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Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Q-Knot Reusable Rubber Ties

By David Ponce

This is not a new product, but it’s one we think our readers ought to know about. See, zip ties are great for bundling cables and tidying the inside of a PC case for example. Or arresting people. But while you won’t be arresting anyone with the Q-Knot rubber ties, you will be able to re-use them, unlike traditional plastic zip ties. Their rubber construction means that if you pull hard enough, the teeth will go through in the opposite direction, releasing the band. This could be handy if you forgot to bundle a particular cable and don’t want to have to cut the zip tie. Yeah, you could argue that the regular plastic ties are cheap, so what’s the issue? And that’s true but hey… the environment and all that stuff? Not to mention that $10 for a pack of 25 isn’t all that expensive either.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Wired Gadget Lab ]

Is This The World’s Smallest USB Stick?

By David Ponce

Companies keep making claims of smallest this and biggest that, so we’re never really sure of anything. But as far as small USB sticks are concerned, this one from company Deonet seems like it might take the cake. Measuring 19.5 x 14.5 x 2.9 millimeters, it’s hardly bigger than a fingertip and comes in 4GB , 8GB and 16GB capacities. It accomplishes the small size through the use of a “Micro UDP chip (where UDP stands for the USB Disk In Package assembly process, which sees the controller, flash IC, substrate and passive components molded into a very small, single package), which is less than half the physical size of other USB memory solutions.”

There’s no word on price just yet, but the flash drive should be available this January.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ Geekosystem ]

For The Lulz: Video Of Construction Workers Trying To Stop Out-Of-Control Concrete Buffer

By David Ponce

This had me laughing good and hard for a bit. It’s a video of construction workers trying their damnedest to stop a gyrating concrete buffer that one of them apparently set loose. Their methods include dousing it with water (brilliant), threatening it with a stick and covering it with a tarp. The running commentary is particularly funny.

Not a darn thing to do with gadgets, but does anyone really care at this point?

VIA [ Geekologie ]

Guy Fits A Working LED In A Contact Lens, Tries It On

By David Ponce

A few weeks ago we reported on a group of researcher’s successful attempt at putting a single pixel inside a contact lens, fitting it on a rabbit and having the rabbit happily snacking on carrots minutes after the experiment. We saw it as the firstearly prototypes of what we hope will be contact lens VR. But YouTube user Ben Krasnow (username bkraz333) was watching and apparently figured “hey, I can do this! Only with an LED…” In the video below you can see how he coils metal wires, solders them onto an LED, sandwiches them between two soft contact lenses, fuses them together with hot pliers and yes, puts the contraption on his eye. Squirmy viewers shouldn’t look, although nothing bad happens. Matter of fact, it works. There’s a bunch of electrical engineering speak that we can’t quite piece together, but the short of it is he’s using inductive coupling to light up the LED and make it flash a few times a second.

But there’s also interesting talk of the current limitations to such a system, such as the need to focus the light onto the retina and how if ever this were to become a functioning display, each pixel would have to focus individually

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Don’t Call It A Rubik’s Cube, But This Rubik’s Cube Will Kick Your Ass

By David Ponce

As you can imagine, the name “Rubik’s Cube” is registered. So this is the “IQ Brick Cube”. And if you were having trouble solving the original, expect to spend countless hours with this. Featuring one regular sized layer, there are then 7 or 9 extra layers which are much thinner. Being no mathematician, we calculate this increases the complexity a few million-fold. And although it looks almost impossible to solve, there apparently is a method to make things easier.

Both the 3X3X7 and 3X3X9 models are $27, available from Brando.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Announcing The Toshiba Thrive Tablet Giveaway Winner

By David Ponce

We just wanted to announce the winner of our Toshiba Thrive tablet giveaway from a few weeks back as one Rosemary Breschuk-Chiu. Congratulations Rosemary! By now I believe you’ve had the tablet delivered to you, so enjoy it! As for everyone who entered and didn’t win, we’re very sorry. We’ll keep trying to bring you more of these! Thanks for participating!

Kube 2 Player Released, Not An iPod

By David Ponce

All the cool kids are getting iPhones and iPods to play their music, and it turns out they’re all baristas too. Weird. But if you want none of this nonsense, there are other options. Lots, really. The Kube 2 is one of these. This little hexahedron stores its music in microSD cards, which go up to 32GB. It measures 1 inch on all sides and has a touch sensitive interface: “A quick swipe will allow the user to switch to the previous or next track. Placing a finger at the top or bottom of the Kube2 will raise or lower the volume, respectively.” The battery should be good for about 6 hours and if you get sick of the way it looks, you can purchase little stick-on skins for $4 a pop.

The best part is perhaps the price: $35.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

These Directions You Best Take Seriously

By David Ponce

This is what happens when you ask Google maps for walking directions into Mordor…

VIA [ Geekologie ]

The Pudding Machine That Doesn’t Like Children

By David Ponce

Kraft has launched a new marketing initiative that has it distributing free samples of its mousse-like Temptations dessert by Jell-O through a special machine. See, this machine hates kids and yells at them. We, for one, are on its side: kids and pudding are never to be mixed. However it looks like Kraft’s intentions are more demographically based: they’re promoting the product to a specific age range, adults. So what happens is that if you walk up to this machine, a camera will analyze your face and determine your age. If you’re a kid, it tells you to step aside. Adult? Free food!

It presumably uses age-related factors such as the distance between facial features, proportions, or whatever other metric the algorithms deem relevant.

“It has a big gee-whiz factor,” says Ed Kaczmarek, Kraft’s director of innovation and consumer experiences. “This is intelligent marketing. We’re making certain we get the right sample to the right consumer.”

Aside from this, it’s also a big gimmick, but one we don’t mind so much, being tech geeks. If you’re in the Chicago area, look for the machine at your local supermarket.

VIA [ Gizmodo ]