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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Instant Ambiance, Just Add Water

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By Ryan Nill

The Healing Theater Umine uses LEDs to project blue and green beach-y images on your ceiling as it plays back digitally recorded sounds. If your Ariel the Mermaid fetish has become too passé, you can easily switch to several other settings, including a tropical rainforest, under the sea or you can even opt to play your own sounds with a media player and use the mottled colors as a backdrop.

You can also add a frosted dome to it, turning it from nifty full room lava lamp to dome lamp with music. The effect, like all other LED projects, requires a completely dark room. The Healing Theater Umine is available now for about $69.

[ Himeya Shop ] VIA [ technabob ]

Iris Identification For Cell Phones

Cellphone Iris Scanner

By Evan Ackerman

Seeing who’s #1 on your girlfriend’s speed dial is about to become slightly more difficult: you’ll be needing one of her eyeballs. Oki Japan is introducing iris recognition software that’s compatible with any phone with at least a 1mp camera. It’s even available as an add-on for existing phones running Symbian or Windows Mobile. According to Oki, the chance of a false positive is a mere 0.00001% (1 in 100,000) with a 2mp camera, but I’m just as concerned about false negatives. How reliably does the phone unlock itself when you need it to? What about if it’s 3am and I’ve been binge drinking in a smoky nightclub and my eyes are all bloodshot? Will the phone recognize me so that I can drunk dial my ex-girlfriends? Clearly, extensive testing will be necessary before this program is ready for the market. Except it already is. In Japan, anyway.

[ Oki Iris Authentication (In Japanese) ] VIA [ Digital World Toyko ]

We All Knew This Day Would Come – RIP Joox.net

RIP Joox.net (Image courtesy Tombstone Generator)
By Andrew Liszewski

While that goody two shoes Joost always chose to play by the rules its cousin Joox.net was a wild child that preferred to throw caution to the wind. And it’s for that reason we all fell in love with the site. (Well that and the hundreds of free streaming movies and TV shows.) Over the past few months Joox.net has occasionally gone down causing a bit of panic for those who’ve come to enjoy its services but the site always re-appeared a few days later. This time though it looks like Joox.net’s time has finally come. The following comment was posted to my original Joox.net story:

We had to officially shut down the site due to repeated warnings about theft and copy-right violations. Truth to be told, the managers, myself included, don’t really give a crap about any copy-right violations, but after someone threatened to sue, I felt I didn’t have a choice.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but you can visit stage6.com if the urge to stream high quality videos persists.

I’m thinking of starting a site myself, and the Anonymous post above has a point; stage6 do give out their links freely, and embedding isn’t actually against the law. So screw those people who are jealous of our success and worry about us violating their rights to the wallets of people like you.

Here’s to the memory of Joox. We had a good run.

It was a good run indeed. You will be sorely missed.

Update: So it looks like those 3 hours of Journalism classes I slept through really paid off. Joox.net appears to be back up and my report of its death were premature.

[ Joox.net (sniff) ]

The DoorKnob Condition Ensures Privacy

The Doorknob Condition (Images courtesy Yanko Design)
By Andrew Liszewski

While there are several unofficial methods for letting a roommate know you’d like a little privacy the Doorknob Condition by designer Arnaud Lapierre ensures you won’t be interrupted no matter what. Instead of hanging something on the handle which could be misinterpreted you simply pull on the doorknob on the inside of the room which causes the knob on the outside to recess to the point where it can’t be grabbed or turned.

In theory it could also work well in a hotel when you don’t want to be disturbed in the morning as opposed to those hanging doorknob signs which are so easy to remove by a hilarious prankster outside your room.

[ The Doorknob Condition ] VIA [ electro^plankton ]

Hands on with the Logitech VX Nano Notebook Mouse

Logitech VX Nano Notebook Mouse (image courtesy of Logitech)
by Shane McGlaun

This week Logitech introduced the VX Nano notebook mouse. I have been using one here at my desk for the last few days and it is without a doubt one of the best notebook mice available. The VX Nano has the same hyper-fast scroll wheel as the VX Revolution notebook mouse, making scrolling long pages a breeze and it can easily be changed from free-wheel mode to click mode by pressing on the scroll wheel.

The most innovative feature of the VX Nano is the micro wireless receiver that uses advanced 2.4 GHz tech for connectivity. The receiver sticks out of your notebooks USB port a mere 8mm, which means you don’t have to remove the receiver from your notebook after you use the mouse.

More after the jump…

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Geeky 14 inch Motherboard Wall Clock is Way Cool

14 inch Motherboard Wall Clock (image courtesy of Motherboard Gifts & More)
by Shane McGlaun

I am a serious PC hardware geek, if you like your PC hardware too you will love this clock from Motherboard Gifts & More. The clock measures in at 14 inches and is available in several colors.

You can choose from green, blue, and red faces for the clock and white or black backgrounds. The face of the clock is an actual cut out from a motherboard of a computer. On close inspection you can see all the leads in the board that conducted electricity to computer components before the board became a clock.

Perhaps the only draw back to the clock is that there are no numbers. I know for some, like my wife, it completely ruins the time telling experience when a clock lacks numbers. I really like the ones with the black background, it makes the bright colored motherboard cut outs look like they glow. Pricing for the clock is $59.99.

[ Press Release (registration required) ] VIA [ Motherboard Gifts & More ]

Megatouch Gametime Brings The Pub Experience Home

Megatouch Gametime (Images courtesy Frontgate)
By Andrew Liszewski

These bartop arcade machines are usually relegated to pubs and greasy cafes where the selection of entertainment is limited at best. But apparently they’ve become popular enough to warrant a home version too and I’m sure kids will gladly put down their Wiimotes or 360 controllers to fight over who gets to play the Megatouch Gametime first.

In fact the system comes with 100 built-in games and who wouldn’t walk away from Grand Theft Auto for a chance to play titles like Strategy or Quiz & Word? On the plus side though the home version of the Megatouch Gametime offers similar network functionality as the pub versions and even allows you to surf the web and send emails as long as you have an existing broadband connection.

But what’s sure to guarantee the Megatouch Gametime’s runaway success is the $3,795 price tag at Frontgate.com. You read that right, this thing costs more than the Nintendo Wii, XBox 360 and PS3 put together.

[ Megatouch Gametime ]

Secure IronKey Self Destructs, Does Not Blow Up. Sadly.

ironkey

By Ryan Nill

The Secure IronKey Flash drive was designed to meet excruciating protection standards. It uses military-grade AES hardware-based encryption and something called an IronKey Cryptochip.

The encryption keys are stored inside the drive and your password (personal or assigned, I wonder) in conjunction with the keys are required to access them. After ten consecutive failed password attempts, the IronKey self-destructs (no, not literally) and destroys everything on the drive. The data is completely unrecoverable.

Also included is the ability to log on to the company website and access a program which turns Firefox into a secure stealth surfing application. And the inside of the key is filled with what appears to be black goo, waterproofing and preventing hardware crypto-analysis.

$79 for 1GB, 2GB for $109 or a 4GB drive for $149.

[ Ironkey ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Aluminum Folding Travel Hanger

Aluminum Travel Hanger (Image courtesy MerlinsBox) By Andrew Liszewski

While hotels usually provide plenty of hangers for travelers trying to avoid looking like a wrinkled hobo there’s still plenty of opportunities for them to get that way while en route. So before you get to your ‘home away from home’ this folding travel hanger should help keep your suit jacket looking like it was freshly pressed.

When collapsed the hanger easily fits inside a briefcase, suitcase or carry-on bag but when the risk of wrinkled clothing rears its ugly head the hanger can be unfolded in just seconds. And the lightweight but strong aluminum materials should support even the heaviest of coats. Of course if I was the designer of this hanger I would also sell them as Aluminum Folding Travel Car Unlocking Devices allowing me to market the device to car thieves as well as business travelers.

The Kikkerland Design Aluminum Folding Travel Hanger is available from MerlinsBox.com for only $6.99.

[ Aluminum Folding Travel Hanger ] VIA [ ThisNext ]