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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Chevy Volt Officially Priced At $41,000*

Chevy Volt (Image courtesy General Motors)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s been a long time coming, but today General Motors officially announced that the Chevy Volt will have an MSRP of $41,000, though if you qualify for the full federal income tax credit of $7,500, the MSRP is technically $33,500. Just keep in mind that’s a tax credit, not a coupon, you still have to pony up the full $41,000 if you want to buy a Volt when they’re available in very limited numbers at the end of the year.

But I’m sure that price tag won’t deter early adopters, so if you live in the California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey or Washington D.C. areas you can head on over to your local Chevy Volt dealer. Not sure where that is? Well there’s a site for that called that should be updated with a dealer locator sometime today. And don’t forget, as part of a program developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, 4,400 lucky Volt owners will be eligible for a free 240-volt home charging station, including installation costs.

I just hope GM has solved that rumored issue where touching the Volt in the wrong place causes the car to dramatically lose acceleration. *Update: Looks like they’ve just stuck a bumper on the front and back as a workaround.

[ GM – Chevrolet Begins Taking Volt Orders; Pricing Announced ]

V-Swing Video Recorder

V-Swing (Image courtesy V-Swing)
By Andrew Liszewski

It doesn’t do much more than your average flash based camcorder, but the V-Swing does have a few features aimed at golfers looking to hone their game. The most obvious is the War Of The Worlds-esque gooseneck-mounted camera that can be bent in all directions and rotated up to 270 degrees. That coupled with a 170 degree wide angle lens means you should have no trouble capturing your swing with this thing mounted to your golf cart or bag. It’s also claimed to have high speed frame rate capabilities allowing you to step through and analyze your swing in slow motion, but a closer look at the specs shows it maxes out around 50fps. So I’m going to assume it’s got a fast electronic shutter to keep blurring to a minimum.

The 60MB of built-in memory is essentially useless for doing any kind of video recording, so you’ll want to factor in the price of a large SDHC card if you intend to actually capture anything, but a 32GB card should hold up to 12 hours of 640×480 VGA video. The rechargeable lithium polymer battery is rated for 5+ hours, though I’m not sure if that’s with the 3.5-inch TFT LCD display turned on. However, it looks like Amazon is carrying it for $349.95, and at that price (and cheaper) you can pick up one of Casio’s EXILIM digital cameras that are capable of capturing up to 120fps at VGA resolutions, and even more if you don’t mind a drop in resolution.

[ V-Swing ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

These Elecom USB Flash Drives Look Like Plugs… Innovation At Its Best

Outlet USB Flash Drive (Images courtesy Elecom)
By Andrew Liszewski

These new USB flash drives from Elecom are designed to look kind of like wall plugs…

That pretty much sums them up in a nutshell…

A 4GB model will be available from Geek Stuff 4 U sometime in August for about $37 (¥3,200) in black, blue, green or pink, and apparently they come with some kind of data encryption software that’s downloadable from Elecom’s site.

[ PR – Elecom ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

Apple’s Magic Trackpad Finally Arrives

Apple Magic Trackpad (Image courtesy Apple)
By Andrew Liszewski

It didn’t arrive with much fanfare, but Apple’s Magic Trackpad is finally available from their online store for $69. For those of you who use a MacBook, the Magic Trackpad basically gives you the same multitouch and swipe functionality as their built-in trackpad, but for desktop systems. It connects via Bluetooth like Apple’s wireless keyboard and is roughly the same size (80% larger than the MacBook’s trackpad) so it will almost look like an extension of your aluminum keyboard when sitting on your desk. Out of the way Magic Mouse!

[ Apple Magic Trackpad ]

Build Your Own Iron Man Repulsor Beam

By Chris Scott Barr

When it comes to cosplaying, some people like to go all-out. Whether it be crafting a life-size Buster sword or a Transformers costume that can actually transform, countless hours will be poured into these props. If that’s the sort of thing you enjoy, then you might want to check out this awesome repulsor beam blaster, inspired by Iron Man.

The arm-mounted contraption is constructed from a xenon bulb coupled with the flash capacitor and charge circuit from a disposable camera. Of course some other necessary parts are there to get them all to work together nicely. The ring itself has a constant glow from a set of LED bulbs, but the real power comes from the xenon one. A press of a button starts it charging, then you need only touch one of your fingers to a trigger on the ring. It may not physically harm your foe, but it will very likely blind them.

[ Eastern Geek ]VIA [ Hack a Day ]

Sound Activated Drum Light

Sound Activated Drum Light (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

The touch activated lamp reaches its logical conclusion with this glowing snare drum that will only turn on when it hears the sound of the drum itself. So while it’s technically sound activated, you still have to touch the drum in order to turn it on. It’s smart enough to ignore claps and other loud sounds, but the video included below doesn’t show what would happen if you played a drum roll instead of just tapping it. And if you’re looking at this lamp and thinking to yourself: “hmmm… this looks suspiciously like an art piece and therefor probably costs a small fortune” you’d be absolutely right. $850 is what you’ll need to add this to your decor, not including shipping since they’re made to order in New Zealand.

[ Sound Activated Drum Light ] VIA [ Apartment Therapy Unplggd ]

Warpia Easy Dock Wireless Laptop Dock

Warpia Easy Dock Wireless Laptop Dock (Images courtesy Warpia)
By Andrew Liszewski

Even with a wireless mouse and keyboard for my MacBook, I’m still too lazy to hook it up to the LCD display sitting mostly unused on my desk. It’s quite literally just a case of connecting one cable, but that’s one cable more than doing nothing. For the rest of you who use your laptops as double-duty portable and desktop PCs, and are slightly more motivated than me, the Easy Dock from Warpia makes hooking up your KVM as easy as plugging in a USB wireless transmitter. Everything on your desk stays connected to the dock, including your speakers, and the only drawback I can see is that you’re ‘limited’ to a resolution of 1400×1050 or 1440×900 (widescreen) over the wireless connection. $149.99 available directly from Warpia.

[ Warpia Easy Dock Wireless Laptop Dock ]

If you are looking for high speed wireless internet, check out

Hot Wheels’ Wonder Woman Invisible Jet Now A Comic Con Exclusive

Hot Wheels' Wonder Woman Invisible Jet (Image courtesy

Hot Wheels' Wonder Woman Invisible Jet (Image courtesy Andrew Liszewski

You can now add Mattel to the list of giant corporations who actually have a sense of humor, or at least, giant corporations who know an easy cash grab when they see one. Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet was originally created as an April Fool’s Day prank, but apparently there was enough demand from fans to have it go into limited production.

It was exclusively available at Comic Con for $5 a pop, and by exclusively I of course mean they’re already all over eBay if you want one and didn’t make it out to San Diego for the big show. And if you were wondering, that blister pack is completely empty, not even a clear plastic shell of a plane inside.

But it’s definitely a stroke of marketing genius on Mattel’s part because not only are they making a tidy profit on every one, but since they’ve been limited to an exclusive only available at Comic Con, anyone who shelled out $5 will probably see a tidy return in the near future.

[ race cars and goth rock – Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet ] VIA [ ]

Novation Dicer Cue Point And Loop Controller

Novation Dicer (Images courtesy Novation)
By Andrew Liszewski

The ‘dice’ analogy is a bit of a stretch, but that doesn’t hinder the Dicer from Novation from being a useful tool for DJs who’ve incorporated a laptop into their routines. As far as I can tell it’s basically a MIDI controller specifically designed for triggering cue points and loops, but the unique design allows it to be mounted on a laptop or on the corner of a turntable for easy access. The Dicer will glow in different colors depending on what mode it’s in, so it’s easy to tell in a dark club, and it’s designed to work with DJ software like Serato Scratch Live or Traktor Scratch Pro. $99 for a set of two, software not included.

[ Novation Dicer ] VIA [ ChipChick ]