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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Groomair Electric Vacuum Brush

Groomair Electric Vacuum Brush (Image courtesy Pro-Idee)
By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t know too many dogs or cats who are fans of vacuum cleaners, but as we move into Spring with the joys of shedding, this vacuum equipped pet brush could be a good way to deal with all that discarded fur. Unless of course you don’t mind walking around with fur covered socks. The Groomair comes with two interchangeable brush attachments for dealing with pets with long or short coats, and in addition to collecting loose skin and fur, it also apparently provides a pleasant massage. $78 from Pro-Idee.

[ Groomair Electric Vacuum Brush ]

Cravendale Milk Jug Detects Sour Milk

Cravendale Milk Jug (Image courtesy TechChee)
By Andrew Liszewski

How many times have you accidentally left the milk out on the kitchen counter, and wondered if it was still safe to drink? Well Cravendale, a UK-based dairy, has developed a new milk jug that takes the guesswork out of whether or not its contents have soured. The technology used in the jug was discovered by the company’s R&D team while researching the bacteria that actually turns milk sour, and is essentially a unique PH sensor that’s built into its base. When sour milk is detected, a small LCD display on the outside of the jug changes from ‘Fresh’ to ‘Sour’ and if that doesn’t get the message across, it also incorporates an “innovative alarm system” so there’s no question you probably shouldn’t drink it.

There’s no word on whether or not Cravendale plans to actually put the jug into production, but it’s hoped that the technology could one day drastically reduce the amount of milk that is thrown away because people just aren’t sure if it’s safe to drink or not.

[ PR – Cravendale – Revealed: A Magic Milk Jug ] VIA [ TechChee ]

KaBling Jeweled Cables Are Simply Terrifying

KaBling Cable

By Chris Scott Barr

I like keeping my office looking good, and thus I tend to purchase items that will compliment the ones I already have. One thing I don’t usually put too much thought into is my network cables (or any other cables for that matter). I have a nice spool of blue Cat5e that suits me just fine, and I make new cables as needed. After all, it’s not like anyone should be seeing my cables, so who cares? Well if you’re someone that cares, and has an insatiable need for all things pink, then I think I’ve found something right up your alley.

Cables Unlimited has released a line of cabling that is aimed at pink-loving geeks everywhere. You can choose from networking, HDMI, 3.5mm audio, USB and AC power cables. Each are colored pink and feature a number of crystals embedded in them. I can’t say I know anyone that would go so far as to buy pink cables, but at least those that do can be comforted knowing they are supporting a good cause. 10% of the proceeds go toward the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Cables range in price from $9.99 to $24.99.

[ Cables Unlimited ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

RCA Airnergy Now Called AirPower, Shows Off New Designs But No Details


By Evan Ackerman

Remember the Airnergy WiFi power harvester that we showed you last January at CES? You know, the thing that charges your gadgets out of thin air that several commenters pointed out was (mathematically speaking) at best impractical and at worst impossible? Well, it’s now called AirPower, and while RCA still won’t provide details on how it actually manages to pull substantial amounts of electricity out of the air in what seems to be a violation of the first (I think) law of thermodynamics, they have designed some new cases for it.

So, yeah. Looking good. But does it actually work? RCA reiterated that the AirPower will charge itself “with around five to six hours of Wi-Fi exposure” by “regurgitating and converting the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi signal,” which is the same sort of thing we heard at CES… I really want to believe that RCA wouldn’t keep showing this thing off and making the same impressive claims if they didn’t have a working one in a R&D bunker somewhere, but at the same time, here’s a quote from a commenter on our original article:

“By my calculations, 100% efficiency and absorption at 5 feet away from a 100mW home router, (reasonable figures), it would take 34.5 years to charge that blackberry battery.”

Also, the release date of the AirPower charger has been pushed from this summer to the holidays, and the pricing has gone from $40 to “has yet to be determined.” C’mon RCA, laws of physics be damned, I want this to be real.


Cargo Shirts Provide A Less Than Secret Place To Stash Your Gear

BlackCoat-T iPod Cargo Pocket Tee Shirts (Images courtesy Koyono)
By Andrew Liszewski

Cargo pants might not be the most stylish solution for holding all your portable gear, but if you’re trying to avoid carrying a bag and it’s too hot for a pocket-laden jacket, you need someplace to stash your take-everywhere toys. I never thought a plain t-shirt would be the solution though. Koyono’s ‘Cargo’ line of tees feature a set of hidden pockets on each side of the tee that are accessed via a central zippered opening, located smack dab in the middle of the shirt. While it’s not the most secret place to stash your valuables, it does provide a convenient place to store a couple of gadgets, as long as you don’t over do it when it comes to layering.

The BlackCoat-T shirts are available in different styles including your standard tee, long sleeve, sleeveless and performance models in your choice of black or white with a red or white zipper, and range in price from $25.95 to $32.95.

[ Koyono BlackCoat-T Shirts ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

plasticPage Hardware Provides A Tactile Way To Flip Through Pages In Your eBook

glBook & plasticPage (Image courtesy Marcin Szewczyk)
By Andrew Liszewski

One of the biggest appeals of using an e-ink based ebook reader, instead of an LCD-equipped device like a laptop or even the iPad for reading, is the fact that their monochrome displays more closely mimic reading an actual book. And that feature alone is what made the ebook market explode over the past few years. But why stop at just the display when it comes to mimicking the book experience we’ve known and loved for hundreds of years?

Marcin Szewczyk’s glBook software and plasticPage hardware provide a tactile interface for flipping through pages in a virtual book. Created while at university, the plasticPage device resembles paper sheets, but is actually made from flexible pieces of plastic that are stacked like pages in a book. Each ‘page’ is also a bit longer than the one above, allowing the user to accurately flip through a given number of pages while they see the results happen in real-time in the custom OpenGL-powered glBook software.

While the interface isn’t quite ready for ‘primetime’ as they say, Marcin is working to make the prototype device a bit more assembly line and consumer friendly, including making it wireless and improving the optical sensor currently being used.

[ glBook & plasticPage ] VIA [ Hack a Day ]

Brinell Purestorage – “The Exclusive Portable Hard Disk”

Brinell Purestorage (Images courtesy Brinell)
By Andrew Liszewski

Do you value looks over capacity, speed and price point? Then step right up as Brinell has a series of portable drives which they refer to as “the exclusive portable hard disk.” It does seem a little snooty, but with finishes that include wood, chrome, leather, brushed stainless steel and what looks like carbon fiber, that’s exactly the clientele they seem to be going after.

Besides an included microfiber cloth to keep the drives looking their best, there’s not much to talk about in terms of features. They’re your basic USB 2.0 external drive, available in either an XS size which uses a 1.8 inch 160GB drive, or an S size that uses a 2.5 inch 500GB drive. Pricing depends on which finish and size you get, with the least bang for your buck being the XS black chrome & wood version which will set you back about $250 for a mere 160GB.

[ Brinell Purestorage ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Philips GuideLight Flashlight

Philips GuideLight (Image courtesy Philips)
By Andrew Liszewski

At first glance it might just look like a concept design, but Philips’ GuideLight is most definitely a real product, and is kind of like a modern take on the candle or hanging lantern. A contoured hook facilitates the hanging part of the design, whether it be on your finger, the headboard of your bed, or the included induction charging station, and the use of LEDs should keep it running for an entire evening on a single charge.

An auto mode uses a motion sensor that will only turn the light on when motion is detected (like when you’re carrying it) or turn it off after 20 seconds without movement, and when sitting on the charging base a safety light feature will automatically turn the GuideLight on in the event of a power failure. On top of all that it’s also a pretty stylish alternative to your standard flashlight, and is available from Amazon for just $22.

[ Philips GuideLight ] VIA [ GadgetGrid ]

DaVinciAudio Labs In Unison MK2 Turntable – Yours For A Mere $27,800

In Unison MK2 Turntable (Image courtesy DaVinciAudio Labs)
By Andrew Liszewski

When vinyl master discs are produced, a cutting machine with an extremely stable and heavy base is used to produce the most accurate copy of a recording. And that’s where DaVinciAudio Labs’ new In Unison MK2 turntable got its inspiration. If it’s good enough for cutting a disc, it has to be good enough for playing one back right? In addition to a stable base with resonance reduction and silent magnetical bearings, the motor and control unit are kept separate from the precision crafted platter, and the whole unit is fed stable power to ensure a completely uninterrupted playback experience.

Now the belt drive mechanism means the In Unison MK2 isn’t going to replace your 1200s when it comes to scratching, but if you add the second tonearm option the whole unit weighs in at around 160 lbs, making it pretty much impossible to carry around to gigs anyways. Not to mention the slightly prohibitive $27,800 price tag which will keep this out of the hands of all but the most fanatical of audiophiles.

[ DaVinciAudio Labs In Unison MK2 Turntable ] VIA [ Enjoy The Music ]