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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Fish Tank Friday: Don’t Put Your Fish In Here


By Evan Ackerman

We’ve all got an old fish tank lying around in the garage from our childhood, and Puget Systems has a pretty good idea of what can be with it. They’re selling a complete DIY kit to submerge your entire computer (except for the drives, of course) in a fish tank full of mineral oil. Since mineral oil is non-conductive to electricity but a good conductor of heat, it makes for a much better cooling solution than air, allowing you to overlock your hardware to the maxxx… A backpack of sorts pumps the oil past a bunch of fans to transfer heat out of the tank.

You can get other liquid cooling systems that are a little bit more integrated into a case, but then you have to worry about leakage and stuff, and anyway, it’s far less dramatic. The tank with the external cooling system will run you about $290; you provide your own fish tank, aquarium rocks, and bubbler. You can also get the system with a tank for about $500.

[ Puget Systems ] VIA [ Tom’s Hardware ]

Canon 60D, Rebel To Have Articulating Displays?


By Gaurav Kheterpal

Rumors suggest that Canon is leaving no stone unturned for a February launch for its EOS 60D DSLR and the Canon 550D/600D. No doubt that Canon has been feeling the heat of the competition from Sony with its point-and-shoots waterproof cameras and Nikon with its swivel-screen displays.

The Canon 60D may inherit 50D’s metallic body and 15.1 MP resolution but it’s likely to have an improved sensor and offer low-light sensitivity. The new Rebel would be of a smaller size than the existing Rebel T1i and would be capable of at least 720p30 video.

Watch out for Canon’s possible announcements at PMA Photography Expo on 20th February, 2010 for more.

[ Canon ] VIA [ TFTS ]

Google Voice Finally On iPhone But Without Apple’s Consent

20090325 PHONELIFE

By Gaurav Kheterpal

There is some good news – Google Voice is finally available on the iPhone. However, the bad news is that it runs on your iPhone’s browser and not as a native application. Google has been trying hard to convince Apple to allow Google Voice on iPhone but, no dice.

Google then simply decided to take the matter into its own hands and developed a web version which can be accessed by any HTML browser running on the iPhone. It is recommended to add shortcuts to your home screen for the most important features such as Dialer, Compose SMS, Inbox and Contacts. Something is better than nothing and Google Voice running on the browser is certainly better than no Google Voice on your iPhone.

[ Google Voice ] VIA [ CSMonitor ]

Psyko Audio Takes A different Approach To 5.1 Surround Sound Headsets


By Chris Scott Barr

Being a PC gamer, I’m no stranger to headphones. Whenever a new pair comes out, there are generally wild claims that accompany the release. Phrases like “most comfortable,” “clearest sound” and many others get tossed around. Sure, some of them have an innovative feature or two, but it’s rare to find one that seems truly innovative. The Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset falls into that very small group.

It’s not uncommon to find a headset that promises 5.1 surround sound capabilities. But with all of the speakers right there in your ear, it’s hard to really get a true 5.1 sound. Psyko takes a new approach to this by placing all five speakers on top of your head, leaving only a pair of subwoofers in your ears. Now what good does having speakers on top of your head do? Quite a lot, if the sound is actually piped down to the front and back of your ears.

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Boggle Flash

Boggle Flash (Images courtesy Pocket-lint)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s time to retire your alphanumeric die as Hasbro prepares to bring Boggle into the 21st century. Sure, online and electronic versions of the game have been around for ages, but there’s always some appeal to playing with something tangible. And with Boggle Flash it’s five miniature monochrome LCD displays that each present a different random letter.

The object of the game is to spell out as many words as possible with those five letters by joining the displays together, and what’s particularly cool is that Boggle Flash will keep score for you, so you only have to concentrate on your spelling skills, not your math skills. And since the game was just revealed, there’s no pricing info or release date beyond “later this year.”

[ Pocket-lint – Boggle Flash takes word game high tech ]

E-Flite Blade mCX Includes Fourth Channel


By Evan Ackerman

We’ve been inundated with all different kinds of crappy two and three channel helicopters, which are kinda fun, but after you figure out how not to crash them it becomes evident that not crashing them is just about the extent of their capabilities. This is because of the limited number of ways in which you can control the helicopter… With three channels, you can make it go up and down, and sort of left and right and forwards and backwards. Sort of.

Really, you need 5 channels to properly fly a R/C helicopter: pitch, roll, yaw, throttle, and blade pitch. But you can tie the blade pitch to the throttle (both make the helicopter go up and down) and then you only need 4 channels to make everything work, which is what you get with the E-Flite Blade mCX helicopter. At $120, it’s significantly more expensive than the cheap 3 channel models, but it’s the least you’re paying for a real (i.e. fully controllable) R/C helicopter, and one that comes completely ready to fly, with the controller. And once you’ve mastered the mCX, E-Flite makes an entire lineup that you can continue to practice not crashing on.

[ E-Flite ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Rechargeable Heated Socks Keep Your Feet Nice And Toasty


By Chris Scott Barr

It can be hard to keep your feet warm in the winter time. Sure, a nice pair of thick wool socks can go a long way in combating the cold, but even that only helps for so long. Once your toes get cold, there’s nothing you can do until you get them inside and heat them up. So what do you do if you’re working outside for long periods and want to be absolutely sure that your feet stay toasty? One option is to wear heated socks.

The Heat Sock EX system consists of a pair of heated socks, a battery pack and two long wires. On the battery pack itself you can select between five different levels of heating for your feet. Depending on what level you select, you can get between three and ten hours of warmth on a single charge. My biggest concern is what happens when the socks get wet, as they so often tend to do in the snow. The second biggest concern is the $265 price tag. Then again if you work outside all day in the winter, you really can’t put a price on warm feet.

[ Japan Trend Shop ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Leisure Eyes Cover


By Evan Ackerman

Is it just me, or is Brando lately somehow managing to make stuff that is just as weird as we’ve seen from them for the past few years, but actually more useful than ever? Not that “ever” is the greatest standard of comparison for Brando, but still… This “Leisure Eyes Cover” is a big soft blindfold of sorts with integrated speakers. You slip it on, tighten the elastic band, and then lie back and enjoy one of three different kinds of maddeningly repetitive nature sounds or you can plug in your own audio source via a 3.5mm jack. Soft controls are located on the outside of the mask, and the setup is powered by a couple AA batteries.

Despite its rather strange appearance, this thing might be kinda nice to have for car trips, air travel, commuting, watching cable news, or any other time where maximum sensory deprivation is preferable. It comes in one of three reprehensible colors for only $16.

[ Brando ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Short Circuit Shelf

Short Circuit Shelf (Image courtesy Alexandra DiCairano)
By Andrew Liszewski

The name ‘Short Circuit Shelf’ conjured up images of my handful of DVDs and books being held up by a wise-cracking, sentient robot, but this is cool too. Created by Alexandra DiCairano, the Short Circuit Shelf is actually designed to look like a circuit board when mounted on your wall, which, according to Alexandra, “have a beautiful and efficient pattern that perfectly serve their function…” The shelves aren’t available for sale though, which is a shame since they’d probably be more popular in comp sci and electrical engineering students’ dorm rooms than that picture of Einstein sticking his tongue out.

[ Short Circuit Shelf ] VIA [ Freshome ]