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Author Archives: David Ponce

Kittyo Lets You Creep On Your Cat From The Comfort Of The Interwebs

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Do you feel heartbroken when you leave your home because your cat has to stay behind with no one to play with? Kittyo would like to come to your rescue, allowing you not only to see your feline friend from afar, but to play with him, record videos of him, and even dispense treats. Once hooked up to your WiFi, Kittyo can be controlled through a smartphone app. Some of its features include having the ability to make a chiming noise to attract kitty; being able to project a laser pointer that you move around, to entertain your pet; committing your cat’s shenanigans to video so you can bore your friends with a YouTube upload. There’s even a speaker so that you can delude yourself into thinking your kitty knows your voice and can recognize it.

Currently doing the Kickstarter rounds, it’s more than smashed its funding goal and should be seeing the production line soon. Delivery is slated for November of this year, in time for the Holidays. A $120 pledge will get you yours, while Kittyo is expected to cost $180 retail.

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“Shoot Now, Focus Later” Camera Maker Lytro Releases Illum, A New Model With Fancy Lens

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Lytro made a huge splash two years ago with the introduction of their “light field photography” camera, which captured images that could be refocused after the fact. It was groundbreaking innovation, although its functionality has since then been replicated in smartphones with software trickery. The Illum being released now, however, raises the bar again. Aside from it’s slick futuristic looks, it packs a new 30 to 250 mm lens with a f/2 aperture across the range which contains only 13 pieces of glass, in contrast with an equivalent lens from Canon that contains 22. The result is a lighter, smaller lens that captures equally splendid pictures thanks to the complexity of its sensor and advanced algorithms.

It’s a futuristic camera that opens up a world of possibilities not previous available to photographers. Owning one will obviously cost a pretty penny, and in this case it’s $1,599. That’s a lot of dollars, but you’re also getting a lot of camera.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [

Powdered Alcohol On The Way? Maybe

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Palcohol is a powder than, when mixed with water, will turn it into Vodka or Rum. It’s great for camping trips, for example, where lugging big bottles of liquor can be a pain. Instead, the powdered alcohol will take up less space and weight, and can be mixed with water from a stream, or liquids you bring yourself (like juice). Each packet of Palcohol contains enough powder to make a standard concentration drink, if mixed with 5 ounces of liquid. The company also plans on selling flavoured versions of the powder, so that you may have a full standard drink (like Margaritas, or Cosmopolitans) without needing to add anything more than plain water.

There is some discussion over whether the product is legal for sale in the US, with approval being granted and retracted only 13 days later. Upon closer inspection, it does appear to be a technical issue related to labels, rather than a rejection of the product for sale on US shelves. Which means that if all goes well, you’ll be able to get either type of Palcohol (Vodka or Rum) by this fall, though we’re not sure for how much.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

It Turns Out It’s Possible To Reinvent The Axe

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Oldie but goodie here.

Axes have been round for quite a while; after all, what’s simpler than driving a sharp metal edge into a piece of wood? Unlike the wheel however, the tool’s longevity doesn’t mean its design can’t be improved upon. Take the Vipukirves axe pictured above. It helps you split wood more easily by offsetting the center of mass to the side. This way, each time you drive the axe down onto your log, you’ll also generate some rotational torque. This torque, applied to the part of the axe that’s already in the wood, acts as a lever and splits the wood down its fibre, reducing the amount of force needed to accomplish the same results. It’s ingenious and simple, and if the video below is anything to go by, does actually appear to improve on the old design. Sadly, innovation often doesn’t come cheap, and the Vipukirves is no exception. Owning one will set you back €155.74 or about $215, plus €47.26 ($65) in shipping.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geek.com ]

Game Of Thrones Hand Of The King USB Stick

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USB sticks come in all shapes and sizes. So why not get one that’s in the shape of a prop from one of TV’s most watched franchises? The Game Of Thrones Hand of the King pin USB stick comes in 16GB capacity… and that’s it. It does double as an actual pin, so it can serve dual purpose storage and decoration, and you’ll have to spend $40 to get it, which isn’t all that much for this item.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Your Everyday Shed The Tetra Shed Is Not

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You think assembling IKEA furniture is challenging? Try the Tetra Shed on for size, then. The modular, multi-use cabin comes flat packed and can be assembled in a number of different configurations, depending on your needs. You’ll get a whopping 28 sq. ft. of storage, where we hope you’ll park something just as luxurious and valuable than this shed. Considering you’ll have to spend $25,000 to get your own, there’s a chance all the stuff you own is also worth a pretty penny.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Werd ]

These Glasses Have Eyes On Them So You Don’t Have To Feel Awkward, You Know, Looking At People

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Being comfortable in public and knowing what to do with your eyes is natural to some, but a nightmare to others. To help you with the social discomfort, Dr. Hirotaka Osawa from Tsukuba University, in Japan, has developed the AgencyGlass. They’re a pair of glasses outfitted with OLED screens, an accelerometer, Bluetooth, a camera, and a micro controller. The idea is that if you’re having trouble figuring out just what to do with your eyes, these could do it for you.

The digital eyes blink when you nod or shake your head, look up when you tilt your head down and (best of all) it stays open even while you doze off, all thanks to a gyroscope and an accelerometer that detects head movement. That’s not all they can do, though — the eyes also automatically look up when the system determines that a person is looking at you, as taken by the accompanying camera.

As you can imagine, the AgencyGlass is not commercially available. But the idea of using technology to help wearers overcome something like social discomfort (or what Osawa calls ‘Emotional Labor’) is a good one and we hope to see more of this kind of technology make its way to consumers in the future.

[ IEEE Automaton ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Common Replies From Programmers When Their Code Doesn’t Work

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Programmers in the audience… how true is this?

VIA [ GeeksAreSexy ]

X9 Follow Electric Caddy Replaces Real Person, Frees Your Hands And Shoulders

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Golfing alone can be fun and relaxing, but there’s always that heavy bag of clubs to carry around with you from hole to hole. And while caddies are great, maybe you want to remain truly solo. That’s where the X9 Follow comes in. It’s a portable electric device that carries your bag for you, and follows you around wherever you go. You just take it out from your car trunk, connect the battery, pair the remote, attach your bag and go. As long as you have the remote on your body, it’ll follow you around a few paces behind. When you reach your hole, place the remote on the X9 and it’ll stay put. It’s able to go uphill and downhill with no problem, and will even let you remote control it manually.

The X9 is not a new product; robotic caddies have been around for some time. But there are a host of new features that make this one stand out from its predecessors. But as you can imagine, this sort of convenience comes at a price: $3,250! Well… golfing is a rich person’s sport, so we’re not altogether surprised.

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