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Monthly Archives: December 2010

StringBike With StringDrive (Hint: It Uses Something Other Than A Chain)

StringBike With StringDrive (Images courtesy StringDrive)
By Andrew Liszewski

According to a Hungarian-based company called StringDrive, the current design of bicycles, with the drive chain and gears all located on one side, results in an asymmetric riding experience that’s not as inefficient or smooth as it could be. Of course we don’t really notice it because we’ve never driven something better, so not surprisingly that’s exactly what StringDrive claims they have created.

Their StringBike uses two identical but opposing drive units on either side of the bike which feature swinging arms moving forward and back as the pedals are turned. This back and forth motion pulls a set of steel ropes on either side which in turn cause a drum and the rear wheel to rotate. Since the mechanisms on both sides are moving in symmetry as you pedal, the rear wheel is constantly being driven, providing a smoother, and more efficient, ride. If you’re having trouble picturing it take a few moments and watch this mesmerizing video of the StringDrive in action.

The company claims that it only takes a few minutes for a rider to get used to the StringBike, particularly when it comes to shifting gears, but I have to say it does sound like a definite improvement over a chain drive system. I just have reservations about how complicated the system looks, and how easy it would be to repair should something happen while you’re out for a ride.

[ StringBike With StringDrive ] VIA [ Doobybrain ]

Credit Card Micrometer Caliper

Credit Card Micrometer Caliper (Image courtesy MoMA Store)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s not as slick or shiv-able as the CardSharp credit card knife we brought you last week, but if you absolutely have to be able to measure the thickness of something with a reasonable degree of accuracy no matter where you are, you’ll probably want to add this slim micrometer to your wallet toolbox. Made of stainless steel it’s available from the MoMA Store for just $15.95.

[ Credit Card Micrometer Caliper ]

GRAFF Stealth Collection Bathroom Fixtures

GRAFF Stealth Collection (Images courtesy GRAFF & U.S. Air Force)
By Andrew Liszewski

Tired of your bathroom faucets being brought down by surface-to-air missiles? Moen, Kohler and Delta might be respected names in the plumbing industry, but you take them to hostile territories and I guarantee they’re going to show up on enemy radar systems like a 747. But not the Stealth collection from GRAFF. They’ve borrowed some of the unique design cues of the Lockheed F-117 when they designed this angular faucet. Aerodynamics be damned! Disappointingly it’s only available in a polished chrome or satin nickel finish, no radar-deflecting titanium here. So when you’re washing your hands you’ll still want to keep an eye out for showerhead or towel rack bogies.

[ GRAFF Stealth Collection Bathroom Fixtures ] VIA [ Design Milk ]

Custom Illuminated Reebok Omnizone Pumps

Custom Illuminated Reebok Omnizone Pumps (Image courtesy Sneaker Freaker)
By Andrew Liszewski

While they lack the obvious high-techery of touchscreens and other telltale signs of a modern gadget, today’s sneakers are still pretty high-tech when compared to the athletic wear of yesteryear. But if knowing that still isn’t satisfying enough for you, here’s a pair of custom sneaks to express your technolust.

Created as part of a collaboration between Reebok and Berlin-based shoe store Solebox, these Omnizone pumps not only feature the inflatable craze of the 90’s, but a series of embedded, glowing LEDs as well. They don’t flash or anything, though they can be turned on or off, and will be available sometime in February or March of next year most likely in limited quantities.

[ Sneaker Freaker – Solebox X Reebok Omnizone Pump ] VIA [ hypebeast ]

The Dog Escape Preventer

The Dog Escape Preventer (Image courtesy Hammacher Schlemmer)
By Andrew Liszewski

Here’s a clever little contraption for those of you who suffer from escaping dogs every time you try to open the front door. It’s a 31-inch high vinyl barrier that automatically extends and retracts when you open or close the door, allowing you to receive deliveries or packages while keeping your pooch contained inside. It has the added bonus of being opaque so your dog can’t see what’s going on outside, theoretically causing them to lose interest, and the vinyl is tear and puncture resistant to hold up to even the most persistent of pets. $69.95 from Hammacher Schlemmer.

[ The Dog Escape Preventer ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Announcing The Tokyoflash Giveaway Winner

By David Ponce

And so the random numbers have spoken once more and the lucky winner of the Tokyoflash giveaway is Rob Green. Congrats, dude!

As usual, we’re very sorry we can’t make each and every one of you a winner, but we do keep trying to bring these to you as often as we can; keep entering and eventually, well… eventually maybe you’ll win!

Incidentally, before anyone says anything… Even though it wasn’t specified in the comments, making multiple entries, at the same time, in the same day, to increase your chances of winning wasn’t cool. I deleted the duplicates and kept one entry. If you’d like to argue, send a tersely worded missive to “legal” at this domain. We’ll get back to you instantly: please do hold your breath.

Deal Of The Day: Dell Vostro 230 At 42% Off

By David Ponce

Last time we looked at the Dell Vostro was, well, just eleven days ago. And while we like to compare apples with apples and this isn’t exactly the case, today you’re looking at a similar deal. Today’s Vostro comes equipped with a 3.06GHz Intel Dual-core processor, 2GB DDR3 1333MHz memory, 250GB Hard Drive, GMA X4500 graphics, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit OS, Microsoft Office Starter 2010, 15-month Trend Micro Security Services, Windows 7 Professional and a bundled Keyboard + Mouse. Usually going for $683, today brings a substantial $284 rebate, a 42% drop that leaves you with a decent desktop system for $399.

[ Dell Vostro 230 At 42% Off ] VIA [ LogicBuy ]

Now That’s What I Call MIDI – Volume 1 (Hopefully)

Now That's What I Call MIDI (Image courtesy Internet Archeology)
By Andrew Liszewski

A website called Internet Archeology has dedicated themselves to recovering and preserving the graphical artifacts of the early internet in order to better understand and appreciate the birth of the internet culture. And while their efforts have so far focused on graphics and imagery, they’ve recently created a Kickstarter project to attempt to preserve a bit of early internet audio in the form of a vinyl record featuring MIDI versions of hit songs from the 90’s.

They’re trying to raise just $2,500 in order to press 500 limited edition copies of the record which will include 16 songs from the likes of the Backstreet Boys, Blink 182, Nirvana and even Jay-Z. You can reserve your own copy of Now That’s What I Call MIDI with a pledge of just $25, while $40 gets you 2 copies and $150 get’s you 10 copies if you want to get next year’s Christmas shopping done really, really, really early.

[ Kickstarter – Now That’s What I Call Midi ] VIA [ Internet Archeology ] VIA [ PSFK ]

[ Internet Archeology ]

Have 1/16 As Much Fun As Ken Block Does With This RC Version Of His #43 Ford Fiesta

Ken Block's RC Ford Fiesta (Image courtesy Traxxas)
By Andrew Liszewski

Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos have racked up millions and millions of views, and quite frankly they look like just about as much fun as anyone can have with a car. And while you can head out to your local Ford dealer and pick up a Fiesta for yourself, it unfortunately won’t come with the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of improvements needed to pull off those Gymkhana tricks. So what’s the next best thing? Why a 1/16-scale version of course!

Out of the box this miniature version of Ken Block’s ride features all the livery and graphics of the full-scale version, and is capable of hitting 30mph+ with the included battery. And if you get the optional upgrade which includes a second battery, pinion gear and speed connector, you can push that to 50mph+. It’s 4WD too allowing you to pull off a lot of the same stunts that Ken does (including shallow depth-of-field promo videos as seen below) but since you’re driving a safe distance away via a wireless controller, you never have to worry about protective gear or even wearing a helmet.

And while it won’t cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, or a new set of tires after every run, you can still expect to pay about $300+ for this mini Fiesta, not including the controller.

[ Traxxas Ken Block’s RC Ford Fiesta ] VIA [ Autoblog ]