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Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Neuhaus T-2 Amplifier Uses Vacuum Tubes To Better Separate You From Your Money


By David Ponce

The Neuhaus T-2 amplifier is designed to work with a variety of inputs, most notably your PC. It features USB as well as optical SPDIF inputs and the spiel on the product page makes a point of pitting the T-2 against regular PC speakers that “simply won’t sound good, because computers are not meant to deliver superior sound quality. The sound cards on most computers are terrible.” Right, so the T-2 entirely bypasses your sound card by connecting through USB and processing the data itself. Here’s where things get screwy for me. From the page:

The T-2 Amplifier has a built in Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). A digital-to-analog converter, or DAC, converts digital information — 0’s and 1’s — into analog music signals.

In other words, it does exactly what a sound card does, except that it does it with vacuum tubes…

No offense here, but I find that audiophiles are an odd bunch. Perhaps because I’ve never felt the eargasms they clearly experience daily, I can’t grasp why anyone would spend the obscene sums this little clique feels justified in dropping on a regular basis. In this particular case, Neuhaus wants you to part with $800 for what is essentially a 20W amplifier with tubes that performs part time sound card duty.

Heck, maybe it’s worth it. Any audiophiles out there who can convince us muffle-eared mortals?

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Deni Mini Deep Fryer – Where Have You Been All My Life?

Deni Mini Deep Fryer (Image courtesy Chefs)
By Andrew Liszewski

You know that look you get at work when you pull out the deep fryer for a quick afternoon pick me up? Well thanks to Deni your co-workers won’t even realize you’ve got a batch of fries cooking up in the filing cabinet thanks to their Mini Deep Fryer. It’s got a 1-quart capacity which is perfect for a single serving of french fries, a ready light letting you know when the oil is hot enough and a filter to eliminate odors so the entire office doesn’t know what you’ve got frying. Genius! And at $44.99 I can’t think of a better cubicle accessory.

[ Demi Mini Deep Fryer ] VIA [ Crave ]

Morning Countdown Clock

Morning Countdown Clock (Image courtest Japan Trend Shop)
By Andrew Liszewski

In the mornings I spend as much time watching the clock as I do getting ready, and if I just got up and got everything done, my morning routine would probably take half as long. Unfortunately, as a professional procrastinator that just isn’t gonna happen, but I can still appreciate the idea behind this Morning Countdown Clock.

It allows you to set two alarms, one for waking up and one for when you’re supposed to head out the door, and the clock will announce the remaining time at the 1 hour mark, the 45, 30, 20, 15, 10, 5, 3, 2, and one 1 minute marks, 30 seconds, 20 seconds and finally a 10 second countdown. It’s probably rather annoying, but I guess it’s supposed to be that way to keep you on time in the morning. $33 from the Japan Trend Shop in your choice of white or blue, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the time announcements might actually be in Japanese.

[ Morning Countdown Clock ]

TVClean Is A Lint Roller For Your TV Or Monitor


By Chris Scott Barr

Being the bachelor that I am, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a clean freak. Granted, I usually keep things pretty tidy, since I can’t work in a messy office, but I’d fail the old white glove test. One thing that I do hate is when people touch my monitors or TV. I spend half my day staring at one, so I really don’t want fingerprints on it. I generally use a microfiber cloth to clean my screens, but here’s another interesting solution.

The TV Clean is sort of like a lint roller for your LCD monitor or TV. You just roll the little device over your screen, and its rubber roller picks up any dust and dirt, which is transferred to a sticky roller. This does seem like an easy way to get the dust off, but unfortunately you’ll still need to use a microfiber cloth to remove fingerprints and such. $50 seems a bit expensive for a dust remover. I’m sure it works just fine, but so does my method, and I don’t have to pay for refills.

[ TVClean ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Scorpion EXO-900 Transforming Helmet – You Had Me At ‘Transforming’

Scorpion EXO-900 Helmet (Images courtesy Motorcycle Superstore)
By Andrew Liszewski

The most dangerous thing I ride on a daily basis is the subway, and a helmet isn’t going to protect me from the hazards I encounter down there, which is too bad, since I really need a reason to justify buying one of these transforming EXO-900 models from Scorpion. Its three modes include a full face helmet, a flip front modular and a 3/4 helmet making it suitable for use all year round on anything from a superbike to a Vespa.

The EverClear No-Fog Faceshield uses state-of-the-art fog free technology and the retractable SpeedView Sun Visor features an anti-scratch hardened coating, and both can be easily removed or attached without the use of any tools. The helmet also features a moisture-wicking breathable liner as well as the AirFit helmet pump inflation system for a perfect custom fit. Depending on the finish and color options the Scorpion EXO-900 sells from about $270 to $280, and while I’m not sure if that’s expensive for a helmet, it seems reasonable for what is essentially the most important thing you can wear while riding.

[ Scorpion EXO-900 ] VIA [ Acquire ]

Handerpants – Because Your Hands Don’t Like Going Commando Either


By David Ponce

Yeah, it’s kind of like a gag, but what the heck. These are fingerless gloves made to look like a guy’s underpants. They’re made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex, allegedly giving them the same look and feel as regular briefs. And yes, they’re actually for sale, at $12 for a pair.

If you have the kind of sense of humor that can appreciate something like this, hit the jump for a cringe-worthy infomercial as well as a purchase link.

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BedBunker – Sleep Better At Night Knowing You’re On Top Of 70 Hand Guns

BedBunker (Images courtesy Heracles Research)
By Andrew Liszewski

Can’t fall asleep without knowing your cold steel is just an arm’s reach away? Well the BedBunker should put your mind at rest. It’s basically a 1,300 lb strongbox made of 10 gauge steel designed to replace the box spring under a twin, queen or king size mattress. It’s fireproof up to 1533 degrees based on their testing, which should make it ideal for protecting important documents, jewelry and other valuables, but the company has instead positioned it as an effective way to protect your vast collection of firearms, up to 32 rifles or 70 hand guns. Yeah, apparently there’s a demographic of people who have 70 hand guns but can’t think of a way to protect them…

Prices range from $2,200 for the twin sized BedBunker, up to $4,000 for the king sized double safe.

[ BedBunker ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

NYU Researchers Develop An Invisible Flash


By David Ponce

Most photographers will tell you: regular camera flashes are horrible. They tend to reflect off people’s skin amd create unwanted white spots, they give you red eyes in some pictures and they also blind you. NYU researchers have developed a way around this by creating a flash that uses light that is outside the visible spectrum, thus invisible to us.

It works like this: first the camera takes a picture with IR and UV light which produces a monochrome image. In quick succession a second image is taken without any flash, using only ambient lighting. Typically this will result in a dim, noisy, grainy image. The magic happens when the software combines both images using the first monochrome picture as a reference point to de-noise the image with natural colors. Once combined, the result is nearly indistinguishable from a long-exposure shot.

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Non Stop Top Never Stops Spinning – Except For When This Photo Was Taken

Non Stop Top (Image courtesy iWoot) By Andrew Liszewski

It’s hard to believe the claims that this Non Stop Top will actually spin forever when the product shot clearly shows it not spinning!

But reading further it turns out this toy doesn’t defy the laws of physics as I’d hoped, but simply features some internal battery powered mechanism that will keep it spinning until the battery dies, or until you’ve decided you’ve seen enough.

I guess I should have suspected as much when it had a price tag of about $16 and is available from I Want One Of Those instead of DARPA or the Rand Corporation.

[ Non Stop Top ] VIA [ Toyology ]