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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Blogger Pays People to Slap Him Whenever He Goes on Facebook and Reddit–Say What?

Blogger Slap

It doesn’t matter whether they’re old or new. Habits are habits, and oftentimes, they die hard. A lot of people these days are hooked to social networks. Not a problem most of the time, but if you work from home or telecommute, then it could have an adverse effect on your productivity. Take Sethi’s case. He’s a blogger for Hack the System and he didn’t like the fact that he spent most of his time chatting on Facebook or reading stuff on Reddit.

So he hired someone off of Craigslist to sit beside him while he worked and slap him when he went off-page. I kid you not. This is what his ad actually said:

I’m looking for someone who can work next to me at a defined location (my house or a mission cafe) and will make sure to watch what is happening on my screen. When I am wasting time, you’ll have to yell at me or if need be, slap me.

He got a lot of slaps (hit the break to watch a video of him get a huge one across his face) but his productivity improved. In fact, it quadrupled. I guess despite its craziness, it actually worked.

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Boxee TV Lets You DVR With No Limits

The Boxee Box brought with it lots of hype, but it’s a hard world out there for a media streamer. So the company is switching tacks and trying to enter the DVR market with an interesting offering: unlimited storage on the cloud. Most DVRs come with hard drives and after a few months of rigorous recording, you’re likely to start feeling a little squeezed. Not so with Boxee TV, which uploads everything you decide to keep, so you can pretty much record it all! And you’re then free to watch it back from any device that has access to the Internet. It has a dual tuner that allows it to display TV from over-the-air signals and basic unencrypted cable, and you’re able to record one show while watching another.

The service costs $15 a month, and will be “rolling out to 8 of the top TV markets in the US: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia and D.C. Additional markets later in 2013.”

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Werd ]

Bleeding Skull Candle Perfect For Halloween

You know, the clock is ticking down to the day that witches worldwide have been waiting for. Yes, it’s time to get ready for Halloween parties and aside from finding a costume, it means you’re going to want to be decking out your place in the spirit of the day. What better than a skull-shaped candle that drips red wax through an eye socket as it melts? It’s about 4.5″ high and costs only $13, so you can easily buy a bunch, spread them around and create the perfect mood.

[ Product Page ]

Memoto, The Lifelogger

Some people will hate this device; we love it. It’s a tiny, easy to wear, GPS-equipped 5MP camera that automatically takes a picture every 30 seconds. The picture gets geotagged and uploaded to a server for indefinite and limitless storage when you connect the device to a PC for a battery charge, thus creating a precise log of your life that you can revisit at anytime. Memoto does this as long as it has battery, and its small energy requirements means that this is a period of about two days. There are no buttons: it just takes pictures, tags them with GPS and orientation info (through its built-in accelerometer, so the pictures always come out upright), and uploads. And as long as you’re paying the small recurring fee for the service, you can access the timeline of your life, locate where you were, what you were doing, when, with who… A related application organizes the pictures for you, and groups them into “moments” that you can relive in a stop-motion type of animation. It’s. Just. Awesome.

Of course, there are privacy concerns. To address this, the uploaded pictures are encrypted, and only shared when you choose to do so. There’s also the creep factor. Well, the camera only turns off when you store it away in darkness, so your friends will know that as long as you’re wearing the Memoto, they may be photographed. This takes away the uncertainty that could come with some other similar devices, like Google Glass. If they really hate it, just put it away. As for the legality of it, the company says that as long as you’re not asked to stop taking pictures, it’s ok. We’re not so sure, but obviously there’s a context for everything. Don’t bring these to, say, a gentleman’s club.

It’s a Kickstarter project at the moment, and boy was it funded fast! Within 5 hours Memoto reached it’s goal. It’s now sitting at $243,000 after only asking for $50k. Clearly there’s a huge demand for this. There are still some places left on the second batch of devices at $249, though if you don’t get in on that, you’ll have to pay the full $279 expected retail price and wait until April. The 2nd batch has an expected delivery in March.

[ Product Page ] AND [ Kickstarter Project ] VIA [ TechCrunch ]

I Have Another Post Up On HP’s Site

Hey guys, I’m still not fired from that HP gig! This makes me happy because it pays some bills, and actually makes me try to write well. You know, as opposed to the swill I usually feed you guys… No, I kid, I kid, I love you all and try hard here too! But I’m supposed to let you know about these posts so that more people than the stiff enterprise types read them, so do me a favor and check out my article. It’s about 6 medical gadgets. Because we all like living, but it’s even better when we live with good health. And well, when you marry that concern with a love for consumer electronics, you end up creating the kinds of devices I decided to write about. So uh, yeah, check it out.

[ Can A Gadget Save Your Life? ]

Men’s Eyebrow Shaving Stencil: Because Men Need to Shape Their (Uni)Brows, Too

Men's Eyebrow

Media usually portrays men as slobs and women as vain and fussy, when the fact of the matter is that guys care about their looks, too. So why shouldn’t they have tools and accessories that will make personal hygiene and grooming easier? Tools like this eyebrow shaving stencil that I’m sure some girls will find useful as well.

The stencil is fashioned from polypropylene, which the manufacturer claims is an ‘anti-bacterial’ material. Which is good, because we don’t want bacteria spreading on your man brows. Blech. Notably, this stencil won’t help people tame their unibrows since both stenciled eyebrows are connected in the middle by the handle.

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CHARLI-2 Robot Dances Gangnam Style

Yeah, yeah, dancing robots are a dime a dozen. But CHARLI-2 here isn’t a $50 desk toy from Japan, it’s Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory darling, and the U.S. Navy’s “forerunner for creating a Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) that could work with human sailors to battle fires aboard warships at sea.” This little guy’s got some serious tech on him, but in the video above, no one really cares. CHARLI-2 puts the moves on to a little tune known as Gangnam Style… maybe you guys have heard of it? (please note sarcasm) Anyway, it’s fun to watch. And as a top comment on that video says, “I thought Humans dancing like robots wre cool, but robots dancing like humans is the new thing.”

By the way, that song’s up to 532 million views. That’s… just nuts.

[ CHARLI-2’s Homepage ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Blackhawk Secretary Trunk Is An Office In A Case

This made the rounds back in March, and we missed it. Shame on us, because the Blackhawk Secretary Trunk is pretty badass. It’s a six foot tall case that contains everything necessary to setup an office. Think of it as a giant road case (like those from travelling rock shows), only wrapped in pre-stressed aluminum and rivets, to give it that mid-20th century aircraft look. The “pre-stressed” part just means they banged on it to artificially age it and make it look like it’s been to a few places. Truth be told, at 525lbs, there’s no chance we’re going to actually, you know, go anywhere with it. But we sure as heck wouldn’t mind decking out our headquarters with these… if only they didn’t cost $4,295.

[ Product Page ]

Cut-Resistant Fabric Could Help You Keep Your Skin In One Piece

If your line of work has you traveling to places where knife wielding miscreants may want to harm you, you’d be well advised to look into PPSS’s line of cut resistant clothing. Made from a new fabric called Cut-Tex® PRO, these garments protect you from a surprising level of knife slashes. They apparently exceed strict ISO standards for such things (we didn’t know these existed, to be honest), and will keep you intact possibly long enough for you to either get away or reach for a sidearm. Keep in mind that there are two important words here: resistant and slashes. This means they are not completely impossible to cut, so if you want to test them by hugging a running chainsaw, you’re gonna have a bad time. And if someone stabs at you (as opposed to a slash)… well, tough luck. The knife will likely go inside of you, maybe with some of the clothing wrapped around it. Still, some protection is better than no protection, and PPSS has seen success selling these garments outside of the personal security industry, focusing on the flat glass, sheet metal, and automotive field where workers can get cut on a regular basis. To give you an idea of the price, a sweater is said to run around $315.

Hit the jump for a terrible video of the fabric in action, plus links.

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