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Monthly Archives: January 2013

What We’ve Always Wanted: Free Software That Makes Our Keyboards Sound Like Typewriters

By David Ponce

That headline has a hint of sarcasm in it, for sure, because… since when is more noise a good thing, right? But it’s not completely untrue either. There’s a certain nostalgia in hearing the sounds of typewriters of old, at least for those of us ancient enough to remember them. In my particular case, I was maybe 5 or 6 years old the last time there was one in my house, and watching the above video instantly brought back memories from back then. In the video you’ll see an Apple device running this piece of free software that works in all applications (email, web, word, etc.) and makes authentic sounds of “letter keys, spacebar, backspace, carriage return and scroll up and down.” It has no other purpose, nor does it need one. It works on OS X only for now.

[ Noisy Typewriter ] VIA [ LikeCool ]

Please Forgive The Uneven Coverage: A New Design Is Coming

By David Ponce

Hey guys, we’re quite aware that coverage has been kind of spotty lately. This is due to a bunch of reasons, the main one of which is that we’ve been working hard on a new design. Above is a screenshot. It should go live this week, and we hope you like it. And no, despite the look of the image, it’s not all black. Matter of fact, the main text column is white, and the text will still be black. But we don’t want to show too much just yet.

Below is a quick bullet point of what changes we’re bringing, but once it’s launched we’re going to go over things in detail.

    Much wider main text column and images
    Less ads
    Improved navigation
    Faster loading and smaller footprint

It should be live later today (Monday) if all goes well. We’re going to need your help with bugs, missing pieces, etc. And feedback. We always want to hear from you guys, good or bad.

Once that’s done, I’m bringing another person on board to help with editorial and I’ll do my best to dust off OhGizmo and make it look as shiny as it was… almost 8 years ago.

Breaking Bad Candy

By David Ponce

The new season of Breaking Bad has finally started and all we can say is we think it’s AWESOME! We reckon we aren’t alone. So here’s some Heisenberg Blue Glass Rock Candy that would make Pinkman green with envy… bitch!

This is a novelty item: cotton candy flavored blue rock candy in a biodegradable 4″ X 3″ bag. Each Baggie contains over 2oz of fine product and will be sent to you in a sticker sealed brown paper bag along with two Official Los Pulgas Hermanos logo stickers inside!

It’s $8 for a pack of two.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ The Awesomer ]

The Box Bug Gets All Groovy On Cardboard Boxes

By David Ponce

It’s groovy because it’s a little tool that cuts grooves… Get it? Or, well, it doesn’t even cut grooves, really, it just cuts. So our jokes suck a little bit, but the Box Bug doesn’t.

It’s a box cutter designed with kids in mind. Within its clear plastic body are cardboard gripping plastic wheels that turn two round metal blades as you glide over the material. A small space at the bottom is thin enough for cardboard, but not large enough for fingers to get in, keeping your child safe from injury. Box Bug even helps make decorations by ejecting a thin strip of cardboard from a hole in the top cavity, leaving extra material for rope or garnish for a child’s creation.

We can definitely see this being used in a classroom somewhere, for some kind of arts and crafts. I sucked so bad at arts and crafts that I was sent to detention because the teacher thought I was being bad on purpose. True story.

It’s projected to cost $9, and it’s a Quirky project, which means it may or may not see the light of day.

[ Product Page ]

Brammo Empulse Electric Bike Has Actual Clutch And Gear Transmission

By David Ponce

The thing about most electric vehicles is that there’s no real need for the traditional gears, or even a clutch for that matter. While some say this can be more efficient, it also produces a driving feel that’s completely alien and upsetting to purists. The Brammo Empulse electric bike tries to alleviate some of that pain by introducing the

“Integrated Electric Transmission (IET™) – IET™ is a mechatronic propulsion unit that emulates the feeling and performance of a traditional internal combustion engine, with a specially developed electric motor, clutch and gear shift, that enables the 2012 Empulse to accelerate hard from the line up to a high top speed, something that is just not possible to achieve with a single ratio electric motorcycle.

The bike is also the first to feature water cooling and its battery will be fully charged in 8 hours. With a full charge you should get a 121 mile city range, 56 mile highway and a combined 77 miles. There’s a 100mph top speed and two driving modes: Normal (limited acceleration and top speed) for added range and Sport for the reverse combination. Assuming 13 cents /kWh for electricity, it’s going to cost you roughly $4 for 400 miles of range and at current gas prices, that works out to 336mpg. Unless we screwed up our calculations somewhere.

In any case, expect to pay $16,995 for the Empulse and $18,995 for the Empulse R, which features carbon fiber accents and fully adjustable front and rear suspension. The company is accepting pre-orders now.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ GearPatrol ]

Rolling On The Floor Laughing: Kid Pretending To Be The QWOP Runner

By David Ponce

We’re going to assume you didn’t just wake up from a 15 year slumber and stumble on the Internet; QWOP is a classic game that you’ve probably tried (and failed) to play at least once. And if this is your first time online, we’re flattered you came to OhGizmo! first. For the rest of you, enjoy the below video and expect to laugh till’ you cry. We did. It’s a kid pretending to be the QWOP runner. He’s awesome! He wins 500 Internet points! We only wish it was a longer vid.

It’s your first time on the inter tubes? Really? Ok, well… below is also a link to the game, which has been dubbed the world’s hardest. Go try it out and see if your character doesn’t look identical to this kid.

[ QWOP ] VIA [ Geekologie ]

Panasonic Releases Digital Mirror For Physical Rehabilitation

By David Ponce

Remember in Mario Kart in single player mode, you were able to race against a ghost of yourself? The Digital Mirror from Panasonic is just like that, except not quite. It’s used in physical rehabilitation settings, where you have to relearn how to move parts of your body, and it uses a camera and monitor to help things along. First it’ll show you a video of an able bodied person doing the required movements, and will record you trying. You can later be shown your initial efforts and you can compare yourself and see your progress in real time.

It offers exercise programs such as “Stretch,” “Muscle Strength,” “Upper Limb’s Range of Motion” and “Balance.” Also, it is possible to select “upright position” or “sitting position,” depending on the state of the user.

Of course for something that will be used in a medical setting, the price will likely keep it out of people’s homes: approx US$35,412.

Panasonic will start accepting orders for the Digital Mirror starting July 20th.

[ Related Article ] VIA [ NewLaunches ]

Google Maps And Street View Get Panoramic Map Of Antartic Hotspots

By David Ponce

Of course that’s a metaphorical hotspot we’re talking about. In the glacial, barren land that caps our south pole not many people venture. But the Google Maps team ditched their famous cars and traded them for tripods and fisheye lenses, and went back to the south pole to get more pictures than they already had. This time they added a bunch of famous places, from the inside as well as the outside. Now we say they went, as if they ventured out on their own, when in fact

they teamed up with the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota and the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, [and] 360-imagery of many important spots, inside and out, such as the South Pole Telescope, Shackleton’s hut, Scott’s hut, Cape Royds Adélie Penguin Rookery and the Ceremonial South Pole.

Hit the source below for a bunch of links pointing directly to the new places on Google Maps.

[ Google Maps Blog ]

If You Really, Absolutely, Positively, Just Don’t Want To Use A dSLR

By David Ponce

The above product looks like it could be cool, until you start thinking about things in detail. It’s called the Phocus iPhone Case and it’s a rather large and rugged case that can ultimately be used with Nikon or Canon EOS lenses. It’s got a standard tripod thread so you can stabilize your newly created camera and take somewhat decent pictures. But we’re iffy on this and we’ll tell you why. First off, the standard case comes with its own lenses: $99 for wide angle and macro lenses, and $139 if you add a telephoto lens. But if you want to use your own dSLR lenses, you have to buy special 35mm adaptors: $220 for Canon lenses and $245 for Nikon. They’ll come with spacers so you can maintain the proper focal length. At this point, you’re $320 deep in the best case scenario, and that’s not even including the fancy lens. You don’t have electronic control over that lens either, which means the shutter is the iPhone’s. And the sensor… It’s… a really convoluted way of taking pictures when you could toss in a couple hundred dollars more and just buy a real camera. But hey, if you really, absolutely…. You get the idea.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]