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Monthly Archives: June 2006

Credit Card Sized Computer

Compulab CM-X270L

By David Ponce

We’re digging where all this miniaturization business is going. Just take a look at PQI’s wonderfully engrished, credit card sized U510 advert. And it seems like the expression “Credit card sized” is the de-facto standard when it comes to conveying to consumers just how small something is.

The CM-X270L, from Israeli company Compulab is no exception. It’s essentially a fully-fleshed PC that happens to be the size of (you guessed it) a credit card.

The CM-X270L measures just 4.4 x 6.6 cm. In comparison, a MiniPCI wireless card is 6.0 x 4.4 cm – just half a centimetre thinner.

In this space, the CM-X270L somehow manages to fit in an Intel (should that be Marvell?) XScale chip running Windows CE or Linux, half a gig of flash, 128MB of RAM, AC?97 sound and a Philips 802.11b wireless interface, as well as some things you wouldn?t find on a PDA, such as a PCI bus, 4 USB host ports and wired networking.

Course, it’s not something Average Joe consumer will buy. Rather, it’s meant to serve as a building block in embedded applications, and will set your company back $47 per unit, so long’s you order at least 10,000.

[Compulab’s CM-X270L] VIA [Digg]

R/C Golf Ball

R/C Golf Incred-a-Ball (Image courtesy Andrew Liszewski

Keeping with the R/C theme this morning there’s now a high-tech way to prank your friends during that weekly round of golf. Those exploding golf balls of yesterday are so passe, what you really need to mess with their minds is the R/C Incred-a-Ball.

The ball itself house a small motor presumably with an offset weight on the drive-shaft like is used to make cellphones vibrate. Using the included remote you can cause the golf ball to vibrate making it mysteriously fall off a tee or use it while on the green to pull off some truly amazing putts. I can only assume it’s not recommended to actually hit the Incred-a-Ball with a driver though since the internal components of the ball are probably not that durable.

The RC Incred-a-Ball is currently available from for about $25.00 and includes the remote control and charging base for the ball.

[R/C Golf Incred-a-Ball] VIA []

Exos-LT Xbox 360 Cooling Kit

koolance exos-lt

By David Ponce

If the thought of buying an add-on that’s almost as expensive as the console itself, all the while voiding the warranty (if actually used) doesn’t scare you off, then perhaps you’ll be interested in Koolance’s Exos LT cooling kit for the Xbox 360. The kit features the Exos-LT cooling system, CPU and GPU liquid blocks, AC power adapter, and special Xbox mounting hardware.

We like this part of the product description:

IMPORTANT NOTES: Modifying the Xbox 360 for liquid cooling is not for the faint of heart. Although minimal changes are actually required for the XBox, it can be a labor-intensive task that should only be attempted by experienced individuals.

The not-for-the-faint-of-heart kit will ding your wallet for $395 and comes in silver and black. It should be noted that the company insists that only Koolance’s cooling liquid be used.

[Koolance Exos-LT] Thanks, James!

Affordable Micro R/C Helicopter

Micro R/C Helicopter (Image courtesy ThinkGeek)By Andrew Liszewski

Until now if you wanted a truly miniature R/C helicopter that could be safely flown indoors you either had to be a hardcore hobbyist or someone with a decent grasp of engineering concepts and basically build your own. Like a lot of people I fall into neither of those categories.

However ThinkGeek has once again come to the rescue of the unskilled geek masses and are now offering a fully R/C miniature helicopter (with remote) for only $39.99!

Using a helicopter design we’ve mentioned before this version uses two sets of rotors that spin in opposite directions cancelling out the torque generated by each one and eliminating the need for a tail rotor to deal with it. Instead the tail rotor is actually used to tip the craft forward and backwards allowing it to then fly in either direction.

Unfortunately this item has already proven to be incredibly popular and at the moment ThinkGeek is completely sold out. But they assure us they are scrambling to find more stock.

[Micro R/C Helicopter VIA ThinkGeek]

The Bowlingual Dog Translator

bowlingual dog translatorBy David Ponce

Being Man’s Best Friend doesn’t necessarily equate with being Man’s Most Intelligible Friend. That’s why we think The Bowlingual Translator could be a handy tool. In its memory are 5000 sample dog voiceprints, which are catalogued into 6 distinct patterns, including sad, frustrated, alert to danger, needy, happy and self-assertive. Simply tell the device which of up to 200 different breeds your dog belongs to, and you’re sure to make sense of all that barking.

Does it really work? Hell, for $50, it won’t cost you too much to find out, though it’ll be hard to tell whether or not it’s right. I mean, what the heck is a self-assertive dog?

[Bowlingual Translator] VIA [GizmoWatch]

Firefox Messenger Bag

firefox messenger bag

By David Ponce

There are some die-hard Firefox lovers out there. We believe it’s a superior browser, no question, yet we don’t feel the visceral attachment others do. We think the Firefox love is partly due to the IE hate, and we can’t really blame them. So, for those of you out there who eat, dream and live Firefox, here’s the Firefox messenger bag.

There really isn’t a whole lot more to say about this, as it is only a messenger bag. It’ll fit 17 inch laptops… And it’s $60.

[Firefox Ogio Messenger Bag] VIA [Uncrate]

Best Anti-Smoking Advert Ever

anti smoking ceiling painting

By David Ponce

Looks like there are still places on this planet that have dedicated smoking rooms (like India), and while the segregation is very nice for all the non-smokers, the fact still remains that all those cancer sticks are bound to take their toll eventually. That’s why we’re totally digging this brilliant anti-smoking advert (hot on the heels of yet another cool ad format) from Everest Brand Solutions, in Mumbai, India. It’s called “Cemetery”, and as you can see from the picture, it makes it look like your smoke room is at the bottom of a grave.

It doesn’t really get more subtle than that. We’re not really optimistic about the impact it’ll have on smokers worldwide, but it sure makes a hell of a statement.

[Cemetery Anti-Smoking Ad] VIA [No Puedo Creer]

TomTom Celebrity Voice Directions

By Bruce Eaton

“I pity the fool” that doesn’t have car navigation, hence top nav-system company TomTom will be releasing celebrity voices for download to your car’s system by the end of the year. According to CEO Will Andre, the add-on aims to bring a change to current voices and provide drivers with something new for them to listen to such as the example by Mr. T:

?Pay attention to what I?m saying,? or ?Mr. T gonna get you there in one piece ? you gonna be there safely, or else!?

The plan is looking at charging $5 for generic theme voices, such as a cowboy or valleygirl, and $10 for celebrity voices, such as Mr. T, Burt Reynolds and Dennis Hopper. This means cheap so quit your jibber-jabber. I personally would love the Agent Smith voice pack. “A left at the light… Mr. Anderson”.

VIA [Sci Fi Tech]

Bad Luck-Proof Mirror

Unbreakable Mirror (Image courtesy Yanko Design)By Andrew Liszewski

No amount of bending, dropping or throwing will cause this mirror to shatter or even crack. Why you say? Is it made from some revolutionary new material created by Nasa strictly for the astronauts to safely use while in orbit? Unfortunately it’s a lot simpler than that.

Instead of being made of glass this credit card-sized mirror created by Dutch designer Eva Abinger is actually made of stainless steel that has been polished into a perfectly reflective surface. Even the most careless of users won’t be able to bring the wrath of seven years of bad luck on themselves.

Vanity has its price though as this stainless steel mirror retails for about $30 from Yanko Design. (BTW I’ve had aluminum polished to a mirror finish before and I know the process is a bit labor intensive which of course means it’s not cheap.)

[Unbreakable Mirror] VIA []