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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Unofficial LEGO Minifig Flash Drives Are All Kinds Of Awesome

LEGO Minifig Flash Drives (Images courtesy Etsy seller 123smile)
By Andrew Liszewski

Wow, check out what Etsy seller 123smile is now selling! We’ve covered their LEGO flash drive creations before, but these new Minifig USB drives are a must-have. They’re available in 2GB ($59.95), 4GB ($69.95) and what looks like 4GB high-speed ($79.95) capacities and come in a variety of characters including Star Wars figures which I’m sure will be their best seller. Now I’m not saying LEGO should copy what 123smile is doing, but come on! When you see things like this you have to wonder why the company can’t think of anything more creative than another flashlight?

[ Etsy - 123smile - LEGO Flash Drives ] VIA [ Chip Chick ]

Sony’s PCM-M10 Audio Recorder Is Indeed Pocket-Friendly

Sony PCMM10 Portable Linear PCM Recorder (Images courtesy Sony)
By Andrew Liszewski

Unlike their Vaio P laptop, whose pocketability is dubious at best, Sony’s PCM-M10 digital audio recorder is small enough to be easily stashed in your back pocket without sacrificing functionality. Audio is captured as 96 kHz/24-bit WAV files (at the maximum quality setting) or as MP3s to max out the 4GB of internal memory, but that can be expanded with microSD or Memory Stick Micro cards. It is a Sony product after all.

Other features include a built-in electret condenser stereo mic and speaker, cross-memory recording, digital pitch and key control, a digital limiter, low-cut filter and a USB connection for easily transferring recordings to your PC. It also uses standard AA batteries instead of an internal rechargeable one, and can be yours for a somewhat hefty $399.99.

[ Sony PCM-M10 ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

Review – The Beatles: Rock Band (Xbox 360)

Beatles-Rock-Band (1)

This post is syndicated with permission from GamerFront.net

To say that I’m a fan of rhythm games such as Rock Band would be an understatement. I’ve owned each game, a bunch of instruments and bought tons of DLC. I will however admit that the games are starting to grow a little stale these days. New songs are great, but the excitement just isn’t there like it used to be. I can’t remember the last time someone had a Rock Band/Guitar Hero party, and it’s no longer the staple of my weekly gaming sessions with the gang. So the question is how to renew interest in the genre. Activision has chosen to simply release as many Guitar Hero titles as possible, which proves only to increase the number of discs you must swap to play. Harmonix, on the other hand, has decided that band themed games might just do the trick.

Yes, we’ve seen standalone band-themed games already. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Metallica weren’t exactly a failure in my book, but they just didn’t feel complete. Sure, the models seemed alright, and there was some story included. However, the fact that the games were littered with songs from other artists just turned me off. If I buy a game with a band’s name on it, I really expect to be playing their songs, not stuff from people they toured with.

This isn’t even Harmonix’s first venture in the single-band titles. If GH:Aerosmith didn’t feel complete, then I wouldn’t even call the AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack a game. Hell, they even call it a ‘Track Pack’. This was a standalone title that featured a measly 18 songs from one live performance. There were no new character models, no special venues, no story, nothing. The only reason this was worth buying was because you could then import the music into your Rock Band library and play it without inserting the disc. The music was good, but nothing that couldn’t have easily been DLC.

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The Excavation Of Mushroom Island – What If Those Super Mario Games Really Happened?

The Excavation of Mushroom Island (Images courtesy Blurb)
By Andrew Liszewski

So what if it turns out that all those Super Mario games created by Nintendo were actually based on real events? And what if Mushroom Island was actually a lost chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean that were recently discovered by a team of archaeologists? Well that’s exactly the idea that author Logan Zawacki is proposing with his book, The Excavation of Mushroom Island, which is supposedly a detailed account of what the archaeologists found.

In ‘The Excavation of Mushroom Island,’ archaeologist Logan Zawacki and his team uncover the greatest archaeological discovery of the century and document their entire experience. This book comes complete with a detailed chronology of the cultures that inhabited the islands between the Arcadic Period and the Early Snesolithic Period, as well as detailed maps of the landscape and site locations of each marvelous find. There are over 30 documented fossils to view within this 76-page softcover book. Each fossil comes complete with a map of their locations, scientific names, dimensions, and informative comments provided by the lead researcher, Logan Zawacki.

It sounds like the perfect addition to any geek or gamer’s coffee Mountain Dew table, and while softcover versions of the book are available from Blurb for $50, a limited edition signed and numbered hardcover version is also available by contacting Logan directly (details can be found on the Blurb site) but you’ll want to act fast since that run is limited to just 100 copies.

[ The Excavation of Mushroom Island ] VIA [ ALBOTAS ]

LEGO Minifig Lantern

LEGO Minifig Lantern (Image courtesy Perpetual Kid)
By Andrew Liszewski

At this point even I’m a little sick of the recent flood of LEGO themed electronics and gadgets, but how can anyone resist taking this minifig LED lantern on their next camping trip? The oversized minifig swings from the “easy carry handle” and his white shirt provides 360 degrees of lighting thanks to a set of 4 white LEDs inside. It’s powered by 4 x AA batteries which are included, and is available from Perpetual Kid for just $19.99.

[ LEGO Led Lantern ]

OhGizmo! Review – AAXA Technologies P1 Pico Projector

AAXA Technologies P1 Pico Projector (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

When you think about it, a video projector small enough to fit in your hand is one of those ‘best of both worlds’ ideas. You get the portability of a device like the iPhone, with the big-screen viewing experience of a projector. And while micro projectors have been promised for the past few years, it’s only recently that we’ve begun to see affordable models hitting the market. Now prior to this review, the only experiences I’ve had with micro projectors was at trade shows where the lighting conditions were never ideal, and needless to say I wasn’t exactly impressed.

But AAXA Technologies sent us over one of their P1 Pico Projectors which I had the opportunity to test out in the comfort (and controlled conditions) of my own home. I’ll admit that I walked away with a different opinion on the technology, and while it’s far from perfect at this point (you’ll have to settle for a few compromises) I’m sure one day micro and even embedded projectors will be as commonplace as digital cameras are in cellphones today. Hit the jump for my full review.

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Palm Complains To USB-IF, Admits Violating Policies To Make iTunes Work With The Pre

Pre-iTunes

By Chris Scott Barr

The battle between Palm and Apple over the Pre’s ability to sync with iTunes has been an interesting one. When it made its debut, the Pre was able to sync natively with Apple’s popular music application. However, the lastest versions of iTunes have since blocked this function. At this point Palm could either roll over and admit defeat, or find some way to force Apple to play nice with their phone. Can you guess which choice they made?

Not wanting to say “die,” the company went to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) which owns the intellectual property of the Universal Serial Bus. They complained that Apple’s decision to block the Pre from using iTunes was violating the spirit of inter-connectivity that was the basis for USB. They even went so far as to describe the underhanded tactics they were forced to use in order to initially get the two to work together.

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The Force Is Strong With This Robe

jedi_dressing_gown_bathrobe

By Chris Scott Barr

I’m a guy that likes to grab a robe and wear it when I first get up, or sometimes when I get out of the shower. They’re comfortable, and allow you to walk around pants-free without displaying your underwear to everyone. My robe is rather dull looking, as it’s just plain gray with a belt. If you’re looking for something a little more geeky to walk around in first thing in the morning, look no further than this Jedi Dressing Gown.

This awesome homage to the defenders of the Star Wars universe will not make you one with the Force. It will however keep you nice and comfortable in its cotton velour fabrics. The robe is designed to look like something your average Jedi might wear until he’s had his his morning cup of Joe. The hood and Jedi insignia definitely complete the look. It is currently available for pre-order, and will ship on November 27th for $96.

[ Find-Me-A-Gift ] VIA [ GearFuse ]

FAIL – TomTom iPhone App + Car Kit Will Cost More Than Most GPS Units

tomtomiphonecarkit

By Chris Scott Barr

Last month TomTom announced their first GPS app for the iPhone, which weighed in at $99. That’s one of the more expensive pieces of software out there, though on-track with some of the other GPS offerings. When I wrote about it, I expressed my disinterest in such an application due to its high price and the fact that it would be a huge drain on your phone’s battery. Sure, TomTom made mention of a Car Kit, which is basically a mounting kit for the phone which also serves to charge it. The real question was just how much this would cost you.

Well we finally have the answer to that question, and it’s just plain ridiculous. TomTom has announced that the kit will be available next month for the price of $120. To give you an idea, you can purchase the TomTom ONE XL for the exact same price. This device has a larger display (4.3-inches compared to the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen) and as far as I can tell, all of the same features that are included in the iPhone app. So at the same price it might be a toss-up for some people, as having a full-fledged GPS application on the iPhone might be appealing.

Here’s where it gets really fun though. That $120 price does not include the software. That’s right, you’ll still need to pay $99 for the application. I really don’t know who was in charge of this over at TomTom, but they should be sacked. They’re offering all of the functionality of a $120 device for $220, and you have to supply the most important piece of hardware. I love my iPhone and all, but there’s nothing that could convince me to drop the cash on this grossly overpriced pair of products.

[ TomTom ] VI A [ CrunchGear ]