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Monthly Archives: September 2006

EEStor Ultracapacitor: 5 Minutes To Charge, 500 Miles Per Charge

[Image for illustration purposes only. -Ed.]

By David Ponce

Those are some big claims for EEStor, a very secretive company in Cedar Park, Texas. They claim to be working on an electrical storage device that they’re reluctant to call a battery, for the simple reason that it does not use a chemical reaction to store the energy. Instead, it is rumored the device is made of a ceramic powder coated with aluminum oxide and glass, and would indeed take five minutes to charge, as opposed to hours, as it is now with batteries. Such behavior is sometimes described as being an Ultracapacitor. A car powered by such an engine would have a range of 500 miles, on a 5-minute charge that would usually amount to $9 of electricity. $9 for 500 miles works out to about 45 cents a gallon.

Unlike its battery counterparts, this device could charge and discharge hundreds of thousands of times. Also unlike regular electric cars, it would be able to power a car in such a way as to make a four passenger sedan drive like a Ferrari. An engine made from EEStor’s “batteries” would cost approximately $5,200 which is a premium over conventional engines, but the company expects people will realize that the premium can be quickly offset from the expected savings.

There is no word on when exactly this technology will be commercialized, though 2008 seems to be a target.

[CNN Article] VIA [Gizmowatch]

Three-Player Air Hockey

Three-Player Air Hockey (Image courtesy Brookstone)By Andrew Liszewski

No longer will that third-wheel have to stand by and keep score while you and your friend enjoy a rousing game of air hockey. Brookstone’s three-player air hockey clearly bends time and space to allow a single table to facilitate three players at one time.

And when that third-wheel finally gets the hint and heads home the three-player table can be easily converted to a two-player version with the addition of a bar that blocks the third wing.

The three-player air hockey table is available from Brookstone for $599.95 plus an extra $100 for shipping.

[Brookstone Three-Player Air Hockey] VIA [Coolest-Gadgets]

Jajah Mobile Launches Seamless Mobile VoIP Calling

jajah logoBy David Ponce

As we’ve mentioned before, countless times, VoIP is great. But it’s not yet the landline/mobile killer that it has the potential to be. One of the reasons for this is that you generally have to be tethered to a computer to take advantage of it, and most people whose skins haven’t turned translucent from lack of sunlight… actually venture away from the PC/Mac from time to time. Sure, there are workarounds, like Actiontec’s Call Center, but they introduce some complexity into the equation, requiring you to call home, enter passcodes, etc. That may all change with a new offering from Jajah. They’ve recently announced the launch of Jajah Mobile, an application that makes VoIP calls from mobiles easy and, above all, seamless.

Once you’ve installed the application on your (hopefully supported) handset, you simply specify which call is to be routed through Jajah, and dial. The phone then connects you to a local Jajah number, and the company routes your call to its destination for you, performing VoIP magic in the middle. If the call happens to be to another Jajah user (whose number is registered in their database), and this user is in a certain zone (like the US, Canada and part of Europe), then the call is free! If not, it’s still probably a lot cheaper than your carrier would charge you. But most importantly, it’s simple, easy and yes, seamless.

At the moment, many Symbian phones and Java enabled handsets are supported, and the company is working hard to add more.

[Jajah Mobile] VIA [TechCrunch]

Hoover Wind Tunnel 2 Listens For Dirt

Hoover Wind Tunnel 2 (Image courtesy Popular Science)By Andrew Liszewski

To ensure your carpet ends up really clean after vacuuming you can either let those obsessive compulsive tendencies take over and go over the same path 20-30 times or simply upgrade your vacuum to the Hoover Wind Tunnel 2 with the Dirt FINDER system.

In order to determine when the carpet is actually clean the Wind Tunnel 2 bounces soundwaves around the inside of its filter. If dirt is still being sucked up into the vacuum the sound waves will bounce off the dirt particles and sound different than when nothing is passing through. When the vacuum is satisfied that there’s no more dirt to be sucked up it will alert you with a green ‘Clean’ light allowing you to then move onto the next room.

The Hoover Wind Tunnel 2 with the Dirt FINDER system is available for about $380.

[Hoover Wind Tunnel 2] VIA [Popular Science]

Glow In The Dark Pebbles

Glow In The Dark PebblesBy Andrew Liszewski

If you’re one of those landscaping types but feel your garden is lacking that Chernobyl-charm you might want to spruce things up with a few bags of these glow in the dark pebbles.

While being charged by the sun during the day these pebbles look like normal grey stones but when darkness falls they glow an eery green color for about 6 hours.

The glow in the dark pebbles are available in bags of 350 pieces from Collections Etc. for $9.99.

[Glow In The Dark Pebbles] VIA [Ecofriend]

Plantraco Carbon Butterfly RC Plane

Plantacro Carbon Butterfly (Image courtesy Plantacro Hobbies)
By Andrew Liszewski

Though it may look about ten-times as fragile as an actual butterfly the Plantraco Carbon Butterfly is nearly indestructible. Since the frame and wings of this tiny RC plane are made from actual carbon fiber they’re extremely flexible yet very strong allowing the craft to survive even the harshest of crashes.

The plane and four-channel fully proportional controller all come packed in a convenient aluminum briefcase too which makes travelling with it very easy. And while the Carbon Butterfly is probably best suited for flying inside if the weather is nice enough it can be flown outside with a range of 400 feet.

At $299.99 the Carbon Butterfly isn’t cheap but considering you can fly it indoors all year round no matter what the weather outside is makes it very tempting. For those interested Plantraco is currently taking pre-orders though I have no idea when the Butterfly will actually be shipping.

[Plantraco Carbon Butterfly] VIA [Cool Hunting]

High-Speed Atomic Blast Photography

High-Speed Atomic Blast Photography (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

The atomic bomb can probably be considered one of the greatest ‘gadgets’ of all time and while we’ve all seen movies and pictures of the ominous mushroom cloud I doubt many of us have seen photos of the blast like these.

Harold Edgerton built a special lens 10 feet long for his camera which was set up in a bunker 7 miles from the source of the blast which was triggered Nevada – the bomb placed atop a steel gantry anchored to the desert floor by guide wires. The exposures are at 1/100,000,000ths of a second.

There are some slightly larger versions of these photos (with descriptions) on and another shot taken slightly earlier than the above two. If anyone knows where I can find larger versions of these photos please post a link in the comments.

Thanks to Joe who submitted this link to some slightly larger versions.

[Amazing Photos of an Atomic Blast (taken at 1/1000,000,000 of-a-second) @]

Laservibe – Club At Home & Save

Laservibe Red System (Image courtesy LaserRave)By Andrew Liszewski

You’ve already got the sound system that will make any audiophile hard-pressed to criticise, so why go out to some crowded club when you can dance and puke the night away in the comfort of your own living room? Oh that’s right… the lack of lasers at home… well thankfully that stumbling block is no more.

The Laservibe is a personal laser show system that is driven by any audio source you connect it to. It generates an infinite number of designs including favorite effects like liquid sky, tunnels and fanning. (I’ll admit I don’t actually have a favorite laser effect believe it or not.) At a distance of 8-10 feet the projected laser show will be about 4-5 feet wide but that of course can be increased depending on how far away the laser projector is placed.

The Laservibe also comes in two versions. The ‘Laservibe Red’ which uses red lasers will set you back $59.95 and the ‘Laservibe Green’ which uses slightly more expensive green lasers will set you back $199.95. Both are available on the Laservibe website.

[Laservibe] VIA [Home Improvement Ideas]

Daewoo Voice Recognition Microwave – The Lazy Get Lazier

Daewoo Voice Recognition Microwave (Image courtesy HGTV Marketplace)By Andrew Liszewski

To those who shudder when they think about all the work needed to cook a meal in an oven the microwave probably seems like the greatest innovation of all time. However there are those persons who feel that having to type in a few numbers and hitting the start button is still too much work which is why Daewoo is coming out with a voice-activated version.

The microwave will store up to 40 different voice commands and will be able to respond to anyone talking to it, not just the person who programmed it. Basically you tell it what you’re cooking and the oven will automatically set the correct time and temperature for your food. Daewoo claims this microwave is nearly 95% accurate too meaning you’ll want to keep a fire extinguisher handy for the 5% of the time when it turns that potato into a lump of smoldering coal.

The Daewoo Voice Recognition Microwave should be available sometime in 2007.

[Daewoo Voice Recognition Microwave] VIA [BornRich]