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Monthly Archives: March 2010

500 LED Flashlight Is A Photon Bazooka

500 LED Flashlight (Image courtesy Hack a Day)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you’re going to go to all the trouble of making your own flashlight, you might as well build something you can’t get in stores from companies like Inova or even Maglite. And this ridiculous bazooka-sized LED flashlight certainly falls into that category. It uses 500 5mm super-bright white LEDs, and while there’s no lumen rating on just how bright the results are, the fact that the LED array sucks 50 watts of power should give you some idea of its capabilities. Thankfully the body has plenty of room for batteries. I also recommend checking out the video of it in action included below which gives a couple of glimpses of the control panel on the opposite end. There’s no simple on/off button for this behemoth.

[ Hack a Day – That’s a big flashlight ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

AquaAntics Water Bomb Factory

AquaAntics Water Bomb Factory (Images courtesy Overton's)
By Andrew Liszewski

With Summer rapidly approaching, the AquaAntics Water Bomb Factory will up the ante on any water balloon fight, turning it into an all out war. An easy to use valve attaches to your standard garden hose, and a built-in clamp turns any table or flat surface into a temporary filling station. The contraption supposedly makes it easy to fill as many as 10 water balloons per minute, but the most important innovation I think is the ‘quick knot tying arm’ since I’m pretty sure no child below the age of 8 knows how to properly tie a balloon. (If you want to see the tying mechanism in action, check out the video I’ve included after the jump.) $9.99 from Overton’s.

[ AquaAntics Water Bomb Factory ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

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Water Cooling Lets You Overclock Your Laptop Stand


By Evan Ackerman

There are a couple different types of laptop coolers… Passive ones, that just help air get underneath your laptop, and active ones, that include fans and stuff. New to the “and stuff” category of laptop coolers is this water cooled version, which may or may not be called the F11124-ASL-1.

Now, it would be really nice if somehow this water cooling feature enabled the fan to blow cold air up into your laptop, but that’s not what it does. From what I can gather from the description and the pictures, the heat pump just cools itself, as opposed to your laptop, since the water doesn’t seem to go anywhere near your computer. I guess maybe having a cool laptop pad is better than having a warm laptop pad, but since the heat pump also looks like it manages to block the fan (which otherwise might be doing something useful), I’m left wondering just what exactly all the hullabaloo is about.

There’s no pricing or release date on this thing, but even if there was, I probably wouldn’t buy one until I figured out what it, you know, does.

[ SonData ] VIA [ Everything USB ]

Swipe It Credit Card Reader For The iPhone – Subtlety Be Damned!

Swipe It Credit Card Reader (Image courtesy Macally)
By Andrew Liszewski

It lacks the subtlety of the Square payment system’s iPhone/iPod Touch credit card reader, but there’s just something about Macally’s new Swipe It Reader that makes it look so much more reliable and trustworthy. Maybe it’s because of the Swipe It Reader’s slightly bulky design that looks like the credit card readers we’ve been using at stores all these years? I’m not sure. But part of that bulk comes from the device’s spring-loaded arm which cleverly allows it to hold iPhones and iPod Touches wrapped in cases, or whatever future designs Mr. Ives comes up with.

The Swipe It Reader is compatible with Visa, MasterCard, AMEX and Discover cards, and all swiped data is encrypted before it’s passed from the reader to the custom Swipe It app running on either device. Transactions can be wirelessly completed either over a cellular data connection or Wi-Fi, and while the reader supposedly only draws minimal power from the iPhone or Touch, I’m sure it won’t do any favors to the battery life of either of those devices, so an included AC adapter can also be used. As for pricing and availability info? That’s currently listed as ‘Coming Soon’ on the Macally website.

[ Swipe It Reader ] VIA [ ChipChick ]

Lightsaber Bookends Are Perfect For Any Star Wars Fan


By Chris Scott Barr

Do you have a row of books that don’t want to stay up on their own? Sounds like you need to pick up a set of bookends. Now you could get a pair of boring bookend, which would do the job. But why not get some that say “look at me, I’m a huge Star Wars geek”? That’s right, you need something that will let everyone know exactly where you stand in the Star Trek vs Star Wars debate.

These spiffy bookends depict a lightsaber impaling your collection of literary works. The blade will even glow, thanks to a battery-operated light in each end. These start shipping out on Wednesday for $50 a pair.

[ Star Wars Shop ] VIA [ UberReview ]

Pocket Metabolism Checker Measures Your Body Fat

Pocket Metabolism Checker (Image courtesy Japan Trend Shop)
By Andrew Liszewski

When you’re fighting the battle of the bulge, your weight as determined by a scale isn’t always the most accurate way to tell if you’re winning. Your body fat percentage actually gives you a better idea of how fit, or horribly unfit, you really are. So carrying around this pocket-friendly metabolism checker is the perfect way to let you know if you should have that third eclair, no matter where you are.

After you’ve told the device your weight, age, height and gender, you simply touch a couple of electrodes which passes a mild electrical current through your body, allowing it to calculate your body fat percentage. Up to 8 users can be registered on a single device, for keeping the whole family fit, and like pretty much every device on the planet with an LCD display, it also has time and alarm clock functions. $25 from the Japan Trend Shop.

[ Pocket Metabolism Checker ]

iaPeel Inkjet Printable iPod & iPhone Skins

iaPeel Inket Printable iPod & iPhone Skins (Images courtesy iaPeel)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m not an advocate of mucking up the iPhone’s beautifully simple aesthetic with bulky cases or vibrant skins and decals, but if you feel you must customize your phone to stand out in the crowd, these new iaPeel Skins are definitely one of a kind. And how do I know that? Well it’s simple, they actually let you design and print your own custom skin, right from your home inkjet printer.

Special included software ensures that your design is always the perfect size, and it will even create a custom wallpaper (if your device supports that) so your graphics appear uninterrupted across the display. When you get tired of the design, the synthentic material is easy to remove without leaving a sticky residue, and I particularly like the pop-up guides on the back of the printed labels which ensures a perfect application every time. As for pricing, well the starter kit for the iPhone 3G, which includes 5 skins, is $29.95, with a 5-pack of additional skins costing $26.95. And that price point seems to be consistent for all of the iPods as well.

[ iaPeel ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Heatswell Grows A Sleeve On Your Coffee Cup

By Evan Ackerman

If that’s not one of the weirdest things you’ve ever seen, you’ve been spending too much time on the internet (make sure you watch until 1:50 at least). Heatswell, as it’s called, is an instant hot beverage protection sleeve that “grows” out of the cup when hot liquid is poured in. Whatever it’s made of, it’s non-toxic (they say), recyclable, biodegradable, FDA approved (for whatever that’s worth), and feels like a cloth towel. The 3D logo effect is pretty cool too, I can only assume that the ink is conducting heat substantially better than the rest of the cup is. It appears as though the Heatswell material is sort of painted on (applied as a liquid), and it also looks like the hotter the beverage, the more vigorous the reaction, which means you’ll get more padding. Nice.

Amron Experimental is billing this as cost-saving and convenient for places like coffee shops, since they don’t have to spend time and money on an additional little thingy for each cup. They don’t talk about the cost it would add to each cup, however, and my guess is that whatever the heck is in this stuff, it probably costs more than a sliver of cardboard. If you’re optimistic, Amron Experimental is currently selling a stake in the Heatswell intellectual property and patent filing.

[ Amron Experimental ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Check Your Mailbox, Netflix Streaming Discs For Wii Should Be Arriving Today


By Chris Scott Barr

Back in January we told you that Netflix would be streaming to the Wii sometime in the near future. Out of the three, this would probably be my last choice to stream movies to. Not only can you not watch movies in HD (as the Wii doesn’t support HD output) but you’re going to be required to have a disc inserted at all times. Yes, this is exactly the same as the PS3, likely enforced due to a deal with Microsoft.

Well if you signed up for your Wii streaming disc from Netflix, you should be receiving it in the mail within a couple of days. If you haven’t done so already, hit the sign-up page here for your disc. I’m excited to see all three major consoles now supporting this. Depending on what consoles you have and where they’re placed, you could have Netflix streaming to every TV in your house.

[ Netflix ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]