MEET STUART
stuart memo
editor-UK, stuart@popgadget.net
background: Scottish web nerd and musician. Graduated in Computer Science from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, before joining an international telecommunications company as a software engineer and web developer. Freelance web designer and product design student.
dream gadget: headphones that give the illusion of listening to music loudly, but in actuality are very quiet - a great way of alleviating the slight sadness I feel when thinking about what damage my iPod could be causing.

Read all the posts written to or contributed by Stuart

Stuarts' Top Ten Web Sites

Stuart's Top Ten Popgadget Featured Products

Stuart's Last Ten Popgadget Posts

08. 8.2007

Fetch Stick

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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.

07. 2.2007

Cork Pops Cork Remover

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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).

05. 9.2007

Animal bike saddle covers

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Sometimes I just stare at a product in disbelief. That's what happened a few moments ago with these animal bike saddle covers. I sat and imagined what kind of life the people who buy things like these have. I'm envious that such a silly item has the ability to make that type of person a little bit happier. I also thought of the fact that they could put this on their bike and not care whether people laughed at them on the street, or that their friends would talk about them behind their back. It makes me sad that I don't have that security. The security that would allow me to pay Vincon $12 for a dog, bear or goat saddle cover.

04. 5.2007

Cork Candles

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Cork Candles is a good idea that only slightly works. I assume most people have been somewhere that uses wine bottles as candle holders, so it does seem to be a good idea to make a wax cork designed to fit in most wine bottles. A good idea until you realise that corks don't actually sit on top of wine bottles, they're inside them. Yeah, inside, crazy huh? Anyway, the best part of using a wine bottle as a candlestick is picking bits of wax off the sides and re-melting them on the flame, which I can't imagine working particularly well on these little shorties.

Corked Candles come in packs of 8 and cost £9.99/$17.98/€14.79 from I Want One Of Those.

04. 3.2007

Wine glass flower vase

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I admit it. I don't get this at all. Usually I can come up with some very tenuous reason as to why a product has been designed a certain way, but this is just ridiculous. It's a vase that's an upside down wine glass. I mean, you could say that the solitary upturned glass represents the fact that there is no need to drink alone anymore. The vase is full of life, the flowers given to you by a loved one. If you did say that though, I'd probably think you were a complete idiot. I have therefore decided that from this day on, I'm an innovative product designer. Here's my first idea, the Hairbrush Photo Frame:

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See? Easy! If you want to find out more about the vase then go to h-concept. I don't know why you want to do that though when you could have an excellent photo frame instead.

03.27.2007

Vitel candle

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I'm not sure if Vittel mineral water is only available in Europe, but I think everyone will appreciate this item. It's a candle that is shaped exactly like a 500ml Vittel water bottle. Vittel bottles are great because they're designed to be crushed when you've finished drinking from them. You squeeze it from the top down then stick the cap back on so no air gets in to expand it back again. Anyway, don't try to crush the Vitel candle (note the one 't' to avoid legal action), you'll get in a right mess.

Vincon sell the off-white Vitel candle for €19.85 (£13.45/$26.40).

03.25.2007

Fruity Faces

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Nothing disappoints me more than seeing a great idea executed poorly. Fruity Faces are a prime example of this. They are little inflatable protective cases for carrying a piece of fruit in your bag or your kid's lunch box. Simply stick an apple into the shell, then blow it up like a beach ball. Your golden delicious will then be travelling in as much air-cushioned comfort as you do in your Nike Air trainers. Sounds great, huh? Well, here comes the bad part. The Fruity Faces people have decided to take this idea and ruin it by sticking really bad novelty faces on them. Now, I don't claim to know what kids like these days, but I do hope it's not faces such as these. Otherwise, there is no hope for the future of this planet. No hope whatsoever.

Fruity Faces cost £3.99 each and are only available in the UK at the moment.

03.13.2007

Animal bookmarks

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When it's time to stop reading, I usually grab the nearest flat object that's lying around to use as a bookmark: a train ticket, beer mat, Kraft cheese slice, almost anything will do. My books have been starting to smell a bit though, so I should probably invest in one of these animal bookmarks. An animal bookmark clips onto the front cover of your chosen reading material, allowing you to jam the animal's long tail between your desired pages to keep your place. I'm afraid they're only available in Japan at the moment though. Anyway, I've just realized that I shouldn't buy one of these anyway - I don't like animals, so why would I want an animal bookmark? That's not strictly true, I like pandas, hedgehogs and squirrels. That's it though. The bookmarks available include cats, dogs, giraffes, monkeys, crocodiles, pigs and sheep. No pandas, no hedgehogs, no squirrels.

03. 6.2007

Magnetic rock key hider

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"We were at the beach, everybody had matching towels. Somebody went under a dock, and there they saw a rock. It wasn't a rock, it was a magnetic rock key hider" -- is what, I believe, the lyrics to the B-52's song are. Quite apt for this product I think. The rock key hider is designed to hide your spare house key in your garden without its location being blatantly obvious to anyone else. What's more, it protects your precious key from the unpredictable ferocity of the elements. It's a funny looking rock if you ask me though. I don't know what your garden looks like, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't look like it's infested by some sort of exotic venomous toad.

Available now for £4.75/$9.15 from Vincon.

03. 2.2007

Sony NW-A800 video music player

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"Music's important, so watch what you listen to" is the slogan Sony has chosen for their new NW-A800 video music player. I can't begin to explain the number of ways that annoys me. I can see why it was chosen; a little bit of word play, a little bit of power given to the significance of music in order to give you a tiny psychological boost toward a purchase. I can see the smile on the faces of executives as they "get it." "Ahhhh, watch what you listen to! Brilliant! Because it's a video and a music player." That aside, I do have to say that I do like the look of the new player a lot. Especially the landscape video mode, even if it is on an ok sized 2-inch 320 x 240 screen. You'll be able to listen to audio for up to 30 hours or watch video for 8 hours. It comes in 3 sizes (2GB, 4GB and 8GB) and 4 different colours (white, black, pink and blue).

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Those of you in Europe can pre-order the player now from Sony Style for £119.99, £149.99, and £199.99 respectively. No word on pricing for the rest of the world at the moment.



 
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