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Monthly Archives: April 2007

The Chrono Shredder Disposes Of Time In Style

chrono shredder

By David Ponce

The Chrono Shredder is an artsy project by one Susanna Hertrich. It’s pretty much just a calendar, but with an interesting twist. You feed it a 365 day roll of paper, and start it up. It’ll then slowly unwind, and shred the passing days as it does so. It doesn’t display the actual day, only the pristine future, and the shredded past.

The Chrono_Shredder is a device that makes past time tangible. It is a hybrid between calendar, clock and waste producing automaton. It has no on/off-button, thus it is unstoppable, just like time. It features the 365 days of the year represented on a paper-roll. The paper-roll is led through a hacked paper-shredder, which is programmed to use exactly 24 hours to shred one “day”. The Chrono_Shredder’s function is not to show the current moment, like a calendar. Instead, it shows the nearest future (the next day) — and all the time that has past from the time the device has been switched on.

We actually kind of like the idea, and think it would be quite the hit at our beatnik parties. Unfortunately, price or availability are unknown, though it’s likely just a project for now.

[ The Chrono Shredder ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Resitec Keychain Safely Discharges Static Electricity

Resitec Earthing Static (Image courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

This is one of those rare gadgets that I know I must own as soon as I see it. By holding one end of the ‘Resitec Earthing Static’ keychain and touching the other to a metal object you’ll safely discharge any static electricity you might have unknowingly built up. And by safely I mean without the uncomfortable and usually unexpected static shock. The keychain will also light up momentarily while the electricity is passing through giving you a split second to unlock you car door in the dark.

I think these should be a mandatory giveaway at trade shows or car shows along with the usual logo covered lanyards. Anyone who’s ever spent a few days on a show floor will know the carpets used in the booths and aisles in conjunction with thousands of people brushing past each other is really a dangerous combination.

The ‘Resitec Earthing Static’ keychain is available from for only $14.

[ Resitec Earthing Static ] VIA [ Uber-Review ]

The X-Net Improves On The Stop Sticks


By David Ponce

Part of the fun in watching cop shows on TV is seeing the “bad guy” run over spike strips (or stop sticks, if you prefer), only to see him keep on driving with tires disintegrating, and sparks flying and smoke billowing. But all that hilarity might end if this X-Net is ever embraced by law enforcement agencies.

See, the problem with the spike strips… is the fact that they’re strips. They bust a tire, but that’s it. The X-Net, as you might have guessed, is, well, a net. It’s covered in spikes and when run over by a car, wraps itself around the tire and wedges itself in. Once this happens, the wheels won’t turn anymore, and the vehicle comes to a stop. It can handle vehicles in excess of 10,000 pounds, and if used with the X-Tendâ„¢ deployment system, can be on the ground in about 3 seconds.

Of course, there are drawbacks; with withdrawal for instance: if the fugitive avoids the X-Net, trailing police cars might not be so lucky.

We don’t know how much it is, but it does seem to be available now.

[ X-Net ] VIA [ SciFi Tech ]

Optimus Prime Turns Into A Shoe

optimus prime nike partnership

By David Ponce

Probably due to the upcoming movie, we’re starting to see a fair share of Transformer paraphernalia going around these days. The latest is a partnership between Nike and Takara Tomy, which has produced the awesome figuring you see above. It’s Optimus Prime (or Convoy, as he’s known in Japan), who transforms himself into a half-scale shoe. We’re pretty sure that Optimus would be miffed at the idea of being able to morph into a rubbery bacteria sponge, but marketing dollars speak loud and do miracles.

The toy will be available starting today for about $22. In Japan.

[ Yahoo! Article ] VIA [ Tokyomango ]

Databreaker Keeps Your PC Safe From Hackers

Databreaker (Image courtesy Popular Science)By Andrew Liszewski

While I’m not completely sold on the necessity for a product like the Databreaker I guess I can’t really argue about its effectiveness. The unit basically sits between your router, DSL or cable modem and your PC and will disconnect your net connection when the computer goes into a sleep or power saving mode since it assumes you’re no longer using it. To do this it requires that your computer monitor also be plugged into the Databreaker unit so that it can detect when it has entered the sleep mode and is no longer drawing as much power.

And if for example you’re in the middle of downloading a large file and don’t want the system disconnected while you’re away the Databreaker also includes a manual override switch which will force it to always remain connected. Of course when you think about it manually unplugging your ethernet cable will work just as well as the Databreaker does but truth be told this device is far more convenient than reaching behind your PC all the time.

The Databreaker is currently available on the company’s website for only $39.95.

[ Databreaker ] VIA [ Popular Science ]

Popdrive – USB Flash Drive + Bottle Opener

Popdrive (Image courtesy SkyMall)
By Andrew Liszewski

Remember on The Simpsons when Homer was watching that “I Can’t Believe They Invented It!” home shopping show? That’s where I’d expect something like this to be sold, right after the Spiffy Jr. Tombstone Cleaner. (Quoth the raven, “What a shine!”)

For the extremely niche market of people who wish their flash drives could open bottles comes this thing, also known as the Popdrive. It’s quite simply a 1GB flash drive that’s built into a keychain bottle opener. In fact it even lacks any kind of unique or original design that might make it appear like something other than a cheap tradeshow giveaway.

But even though the Popdrive looks cheap it will actually set you back $29.99 from SkyMall.

[ Popdrive ]

StrikeAlert Personal Lightning Detector

StrikeALert Personal Lightning Detector (Images courtesy Outdoors Technologies)By Andrew Liszewski

The StrikeAlert is a small pager-sized device that provides an early warning of approaching storms that are producing lightning. When there is a strike an audible alarm will sound and a series of colored LEDs will let you know the distance from as far away as 40 miles to within 6 miles. It can also let you know if the storm is getting closer, moving away or remaining stationary based on the detected lightning strikes. On 2 AA batteries the unit will run for about 100 hours which should get you through even the worst of storms.

I was actually surprised to find that the estimated odds of being hit by lightning in a given year are as high as 1/400,000. All things considered though it’s still pretty rare and I don’t know if carrying around a lightning detector all day is really that necessary. Common sense should be more than enough to let you know if it’s time to put away the golf clubs and head inside when the weather turns nasty.

The StrikeAlert is available on the Outdoors Technologies website for $79.99.

[ StrikeAlert ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

The Chat Cushion Ends Awkward Silences

Chat Cushion (Image courtesy Andrew Liszewski

When the conversation hits that point of awkward silence or if you’re just trying to break the ice the Chat Cushion’s got you covered. On the front of the pillow you’ll find a few small rips from where you can extract ‘question ribbons’ that should help freshen up your conversation. Think of it as an oversized, stuffed fortune cookie but without the delicious cookie part or even the handy lottery numbers.

The Chat Cushion comes with 100 questions already inside but I’m not really sure if there’s a way to restock the pillow when it’s empty. If there is I would just remove all the standard questions right away and replace them with my own like “How awesome is Andrew?” or “How can someone be as funny as Andrew?” or even “How much does Andrew not care about what your cat did this morning?” etc.

The Chat Cushion is available from for $120 CDN or about $107 US.

[ Chat Cushion ] VIA [ Uber-Review ]

Mid-Week Time Waster – Handheld Games Museum

Handheld Games Museum (Images courtesy The Handheld Game Museum)
By Andrew Liszewski

As far back as I can remember I’ve always been a fan of handheld video games. From Nintendo’s classic Game & Watch systems to the hundreds that were produced by Tiger Electronics in the 80’s. Now that the GameBoy, NDS and PSP have taken over the market though these old-school games are hard to come by.

But if you’re up for a little dose of nostalgia, or just want to waste a couple of hours at work I highly recommend checking out the Handheld Games Museum. The site literally has hundreds and hundreds of photos of old-school handheld games and I even managed to find quite a few from my own collection which are included in the shot above.

If you find any games from your own collection please feel free to reminisce about them in the comments.

[ Handheld Games Museum ]