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Monthly Archives: December 2011

DIY Eco Boombox Made Of Laser Cut Plywood

By David Ponce

Matt Keeter appears to be a student at MIT and pictured above is the final project for one of his classes. It’s a sweet looking boombox whose case is made from a set of retro-inspired nested octahedral prisms. They’re all laser cut from 0.208″ plywood. Music plays off a standard SD card, while the rig is powered by a 9V battery. The controls on the front are capacitive and the entire thing holds together with barely any glue.

It’s not for sale but the link below leads to his project page where you can read about his step-by-step and even download the required files to make your own, assuming you have access to the same equipment he did.

Incidentally if one of our readers ends up making one of these, we promise to feature it.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ TrendHunter ]

Zephyr App For Jailbroken iPhones Brings Multitasking Gestures

By David Ponce

We’re not big fans of companies segmenting their devices’ capabilities artificially in order to boost sales. Like when Apple puts Siri on the iPhone 4S when it runs just fine on older models. Or when Apple brings out multitasking gestures for the iPad but leaves the iPhone out of the equation. Well… we can’t really say that they might have done this last one to encourage people to buy an iPad as well as an iPhone; we don’t see anyone actually saying “gee, I really want to use these gestures but can’t on my phone, so yeah, I’ll buy an iPad.” But we find it frustrating nonetheless. So that’s why we’re happy to hear about this app, called Zephyr, that lets you swipe up to bring up the task bar (instead of double-tapping the home button) and swipe sideways to switch between active apps. I works nicely and is available on Cydia right now. Of course, this requires a jailbreak. But that’s ok, since the first untethered jailbreak for iOS 5.0.1 was finally released two days ago.

Check out the video after the jump to see how the app works.

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PJs With Jeans Printed On Them

By David Ponce


Just why on earth has this been created? They’re “100% cotton lounge pants [that] have an elastic waist with drawstring and side seam pockets.” Otherwise known as PJs. But they’re just awful. Why do they need to have these designs printed on them? Worst of all, why does the one on the right have to have that “boxers showing” look? Yeah… those boxers are painted on! Would anyone ever hope to get laid in one of these?

My eyes hurt.

It’s got to be a joke, but the $13 price seems to be real…

[ ] VIA [ Geekologie ]

The Duo And The Quattro Wall Outlets Integrate USB

By David Ponce

USB is quickly becoming a standard for charging electronics. But that interface is meant to be used on computers. So if you want to plug something into the mains, you need an adapter that accepts USB on one side and plugs into the outlet on the other. Looks at your iPhone and you’ll see what we mean. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Duo and the Quattro outlets from Current Werks simply integrate the USB plugs right into their design. The Quattro is a dedicated USB charging station that delivers 22 Watts of power and features a slider that completely eliminates “Vampire Power”. The Duo is a combination USB and electric plug, and this one feeds 16 Watts into the USB port.

Currently on pre-order on the Current Werks website, the Duo is $25 while the Quattro is $40.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Treehugger ]

Steelcase Walkstation Won’t Let You Stay Fat

By David Ponce

The Holidays are over soon and you’ll get back in the office looking bloated. Come on, you know you are. But that’s ok, because it’ll be the new year and you’ll be full of motivation, determined to lose that gut. But how can you? You spend your entire day at work, sitting in front a desk, not burning any calories. Send your boss this article and explain just how much more productive the office would be if you all had this. It’s called the Steelcase Walkstation and is a workstation that happens to be a treadmill. For one, you’d cost your company less in health insurance. Also, after a while you’d have more energy since there’d be less of you to carry around. Heck, we don’t need to sell you on the benefits of being able to move all day vs. sitting. The Walkstation has a top speed of 2mph and is very silent, as it should in an office. One of the listed features is actually a little funny: “Motor designed to withstand the rigors of slow speeds and possible higher weights for long periods of use (our emphasis).”

Now… they aren’t cheap. $4,400 and up, depending on the sort of accessories you buy with them, such as the movable monitor arm, or other organizational elements; it is an office workstation after all.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Ambient Field Conditioner Is Good At Separating Fools From Their Money

By David Ponce

We think that there’s a point of diminishing returns when it comes to audio equipment. There’s a good difference between a $30 set of PC speakers and a $1,000 system. But the difference between that $1,000 system and say, one that costs $20,000 is that you’ll be $19,000 poorer and immeasurably stupider for it. Of course, audiophiles will disagree and find all manners of reasons to justify the expense; we won’t get into an argument here. Suffice it to say we were not impressed with the Blackbody, an Ambient Field Conditioner. It’s a box that doesn’t make any sounds. It doesn’t even amplify. Really, all it claims to do is sit there and somehow “enhance audio playback quality by modifying the interaction of your gear’s circuitry with the ambient electromagnetic field. The Blackbody eliminates sonic smearing of high frequencies and lowers the noise floor, thus clarifying the stereo image.” It’s $1,323. For an audio accessory.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

FLEXiT Light LED Array Looks Pretty Useful

By David Ponce

Working on stuff without sticking your fingers on a live wire or cutting them with something sharp is easier to do when you can see what’s going on. Worklights come all manner of shapes and styles but we really like the FLEXiT light. It’s basically a flexible silicone mat with 16 Lumen Tech™ LEDs embedded. The mat contains a frame (which the company calls Shape-Loc™) that holds whichever shape you give the mat in place, letting you create either a broad or focused beam with ease. There are three intensity settings and the base contains neodymium magnets to make it even easier to find the perfect spot for it.

Best part is the price: $30.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

60beat GamePad Controller For iDevices

By David Ponce

The thing about gaming is that so much is riding on the controller. Just think about the fundamental differences between PC vs. console gaming, and the advantages a mouse and keyboard can give you over a console controller. The same is true when you move into devices who weren’t created with gaming in mind, but who later discovered a healthy market for it, like the iPhone. There’s no denying that pressing a flat, feedback-less screen is not ideal for gaming. So that’s why we like the GamePad from 60beat. It plugs right into the audio jack of your iDevice and gives you 2 analog sticks, 1 D-pad and 10 action buttons (2 on the joysticks). It needs no batteries since it draws power from the device.

The only problem is the current number of compatible games: 2. Two games! So yeah, it’s great and all, but not very useful unless the company manages to get more developers to include code in their games that takes this particular controller into account. Still, it’s $50.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Tether Stemware Saver Is Brilliant

By David Ponce

Putting delicate wine glasses in the washing machine can be a risky proposition. Secure them with these cheap and elegant flexible plastic tethers that tie to the stem on the one end and attach to the washing machine on the other.

They’re $15 for a pack of 4, from Quirky.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ CoolHunting ]