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Monthly Archives: March 2008

RC Garbage Truck, Dream Big Kids… Dream Big

Remote Control Peterbilt 379 Garbage Truck (Image courtesy Diecast Model Car Collectibles )
By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t mean to demean my local refuse pickup professionals. In fact, most people don’t realize how important their jobs really are. (And they probably have a great union.) But is this remote control garbage truck the best way to a foster a child’s mind? Sure it’s a pretty accurate 1:32 scale model of a Peterbilt 379, but quite frankly I’d be a bit worried if my kid spent their childhood driving this thing around the house making scheduled stops at every room.

It’s 13.5 inches long, features opening cab doors and a fully-functioning refuse container in the back. It also includes a 7-function wireless remote, though I don’t think I’ve ever considered ‘stop’ to be an actual function. Why not call it an 8-function remote since I’m sure it can idle too? You can find it at Diecast Model Car Collectibles for $29.98.

[ Remote Control Peterbilt 379 Garbage Truck ] VIA [ Nerd Approved ]

The Accurate Watch Reminds You Of Unavoidable Death

The Accurate

By Luke Anderson

It’s been a long time since I’ve worn a watch. Between my iPod and cellphone I always have something that can tell the time easily. I have considered getting a watch now and again, but I rarely see any that really suit me. If you’re the kind of person that’s perfectly fine with the idea of death, this watch is for you.

The only things that appear on the face of this watch are a simple second hand along with hour and minute hands that read “remember you will die.” Seriously, how morbid is that? I don’t think anyone is really going to forget the fact that they will die some day. If you need a constant reminder of that fact, you can pick one of these up for $145.

[ Watchismo ] VIA [ UberReview ]

Myfotowall Turns Your Blank Wall Into Art


By Luke Anderson

Have you ever had a picture that you thought you could stare at all day long? If you truly wanted to stare at a picture that long, why not have it turned into wallpaper for a room in your house? While I wouldn’t recommend turning photographs of people (that would just be creepy), a landscape might look cool in certain situations.

The price is a bit steep for what you get. They’ll charge you around $90 per square meter. While that might not sound too bad for a piece of art, the inks are only meant to last for 3 years without fading. If I’m going to spend that much money on wallpaper, I’m going to want it to last a lot longer than that.

[ Myfotowall ] VIA [ RedFerret ]

Control Your Sprinklers From The Comfort Of Your Chair

Remote Rain Water Control

By Luke Anderson

Living in the Midwest means that we usually have a decent amount of rain. Sure, there are times when the farmers complain that their crops are a bit dry, but you rarely see people watering their lawns due to dry weather. In other parts of the country that isn’t always the case. If you happen to live in one of those areas and don’t want to take the time to go outside and turn on and off the sprinklers, you might enjoy this Remote Rain Water Control.

Just hook this little gadget up to your water line and attach the hose. Then just keep the remote somewhere handy and press the button when you want to turn on or off the water. This is also good for playing pranks on people walking through your yard. After all, that “Do not walk on grass” sign is there for a reason.

[ ImprovementsCatalog ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

OhGizmo! Review – EPOS Digital Pen & USB Flash Drive

EPOS Digital Pen & USB Flash Drive (Image property of OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

When I first read about this whole ‘digital pen’ trend a year or so ago, I really wasn’t sure if there was a market for the devices as most people now rely on computers, cellphones and PDAs when it comes to communicating or jotting down notes. But based on the feedback I got from my review of the FLY Fusion Pentop Computer there’s definitely a large group of consumers looking for a way to bridge the gap between writing with a keyboard and writing with a pen or pencil.

Over the past year the EPOS Digital Pen has popped up on OhGizmo! from time to time in various prototype forms, but now that the pen is finally hitting the market I had an opportunity to see what it was capable of and how it compares to the FLY Fusion. You can check out my full review of the EPOS Digital Pen & USB Flash Drive, complete with plenty of photos, after the jump.

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Aptera Type 1 Tour Video

By Evan Ackerman

In their March newsletter, Aptera is making things sound pretty bright and cheery when it comes to the future of their (let’s face it) revolutionary car-thing. Yesterday they added this video, which doesn’t provide much in the way of new info, but does show some details of the car’s interior:

Also in the newsletter, Aptera promises that they’re “going to be updating you regularly from now until the rollout.” They’re hiring new people, making a new website, and moving into a bigger place, but the meat and potatoes is that they still have to conduct advanced crash testing and refine the manufacturing process before production. Their goal is still to begin production in “late 2008.”

I noticed a few more facts on their website, such as the minimum hybrid mileage of 130 mpg (at sustained highway speeds). Also, the Aptera is classified as a motorcycle (although it doesn’t require any special driver’s license endorsement) but it exceeds safety requirements for a passenger car. Check out the Aptera website for plenty more info.

[ Aptera Newsletter ]

This Week On BotJunkie


By Evan Ackerman

This week over on BotJunkie, we started out by meeting a little Lego Mindstorms bot named Phobot who’s terrified of big things, found out that it’s a lot easier to give commands to robots if they’re capable of making smalltalk, took a look at a flying robot toy that you control with your hand, saw an awesome video of a little bot that wanders around with a pair of drumsticks and plays rhythms on whatever it bumps into, decided that we probably didn’t want to pay $5 for robot art made out of a small wooden block even if it’s quirky, questioned whether the new and improved version of BattleBots returning to ESPN2 is really new and improved, waxed philosophical about NASA’s recent threat to scrap one of the Mars Exploration Rovers (and enjoyed a bunch of cool Mars rover pics), checked out a round robot from Toshiba that wants to be your new voice activated universal remote, and lastly, nearly lost it while watching a spoof of BigDog’s latest antics.

[ BotJunkie ]

Fishtank Friday: Heeeere Fishy Fishy Fishy Fishy Fishy

Researchers at Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institute have recently received a $270,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make this a reality:

That’s right… Forget the lines, hooks, bait, nets, all that crap. Just call them, and when they show up, scoop them up into a big net and eat ’em. Supposedly, it’s nothing more than classic Pavlovian conditioning: the researchers feed a group of fish in a tank right after playing a tone underwater. After repeating the 20 second tone 3 times a day for 2 weeks straight, “you have remote-control fish,” says Simon Miner, a research assistant on the project. “You hit that button [to play the sound], and they go into that [feeding] area, and they wait patiently.” The big question is whether or not the fish will remember. Preliminary results suggest that the fish will retain the the behavior for 5-10 days, but nobody is really sure what’ll happen when they try the same thing with 5,000 fish out in the ocean this spring. Even if they can only train half the fish to return until they’re large enough for market, it’ll still be more profitable than current fish farming methods. And, I’m sure, way tastier.

VIA [ Wired ]

Garmin GPSMAP 495 Keeps Pilots From Getting Lost In The Wild Blue Yonder

Garmin GPSMAP 495 (Image courtesy Garmin)By Andrew Liszewski

I’m sure these days a built-in GPS unit is an option for even the smallest of Cessna or Piper aircraft. But if your plane was taking to the skies well before GPS technology was available to the average consumer, you can retrofit it with this new Garmin unit specifically designed for flying. The GPSMAP 495 is actually a slightly more affordable version of Garmin’s GPSMAP 496 since it lacks the pre-loaded City Navigator NT database and real-time XM weather data. So basically if you also wanted to use the unit for navigating in a car or boat you’d have to manually load the city map or marine chart data for your location.

But it does include all the features you’ll need for flying like SafeTaxi airport diagrams, the AOPA airport directory, enhanced terrain warning, Smart Airspace and a database of private airports and heliports. The 495 also updates the map data and instruments at 5 Hz which is a significantly faster update rate providing an almost real-time presentation of the aircraft’s analog indicators. I have to assume all these features are a great thing to have since I never completed or even started flight school. (But I can fly through hoops in PilotWings on the SNES like you wouldn’t believe.)

The GPSMAP 495 will be available sometime in April for $1,595.

[ Garmin GPSMAP 495 ] VIA [ SlipperyBrick ]