memory slot supports both microSD and microSDHC memory cards.
What else? It supports thousands of third party applications and business solutions, making it still the choice for most executives. BlackBerry Maps (for maps and turn-by-turn directions), and the multi-media player are new, but note that there's no camera.
It will be available at AT&T in the U.S. later this summer. And just when I promised my BlackBerry Curve that I'd never upgrade.
Every day the concentration of desk-bound warriors around the world is broken by the spontaneous serenade of the mobile ringtone. Open office space renders our privacy vulnerable. But, it is the occasional belting out of a one-hit-wonder, the Sponge Bob Squarepants theme song, or better yet pre-recorded personal message from friend, child, or lover that reveals our most intimate selves.
When you can't bring yourself to turn your mobile to off, consider going "silent" and investing in Pure Modern's SIGNAL Cell Phone Adviser. The Adviser is a simple frosted desktop mobile phone holder that detects your mobile's radio waves and begins blinking instead of ringing. If nothing else the modest $21 investment might be enough to stave off the stares, giggles, and rolling eyes of your coworkers.
Price: $21 at Pure Modern.
Note: Not compatible with Treos.
Moo MiniCards evoke memories from when we were card-trading kids. These paper keepsakes make their 21st century comeback taking fabulous new form. Choose between text-centric or photo-based styles, personalize away, and we promise you'll love to create, carry, trade, and call on friends and contacts.
$19.99 (without shipping) buys a pack of 100 cards (up to 100 different photos per pack), printed with 4-colors onto sturdy paper with a polished satin finish. Flickr, Fotolog, Bebo, Habbo, Second Life, LiveJournal, or Vox are all partners with Moo, so you can upload files directly from your accounts in seconds.
Print a pack that features your contact information, blog, website, and memberships to social networks. Use them to "save the date" or as a party invite, favor, or game. Reach out to old friends, get in touch with new friends, or share scenes from your vacation, new home, or job.
We concur, personalization offline has never been so fun!
I don't actually hate the iPhone, I still mostly love it, but after finally accomplishing the Herculean task of actually switching phone providers so I could use the iPhone, I do hate every single cell phone company out there. In fact, my new goal in life is to establish a cell phone company that, instead of forcing you into years-long contracts with the threat of huge penalty fees, will keep customers with good customer service by people who actually seem to understand what they're talking about, and not adding bs fees and nonsense taxes that inexplicably leave you with a $200 phone bill on what is supposedly a $60 phone plan.
My attempts to keep a number I'd had on Sprint for over 10 years and port to an AT&T iPhone account has led to the creation of FOUR extra lines of service spanning across three mobile carriers, and approximately $900 in extra fees in just under a month. I'd give details but I might start to have flashbacks and start destroying every cell phone in my path.
But my hatred and desire for schadenfreudic catharsis could win you an iPhone, complete with several designer cases. Send an email to me (mia(at)popgadget.net) with the subject line "iPhone of Hate" and tell me about your worst cell phone customer service experience. Details and emotional outbursts are very welcome. You must be a subscriber to our newsletter to win, so make sure you sign up first. The winning entry will be posted on August 1, 2007. Good luck and happy hating!
Everyone's doing it, and now monster companies are finally realizing blogging is a good way to connect with their customers, and sure, along the way, maybe sell more products. Sony just launched their blog this week . Color us not surprised that two women are spear heading Sony's "Social Media Strategy."
In order to understand this initiative, I spoke with Marcy Cohen, who is with Sony Electronics Corporate Communications.
"With the growth and impact of the internet, we realized we needed to be more proactive and have a dialogue with the customer " says the 6 and a half year veteran of the company. "It gives a face to the company and also helps us learn about the customer through unfiltered comments. Besides comments and feedback, we'll have regular contributors ...guest bloggers. Ultimately, we expect it will benefit the consumer."
Hipster techies and gamers, we've found a must-have treasure for your wardrobe. This white belt depicts the map from the original Legend of Zelda. Our hero Link, holding his sword, is immortalized in embroidery. The belt comes in a collector's tin case that resembles an old NES cartridge. We think that's sweet geek!
In the event that you've been living under a rock for the last decade, The Legend of Zelda, is arguably one of the most influential franchises ever created. To date, the series boasts 13 official releases.
If you have an avatar, live in Linden, or appreciate creative game-play, this belt is a tribute to the Nintendo's origins that can be hotly sported around your waist in the future.
Price: $15-20 at NerdyShirts
One size fits most. 47 inches long (belt can be shortened), width is 1.5 inches.
Tired of the same old beach games? Frisbee seeming flat? Volleyball lost its vitality? Here's a way to bounce some fun back into the world of beach amusement: The Waboba Ball.
Made of a devilishly clever (it is a British product) combination of Lycra and various polyurethanes, the Waboba not only floats, but actually bounces on the water as well, making it lots more fun that skipping stones that eventually sink or tossing a Frisbee that will eventually sink. Even comes with its own game.
Take a look at the clip below to see it in action.
People love to decorate their homes with framed photographs, but why not take the image and blow it up to wallpaper-size instead? That's precisely the service provided by Better Wallpaper, a UK company that will take a digital image file, print it onto wallpaper and deliver it (with instructions on how to apply the wallpaper) to your doorstep.
You can customize the wallpaper size to whatever you prefer (though anyone trying to cover an area larger than 20 square meters is advised to contact the company for more detailed specifications). The price varies with size, but as an example, a printed sheet 1.5 meters (approximately 5 feet) x 1.5 meters costs £90. The company handles both UK and international orders, and will provide a PDF proof of the final product before it proceeds with the final printing.
Geeks don't have the toughest image, but it doesn't mean they shouldn't wear their nerd status on their sleeves. Not "Born to Ride"? How about "Born to Code"? Geek Tattoos feature iconic designs (hearts, skulls, hellfires) combined with nerd objects of lust like IP addresses, USB symbols, and power buttons.
Geek tattoos are $7.95 for a set of 16 from Archie McPhee.
Inspried by street warriors , AKA bike messengers, the Griffin Courier case carries your iPod and everything else you need in a rugged, yet attractive case.
It keeps your iPod close at hand with the wrap-around protective sleeve but lets you flip open the case, control your iPod, and flip it shut with one thumb. That's dexterity. The second flapped pocket holds sync cable, earphones, and even a flip-style mobile phone (no, it won't hold your iPhone). Two other interchangeable cases fit 5th generation iPod, 1st and 2nd generation iPod nano and give access to hold switch, headphone port and dock connector case. The larger case can also accommodate 4th generation iPods, though access to the headphone port will be blocked when the player is in the case.
Loops on the top and bottom accommodate a matching carabiner and allow you to hook Courier to most anything, or, in my case, hook most anything to a Courier.
$29.99 from our friends at Griffin.
If the Spi-Dog speaker system isn't doing an adequate job of broadcasting your love of Spider-Man to the world, why not make it your mission to slowly replace each and every pillow in the house with this? A big ole Spider-Man head.
Because although it may look purely decorative, it's actually got some function stuffed in along with all that polystyrene filling. See that cord coming out from the side of Spidey's 12" x 12" x 2.5" head? Plug it into any standard 3.5mm headphone jack and you've got yourself a plush set of speakers (his eyes, I suppose), complete with volume control.
The Spider-Man speaker pillow can be ordered now for about $18.
Via Tech Digest.
If you're short on minutes, travel frequently, or place international calls regularly, you'll want to consider adding a Lexphone to your growing collection of awesome peripherals. Lexphone is a lightweight, compact USB telephone that works with Skype and MSN messenger to allow you to place and receive calls from your computer for free.
Lexphone works with most computers, and after a simple software installation, you'll be able to call anywhere in the world. It's also a great gift for members of your extended family--now there really is no excuse not to call!
Price: $73 (comes in Aluminum and Black)
To learn more or purchase this item,go to Pure Modern.
It's so hard to put a happy face on a disaster. However: Danger, fear, and uncertainty will all melt away in the presence of this cute little emergency generator from Sanrio. We didn't really need any more proof that you can sell anything simply by putting Hello Kitty on it, but here it is.
This little device features a hand crank generator used to power all sorts of sundry built-in features. If you get tired of turning the crank there’s a little port in the side that can accept a 9-volt battery to power all the necessaries. Beyond the non-electronic compass there's a cable for recharging your cell phone, an LED flashlight, a good ol' fashioned AM/FM radio, and an emergency alarm for scaring off post-apocalyptic zombies or signaling rescuers.
Although, let's call a spade a spade: If things really get so bad that your life depends on a Hello Kitty emergency device there probably aren't any rescuers coming.
The hat tip on this post comes from a delightfully wonderful blog entitled Hello Kitty Hell. It’s the story of one brave soul whose wife is determined to fill his home with every type of Hello Kitty product known to man. His blog is a record, nay, an earnest chronicle of his daily fight against the forces of the little white cat from Nippon.
And it’s pretty hilarious to think of some exasperated guy living in a Hello Kitty decorated house.
Are you ready for your close-up? Wait until I zoom....hold on, hold on....
That used to be me, before I got the new Panasonic DMC-TZ3 Lumix 7.2-Megapixel Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom, MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer & High Sensitivity Mode, with 28mm wide-angle setting. What does that all mean to us?
The 10x optical zoom means you can get closer, faster and with better quality than before, almost like a telephoto lens. MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) compensates for any hand-shaking, for example if you're taking photos from a moving car. Wide-angle settings translate to panoramic landscape shots.
What matters to me? The LEICA lens. I miss my old before-digital Canon because of the beautiful lens and quality of the photos. While I'm sure I'll come to appreciate all the other features, it's the lens quality that impressed me in the short time I've been using the camera.
As with most digital cameras these days, it's easy to use and it does have a lovely, big wide LED screen. At $349.95, it's at the high-end, but worth it for the special features if you take a lot of photos, like me.
On the list of the world's most useless things, a 7 lb. grand piano just might win the grand prize for inutility, but somehow that doesn't stop me from kind of wanting this ridiculous Hello Kitty Baby Grand. Just take a look at in in action:
Love pets? Want one? But your landlord, allergies, or job interferes with plans to buy, adopt, or borrow? Trade in your sea monkeys, because if you have a computer, you can also have a very clever pet. GoPets is a hybrid creation of online social networking and virtual world gaming. Simply put, it's an astounding feat of fun, fur-free genius.
Each GoPet is a unique 3D companion. As an owner, you create and download your pet to your desktop (sorry Mac users, GoPets is currently PC-only). While your GoPet makes it's home on your desktop, it's also able to roam freely from home. Your GoPet can visit the desktops of other GoPets users who currently speak 14 different languages and live around the world. The internet then becomes a leash-free, fence-free virtual park for your pet. Your GoPet assumes your interests and becomes your facilitator, introducing you to owners of other GoPets who share similar interests.
I like to know where my goods hail from. Besides simply working to avoid the Poison Train it's always nice to know who was involved and how the materials were put together. Christien Meindertsma's company FLOCKS has taken my product paranoia to a wonderful new level, and is producing woolen goods made from the hair of a single animal. Each piece is labeled with the breed, country of origin, and a little photo of the actual sheep before shearing!
Christien is knitting mittens, scarves, and cardigan sweaters from single shearings of angora rabbits, alpacas, goats, and sheep. These are wearables designed to be utilitarian while also being beautiful. All FLOCKS products come in natural untreated colors and the beauty of the animal’s coat makes these comfortable clothes unabashedly elegant.
Beyond clothing just our bodies, Christien will shear an entire flock and make carpets or furniture if you need to dress up a room in your home. However, as would be expected, unique and beautiful pieces are never found on the discount rack: a cardigan goes for about $650 USD, and the furniture pieces are bespoke.
Okay, so maybe you intentionally want to look like an underage criminal or a sex offender right out of a 1960's tabloid, or maybe you just want to look darn cool. Either way, the Black Bar Sunglasses should do the trick.
One thing's for sure… You will instantly attract attention – others will wonder if you are famous or dangerous. If the paparazzi weren't hot on your tail before, they are sure to be once you don a pair of these.
Perfect for those wild parties or vacations when you've let your hair down and gotten a little too wild and don't want to be the hot topic at the water cooler on Monday in the office.
Thanks to Stupidiotic (you gotta love that name) for making shameful activities fun again!
Remember when we told you about Pacific Design's contest for the VH1 Save the Music Case Collection Design Contest? The designs are in so go vote for your favorite by emailing your choice to designcontest and be sure to include the number of the entry you are voting for.
The person with the winning design will also receive an Apple iPhone, Apple iPod nano, and a VH1 Gift Basket.
You will have the satisfaction of knowing you helped support this worthy campaign. Music Education = Brain Power.
No matter how digital we go, there will always be an endless supply of paperwork on our desks. Occasionally, even the neatest pile of paper can become an unruly mess as truncated printouts seemingly reorder themselves in the wrong order. Paper clips greatly assist in these mini-crises, but are often lost in the "junk drawer" of our desks.
Our recommendation for helping you control the constant flow of paper, is to buy your desk a Drip Clips caddy-sized kitchen sink. Drip Clips dangle magnetically from a slender faucet in a splashy, random fashion until you need them. A great talking piece and unique office toy for restless fingers, Drip Clips are a fun alternative to the junk drawer, or worse the ominous office supply cabinet.
Price: $8 at ShopFosters.com.
Don't be deceived by its simple form or somewhat ironic name. While it certainly resembles a hurdle, Hurdle Lighting aims to remove, not create, barriers to getting the right amount of illumination on a table or work space. The light structure is designed to stand either horizontally (like its namesake) or vertically, more like a desk lamp. A sensor detects how it's been positioned and operates the light accordingly.
"Design a tee shirt and become famous!" There's motivation in that Threadless tag line. We can't vouch that a Threadless tee shirt design equates to fame, but we do know that if you're Lawrence Pernica you've earned bragging rights as one of this week's winners. Pernica's design "Video Games Ruined My Life, Good Thing I Have Two Extra Lives" won the Type Tees contest and made us giggle a lot.
Curious about Threadless? Just over 7 years old, Threadless has proven itself as much more than a creative t-shirt storefront, it's an ongoing tee shirt design competition with a thriving social community. Each week more than 600 entries are submitted and 4-6 winners are chosen to be printed and sold from the site. Winners receive $2,000 in cash and prizes.
In another life, a loooog time ago, I used to manage rock n' roll bands, so I spent a great deal of time in recording studios (which are generally not the exciting place you see in the movies, but mind-numbingly boring after you listen to the vocal for the 100th time.)
These Atrio earphones from Future Sonics, known for their professional audio equipment, are the closest I've heard to playback on the monitors in a studio -- they're that good. Musicians, such as Justin Timberlake, reportedly swear by them, but what's more impressive are the testimonials from engineers. Invented by Marty Garcia, a renowned tour engineer and audio production consultant,they were designed just for professionals both onstage and in recording studios, but with the iPod and the demand for good earphones, they are making them available to the public for the first time.
To celebrate the launch, they're giving away tickets to five women (each winner gets to take a friend) to attend the "O You" conference in Miami on September 29th. Revolution Health is a sponsor of the day-long conference which will feature inspirational speakers made famous on Oprah's tv show: Bob Greene (fitness expert), Martha Beck (life coach), Suze Orman (finance expert) and Dr. Mehmet Oz (heart surgeon and - may I add - connoisseur of bodily grossness).
One set of tickets will be given away each week, with this first week's sweepstakes ending on July 21st. All registered Revolution Health users are eligible to enter the contest -- you can submit an entry every day to increase your chances of winning. Just click on the contest link from the resource center.
Check out some of the areas of the O Guide, like Healthy house, which includes tips on eco-living and cleaner indoor air, and Women's health (today, there's an item on the "quarter-life crisis" for you twenty-somethings - did you know there was such a thing?).
Balanced. Simple. Stunning. There's nary another word needed to describe the 9-Volt light from designer Richard Lawson.
Elegantly balanced against its power source, the 9-Volt light is an exact replica of a 9-Volt battery, but instead of a copper top, this 'battery' boasts high-powered LEDs to light up the night. A perfect replacement (or modern alternative) for candles, these can add the perfect touch to your next backyard party. On the practical side, they're great for travel or camping.
Originally designed for a competition held by Mathmos, the hi-tech lighting gurus behind the original Lava Lamp, the 9-Volt light wasn't a winner but got so much "fan mail" after the contest, that Mathmos optioned it.
Available in red or blue (with a white version in the works) from our friends at Charles & Marie.
Now that you've got all your music saved on your computer's hard disk, what are you going to do with it? Well, if you really like adding a personalised touch to all your gadgets, you might want to pick up the USB doorbell so that you can set your own music or other sound file as your doorbell chime.
Setting it up sounds easy enough: plug the USB doorbell into your computer, copy the sound file onto it, plug it into your doorbell wiring - and you'll have your favourite piece of music (or most annoying sound effect) alert you every time someone pushes the doorbell.
There are online social networks for teens, animal lovers, sports fans, fashionistas, and wine experts, so why not one for cookers and cakers? If you haven't already met, we'd like to introduce you to BakeSpace.com, a social networking site for people who enjoy cooking of all kinds.
Though it launched in August 2006, BakeSpace.com appears to be building new momentum through a month-long promotion with appliance manufacturer KitchenAid. Together BakeSpace.com and KitchenAid plan to give an appliance away every day this July.
The partnership is remarkable for both companies for different reasons. BakeSpace.com has minimal advertising and currently accepts user-donations to stay viable, and KitchenAid has never partnered with a social network to promote its products.
We spend Sundays reading the Times, so it seems the perfect day to talk about Shifd, the newest web-app developed by New York Times R&D. Created in about 20 hours at the Yahoo! BBC Hack Day in London last month, Shifd works, but it remains a conceptual product.
Shifd is a mobile application that allows users to easily share web feeds, listings, maps, personal notes, and dates between their desktop computer and mobile phone. In order to sync your computer with your mobile phone, your phone will have to be hacked (RFID-enabled, which might be a little excessive).
Any content added to your Shifd.com personal page (web feeds, Yahoo! Local Search listings and maps, personal notes, and other data) can be transferred to your phone for browsing. Before transporting content, the user can easily organize its order by dragging and dropping. When the user picks up her phone and walks away, her computer will automatically recognize that she's shifted to a mobile environment, sending her a text message with a link to the mobile version of her Shifd.com page.
As you know, at Popgadget we're always thinking of you and the choices you're making, so we try to get our hands on as many new products as we can and take them out for a spin. The downside for the writer is that sometimes you get abnormally attached to a product that you have to send back.
Such is the case with the new Mondo Mint digital sound system we just got. It's Mondo sound on a mini budget. Not only does it sound amazing, like a system easily twice it's price, it also features a beautiful, elegant design, which could go anywhere. At the moment, it only comes in white, but I suspect the company will make a black version as well.
Do you hate the feeling of someone approaching your desk from behind and catching you by surprise? We do. And, it's even worse when we get caught sending personal e-mails, watching YouTube, and scanning the web for a little celebrity gossip fix. We've found a way to avoid this professional blunder. For the modest price of $13.95, you can now afford to have eyes in the back of your head (just like mom used to).
A clever and practical idea, these 3" convex mirrors provide a wide-angle view of the area around your workspace. Simple installation via a snazzy Velcro attachment makes this device PC and Mac compatible. They come in clear or assorted colors.
Visit The Spoon Sisters today to get your own!
Here's an interesting twist on mood lighting: the Aurora Palette by Banpresto. Designed to simulate nature's own awe-inspiring light show, the battery-powered device does its best to recreate the Aurora Borealis by projecting "atmospheric light" variations on walls, ceilings, and just about anything else that isn't the night sky.
With a run time of 20 hours and timer settings to control how long the resulting "mellow mood" is welcome in your home, the Aurora Palette is a steal at just $55.
See it in action here.
Vacation has literally gone to the dogs! Partnered with Travelocity, BringFido.com provides an online directory of pet-friendly lodging to help dog owners across the country plan pooch-perfect vacations.
BringFido.com's database features full listings of thousands of hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts. Most importantly, each listing is complete with a description of the specific property's pet policy (e.g. small Boston terriers and pugs welcome, Great Danes and German Shepard's extra fees apply). BringFido.com also features listings of national pet-friendly events that you can plan your trip around.
Our pups all agreed, they deserve a vacation this year!
To learn more, visit BringFido.com.
Now we know why young children have to be reminded to wash their hands. I mean, would you willingly pick up one of these mini hand soaps if they were arranged on a porcelain soap dish next to the sink?
Each soap, which ranges between 0.5 to 2 inches in size, is handmade out of goat's milk glycerin (whatever that is) and presented in a drawstring gift pouch for just $12.
Anyone care to join me at the next Soap-a-phobics Anonymous meeting?
I love Etsy. As we've reported before, it is sort of like eBay for handmade arts & crafts, where they charge a small listing fee and take a percentage if you sell anything. DIY fanatics sell everything from knit coasters shaped like orange slices to miniature pewter bird charms.
Recently, the Etsy folks have opened up a space called Etsy Labs in Brooklyn, New York. They hold cool events and classes, like a recent supply swap for crafters. Every Wednesday at 4pm, they have an Afternoon Tea Party meet-up where you can check out the facilities and meet other crafter enthusiasts. Trunk shows are scheduled on the last Friday of every month from 6-8 pm. This month's trunk show, on July 28th, is called "Trashion", and will feature fashion and accessories made from - not surprisingly - trash, and recycled and repurposed materials.
For those aspiring to sell their wares on Etsy.com or those who are already on their way, Etsy Labs has various classes on subjects of interest to arts and crafters, from Screenprinting (7/21-7/22) to Intellectual Property Issues for Artists (7/28).
Check out the site for the latest information on dates, prices, membership requirements, and available spaces.
From the company that asks "Why be pretty when you can be gorgeous?" comes the most affordable plastic surgery yet…
Well, it’s not really plastic surgery, but the Fantastic Plastic kit from Too Faced cosmetics is a cleverly-packaged trio of products that resemble syringes to make you feel like you’re in a surgical suite rather than in front of your bathroom mirror. The kit contains a ‘Lash Injection,’ a ‘Lip Injection,’ and a ‘Wrinkle Injection’ to help you cover all bases.
If nothing else, you’ve gotta love the picture of the debutatante-ish looking glamour girl on the box, who is appearing to self-administer a crow’s feet treatment.
Too Faced’s creator, Jerrod Blandino, is currently the darling of many A-list celebrities who helped inspire him to create the Too Faced line. The Hollywood endorsement worked, as TF’s sales figures are apparently A-list, too.
This kit available exclusively at Sephora.
I'm sold --- a waterproof wallet that isn't plastic-looking like the Jimi and even has a certain space-age suaveness to it (which I think appeals to women too). The brainchild of Australian designers Henri Spalle and Mark Armstrong, the Dosh wallet is made of a blend of flexible and semi-flexible polymers that makes it not only waterproof but also fairly hardy. At the same time, its sleek design proves that form doesn't have to be sacrificed for function.
As if that those weren't sufficient selling points, the wallet also carries not only (as one would expect) credit cards, notes and coins, but also an integrated compartment that's designed to hold a lot of the odds and ends we tote around in the modern age: SIM cards, keys and security keycards. Plus the billfold area is supposed to be able to fit all currencies, including US dollar bills and Euro notes.
Half the price of a Mini-Cooper, half the size of a compact, turns out to be not-half-bad, especially if you live in urban cities. With the rising costs of traditional fuels, the go green movement underway, timing for the smartfortwo car couldn't be better.
A DaimlerChrysler vehicle, smartfortwo is literally a car built for two people. 8.8 feet long (two fit into one average-sized parking space) and five feet tall, it reaches speeds of up to 90 mph. This car is like a Vespa with a roof (unless you like the convertible).
Interested? This summer you can learn about the car and share your enthusiasm for it by attending the "street smart" Road Show. Seriously interested? For $99 you can make a refundable reservation making you among the first to be able to purchase the car next year.
Unless it's Halloween or your child is obsessed with Pirates of the Caribbean, please don't whip up a batch of warm skulls the next time you're elected to run the cupcake stand at the school's bake sale.
No, it doesn't matter that the pan costs only $6.95 and can make four 3.5" skulls. The fact of the matter is that you got the pan from a mortuary novelty shop called Pushin Daisies. Yes, that is a clever name for a store, but you're still not bakin' up some skulls for little Julie's birthday party.
Unless they're chocolate. And there's a melted Hershey's Kiss in the middle.
Via Nerd Approved.
Take your iPod to the beach this summer is this snappy, water and sand resistant case from iHome. It securely holds your iPod in a lightweight zippered case with the controls conveniently built into the front for easy access.
For such a tiny case it's got surprisingly decent sound, and the pearlized pink is a nice touch. (It also comes in black.)
While there's a head phone option, my daughter and her gaggle of girlfriends always prefer the speakers, and wear the system like a high-fashion handbag. Amazingly, they've pretty much buried it in the sand and splashed it pool side, and it's still works.
At $69.99 iHome has come up with another fun, functional must-have iPod accessory.
The digital arts organization eyebeam.org is running their Summer School 2007 program, and this month they offer their three-part workshop entitled, Artists as Agents of Social Change, which costs $75. Students learn about and experiment with activism and public interventions.
The program kicks off on Saturday July 14th, when you can learn how three different artists, Steve Lambert, Adam Bobbette, and Robert Ransick, combine group action into their artistic practice. Then, over the following week, choose one of three clinics and actually try your hand at creating a project. The clinics have intriguing titles such as "Architectural Interventions in Public Space" and "neuroTransmitter." Finally, the last session meets on Saturday, July 28th, where participants in the program will show their projects and bring them out to the public.
You can find sign up information and get all the details at the eyebeam.org site.
Yes, I mean that Suzanne Vega, the singer/songwriter who recorded the 80s cross-over hit "Luka." Of course, since that time, she has continued to record and tour. I've been a fan of hers for a long time, and own a couple of her albums. I'm always pleased to find out about her new projects.
As she prepares to release her seventh album, "Beauty & Crime," Vega will be holding a virtual listening party in Second Life on Friday July 13th at 7pm ET, 4pm Second Life time. You'll also be able to hang out and interact with the artist. Interestingly, she did a similar event there way back in August 2006, making her a pioneer musician in SL.
Due to bandwidth issues, this event is invite only, and you can RSVP at Cruxy.com.
For the rest of us in real life, the album goes on sale on July 17th, and she will be touring the US and Europe through the summer. Also, a live stream of the event will be hosted at Cruxy after it is over.
Apparently, all that extra brain activity going on inside Sigmund Freud's skull did more than just generate psychoanalytic theory; it gave his entire head (facial hair included) a delicious watermelon flavor. Why, what did you expect? Banana?
See . . . er, taste . . . for yourself by sucking on a 2.25-inch Sigmund Freud Head Pop. Oral fixation indeed!
$27.95 for a box of 24.
Via Nerd Approved.
Okay, you scored an iPhone but what are you going to put it in? Hoping to capitilize on the frenzy, companies geared up to provide cases, power charges and other accessories.
Even before the iPhone was available there was a scramble to be first to the market with iPhone cases. First up is the Bikini from Incipio, which is available in 14, count 'em, 14, different colors ranging from "Randy Red" to Argyle. Classy. That's the "Army Ranger" version pictured up top. They're all leather and cost a mere $19.99.
Calling all citizen journalists, bloggers, and video enthusiasts! Slim, sleek, and priced around $120, the Flip camcorder is a simple way to shoot and edit video. Forget fumbling with all your camera and video gear and no worries about installing software with this baby. Flip is fun right out of the box, fits in the palm of your hand, and its savvy-sassy software program launches directly from the camcorder itself.
Flip comes in both 30 minute (512 MB) and 60 minute (1 GB) versions, plays well with PCs and Macs, and features a 1.5 inch color screen for instant viewing. Flip's video software allows you to easily edit, e-mail, and capture still photos from all your footage. Sure, the buttons are on the smallish side and you may want to purchase a USB extension cord, but this nimble user-friendly device will become one of your favorite tech toys the first time you use it. In fact, we suggest buying two and spreading the love.
Small as batteries get, there are some devices that are just too small or sensitive to be fitted with them. That's where the tiny vibration-powered generator developed by the University of Southampton might be able to do the trick. The device generates electrical energy from vibrations and movements present in the environment surrounding it. So unlike a battery, it doesn't have to be replaced or recharged periodically.
Less than 1 cubic centimeter in size, the generator was developed to power wireless sensors that monitor manufacturing plants. But the development team already envisions that it could be used to power pacemakers, for instance, simply by relying on the vibrations of a beating heart.
Donna Howe's new collection of tech-inspired jewelry catches the IT professional's eye. Made from sterling silver and resembling a mouse, power button, and Help key, each piece is a little chic and a little geek.
Pair them with faded jeans and a tank, or use them to add an element of sophistication to your favorite black dress. Better yet, give them to your best geek girlfriend who's always there to catch you when you crash. Handmade and sold separately at Uncommon Goods.
If you regret spending a significant chunk of your paycheck on an iPhone, why not unburden some of your unhappiness and buyer's remorse directly onto the device?
No, don't be ridiculous and take it to the shed. Get one of these $24.99 Jam Jackets by DLO instead. Despite being made of high-quality, grippable silicone and featuring a handy "Headphone Management System" on the back, they are one color away from being downright hideous.
Teach that fashion-conscious iPhone a lesson it'll never forget!
With all the talk about the iPhone, it's easy to count all the other handset makers as has beens. However, Nokia has just released a nifty update to their N800 Internet Tablet. It now comes with Skype client support, Adobe Flash 9, and 8GB single memory card support.
In general, I'm very excited about these developments, because all the developments are moving us closer to my personal holy grail of a UMPC. One soon, we'll have one handset that will contain a phone, video/ music player, camera, internet browser, email reader, and GPS. We're not quite there yet, and it can't come soon enough.
The N800 lists for $399.99US.
Go-green with high tech energy-efficient lighting! This traditional Mason jar jewel gives off the appearance of holding sunlight. It's built with clear solar panels that conceal warm colored LED lights. There's no on/off switch, so to charge, you'll need to leave it on your windowsill during the day, but come night the clever light sensor knows to turn itself on.
The best part? It's water-repellent, so you can enjoy it inside your home on a coffee table or outside on your patio.
Never mind if you can't afford the real iPhone, here's one that's even better. And better still, you will never face technical snags with this one.
This awesome hand-knitted iPhone was made by a mom who wanted to help thousands of other parents trying to child-proof their iPhone. Well, that's an exaggeration, but to say that this is the cutest "gadget" that I've seen in a long time wouldn't be. For me, to know that she created one in just 4-5 hours is even more amazing because personally, I really suck at craft work. Too bad it isn't for sale or I would have picked one up right away.
Check out the DIY details on the site and rustle up one yourself.
Sigh. Don't you hate it when you have an extra $7500 laying around and you don't know what to do with it?
If so, then I can't relate to you at all. But what I can do is suggest an outrageous way to spend what could otherwise help finance a child's future education: KickBars, sparkling adornments for your shoelaces. They can be custom designed and purchased with two carats of rubies, emeralds, or other stones, but the original ones are made of 54 round-cut diamonds (VS1 clarity, G color) set into 14K white gold.
Now, I'm not sure if the $7500 market price is for a single KickBar or a pair, but really, the more important question to ask here is this: What the heck are your shoelaces made of? Because if the answer isn't "crushed diamonds spun into thread," then diamond-studded shoelace clips are pretty silly.
We switched ordinary drumsticks for these LED ones from Germany to see if the average musicians would notice. This is what they reported:
First,they remarked on the color. "Very cool!" "And they have a good grip, and weight." (Apparently, they are a standard size 5A, for you drummers out there.)
While they found them a little bottom-weighted, they still found them comfortable but because of the tips, they felt like there was a slight delay so they wouldn't be good for "heavy hitting." One drummer, Buster, felt the tips might fall off, and that affected his rhythm.
For a real test, we switched them at a block party and the crowd loved the flashing lights, though the drummer had to remember not to toss them out to the crowd after the encore.
If you're shoe-obsessed, you're used to sticker-shock on red-soled Louboutins and high-heeled Manolo's, but the $245+ sticker price for the ugly, awkward, and un-hippest (hip-slimming) shoes on the market might make you pause before making the investment. MBT shoe-design is based on Masai Barefoot Technology, which simulates the "rolling" experience of walking in sand.
The shoes themselves are an eyesore, they're the foot equivalent of "granny panties." But, then again so are Ugg boots and Crocs, and if our 21st century culture has taught us anything, it's that beauty can come in the form of a beast. MBTs are a unique experience. Touted by Bliss Spa and others as inch-reducing footwear they're nearly an urban shoe myth shared among curious and disbelieving women.
Displaying photographic art doesn’t have to mean sticking it in a frame and hanging it on the wall. Two friends of mine in Singapore, photographer Ernest Goh and designer Daniel Pillai, have blended photographic art and functional furniture in the BEAM Nightlight - a soft illuminating lamp that contains a piece of medium format transparency film.
Switch on the lamp and it lights up, well, an image of light itself. Every piece of film has an image of lights that have been shot at night: street lights, shop signs, traffic lights and others. No two pieces of film are the same, so no two BEAM Nightlights are identical either.
Looks like the convergence bug bit someone in the USB hub community. It's too soon to tell, as the first shipments aren't expected until mid-July, but so far being optimistic about a full recovery seems pretty futile.
Obviously not content with creating a simple hub that adds another 4 USB 2.0 ports to a computer, the infected individual responsible for the Letter Opener USB Hub Clock ($15) went ahead and stuck an alarm clock on it. But the madness doesn't stop there. Oh no. Proof of the poor soul's weakened condition is that electronic letter opener jammed right there below the clock.
It's worse than I thought. Merging old technology with (relatively) new technology? It's like putting storage space for rolls of film on a memory card reader!
Sega is at it again, making cute robot animals for us to play with instead of working. Part iDog and iFish, Mio is a breed apart, with sensors everywhere — under the chin, behind its ears, in the small of its back — and loves to be scratched, letting you know by wagging it's tail and flashing icons across its pink eyes. (A heart for when it's happy, a bone for when it's hungry, etc.)
These "LCD eyes" display his mood; apparently having Mio bite the owner was scratched from the drawing board.
Available Oct 6th from Sega Toys, no word on pricing.
Via Akihabara News.
I love tech toys, quite clearly (I haven't let go of the iPhone since last Friday), but very rarely are they simple. Even with my resistance to instructions, I usually have to dig out the manual once or twice, and even then, many functions remain mysteries forever. Not so with the the U-mate dot creator, a tiny gadget with a 16 x 16 ultra mini screen, which does just one thing- lets you jot little pixel drawings. A push of the "animate button" will give your drawing life (well, you know, make it look like a foot is moving, or something along those lines). I had something sort of like this many years ago, only it was huge, and I spent many hours drawing unindentifiable, moving images and it was so much fun. Yes, you can get simple programs like this for your PDA or cell phone, but then it's a diversion for the the real things you're supposed to be doing on the phone- the whole point of the U-mate is to have fun. No manual necessary.
U-mate dot creator is available only in Japan, but can be ordered worldwide, for $35, from Audiocubes.
Unlike City Search or the Yahoo! or Google versions, Yelp has now turned into a social network, with Yelpers arranging to get together to try new restaurants (36% of all reviews are about restaurants), advising newcomers to a city on places to see, clubs to join, upcomming community work...."Hey, we're working on the food kitchen on 46th this weekend...anyone wanna come help out?"
Stephanie Ichinose, Director of Communications, marvels, "We've become much more than a local resource -- we've tapped into a community's voice!"
Adds Russ Williamson, the Marketing Director for NYC, with a laugh, "But we are NOT a dating site!" though they are not blind to the fact that locals with similiar interests are getting together.
City dwellers are getting to know each other through their reviews. As Russ points out, "There are personalities behind each review -- you hear the tone and start identifying with people behind the reviews. Then you trust their judgement."
Which brings up the question of spamming and companies trying to do their own grass-roots marketing. Even with thousands of reviews a day, Stephanie and Russ agree that their "controls" in place are working, and since the community "takes ownership of the site," they are very good at sniffing out false posts.
No surprise to us here at Popgadget, but women were the early adapotors of Yelp. The founders found women to be "more adventuresome, social and active." Now the demographic is more 50/50 .
Pepsi has launched its newest diet cola variation: Diet Pepsi MAX. Sure to give you a boost, this DP adds extra caffeine and Ginseng to give you more bang for your buck... literally! Long known for it’s higher-than-most-colas caffeine content, Mountain Dew may have some competition (well, not really since Pepsi owns Mountain Dew... oh, never mind... you get the point).
What may be more interesting, though, is Pepsi’s ad campaign surrounding the new product. It’s website, www.WakeUpPeople.com, features a 'Yawn-a-Thon’ that tracks yawns, shares photos of yawns, provides yawn prevention tips, etc. Pepsi also commissioned a yawn study in conjunction with the launch of the new beverage that’s full of interesting facts, such as:
- 84 percent of Americans experience a daily 'afternoon slump.'
- More than half of respondents admit to yawning up to five times a day.
So. You've got your iPhone and you've got your favorite movies on DVD. Now what? How do you bring the two together?
Innovative Solutions has got . . . well, an innovative solution for you. It's a piece of software called DVD to iPhone and it takes all manners of video content (DVDs, home movies, whatever you downloaded from the Internet, etc.), works some sort of "cyberspeed technology" voodoo magic on it, and gets it all nice and pretty for optimized viewing on the iPhone.
The best part? It takes just two clicks. Well, four clicks really because you have to head over to dvdtoiphone.com first and download the free trial, but let's not split hairs.
The full version of DVD to iPhone is available at an introductory rate of $30 and, ironically, is not Mac-compatible.
Via Gadgets on the Go.
I am a big fan of cardboard boxes; maybe because I'm often moving from one place to another and there is always a time span where I'm forced to live out of boxes. I have gotten so used to keeping belongings stored in cardboard boxes that some of them still haven’t found another placing in the apartment after two years … and at this point I doubt they will ever be taken out since I am about to move again.
Unfortunately, MeBox boxes aren't very suitable for moving purposes, but once everything safely reaches its destination , they would come in very handy. Besides, they look great!
The grid of perforated discs at the end of each box allows for creative labeling and lots of fun during the process; press the discs out to create your pattern, text, image, etc. Inner colored lining will reveal the given “label.”
MeBox has been designed by London based Graphic Thought Facilities; all boxes are flat packed, easy to assemble and come in different silk-screened colors.
For a list of UK and US distributors check their site under MeBox Stockists.
Are cupcakes out of fashion yet? I don't think so, but I love cupcakes so much, I wouldn't know if they'd fallen out of favor in the world of food trends or not. I'm one of those silly people you've seen standing in line at New York's Magnola Bakery just to get a dozen Easter egg colored cupcakes to take home for the weekend (if anyone knows of a good cupcake bakery in D.C., let me know because I've been looking and looking, and I haven't found one).
Cupcakes are so wonderfully retro and American and pedestrian. And in that spirit comes the Jelio Birthday Table, a table made of Polyurethane with a glass top, and shaped like a cupcake wrapper in honor of our moms who made us cupcakes when we were little (though my mom didn't make cupcakes, there was no such thing as baking where she came from). The irony here is that the cupcake table, which comes in a variety of colors just like real cupcake wrappers, costs $900.
I don't know why, but humans seem to be drawn to things that are shaped like eggs. These egg-shaped, egg-sized LED lights, called "Feeling Egg" are waterproof so you can take a bath with them, or decorate the kitchen with them. Available in egg carton packages of 4 (red, blue, green and orange) for $59.00 at the CScout Japan online store.
Via Kitchen Contraptions.
More on egg-shaped gadgets:
Sunny-side up egg for stress relief
Bathroom egg scale: Viceversa
The Eggulator: counting your chickens before they hatch
Egg Whiskey Timer
Quick Egg Boiler: Microwave
Grobag Egg Room Thermometer
I find nutcrackers to be among those utensils that more often than not suffer from a cool, yet not really successful design. Like some of those complicated corkscrews where you actually need to read the instructions to figure out how to operate them, after which you still can’t get the cork out of the bottle (at least in my experience).
This cool-looking nutcracker from nice2have, though, seems fairly easy and fun to use. The stainless steal bottom part is surrounded with non-slip rubber to avoid damaging your furniture, and the ribbed metal fitting placed on the inside of the top part ensures successful nut-cracking by lightly tapping on the rubber dome.
Available for € 29.00.
Oakley, known for it's quality sunglasses modeled by hunky Volleyball players, just launched a new high-end polarized sunglass line, NANOWIRE which in English means they weigh nothing and they adapt to fit. Using a ultra-lightweight titanium alloy -- a "memory metal"-- also means they can take a beating and still fit back into shape.
In the interests of science, I took a pair out for a test drive. The polarized lenses feature Oakley’s High Definition Optics (HDO ) which account for the great vision from all angles, with no distortion. Even when staring at the ocean, there was no glare and colors were true.
Plutonite lens material filters out 100% of all UV up to 400nm, and the co-called Unobtainium frame components increase grip with perspiration, plus the new permanent "Hydrophobic" lens coating resists smudges and repels water, oils and dust (I thought it meant they were afraid of water.)
Designated as NANOWIRE 1.0, NANOWIRE 2.0 and NANOWIRE 3.0, the new designs feature various lens shapes and frame/lens color combinations, but don't come cheap at $300 a pop.
But after wearing them for a day, it would be hard to go back to my old sunglasses.
Buy them online at Oakley.
If your birthday is coming up and you find yourself unwrapping one of these Crazy Cat Lady figurines, we here at Popgadget apologize for being the catalyst of your feline-addict intervention.
Your friends and loved ones aren't suggesting that this disheveled woman with cats coming out of her pockets and hair is you. And none of the six free-standing cats included in the £9.95 set are supposed to be exact replicas of your precious Princess, Fluffy, Tiara, Whiskers, Princess II, or Snowball either.
But, um, maybe it's time to reconsider that cat theme you've got going in your apartment, at work, and in your closet.
Via Coolest Gadgets.
Many devices may be going wireless or Bluetooth, but you almost always still need an electrical outlet to keep them powered up and chugging along. Not to mention the fact that you may have more electronic devices to plug in, than enough outlets to safely plug them all into.
So I can appreciate the simplicity of Eubiq, an electrical power outlet solution that provides an electricity-supplying track and separate power point plugs that can be jacked into the track wherever and whenever you need them. Once a room’s been fitted out with these power tracks, it’s just a matter of inserting the plugs anywhere along the track with a simple insert-and-twist motion.
Ahh! This bottle opener is incredible! I had to be restrained from taking it to the supermarket and opening bottles of wine when the staff weren't looking. It's actually really fun to use. You can't really call it a corkscrew, as there's no actual screwing involved. Instead, Cork Pops uses a needle to pierce though the cork, where you then press a button to inject a short burst of gas/air/something which in turn uses a scientific thing called 'pressure' to push the cork out from below. Pop! What's more it comes with a built-in foil cutter so you don't have to bother with all that nonsense beforehand either. Pop pop! I'm off to the supermarket!
Oh, Cork Pops is available from Prezzybox and costs £18.95 ($30).
And you thought you'd never be able to find the perfect gift for that special canned-food fanatic in your life!
Brando's 5-in-1 reader and USB hub combo puts an end to your search by encasing a three-port USB hub and memory card reader that supports memory sticks, xD, SD, miniSD, and microSD (without adapter) cards in what I believe is a Vienna sausage can.
Yours to give away and make someone's day for just $17.