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Monthly Archives: January 2008

Nikon Announces D60 (Meh), Tilt/Shift Lens (Yay!)

Nikon D60, Tilt/Shift

By Evan Ackerman

At PMA this week, Nikon announced a new (sort of new) entry-level DSLR, the D60. It’s virtually identical to the D40x both outside and in, with the same small-ish size, the same 10.2 megapixel sensor, and more or less the same OS. The new stuff you might care about includes a sensor cleaner, adaptive dynamic range, the ability to recognize Eye-Fi cards, and a stop-motion movie mode. You might also appreciate the fact that the $750 kit includes an 18-55mm lens with vibration reduction, but the best news is that the nearly identical D40x (and for that matter, the just as good D40) are now going to drop in price.

The more exciting thing, in my opinion, is that Nikon has also released a tilt/shift lens, which takes pictures like this:

Tilt/Shift Example

If you think that’s an extremely detailed model, you’ll want to read more after the jump.Continue Reading

Panasonic Center’s Solar & Wind Powered Streetlights

Panasonic Spinning Streetlight (Image courtesy Leonardo Bonanni)
By Andrew Liszewski

Leonardo Bonnani, who runs, recently visited the Panasonic Center in Tokyo and discovered these solar and wind powered streetlights around the building. During the day the solar cells on top and the turbines generate power that’s stored in a battery at the base. At night the battery is used to run the streetlights, though the turbines continue to spin and produce power even in the dark.

There’s also a short video of the streetlights in action on Leonardo’s site, since at first I actually thought the photo was a 3D concept rendering, but they’re definitely real. Also, the Panasonic Center is less of a corporate HQ, and more of a place for the public to come and experience current and future technologies being developed by the company. So I’m not sure if these unique streetlights are actually used by Panasonic at their other buildings.

[ Spinning Streetlights ] VIA [ Interactive Architecture dot org ]

Frozen Smiles = Denture Ice Cubes

Frozen Smiles (Image courtesy Fred & Friends)
By Andrew Liszewski

The novelty ice cube tray market seems to have exploded in recent years, and if LEGO bricks or guitars aren’t an hilarious enough alternative for you, I’m sure these Frozen Smiles dentures will fit the bill. The molds are made from soft, food-safe synthetic rubber and they even come packaged in recyclable PET-G boxes.

Unfortunately while I know the Frozen Smiles is an actual product, I can’t find anyone currently selling them.

[ Frozen Smiles ]

ecobutton Provides An Energy Saving Alternative To Shutting Down Your PC

ecobutton (Image courtesy BIG Ltd.)By Andrew Liszewski

Even though we’ve all heard the reasons why we should shut down or hibernate our PCs when they’re not being used, waiting for them to restart or wake-up afterwards can occasionally be an inconvenience. So the ecobutton is being touted as an alternative and easier way to put your PC into an energy saving ‘ecomode.’

The large green button connects to your PC via USB and is supposed to be placed next to your keyboard so it’s always visible and accessible. When you have to take a break, or make a phone call you simply press the ecobutton which automatically puts your PC into ‘ecomode’ causing it to only draw as much power as when it’s shut down. When it’s time to get back to work, hitting the ecobutton again instantly wakes your computer back up. Searching through the site I’m at a loss as to how it does this, so if anyone can explain how it avoids actually shutting down the PC, please let me know in the comments.

And since everybody loves hearing just how eco-friendly they are, the ecobutton software will even record how many carbon units and how much energy you’ve saved everytime you put your PC into the ecomode. Strangely though, the ecobutton is only available via “recognized Promotional Gift Distributors” for about $12-$18.

[ ecobutton ] VIA [ Ecofriend ]

GPS Tracking System Lets You Find Your Car Anywhere

Intellitrac X1

By Luke Anderson

I’m not really a paranoid person. I grew up in the country, so I rarely lock my car these days (unless I have my bag of gadgets with me). I’m lucky if I remember to lock up the house when I leave. That said, I’m hardly concerned about someone driving off in my car. However, if you’re the type that think everyone is out to get behind the wheel of their vehicle, you might like this GPS tracking system from Intellitrac.

The X1 has a multitude of features, which can be used in various ways. It has real-time GPS/GSM tracking that will let you find your car in as little time as possible. Other features like mileage logging and wiretapping (you can actually listen to what’s going on in the car) make me think that some parents might enjoy using this to keep track of their teenage drivers. It even features a 3-day backup battery (just in case).

They haven’t found a distributer just yet, so we won’t get any juicy information on pricing or availability just yet.

[ Systech ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Feed And Watch Your Pets From Your PC

Remote Pet Feeder

By Luke Anderson

Remember last year when we told you that those crazy Japanese pet feeders that you could control from anywhere? It seemed like just another one of those gadgets that only the Japanese would probably use, and thus would never be available over here. Well, I was wrong, someone has developed a similar feeder just for us here in the US.

Like the iSeePet360 you’ll have a decent-sized container for dry food, and a webcam for viewing your pet. You can choose to feed your pet on a timer, or do it manually. You can tune into the webcam to watch your pet eat (if that’s your thing) or simply have it automatically email pictures of your pet at each feeding. The best part? It only costs $298, which is almost $150 cheaper than the Japanese product.

[ SmartHome ] VIA [ Red Ferret ]

How Not To Spend $750K On A Computer

Zeus Computers

By Evan Ackerman

If you have several hundred thousand dollars in your pocket, are looking for a mediocre desktop PC, and like teh shiny, then one of these computers Zeus might be exactly what you’re looking for (although you’d be better served by a swift smack to the side of the head). The Zeus Jupiter is cast from solid platinum and encrusted with diamonds in the shape of constellations for about $748,000, while the Mars casing is only $560,000 in modest solid gold. Inside each case is an underwhelming system consisting of a 3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with a 256MB GeForce 7200GS graphics card, a 1 TB SATA drive, 2 gigs of RAM, and either a Blu-ray or HD-DVD drive with Vista Ultimate preinstalled.

Now, just take a moment to consider what else you could blow $750,000 on… Like, two trips to space. And a personal jetpack. And a new Nissan GT-R. And another GT-R for when you crash the first one. Or, you could get a platinum computer that sits under your desk and collects dust. Your call.

[ Zeus Computer ] VIA [ Times Online ]

I Canned Haz Cheeseburger?

Canned Cheeseburger

By Evan Ackerman

I wish this was a joke, but it’s not: it’s cheeseburger in a can, complete with all the fixin’s. I’m going to make a totally unfounded assumption that whatever comes out of the can bears little or no resemblance to the tasty burger shown in the picture above. Even though I’m sure I’ll regret it, I really, really want to know just what exactly is inside that can.

Remember kids, cheeseburgers are the cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast. $6 plus shipping from Germany.

[ Canned Cheeseburger ] VIA [ Spulch ]

Micro Mixer DJ-4

Micro Mixer DJ-4 (Images courtesy GeekStuff4U)
By Andrew Liszewski

If those professional DJ mixers from Vestax or Stanton seem too complicated for you what with all those knobs and sliders, you might want to look into the Micro Mixer DJ-4. It’s a simple stainless steel box that has just two volume knobs for controlling the mix between two devices. Whether it be a couple of iPods, a NintendoDS or anything you connect to the 3.5mm stereo mini jacks on the back.

The output is also a 3.5mm mini jack, which isn’t exactly the best choice if you’re connecting it to a large sound system, but at least the Micro Mixer doesn’t require an external power source or even batteries.

You can find it at GeekStuff4U for $133.35, which means that someone, somewhere is pocketing $130 of pure profit.

[ Micro Mixer DJ-4 ] VIA [ Switched On Set ]