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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Turn Your Tablet Into A Second Monitor With iDisplay

By Chris Scott Barr

Having a tablet is great, but they are expensive. Don’t you wish that you could get as much use out of one as possible? Well now there’s a handy piece of software that’s going to let you use your iPad, or any Android-powered tablet as a second monitor for your computer.

iDisplay is an app that can be downloaded to your device, and along with the desktop application, extends your desktop onto the tablet. All you need is to sync up the software by entering an IP address, and setting your device on a stand so that you can see it. I’d say that’s pretty handy, and at only $5, it’s cheap too.

[ iDisplay ] VIA [ IntoMobile ]

Needy Piggy Back Concept Demands Credit Card Payments To Keep It Happy

Needy Piggy Back Concept (Images courtesy ZENONA)
By Andrew Liszewski

Saving a bit of money by dropping your pocket change into a piggy bank is a rather passive way to go about it. However this piggy bank concept, designed by Wang Chao, Maggie Kuo and Jordi Parra, takes a completely opposite approach. It’s kind of like one of those Tamagotchi virtual pets that were all the rage many years ago, except that instead of just pushing a few buttons to give it some virtual attention, you need to feed it a small bit of money by inserting your credit card.

The concept mockup uses an iPhone hidden behind a laser cut wood pattern facade for the animated eyes and expressions, which is also connected to an Arduino BT to detect when a credit card is inserted into the slot. The general idea is that the ‘piggy bank’ can detect the presence of people, or when it’s been moved, and demands financial attention when it gets sad. The money taken from the credit card is deposited into a separate savings account (which makes me think using a debit card would be smarter) so over time you end up saving a bit of money while trying to keep it appeased.

[ Needy Piggy Back Concept ] VIA [ Coudal Fresh Signals ]

You Think Your Cable Provider Is Annoying? This Is What I See On Channel #208

Rogers Rotisserie Channel (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Lots of customers like to complain about their cable provider, particularly when it comes to channel packages requiring you to subscribe to numerous channels you don’t want, just to get a channel you do. And I’m not saying those of us up here in Canada have it the worst, but anyone with access to Rogers’ HD content will find channel #208 now shows a non-stop loop of rotisserie chickens cooking and turning on a spit, complete with crackling and sizzling sound effects.

According to the The Globe and Mail, the Rotisserie Channel is actually a marketing initiative between Rogers and a popular Canadian restaurant chain known as Swiss Chalet, and will run until late May when presumably we’ll finally learn how and why all those chickens ended up on that mysterious island… For the most part the Rotisserie Channel remains unbranded, but every once in a while viewers will be encouraged to visit Swiss Chalet’s website with a promo code for discounts.

Coobeeo’s HELLO-Q PC Tower Case Is Building Block Friendly

Coobeeo HELLO-Q PC Tower Case (Images courtesy Coobeeo)
By Andrew Liszewski

Possibly inspired by Pentax’s Nanoblock-friendly NB1000 digital camera, a Taiwan-based PC tower case manufacturer called Coobeeo has created the HELLO-Q which features a front face plate covered in building-block studs. From the look of the product shots I can’t tell if the case is unofficially LEGO-friendly, but I’m sure it works just fine with one of the local brands of building-block knockoffs available there. And while the ability to spell out messages or use the bricks to hold pens is cute, I’d like to see someone construct a RAID enclosure or something that really takes advantage of how this case can be customized.

[ Coobeeo HELLO-Q PC Tower Case ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

O-Flash Ring Flash Adapter Will Set You Back Just $40

O-Flash Ring Flash Adapter (Images courtesy Photojojo)
By Andrew Liszewski

While you still need to shell out the coin for an actual flash atop your DSLR, the O-Flash ring flash adapter, which is currently selling for just $40 on Photojojo, is an inexpensive way to get the benefits of an actual ring flash, without the DIY look of an adapter you’ve built yourself.

A real ring flash encircles your lens with light, usually from a ring of white LEDs, providing even lighting when doing close-up or macro photography. And a ring flash adapter does pretty much the same thing, except that it’s directing and bouncing light from your flash through the ring, which doesn’t always produce as even results. But, it’s up to you to decide if the results are ‘close enough’ given this alternative is just $40.

[ O-Flash Ring Flash Adapter ] VIA [ Wired Gadget Lab ]

Clock Parasol

Clock Parasol (Images courtesy Kota Nezu)
By Andrew Liszewski

Don’t like wearing a watch?… Or um, carrying a cellphone? Or looking up at a bank sign, or any kind of digital display for that matter? Well you don’t have to worry about awkwardly asking strangers for the time as long as you carry this sundial-like parasol. I’m pretty sure the designer, Kota Nezu, specifically refers to it as a parasol instead of an umbrella since using it to gauge the time is dependent on being able to find the sun in the sky, which isn’t always that easy on a rainy, overcast day.

Like with a sundial, calculating the time requires you to know where north and south lie, so there’s a handy compass attached to the handle if your outdoor skills aren’t up to the task. You basically position yourself so that north points at you, and south points at the 12 on the number/grid pattern printed on the underside of the parasol. The vertical lines of said grid indicate the hours, while the horizontal lines indicate the Summer & Winter solstice and the Spring & Autumn equinox. So roughly gauging the current time simply requires you to find where the sun shines through on the grid. The Clock Parasol does appear to be available for sale too, starting at ~$35 (€25) though only for distributors and retailers which you means you can’t just buy one.

[ Clock Parasol ] VIA [ I New Idea ]

OhGizmo! Review – HEX Original Watch Band For The iPod Nano 6G

HEX Original Watch Band For The iPod Nano 6G (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sometimes a product becomes incredibly popular for a reason not originally intended by the manufacturer. It’s often referred to as its ‘killer app’ and for the latest generation iPod Nano the inclusion of a simple analog clock on the lock screen meant that it could double as a fairly capable, albeit chunky, watch. And so from the day it was announced the race was on for third-party accessory makers to come up with the perfect watch band solution.

While the HEX definitely wasn’t the first Nano watch band to hit market, I still think it’s one of the best options you can buy right now. And that’s talking from experience, having tried and tested countless other Nano watch band alternatives at CES this year. And trust me, there were plenty to be tested. So if you want to know why the HEX is worth your $29.95 (plus the cost of the iPod Nano 6G) check out my full review after the jump.

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Announcing The Winner Of The HTC Inspire 4G From AT&T

HTC Inspire 4G (Images courtesy AT&T)
By Andrew Liszewski (Image courtesy had a great response to our HTC Inspire 4G contest, some 450+ comments, but unfortunately only one of you can take home the coveted prize. So again we left the decision making process in the capable and impartial hands of who decided that Rob Patrick, who left comment #220 (a very succinct “HTC phones are awesome”) was our winner this time around.

So a hearty congratulations to Rob, your shiny new Android phone is enroute and we hope you enjoy it. And thanks to everyone who entered our contest. We’ve got more giveaways in the works, so keep your eyes peeled for future chances to win some great stuff.

Review – Bulletstorm (Xbox 360)

This post is syndicated with permission from

Ah, Bulletstorm. Needless to say I was more than excited to pick up this new shooter from Epic Games and People Can Fly. Ever since the game was mentioned in Game Informer it started building hype, and now that I’ve been able to play through the game I can honestly say it’s lived up to it. Let’s slide on into the review.


The storyline in Bulletstorm is a straightforward one, littered with witty comebacks and one-liners that will put you in stitches. We find ourselves taking the role of Grayson Hunt, an assassin (from a government group called Dead Echo) turned space pirate. After realizing that he is being used as a puppet by General Serrano to kill innocent people, Grayson takes his crew and disappears into the darkness of space. One night after binging himself drunk Grayson decides to take out General Serrano’s coveted ship, the Ulysses. After an ineffective pass at the ship using the forward cannons on Grayson’s own ship, he decides to use it as a bullet and sets it to blast through the Ulysses. In the process Grayson’s partner and friend, Ishi Sato becomes heavily damaged and hangs on to a thread of his life.

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