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Monthly Archives: July 2008

Wake n’ Bacon Lures You Out Of Bed With Fresh Bacon

By Luke Anderson

I’ve seen a lot of alarm clocks that try every evil tactic in the world to make sure that you get your lazy self out of bed. They generally make you physically get out of bed, or solve some kind of puzzle before they stop making an annoying noise. But what about an alarm that simply made you want to get up, and rewarded you for doing so? That’s exactly the idea behind the Wake n’ Bacon.

The night before, just pop in a frozen strip or two of bacon, and set the alarm. Shortly before it’s time to wake up, it will start cooking the bacon. The idea is that the sweet aroma of greasy bacon will lure you out of sleep, and out of bed. If the smell isn’t enough to wake you, it will set off a small alarm, which should wake you enough to smell your wonderful bacon. Unfortunately it appears to be only a concept device at the moment (though the creators do have a working model). Rest assured, if the price isn’t outrageous, I’d be first in line to get one of these.

[ Mathlete ] VIA [ Dvice ]

Use Bats To Combat Your Yard’s Mosquito Population

By Luke Anderson

I grew up living in the middle of nowhere, so I’m used to dealing with bugs and strange creatures. Of course, no one likes mosquitoes, since they leave you with itchy little bumps. There are plenty of contraptions that promise to rid your yard of the pests, but few actually perform. So what if I told you there was something that was proven to get rid of up to 600 bugs per hour? Would you want something like that in your yard? What if I told you that bug-killer was a bat?

Yes, the average bat will eat around 600 bugs, including mosquitoes, per day (or night rather). With a simple Bat Conservatory you keep a few bats hanging around (bad pun alert!) your yard , and thus keeping the area bug population at a minimum. If you don’t mind the bats being around at night, then install this Bat Conservatory made from Western Red Cedar for around $55.

[ Amazon ] VIA [ RGS ]

Independent Retrograde Dualtime Watches Are Retro-Cool

Citizen Independent Retrograde Dualtime (Images courtesy Tokyoflash)
By Andrew Liszewski

I like complex watches that are crammed full of functionality and features as much as the next gadget blogger, but I have to admit these simple Independent Retrograde Dualtime watches from Citizen have their own unique appeal. The watches come in either a polished stainless steel (the ITR21-5053) or IP gold and black (the ITR21-5051) finish and both feature an analog watch face with a digital typeface for the hours, as well as a unique L-shaped 24-hour clock at the bottom. They’re both available from Tokyoflash with the stainless steel model selling for about $242 while the IP gold and black is just a bit more at about $271.

[ Independent Retrograde Dualtime ITR21-5053 & ITR21-5051 ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

LG BD300 is First Blu-ray Player to Stream Netflix Content

This post is syndicated with permission from

I am a big fan of movies; especially HD movies form my PS3 Blu-ray drive. I was glad when Blu-ray won out over HD DVD, not so much because I liked Blu-ray better, I was simply glad to see one format win despite the fact that I am now stuck with a worthless HD DVD player.

Now that Blu-ray is the standard, we are starting to see players with some cool features show up. LG announced an interesting player called the LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player. The BD300 does everything you expect a Blu-ray player to do like play full 1080p resolution Blu-ray movies, upscale standard DVDs to 1080p, and it supports BD Live.

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Memorytube Kiosk Allows Wedding Guests To Easily Leave Messages, Videos & Photos

Memorytube Wedding Kiosk (Image courtesy Memorytube Kiosks Ltd.)By Andrew Liszewski

Here’s a clever alternative to having an annoying videographer (or more likely, your cousin with his camcorder) wandering around your wedding reception, randomly recording greetings and good wishes from your friends and family. You simply set up one of these Memorytube Wedding Kiosks in a corner of the reception hall which allows your guests to leave a message or greeting at their leisure, without the pressure of having a camera stuck in their faces. The kiosk features a touch-screen LCD display with a pop-up keyboard allowing users to sign a virtual guestbook, but also includes a built-in camera allowing them to leave a more personal video message. It even includes a memory card reader allowing those with a digital camera to upload all of their photos at the end of the evening, or wirelessly transfer them from a bluetooth equipped cameraphone.

The setup of the Memorytube kiosk and processing of the images, videos and messages afterwards is all done by the company who will provide you with a professionally edited DVD when it’s all said and done. The kiosk itself can also be customized with a front laminate graphic, and they’ll even provide coasters and flyers to let your guests know the kiosk is available and where to find it. From what I can tell the Memorytube is only available for rent in the UK at this time, and the base price is about $590.

[ Memorytube Wedding Kiosk ] VIA [ ]

Casio’s New Tough Movement Uses LEDs To Auto-Correct The Hand Positions

Casio Tough Movement (Images courtesy Tech-On!)
By Andrew Liszewski

There are a handful of watches that combine a digital LED display with an analog watch face which makes it easier for those of us who suck at telling time the ‘old-fashioned’ way, but this new Tough Movement system from Casio actually relies on an LED ‘under-the-hood’ to keep the positions of the analog hands accurate. The watch receives time calibration signals from six different bases located around the world, and at the 55 minute mark of every hour if the time indicated by the watch doesn’t match up with the time from the signals, the position of the hands is automatically corrected. The gears for the second, minute and hour hands are actually sandwiched between an LED and a phototransistor which also allows the watch to detect the positions of all three gears at once by shining a light through a series of holes that are just 300 mum in diameter.

The new Tough Movement also incorporates metal and plastic parts in order to reduce the weight and size of the watch while increasing rigidity and shock-resistance. As a result the thickness of a 3-hand analog model is reduced by 2.26mm to 4.11mm, while the more complex chronograph model is reduced by 0.55mm to 4.9mm. The new Tough Movement system will apparently be incorporated into Casio’s Oceanus and G-Shock series watches, and the first model to feature it (the GS-1200) will be available at the end of September in Japan for about $388.

[ Tech-On! – Casio Develops New Movement for G-Shock ] VIA [ Fareastgizmos ]

Magnetic Powered Concept Car Saves Fuel, Looks Like A Shoe

By Jonathan Kimak

Slovak designer Matúš Procháczka came up with this concept for a car powered by magnets. The MAG would require all roads to be made out of giant magnets, which is something that would be very expensive and logistically difficult to implement. If the road did have the magnets then the magnetic force between the road and the magnets in the car would push the car up from the road and reduce the effective weight of the car by 50%. The car also has a polarized electric battery powered engine.

The concept car won the unseen technology award at the Interior motives design award for 2007.

I wonder how many people would want to drive around in a cross between a slipper and a high heeled shoe.

[ The Design Blog ] VIA [ Tuvie ]

Nailed USB Flash Drive Lets Your PC Get Hammered

By Luke Anderson

Novelty USB flash drives are dime a dozen, but this one really hits the nail on the head. Okay, I seriously apologize for the horrible puns, but I just couldn’t resist. At least I didn’t go with the other one about your computer getting nailed.

This Nailed USB Flash Drive is actually one of the more costly and pointless drives I’ve seen in a while. It doesn’t have any fancy design or crystals, it just looks like a nail. A 1GB drive is going to set you back almost $47. I think I’ll pass.

[ Planktonstation ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Arthur C. Clarke’s Last Work – The Last Theorem

The Last Theorem (Image courtesy Andrew Liszewski

While fans of Arthur C. Clarke are still mourning his passing (myself included) his last book appropriately titled The Last Theorem will be published on August 1. Co-written by Frederik Pohl, at least part of the novel deals with the logistics and challenges behind staging the first lunar Olympics. (An idea that’s come up in previous Clarke books like ‘The Hammer Of God.’) Since Arthur C. Clarke often wrote about the practicalities of living and traveling in space (rather than just “wild fantasy”) tackling something as unique as a lunar Olympics seems like a fitting last work for the author.

And if you don’t think you can wait a couple of more days for the book to be released (Amazon has it listed as being available on August 5 for $17.82) the Telegraph has published an excerpt from the novel which you can read here.

[ The Last Theorem ] VIA [ Slashdot ]