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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Pedal Powered School Bus – Not So Magic Now Huh Kids?

Pedal Powered School Bus (Images courtesy Bicycle Design)
By Andrew Liszewski

I bet those over-privileged kids who went on all those Magic School Bus adventures wouldn’t be so keen on flying around the universe if Ms. Frizzle had opted for this eco-friendly pedal powered model instead. (That’s right, I read books written for children!) Designed and built in the Netherlands by De Café Racer, the bus-bike can accomodate 10 kids and an adult driver. And I imagine there isn’t a school bus driver on the planet who wouldn’t love a solution like this that puts the kids to work, tiring them out after the first mile. But since kids are notoriously lazy, the bus-bike also has an auxiliary electric motor if the driver’s not so keen on pedaling 10 kids home who refuse to help.

[ Pedal Powered School Bus ] VIA [ Bicycle Design ]

Deal Of The Day: 77% Off On HTC Evo 3D

By David Ponce

As far as deals go, some are large and some are little. Like yesterday’s. But every little dollar counts, all the more so when you’re looking at a whopping $538 off of a retail, unsubsidized price. Sure, Sprint will give you the HTC Evo 3D for $199 on two-year contract, but today’s deal brings it even lower than that, at $162, still of course with a two-year activation. For this sum you get glasses-free 3D, with two cameras so that you can shoot your own 3D content. Specs-wise, the Evo 3D packs a “dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon CPU, 4.3″ 540 x 960 Super LCD 3D display, dual 5MP rear cameras to capture in 3D (1.3MP front), 3G/4G connectivity and hotspot capability, Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS with HTC Sense UI, 1GB built-in memory expandable via microSD, and more.”

This deal is on until June 30th.

[ 77% Off On HTC Evo 3D ] VIA [ LogicBuy ]

DXG-018O 3D Camera Is Just $70 – But You Get What You Pay For

DXG-018O 3D Camera (Images courtesy DXG)
By Andrew Liszewski

Finding a half-decent digital camera for under $100 these days is not impossible. But finding a 3D capable digital camera for just $70? Well there’s bound to be some trade-offs. And in the case of the DXG-018O, there are certainly a few. If I’m reading the tech specs correctly the camera uses a set of 0.3MP sensors, which isn’t even VGA quality. But because there’s 2 of them, and the fact that the camera does internal interpolation, you end up with a combined resolution of about 1.3MP in your 3D images.

Unfortunately it’s impossible to actually view the 3D images it captures on the camera because there’s only a tiny 1.44-inch TFT LCD display on the back which isn’t 3D capable. If you want to see your images in the 3rd dimension you’ll have to actually print them out and use the DXG’s included 3D viewer, which in reality is nothing more than a fold out cardboard tube with a couple of lenses in it. At the least it probably produces better 3D results than a red/cyan anaglyph system, but not by much.

[ DXG-018O 3D Camera ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Another Unlicensed Steve Jobs Figure Slips Under Apple’s Radar

Steve Jobs 12-Inch Figure (Images courtesy ToyHaven)
By Andrew Liszewski

You might recall that not too long ago M.I.C. gadget was marketing a Steve Jobs figurine, complete with an iPhone in his hand, that Apple kindly asked them to stop selling. So it’s not surprising that trying to hunt down the company behind this remarkably detailed, 1/6 scale 12-inch version of Steve is no easy task. I’ve found mentions of the figure, which features a detailed head sculpt of Mr. Jobs (or Wes Craven) on various toy blogs and forums, but everyone seems pretty mum about who’s actually producing it. Obviously they want to be able to get their hands on one before Apple’s legal team puts the smack down on it.

For just $160 (appropriately priced for the Apple community) the figure comes accurately dressed with New Balance 992 sneakers, a black turtleneck and blue jeans. As well as a slew of accessories including an iMac with Magic Mouse and keyboard, an iPhone 4, an iPad 2 and a desk and chair. Oh, and one more thing… that price doesn’t include shipping.

[ ToyHaven – This is a Job for Steve! ] VIA [ Coudal ]

Topcon’s IP-S2 Lite System Could Add Road Conditions To GPS Map Data

Topcon IP-S2 Lite System (Images courtesy DigInfo TV)
By Andrew Liszewski

At the 3D & Virtual Reality Exhibition, which was recently held in Tokyo, a Japanese company called Topcon revealed a new scanning system that could one day bring road condition data to GPS devices. The system, known as IP-S2 Lite, uses a 360° camera combined with a laser scanner, an inclinometer and GPS positional data to generate a 3D representation of where it’s being driven through. The data allows accurate measurements to be made of everything captured in the video, including distance height and surface.

Most recently the new system was used to evaluate the damage and condition of roads in Japan in areas that were damaged by the recent earthquake. But it doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch to assume that it could also be used to generate accurate map data for GPS devices that better reflected the 3D nature of roadways like hills, dips and maybe even particularly egregious potholes.

[ DigInfo TV – Road Condition Evaluation System Measures Distance, Height and Area ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

AKG K3003

AKG K3003 (Images courtesy AKG)
By Andrew Liszewski

Walk into the booth at pretty much any recording studio on the planet and you’ll find a pair of AKG over-the-ear headphones sitting on the script stand. While not the most expensive headphones you can buy, they’re extremely well respected in the music industry, and the company has now decided that they want a piece of the consumer market as well. Except that they’re maybe not going about it the right way.

While you can find more high-end and expensive earbuds from the likes of Monster for ~$200, the AKG K3003’s will set you back close to $1,200. (€1000) In their defense I have no doubts the earbuds sound great, and from what I can tell they use a triple driver system to provide a frequency range of 10Hz to 30kHz. They also feature a brushed stainless steel housing for added durability, a matching inline remote and microphone and a reinforced steel ‘Y’ connector where the cable splits apart for each ear. But I suspect they’ll be attracting the deep-pocketed audiophile market before the general consumer, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

[ AKG K3003 ] VIA [ Headphiles ]

SureFire UB3T Invictus

SureFire UB3T Invictus (Images courtesy SureFire)
By Andrew Liszewski

At one time if you wanted a handheld flashlight with enough lumens to stop a deer in its tracks you had to settle for a long Maglite filled with D-sized batteries, or a lantern like solution tethered to a massive 12-volt battery. But then LEDs came along, and now you can get a flashlight as compact as the SureFire UB3T Invictus that kicks out an impressive 800 lumens at its highest setting. Of course that much output will eat through the batteries in just 1.7 hours, so thankfully the it also has 8 selectable brightness levels, with the lowest giving you about 150 hours of illumination.

The UB3T Invictus’ housing, with its ‘CombatGrip’ design, is machined from high-strength aerospace aluminum, and besides a high lumen output the beam can also be switched to a strobe for “tactical applications” or used as an SOS beacon in emergencies. It even has a battery ‘fuel gauge’ so you have a rough idea how long it will last before it needs to be recharged. So it’s not surprising that SureFire is asking $695 for it.

[ SureFire UB3T Invictus ] VIA [ Acquire ]

Florafil Wraps Unuglify Your Cables

Florafil Wraps (Images courtesy Tanya Da Cruz)
By Andrew Liszewski

Another day, another charming way to wrangle and hide the ugly mess of cables marring the otherwise tidy aesthetics of your office or living room. This time around it’s Italy-based designer Tanya Da Cruz’s creation she calls Florafil. Once again embracing the concept of mother nature and free-flowing vines and foliage, Florafil is a flexible green rubber hose that’s adorned with tiny offshoots and leaves. It certainly doesn’t hide your wires and cables, but instead stops them from being an eyesore, even when run directly across your walls. I assume if they were actually available for sale they’d be sold in modular pieces, including branching joints. But they’re not, so the world may never know…

[ Florafil Cable Wraps ] VIA [ Design Milk ]

Deal Of The Day: $50 Off On Dell Alienware m14x Laptop

By David Ponce

The Alienware brand, even before it was snapped up by Dell in 2006, was always synonymous with gaming performance. It was also synonymous with “expensive hardware”. And things haven’t changed all that much, even under the Dell umbrella. Take for instance the m14x best gaming laptop. Some reviewers described thusly:

“It’s tough to find mobile PC gaming in a package that’s neither too big nor too small. The Alienware M14x comes very close, with plenty of component options and a size that’s hefty, but not backbreaking.

At the time that review was made, the machine was $2,100 or so. It’s nice to see it’s come down substantially, and today you can slice an extra $50 off. Sure, it doesn’t sound like much, but every penny counts and for $1,149 (after the $50 coupon), you can get your hands on the cheapest Core i7 model, which comes with a “Core i7-2630QM 2GHz Quad-core “Sandy Bridge” processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive, 1.5GB NVIDIA GeForce GT555M graphics and more.” For $300 more, you can get the flagship model with 8GB RAM, 3GB NVIDIA GT555M with Optimus, Alienware Orion M14x TSA Friendly Backpack and 900p display.

[ $50 Off On Dell Alienware m14x Laptop ] VIA [ LogicBuy ]