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Monthly Archives: May 2007

Skateboard Decks With Laser Etched 3D Art

3D Art Skateboard Decks (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

Since the basic skateboard design doesn’t really vary from one company to another they tend to set themselves apart through the unique artwork seen on the underside of their decks. And if you thought today’s skateboard designs were cool just wait till you see these. A select group of 80 designers and artists were given the chance to take their traditional 2-D designs into the 3rd dimension.

Using a PC hooked up to an Epilog Legend 36EXT Laser the artist’s designs were burned into the 7 layers of plywood that typically make up a skateboard deck. The laser itself uses a lens and two mirrors to focus and shape the beam and thanks to a very fast pulse rate produces photo quality 1,200 dpi etchings.

The various designs can be seen at the Refill Seven art exhibit which recently debuted in Sydney and will hopefully be touring the world. But the best part is that each design will be burned on up to 50 boards and will be sold at the Reed Space Gallery in New York this fall for $500 a piece.

[ Designers Use Laser to Grind 3-D Art Into Skateboard Decks ] VIA [ Fosfor Gadgets ]

Wind-Up Triceratops Pencil Sharpener

Wind-Up Walking Triceratops Pencil Sharpener (Images courtesy Vat19)
By Andrew Liszewski

Remember the Wind-Up Robot Pencil Sharpener I wrote about last year? Well now there’s an alternative for those prefer the past over the future. And by past I mean the late Cretaceous Period since this pencil sharpener is shaped like a Triceratops.

Like his robot counterpart the Triceratops can be used to sharpen a pencil which at the same time winds up a mechanism allowing him to lumber across your desk. There’s also a key provided for winding him up when all your pencils are sharp, or if you’re like me and live in the 21st century and haven’t seen a pencil in over 5 years. It also has a built-in reservoir for holding pencil shavings that can be emptied by simply opening his head.

The multi-purpose Triceratops can be found at Vat19 for $6.50.

[ Walking Triceratops Pencil Sharpener ]

Google Maps Gets Blinging Street View

google street view

By David Ponce

Google Maps just added a fascinating layer of data to its already impressive feature set. In select cities (New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Denver and Miami) it is now possible to get a viewpoint called “Steet View”, which allows you to get a street level 360 degree view of any point on that given map. In any of the above cities, just press on the “Street View” button, and a little humanoid appears. Drag him to any location on the map, and instantly a window appears with street level pictures. It’s possible to zoom within the picture, and rotate 360 degrees. And yes, we know it’s not the first such initiative, but Google’s implementation is elegant and flawless.

Google achieved this by getting teams in the Bay Area to drive around every single street for about a year, with special cameras mounted on board. The rest of the cities were mapped by contracting a company called Immersive Media. The above picture shows Times Square, but I must have wasted a good hour just checking out different neighborhoods and landmarks, and there’s no better way to kill a Thursday than by doing this. There may be plans to expand this to other major metropolitan centers at a later date.

[ Google Maps ] VIA [ Lost Remote ]

“Real Track Futbol” Tracks Soccer Players In Real-Time

real track futbol

By David Ponce

Managing and coaching a soccer team just got a techno twist. Real Track Futbol is a turnkey solution for tracking your players on the field using GPS, as well as getting real-time readings on their physical condition. Their positions and velocities relative to one another are transmitted to a base station, their absolute paths taken on the field are recorded and the coach is able to then manage his team. It’s kind of like playing a soccer game, except the people are real: when players show signs of exhaustion, replace them. When they screw a play up, you have proof on record, so you can chew them up in the locker room.

Of course, the system could be used with pretty much any team sport, but Real Track Futbol was designed in Spain, with soccer in mind. Sure, the software was developed around the specific complexities of that particular sport, but how hard could it be to port this to good ole American Football?

Pricing and availability are not immediately clear, but their website has an English section, so browse away.

[ Real Track Futbol ] VIA [ Xataka ]

Paperweights Make You Seem Very Busy And Important

By Evan Ackerman

PaperweightOkay, okay, we get it. It’s a paperweight that looks like a piece of crumpled paper. It’s witty, it’s ironic, but is it useful? Here is what I suggest: buy a bunch of these paperweights, leave them strewn about your desk, and whenever anyone approaches you with some new task, glare at them angrily from behind your sturdy fortress of faux crumpled paper. If they don’t leave you alone because they think you’re massively busy, they’ll leave you alone because they think you’re massively nuts. And if all else fails, there’s always long range bombardment… Despite their substantial weight, the paperweights are made largely of vinyl and have no hard edges. $28 each.

[ Important Paperweight ] VIA [ Uberreview ]

Gratuitous Video: C-RAM Phalanx

By Evan Ackerman

C-RAM Phalanx

Wired‘s Danger Room defense blog has voted the C-RAM (Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar) defense system as it’s #1 example of war tech, which gives me an excuse to post a video of the system in action. The C-RAM is a Phalanx 20mm gatling cannon that can spit out 75 armor piercing shells per second, and using it’s sophisticated radar tracking system, is able to shoot down missiles, rockets, artillery shells, and mortar shells in flight:

The US Military isn’t the only force with this kind of technology. See some more examples (even if the videos are slightly less cool) after the jump.

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Hanwang Two-In-One Tablet Mouse

Hanwang T&MOUSE (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

At the CHITEC 2007 show in Beijing, China a company called Hanwang showed off a new mouse with a built-in tablet called the ‘T&MOUSE.’ The tablet surface sits in a sunken crater on the back of the mouse which probably makes using it feel a little weird. The ridiculously small size of the tablet also limits how useful it could be. While I wouldn’t exactly rely on it for Photoshop work it might be useful for jotting down a single character now and then. But even something simple like creating a digital signature would be difficult given the limited writing area.

There’s currently no word on pricing or availability but you can be sure it won’t be hitting North America anytime soon.

[ Hanwang T&MOUSE ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

Air Powered Cars Are Too Good To Be True

By Evan Ackerman

MDI Air Car

The media has been getting a lot of mileage out of compressed air powered automobiles, touting (in the midst of remorseless witticisms of the sort that I was just guilty of) the fact that air is both plentiful and environmentally friendly… But I don’t entirely agree. The following video, from the Science Channel, profiles Motor Development International’s forthcoming Air Car:

After the jump, I hope you’ll enjoy a brief rant about why this sort of thing doesn’t entirely make sense.

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PQI Takes SSD Up A Notch

By Evan Ackerman

PQI 256gb SSD

PQI has officially announced the production of a high speed 256 gigabyte (!) solid state drive. Their Turbo+ SSD is able to transfer data at 60 mb/s, which, while still 5 times slower than SATA, is still respectable enough, especially with the much lower seek times and low power consumption that make them so obviously the future storage medium for portable computing. You can bet that 256 gigs isn’t gonna be cheap: there’s no price tag yet, but a PQI Turbo+ IDE SSD drive, at (only) 32 gigs, will set you back a cool 1.5k, so you can extrapolate the math on that one. But cheer up, although basic SSD style flash memory might be about $20/gig now, prices are forecast to drop by a factor of ten in just 3 or 4 years.

If you’re wondering how in the heck there’s even a market right now for relatively small SSD drives at such crazy prices, read on after the jump.

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