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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Alfa Romeo’s “We can’t go any lower” Campaign Sinks An Ad To The Bottom Of The Marianas Trench To Drive The Point Home

Alfa Romeo's "We can't go any lower" Ad Campaign (Image courtesy Alfa Romeo)
By Andrew Liszewski

Alfa Romeo’s new 147 will have a European price tag of just under €15,000, and the company’s ad campaign for the car includes the tagline “We can’t go any lower” to emphasize just how affordable it is. But to really get the idea across, Alfa Romeo’s advertising agency decided to sink an advertisement for the car in the deepest/lowest place on Earth, the Marianas Trench. So quite literally, at around 36,000 feet below sea level, they can’t go any lower.

Autoblog is understandably a bit skeptical about the authenticity of the stunt, even though Alfa Romeo has created a website dedicated to the ad complete with the following ‘making of’ video which at times makes the whole thing seem as monumental as man landing on the moon.

I’m of course shackled to my desk and can’t head down there to see the ad for myself, but if any of our readers happen to be down that way please snap a photo for us if you do come across it.

[ Alfa Romeo Expedition 147 ] VIA [ Autoblog ]

DYMO RHINO 101 Labeler Appears To Be An Over-Engineered Roll Of Tape

DYMO RHINO 101 (Image courtesy DYMO)
By Andrew Liszewski

DYMO had a good thing going with their classic embossing labelers. The tags might not have looked super professional, but they had a certain retro charm. However, since the company’s modern thermal paper models don’t require you to sit there stamping out a message letter by letter for 5 minutes, I can see the advantages to upgrading. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for this contraption.

While the DYMO website tries to convince me their RHINO 101 is perfect for people who need to “write and run”, I just can’t see why anyone would pay $20 for what is essentially a roll of white tape and a black Sharpie. Apparently the company doesn’t realize that most people buy DYMO labelers because either they don’t want to write their own labels (as this requires you to do), or like me, they can’t because they’ve already forgotten how to print.

[ DYMO RHINO 101 ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Lenovo Releases Keyboard/Mouse Combo For Living Room Use


By Chris Scott Barr

Having an HTPC can be a useful thing, what with all of the greatness of a computer hooked up to your big-ass TV. The biggest issue with using them is, well, using them. Sure, if you’re using something simple like Windows Media Center then a remote should do the trick. If you’re trying to do anything that requires typing or mousing, then you’ve got to have the necessary tools. Traditional keyboards and mice are large and clunky, things that should not be found in your living room. That’s why companies like Lenovo are creating hybrid devices that provide similar functionality while still looking like something you’d want sitting on your coffee table.

The latest offering from Lenovo is this Multimedia Remote with Keyboard. Meant to be held like a traditional remote, it offers a trackball at the bottom for your mousing needs. When it comes time for typing, you’ll use the keyboard just as you would with most QWERTY phones. A tiny USB dongle is all that’s require to connect it to your computer. At $60, this should be a welcome accessory to any living room with an HTPC.

[ Lenovo ] VIA [ Dvice ]

Logic Bolt Projector Phone Redesigned As Smartphone, For Sale Unlocked On Skymall

PhoneImage_MenuScreenBy Evan Ackerman

Logic Wireless’ Bolt projector phone, which we were first introduced to at CES last year, has gotten an update to version 1.5. Not that version 1.0 ever seemed to really get to market, but still… We heard rumors of this update at CES that mentioned a smaller prototype, as version 1.0 of the Bolt was pretty darn chunky, and this new model has definitely slimmed down, among other improvements. The flagship feature of the Bolt is, of course, the integrated projector, which is capable of throwing a VGA (640 x 480) image up to 64 inches wide. Otherwise, you’re getting a smartphone that runs Symbian, has a touchscreen, two cameras (one on the front and one on the back), and slots for two SIM cards. Oh, and there’s no 3G.

It’s certainly a strange set of features, which makes it entirely appropriate that the Logic Bolt 1.5 is currently for sale through Skymall (!) and not T-Mobile as we heard was likely to be the case. It’s $500 unlocked, which pretty much restricts interest in this thing to people who for whatever reason find that they absolutely need a phone that can do all of the weird things that the Logic Bolt can.

We’ll get a look at it in person at CES in a week or so (!!!), and hopefully we’ll be able to tell you whether there’s the remotest chance that it’s worth half a grand.

[ Skymall ] VIA [ Gearlog ]

Golf Ball Launcher Makes The Game Fun For Anyone


By Chris Scott Barr

Winter is here, so golf might not be the first thing on your mind. If you’re like me, then you probably don’t think about the sport too much anyway. I’ve played a few rounds and haven’t the patience to actually get good at it. Then again, if you have a Golf Ball Launcher you don’t really need to do too much practicing.

The Golf Ball Launcher is exactly what you’d expect it to be. It’s a device that launches your ball (up to around 300 yards) so you don’t have to mess with those silly clubs (though you may still need a putter for the green). The launcher is powered by an air compressor, which will give you another reason to take a cart instead of hoofing it across the entire course. If you want to feel like you’re actually putting some effort into things, you can opt to use a hand pump instead.

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Andtie Scarf/Necktie Mashup

Andtie (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

Christmas might be over, but Winter has only begun, and for a lot of us that means unreasonably freezing temperatures and accessories like gloves and scarves to stave off frostbite. Now there’s nothing wrong with your standard scarf, but the Andtie adds a small touch of extra professionalism since one end makes it look you’re wearing necktie while you’re battling the sub-zero elements. Pricing and availability information on their website is a bit vague, but the Andtie does appear to be available in different colors and fabrics, and if you need one you can email [email protected] for more information.

[ Andtie ] VIA [ Inspire me, now! ]

Fatrak AV Gear Shelving Provides Easy Access To Cables And Connections

Fatrak Audio Video Rack (Images courtesy Avrak)
By Andrew Liszewski

Not only does the Fatrak feature adjustable shelving, allowing you to create perfectly sized openings for the various components in your home theater setup, but the entire rack can actually be pulled out from the wall and rotated 180 degrees providing easy access to the connections and cabling in the back. It’s a simple but well-engineered solution to the problem of blindly trying to hook up components, but unfortunately in addition to the cost of installing a sunken wall unit for the gear to slide into, the Fatrak itself starts at $1,784 for a setup with 2 adjustable shelves that can support 250 lbs. Opt for the unit with 5 shelves rated at 350 lbs and you’ll be shelling out $2,172.

[ Fatrak ] VIA [ Born Rich ]

Photosimile 5000 – “The World’s First Office Photography Machine”

Photosimile 5000 (Image courtesy Ortery)By Andrew Liszewski

The Photosimile 5000 from Ortery is designed to make taking professional looking product shots as easy as using the office scanner or photocopier. It’s an all-in-one unit that includes everything from lighting (4 symmetrical, daylight 6500K bulbs) to a turntable to a PC-controlled motorized DSLR (Canon Digital Rebel) mount allowing you to capture shots of the item from almost any angle in a single pass.

It also comes with the custom Photosimile 5000 software that not only allows you to see previews of the item while it’s in the box, but it also allows you to control the angle and position of the camera mount to get exactly the shots you need. It also makes creating website-friendly flash animations as easy as navigating an export options dialogue, where you can resize, mask, correct and even add watermarks to images.

Unfortunately pricing information isn’t available on the Ortery website, “We do not list pricing on this website due to international pricing concerns” which usually translates to “Yes, we know it’s expensive, but let us explain in person why the cost is justified and totally worth it for your business!”

[ Photosimile 5000 ]

1/6 Scale Imperial Throne Is About 5/6 Away From Being A Must-Have

The Imperial Throne 1:6 Scale (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

Yes, I know it’s designed for those larger 12-inch action figures that border a bit too close to ‘dolls’ for my liking, but nothing Herman Miller sells would be as cool as sitting in the Emperor’s Throne at work. Sadly, at just 1/6 scale it’s completely unsuitable for human use, and given how the Emperor was hunched over in all those films, I don’t think it would be anywhere near as comfortable or ergonomic as an Aeron chair. $129.99 from, available sometime near June 2010.

[ The Imperial Throne 1:6 Scale Environment ]