If you're back-to-school or simply in the mood to make some new purchases you'll enjoy this J.Crew leather laptop bag. With plenty of pockets to spare (3 interior snap pockets and back wall pocket), the bag features a removable leather strap with lobster closures, leather handle, antiqued brass-finish hardware, detachable exterior ID tag, and lovely printed cotton quilted lining. Your laptop will fit snugly inside, secured by interior elastic bands.
At $295, this bag is definitely an investment, but as you carry it down the path to work or to your classes, your inner professor will be sensed by the people passing by. By the way, when exactly are your office hours?
Price: $295 at JCrew.com.
Do you ever stain your dark clothes with deodorant as you're getting dressed, and then have to change because that stain just doesn't want to come off? My favorite online personal shopper, SheFinds, offers this quick solution for deodorant stains: Gal Pal Garment Deodorant Remover. You simply wipe the stain gently with the pink sponge, which is reusable.
Buy a package of two for $10 at Amazon.
The iStraw is a lightweight polycarbonate straw fitted with a special membrane, which uses micro-filtration technology to clean your water. If you've tried chlorine tablets, you know how icky the taste can be, and with the iStraw there's no aftertaste. The company sent one for me to try out so I can attest that the water tastes great (well, as well as tap water can.)
iStraw is handy for personal use to help protect you from waterborne bacteria and protozoa that may be present in drinking water -- whether you're backpacking, camping, sightseeing,or just sipping cocktails in a foreign country. By filtering up to 500 litres of water, it will be some time before you have to change the cartridge.
£19.99 at iStraw and yes, they accept PayPal.
Don't leave home without it.
Don't judge by appearance alone, this little gadget features a 350K pixel CMOS sensor (VGA), 360 degree rotation (able to rest at any angle), adjustable lens for picture focusing, built-in microphone, 4 white LEDs for light/mood-setting, a Snap Shot trigger button, LED brightness button, Video Conferencing capability (working on MSN, Skype, ICQ etc.)
Nowhere in any of these features can I possibly explain the reason for the Big Foot design. But, it's fun, chatter-inducing for your coworkers, and well, it might be a great way to make a personal statement.
Price: $22 at Funusb.com
Please excuse me while I double-check the locks on my door. Because if I turn around and see one of these terrifying plush toy heads that have real binoculars for eyes staring back at me, I will let out a blood-curdling scream. I kid you not. I am freaked out by these things.
It's just wrong and sick on so many levels, kind of like those horror movies that feature Santa Claus and porcelain dollies as axe murderers. Way to turn pleasant childhood memories into nightmares, Hollywood. Thanks.
Pricing for these novelty binoculars is available only through suppliers (and I'm not crazy enough to give the demonic stuffed animals my address!).
Via Nerd Approved.
Bird feeding fish, via Spluch.
Aeolian Ride, from we-make-money-not-art.
This isn't just a gratuituous cute photo of an otter; we do have an excuse -- OtterBox, which makes the indestructible cases for your electronics -- is donating some of their sales proceeds throughout the year to saving the endangered species, which is all the more reason to buy one of their cases. (Click on the Monterey Acquarium logo at the bottom of their page to donate or read the press release here.)
They just announced a fully-interactive case for the BlackBerry 8800 which, like almost all of their models, is a moisture, dust, drops and crush-proof case.
I'm excited about the new iPhone case which will retail for $49.99 and go on sale next month. I'll be testing it for Popgadget readers, but I don't think I can manage to drop my iPhone - that is, on purpose. I'll take their word for it. (Drop and Shock: MIL-STD 810F, 36” to plywood on concrete.)
OtterBox cases are available at Amazon.
Glass bottom boat? Pish posh. There’s something better than just a clear bottom... how about an entire boat that’s see-thru?
While not big enough to accommodate Kathie Lee Gifford flitting about in and around the swarms of shuffleboard players, the transparent canoe available from Hammacher Schlemmer lets you enjoy all that the underwater world has to see. Enjoy the beauty of the submerged landscapes formed by exotic plants, rocks and corals. Or, watch the fascinating rituals of fish and other aquatic life without ever leaving your boat. Also aids in keeping watch for sharks, piranhas, electric eels, and such.
Its aluminum frame makes it very light and very transportable and its wide construction makes it more stable and better balanced.
If you balk at the $1,600 price tag, you can opt for the cheaper Inflatable & Clear Bottom 2-Person Kayak for $499 from Amazon.
I like the waxy smell of a freshly opened box of crayons just as much as the next person, but you have to really love it to buy a one-ounce bottle of crayon cologne. Yes, cologne. That smells like crayons.
If the idea of being associated with burnt sienna and brick red isn't exactly what you were going for when you walked out of that business meeting, you can always douse yourself in the intoxicating scent of glue, spritz on some fresh dirt, or pack on the Play-Doh.
I mean, for just $18.99 each, why not?
Via Coolest Gadgets.
We've reported on iRobot's Roombas before. But, today the 560 Roomba arrives on Amazon. The sleek black and silver model has a number of enhanced features: new extension brushes, better filters, increased suction power.
The 560 Roomba also boasts "anti-tangle technology." Whoa! that's a new term I've just added to my "writer's block" notebook. Anti-tangle technology is in fact a very fancy way of explaining that this new Roomba can tell when it runs into a cord or carpet fringe -- it backs up in the opposite direction to move around and away from the hazard.
Like previous models, 560 Roomba uses built-in cliff sensors to avoid stairs and other treacherous drop-offs. There's also the added benefit of its Virtual Wall Lighthouse system (two included with the unit), which allows the user to set up invisible barriers with infrared beams. The unit detects the beam and will not cross it. Good Roomba.
I know this Rubik's Cube table, from nostalgia shop Jellio, is supposed to spark warm childhood memories, but for me, it provokes thoughts of violence. I hate puzzles of all kinds and consider them a waste of time, but once in a while, I'll get drawn in by a game, and then I can't stop until I solve the puzzle or I smash it to bits with a hammer (as happened once with a Rubik's Cube in my hands many years ago). At least this table doesn't have actual moving parts.
Via Apartment Therapy.
As temperatures are now dipping into the wee 90s, we're putting together our plans for the winter holidays. We have a number of exciting opportunities for tech companies to promote and sell their new products in our gift guides as well as promotions and sales in partnership with a major retailer. If you have new products coming out this fall or just before the holiday season that you'd like us to consider, contact Mia at firstname.lastname@example.org. In particular, we're looking for lightweight laptops, digital cameras, portable GPS devices, and small MP3 players, as well as accessories, and even great novelty gadgets. Great opportunity for big companies wanting to reach out to women, and smaller companies wanting to make a big splash for the holidays. This is going to be HUGE, and we want the best products to be a part of it so please let us know about your upcoming holiday releases.
Forget about that "splash" of milk or "touch" of cream. Beginning at the end of September, you'll be able to get exactly what you want by color-matching your coffee and tea with the MyCuppa Mugs ($15) instead.
Sennheiser calls their new wireless headset "Business Class." After using it for a week, I'd upgrade it to "First Class."
What's so great about it? There's little or no noise pollution, meaning you can hear every word of a conversation. The engineers at the company call it "Proprietary Adaptive Intelligence." Even when you change envirornments (i.e, from your office phone to your cell), the 900 adjusts for the acoustics. (There's a button that allows you to toggle between phones.)
It's got a 100 meter range and also works with smart phones, and of course it's compatible with all voice-enabled Bluetooth devices like PDAs and even VoIP-enabled computers or laptops.
Because it's far too cumbersome to carry around an actual portable stereo or speaker system, the Woodland iPod Ice Chest Cooler is a must-have for every picnic, trip to the beach, or backyard barbecue.
The soft insulated cooler is only 11" x 8" x 9" when fully open, but it's got an AM/FM radio, built-in battery-powered speakers with a line-in cable for connecting an iPod (or anything with a standard headphone jack), and even a dedicated pouch for carrying said device. Oh, and there's enough room for 12 cans of soda too.
Available now for $50.
Every day there are new iPod covers and skins appearing on the market, but the coolest iPod Flip Covers we've scoped out for you this week are designed by Gerbera Designs and her sewing machine named Sally.
Themes include: Arbor Tree, Puppy Love, Ruler, Skull Love, Hounds tooth, In Love, Rainbow Hearts, Skulls, Black Mod Dots, Los Muertos, Sushi, Mod Dots and Tatoos.
Well -designed, funky, and original (you can't snap one up at the Apple store), each of these iPod cases makes an awesome statement. Satisfy your pragmatic-self, covers are all made with reinforced fabric, foam padding and a clear plastic casing. Carefully thought-out, each has an opening for a mic port, charging opening and velcro closure.
The downside? You have to be a patient iPod owner as each case is custom made to order by the artist and may take 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Price: $25 (for a custom made!) at Shanalogic.com.
If you're a dog owner, hopefully you've invested in getting your pooch chipped just in case they get lost. The next best thing to do is to invest in a Dog-e-Tag. No larger than the tag you had engraved (limited 4-5 lines of informarion) at a pet store, this tag is 1 3/8 inches (36mm) around, weighs 3/4 of an ounce (21g) and is worn in a similar fashion to a common metal tag.
The best feature is that you can store up to 40 lines of information, and a large quantity of data such as cell phone numbers, pager numbers, e-mail addresses, county license numbers, rabies vaccine numbers, veterinary and neighbor contacts, etc.
But if you've ever lost your dog, you know that more data can help your pooch's situation and calm them down with familiar feelings and feedings. Dog-e-Tag lets you create messages such as: "I like my tummy rubbed," "I can't hear, I'm deaf," "I am 9 years old and I can't see very well," "My mom works late so e-mail her at this address," "I get scared by strangers and sometimes bite," or "I'll need you to cuddle me, because I'm scared."
If Andreas Zachariah's Carbon Hero personal carbon calculator becomes popular, there'll be no excuse for anyone not to know their carbon footprint anymore. The keychain-sized device tracks a user's movements through a signal and uses the information to identify the person's likely transport modes and hence his or her carbon footprint. Although it is currently configured to work only in the UK, it's not limited to calculating just transportation on foot or in a car -- it also incorporates information for 1,000 airports worldwide.
Once Carbon Hero starts recording the data, it can be downloaded at any time to a cell phone or PC. Then you can calculate how much carbon you've used and the amount of credits that need to be purchased to offset the amount used. Talk about getting immediate feedback on exactly how carbon-friendly one's movements have been for the day ...
If you've ever lost your data, you know the mantra by heart. Back it up. I have a relatively low-tech home, no sexy servers pumping out that sweet ambient lullaby we all know so well. I'm able to survive without servers because I keep my data backed up, and the new Seagate FreeAgent Go portable hard drive is a great buy for anyone who doesn't keep a server in their home.
Well-designed, and Mac and Windows compatible, FreeAgent Go is lightweight (6 oz) and small (4x5 inches, less than 1 in think). It comes in three sizes (80, 120, and 160 GB). Simple to use, there are two USB connectors (data transfer and power-sharing from your computer).
If you haven't had that moment where your motherboard forsakes you, FreeAgent Go gives you a great excuse to start practicing wise technique.
Price: 89.99 for the 80GB model at Amazon (Amazon carries other sizes as well).
A few months ago, after a lunch meeting with some folks from Microsoft to preview Windows Mobile 6, our esteemed editor-in-chief, Mia, and I went on a midtown Manhattan shopping stint. During this little trek, Mia introduced me to Missha, a Korean retailer of skin care products that focuses on high quality products without the high cost of extravagant packaging or advertising factored in. While there, I pick up a new product, a pomegranate body cleanser, as I was intrigued by its purported anti-oxidant properties.
That’s when it all began. My new found obsession with pomegranate body washes started that very day. I don’t know why. I don’t know where. I just know that I decided I had to search out and test them all.
What do you call an electronic toy puppy that grows to full size and learns your name, its own name, and various activities? Why, Puppy Grows & Knows Your Name, of course!
Despite the shortage of creativity in the naming department, this plush pooch by Fisher-Price honestly grows (from unknown to unknown dimensions) within a week and can be personalized using the supplied software. What's even freakier is that once the dog is full grown, it can be "reset" to puppyhood over and over again.
Not the best toy to teach a child the natural cycle of life, but pretty nifty for just $50.
Via Shiny Shiny.
So genius, so simple, and . . . so wrong. Masquerading as an old-fashioned corded phone, this thing is actually a motion detector and surveillance device. It detects when someone is in the room, and then calls you so you can listen in. So what's wrong with it?
Well, wouldn't it immediately provoke suspicion except in the most low tech homes - where the occupants are less likely to be setting up surveillance devices in the first place? How many people do you know who still have corded landline phones in plain view? (I keep one in the closet for emergencies in case there's an electrical outage.) And what if the person you're spying on, in a fit of nostalgia, decides to make a call on it?
Oh yeah, also it's wrong to spy on people.
Since I won’t cop to watching the annoyingness that is any Back to the Future movie, I have to admit to what is perhaps a greater evil… which is having spent a significant portion of my free time last week watching most of the just-released DVD set of season two of Dynasty. Either way, I’d be guilty of something described by using the phrases “cheesy” and “80s” in the same sentence.
What does scream “80s”, but maybe not so much “cheesy” is the car featured in both Back to the Future and in Dynasty’s season two, the DeLorean, complete with gull-wing doors and brushed stainless steel body.
And I’m expounding on this why? Because the DeLorean is back! Actually, in the mind of some enthusiasts, they have never gone away. But, now there really is a second coming. DeLorean Motor Car (DMC) is gearing up for a new production run of the unique automobile with initial availability expected in Q1 of 2008. DMC’s website shows immediate availability for rebuilt DeLoreans on a made-to-order basis. But 2008 looks like it will usher in a whole new era, including updated interiors and better engines. Estimated price? $57,500. Mad scientist and geeky kid (Back to the Future) or evil, scheming, man-whore psychiatrist with a hidden agenda (Dynasty) not included.
A popular school uniform company in the UK is considering adding satellite tracking devices to its clothing so parents will know where their children are. As a parent, I applaud the idea, but realistically, what teenager is going to wear GPS clothing, never mind the fact that most kids don't want to wear uniforms to begin with.
Trutex reports that 59 per cent of the parents they interviewed would buy the uniforms, but there's no word on pricing or a tentative release date.
Now if they would just develop a small GPS transmitter we could slip into our children's backpack, then we'd be in business.
I'm not very good at keeping world timezones straight and I'm always triple-checking the World Time Server to make sure it's not too late to call London or too early to call New York. Sometimes I wish I could have several clocks mounted on the wall.
The Knowhere Clock takes care of all that with one simple clock-face and multiple hands. I can imagine the clock-face would take some getting used to, seeing as it has 24 hours mapped out clockwise (with midnight marked at the usual "12" position and noon at the usual "6" position). But that also makes it really easy to figure out if the timezone you're thinking of is "ahead" or "behind" you in time.
After a week or two of sporadic rain and sudden downpours in New York, I went in search of a more decent umbrella. As fate would have it, I stumbled upon the smartest umbrella on the market, the Weather Forecasting Umbrella. Seriously. It's a smart umbrella that provides visual weather-warning cues and also features a dual-canopy design to help it be gust-resistant.
What I love is that the base of the umbrella illuminates to alert the user to approaching inclement weather. The handle has a built-in radio receiver that allows it to receive weather data for 150 U.S. locations from Accuweather.com. Efficient and effective, the information interface operates on a proprietary wireless network, keeping it safely protected from interference from other wireless devices.
I wasn't even sure what this did at first; all I knew is that I wanted one. This heavy-duty knob is called the PowerMate, a volume knob and programmable controller for your computer. You can use it to edit home movies or scroll through long documents or create your next audio masterpiece. Since it’s an assignable controller, you can program it to do anything you want, in any application. Customize it. Program it to execute any key command, in any application. It even comes preset to work with iMovie, FinalCut Pro and GarageBand right out of the box.
Um, why would anyone want to step on a frog to crush a can?
I mean, I don't like frogs either (even moderately cute ones like this long-legged green guy), but what does animal cruelty have to do with recycling? Forget it. I don't want to know.
But if you do, head over to the Cataloger website with $23 to pick one up.
Via Plastic Bamboo.
Aerogel, via Cool Hunting.
Apple lovers and haters and fans of Fake Steve Jobs will all want to pre-order Daniel Lyon's upcoming book "Options." The book's munched-up apple core cover leads us to believe that what's inside is nothing short of laugh-inducing.
Scrapping about in search of a publisher for this book is what was partly responsible for leaving the revealing traces that identified Daniel Lyons to the media. According to the New York Times, "'Options' is a well-plotted satire that imagines Apple’s chief executive grappling with his real-life stock option backdating troubles and getting help, and bad advice, from friends like Larry Ellison, Bono and Al Gore."
We predict that this book will be fall's must-read and if you love Apple, hate Apple, love Jobs, hate Jobs, own anything from the once-bitten empire you'll enjoy this immensely.
Price: $15.61 at Amazon.
Yes, I have a thing for the look and feel of cassette tapes. Blame it on the fact that I grew up in the '80s, before the flimsy CD took centerstage, and still fondly remember the mix tapes that used to circulate among friends (though perhaps not so much all the music that was on those tapes).
The USB Mix Tape Drive comes pretty close to replicating the feel of ye olde cassette tape with its size and no-frills design. It's only when it's flipped open that it turns out to be, well, a USB drive (size not advertised). Nevertheless, it's great for giving the gift of a music compilation to friends, ...
... which perhaps they'll then be inspired to play on a cardboard mini-boombox.
I officially declare this Lotus Table Lamp as the most beautiful lighting fixture I have ever seen in my life.
My husband and I have a pair of Japanese paper lamps in our living room, which we thought were quite lovely when we bought them last year, and now I can only look at them with complete scorn. I want them to break. I want them to disappear. I want them to be these lotus lamps! (Do you think the "petals" are a nightmare to clean? Say yes and my current lamps will live.)
If an iPhone isn't in your future and you're already a fan of RAZR for it's compact design, you're going to really love the MOTORAZR2. The distinct stainless steel structure is slimmer than the original and the new models make faster connections and feature bigger, more brilliant screens (2'2 with 65k-262k colors ).
The three new models come in three colors with a few major differences
Earbud envy (you love portable video & audio), The V8 Dark Pearl Gray: 500 Mhz, 262k colors, great battery, multi-image capture, video streaming length 2 hrs, up to 1,000 songs, blogging, full HTML browser: Opera 8.5 upload & download service for images & video, and messaging and synchronization.
Zen mastered (you're unencumbered), The V9M Espresso: 225 Mhz, 65k colors, good battery, 2.0 MP fixed focus image capture, limited memory for video length, and no blogging.
When I was a child -- admittedly that was a long time ago -- back to school supplies meant new pencils and maybe a new binder. Now, there are so many useful and cool gadgets that it almost makes me wish I were in college again.
No longer a luxury, most gadgets make school easier and help your student make the grade(s).
In fact, according to a January 2002 survey conducted by Ipsos-NPD Canada, 9 out of 10 parents believe that having a computer with Internet access had a positive impact on their child's learning ability. Moreover, 78 per cent believed this technology improved the quality of their child's homework.
In a study by Best Buy of the items incoming college freshmen considered essential, students ranked cell phones (83 percent) and laptop computers (66 percent) as nearly as crucial as traditional school supplies like notepads, calculators and pencils (88 percent).
From iPod-wired Jansport backpacks, to the FLY Fusion pentop computer, which digitizes your homework, to compact translators for Spanish class, not to mention all the new smart phones, PDAs, laptops, software, and MP3 players, it's a surprise that as parents we're not broke and children aren't emailing their assignments and attending classes via webcams.
Check out the must-haves for this fall season:
We've featured a couple of folding bikes in the past, but this one is my new favorite. I'm a fan of the folding bike in concept, because it makes commuting to work or (for those of us still getting in shape) commuting halfway to work more possible. Folding bikes often sacrifice comfort and style for compact-design (e.g. Mobikey or A-Bike). On these funky wheels, you find yourself pedaling awkwardly, because the bikes themselves just don't "feel right."
The Lite Ride bike is a 20" wheeled aluminum alloy framed folding bike. It features a six speed Shimano indexed gear system, Prowheel crank and fabulous folding pedals. The bike can be adjusted to accomodate riders between 4' 9" tall to 6' 6" tall and up to 245 lbs. Weighing in at 24.6 lbs, Lite Bike is heavier than the 12lb A-bike, but the tradeoff for the smooth and familiar ride is well worth the extra pounds.
I am completely inept at building anything but a long stick . . . I mean, skyscraper . . . with Lego.
That's why I really like this official Lego Ice Brick Tray. Assuming that the ten "bricks" that each silicone tray makes can't be snapped together and all anyone can do is to throw them into a glass, the dishwasher-safe tray completely levels the playing field. For just $7.99, the Lego Challenged and the Lego Elite can become equals.
Unless someone gets fancy and freezes apple juice or soda, that is.
It looks like a melon-esque teapot, but acts like a juicer. Designed by Cuban Luis Ramirez, the Tropics ceramics set consists of a pitcher with a lid that can be flipped over to double up as a squeezer.
The squeezer is the perfect size for squeezing oranges, lemons or grapefruits, and designed so that the juice trickles neatly down into the pitcher. No mess, no fuss --- even the fruit bits remaining on the squeezer can be quickly hidden by flipping it over to become the pitcher lid.
I don't know how I feel about robots that can recognize me and know my shopping habits. Maybe the fact that I bought twelve pairs of jeans in the last six months is a private matter.
According to a Nikkei Weekly story, these information robots are being tested by Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International at Aeon Takanohara Shopping Center in Kizugawa, Kyoto Prefecture. The robots recognize repeat customers and provide shopping guidance based on information contained in an electronic tag attached to the shopper's cell phone. The robots communicate in 1,000 different ways through voice and gesture.
I hope they're programmed to understand me when I yell, "Don't spray me with that perfume, I'm allergic!"
Okay, show of hands: who else ate corndogs for dinner last night?
I can't be the only one whose husband was in charge of dinner. Even though I'm not capable of much else either, I still had to laugh when he presented me with a plateful of microwaved appetizers from the freezer: mini corndogs, pizza rolls, and these rather lovely baby breakfast sausages wrapped in maple-infused pancakes. A far cry from a healthy, balanced meal, sure, but without it, I would've completely overlooked this 99-cent Corndog car air freshener from The Restless Mouse Company.
And then how else would you fill your entire car with that "delightfully tangy scent of mustard"?
Via Nerd Approved.
Don't you just hate it when you run out of battery power for your mobile devices? Then you need the Just Mobile® Gum Portable Power Pack. With a capacity of 2200mAh, it can charge a typical mobile phone twice to full capacity. Only 70mm in length, it's small enough so you can throw it in your handbag (or briefcase or laptop bag) and forget about it.
With Just Mobile Gum, you can yak longer on the phone, use your GPS, play your MP3 , veg out with your PSP, surf the internet on your PDA...you get the idea. It uses the standard USB port as output, so simply connect your USB sync cable and you are ready to charge. The LED indicators let you know the charge left in the device and has an ON/OFF switch for power saving.
$39.99 at Just Mobile.
This is one product I can't vouch for first hand, but I think I'm going to give it a try. I'm pretty type-A (that is to say, wacky in a neat-freak way) and I'm soley responsible for screwing up my dog Lucy. My little loved one is a rescue puppy, part pug, part terrier, part jumping bean. Yep, little Lucy is a spaz. While researching ways I can continue to help her make the best of her energy, I stumbled upon the "Q-Link."
Q-Link is a pendant worn around your neck (or your pet's neck) that helps to positively impact your biofield (subtle field that permeates and extends beyond the physical body). The Q-Link works like a "tuning fork" to help you find and live within "good energy." Yeah, it sounds hokey to me too, but there are a ton of great reviews out there (many from residents of LA), and if Q-Link can ensure more harmony and balance through it's biofield altering ways and help me out with Lucy, I'm game.
Of course, in the end, I'm probably the one who should be wearing Q-Link. Maybe a wacky over-energetic dog is just what my biofield needs.
Until Hello Kitty takes the final step toward total world domination and starts printing her own currency, this Platinum Plus Visa credit card will have to do. It's 100% real, too, so you can actually use it to buy things that aren't branded with Hello Kitty and still collect on Visa's WorldPoints rewards.
Apply now and you'll even get an exclusive Hello Kitty business card holder for free. Credit cards and business card holders? Wait, you mean Sanrio isn't just for eight-year-old girls?
Last night I found myself in attendance at CrunchGear's one-year birthday bash. I went partly because I was super curious about a few things. Like, how does a gadget blog celebrate one awesome year of publishing? What kind of crowd could a CrunchGear gig draw -- are there really gadget groupies? Lastly, in case I ever attend such an event again, what does one wear to a gadget get-together?
For the first 10 minutes I scanned the Manhattan bar where the party was being held. My observations: I spotted at least one iPhone for every three people, the phrase "web app" dominated most conversations, and editor-in-chief John Biggs or his big camera seemed to be everywhere at once.
A gathering of geeks on a Monday evening in Manhattan proved to be nothing short of another nutty experience. A distinct crowd (meet the new cool), nearly everyone had some form of geek currency to share, business cards made the rounds, and there were plenty of free hands for the free drinks (thank you!). Among the notables were a few CNET reporters, jovial and popular publicists, and some self-proclaimed "faux fans" (TechCrunch readers hoping for a Michael Arrington sighting and maybe some free swag).
If you’re going to spend some time on a fishing or boating vacation, the Key Buoy might be just the thing to give you that added peace of mind. Hang your keys on it and if they fall into the water, the buoy will be triggered, sending up an air tube that inflates automatically and rises to the surface within 30 seconds. With its cheerful orange colour, it’ll be readily visible bobbing on the water.
The Key Buoy is strong enough to rescue a weight of 4.2 oz (120 g) and is good for one use only. But that one use lasts for 40 minutes, which is plenty enough for you to get around to rescuing your keys from a watery demise!
The legendary English company, Bowers & Wilkins, known for its high-performance loudspeakers, designed this speaker system with the iPod in mind.
Using the B&W 800 series as a jumping off point, the Zeppelin incorporates the midrange and tweeter drivers in a curved profile that produces smooth response and evenly distributed sound. Bass comes from a 5-inch subwoofer located in the center and twin rear-firing ports.
The Zeppelin includes a "pebble-like mini remote" handset for volume, source select and mute control that works with iPods’ play/pause and track-selection functions.
If you're in the market for a new keyboard, the Saitek II Backlit Keyboard makes a chic choice. You have a selection of backlighting colors (purple, red, and blue) which are adjustable by a dimmer. Both the laser-etched key characters and keypad illuminate, making the board useful whatever your lighting circumstances (especially if you're a night owl like me). There are media keys for volume control, play/pause, and skip tracks, angle adjustment and extendable wrist rest (for fatigue free experiences), and the ever-friendly 104 key layout.
It's a great keyboard and light-show all in one, and what suprised me the most is that the colors didn't bother me or cause my eyes to tire. In fact, they're rather useful (especially if you're sharing the bedroom with a special someone who gets irritated with your late-night Internet carousing).
Aside from the clever writing and humorous story lines, one of the reasons The Simpsons has been on the air for over two decades (!) is because the characters never age. This blatant disregard for the aging process and the foundation of time itself is probably why something like this battery-powered Homer AM/FM Radio exists. Otherwise we'd be showing you a Maggie MP3 or Bart Blu-Ray Player.
Available now for $30 from The Simpsons Shop.
Via The Uber-Review.
I can't count how many times we've discussed pink gadgets, or just oohed and ahhed over something new and brightly colored (see two posts below), but some new research is showing that there is some scientific evidence that women prefer pink because of some evolutionary developmental differences between the sexes. Get this: women supposedly like reddish colors because in early days, they needed to be able to discern between ripe and unripe food and healthy or unhealthy faces. And men? They have a natural affinity for darker colors because they needed to spot dark-colored animals so they could kill it and bring it home to their fruit-juice pink decorated cave.
Is that why my husband just stands uncomfortably in the corner of Sephora, but if I point out the dark bottles of "MAN" products he goes running towards them?
This doesn't mean we'll stop calling out companies for assuming grown women want their computers and cell phones to be hot pink, but it's hilarious to think that the whole blue/pink separation of the genders can be traced so far back. I think I'm going to start a line of beauty products for men, in black, wooly mammoth-shaped bottles, and call it "Cro-Magnon".
Read more from Reuters.
Up till now, when decorating our home, we didn't have much choice in color of the phones (unless you went kitsch or retro). Now, thanks to Panasonic, you can get a model in bubblegum pink, cobalt blue or "Moss Green" to complement your homes’ design and décor. Three quesses what color my daughter picked. (Pictured above.)
On their web site, Panasonic boasts they offer "consumers who demand style and sophisticated design for their homes, a chic collection of 12 bold, fresh and elegant colors available in three popular cordless phone models."
The Fresh Series includes Pearl Blue, Pearl Pink, Pearl Yellow and Pearl Violet
The Bold Series includes Green, Orange, Red and Violet
The Elegant Series includes Deep Blue, Copper, Moss Green and Wine Red
If you've been wanting a DS Lite, but haven't yet taken the plunge, then you're in luck. Starting tomorrow, Nintendo is selling a special package deal, with a beautiful crimson on top, black on the bottom DS Lite, with a matching color-schemed case, and a brand-new game, Brain Age 2, for just $150, which is about $10 more than the DS Lite alone. Brain Age 2 is the sequel to the top-selling "memory trainer" and contains more puzzles and concentration games to engage your pre-frontal cortex. I don't know what that means, of course, but I can play those brain games for hours and I feel like it improves my word recall ability and visual memory.
I got a look at the hardware at GameStop the other day, and it's beautiful- gorgeous, deep red with black accents. And no guy would be embarrassed to carry this- much much nicer than the cloyingly candy-pink version that came out a while back.
Available in stores like Game Stop, starting tomorrow for $150. Also available at Amazon.
I heart Typer Shark, so I really like the idea of having this USB lamp glowing more and more brightly the faster I type. Yes, that’s all there is to it: the lamp simply turns a richer blue as the keyboard is pounded more furiously; otherwise it just sits there with its sullen cream colour.
The light uses LED bulbs so it shouldn’t suck up too much power from your computer. There are five levels of typing mastery/brightness that you can shoot for. If nothing else, the light should reassure you on those late, late nights that, er, all your keyboard-pounding is good for something? Though it’s only compatible with Windows XP or 2000, so those of us on other OSes will have to find another way to find meaning in our typing.
Whether the term "personal massager" is a euphemism for something a little less G-rated is a rather sad debate for sweet and innocent Hello Kitty to be embroiled in, wouldn't you say? That's why I think it's best for everyone to view this colorful set of palm-sized vibrating devices as a cute way to relieve workday stress. Got a knot in your shoulder? Work it out with one of these. Ms. Kitty is dressed in a full horse costume and comes with some sort of keychain attachment, so she's obviously designed for use in public places (not the private confines of a bedroom, you see).
Also available separately for $22 each, the Hello Kitty massagers in this special package come in six bright colors and can be yours for $98.
It is extremely difficult for me to not be cynical, or quite possibly just incredibly jealous about the instant success of celebrity blogs. I completely understand how blogging makes the very famous somehow more accessible, almost like another Facebook buddy, while providing insight into the minds and talents that made them famous in the first place. But almost always, author or celebrity blogs seem to be written by hired PR help, and is just a whole lot of marketing nonsense with Amazon links to their new books. Of course, you get the refreshingly insane rantings of a Roseanne Barr or Courtney Love once in a while, but that's more of a trainwreck appeal.
Are you the creative kid in your office? You know, the one with the office (umm cubicle) that people actually like visiting for meetings? If so, you'll probably be among the first to order the LivingColors lamp.
Available this September, LivingColors by Philips is a beautiful lighting solution for your office, bedroom, or living room. It's transparent bowl-like shape holds 4 LEDs, two red, one blue, and one green. You can increase, reduce, brighten, or dim each LED, producing over 16 million different colors!
Mood-changing and seduction-ready (for the hopeful and strategic romantics), the lamp is controlled by radio-frequency remote, meaning you can change settings from anywhere in the room without hassle or perfect aim. And, just in case you forget frequently, the remote itself can 'remember' the last setting that you used.
Smart light. Right?
Price: about $150 at red5.co.uk
As I am not a guitarist, I gave the new Line 6 - a company well-known by professional producers, engineers, and musicians - Toneport GX guitar gizmo to a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless except to say his nickname is "Doctor" (and not because he has a medical degree). We've all settled down a lot since those days.
He says he uses the line 6 toneworks "constantly," by connecting his guitar to the toneworks and then through his laptop which he hooked up to studio monitors. The sounds he can get are "amazing" and he reports from guitar central that "the software is simple enough for even an adult to understand." It took him 10 minutes to set it up.
The Doctor has the unit synced up with "cakewalk" software (digital recording & mixing platform) to do multi-track recording.
While at a concert a couple of weeks ago where the performer actually encouraged the audience to take out their lighters and sway them along to a slow tune, it occurred to me that everyone was holding up their cell phones. I don't think there was a single Bic, Zippo, Colibri, or even Dunhill in sight.
Using cell phones is certainly not a new trend, but it seems like there's been a slow migration from lighters and it appears the evil plot has at last come to full fruition. I was left quite saddened that the end of an era seemed to have come. However, being a technophile (and a non-smoker), I decided I must support the transition.
Thanks to a Boston-based company called Prod, all is not lost and I can have it both ways. All I have to do is open the browser on my iPhone and surf to the Rock Lighter page. It features a simple, yet ingenious, close-up of a lighter flame in action. A perfect blend of tradition and technology.
Too bad it won't work to get the charcoal grill lit.
As much as I look forward to things (number of days until Friday), I'm realizing that I spend quite a bit of time looking backwards (number of days since I cooked that delightful casserole, #of days since I watered the plants, #of days left before my vacation, number of days since I first opened that jar of salsa . . .hummmmm). Enter my new best friend, the DaysAgo counter.
DaysAgo counter can be used to track time elapsed for up to 99 days. Battery operated and available with suction for sticking to smooth plastic or glass surfaces or magnetic for snapping to metal surfaces, DaysAgo is cheap, fast, and helps me keep track of my comings and goings.
If nothing else, the modest investment will keep me from wondering if that salsa is supposed to be tangy or if it's already Salmonella-ridden.
Price: $10 for 2-pack at Howmanydaysago.com
Aww, now isn't this cute (and random)? A soft hedgehog plush named Sonic Spike that can store CDs, DVDs, Nintendo Wii games, and anything else that fits into a jewel case.
Available in two color combinations (black/grey and cream/brown) and on sale now for an oddly specific $14.36.
Via Nerd Approved.
When I was in High School, I had a little pink Vespa. If you really pushed, it could go 30 MPH so highways were out, but I was happy just to tool along on surface streets. Since then, I've had an affection for everything Vespa.
Imagine how much I want this baby -- a tricked out Vespa featuring an LCD touchscreen, WiFi internet, and Windows XP PC. No word on when --or if -- the GTS250 Vespa will be available stateside, but for more Vespa chat, check out Modern Vespa.
(We're not even going to get into the debate about checking out sites while driving in WiFi areas, but just admire the machinery.)
Or maybe it's just me.
At the moment, I have seven webpages open on my small Dell laptop, plus my Quicken program, plus Quikbooks (for business), plus my Audible account (because I was searching for a book that was nagging at me, but which I forgot the title of the instant my Audible account opened), plus Movable Type (for writing this post), photo editing software, my password keeper, and Outlook.
A few minutes ago, I remembered that there was something I needed to look up urgently, so I clicked to open another web browsing tab, waited something like 15 seconds for it (so, so slow), then . . . whoosh . . . gone. Brain meltdown.
Next, looked in the archives of Lifehacker for recommended solutions to this problem, got distracted reading the piece titled Cut your audio learning time in half (what a coinkydink!), forgot what I went to the site for . . .
One thing I've learned from the dearth of applications on the iPhone is that, despite having dozens of applications on my smartphones and PDAs throughout the years, I must not have needed them quite as much as I thought because I haven't really been missing them too much as I've transitioned to using the iPhone as my main mobile phone and PDA. I think this is primarily because the web browser is so good that I no longer need separate apps for doing things like looking up movie times or tv listings or the weather. You can just use the browser as you would at home, albeit more slowly whenever you're not in Wifi range and have to use the EDGE connection. Oh, how I hate the sight of that big "E" in the upper left corner of my iPhone. When I'm using a 3G phone, I won't even attempt to use the browser or email if there's only EDGE available. So slooowww...
Who knew CafePress was brimming with wacky, cool, and downright hilarious iPhone (and iNonsense) fashion finds? There are tees in mens, womens, kids, and even dog sizes and styles, stickers, mugs, buttons, and hoodies galore.
Here's a roundup of some of our favorite finds:
Gauntlet 1, via we-make-mone-not-art
Aggressive alarm clocks with blaring noises and obnoxious movements may be a necessity for those who sleep like the dead, and I have a feeling (from the sheer volume of Popgadget posts on screaming clocks that beat you over the head) that we've got a few of them among us. For me, sudden loud bursts of sound mean the house is on fire, a tidal wave has hit, the aliens have landed. It's not a good way to start my day.
The Peaceful Progression Wake Up Clock is much more my speed. A half hour before you have to wake up, the clock's ambient light gradually turns on, and fifteen minutes before the set time, it begins to play soft "yet lively" nature sounds. The warmth from the lamp also releases aromatherapy scents (this part I can do without - I don't want to be assaulted by flowerly fragrances first thing in the morning).
What is this? Leave your guesses in the comments.
As much as you've come to love your mobile phone, do you think you could feel the same way about a mobile home?
We're not talking about the kind of mobile home that you're eccentric uncle Walden lives in or the RV that your grandparents tour the states with. Nope, we're talking about a hi-tech, environmentally friendly, fully wired 4,507 square foot pre-fab home. As I look at my smallish New York apartment, I would gladly make the trade and become a fully mobile home gal in an instant (and, preferably in the center of Central Park).
Well under construction in an exclusive LA neighborhood, an experiment in housing construction is underway to build the first Wired LivingHome. A partnership between Wired magazine and LivingHome, this project is scheduled to debut to the public this fall.
For three weeks, public tours, charity events, and programming showcases will take place. Major sponsor BMW CleanEnergy is even providing Hydrogen 7 vehicles for transportation to and from the house. Learn more about the project and the products being used to create this spectacular next generation of housing online..
A similar project by Royal Homes Toronto is also underway here.
My poor dog, Zach, has been mostly indoors for the last couple of weeks due to the heat wave. He just loves to come everywhere with me, but I dare not leave him in the car while I run errands or even take him on long walks. We might both pass out on the sidewalk.
While this ChillyDog vest won't help me much, it might keep Zach cool enough to go around the block without panting. If I don't make it, he can drag me home and put me in front of the air conditioning vent until I come to. It's a low tech cooling device, basically just ice packs inside of a vest, but not a bad idea really, especially for working dogs who have to be outdoors at times even in this miserable weather.
$129 for ChillyDog and $99 for ChillyPup from Helping Udders (totally gratuitous cute dog pic from their site after the jump).
In a feeble effort to support the troops, Microsoft is putting out a special new brown Zune which will feature fancy Halo artwork and will come pre-loaded with artwork, trailers and music from all three Halo games.
Outside of the 300 players they handed out to a group of soldiers who recently left for active duty, these devices will be available for sale exclusively at "military retail stores."
Microsoft magnanimously is selling the Halo-Themed Zune military personnel and their families for a "discounted rate," but the discount rate is unknown. A regular Zune usually sells for $250.
Why aren't they just giving the Zunes to them you ask? That was my question too.
Via New Launches
If you love your Mac as much as I love mine, you've probably spoiled it with peripherals and invested in an array of expensive cleaning products. I thought I was a great Mac parent until today when I learned about Tucano's PJ Mac Screen Protector. Now, when I power down I can keep my Mac protected from dust, dog hair, and sunshine.
The Screen Protector looks like a dressy tee, which is just what my stylish Mac deserves. My mighty mouse has a special pocket to sleep in too.
Available for Mac G5 17".
Price: $15 at Laptopstuff.co.uk.
Fred apparently isn’t just any old bottled water.
Fred is a bottled water with a MySpace page, listing lots of friends and plenty of comments.
Fred doesn’t just have consumers – if you drink it, then you are a friend of Fred. In fact, you are a friend with benefits.
Fred has a blog. Much like any other, it’s filled with up-to-the minute pop culture, like links to puppet-show re-enactments of the newest Harry Potter book on YouTube, as well as potential actors to replace the current cast of the Potter films.
Fred sells t-shirts with taglines like "Fortified with irony." And, of course, there’s the "Friends with benefits" version.
No need to go all the way to Mars to experience living in a colony on Mars. You can live in an earthship right here on your own planet. News.com reports that these earthships, built of natural and recycled materials, and designed to maintain a consistent temperature on the inside, exist in every state in the U.S. The photo above is of an earthship near Taos, New Mexico as part of the Earthship World Community. Who knew? I feel like I've been living on another planet.
See more photos here, including a shot of a home that could have been in Anakin Skywalker's childhood neighborhood.
Steam therapy helps with pore cleansing and deep relaxation. Unless your an heiress, you probably have to take an expensive trip to a spa or fitness club for a nice steam. The portable and very affordable (about the price of a Bliss Spa treatment) Compact Sauna lets you live with a little extra special steam luxury. Its collapsible structure allows you to save space and tuck it away in a closet.
After setting the Sauna up (takes about 6 minutes) simply sit inside (you're head and arms have spaces to fit through) and relax in up to 115 degree Fahrenheit while the Sauna runs from a standard 240V power source and functions from an independent water reservoir that only needs a refill after 2-3 uses.
Paint it pink and someone will buy it.
That's what I learned during my stint with the now-defunct secret society known as Gadgets Gone Pink. The only reason I can even reveal our old passphrase is because of a spy who infiltrated our hallowed chambers and spilled our secrets to anyone who would listen.
Evidently, one such listener was The Pink Toolbox Co., who has recently "gone geek" and released the Pink PC Kit. Packaged in a reusable steel tin, the £18 kit includes a pink mousepad, pink Bluetooth USB receiver, and pink Bluetooth mouse with scroll wheel.
Be fumble free the next time someone asks for your business card. You'll see the irony in networking, as you simply flip open this clever circuit board card holder and share your corporate love. Revolve.com makes fabulous gift-ware out of recycled tech.
Our favorite line of items (out of many!) are the rescued circuit boards turned into an array of office-ware, but others include: CDs, plastic bags, juice cartons, coffee mugs, and more.
Visit Revolve to indulge in some tech tchotchke.
There's no shortage of Hello Kitty gadgets and tech around these parts, but here's something else featuring everyone's favorite mouthless feline just for good measure.
The Sanrio Hello Kitty Mail Peeping Block and Display Protect Sticker, as it happens to be called, is just like that iPod privacy screen from a few months ago, except it's for a cell phone with a 2.44" x 1.49" (or smaller) display instead.
We have a winner in our "iPhone of Hate" contest. We got hundreds and hundreds of entries, we were totally overwhelmed. There were so many awful (meaning good entries) stories, I was just taken aback. Some of my favorites: 1) getting a drug dealer's old number, complete with hysterical calls from withdrawal addled junkies at 4 am, and then getting collection notices for the dealer's $9000 phone bill; 2) ordering a single phone, and when it wasn't received, a complaint brought on a barrage of EIGHT cell phones, all charged at $550 a pop; 3) signing up for an "unlimited" data plan, only to find that the chosen phone is "ineligible" so ending up with $1200 in downloading charges.
I wish we had a hundred iPhones to give away because you all deserve one. There is so much suffering brought on by these companies, it's ridiculous. But we had to choose, and this story had all the elements I was looking for: incredulity, anguish, and finally total breakdown. The winner is....
Steve Jobs, as Leader of the Free World, well, at least Everything Apple, introduced two new iMacs at Apple's headquarters this Tuesday.
The 20-inch and 24-inch iMacs are the latest editions of Apple's all-in-one iMac design. Made from aluminum and glass, they are, in a word, stunning. Since it's made from a single sheet of aluminum, you won’t see any seams or screws except maybe for a single compartment on the bottom that provides easy access to the memory slots. The built-in iSight camera and microphone are integrated so neatly you can barely see them. Both the new keyboard and the iMac itself are thinner than the previous edition.
Most importantly, the new iMac is more powerful than ever, with a faster processor, next-generation graphics, and larger hard drives.
The base 20-inch version will cost $1,199, and a more powerful 20-inch model will only cost $1,499. At $1,799, the 24-inch model costs $200 less than the current 24-inch iMac.
Did I ever claim to have the super-human power to sniff out bad meat? Why does my mother keep putting raw meat in front of my nose and asking me whether there's "anything wrong with it?"
As soon as I possibly can, I'm getting her one of these food smelling devices. The SensorFreshQ runs on two AA batteries, and detects the freshness of meat and poultry within one minute (I can do it 2 seconds, but my accuracy may be doubtful since raw meat always smells awful to me).
As I'm not a dog owner, I find it hard to really understand this product. It's a rubber "fetch stick" for dogs, which is basically just a rubber stick. I would have thought you could just find sticks lying around anywhere, but maybe not. Maybe dogs don't have the same instincts for fetching sticks as they used to have, these days relying too much on GPS technology, resulting in thousands of lost sticks every day. If that's the case with your dog, head over to I Want One Of Those and pick up a squeaking Fetch Stick for £3.99/$8.
A little over a year ago, Nike came out with the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. The rub? only Nike+ shoes feature a built-in pocket under the insole specially engineered for the Nike+iPod sensor. So, to get the best out of the product you'd have to invest in a pretty pricey pair of Nike+ shoes.
The Shoe Pouch, designed by Grantwood Technology, allows runners and walkers alike to use the Nike+iPod Sport Kit with any type of shoe (Rebok, Keds, New Balance, and my favorite Asics). The Shoe Pouch, made of snug-fitting neoprene, matches the correct alignment of the sensor, completely covers the sensor and attaches through the laces for excellent security.
The exquisite craftsmanship of a true master. The finest materials Mother Nature has to offer. Generations of experience. All culminating in the perfect sleep experience.
Hailed as the finest mattress that can be found, the Vividus from Hästens features attention to such details as swallow-tail joints, hand measurement of the correct position of the holding dimples, side stitching of the mattress to increase stability, and hand-flailed horsehair to make sure the bed maintains its comfort and shape for a long time.
If all this sounds like it will destine you to the perfect night's sleep, you may want to check the price tag first, lest the nightmares of how to pay for it defeat any benefit the mattress may offer: $60,000!!! Since that price tag would put the bed payment somewhere in between the car payment and the mortgage payment for most folks, it’s not hard to understand why the Swedish manufacturer has only sold approximately 30 units since introducing the Vividus in the U.S. last year.
Perhaps Hästens’ flagship bed is worth almost 100 times what the average bed costs. If any Internet moguls or royals are reading, please let us know.
One last thought… I have to wonder if the Vividus comes with the ubiquitous tags that are never to be removed.
With the recent controversy regarding the Geek Squad -- that quality suffered after it was sold to Best Buy and that the "Geeks" aren't trained in anything more than the basics -- this might be a good time to look at YourTechOnline. As you've already figured out by the name, it's an an online repair service which accesses your computer and fixes problems such as viruses, spyware and adware.
First, you select a plan (you can buy time blocks for as low as 99 cents a minute) and then watch as the computer technician fixes the problem in front of you. If needed, you can explain the problem to a live tech and they can give you an estimate.
We all have our own ways to listen to music. Some of you probably love your ear buds, while others invoke a hipsters' throwback to when it was cool to carry that boom box and play it loud and proud for all to hear. On long bike rides, I do find that my ear buds slip out of my ears and their cords get in my way. On busy roads it's also hard to hear the traffic and other warning noises, but I really love my music. In search of a solution that didn't involve me mounting a boom box on my bike, I came across iHome's iH85B.
This sleek-but-rugged water and impact-resistant polycarbonate case clips to your bike frame across from where you store your water bottle. Simply dock your iPod inside the case and get moving. Control your tunes by using the wireless RF remote control conveniently mounted on your handlebars, which helps you keep focus on the road. The passive speakers provide for a full, rich sound. Whatever your destination (beach, park, pool), unclamp the case and bring your music with you.
Pedal pushers get your groove on!
Price: $99.99 at Amazon.
If you've Wii’ed out or your PS3 has lost its luster, you might want to consider trying on something old school.
Bringing back classic arcade games in classic arcade game format (namely the hooded MDF cabinet complete with joystick), the Katana from DreamAuthentics lets you game like your grandmother did. (Well, OK, not really, but you know what I mean.)
I could have used this inflatable dress/chair while walking around in sweltering NYC the other day in dress shoes which kept sticking to my heels and causing painful blisters. It's a dress which inflates (via what looks like vacuum cleaner hoses) so you can sit on it -- until it deflates, telling you it's time to get off your lazy butt and start walking again.
From - you guessed it - we-make-money-not-art, where you can check out further details of this self-sustainable chair.
Here's something for the motorcycle enthusiast whose need for speed isn't limited to the road.
Next month, SanDisk will launch a 4GB Extreme Ducati Edition USB flash drive whose reported 20MB/second write speeds have earned it the highly esteemed title of "fastest consumer drive" on the market. Fleeting as such honors may be, the $125 drive's sleek design and bundled RescuePRO Deluxe software may still be enough for it to edge out the competition.
What's not to like about these headphones? Featuring great sound reproduction which you expect from Sennheiser, they're also completly foldable into their own little case so are perfect for travel. It took me a couple of tries to get it down, but basically they're designed so the ear cups turn 90° and then fold closed. (Headphones will lock in open and closed positions.) For replaceable ear pads and headband padding, just order directly from the Sennheiser site.
The PX 100 high-resolution sound and fast bass response ( due to system "twin damping") make these the perfect match for your mobile audio. These are coming on vacation with me, so get your own for $45.83 at Amazon.
If your work station isn't 100% ergonomically correct, you probably suffer from hand and wrist pain. Purchasing an entire ergonomically correct set of office furniture is going to be pricey, so we suggest starting with a small change -- your mouse.
This mouse looks about as funny as those darn Crocs that so many people are wearing. It's awkward, lumpy, and misshapen. Let's face it, it looks like a secondhand mouse that you find in the clearance bin. But, those looks are deceiving, because this truly is a body-lovin' mouse. It's Crocs for your computer.
We think that all the managers at Gmail must be on summer vacation, or else they've all run out of real work to do, because the Gmail staffers recently announced a very clever contest to create a collaborative video.
Participation is simple: download and print the signature M-velope, record a 10 second video where someone hands the Gmail M-velope in from the left of the screen, does something, and then hands it off to the right, and then upload that video here on YouTube.
Here's a silly one from a father and daughter in Spain:
In a few easy steps you can convert your valuable vinyl into digital music. The Ion iTTUSB Turntable with USB Record is a clever compact record player that rapidly converts your old records directly into MP3 or CD formats.
The process is simple: install the recording software, connect the turntable via USB to your PC or Mac, blow the dust off your Elvis, Frank Sinatra, or, um, Cindy Lauper (no judgment!) and within minutes you'll have a new digital album to enjoy.
Stop what you're doing and listen very, very carefully. Do you hear that? It's the sound of thousands of firefighters celebrating their job security, now 100% guaranteed for life thanks to these ice cream cone lighters ($5).
Absolutely irresistible to young children who would otherwise ignore a book of matches.
Via Nerd Approved.
Disguised as a standard pair of white headphones, Frenzy and Rumble can appear on either side of your head in an instant (well, their heads, arms, and legs can, anyway). Fortunately for your brain and skull, both robots have pledged their allegiance to the Decepticons, so the possibility of a battle breaking out as they try to reach each other is incredibly unlikely.
Happy, Happy days! You loved cupcakes as a child and you love them more as an adult. Plus, there seems to be a trend afoot in cupcake-styled do-dads these days. A cute and yummy way to celebrate this delectable object of our desire and get a lot of smiles, is to bake a super-sized cupcake with Sur La Table's Wilton® Giant Cupcake Cake Pan.
Privacy please! Sometimes I just want to say that out loud to the people around me who can't seem to take their eyes off my laptop's screen. If you have a long commute or travel frequently, you probably find yourself feeling "watched." This can be a problem, especially if your work requires you to deal with sensitive corporate information. The last thing you need to do is inadvertently display information about your company's latest project to a geek blogger (they look like everyone else, but they're always on the prowl for tips).
The LapWorks Screen Shield is an efficient and space-saving way to keep your data free from wandering eyes. The Screen Shield works as a glare filter when viewed directly, it darkens significantly and becomes a privacy shield from any other angle of 30 degrees or more. Smart peel-and-stick design allows you to choose between removable and permanent placement.
Nicely done. A perfect product for my work expense account.
Price: $59.95 from Laptopdesk.net .
Doncha just hate being at the beach when your cell phone dies? If you had this heavy-duty solar beach tote which incorporates a high-tech flexible solar panel, you'd never have that problem.
Just plug your device right into the bag using your car adapter. With convenient gadget pocket for your phone or camera, you're never out of power.(The solar panel can be removed for cleaning the canvas bag.)
This September, Oral-B will revolutionize toothbrush technology with their newest addition, the Triumph with SmartGuide. This dental duo promises to be the iPhone of the toothbrush world. I swear I'm not exaggerating. I'll even bet you a trip to the dentist if I'm wrong.
A true team approach, the Triumph (the toothbrush) communicates wirelessly via a transmitter to the SmartGuide. The SmartGuide is a small battery operated LCD display that you can stick on your bathroom mirror. Basically, the SmartGuide tells you how long to brush and can be set to tell you how much time to spend in each quadrant of your mouth. If you've got sensitive teeth or gums, no worries, there are settings for sensitive cleaning, cleaning, massaging, and polishing.
The trickiest part of mastering the routine is committing the smart icon system to memory . After that, it's a breeze (well, brush really). Soon, you'll be switching between the two different brush heads, cleaning and polishing like a fiend. Just don't get too attached to your brush heads, because they actually talk to the toothbrush base and let you both know when it's time to change over to a new set.
The tech industry is definitely not in danger of ever running low on egg-shaped gadgets.
Take this Casio USB label printer, for example. Sure, it can print any TrueType font on the roll of included thermal paper, take care of all of your labeling needs, and run solely on USB power. But it's the fact that it's shaped like an egg that's supposed to make you reach for your credit card.
Available now for $29.
Thanks to the industrious Yelpers! we now know that August 7th is National Underwear Day. So in honor of this national holiday, they're saluting their skivvies and bringing you a brief list of lingerie shops that are giving people something to talk about.
Yelp! is the fun, informative, reader-generated review site which has hyper-active communities in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Seattle, Washington D.C., Austin and San Jose.
Last month they celebrated National Ice Cream day -- this month it's lingerie. So you're in the know, Panty Raid got 4 stars and this reader review:
Panty Raid carries some of the best brands - Elle Macpherson (who'da thunk she'd have such a kick-ass lingerie line?), Cosabella, Huit, Mary Green, etc. They are also sweet as can be and dog-friendly.
Other LA favorties included Faire Frou Frou and a Touch of Romance. Check out who's baring all in your city.
The great irony of our wireless devices is that they aren't totally wireless. Glance over at where you charge your peripherals. Yikes! Does it look like the wall threw up? Yeah, us too. There's a burgeoning market to help us get control of wire tangles, and while we've seen some simple, tidy, and pragmatic organizers, nothing beats designer Ora-Ito's Hub.
At first glance, The Hub looks like an elegant piece of modern desk art, which it is, but it's also a hi-tech organizer. The Hub's globe-shaped base is host to 4USB ports and 2 Firewire ports, so you can connect up to six devices simultaneously. The eight delightful flexible tentacle-like extensions that protrude from the top are actually cables (5 USB 2.0 and 3 FireWire 400). If you don't have eight devices to plug in, you can use the USB fan, USB light, a USB extension cable, an AC adapter and a FireWire 400 extension cable that are all included.
Both beauty and brilliance define this must-have find!
Price: $90 at Aplusrstore.com
I'm not sure how I feel about human-powered search engines. If I had to choose between computer-powered results full of irrelevant links and spam, and results generated by random people, I'd take my chances with the non-human option. Luckily, you don't really have to choose, since you always have Google as a fallback.
It's interesting to see how different companies are approaching this idea of human-generated search results. Whereas Mahalo, Jason Calacanis' new project, uses a submission system where the company screens each submission before acceptance and publication, iRazoo, a new search engine, offers what appears to be a much more open method for us to influence search results: we, the unruly masses, can recommend sites. And we're encouraged to do so by being awarded points that we can use to purchase goods.
As a New Yorker, I've learned that space is a commodity, and transporting items via the subway is little less than a nightmare. Meet B.I.O, the ultimate office-to-go. I met this space-saving wonder at Spring Design & Art, a favorite Brooklyn store. B.I.O saved me the hassle of hauling my office clutter across town to a new job.
Deceptive at first glance, B.I.O is a terrific 3-in-1 trick. Its flat aluminum surface actually hosts three must-have office objects: a business card holder, a 3-pen holder, and a postcard/photo/notepad holder. All items can be snapped out of the sheet and assembled in about 5 minutes.
Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Issey Miyaki . . . oh my! Have you ever wondered about the science behind your favorite fragrance? Perfume Science is interesting for gals of all ages curious about the scentology.
Perfume Science teaches novice perfumers about the biology, chemistry, and techniques behind fragrance design. You can experiment with countless fragrance combinations, and learn how your nose and olfactory system work with your brain to detect and determine smells. This kit is a wonderful mini-laboratory that includes 8 high-quality perfume oils and decorative flacons for storing your favorite creations.
Price: $50 at Amazon.
Arrgh. I get so mad at Netflix for sending me DVDs that are scratched and skip (at the best parts of the movie of course). Wouldn't it be wonderful if every piece of media we owned, rented, or borrowed were a download? Until that glorious day is upon us, it's awfully handy to keep the Xinix CD/DVD Repair Pro close by.
Repair Pro is a motorized device that can clean and repair all DC/DVD media discs (games, software, videos . . . oh my!). It boasts a success rate of 98%, eliminating the scratches which cause skipping, mosaic, freezing, and scrambled screens. The best part? No need to use a spray cleaner or any type of cleaning solution.
We love this, because it means that we can finally clean and sell that vintage Paula Abdul CD. Straight Up.
Price: $34 at Amazon.
Now that the initial excitement over the iPhone has tapered off some, I believe reality is sinking in and some iPhone converts and admirers are newly appreciating the virtues of other smartphones. Among the Popcrew who couldn't resist the iPhone when it came out last month, I would say Evan is the one most in love with her iPhone one month later (I always knew she was the least cynical of all of us).
While I've used an iPhone, I haven't yet bought one for myself. I was tempted to when I first played around with the browser, which is so far superior to that of any other phone that I've considered getting an iPhone just for web browsing (in which case, I wouldn't even bother using it as a phone). On most other phones, I'm always too impatient with the compromised functionality, slow speed, and appearance of web pages to bother with it except when I'm really desperate and nowhere near a computer. On the iPhone, you get full web pages, and can zoom in and out with a pinch of your fingers on the screen. It's lovely and so fast (who knew there were so many wi-fi hotspots all over the place?), and I never get tired of the futuristic feeling of browsing endlessly through Bluefly on it during lunch. I've even seen Mia pubish posts on Popgadget directly from her iPhone - we've never been able to do that on any other smartphone.
I got my Helio Ocean a month before the iPhone release, and while web browsing on the Helio doesn't compare to the iPhone, the Helio still comes in way ahead of other smartphones I've used. The 2.4 inch screen, with QVGA display and 260K colors, is simply beautiful (albeit much smaller than the iPhone screen), and with the click-free search feature, you can search the web by typing in your terms on your idle screen without first opening up a search box. I find that I browse a lot more often now because it doesn't take many steps to get to what I'm looking for.
Remember when we wrote about the tiny Zen Stone? The MP3 player that fills with 250 songs and can be slipped into your pocket?
Now there's a new model -- the Zen Stone Plus -- which takes 500 songs (2 GB), but is also an FM radio, with 32 station presets, PLUS there's a built-in stopwatch, countdown timer and clock, handy for workouts. PLUS, there's a microphone, but by far the best feature is the menu display so you don't have to wait until a song starts playing to skip it.
I'm a notorious sloucher. My beautiful-to-look-at chair and desk at work, along with my questionable posture, definitely contribute to my back and shoulder pain. In spite of exercise and some yoga, I still suffer occasional pain, and I'm frequently too busy to stop off for a massage. In recent weeks, Spine-Worx has become my go-to for relieving back pain.
A simple and useful device, Spine-Worx quickly and gently guides misaligned vertebrae in the mid and lower spine into their correct position, bringing relief from back pain, tension and stress. To use it, you recline on the padded ridges whose unique contours apply even pressure where needed. In as little as 10-15 minutes, tense muscles relax and stretch, helping to relieve back pain and related symptoms. Your body weight controls the applied pressure, and allows your back to conform to its natural shape. Ahhhhhh!