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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Optical Illusion Friday: How Many Circles?

By David Ponce

Yeah… So there’s a bunch of circles on that image. Do you see them?

Keep looking.

Targus USB 3.0 Dual Video Adapter Reviewed. Verdict: Silky Smooth Video in HD and Beyond

For people with all-in-ones, small form factor PCs and laptops, if they want an additional screen (or two), the best bet is an external video adapter which works work well for PCs lacking the space for an additional video card inside. Granted, some of these machines come with a HDMI jack but even with that, you only get two displays at most. The Targus USB 3.0 Dual Video Adapter is worth checking out if you want scalability. It simply needs one USB 3.0 port and has both DVI and HDMI to drive resolution up to 2048×1152 which is good display up to 24″. Should you want to further expand desktop estate, you can always get another one. USB 3.0 has plenty of bandwidth for applications like this. The Targus employs the DisplayLink DL-3900 chipset as it’s the only one in the DL-3xxx series to boast dual head output.

Installation on Windows PCs is very easy and the adapter even gets HDCP 2.0 certification for Blu-ray and iTunes movies alike. The USB 3.0 video adapter can also carry 16-bit 48kHz 5.1 surround audio through its HDMI port. Another big plus is the DisplayLink USB video chipset being able to offload all of the heavy lifting of HD video playback and 3D rendering to the GPU. During Everything USB’s tests, the Targus adapter is actually able to render 3D game graphics as capable as the system’s main GPU.

The USB cable, tethered to the adapter however, is strangely short and stuttering with 24p playback was noted. Despite the caveats, the Targus works well for most users and sells for about $99, making it reasonably priced by most accounts. Anyone looking to add monitors to their notebook or desktop computer for increased productivity will want to give this adapter a closer look. That is assuming USB 3.0 port is available.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Kiskin Swimwear Features Heart-Shaped Window

By David Ponce

The only thing better than a permanent heart-shaped tattoo that you might end up wanting to destroy with lasers is a temporary one created by the melanin cells in your skin. The Kiskin line of swimwear can make the upcoming summer a little more fun for the girls out there, as each bikini bottom features a heart-shaped window (or other shapes, like a spade) that will let the sun right through. Of course, we’re thinking it better be glued to the skin, or else if it moves around, your heart is gonna look kind of weird.

Still, neat idea. And although this is an Italian creation, the website does appear to allow for worldwide shipping. It’s about €40 to €50 ($53 to $66).

[ Product Page (slightly NSFW, girl in bikini) ] VIA [ LikeCool ]

JuiceTank Is An iPhone Case And A Charger In One

By David Ponce

It’s nice to get out of the house now and then. You might even bring your iPhone with you on those excursions. But what if you like the fresh air so much you wander far from home? And as your battery dwindles you realize that like any normal person, you’re not carrying a charger cable around with you. Calamity. Or, just get the JuiceTank, currently in the funding phase on Kickstarter. It’s a simple iPhone case that features two swiveling plug arms that fold down flat when not in use. And while the case does add minimal bulk to the phone, its got to be weighed against the practicality of being able to charge anytime, anywhere. You can get yours for $55 now, or $70 once it hits retail. The campaign has raised about one fifth of the $150,000 it needs to take off, but if successful, you’ll get delivery by July of this year.

[ Product Page ]

This Ring Is Carved Straight Out Of A Diamond — 150 Carats’ Worth

By David Ponce

The above is not a gadget, not exactly new, but it is all kinds of amazing. It’s the creation of Mohamed Shawesh, President and CEO of Shawish Jewelry. It could be called “the world’s first diamond ring” and it wouldn’t be a lie. very other “diamond ring” out there is really a “ring of gold, studded with diamonds.” This on the other hand, well is a ring that’s been carved entirely from a giant diamond. Using lasers and traditional diamond cutting and polishing techniques, the ring weighs in at an impressive 150 carats. A year went into its making and its design is copyrighted, much like the shape of the Coke bottle is. It’s expected to sell for $70 million, though it was recently on display at Baselworld, leading us to believe that it has found no buyer. Yet.

[ Company Website ] VIA [ BornRich ]

ModMyPi Offers Case For Raspberry Pi, 5% Kickback To Foundation

By David Ponce

So you might have heard about the Raspberry Pi, that deck-of-cards-sized $35 computer that runs Linux and has a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and 256 Megabytes of RAM. It’s supposed to promote the use of computers in schools, but at that price point, people are grabbing it for all sorts of reasons. We hear it runs HD video just fine, even if it has to be stored on a separate SD card. Anyway, for $35 what you get is a pretty bare bones system, with no case. ModMyPi is selling just such a case, which comes in 5 different colour combinations. They’re made out of perforated ABS plastic, which should keep your Pi cool while keeping the dust out. They cost “£7.99 ($12.70) for the black or white versions. The other colors will cost an extra £1.99 ($3.15), as will international shipping. So the price ranges from $12.70 up to $18.99 depending on your selection and location. To sweeten the deal, ModMyPi will donate 5% of their profits to the Raspberry foundation.

Hit the jump for a couple more pics and links.

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Seagate GoFlex Desk 4TB USB 3.0 Drive Reviewed. Verdict: Colossal Speed.

We were already huge fans of Seagate’s line of GoFlex storage but they are now first to cross the 4TB barrier with their GoFlex Desk. For the uninitiated, the GoFlex line of drives allow for buying one drive with a specific connector (USB, FireWire, eSATA) and the ability to accessorize with each of the other types. FireWire at home and eSATA at the office, or just carry the connector with you if you don’t have a heterogeneous situation to solve. The large volume of the latest drive may appeal to many walks of life charged with toting the massive amounts of data that the GoFlex Desk 4TB enables. The interchangeable interface feature means that you can support the fastest possible manipulation of that data. Working with VMs or DB backups isn’t trivial with regards to size. Moving data on that scale can be downright glacial with older transfer protocols.

Seagate’s USB 3.0 connector has clocked some amazing speeds during tests and the USB 3.0 to SATA converter that runs the GoFlex Desk looks like it might work for other SATA drives in a pinch too. That’s a nice piece of added value but your mileage may vary. There are some possible problems working with data past 2TB, so do your research. Make sure you know which protocol you can use and where. You’ll also want to spend some time checking your OS’s support for 2TB+ drives. Older operating systems may require patching if they will even work at all. We’d check out this article for details about the speed and compatibility if you are planning a trip 4TB into outer space.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Video: New iPad Hit With Heavy Ammunition In Slow Motion

By David Ponce

Geeks tend to like new gadgets. That’s why you’re here. But they also like things that are awesome. Weapons can sometimes be pretty awesome. So it stands to reason that combining the two and filming the union in slow motion makes for some pretty crazy footage. In the above video, you can see Apple’s newest iPad take a few hits from a couple of different projectiles. First, it’s a bunch of 0.223 rounds fired from an HK53 assault rifle. But that’s just the appetizer. Then, it’s a Benelli M4 Super 90 shotgun packing some very special cartridges. They’re full of flechettes (little steel arrows) and bolo rounds (these are two metal balls joined by a wire). The damage this time, is pretty impressive.

And that’s it really. Just some dude shooting an iPad.

VIA [ Geekologie ]

Shuttle Pr0n: Fascinating Video On Board The Shuttle’s Booster Rockets

By David Ponce

We’re all sad that the shuttle program is over. Space exploration is just no longer the cool thing it was; government dollars for NASA have been dwindling for years. This shifting of priorities is due to the fact that we’re no longer “at war” with the USSR. The cold war meant that each power had to constantly outdo the other and the race into space was as good a way as any to try and one-up your adversary. But all that’s a distant past. So, to relive some of the memories, maybe you could watch the above video. It’s a fascinating 400 second journey of a couple of cameras strapped to the side of the booster rockets on Atlantis and Endeavour. They reach speeds of 3,000pmh and 41 miles of height before noisily re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down in the ocean. It’s all caught in multiple angles and is well worth the watch.

VIA [ GeeksAreSexy ]