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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Jailbroken iPads Can Now Multitask Windows-Style

By David Ponce

A lot of good things can be said about the iPad and the post-PC revolution it seems to be ushering. But for those of us who spent their youths on Windows, the linearity of iOS’s multitasking is really frustrating. While it’s possible to look at several windows at once on a machine running Redmond’s code, the fact that you have to double-tab the home button on an iPad and then explicitly pick the next app you want to look at it stupid; the iPad does multitask processing, but not user-interacting. However if you’ve jailbroken your device, you can bring back a bit of logic with an application called Quasar, by Pedro Franceschi. As you can imagine, it gives you windows, which you can resize and drag around like you’re used to on a PC, without giving up any of the perks of iOS. This is particularly useful for those iPhone-only apps which would take up the entire screen when they’d really be much more useful tucked in a corner somewhere instead.

Watch the video below; the app seems to run quite well. It’s not free however: $10 on the Cydia app store. Just search for it.

VIA [ The Verge ]

Back To The Future LEGO Could Very Well Become Reality

By David Ponce

So it turns out that LEGO has this thing called LEGO Cuusoo, which is kind of a digital suggestion box. You can create your own designs of LEGO sets that you’d like to see, and if they get at least 10,000 votes, the company will seriously look at it and potentially make it. The above Back To The Future set has reached that milestone, so there’s a pretty decent chance it’ll become a real product. Not everything gets approved however. A Shaun Of The Dead design that had reached the threshold was vetoed by the company on the grounds that it was too violent a movie for its target market of young kids. But the BTTF concept you see above should not run into the same problem. The set

includes all the pieces to make three versions of the DeLorean, one for each movie, along with the required props and minifigs of Doc Brown and Marty McFly. It will require you to build your own Lego Hill Valley .

We can’t imagine anything derailing this project, other than not being able to secure the rights maybe. So it should only be a matter of time until we update you with availability information.

[ LEGO Cuusoo ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Nerdgasm Alert: New NVidia Dual-GPU GeForce GTX 690 Is Spec-alicious, Fastest On Market

By David Ponce

Graphic cards are usually the flashier components on any PC build. Where the CPU would be an overachieving Asian student (please forgive the stereotype), the graphic card would be the weightlifter on steroids. Wearing fur. With a (potential) twin. And the new NVidia GeForce 690 takes things to a new level with the kind of nerdtastic specs that make serious gamers’ heads spin. Featuring two 28nm Kepler GPUs, the 690 packs a blistering 3,072 Cuda cores, effectively delivering double the framerates of its predecessor, the 680. And… it can be run in SLI mode, meaning if you have the cash, two of them can sit in your case.

But aside from processing power, there’s some serious mettalurgy going on:

An exterior frame made from trivalent chromium-plated aluminum, providing excellent strength and durability. A fan housing made from a thixomolded magnesium alloy, which offers excellent heat dissipation and vibration dampening. High-efficiency power delivery with less resistance, lower power and less heat generated using a 10-phase, heavy-duty power supply with a 10-layer, two-ounce copper printed circuit board.

This is some serious business so of course, the price is pretty darn serious too: $1,000. Expect it in limited quantities starting May 3, 2012, with wider availability by May 7, 2012.

P.S.: “For Crysis 2 Ultra, the GTX 690 scored 57.8 fps while the GTX 680 scored 32.3 fps. ”

VIA [ Engadget ]

New Nanotextured Glass Could Usher Water Repellant, Self-Cleaning Gadgets

By David Ponce

A team of researchers at MIT has developed a method for turning regular glass into something far, far more awesome: glass with arrays of conical micron-scale surface nanotextures, rendering it self-cleaning, non-glare, and non-fogging. Better yet, the method they have used could potentially be scaled to produce this glass at an acceptable cost for widespread use, from building windows to optical devices, and of course, to gadgets.

So how does it work? Roughly, it’s a process that involves applying several layers of photo resistive material to the glass, then etching away with a laser. As you can see in the scanning electron microscope picture above, the glass ends up being coated in microscopic cones that are five times as tall as their base width of 200 nanometers. And as demonstrated in the two pictures after the fold, this renders the surface superhydrophobic (a lot like stuff in this article), meaning water just bounces off it as if made of rubber. It’s also non glare because the cones create a surface that makes it impossible for a ray of light to bounce off and into our eyes.

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Happy Summer Sandals Are Happy

By David Ponce

It’s been said too much, but yeah… winter sucks. It’s kind of over now, which will let our semi-translucent sun-starved bodies venture outside our dwellings and perhaps enjoy some kind of summer. Some might go to the beach, so hey, let’s celebrate the moment by writing the above message all over the sand. Because, Bobby McFerrin had it right all along: “In every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double…”

$16, in women’s sizes only.

[ Product Page ]

These Vortex Salt And Pepper Shakers Defy Logic

By David Ponce

Well, not really. Nothing really defies logic. But the way these glazed ceramic salt and pepper shakers work might leave some confused. The product of 3D printing company Shapeways, they feature a large funnel in their centre. There’s no other opening for letting the salt and pepper out or in. You simply fill them up through the funnel, and then watch as only a little bit of the stuff comes back out when you invert them over your food. Of course, when you really start to think about how it works, you understand that it’s really very simple: the opening for the outgoing salt and pepper is much, much smaller than it is for the incoming. They also look really nice, so it seems as though the $52 asking price is almost justified.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gear Hungry ]

Would You Pay $1,600 For An 8-Bit Mushroom PC Case?

By David Ponce

We all love us some Mario, and vintage gaming, and 8-bit things and whatnot. And sure, that PC case you see in the picture is nice and would probably give your desktop some swagger… But it’s $1,600. Yeah, that’s just for the case. This guy on Etsy makes them. He then says he’ll work with you to select the PC components you want, and assemble it all for you, install the drivers, etc… while of course adding the price of those components to the already stratospheric $1,600.

Then, he’ll ship it to you… for an estimated $200!

Yeah, we’ll pass. But hey, money has been known to burn holes in some people’s pockets, so knock your socks off if this is your thing.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Rocketfish Bluetooth Speakers Nestle Right Into Smart Cover

By David Ponce

Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen. It’s also pretty boring tech. So why are we covering it? Well, these particular speakers from Rocketfish (Best Buy’s house brand) feature a nice triangular design that makes it possible to insert them right into your iPad’s rolled up smart cover. It’s neat because that’s how you’d have it if you were watching a film, presumably, so the speakers integrate pretty seamlessly with your Apple tablet. Connection is of course through Bluetooth, which means they will work with other devices but not quite so elegantly.

There’s no word on power output or battery life, but we do know that they are currently on special for $50, down from the regular $70.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ YankoDesign ]

The Solidoodle Is A $500 3D Printer

By David Ponce

3D printing at home is a hot segment, but it’s one that’s consistently been light on growth mostly due to the high costs. The MakerBot Replicator we covered during CES was a step in the right direction, cost-wise, but it’s still $2,000 or so. Well it turns out that the company’s COO, Samuel Cervantes, went off on his own and made the Solidoodle you see above. It’s a 3D printer that costs $500. All you need to do is add a computer and you’ll be off printing almost any object that comes to mind. That’s the kind of price point that could see this tech take off. It does its printing much like the MakerBot did: by melting some plastic and extruding a fine line which it then uses to build the object, layer upon layer.

For an extra $50 you can get the Pro model, which allows you to print objects up to 6″ on all sides. It also has an “upgraded power supply, a spool holder to hold filament (which makes unattended printing much easier), and interior lighting.” The resolution of the printed objects depends on the height of each layer. Typical prints have a resolution of 0.3mm, but it’s possible to make 0.1mm layers, resulting in “top-notch looking prints.”

There’s a 6 to 8 week lead time for your orders, which you’re free to place right now.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]