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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Google Voice Can Now Interact With Voicemails From Your Current Cell Phone Number

By Chris Scott Barr

Google is one of those companies that seems to always be working on something awesome. I’m a huge fan of Google Voice, as it really simplifies my life. Well if you’re one of the lucky people that have gotten into the beta, they have added yet a new feature. You can now have Google handle the voicemails from your personal cell phone number.

Despite the fact that I have a Google Voice number, people still call my actual cell phone number. This means that I have two different places to check my voicemail. Now Google can actually take control of your voicemail, and adding all of the same great features that you get on your Google Voice account. Things like custom greetings based on who’s calling and transcribed voicemails make it worth while. Now if I could just get a real Google Voice app on the iPhone (I’m looking at you Apple) it would be perfect.

[ Google Voice ]

Vioguard Introduces Self-Disinfecting Keybaord


By Chris Scott Barr

How often would you say you clean your keyboard? I know that it’s a rare thing to do for me, and probably not something most people do on a very regular basis. Sure, we’ve seen keyboards that can be put in a dishwasher, but what about a keyboard that actually cleans itself? Well now there is one of those.

The Vioguard UVKB50 doesn’t clean itself, so much as it disinfects. Whenever you are finished typing, the keyboard retracts into an enclosure and is blasted with a 50W UV light. This will supposedly kill 99.99% of viruses and bacteria. Mysophobes will no doubt rejoice at the introduction of this keyboard next month. However, they may actually fear the $899 price tag more than the germs on their keyboard.

[ Vioguard ] VIA [ SlipperyBrick ]

Peek To Release Dedicated Twitter Device


By Chris Scott Barr

Are you an important person? I mean someone that people hang on your every word, simply because even the most mundane actions in your life are news-worthy? Well I’ve got some awesome news for you. Peek, the makers of the Pronto email device have a new gadget up their sleeve. It looks very similar to the Pronto, but this one is dedicated to Twitter.

That’s right, if you don’t have a smartphone with a data plan, you can still tell everyone about the tiniest details of your life when you’re away from home. I honestly think that this is simply the worst idea ever. This is only encouraging people to post even more boring facts about their everyday life that no one cares about. Unless your life is filled with the same level of excitement of James Bond, you don’t need to be updating everyone hourly on it. There’s currently no word on pricing or availability.

[ Peek ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Facebook To Memorialize Pages Of The Deceased


By Chris Scott Barr

I am a frequenter of Facebook, like many people these days. A couple of weeks ago I saw that one of my suggested friends was a guy that I had gone to school with. It’s not unusual to see something like that, but this one was just a little different from the rest. This old schoolmate had passed away a couple of years ago. This of course brought up the question of just what happens to a person’s social networking page when they pass on?

Generally the page just stays as it is, unless someone else has the password to the account. Facebook, however, has finally stepped up to do something for people when tragedy strikes. If you have a friend or relative that has passed away, you can notify Facebook so that their page can be memorialized. There is some sort of confirmation process (and they ask you for proof in the form of an obituary or news article) so that a person isn’t accidentally labeled as deceased. Once this has been done, the account will be memorialized and stripped of certain personal information. Confirmed friends will be able to leave posts on the person’s wall in remembrance.

[ Facebook ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Flat Packed Lamp Doesn’t Come From You Know Where

Flat Lamp (Images courtesy gSelect)
By Andrew Liszewski

Though it will arrive at your home packed completely flat, this appropriately named Flat Lamp has no affiliation with a certain Swedish furniture and accessories store. Made of stainless steel and veneer polypropylene, the lamp can be converted from 2D to 3D in minutes, and the only thing you’ll need to add is electricity and a light bulb. It’s available in dark veneer, light veneer, red and white finishes from gSelect for $72.

[ Flat Lamp ] VIA [ Better Living Through Design ]

Foldable Kitchen Scale Maximizes Counter Space

Foldable Kitchen Scale (Images courtesy Pro-Idee)
By Andrew Liszewski

Kitchen gadgets can be as fun as any piece of high-techery you have around the house, but what’s the point of a counter full of gizmos when there’s no room left to actually cook? Well at least this Foldable Kitchen Scale won’t be in the way. It can handle loads up to 6.6 lbs providing measurements in 1g units, but folds up to a footprint no larger than a spice shaker. It’s powered by 2 x AAA batteries which are good for about 6 months of average use, and besides providing weight measurements it’s also got a 60 second timer, though that might be a mistake in the copy since I’m not sure what you could really cook in just 60 seconds. (Flash fry a buffalo with 20 seconds to spare?) ~$55 from Pro-Idee.

[ Foldable Kitchen Scale ]

Signorini’s Ceiling Mounted Bathroom Faucet

Bilo Ceiling Mounted Faucet (Images courtesy DigsDigs)
By Andrew Liszewski

Even though the installation will probably require quite a bit of renovation to your bathroom, including the re-routing of water pipes, this ceiling mounted faucet from Signorini is certainly a conversation piece. It’s part of the company’s Bilo line, and also features a stylish single lever hot/cold water mixer. And as for the price, well I’m going to assume it’s one of those ‘if you have to ask, it’s probably not in your budget’ items.

[ Signorini ] VIA [ DigsDigs ]

Elecom Releases A Bunch Of New Card Readers

Magnet Backed Card Reader (Image courtesy Elecom)
By Andrew Liszewski

This morning Elecom released a whole slew of new card readers, and while most of them just seem to feature a new color or slightly more compact design, this particular model, the MR-C20, stands out thanks to its magnetic backing that lets you stick it to a filing cabinet or PC tower instead of having it cluttering up your desk. It’s also available in trendy colors like black, white, fluorescent green and hot pink, but like most readers these days it eschews support for compact flash in order to stay compact.

[ PR – Elecom’s New Card Readers ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

Asus’ New ESC 1000 Is A Desktop Supercomputer

Asus ESC 1000 (Image courtesy Softpedia)By Andrew Liszewski

The company that introduced the world to the netbook with their EEE is now introducing a system at the other end of the performance spectrum.

The Asus ESC 1000 is essentially a desktop supercomputer with a speed of 1.1 teraflops thanks to a 3.3 GHz Intel LGA1366 Xeon W3580 server processor, 960 cores inside three Nvidia Tesla c1060 graphics processing cards coupled with a Quadro FX5800 GPU. The system also includes 24GB of DDR3 1333 MHz RAM, a 500GB SATA II hard drive and a high-capacity 1100 watt power supply. All for just over $14,500 according to PC Advisor.

[ Softpedia – ASUS Launches Its First Supercomputer, Packed with NVIDIA Graphics ]