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Monthly Archives: January 2007

Gold Ingot USB Hub

Thanko Gold Ingot USB Hub (Image courtesy AudioCubes)By Andrew Liszewski

While the USB connection was designed to be simple and easy to use I don’t think the tech-heads responsible for its inception could have imagined the level of creativity it would inspire. For example a USB hub should be a pretty boring piece of technology but Thanko has created one in the shape and color of a gold ingot bar. The unique design really adds nothing to the functionality but I’m still pretty sure the company will sell thousands of them.

As for tech specs the gold ingot hub features 8 USB 2.0 ports as well as corresponding LED lights to indicate when they’re in use. It can also be powered via USB or though a standard AC adaptor which I believe is sold seperately.

The Thanko Gold Ingot USB hub is available from for $79 which seems a bit steep to me given it’s not actually made out of gold.

[ Thanko Gold Ingot USB Hub ]

Blu:Sens G14 Goes Right, Where Zune Went Wrong: Unrestricted WiFi

blu sens g14

By David Ponce

Company Blu:sens, from Spain, is releasing an MP3 player with a lot of promise. It’s called the G14, and its claim to fame is that it’s able to do what Microsoft’s Zune didn’t have the guts to. It features WiFi, and it’s not crippled with DRM. This means, in case you’re not following, that you’ll be able to share songs with your friends, wirelessly, and let them keep them. Not only that, but you’ll be able to share all the songs in your playlist, unlike the Zune, which allows record labels to dictate which songs can be shared in the first place. What’s more, the company claims that the device will be able to interact with more than other versions of itself. You’ll be able to connect it to your network, and load the device without having to plug it in. There’s also Bluetooth, for added connectivity.

The G14 supports DivX natively, as well as MP3, WMA and OGG Vorbis. It comes in 1GB and 2GB formats, has a 2 inch 256K color display and is expected to cost between 180 Euros and 200 Euros, though availability information is a little scant at the moment.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmologia ]

Introducing The iPhone Shuffle

iphone shuffle

By David Ponce

Now, wouldn’t it be great if this were a real product?

[ Mac Essentials ] VIA [ Digg ]

Cooking Mama: Cook Off, For The Wii

cooking mama: cook off

By David Ponce

Hard as it may be to believe, there are still those of us that haven’t purchased a Nintendo Wii. Those poor souls may still be wondering what sort of new gameplay the console is supposed to bring them. Well, you should check out this video for an upcoming family oriented title called “Cooking Mama: Cook Off”, a game originally developped for the DS, but which is now being entirely re-written for the Wii.

“There are new foods, new modes, and multiplayer, all wrapped around the crunchy center of the Wiimote.”

As the title indicates, the whole point of the game is to cook. You get to slice, dice, chop and sautee all your ingredients, in the quest of the perfect dish. Or something like that.

Point is, there’s a video after the jump, if you’re so inclined. The game should be out in April, for $50.

Continue Reading

Thomas Raschke – Wire Frame Artist

Thomas Raschke Wire Frames (Images courtesy Thomas Raschke)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you work as a 3D CG modeller or are just fascinated with the ‘behind-the-scenes’ DVD features of many FX-heavy films then you’re probably already familiar with the wireframe models that most computer generated things start out as. I’ll admit when I first saw these images I assumed they were also created via CG software but it turns out artist Thomas Raschke uses heavy gauge wire and quite a bit of bending and welding to make these real-life wire-frame objects.

You can see Raschke’s complete collection of wire frames on his website which includes everything from musical instruments, household appliances, motors, guns and even teddy bears. The site is unfortunately a bit vague on his process but I’d be even more impressed if he created all of these without the assistance of any software.

[ Thomas Raschke Wire Frames ] VIA [ MAKE: Blog ]

Alcoholics Unanimous…

EasyStillBy Peter Young

As everybody knows, coffee is the natural enemy of alcohol. Where is one of the best places to hide from your enemy? In plain sight of course (just ask any ninja). At a glance this looks like a standard brewing machine, but it is only a clever disguise! Introducing a new weapon in the war on sobriety: the EasyStill.

At last it is easy to make alcohol distillation a hobby. The actual distilling is as easy as making coffee!

EasyStill is a tabletop distillation unit. 4 liters of mash or wine are added and the unit plugged in. No cooling water required no thermometer or other nuisance. The unit is fan cooled. If you forget the unit it switches itself off when the boiling vessel is empty.

Four liters of your concocted “mash” and three hours of distillation will give you approximately 2 bottles of 92 proof hooch. If 92 proof isn’t enough you can redistill your swill making alcohol poisoning easier than ever!

While I’ve always paid for my drinks (in more ways than one) you could easily walk all over that smug Johnny guy or deep-six the Captain. Well, you could, after paying the $295 plus shipping and handling. With your new hobby you would get a return on investment after just one cirrhosis riddled liver.

You might want to check into the legality of home brewing in your area.

The EasyStill is available at easystill.comfor $295

Crayola Crayon Executive Pen

Crayola Crayon Executive Pen (Image courtesy Perpetual Kid)By Andrew Liszewski

Ah Crayola crayons. What starts out as the first writing instrument most kids ever use ends up as a symbol of being too childish in most people’s eyes. But you can break that stereotype by proudly using this executive-class pen that happens to look exactly like a classic Crayola crayon.

The pen is made with a brass body so it has the weight and feel of an expensive writing instrument and twisting the end reveals the blue ink ball point that comes out of the crayon’s tip. It even comes in a solid wood carrying case that doubles as a pen holder for your desk so remember, just because you’re forced to wear a tie every morning like other grown-ups do doesn’t mean the kid inside of you has also grown up.

The Crayola Executive Pen is available from Perpetual Kid for $15.99 and comes in black, blue, red, green, orange, purple, silver or yellow colors.

[ Crayola Crayon Executive Pen ]

Hot Pod Floating Spa

Hot Pod Floating Spa (Image courtesy Montgomery Ward)By Andrew Liszewski

Where I’m writing this the temperature is currently sitting about -4 degrees F so what better time to start thinking (or dreaming) about the summer than now. If you’ve already got a backyard pool but at times would prefer the warmth of a hot tub then the Hot Pod is the way to go. It’s basically a floating hot tub made of flexible but sturdy “heavy duty” nylon that connects to your pool’s already existing heater system.

Just use the included hoses and adapters to connect the Hot Pod to your pool’s inlet and return and then turn on the heater. The hot water will then be pumped through the Hot Pod’s six “hydro-engineered” jets making the inside all warm and bubbly while the rest of the pool stays cool and refreshing. Well actually since the Hot Pod is using up all the hot water the rest of the pool will probably get quite cold if you leave it running too long so “refreshing” may not be the best description.

The Hot Pod is currently available for $799.99 and while it’s definitely not cheap it’s still far less expensive than an actual installed hot tub.

[ Hot Pod Floating Spa ] VIA [ Born Rich ]

Vavolo PCPAL 3-In-1 Wireless Mouse

Vavolo PCPAL Wireless Mouse (Image courtesy Vavolo)By Andrew Liszewski

We’re just starting to see computer mouses that are slim enough to be stowed in a notebook’s PCMCIA slot but Vavolo has already upped the ante with their PCPAL model. From what I can tell it’s definitely wireless and uses a USB adapter which they claim fits inside the mouse itself when not in use.

In addition to functioning like a mouse though the PCPAL also includes the necessary buttons to work as a PC remote for controlling video, audio or even PowerPoint presentations and even has a built-in laser pointer. It’s completely plug and play meaning there’s no extra drivers to install and it has a wireless range of about 10 meters which isn’t too shabby. Oddly enough the Vavolo website also mentions the PCPAL can function as a keyboard too but something tells me the complete lack of any alphabet buttons could make that a bit difficult.

The PCPAL Wireless Mouse is available on the Vavolo website for $39.99.

BTW, I spent more time than I should have researching whether or not the plural of computer mouse was ‘mice’ or ‘mouses’ and ended up choosing the latter since it sounded less dumb. However I’m curious what others think is more correct so if you have an opinion please feel free to post it in the comments.

[ Vavolo PCPAL 3-In-1 Wireless Mouse ] VIA [ Crave ]