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Monthly Archives: October 2007

Good Ideas Turned Bad: $295 Keyport Keyholder


By Evan Ackerman

It’s always so depressing to watch what happens when a good concept becomes overly commercialized. The Keyport Keyholder takes up to six standard keys (house, car, etc.) and puts them into a little metal case that lets you select which key you want whenever you want it. Not a bad idea, right? The website, though, is full of hype: its “ultra futuristic look” has been “created to complement your personal style” in the form of “one universal access device” that’s “the most sophisticated entry device available.” Um, it holds keys, get over yourselves… Skymall (of all places) has been offering the exact same thing for credit cards for years, for all of $40. This thing? It’s $295, plus $75 (!) in shipping if you live outside the US. And there’s more: once you order it, you have to send THEM the six keys you want in the Keyholder, and they’ll put them in. I can only assume from this that there is some sort of proprietary key-integration system, meaning that if you want to change a key, you can’t just go to the hardware store and do it for 5 bucks. How do they get away with all this? It’s a ‘limited edition,’ of course.

[ Keyport ] VIA [ NOTCOT ]

Street Legal Ferrari FXX – As Elite As You Can Get

Ferrari FXX (Images courtesy FinalGear Forums)
By Andrew Liszewski

For those who don’t know, the Ferrari FXX is kind of a ‘race-ready’ version of the Ferrari Enzo, and is far from street legal. In fact, the car costs $2.5 million and if you’re lucky enough to own one of the 30 in existence, you can only drive it on special track days at the Ferrari facilities.

But it seems one owner in Switzerland decided he didn’t want to be told when he could drive his $2.5 million investment, and so spent another $250,000 to make the car street legal. I really have no idea what goes into making a vehicle like this legal to drive on public roads, besides safety lighting, license plates and large payoffs to people at the department of motor vehicles. But if you want your car to stand out, driving the only street legal FXX on the planet is the way to go.

Let’s just hope this one doesn’t end up as a twisted wreck one day, like so many Enzos before it.

[ FinalGear Forums: The Swiss Ferrari FXX legally sanctioned for public road use? ] VIA
[ Autoblog ]

Hallowe’en Jack-O-Lantern DVD

Hallowe'en Jack-O-Lantern DVD (Image courtesy Firebox)By Andrew Liszewski

Unless you’re the type who leaves it to the last minute, odds are if you haven’t carved a pumpkin yet, it’s not going to happen this year. But don’t worry, while you won’t be able to enjoy any home-baked pumpkin seeds, you can still enjoy the eery glow of a Jack-O-Lantern with this special DVD.

Like those endless loops of roaring fireplaces, this 90-minute DVD contains an assortment of different pumpkin designs that can be played back on your PC or TV, simulating a real Jack-O-Lantern. And if the DVD inspires you to run out and get a last-minute pumpkin, it also includes a set of carving stencils to make sure you don’t end up with one of those lame crooked-tooth, triangle eye designs you used to carve as a kid.

The Jack-O-Lantern DVD is available from Firebox for about $18.

[ Hallowe’en Jack-O-Lantern DVD ] VIA [ Gearlog ]

Talking CD Album Keeps Your Eyes On The Road

Voice Recording CD Album (Image courtesy otherland)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you thought motorists who used their cellphones while driving were dangerous, you’ll want to keep an eye out for music fans with a front seat full of random CDs trying to find a specific album. But why risk life and limb when this super binder can both organize and announce the CDs as you flip through the pages?

Of course it doesn’t automatically recognize each disc, instead you have to record a custom 3 second message for all 20 CDs in the binder. But as you turn the pages your messages will be played back making it easy to find the album you’re looking for, while not risking the lives of everyone else on the road. Unfortunately though, you’ll need to be particularly careful about putting the discs back into the exact same slot, otherwise this system becomes useless.

The Voice Recording CD Album is available from otherland for about $48.

[ Voice Recording CD Album ] VIA [ Nerd Approved ]

HOMO AE4 Electric ATV – Offroading That’s Safer For The Environment

HOMO AE4 ATV (Images courtesy Hello ATV)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you thought electric cars have been slow to catch on, you might want to check out the market for electric ATVs. Unless you’re willing to settle for a mostly plastic ‘Power Wheels’ model, there’s not a wide selection out there. In fact the HOMO AE4 from the Hello-Motor Vehicle company (which I assume was shortened to ‘HOMO’) is the first electric ATV I’ve ever seen. And to be honest I think I know why they’re not so popular.

The AE4 uses a 450w electric motor which provides a top speed of about 25 km/h. When you factor in the lead-acid rechargeable battery has a range of 30km, you’ll get about an hour of riding at top speed before you need to recharge. So if you’re a fan of off-roading in the woods, you better hope you can find a tree with an AC outlet at some point. And even if you do, you might as well set up camp since the battery takes about 6-8 hours to recharge.

If anyone can find a price for this thing, I’m definitely curious.

[ HOMO AE4 Electric ATV ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Eye-Fi Wireless SD Cards Now Available

Eye-FiBy Evan Ackerman

Back in 2006, Eye-Fi WiFi SD cards were little more than an awesome idea just begging for some commercial investment to get them into production. And now, they’re here. These brilliant 2gb SD cards contain fully independent wireless software and hardware that will automatically upload pictures to the photo sharing website of your choice (or even to your home computer) via any locally available wireless network. No actual modifications are made to your images during this process (unless you want them resized), and the whole thing is managed at the Eye-Fi website. So, just to clarify, all your digital camera has to be capable of is saving images to a standard SD card, and the Eye-Fi card will work for you. As you might expect, range is not great (well under 100 feet), but power requirements (although unspecified) are supposed to be minimal. As we suggested last year, this means that you may be able to use your SD card as a buffer of sorts, freeing up space on the card as images get offloaded via WiFi. I can’t immediately tell whether Eye-Fi moves or copies files (I suspect it’s the latter), in which case you’d need to somehow be able to figure out which of your pictures have already been transferred. The price for all this convenience? $100 (at least 5x more expensive than a regular 2gb SD), with the software and online services included. Available at most major electronics retailers.

[ Eye-Fi ] VIA [ Sci-Fi Tech ]

Monster Laptop Sleeve Makes Your Computer A Beast

Monster Laptop Sleeve

By Evan Ackerman

Just in time to not quite be available in time for Halloween are these monster costumes, custom designed for your trick-or-treating laptop buddy. The foam padded faux fur covers offer formidably fuzzy (and fairly fearsome) protection in a few fun colors including blue, pink, white, orange, green, and purple. An optional strap turns it into a full fledged and frighteningly fanged (okay, I’m done now) messenger bag. It’s a good deal at only $50 for any size laptop (they’re custom made from your measurements); a strap is $10 extra. Fabulous!

[ Monster Laptop Sleeves ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Never Lose The Remote Again With The Zero Gravity

Zero Gravity (Images courtesy Andrew Liszewski

First off I don’t think the creators of the Zero Gravity really have a grasp on what the term ‘zero gravity’ means. In fact their product seems to completely rely on the presence of gravity, otherwise it would be a pain to use.

The basic idea is to tether items that are easily lost, like your TV remote, to a coiled cable hanging from the ceiling. When you need to use the remote you just reach up and pull it down. When you’re done, you just let it go and it retracts back up, ensuring it’s always in the same place you left it. When uncoiled the cable stretches as far as 5 meters, but depending on how much elasticity it has you might want to be careful when letting go of that remote.

The Zero Gravity is available from LeDindon for about $25.

[ Zero Gravity ] VIA [ Nerd Approved ]

Hello! Talk Bubble Paperclips Are Unnecessarily Cute

Talk Bubble Paperclips (Image courtesy MoMA Store)By Andrew Liszewski

If that stack of documents you left on a co-worker’s desk has been completely ignored all week, you might want to try ditching those standard paper clips (or staples) for these overly cute Hello! Talk Bubble ones.

That way you can use them to draw attention to an important message like ‘Read this!’ or ‘Check out these compromising photos I took of you last night’ or even ‘We need to order more Hello! Talk Bubble paperclips.’

A tin of 25 Hello! paperclips is available from the MoMA Store for $8. Or you can just spend all of Monday afternoon and most of Tuesday bending your regular paperclips to look like these.

[ Hello! Talk Bubble Paperclips ]