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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Brilliant Switch Turns USB Cables Stupid


By Evan Ackerman

Computers spend a lot of time thinking that they’re smarter than us. Like, with USB: your computer figures that it’ll just start firing up all of its software and whatnot whenever you plug something in, like your iPod or iPhone. Well, you know what? Sometimes we don’t want to sync our data. Sometimes we don’t want to automatically fire up iTunes and spend 10 minutes backing up our iPhones when we just needed a little bit of a charge, and God forbid the iPhone gets plugged into a different computer that tries to delete all of the music that’s on it…

You know what? NO.

Hence, this USB cable with a little switch that lets you decide whether you want a data connection, or just a power connection. The iPod/iPhone version is $13, and there are other USB adapters for $10 each. Yes, it’s more expensive than a cable without the switch, but if you don’t get one, you’re basically just admitting that your computer is smarter than you, and then the machines win. I mean, you don’t hate humanity, do you? Do you?

[ USB Fever ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

M-Edge Guardian Floating, Waterproof Case For The Kindle

Guardian Floating, Waterproof Case For The Kindle (Image courtesy M-Edge)
By Andrew Liszewski

In the whole ‘traditional paper book vs. e-paper book’ debate, neither side scores too many points when it comes to being waterproof. But thanks to M-Edge’s new Guardian Case, owners of the latest generation 6 inch Kindle can take it in the bath, the shower, even the pool, without worrying about the consequences of mixing electronics with water.

It’s made of molded plastic and is available in 5 different color tints, and thanks to its dual-hinge, integrated gasket and four-latch closing system, the case remains watertight in water up to 1 meter deep. Three internal buoyancy chambers ensure the Kindle never sinks deeper than that on its own, and flexible sealed cutouts allow for full access and functionality of all the navigation buttons and keyboard. Pricing info isn’t available just yet though, since the Guardian isn’t expected to be available until sometime in the Spring of this year.

[ M-Edge Guardian Floating, Waterproof Case For The Kindle ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

Imperial Star Destroyer Framed SpecPlate

Imperial Star Destroyer Framed SpecPlate (Image courtesy Entertainment Earth)
By Andrew Liszewski

Thankfully, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, someone had the foresight to remove the SpecPlates off a handful of Imperial Star Destroyers before they were sold for scrap after the Galactic Empire fell. And now, many unspecified years later, they’ve made them available for sale. Each plate is 36 inches wide by 17 inches tall and made of 1/8 inch aluminum, and there’s only about 25 of them up for grabs, so the $1,994.99 price tag (available March 2010) is understandable. Now it might not be the most affordable collectible for every Star Wars fan out there, but if your ancestors served on one of these ships during the Clone Wars, it might be a nice way to remember them.

[ Imperial Star Destroyer Framed SpecPlate ] VIA [ Nerd Approved ]

Universal Networking Cable Lives Up To Its Name


By Chris Scott Barr

If you’ve dabbled in computer networking for very long, you’ve no doubt learned to craft your own cables. You’ve also probably discovered that your average Cat5 cable can be turned into one of several different types, depending on how you wire it. It can get frustrating keeping track of a patch, crossover, rollover and loopback cables in your bag, when they all seem to look identical. Well now there’s one cable that can act as all 4.

With the simple turn of a dial, this Universal Network Cable will let you turn a simple patch cable into any networking cable you need. This includes the four I mentioned previously, as well as a a T1 cable (which I never needed in my networking days). This $25 device will save you a bit of time, as well as a lot of space in your toolbox.

[ ThinkGeek ] VIA [ Coolest-Gadgets ]

LG GW990 – The First MeeGo Smartphone


By Gaurav Kheterpal

A few days ago at the 2010 Mobile World Congress, Intel and Nokia announced that they are joining hands to launch a new hybrid mobile operating system named ‘MeeGo’. MeeGo will inherit the best of both worlds from Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Mobilin operating systems and will join the crowded war of mobile operating systems including the likes of Android, Symbian, iPhone OS and the recently launched Windows Phone 7 Series.

LG has announced that its GW990 would be the first ever smartphone to run on the MeeGo platform. For a start, the LG LG990 will be available in Korea during the second half of this year. It is expected to be available in other countries by end of this year.

[ Techtree ] VIA [ Intel ]

Butterfly Displays Offer Vivid Color, Long Battery Life


By Evan Ackerman

This is a prototype e-reader from Qualcomm called Mirasol. Apparently, this vivid color display (which doesn’t use a backlight) consumes less power than a monochrome e-ink display:

More, after the jump.Continue Reading

Turn Your 3G Card Into A Wireless Hotspot


By Chris Scott Barr

I keep a 3G card in my laptop bag for those times where I absolutely need to be connected, but have no other method for getting on the web. It’s handy (albeit a bit expensive) to have around, but there have been times where I’d like to be able to share that connection with others. One option is the ASUS Crosslink that we showed you back at CES, but even then you can only share with one computer. How about broadcasting that 3G connection wirelessly?

Since not all carriers have hopped on-board with the idea of offering a 3G router, ConnectOne has decided to offer their own universal one. While the Wi-Reach Classic router doesn’t have a 3G connection of its own, it has a USB port for connection your current 3G card. You’ll then be able to create a wireless network for up to 10 people. Even better, the device is completely wireless, with a battery life of between 4 and 5 hours. This $99 device certainly seems to be worth the investment if you do a lot of traveling with other people.

[ ConnectOne ] VIA [ EverythingUSB ]

Kettquad Pedal-Powered ATV

Kettquad Pedal-Powered ATV (Image courtesy Kettler)
By Andrew Liszewski

Thanks to a German company called Kettler, kids will never have to endure the inevitable crashes and injuries resulting from learning to ride a two-wheeled bicycle again. Besides having four wheels which means you don’t have to worry about balancing, the Kettquad features pneumatic tires for tackling off-road terrain, a protected enclosed chain drive, no-shift reverse, disk brakes and it will be available in the U.S. sometime this year. Who cares if it will cost over $800 and is only designed for kids aged 5-12? That’s not stopping me from ordering one.

And if you’re still not sold on it, check out the trailer below which not only clearly illustrates how awesomely extreme the Kettquad is, but also has a Metroid-esque shocking reveal at the end!

[ Kettler Kettquad ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Eddie’s Son Hologram Suspension Lamp

Eddie's Son Hologram Suspension Lamp (Image courtesy Panik Design)

The Panik Design website is a little vague about how this hologram suspension lamp actually works (or who Eddie’s son is) but if the illustration is to be believed, it hangs from your ceiling and either projects a hologram of a light bulb onto a flat surface below (unlikely) or it makes it appear as if there’s a glowing pink light bulb floating inside the shade in mid-air (more likely). Either way, it better do something cool since they’re asking almost $1,600 (£1,020) for it. And I guess smokers might want to pass on this one since the website cautions that “Direct sunlight and nicotine may reduce the hologram’s life span.” Technically that applies to humans too.

[ Panik Design – Eddie’s Son Hologram Suspension Lamp ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]