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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Double USB Charger Is Far More Useful Than A Double Rainbow

Double USB Charger (Images courtesy GAMETECH)
By Andrew Liszewski

Your reaction to this Double USB Charger from GAMETECH might not make you a YouTube sensation, but let’s see a double rainbow top off your phone’s battery while on a hike. Available starting tomorrow for ~$21 (¥1,580), the DUC (as I’ll call it) is a non-descript, monolithic looking device that houses 4xAA batteries which provide power to two USB ports. Using a set of included adapters it’s able to charge various PSP’s, Nintendo DS’s and even your iPhone when using its own USB power cable. Each port provides 400mA of power to whatever’s connected, and the boost it provides is of course dependent on how stingy you are with your device’s backlight, wireless connectivity, etc.

[ Double USB Charger ] VIA [ Tiny Cartridge ]

Space Invaders Playing Cards

Space Invaders Playing Cards (Image courtesy Art Lebedev)
By Andrew Liszewski

Dear Art Lebedev, your Optimus Maximus keyboard may be light years beyond what I’m willing to spend on a set of QWERTYs, but your Space Invaders themed playing cards are a different story. They’re a perfect pop-culture mashup, complete with 8-bit graphics of said invaders from space, and an awesomely pixelated font. At $11 a deck they’re not outrageously expensive either.

[ Space Invaders Playing Cards ] VIA [ The Awesomer ]

Handy Notes Let You Passive Agressively Enhance Your Messages

Handy Notes (Image courtesy SUCK UK)
By Andrew Liszewski

I like the idea behind these hand-shaped sticky notes that let you fold back the fingers to create different message-enhancing gestures. But let’s not beat around the bush here. As cute as a thumbs up or pointing finger might be, there’s really only one hand gesture people are going to use these for. Because what’s better at getting your message across? “Bill, stop stealing my lunch from the breakroom fridge” with a cutesy thumbs up? Or, “Bill, stop stealing my lunch from the breakroom fridge” written on a note that’s flipping them the bird? I think the message is clear here, literally and figuratively. I just wish they weren’t ~$12 (£7.50) for a single stack, because I’ve got a lot of passive aggressive notes to leave.

[ Handy Notes ]

Cat Scratch Turntable Is An Easy Way To Tell If You Have Too Much Disposable Income

Cat Scratch (Image courtesy SUCK UK)
By Andrew Liszewski

Thanks to SUCK UK, your cat will be dropping fresh beats faster than it takes for me to roll my eyes at the ridiculous crap people buy for their pets. While dogs are just as notorious at destroying homes, a cat’s desire to shred anything and everything in its path is unmatched. So odds are if there are felines in your home, you’re gonna need a scratching post.

But a simple post is so boring, and unproductive. With this Cat Scratch turntable, not only will your cat be fending off boredom and getting exercise, but they’ll also be learning valuable night club skills. It comes folded flat for easy and cheap shipping, which means you’ve got some assembly to do when it arrives. But if you’ve ever constructed a box before, you’ve already got the necessary skills and tools at your disposal. The deck actually spins and the tone arm is even positionable, allowing you to fill your Instagram account with hundreds of adorable photos before it gets turned to shredded cardboard. ~$23 (£15) available directly from SUCK UK.

[ Cat Scratch Turntable ] VIA [ ChipChick ]

WeReward Puts Money Into Location

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of WeReward for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

By David Ponce

With Foursquare and Gowalla, the location-based craze has already started in a big way.  People seem to find it fascinating to check into places, so much so that other businesses have seen it fit to find a spot in this new “market”.  Think Facebook places, for example.  But by and large, the appeal of location has simply been the social aspect of it.  There’s no real money in it for the end user… until now.  WeReward.com is a mobile application that will straight up pay you for checking in.  There are 15,000,000 businesses in their database, and all of them have some sort of location-based or task-based reward that consists of points.  Each point is worth a penny, so if you check in often enough, you’ll quickly build up a balance in excess of the $10 minimum for Paypal payout. 

A location-based reward means you’ll actually have to be physically present at a local bar, restaurant or business and “check-in”.  On the other hand, task-based rewards don’t even need you to be anywhere specific; most of the time you can just take a picture of yourself with a particular product and claim the reward.

 

So check it out, there’s an application for both the iPhone and Android phones.

 

[ WeReward for iPhone ]

[ WeReward for Android ]

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Autom Personal Weight Loss Coach

Autom Personal Weight Loss Coach (Image courtesy Intuitive Automata)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sticking to a diet or weight loss plan is a lot easier when you have a little positive reinforcement. And that seems to be what inspired MIT alum Cory Kidd to create Autom. She’s billed as a robotic weight loss coach, but that’s maybe being a little generous with the term ‘robot’. Her head and eyes do move, but otherwise she’s mostly just a stationary touchscreen tablet that lets you keep track of your nutritional and exercise habits. It’s her software, though, that makes Autom really effective. Every day multiple users can have conversations with her where they input their meals, or how much physical activity they got in throughout the day. Autom will then provide praise, or encouragement, depending on how close they are to achieving their weight loss goals.

I actually think it’s a great way to help a diet be successful, I just wish Autom wasn’t so expensive. She’s available for pre-order for just $195, but when she ships the remaining balance is an additional $670. For a total of $865, plus a monthly subscription plan of $79.95! I’m not sure how that compares to other weight loss plans, but it seems all of Autom’s functionality could also be provided via a considerably cheaper iPad app.

[ Autom Personal Weight Loss Coach ] VIA [ Automaton ]

Warco Is A First Person Shooter Where The Only Thing You Shoot With Is A Video Camera

Warco (Image courtesy  Defiant Development, Robert Connolly and Tony Maniaty)
By Andrew Liszewski

Video games are often criticized for being overly violent, and while a new FPS called Warco certainly has its fair share of graphic, simulated combat, at no point does the player pick up a gun. That’s because they actually play as Jesse DeMarco, a war correspondent whose only weapon is a video camera and a thirst for a Pulitzer.

Instead of securing bases or capturing strongholds, the game’s different scenarios have objectives like story leads, where you run around trying to capture the most compelling footage possible. Instead of aiming, you’re framing a shot. Instead of zeroing in on a target with a sniper scope, you’re zooming and focusing your lens. And instead of collecting achievements or high scores, at the end of each level your goal is to edit together a compelling story with the footage you’ve captured, which can be published online.

The game actually brings a fresh perspective to realistic FPS war titles. And instead of just running and gunning, you’ll have to take a different approach when it comes to using your ‘weapon’ without getting killed. Warco was the brainchild of Tony Maniaty, an Australian journalist who’s experienced with reporting from war-torn areas. He’s teamed with filmmaker Robert Connolly and games studio Defiant Development who’ve been working on the title for 4 months now. Sadly, there’s no definitive timeline as to when the game will be available, if ever. But the studio says they’re currently talking to several publishers, so there is hope.

[ Warco - The News Game ] VIA [ Ars Technica ]

This Product Only Exists For A Single Gag

This Is Spinal Tape (Image courtesy Copernicus)
By Andrew Liszewski

Like the movie and its “the numbers all go to eleven” amp joke, This Is Spinal Tape really only exists for a single, marginally clever, gag. It’s a basic roll of clear plastic tape, 82 feet in length, with a spinal cord graphic printed along its length. For novelty purposes it’s actually pretty pointless, even as a gift for your favorite chiropractor or surgeon. As far as I’m concerned it really only exists for the purpose of providing a humorous product shot that can be passed around in emails. Or posted as a loosely affiliated ‘gadget’ on a tech blog. It’s also $8 for a single roll, which is about $8 more than I’d be willing to pay for it.

[ This Is Spinal Tape ] VIA [ Fancy ]

Trains In Tokyo Upgraded With Lightsaber Railings – At Least The Star Wars Blu-ray Advertising Is Doing Things Right

Trains In Tokyo Upgraded With Lightsaber Railings (Images courtesy Japan Trends)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s hard to imagine that the changes Lucas keeps making to the Star Wars saga will be looked back on with fondness in the future. Even Spielberg regrets the changes he made to E.T. when it was released on DVD. But I can’t argue that Lucasarts is doing a bang up job when it comes to promoting and advertising the films being released on Blu-ray. First they turned the BT Tower in London into the world’s largest lightsaber, and now they’ve given the same treatment to the hand rails in Tokyo commuter trains. Obviously on a much smaller scale. The conversion was done with simple wraparound decals, but the effect is very convincing. And I’d love if they ran the same promotion here, so for at least a little while I wouldn’t be so disgusted with the thought of holding onto anything while riding the subway.

[ Japan Trends - Train Ad Campaign Turns Railings into Star Wars Lightsabers ] VIA [ Newlaunches ]