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Monthly Archives: July 2006

The Tourist Remover

tourist remover

By David Ponce

Tourists can be a pesky bunch. They’re always milling about, pointing at things, looking somewhat lost, and most importantly, getting in the way of you taking a nice clean tourist-free shot of that special landmark. Well, a new service called Tourist Remover can take care of them for you.

No, unfortunately, they won’t physically “remove” them; they’ll simply erase their digital trace from your pictures. All you have to do is take a bunch of pictures of your landmark from the same spot, send them the pics, and they’ll perform the Photoshop magic for you. Best of all, the service is free.

[Tourist Remover] VIA [The Raw Feed]

Xylon Bikes Make Beautiful Wooden Bicycle Frames

wood bike frames
wood bike frames

By David Ponce

Certainly, for most serious cycling enthusiasts out there, shaving a few pounds off their bike’s weight is a good thing. Then, there are those for whom adding a pound or ten makes perfect sense, so long as it confers upon them the title of Most Awesomest Bike-Frame Owner. These people would undoubtedly try to purchase a wooden frame from Xylon Bikes.

While we’re not quite certain these models are for sale anywhere, they do actually exist. The designers have kept

the number of metal parts to the minimum, the frames are hand built to exacting specifications using state of the art adhesives, aeronautical grade plywood, and seasoned hardwoods each chosen for their natural beauty and mechanical properties.

There are four models, and since we don’t know whether or not they’re for sale, we have no idea how much they may cost.

[Xylon Bikes] VIA [The Cool Hunter]

SatuGO Bouncing Ball Digital Camera

SatuGO Bouncing Ball Camera (Image courtesy SatuGO)By Andrew Liszewski

While it looks like an ordinary ball-shaped webcam the SatuGO camera stands out for the simple fact that it is an actual rubber ball.

Created by Dutch designers Eschel Jacobsen and Mads Ny Larsen the SatuGO camera can be safely thrown like any other ball and instead of shattering into a thousand pieces upon impact it will instead snap a photo. Or you can set the timer and have the camera capture shots in mid-flight if you prefer some aerial photography instead. While it’s an interesting idea given the camera’s size I question how well it will be able to take unblurred shots while it’s bouncing all over the place.

As for availability, when the website for the product includes a ‘Manufacture Needed’ (their spelling) section it’s pretty obvious these won’t be hitting retail shelves any time soon. However the designers have already estimated the cost for the SatuGO to be about $69.

[SatuGO Bouncing Ball Camera] VIA [Coolest-Gadgets]

Werner Equalizer Ladder

Werner Equalizer Ladder (Image courtesy Werner Co.)
By Andrew Liszewski

I haven’t been on a construction site since my summer job back in college but I don’t remember ever seeing a single ladder equipped with this pretty simple safety upgrade. Available from Werner the Equalizer ladder includes the industry’s first pre-installed leg-levelling device.

The extra leg can compensate for differences in elevation of up to eight inches and can be easily positioned on either side of the ladder as needed. Anyone who’s ever crammed a few pieces of scrap lumber under one of the legs will probably attest to the fact that this approach is a far better way to increase the ladder’s level of safety.

The Werner Equalizer is available for now for about $250.

[Werner Equalizer Ladder] VIA [Popular Science]

Researchers Create Drawings On Water Surface

water surface painting

By David Ponce

Some clever fellas at Akishima Laboratories, in Japan, have come up with a way to “draw” words and pictures on the surface of water, using an enclosure surrounded by 50 wave generators. The image is created by water pixels formed from the simultaneous intersection of all those waves. As you can imagine, a powerful computer is needed to perform the complex Bessel Function calculations involved in creating this effect.

Each letter or drawing remains in the water for a short while only, then fades away, but the machine can reproduce the same image every three seconds.

Of course, at this point, this setup isn’t much more than a proof of concept, and it might take quite some time before it makes it out into the marketplace, if ever. However, we think that this would be a very popular pool accessory, albeit a presumably expensalicious one.

VIA [Gizmowatch]

Vehicular Turntables

Vehicle Turntable (Image courtesy Hovair Systems Inc.)By Andrew Liszewski

I’ll be honest. The main reason I wanted to post this story was to show off the screenshots this company has posted on their website. Hovair Systems Inc. provides vehicle turntables for both commercial and residential uses which means you can have one installed right in your driveway if you wanted. And seriously, if you had a ride like the one pictured here wouldn’t you want it to show it off, slowly rotating, 24-7?

Of course the turntable has practical uses too. If you live on a busy street and backing out of your driveway is a pain then every morning you could simply rotate your vehicle and drive straight out. Installation is apparently not that difficult either. The turntable uses a thin cushion of air so there’s minimal parts that can wear down and it only requires a shallow pit about 4-5 inches deep for the hardware.

[Vehicle Turntable] VIA [Home Improvement Ideas]

OGIO Shling Strap

Ogio Shling (Image courtest Popular Science)By Andrew Liszewski

Once you get that laptop bag loaded up with all your gadgets, gear and hardware it can get pretty heavy. And at times, even with a wide cushioning pad, that shoulder strap can start to feel like a razor wire cutting into you.

The Shling from OGIO is a different take on the shoulder strap designed to spread the weight of the bag across your entire back instead of it resting on only one shoulder. While you’re definitely going to stand out while wearing the Shling the advantages of no back pain and the apparent ease of slinging this strap over your shoulder just might be worth it.

The Shling shoulder strap seems to be available on certain bags in the OGIO product line and the laptop bag pictured here retails for about $200.

[OGIO Shling] VIA [Popular Science]

Black Diamond Smartphone Hits Very Limited Production

black diamond smartphone

By David Ponce

Living proof that if you throw enough demand and money at a concept, someone someplace will make it a reality. The Black Diamond concept phone made a few cellphone junkies wet their pants some months ago. And now, news is coming out that Swiss phonemaker VIPN is going to be producing all of 5 Black Diamond units. And well, yes, this means they’ll be expensive. As in, $300,000 worth of expensive.

Complementing the device’s gorgeous looks is a Windows Mobile 5.0 platform, along with a 2-inch display, 400MHz XScale processor, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 128MB of internal memory, an SD memory card slot, and a touch-sensitive keypad.

Also, it looks like you’ll have to wait until next year to get one, though if you’re one of the 5 lucky and rich few to get your paws on one, a few month’s wait shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

[VIPN’s Black Diamond] VIA [TechEBlog]

Celery: Email For The Elderly, Or Otherwise Email Challenged

celery email serviceBy David Ponce

Believe it or not, there are still people that do not use email. I’m thinking the 70+ set, though of course there could be others. It could be because of lack of ability, resources, knowledge, or whatever else, but the point is, some of your loved ones could be missing out on something almost everyone is taking for granted. A New York based company strangely called Celery is marketing a device that would allow just about anyone to use email is a most rudimentary form.

To send an email, the “Late or Never Adopter” (as the company calls them) simply hand-writes a letter. They then drop it in Celery’s inbox. This device looks an awful lot like a multi-function printer, and the “inbox” is nothing more than a scanner. The then-scanned letter gets automagically emailed to a preset recipient.

As you can imagine, to receive an email, Celery simply prints it out.

Pricing for the device is between $220 and $260, and includes up to 900 yearly transmissions (or roughly 2.5 a day), though there are no monthly gaps, which means you can go nuts during Christmas, and ignore grandma the rest of the time.

[Celery] Thanks, Kyle!