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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Pod Power Is A Multi-Nodal Extension Cord

By David Ponce

Extension cords are great but they’re too beginning-and-endy to be as useful as this project from one Kate Vallon. See, the Power Pod is a 15ft long extension cord that features 5 specially shaped sockets along its length. This allows you to toss it on the ground in a room and share power among several people. The shape of each node lets you wind up some of the slack to keep things a little more tidy. This could be great for study groups, for example. The cord is rated at 15 amps and features 900 Joules of surge protection.

At the moment the Power Pod is in the social funding phase at Quirky, but at $35 for a pre-order, they’re almost halfway through their needed commitments. Looks like this might see the light of day.

[ Page On Quirky ] VIA [ Geeky Gadgets ]

Heat Sensitive iPhone Backing

By David Ponce

Remember those mood rings when you were a kid? They would change color depending on the temperature of your skin. Yeah, well now you can buy an adhesive to protect the back of your iPhone that is covered in a similar material. Granted, this one appears to change colors much more quickly than the rings I had as a kid. Either that or I was one nervous, constantly anxious little boy whose hands were always cold…

It’s apparently sensitive enough that it will display an outline of the phone’s internal components whenever it gets hot enough, like while surfing or playing back videos. It’s $12 and can be had with an an Apple logo cutout.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ TrendHunter ]

Samsung Trolling Apple Customers Is A Brilliant Commercial

By David Ponce

Well, this is about a recent Samsung commercial for the Galaxy S II, so if you can’t watch it, you’re kind of missing out. Quick description anyway: bunch of Apple customers lining up, as they do, for the next iPhone. Galaxy S II users spotted and hilarity ensues.

Favorite part? The girl that goes “Why don’t you get a 4G phone?…”

VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Bacon Maple Ale, Oh Lord…

By David Ponce

There are those flavor combinations in life that are just meant to be: peanut butter and jelly, or peanut butter and chocolate for example. Maple and bacon fit the bill even more perfectly, and when we found out about a collaboration between Rogue brewery and Portland’s Voodoo Doughnut to create Maple Bacon ale, we damn near had a stroke. Of joy. Can anyone think of a better breakfast? Cold, carbonated, maple-and-bacon-flavored liquid cereal?

Don’t agree, America? Sound, uh, unhealthy to you? Well, your pizza is a vegetable, so… yeah…

$13 for a 750ml bottle.

[ Product Page ]

Deal Of The Day: $325 Off Alienware m17x Gaming Laptop

By David Ponce

Alienware stuff is expensive, and while today’s $325 rebate is a substantial chunk of change, at $1,549 (after rebate), you’re still looking at a steep bill. Fortunately, you do get quite a decent portable gamin rig for the price. The m17x features a 2.2GHz Core i7-2670QM 2.2GHz Quad-core CPU and a 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M graphics card. Along with that, there’s a 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive, 4GB RAM, 1600 by 900 display, DVDRW and more.

[ $325 Off Alienware m17x Gaming Laptop ] VIA [ LogicBuy ]

Fairy Dust Salt And Pepper Shakers

By David Ponce

Awesome.

$12.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ BookOfJoe ]

Suck At MW3? Hire A Virtual Bodyguard!

By David Ponce

This could be the start of a trend as well as a potentially lucrative business for a generation of young players with too much skill and too little money. One Fivesquids (an online community where you offer your diverse skills for pay) user going by the name of TobySmith is offering the following:

I will be your personal online bodyguard for 30 minutes in any of the following shooters on Xbox 360: Call of Duty 4, Call of Duty Black Ops, Halo Reach, Battlefield 3 and Battlefield Bad Company 2. I will be by your side the entire time and will fight for you, keeping enemies away from you, protecting you when you snipe, even SACRIFICING MY LIFE to save yours. This is 1/2 hour of GAME TIME, meaning time taken to join a game won’t be included.

Now, let’s look a this offer carefully. FPS games like the ones Toby is offering his skills for are fun to play. They’re actually arguably the most fun things on earth as they are the best selling entertainment franchises around. But they can also be the most infuriating when you realize that the most valuable aspect of these games, online play, is mostly dominated by a generation of (usually) younger kids who can kill you before you’ve even had time to figure out where you are on the map. There’s a visceral satisfaction at playing these games but one that quickly fades away in a sea of frustration unless you too dedicate immense amounts of time playing. If you don’t, you will likely die and respawn 4 to 5 times a minute. Controllers will be thrown and screams will be had. True story. If you’re older than high-school/college age, the time it takes to be even remotely on an even ground is simply time you don’t have. Someone like TobySmith just might tilt the balance you way enough to make the game worth playing. And make himself some nice cash in the process.

Some people may see a virtual bodyguard service such as this one as a form of cheating. Or if not as egregious as cheating, at least self-defeating; playing these games is all about getting good. But it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes all you want is to get some headshots!

There is precedent to this kind of service. One only has to remember the gold farming factories for MMORPGs like WoW.

So what do you guys think? For or against this?

DeLorme InReach Can Save You When Stranded In Nowhereland

By David Ponce

Surviving by yourself in inhospitable conditions is really only fun on TV. There’s only so much of your own pee you can drink, so many camel testicles you can eat and so many carcases you can crawl into before you realize that you really should have packed something like DeLorme’s InReach two-way satellite hookup before leaving for a trek across the Sahara. For $250 and a $10 a month subscription, you can send distress SMSs to pre-designated recipients along with your GPS coordinates, with a delivery confirmation. If you happen to also be carrying an Android phone, you can pair through Bluetooth and actually send and receive messages. There’s an SOS button in case all you’re able to do before passing out is to press a button. Finally, the InReach is rugged, waterproof, shock-resistant and buoyant.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Crave ]

Virtual Reality Contact Lenses Are Just Around The Corner

By David Ponce

Researchers from the University of Washington and Aalto University Finland have developed a prototype contact lens that contains a single LED pixel, a custom made integrated circuit and an antenna. They then tried the lens on live rabbits (under general anesthesia for comfort) with no adverse effects.

Awesome!

The display consists of an antenna, a 500 × 500 µm2 silicon power harvesting and radio integrated circuit, metal interconnects, insulation layers and a 750 × 750 µm2 transparent sapphire chip containing a custom-designed micro-light emitting diode with peak emission at 475 nm, all integrated onto a contact lens. The display can be powered wirelessly from ~1 m in free space and ~2 cm in vivo on a rabbit. The display was tested on live, anesthetized rabbits with no observed adverse effect. In order to extend display capabilities, design and fabrication of micro-Fresnel lenses on a contact lens are presented to move toward a multipixel display that can be worn in the form of a contact lens. Contact lenses with integrated micro-Fresnel lenses were also tested on live rabbits and showed no adverse effect.

So yeah, this is very rudimentary but… baby steps, baby steps! And while we don’t expect things to remain at the single-pixel level forever, later iterations will inevitably go up in pixel density very slowly. This means that when the first commercial generations reach the consumer level, it will likely only be for displaying things like text. But as the technology is further developed, we have no doubt that always-on alternate/augmented reality will become possible.

We’re several years away, but there you have it. Barring accidental death, if you’re under 60 today, there’s a good chance you will live to see this happen.

[ Link To Paper ] VIA [ MedGadget ]