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Monthly Archives: September 2006

Top Gear Car Shoot-Out

top gear shootout

By David Ponce

Got five minutes to waste? Sure you do, you wouldn’t be here otherwise. So, let me take this post and introduce you to a clip, excerpted from British TV show Top Gear. In it, you’ll see Jeremy Clarkson, one of the show’s hosts, engage in what can only be gently described as “sadistic car annihilation”. In other words, he shoots some cars with some guns, and it’s freaking awesome!

Yeah, it’s got nothing to do with technology or gadgets. But it doesn’t matter. Us geeks have diverse and wide-ranging taste, and I’m ready to bet you’ll get a kick out of this.

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SportsDo Allows You To Track Your Workout On Your Cell


By David Ponce

This looks like a fun, mock-exercise-filled little fad. Since the Nike + iPod business (in case you’re not aware, it’s a special setup that allows your shoes to talk to your iPod and assist you in your jog), companies have been plopping devices left and right that either replicate, emulate or are somehow inspired by the Apple/Nike deal. Seems, all of a sudden, keeping precise quantitative metrics about your jog is a very important thing to do. And now, the latest to jump on the bandwagon is SportsDo.

This one’s strictly software though. It’ll work on any Windows Mobile, or Java enabled phone (sorry, no Palm) with GPS functionality. It doesn’t matter how you get your GPS data, be it from an internal module, or from a Bluetooth connected external GPS unit. And what it does is keep track of where you went, how many calories you likely spent, how fast you went, etc. It even gives you a Google map so you can see exactly the path you’ve taken, in the context of your city.

The best part is that, for now at least, it’s a free download.

[SportsDo] VIA [Crunchgear]

Working Prototype Of Microvision’s Cellular Projector

picop laser projector

By David Ponce

Unfortunately, this technology is still in its early stages, but we’re finding Alexander Tokman of Microvision’s promises interesting. He’s working on technology that would ideally integrate right into today’s mobile handsets, and allow them to project images (whether video or pictures) onto a nearby wall. The display is called PicoP, and uses commercially available green lasers, in conjunction with developments of an Integrated Photonics Module (IPM) to project WGA or SVGA resolutions, at 20 lumens, on a wall up to half a meter away in a lighted environment. In a dark environment, ever larger images can be achieved.

Tokman says there is strong demand from global OEM’s, especially from the Asian market. There’s a working prototype ready, and he envisions complete integration within two years.

Oh, you wanna see that prototype working? Well, come inside for a video.

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The IceJacket, Doesn’t Just Look Cool


By David Ponce

Now this, people, is something we’d pay a pretty penny (well, not too pretty) to own. It’s called the Ice Jacket, and it’s a simple device that allows you to encase your liquor bottles in a jacket made of, well, ice. If you have to ask why such a thing is cool, then you and us are on different wavelengths, baby.

It’s easy to use. From the site:

Place the bottle on the Base, slip on the Sleeve and close the three cam locks. Fill the assembly with warm water, plug, and place in freezer (any position will do). Remove frozen amalgamation from freezer, allow to stand 20 minutes; Run briefly under warm water, release the cam locks and remove the Sleeve in order to reveal your bottle encased in ice, featuring themes limited only by your imagination.

What’s more, because the liquor within the bottle has been chilled to below 20 degrees F. it keeps the ice surrounding the bottle insulated from within: in approximately a 70 degree F. room with low humidity, the ice encasing the bottle melts into its own drip tray at a rate of about an ounce an hour.

Sadly, a quick look around the site revealed nothing about price. Anyone with more info out there?


[IceJacket] VIA []

A Look (Way) Back: The World’s Smallest Theoretically Functional Guitar

nano guitar

By David Ponce

For those of you who, like me, might have missed this… in 1997, I thought I’d take the two seconds to direct your attention at an almost decades old bit of nanotechnological engineering prowess. It’s the world’s smallest guitar (at least, it was at the time), and it was made by some folk in labcoats at the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility. It is (get this) 10 micrometers long — about the size of a single cell — with six strings each about 50 nanometers, or 100 atoms, wide. If it were plucked, somehow (like, by atomic force microscope, for example), the strings would indeed vibrate, although at inaudible frequencies in the order of the Mhz.

Why did they do it? Well, you know scientist types and their wacky get-rich-quick schemes…

[1997 Cornell ress Release] VIA [Gizmowatch]

Space Invaders Wrapping Paper

sace invaders wrapping paperBy David Ponce

I’m gonna start saying it now, and you’ll likely hear me say it many more times: start planning for Christmas soon. As much fun as punching people out of your way on Christmas eve in a crowded mall is, it’s even better when you can just sit on your butt while everybody else runs around like headless chicken. And, as part of your head-start strategy, you can look at this great wrapping paper, featuring Space Invaders. It’s $5. And yeah, it looks cool while telling the world just what sort of person you really are.

[Space Invaders Wrapping Paper] VIA [Uncrate]

HP Printing Mailbox With Presto

hp printer with presto

By Andrew Liszewski

I come from a big family that has become spread out over the years and of course we all like to keep in touch as much as possible. While email and IM have made this a lot easier (and a lot cheaper) there are unfortunately those family members who haven’t “learned computers” yet and probably never will.

The people who created Presto had a similar situation which led them to develop their service. Basically those less tech-savvy kinfolk would have this printer setup somewhere at home connected to a phone line. The printer would then periodically dial-in to a private email account at a set schedule, download new messages or photos and then print them off.

I’m a bit curious as to whether or not this service can deal with the eventual spam that could make its way in to the email account. I know there are plenty of spam messages I get that I just shrug off that would probably be a bit surprising to other family members.

The Presto service should be available in the fall of this year just in time for the holidays and the Presto HP printer will retail for about $150.

[HP Printing Mailbox with Presto] VIA [Popular Science]

Xerox Develops Secure MicroText Font

Xerox Microtext Font (Image courtesy Xerox)By Andrew Liszewski

Scientists working at Xerox have developed a font that’s just 1/100th of an inch high and requires a magnifying glass to read. The ‘MicroText Specialty Imaging Font’ is designed to make important documents with personal info like birth certificates, passports or checks harder to forge.

While most of these documents already contain microtext not visible to the human eye it can only be added through an offset printing process. Something like checks for example then need to be printed again with each customer’s name and account number (via a less elaborate process) and it’s at this step where a lot of fraud can occur. Xerox’s new MicroText font allows the cheaper printers that are typically used to personalise documents like checks and birth certificates to also incorporate micro-printing that is unique to every copy.

So just how small is this font? Well Xerox claims that if a 100-page book were converted to the MicroText font it could easily fit on a single 8.5×11 inch sheet of paper.

[Xerox Microtext Font] VIA [Tech Digest]

Limoseen – The Electronic Meet & Greet Board

Limoseen (Image courtesy Limoseen Ltd.)By Andrew Liszewski

Like me, some of you will probably see the name ‘Limoseen’ and mistake it with the fictional 80’s hair band ‘Limozeen’ made famous in a Strong Bad cartoon. Be aware though using the letter ‘s’ instead of ‘z’ in the spelling makes a world of difference.

The Limoseen is an electronic hand-held pixel board that can be programmed to pretty much show any text but is intended to display the names of celebrities or other important types so they know what limousine to climb into. I guess at one point some enterprising driver decided the torn-up cardboard pizza box with the celebrity’s name scribbled across it in black sharpie just wasn’t good enough and so the Limoseen was born.

The Limoseen display comes with an in-car charger, a window cradle and a custom logo which replaces the ‘Limoseen’ logo seen in that product shot for $199.

[ Limoseen ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

(On a side note, is it just me or does the Limoseen website remind any one else of an infamous online joke? I mean step back and really take a look at the site and you should see what I mean…)