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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Thanko’s 1080P HDDV-506 Camcorder With A Swiveling Lens!

HDDV-506 (Image courtesy Thanko)
By Andrew Liszewski

With a price tag of ~$175 (¥14,800) you probably shouldn’t expect too much from Thanko’s HDDV-506 camcorder, but going on specs alone it looks like a pretty capable little camcorder. It’s able to capture video at up to 1080P resolutions at 30fps, but if you scale that back to 320×240 QVGA you can actually boost the frame rate to 120fps for some slo-mo action. And a 5MP sensor lets you snap photos with a very usable resolution, though it doesn’t speak for image quality of course.

It’s also got HDMI out, 32MB of on-board memory meaning you’ll need to add an SD card immediately if you want to do anything with it out of the box (it supports up to 32GB SDHC cards) and a very unique pivoting lens mechanism that lets you shoot around corners or capture action just out of frame without every having to turn your hand.

[ Thanko HDDV-506 ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

Replacement Headrest DVD Player And NES/SNES Emulator

7 Inch Headrest DVD Player with Emulator + FM Transmitter (Images courtesy Chinavasion)
By Andrew Liszewski

Here’s another 3rd party in-car AV entertainment system that swaps out the headrests on the front seats for a pair of DVD player equipped replacements. I kind of like this solution since you’re not dealing with ugly mounting straps that never seem to properly hold an LCD display in place, and they have a zip-up cover making them pretty much disappear when not in use.

Both units can be paired meaning you can watch a single DVD movie across both displays, and it’s got a built-in FM transmitter for piping the sound through your car’s speaker system. But what I like most is that each unit also doubles as an NES/SNES emulator when you plug in a set of generic gamepads, and it even comes with a CD full of 550+ classic ROMS of questionable legality. Nothing like living on the edge right? Other features include DIVX compatibility, headphone jacks, a wireless remote, composite AV inputs, SD card reader and even a USB port for accessing multimedia content. ~$175 for the pair from Chinavasion.

[ 7 Inch Headrest DVD Player with Emulator + FM Transmitter ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Dude Makes His TI-89 Graphing Calculator ‘Tonka-Tough’ With Custom Milled Aluminum Housing

Aluminum TI-89 Graphing Calculator (Image courtesy Hack a Day)
By Andrew Liszewski

What do you do when you drop your expensive graphing calculator on the floor, irreparably damaging the outer housing? Well since it’s not made of recycled paper like a certain alarm clock, you can either buy a new one or salvage and install the innards in a replacement housing made from custom milled aluminum. That’s exactly what University of Iowa industrial engineering student ‘Howard C.’ did, which cost him $50. And even though the calculator’s new housing might be a bit bulkier and heavier than the original, rest assured the next time it’s knocked to the floor the only think breaking will be Howard’s toes.

[ Hack a Day – Indestructible TI-89 ]

You’ll Probably Feel Less Guilty About Replacing This Paper Alarm Clock

Paper Alarm Clock (Images courtesy Joon & Jung)
By Andrew Liszewski

Either I’m not replacing my alarm clock often enough, or designers Joon&Jung are being a little over-paranoid about just how many of them are ending up in landfills. Their Paper Alarm Clock was created with the idea that the user could easily replace it by ditching or recycling the outer housing which itself is made of molded, recycled paper. There’s still the inside electronic bits that make the alarm do its thing, but they encourage users to mail those back to them where they’ll be placed inside a fresh housing and sent off to the next user. Perfect for the eco-warrior still stuck in a 9 to 5 job but potentially catastrophic for those who have a tendency of spilling the glass of water they keep on their night stand.

[ Joon&Jung – Paper Alarm Clock ] VIA [ Apartment Therapy Unplggd ]

Heated Dining Room Table Doesn’t Keep The Food Warm

Heated Dining Room Table (Images courtesy Hidakagu)
By Andrew Liszewski

Instead of cozying up next to the fireplace to keep warm on a cold Winter’s night, in Japan you can simply have a seat at the dining room table. As long as it’s this particular table from Hidakagu which features a 360 watt infrared heater underneath that’s specifically designed to warm a diner’s legs and lower torso, not the food on the table. According to InventorSpot, the table was inspired by traditional Japanese ‘kotatsu’ which is a low table/blanket/heater combination that isn’t designed for dining. So this table takes that concept and makes it usable for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

[ Heated Dining Room Table ] VIA [ InventorSpot ]

Netflix Comes To The iPhone

By Chris Scott Barr

With Netflix applications on computers, TV’s and major gaming consoles, it seems like you’re never very far from a device that can stream movies. If you have an iPhone, then you’ll always have access to the extensive Netflix library of movies. That’s right, the company has released an app for both the iPhone and iPod Touch that will allow you to stream movies to either device using WiFi or a 3G connection.

I’ve still never found my iPhone useful for viewing anything longer than a short YouTube clip here and there. However, the app will still serve a useful function, aside from streaming movies. You’ll be able to search for movies and manage your queue. This is actually pretty great, since I tend to think of good movies to watch when I’m nowhere near a computer.

[ Netflix ] VIA [ Gearlog ]

Nyko Raven Wireless Controller Brings A Little Xbox 360 To Your PS3

Raven Wireless Controller (Image courtesy Nyko)
By Andrew Liszewski

If the ‘barely changed in the past 100 years’ styling of the Sony dualshock controller for the PS3 isn’t doing it for you, and you’ve been enviously eyeing your friend’s Xbox 360 controllers, Nyko’s Raven will give you the best of both worlds. While Nyko might claim the Raven has a “totally unique ergonomic design built from the ground up…” I’m thinking it looks strongly influenced by the 360’s controllers, including the offset analog control sticks which sees the left one sitting higher than the right, a configuration many gamers prefer for FPS titles.

The Raven is also covered in a soft rubbery finish that’s comfortable to hold and prevents the controller from easily slipping out of your hands. It connects to the PS3 via a USB dongle with a range of about 25 feet, and the built-in lithium-ion battery is good for about 25 hours of play and uses a miniUSB port for recharging. And best of all the Raven’s got an MSRP of just $34.99.

[ Nyko Raven Wireless PS3 Controller ] VIA [ Cool Hunting ]

$400+ Knitted Mario Sweaters Are Almost Worth It

Knitted Mario Sweaters (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

I know a lot of you like the sweltering heat the Summer brings, but not me. I’m an Autumn man. Both because of the cool temperatures and because I get to wear a coat again which provides an abundance of pockets I had to give up many months ago. But as we transition from the Summer to the Fall, sweaters are the first line of defense against the cold, and I’m quite surprised how tempted I am to blow ~$425 (¥36,000) on one of these 100% wool sweaters featuring a couple of tastefully subtle 8-bit Marios on the front, and what appears to be a coin hidden inside one of the pockets. They’re available at the online store of Shigesato Itoi, the guy who created Earthbound, and can be had in either blue or gray, with or without a hood.

[ Knitted Mario Sweaters ] VIA [ Kotaku ]

Asus U3S6 USB 3.0 / SATA 6 Hybrid Card. Verdict: A Killer Upgrade

By Ian Chiu

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a brand new motherboard with integrated USB 3.0 ports; yet, many want to take advantage of the theoretical tenfold increase in speed the new copper interface has to offer.  For this burgeoning market many manufacturers have started to offer small add-on cards which can upgrade an existing rig to USB 3.0.

Sadly, not all of these add-on cards are created equal as there seems to be two separate and distinct types: PCI Express x1 and PCI Express x4. The latter seem to be the better choice if the ASUS U3S6 is any indication.  This particular board packs in not only two USB 3.0 ports, but also a pair of SATA 6GB/s ports.  It’s a killer combination with one caveat – the U3S6 isn’t an optimal solution unless your existing motherboard is on the extremely short ASUS approved motherboard list. If you disable the SATA 6, the USB 3.0 ports will most definitely work, and you can expect speed up to 245MB/s with a USB 3.0 SSD. For under $30, it’s a price that is hard to beat.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]