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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Mad Catz Launches Cessna Brand Flight Sim Controls

Saitek Cessna Brand Flight Sim Controls (Images courtesy Mad Catz)
By Andrew Liszewski

While I don’t necessarily ‘get’ the appeal of video game simulators, I understand that it can give enthusiasts an experience they would otherwise not be able to afford in real life. Case in point, flying. The Cessna Skyhawk is arguably one of the cheapest and simplest airplanes you can buy. And even though it’s the best-selling aircraft of all time, a new one will still set you back close to $300,000. Not to mention the cost of fuel, insurance, hangar rental etc. The list goes on and on. But you can recreate a slightly similar experience at home with a decent gaming PC, a well-respected flight simulator title, and about $450 worth of Mad Catz new officially branded Saitek Cessna flight sim controls.

The trio includes a yoke, rudder pedals and a trim wheel/throttle control panel, all modeled off the real things found in the cockpit of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk. The yoke also comes with the addition of extra buttons on the ends of the controls, including a hat switch for easily changing your point-of-view mid-flight. And if you order them now from Mad Catz’s GameShark online store they’ll even throw in a $100 switch panel for free. All you need to provide is a desk to clamp everything to. (And the smell of aircraft fuel and the deafening roar of the engine to complete the Cessna experience.)

[ Saitek Cessna Flight Sim Controls ]

Evolution Neck Pillow Looks More Like A Step Back

Evolution Neck Pillow (Images courtesy Cabeau)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’ve given up the hope of ever being able to comfortably sleep on a plane years ago. It’s a combination of being too tall, and never wanting to look like these people. Now I’ll acknowledge that those inflatable neck pillows do help some people sleep on flights, and are a decent compromise since they can be easily stashed away. These Evolution neck pillows, however, do not. They’re made with memory foam so they’re always going to be as big as a carry-on bag. Not to mention that wearing one makes you look like you’re recovering from a severe neck trauma. And the slot on the side that awkwardly holds your phone or MP3 player? Let’s just say while wearing this you have a good chance of being thrown off the flight by an air marshall for looking ridiculous. $34.99 available from Cabeau.

[ Evolution Neck Pillow ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Deal Of The Day: $350 Off Dell Vostro 460 With 20-Inch Monitor

By David Ponce

We like bundles very much because that’s often where you get the best deals. And you also have less thinking to do; things are just already prepackaged for you. Today for instance you’re looking at the Dell Vostro 460, a small business type machine which will come bundled with a 20″ LCD for $579. And yes it’s shipped. For that price you get a Core i7-2600 3.4GHz “Sandy Bridge” CPU, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD. One reviewer described the Vostro 460 as such: “The Dell Vostro 460 is a full system at a reasonable price, and it performs well. If you’re seeking a fast performer to get work done, the Vostro 460 is worth a look.”

[ $350 Off Dell Vostro 460 With 20-Inch Monitor ] VIA [ LogicBuy ]

Core Yoga Mat Organizer

Core Yoga Mat Organizer (Images courtesy Quirky)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m fairly certain that half the people I see walking around carrying rolled-up yoga mats, and dressed head-to-toe in lululemon garb, are just doing it to be stylish. I have my doubts they’re actually headed to, or from, a yoga session. So whether you’re a yoga poser trying to keep up with the joneses, or actually enjoy a regular workout, this clever Quirky concept will make it easier to carry your mat and other paraphernalia.

The Core is a combination water bottle, carrying container and strap that you wrap your yoga mat around, making it easier to keep everything you have to carry together. The Core even has a rounded, yet slightly triangular, design so that it doesn’t get away from you while you’re wrapping or unwrapping your mat. At the moment it’s unfortunately still a Quirky concept though, waiting for enough support to make it a reality. But for just $20.99 you can make a pre-sale commitment so the project can reach its goal of 800 and go into production.

[ Quirky - Core Yoga Mat Organizer ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX55 Does Single Lens 3D, Might Even Have Usable Digital Zoom

 Sony DSC-TX55 Cyber-shot (Image courtesy Sony)
By Andrew Liszewski

Usually when a digital camera includes a line about digital zoom in its feature list I glaze right over it, because quite frankly, it’s useless. All they’re really doing is zooming in on the center of the image, which is going to result in a softer, possibly pixelated result depending on the quality of the resizing algorithm it uses. But Sony’s new DSC-TX55 Cyber-shot could be a different story. Besides being just 12.2mm ‘slim’ (thinner than a AA battery) the DSC-TX55 has something Sony is calling “By Pixel Super Resolution” technology which adds an extra 5X digital zoom to the camera’s sliding 5X optical zoom mechanism, without losing quality at the camera’s max resolution of 16.2 million pixels. I’ve no idea how it really works, or if it’s just marketing talk covering up the same old thing.

‘Round back it sports a large 3.3-inch touchscreen OLED display, which is also great for reviewing pics or videos since the DSC-TX55 shoots full HD video as well. And, it can even grab 12MP photos while you’re recording in HD. Available this September, the camera will come with a ~$350 price tag which also gets you electronic image stabilization, 0.1 second autofocus times, a new in-camera ‘Picture Effect’ mode, panoramic photos which can be easily captured by just sweeping your camera from side to side and even single lens 3D.

[ PR - Sony's Newest Cyber-shot Camera Expands Range Of Creative Options ] VIA [ Tech Digest ]

Cyber Control Pad Covers For The 3DS

Cyber Control Pad Covers For The 3DS (Images courtesy Cyber Gadget)
By Andrew Liszewski

Do you always find your thumb sliding off the Nintendo 3DS’ analog control stick during an intense gaming session? Of course you don’t! But Cyber Gadget still wants to sell you this set of add-on covers that supposedly add a bit of extra grip to the 3DS’ sliding analog control stick. Available in 3 colors, presumably to match the color options of the 3DS itself, the pads appear to mimic the finishes of the analog sticks on the Xbox, PS3 and even the PSP. And since I’m assuming the 3DS’ clamshell design won’t close with this attached, it includes a strap holder so it can dangle off the side.

Available 5 days from now on July 30, though pricing information has not been specified just yet. They’ve got plenty of time though right?

[ Cyber Sliding Pad Covers For The 3DS ] VIA [ Tiny Cartridge ]

OhGizmo! Review – Kobo eReader Touch Edition

Kobo eReader Touch Edition (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

While reports of the death of eReaders, at least those that rely on e-ink display technology, have been greatly exaggerated. There was a time when it seemed like more capable tablets, such as Apple’s iPad, would be their demise. Their large, color LCD displays made viewing publications like magazines and newspapers far more enjoyable than on black and white e-ink displays. And the ability to instantly zoom, pan and flip pages with a simple touch made using a control pad, or physical buttons, seem downright antiquated.

In fact I’ve made mention of it in the latest technology reviews, but every time I introduce someone to an eReader their first instinct is to touch, tap and prod the screen to get it to do something. And I always have to redirect them to a button and explain that the electronic ink technology used makes it very difficult to integrate touch sensing functionality. But all that has now changed. Thanks to Neonode’s zForce technology, eReader’s like Kobo’s new Touch Edition have finally gained touch screen functionality. Without affecting the contrast or legibility of their displays.

And let’s face it. We’ve all had plenty of quality time with Apple’s iPad by now, and have discovered that even the 2nd generation of its hardware is not exactly the lightest and most ideal solution for reading ebooks. Nor are any of its competitors. So as a result, eReaders have been making a well-deserved comeback I feel. And we recently had the chance to try out the aforementioned latest and greatest offering from Kobo, their new Touch Edition, and walked away extremely happy with how far the technology, and eReaders in general, have come. More after the jump.

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J!NS Moisture Glasses Keep Your Eyes Hydrated With A Moisture Reservoir

J!NS Moisture Glasses (Image courtesy Akihabara News)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you find yourself squinting and blinking more often than not when working at a PC, there’s a good chance your eyes are getting tired, or simply dehydrated. So you can either remedy the situation by letting up on your multi-day WoW marathons, or head on over to Japan where J!NS, a company known for their stylish yet affordable eyewear, have concocted these ‘Monitor’ glasses. I’m assuming they come in more color choices than just ‘perfectly rendered pink’, but what’s standard across the line is a small reservoir on either side of the frame. You can probably fill it with water, or some kind of moisturizing eyedrop solution, and it will keep your peepers moisturized and refreshed for up to 2 hours. (Giving you a much needed break when you go to refill them.) Available in Japan come October for ~$50. (¥3,990)

[ J!NS Eyewear ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

Zippo Lighter Conceals A 6mm Miniature Gun

Zippo Lighter Miniature Gun (Images courtesy CollectoreBooks.com)
By Andrew Liszewski

Until now I thought this gun-concealing pocket watch was the most clever incognito firearm I had ever seen. But while I’m sure no one would have batted an eye at it 70 years ago, walking around with a pocket watch these days is sure to rouse suspicions. So as an alternative, if your business card reads 007 and you have the need for a truly concealed firearm, why not hunt down this rare Zippo gun?

Its copper-cased 6mm cartridges are fired out of a barrel where you’d normally find a Zippo’s wick, and of course instead of a trigger you have to roll the flint striking wheel in order to fire it. Seems pretty safe right? This model, which I’m sure is particularly rare and not officially sanctioned by Zippo, even comes with a Ronson flint dispenser designed to hold the extra cartridges. According to this website it sold at auction back in 2006 for $6,810, though to whom I’ve no idea. But if you do manage to find them, be careful, they’re probably packing a concealed weapon.

[ "Zippo" Lighter Gun Together with Ronson Flint Dispenser with Ammunition ] VIA [ Fancy ]