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Monthly Archives: December 2007

Speed Up Your Computer With A PCIe Hard Drive


By Luke Anderson

In the computer industry people are always trying to find ways to speed up their PC. Usually when they think of increasing the performance of their computer, they immediately think about switching out their CPU or adding more memory. One bottleneck that is often overlooked is the hard drive.

One of the reasons that the hard drive is often overlooked is because there aren’t a lot of good options for improvement on the market. One that will give you a considerable boost is the ioDrive PCIe card. That’s right, it’s not a SATA or an ATA (eek!) drive, but rather it takes full advantage of your PCIe bus speeds to transmit data. It will feature sustained read/write speeds of 700MB/s and 600MB/s respectively and 3.2 Gbps bandwidth.

Of course such an upgrade will cost more than most people’s computers. A 640GB model will set you back around $2,400 when it comes out in Q1 of 2008.

[ Fusion io ] VIA [ PC Launches ]

mpillow Provides Light And Comfort While You Listen To Music


By Luke Anderson

Sometimes when I need to relax I get out a good book and listen to some tunes. (for those wondering, yes, I always have to be multi-tasking) Since I use my earbuds I rarely have any issues getting comfortable with my headphones on. For those that might want to lie down and relax without reading and perhaps forgo the headphones, this mpillow might be an interesting choice.

The mpillow is filled with a translucent plastic gel known as technogel which hopefully makes it rather comfortable. It has a small offshoot with a speaker in it, and it will pick up the wireless signal from your MP3 player and play it out loud. The really interesting part is that it features lighting that will change colors and intensity based on your music.

Unfortunately, this is only a concept for now. I think it would be an interesting product for some people, however, I don’t think the lighting would work out well for people trying to read like me.

VIA [ Yanko Design ]

Water Powered Calculator Blows My Mind

Water Powered Calculator

By Luke Anderson

How many of you hate changing the battery in your calculator? I know that I would, were they not as a majority, solar-powered. Apparently someone has decided that light is a resource that we are using up far too quickly, and thus designed a calculator that runs off of water.

For this little guy to work, you just pour water into the rear and insert a stopper. The electrolytes in the water will take care of the rest. I’m seriously wondering what kind of person would believe that their calculator would need a power source other than light. Seriously, how would you use this without working in an area with plenty of light? If you’re intrigued by this water-powered gadget, you can pick one up for $8.99. Personally, I’ll wait for these guys to make a car that’s powered by water.

[ Bits And Pieces ] VIA [ Gearfuse ]

New Digital Frame Lets You Zoom In On Your Pictures

Polaroid Picture Frame

By Luke Anderson

Digital picture frames were cool when they first came out, unfortunately they never seem to have a great resolution, and they are dime a dozen these days. It would be nice if someone would actually put in some features (other than playing MP3s, because no one really cares). Thankfully Polaroid has decided to do just that.

Their latest digital frame will actually let you zoom in on a particular area of the picture at either 2x, 4x, 8x or 16x. Unfortunately, that’s all that’s interesting about this frame. It’s only going to display at 480 x 234, and like so many others plays MP3s. If they could have put in a better screen I might be a little more interested.

[ Polaroid ] VIA [ Fareastgizmos ]

What’s Prettier Than Flowers? Exploding Flowers

Exploding Flowers

By Evan Ackerman

This high speed photograph by Ori Gersht captures a floral still life, which has been frozen in liquid nitrogen, in the process of being blown apart by explosives. I could wax lyrical about all of the things it supposedly represents, but I won’t… It’s just damn cool, if you ask me. You can view a gallery of 15 different images, featuring varying degrees of explody-ness, by clicking here. Fullsize picture after the jump.Continue Reading

Fishtank Friday: AquaDom


By Evan Ackerman

The Radisson SAS Hotel in Berlin is (for some reason) home to the largest cylindrical fishtank in the world. The AquaDom is 25 meters high (that’s over 80 feet), contains 1 million liters (260,000 gallons) of salt water, and is home to 2,500 fish (56 species in all). There’s also a glass elevator that goes up the middle if you want to swim with the fishies without getting wet. Two full time divers are tasked with keeping the residents healthy and happy, which might sound like a fun job, but I bet they have to keep the glass clean as well. In addition to being the largest cylindrical fishtank, the AquaDom is also the largest acrylic glass cylinder in the world, with a diameter of 11 meters. The whole thing cost nearly 13 million euros back in 2003, but you can book a fishtank-view room in the hotel for considerably less than that (about 260 euros on a weekend). More pics after the jump.Continue Reading

The Power Block Provides Another Way To Hide Your Tech-Heavy Lifestyle

The Power Block (Images courtesy Absolument Design)
By Andrew Liszewski

For the tech addicted, there’s really nothing better than adding a new toy or gadget to the collection. But like most addictions, there’s a downside. Every new device needs someplace to plug in or charge, and that mountain of adapters and powercords by the wall soon becomes quite an eyesore.

So instead of hiding that mess of cables under a pile of coats, you can use the the Power Block which is basically a power bar with a shield on one side. Once all of your adapters are plugged in you just push the Power Block against the wall, and the angular shield will keep the cords hidden from sight.

Apparently though, adding a shield to a power bar is such a difficult feat of engineering that the final product ends up costing you about $165 from Absolument Design. I think I’ll just stick with my pile of coats thank-you.

[ The Power Block ] VIA [ Freshome ]

Qipit Converts Whiteboard Notes And Sketches To PDFs Using Your Cellphone

Qipit (Image courtesy Qipit) By Andrew Liszewski

Even if you work in an office full of high-tech gear, a simple whiteboard still seems to be one of the best ways for a group of people to brainstorm ideas. So Qipit provides an easy to use online service that will convert a digital photo of your whiteboard into a PDF file that can be easily shared.

The service relies on “sophisticated, highly optimized image-processing algorithms” that are also able to convert photos of smaller paper documents, in addition to whiteboards. Obviously the quality of your cellphone’s camera will effect how the PDF turns out, so the website includes a section where you can select your phone from a list, and see what services it’s compatible with. For example the camera on the iPhone is fine for converting whiteboards and hand-written notes, but is not recommended for converting docs with printed text.

At the moment the Qipit service is completely free to use, and only requires you to create an account since you have to login to download the converted PDF files.

[ Qipit ] VIA [ MobileWhack ]

Remote Control Battle Beetles

Rechargeable R/C Beetle Battle (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

If you think the Discovery Channel is the best place to learn how beetles battle for insect supremacy, you’d be wrong. Why just watch them fight when you can actually be in control with these RC Battle Beetles from Sega-toys.

Using the dual channel remote you can move your beetle in any direction and even control one of the front appendages that can be used to flip your opponent. In between matches, or during the off season you can also use an included training target to keep your fighter in peak condition. Of course a quick recharge using the remote won’t hurt either.

The Battle Beetles are available from for $44.50 each, and come in a Brown Bot, Hercules Bot or Giraffe Stag-Beetle Bot versions.

[ Rechargeable R/C Beetle Battle ] VIA [ YoKiddo! ]