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Monthly Archives: January 2007

FirstSounds – Listen To Your Baby’s Heartbeat At Home

FirstSounds Deluxe Prenatal Heart Listener (Image courtesy Marilyn Electronics)By Andrew Liszewski

Can’t wait until your next checkup to hear your baby’s heartbeat? The FirstSounds Prenatal Heart Listener allows you to tune in to your child-to-be’s heartbeat, hiccups, kicks and other sounds all in the comfort of your own home. The device apparently works best in the late second and third trimester and from what I can tell you just hold it against your belly and it amplifies the sounds which can then be heard through a pair of headphones or recorded for later ‘enjoyment.’

The FirstSounds is supposed to be completely safe but I wouldn’t question any expectant mothers who might be a little cautious of using it. However it was invented by a neonatal nurse and has won awards from nursing organizations so I assume there’s nothing to worry about. And if it’s your first child the FirstSounds also includes an instructional cassette tape (is it 1985 already!?) with sample fetal sounds so you can know what to listen for.

FirstSounds is available from Marilyn Electronics for $34.95.

[ FirstSounds Prenatal Heart Listener ] VIA [ Uber-Review ]

AOpen Asia Introduces Foldable PC Cases

AOpen F501 Folding PC Case (Image courtesy AOpen Asia)
By Andrew Liszewski

Besides being able to completely customize your system the primary reason people build their own PCs is to cut down on the cost. AOpen Asia believes they’ve come up with a great way to help make a few of their PC tower cases even cheaper. The F501A (and a handful of other models) actually come folded down not unlike a cardboard box.

Besides being easier to carry home the smaller form factor also means that shipping costs are reduced which in theory allows the savings to be passed on to the customer. In fact the company claims they can fit at least twice as many of the foldable units into a standard shipping container than the conventional pre-assembled ones.

Of course the cases are not really designed to be used for building that bleeding edge gaming or graphics workstation but for the average PC user they should be just fine. I should also mention that in order for the cases to fold flat the power supplies aren’t included. But really who needs power?

[ AOpen Asia F501A Foldable PC Case ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

Locksit – A Unique Idea For Bike Security

Locksit Bicycle Lock (Images courtesy Yanko Design)
By Andrew Liszewski

To some people riding a bike is nothing more than just a recreational thing but to others it’s their primary means of transportation so making sure it doesn’t get stolen is kind of important. I can only assume designer Jack Godfrey Wood was tired of carrying around his bicycle seat all day so he came up with the Locksit which actually uses the seat as an effective locking device.

Here’s how the Locksit works. When you get to where you’re going you simply push a couple of pins on the seatpost which allows the seat itself to pivot backwards towards the bike’s back wheel. A U-bar on the back of the seat can then be unlocked and placed around the back tire which secures both the seat and back wheel at the same time. Unfortunately you’ll still need to carry a separate lock to secure the bike itself and the front tire to something sturdy but you’ll no longer have the hassle of hauling around your bike seat all day.

[ Locksit Bicycle Security @ Yanko Design ]

Remote Control Multi Color LED Light Bulb

Home LED Lamp ( Andrew Liszewski

Here’s another one of those products I didn’t know I needed until I saw it. I’m pretty sure this LED light bulb can be plugged into a standard light socket but it goes above and beyond just being more energy-efficient than a regular bulb.

First off it comes with it’s own remote which allows you to control the brightness of the LEDs or even put them into one of 4 modes that includes flashing, strobing, fading or smooth… (I think that last one falls under ‘lost in translation.’)

The fun doesn’t stop there though. As you can see on the remote this LED bulb can also be switched between 16 different colors depending on how tacky you want your home to look. If you value function over style I highly recommend swapping out all the light bulbs in your home for these ones.

The RC LED Lamp is available from for $48.

[ RC Home LED Lamp ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

FlareSafe Flashlight With Emergency Features

FlareSafe Flashlight (Image courtesy FlareBrands)By Andrew Liszewski

I think maybe the ‘Flare’ name is a bit misleading but anyone who enjoys backpacking or camping will appreciate the extra safety features this flashlight incorporates. First off it’s made from military grade plastics, is water resistant and uses “the latest LED technology” so it’s probably a pretty good flashlight to begin with.

But what some people will find even more useful is the FlareSafe’s specially designed optical smoke detector system. When you’re heading off to sleep just twist the plastic cap on the back of the unit which pops up the detector. When smoke enters it a 110dB alarm will sound which is probably loud enough to wake even the heaviest of sleepers. And to ensure you can then find your way to safety the flashlight itself also turns on making it easy to find. In addition a button on the rear of the unit can be used to temporarily turn on the alarm if you need to use it as an audible locating device.

Like most well made camping or backpacking gear the FlareSafe isn’t cheap and will set you back about $84.

[ FlareSafe ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Optimash Prime Pushing The Limits Of Potato Related Puns

Optimash Prime (Image courtesy Pocket-lint)By Andrew Liszewski

Hasbro seems to really be pushing Mr. Potato Head these days. After the Toy Story movies I think he definitely enjoyed a bit of a renaissance and it’s clear the company is trying to keep that momentum going. Their strategy as of late has been releasing the man of spud in various costumes. First we saw a handful of Star Wars related outfits including Darth Vader, a Stormtrooper and R2-D2 and now he’s really going 1980’s style with a full Optimus Prime getup that was just revealed at the UK Toy Fair.

This is hands-down my favorite version of the recent Mr. Potato Head incarnations and if it wasn’t for the fact that my desk already has an authentic Optimus Prime figure standing guard I would definitely add this guy to my collection.

Optimash Prime should be available sometime this year for about $20.

[ Optimash Prime @ Pocket-lint ] VIA [ I4U News ]

Today’s Top Tech: Diebold Displays Bottomless Pit Of Stupidity

diebold keysBy David Ponce

Diebold makes America’s e-voting machines. Sadly, these machines are not as tamper-proof as you’d like them to be. And, through Diebold’s own smarts, they just got easier to hack. Here’s the story, with a little background.

A few months back, it was revealed, through the efforts of a study at Princeton, that the voting machines could be fairly easily hacked, constituents’ votes flipped and elections stolen. All that was needed to accomplish the task was access to the machine’s innards, which was possible through picking the device’s lock. Or, better yet, using a key to open it.

And it turns out, Diebold just gave the world this very key.

It seems that for some time now, the company has posted, right on their website, a picture of the master key which opens all the Diebold AccuVote-TS electronic voting machines. Sure, they sell the keys to the machine’s owners only, but the thing about keys, is that all you really need to copy them… is a picture. So, a friend of J. Alex Halderman (who was on the Princeton study group that initially found the exploit) was able to take this picture, and make his very own master key. And it works!

So yeah, folks, you too can now make your very own copy of a Diebold e-voting machine. Sure, you can probably get into heaps of trouble if you try using it, but it should give you a comforting feeling knowing that your votes are safe, and your elections secure. No?

[ Read More ]

Samsung Releases Ultra Edition 10.9, New “World’s Slimmest Slider”

samsung ultra edition 10.9

By David Ponce

We’re about a day or two late with this piece of news, but we figure you cellphone nuts out there should know, just in case you didn’t hear. Samsung’s announced the successor to the D900, the ?slimmest slider?. It’s called Ultra Edition 10.9, and it’s, well, 10.9mm thick (or thin?). The D900 was a whopping 2 mm thicker; 18% fatter, in other words. That’s quite a bit actually, and the phone’s specs aren’t half bad either, with a 3.2-megapixel camera, 80MB of internal memory, microSD card slot, TV-out, a digital power amplifier (whatever that means) and Bluetooth. There’s no word on price or availability.

VIA [ TechEBlog ]

Poop-Freeze Spray Will Turn Dog-doo Icy Cold

poop freeze

By David Ponce

There’s nothing quite more disturbing than the feel of a fresh, warm, squishy pile of dog poop in your hand, through the barely-there protection of an inside-out plastic bag. But it doesn’t have to be that way. How about you freeze dry the poop before you pick it up? Poop-Freeze is a poop freezer in aerosol form. We’re not sure just what chemical is contained within, but upon a short spray, will turn your dog’s (or cat’s) feces outer layer rock hard, lowering its temperature to a poop-chilling ?62? F and making disposal a little more convenient.

Of course, since the spray will freeze poop down to ?62? F, there’s a good chance it will freeze other things just as efficiently. Ideas anyone?

It’s $10 for a 4 oz. can, and $15 for a 10 oz. can.

[ Poop-Freeze ] VIA [ No Puedo Creer ]