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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Recycled Cassette Tape Ties Are Actually Playable

Sonic Fabric Neckties (Image courtesy Supermarket)
By Andrew Liszewski

Designed by Alyce Santoro and Julio Cesar, these rather dapper Sonic Fabric Neckties are made from 50% colored thread and 50% recorded audio cassette tape which means you can sacrifice an old Walkman to make a ‘sonic fabric reader’ (see the video below) allowing you to hear remnants of what was originally on the tapes.

The Sonic Fabric Neckties are available from Supermarket in black, dark brown and grey for $90 a pop, plus the cost of a Walkman if your curiosity gets the best of you.

[ Supermarket – Sonic Fabric Neckties ] VIA [ Pocket-lint ]

Sketch Art = Lite-Brite TNG

Sketch Art (Image courtesy Hi-Tec Art)
By Andrew Liszewski

Lite-Brite is one of those toys that has managed to withstand the test of time with very little innovation. You jam plastic pegs in a hole, they light up, you get art. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Sketch Art from a company called Hi-Tec Art is a lot like Lite-Brite, but instead of clear plastic pegs it uses individual LEDs that stick to the background and light up on their own.

Each set comes with 100 3mm LEDs of assorted colors, and while I’d like to say that magnets and induction are the secrets to how this works, the mention of ‘LED Insertion’ and ‘LED Extraction’ tools in the ‘What’s in the Box’ list makes me think that’s not the case. $49.95 from Hi-Tec Art’s website.

[ Sketch Art ] VIA [ Gear Diary ]

GM Brings WiFi Access To Your New Vehicle


By Chris Scott Barr

There are some people in this world that need to be connected to the internet at all times. Sure, I’m an internet junkie, but I don’t think I’d ever go so far as to install a permanent WiFi hotspot in my car. GM announced that they will soon start offering Autonet, an always-on wireless internet solution for your car.

The device can be installed in your new van, SUV, truck or crossover starting later this month. Installation will set you back $499, while service is going to cost $29 a month with a 1GB cap. There is also a 5GB package, though no price was listed. The WiFi signal will reach up to 150 feet away, so you won’t be limited to using it just in your car. Great, now kids can check their Facebook and watch YouTube on long car rides. All my brother and I had was one GameBoy to fight over.

[ GM ] VI A [ CrunchGear ]

Apple Finally Replaces Windows-Based EasyPay Devices In Retail Stores


By Chris Scott Barr

If you’ve ever purchased something at an Apple store, you’ve probably noticed those handy little devices they use to ring you up. If you’re using plastic, they just scan your purchase, swipe your card and send you on your way without stepping behind a register. If you’re observant, you’ll also notice that the handheld device is a Windows-based PDA. How embarrassing. At least they are taking steps to eliminate these handhelds from their stores.

Apple has decided to start rolling out a new system which has similar functionality, but instead is built around the iPod Touch. They will simply be hooking up a barcode scanner and credit card reader to iPods running their special POS software. They’ve started rolling this out at one of their stores in California, and should have them at all of their stores for the holiday season.

VIA [ AppleInsider ]

Nyko Zoom Case Gives Your DSi An 8x Optical Zoom


By Chris Scott Barr

These days it seems like everything has a digital camera in it. Okay, maybe not everything, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t own at least one device that functions as a camera. Of course if you aren’t using a dedicated camera, the lack of an optical zoom can limit your shots. Then again, that’s what crazy accessories are for.

Nyko has announced that they will soon be offering cases for your DSi which will let you attach an 8x zoom lens. I suppose if you carry your DSi everywhere, and enjoy taking a lot of pictures, this might be worth looking into. Sure, you’ll look like a dork, but at least your snapshots will look a little better. Not to mention the $25 price tag certainly can’t be argued with.

[ Nyko ] VIA [ Kotaku ]

Jack-O-Lanterns Get Hi-Tech


Article courtesy of John Beck, from The Processor.

If you didn’t get invited to any good Halloween parties (or are just a complete misanthrope), then you might well be planning to spend Saturday night hunkered down behind the sofa with the lights off, hoping that sugar-crazed trick-or-treaters don’t suss you out and start making outrageous demands for confectionary and money in exchange for not smashing your windows or causing you actual bodily harm.

In case you do get rumbled, you may wish to follow Glenn Derene of Popular Mechanics’ lead and create some hi-tech surveillance pumpkins to capture the little darlings on tape while they ransack your house and/or break your legs.

Derene made himself two different video system sporting jack-o-lanterns – one with a cheapo infrared camera and receiver set and another with an Aavek Vue wireless camera system, which can be monitored remotely via a password protected website. Check out step by step instructions here. Take that you pesky kids!

[ PopularMechanics ]

Sanicare Travel Bidet

Sanicare Travel Bidet (Image courtesy Sanicare)By Andrew Liszewski

Believe it or not, in some parts of the world you just can’t find a bidet when you need one. Thankfully the Travel Bidet from Sanicare (which absolutely should never be mistaken for a product from Sonicare who makes toothbrushes) can be used whether you’re sitting in an airplane lavatory at 30,000 feet, or simply squatting in the forest.

A small reservoir can be filled with water as needed, and it comes with 3 different spray heads depending on what you intend to clean. The pump is powered by a single AAA battery which is included, and you can get it directly from Sanicare for $39.95.

[ Sanicare Travel Bidet ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Yep, Walmart Now Sells Caskets Online

Walmart Casket (Image courtesy Walmart)
By Andrew Liszewski

To be perfectly honest I guess I really shouldn’t be that surprised that Walmart sells coffins and caskets on their website, but why are they listed under the ‘For the Home’ category? I’m pretty sure they have to be shipped directly to a funeral home, and in case you were wondering, they can’t accept a returned casket if it’s already been used due to FTC regulations. So forget about saving even more money on a refurb unit.

[ Walmart Caskets ] VIA [ Gear Diary ]

Nintendo Officially Announces The DSi LL/XL

Nintendo DSi LL/XL (Image courtesy GoNintendo)
By Andrew Liszewski

So it turns out that ‘speculation’ about a newer, larger screened DSi was bang on, as Nintendo officially announced a new version of their dual-screened console this morning. The DSi LL will be available in Japan on November 21st for about $220, and will later be renamed the DSi XL for the Europe market when it’s available there in Q1 of 2010. As for availability in North America? Currently unknown.

The biggest improvement on the LL/XL is the 4.2 inch screens, a full inch larger than the ones the DSi sports. It’s also claimed to have about 1 to 3 hours more battery life than the DSi depending on screen brightness, but since the new model is considerably larger and about 50% heavier than the DSi, there’s plenty of space for a larger battery. And in addition to the standard DS stylus, the DSi LL/XL also appears to come with a larger “touch pen” that’s 4cm longer and considerably more ergonomic than the built-in one.

[ Nintendo DSi LL/XL ] VIA [ GoNintendo ]