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Monthly Archives: July 2009

Platune Sand-X Bike Is A Desert-Friendly Snowmobile

Platune Sand-X Bike (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

I’ve always thought that snowmobiles had a limited appeal if you lived somewhere that didn’t have snow on the ground all year round. But the Platune Sand-X Bike removes some of the limitations imposed by a snowmobile’s skis by replacing them with a set of soft tires. While I still wouldn’t recommend taking this thing out on an asphalt road or even a grassy field, it does appear to be quite at home on sand.

In fact, thanks to its Rotax 800cc, 2-cylinder, 2-stroke engine which puts out 160HP, it can actually accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 2.9 seconds. And it has a top speed of 115mph. Pricing is unknown, but because of the custom modifications needed to make it sand-friendly, you can assume it’s going to be more expensive than a standard snowmobile.

[ – Strange vehicles: Platune Sand-X Bike ] VIA [ Luxury Launches ]

Video: Why Touchscreens Are The Future Of Strategy Gaming

By Evan Ackerman

We’ve long extolled the virtues of Microsoft Surface even as its $10k pricetag and lack of consumer availability have kept it firmly in the realm of fantasy for the average gamer. But this, right here, is why Surface and hardware like it needs to hurry up and turn into a product… Strategy gaming on this kind of thing looks absolutely incredible. Granted, this particular game (R.U.S.E., it’s called) is particularly well suited for this type of interface, but I can easily imagine playing Red Alert or StarCraft with nearly the same level of interactivity and control.

For the record, the device you see in the video is not a Microsoft Surface table, it’s from a company called IntuiLab. Not that it matters, though… Whoever can come up with a reasonably priced consumer product and bundle it with a bunch of optimized RTS games gets my next paycheck. I mean, paychecks.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Gratuitous Car Porn: Conceptual Rendition Of The Lamborghini Reventon


By David Ponce

It’s not like the Lamborghini Reventon isn’t already an obscenely beautiful car. But that doesn’t stop some people from trying to improve on the design. What you have here is a concept from some guy in Iran, Emil Baddal.

Why are we posting this? Well, why not? Even gadget lovers can appreciate pretty car pictures. Hit the jump for a bunch more.

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Pocket Camcorders Out There, Watch Out: Kodak Releases Ultra Competitive Zi8


By David Ponce

Kodak just took a big swipe at the pocket camcorder market with the release of the Zi8. Get this: it’s got 1080p recording along with face tracking, image stabilization, an external mic jack and a 2.5-inch LCD (0.5 inch bigger than its main competitor). You’ll of course be able to upload videos directly to YouTube but unlike competitors, to Facebook as well. Recording is dumped on SD cards, which are a dime a dozen these days and can give you limitless recording time while on the go. Not so with the Flip UltraHD, which has limited internal memory.

Best part? It should retail for all of $179, a full $20 less than the aforementioned camcorder (which we reviewed here, by the way), which does 720p “only”.

It’s nice to see Kodak isn’t just sitting around crying that the core they built their business on is disappearing, but are actually doing something to remain competitive.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Crunchgear ]

Belkin Introduces Adapter For iPod Shuffle Headset


By David Ponce

The third generation iPod shuffle is great and tiny and whatnot. But it’s also pissed off a few people by forcing them to use Apple’s own earbuds, since all the controls were moved to the cord. While these are capable, they’re also nothing to write home about. So you should be happy to know Belkin has released an adapter that allows you to use any headphones you like with the shuffle by simply giving you a 3.5mm jack input on one side, a 3.5mm connector on the other and controls in between.

It’s all of $20 and will be available at the end of July in North America and in mid-August everywhere else.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

COOLEST. THING. EVER: A Vortex Cannon Shoots 200Mph Cloud Rings

By David Ponce

You kind of have to watch this video. It’s a short clip with Jem Stansfield from the UK show Bang Goes The Theory where he demonstrates a vortex cannon. This device will shoot out air at 200mph, in what looks like a smoke ring but is in fact moisture from the air condensed into visibility by the pressure differential within the vortex.

Who cares? Well just watch the video and see what a friggin’ little cloud can do.

VIA [ Geekologie ]

Barnes & Noble To Offer Free Wi-Fi In All Stores


By Chris Scott Barr

Barnes & Noble is definitely my favorite bookstore to frequent. It just has a friendly and inviting environment, with plenty of chairs to sit in, and a coffee bar. The one thing that I’ve always disliked is that while they do offer Wi-Fi access, you have to pay for it. I’m not a fan of Starbucks, but I have thought about sitting in a book store and doing a bit of work, and that would be the perfect place. Well thanks to a partnership with AT&T, Barnes & Noble has announced that all 777 locations will now have free Wi-Fi for all.

This is no doubt a result of their push into the e-book realm, what with their new e-reader application (for your PC, Mac and iPhone) and all. While I don’t see book stores going the way of the dodo, I to think that they will need to innovate in order to stay on top of things. It’s good to see that my favorite one is doing their part to keep up (even if the whole free Wi-Fi access has been a long time coming).

[ Barnes & Noble ] VIA [ GearLog ]

Netbook Battery Hacked Into iPhone USB Charger


By Chris Scott Barr

Have you ever needed to recharge your phone, or other USB gadget and wish that you could just use the USB ports on your laptop to do the trick? Sure, if you happen to be using the laptop at the time, you can plug it in, no problem. But what if you don’t want to mess with powering it on, simply to get a little juice for your phone? Well one enterprising modder decided to come up with his own solution. It’s not quite as simple as plugging into an available USB port, but it gets the job done.

This guy decided to take out the battery from his MSI Wind netbook and install a USB port directly onto it. The port is no good for data (obviously), but it allows his to plug in his iPhone and get a couple of charges off it. The best part is that he can still use the battery as normal with his netbook. Unfortunately he does have to remove the battery pack to charge his phone, which can be a bit of an inconvenience. Still very cool. This is definitely something we need to see on more laptops. I recall Toshiba having a few notebooks that charged gadgets while asleep, but I’d really like to see this sort of thing become a standard feature.

[ Prusadjs ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Pioneer DVR-XD09 Portable DVD Burner Could Double As A Jewel Case

Pioneer DVR-XD09 (Image courtesy Pioneer)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’ll admit I haven’t exactly been following the progress of external DVD burners over the past few years, but it’s nice to see they’ve finally reached the size of portable CD players from about 15 years ago. In fact the Pioneer DVR-XD09 could actually be mistaken for a very thick CD case, were it not for the fact it weighed in around 8 ounces. It connects to your PC, or more likely your laptop, via USB 2, and is capable of burning all types of disc media from old-timey CD-Rs up to dual-layer DVDs. And you road warriors or MacBook Air owners can expect it to be available sometime in August with an MSRP of $79.99.

[ Pioneer DVR-XD09 ] VIA [ GottaBeMobile ]