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Monthly Archives: February 2009

Lamp Turns Off When You Break It (Brilliant!)


By Evan Ackerman

Is this a clever idea, or what? It’s a lamp that shuts off when you disassemble or break it! Genius! The really nice bit, though, is that it turns back on when you put it back together. Now, the lamp is only two feet tall and the designers aren’t advocating that you try to smash it over your friend’s head while pretend professional wrasslin’… But, it’s a very simple and intuitive way to turn something off, much faster and easier than a switch or heaven forbid one of those stupid knob things that you have to reach up under the lampshade and twist.

It’s just too bad you have to to go all the trouble of putting it back together to get it to turn on again. Oh well. If you’re someone who finds themselves turning lamps off substantially more often than you turn them on, this may be the lamp for you anyway.

[ Reddish Design ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Kit Kat Vending Machines Get Some Sophistication


By Evan Ackerman

We saw a pretty sophisticated vending machine at CES this year, but it can’t hold a candle to these new machines selling Kit Kats in London, since they have a real live (for a while, anyway) human inside them. The economy must suck pretty badly for “vending machine gnome” to be an actual job now, but on the upside, you’d get to enjoy such perks as easy access to change and unlimited fresh Kit Kat smell.

For the purchaser, it works just like a standard vending machine. Try to shake it, fail, try to stick your arm up the slot, fail, and as a last resort put your money in, tell the machine what you want, and enjoy your snack. If you’re poor and desperate, though, this is one vending machine you might actually be able to threaten some candy out of.

VIA [ Core77 ]

E-Z Command Wireless Model Train Controller From Dynamis

E-Z Command Dynamis Wireless Infrared DCC System (Image courtesy MAKE: Blog)
By Andrew Liszewski

If I ever get a crib large enough to be worth ‘pimping,’ the first thing I’m going to do is fill the basement with a massive model train set. Because a) nothing says ‘pimped out’ like toy trains, and b) I’d get to carry around this slick wireless controller from Dynamis. The E-Z Command remote uses infrared technology to control up to 40 different locomotives at one time, allowing you to wander around and enjoy your HO-scale countryside while you’re shunting miniature boxcars.

A large backlit LCD display provides constant feedback for your currently selected train, and there’s even a miniature joystick for adjusting the speed or controlling other functions on your locomotives like lights and sounds. The controller runs off 4 x AA batteries, though I don’t know how long they’ll last, and it will set you back $315 from Bachmann Trains.

[ E-Z Command Dynamis Wireless Infrared DCC System ] VIA [ MAKE: Blog ]

Giant Foam Dinosaur Bones Are Way Cooler Than Traditional Throw Pillows

Living With Dinosaurs (Images courtesy Sayaka Yamamoto)
By Andrew Liszewski

Were these life-sized replicas of real dinosaur bones made from soft rubber-coated foam actually available for sale, my living room couch and other furniture would be out on the curb faster than the dinosaurs went extinct. Imagine curling up on a T-Rex tail with a good book, or precariously propping your flat-screen TV up on the horns of a Triceratops skull. Sadly though the foam dino bones which were created by Sayaka Yamamoto are not available for sale, nor will they ever be.

[ Sayaka Yamamoto – Living With Dinosaurs ] VIA [ PAN-DAN ]

AT-AT Walker Dominates The Rebels, 80’s Style


By Luke Anderson

I’ve always thought that the Empire had pretty cool style. Just look at how menacing Darth Vader was, and the stormtroopers too. Do you think they’d have been half as awesome had they not been wearing their cool armor? Probably not. I was always a little baffled at the practicality of the AT-AT walkers shape, but it’s obvious that the Galactic Empire had style in mind when creating them.

Well someone decided to take an AT-AT and crank its awesome level to 11 by installing a boombox. Sure it’s only got a tape deck, but with looks like these, who needs MP3s?

[ Zen ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Scosche passPORT Home Dock Released


By Luke Anderson

A little while back I showed you the Scosche passPORT, which was an awesome little gadget for my iPhone. In case you don’t recall, it was a small accessory that allowed me to hook my iPhone up to my car stereo. While my iPhone technically could play through my current setup, I could only use it in airplane mode, or be forced to listen to that awful screeching sound that cell phones make through unshielded speakers, and it would not recharge. The passPORT took care of all of that, which only made me long for such a device to use with home docks. Thankfully Scosche was already working on it.

The passPORT Home Dock is very similar to its car adapter cousin, in that it allows your iPhone to recharge and play music without issue. It will work with just about any dock, and hold your iPhone 3G, 2G iPod touch or 4G iPod nano. You can pick it up now from Amazon or Scosche directly for $39.99.

VIA [ Scosche ]

Gaping Hole Hallowe’en Costume Might Be A Few Months Too Late But It’s Still A Clever Idea

Gaping Hole Costume (Images courtesy evanbooth)
By Andrew Liszewski

Well to be more precise, this gaping hole Hallowe’en costume by Flickr user evanbooth was actually created back in 2006, making it over 2 years too late now. But his clever use of a portable DVD player LCD under the front of his shirt being fed a live video feed from a camera on his back makes a rather convincing ‘gaping hole’ effect. Now I’ve no idea how long the set of C or D-cell batteries would keep the setup running, but you only really need it to work long enough to win whatever costume contest you enter. October 31st can’t come soon enough!

[ Flickr – Gaping Hole Hallowe’en Costume ] VIA [ MAKE: Blog ]

Brando’s Driver Free USB Data Copy And Internet Connection Sharing Dongle

USB 2.0 Data Copy and Internet Connection Sharing Dongle (Driver Free) (Image courtesy CrunchGear)
By Andrew Liszewski

It turns out Mom and Dad were right when it came to their theory about sharing being a good thing. But they never said it would be easy, and if you’ve ever tried to share internet access on one computer with another without the benefit of a router or wifi network, you’ll agree. Thankfully Brando is now selling this USB dongle that easily connects two PCs via a 2 meter cable, allowing you to transfer data as well as share a network connection without having to install a single driver. The dongle supports Win2K, XP and Vista, and for just $29.99 it will probably reduce the amount of time you spend copying random files to and from USB flash drives.

[ USB 2.0 Data Copy and Internet Connection Sharing Dongle ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

The Reebok Pump 2.0

Reebok SmoothFit SelectRide (Image courtesy Popular Science)
By Andrew Liszewski

I grew up during what I consider to be the height of sneaker popularity, and no shoe was more lusted after by my grade school chums than the Reebok Pump. The original version used an air bladder wrapped around the inside of the shoe to provide a snug fit when pumped up, but Reebok’s new version features an inflatable bladder across the entire sole, allowing a runner or jogger to instead adjust the amount of cushioning in their shoe.

Another big difference is that the pumping mechanism has been integrated into the heel, rather than hanging off the tongue. So the air bladders get filled once you start running, and the level of cushioning/stiffness is dependent on the force of your heel strike, and whether you’ve put the shoe into its ‘run’ or ‘train’ mode using a set of buttons on the side of the sole.

The Reebok SmoothFit SelectRide shoes will be available this week, but are only being sold at Champs Sports stores for $149.99.

[ Popular Science – Ladies and gentlemen, the Reebok Pump is Back on the Scene! Well, Sort Of ]