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Author Archives: David Ponce

Star Wars Beer Steins

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The only respectable way to drink a beer is either straight from the can, or in a beer stein. There’s no shortage of these on the market, with some more creative variations like the Das Can In Stein that turns your cans into steins. The collection we’re looking at today, however, takes the cake in terms of geek appeal. The Star War Steins feature Boba Fett, Darth Vader, or R2-D2 and are made out of solid ceramic. The hinged lid uses a legit pewter thumb lift to reveal your frosty drink inside, while each will hold 22 ounces of liquid. These are heavy, 2 lbs. steins, so it’s no toy. The price is also reflective of this, since they’ll set you back a hefty $49.99.

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Thumb-Worn Ring Can Diagnose STDs In Minutes

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If you have multiple sexual partners, the responsible thing to do is to get tested for STDs on a somewhat regular basis. Despite knowing this, a large number of people avoid doing so, perhaps out of fear of the associated stigma. Whatever the reason, anything that can be done to encourage these stragglers to get tested is a good thing, and the Hoope Ring hopes to help with that. It’s a thumb-worn ring that’s able to detect four STDs (syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis) in less than a minute.

Users start by using Hoope’s electric pulse generator to numb their skin. They then press a button on the ring, which causes its single-use retractable needle to come out. That needle is then used to draw a blood sample, which is carried by capillary action to the ring’s lab-on-a-chip.

There, the blood flows through four microfluidic channels, in which it’s exposed to different antigens that have been synthesized to catch antibodies associated with each of the targeted diseases. If any of those antibodies are present and thus captured, an electrochemical reaction occurs which is detected by the onboard electronics.

The Hoope then wirelessly transmits the data to an app on the user’s smartphone, which tells them what disease has been detected, and where in their community they can go for treatment.

Of course we’re a little puzzled that the tech needs to be in the form of a ring, since there’s very little chance you’ll want to wear this more than once… and rings are meant to be worn over extended periods of time. But it’s a small complaint for what promises to be a potentially very useful device. It’s still under development, but when ready sometime next year, it should cost around $50 and come with three needle/lab-on-a-chip cartridges.

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[ Source ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

OhGizmo! Review: The Juul Electronic Cigarette

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Electronic cigarettes are taking off. There are even recent reports that they’re actually much safer than traditional cigarettes, despite the increasingly common belief they’re not. Accordingly, the market is being flooded with a ton of products, and it’s getting increasingly hard to decide which one to pick. In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the Juul, a sleek device from the same people who brought you the insanely popular Pax Vaporizer. If you’re looking for an electronic cigarette to help you quit smoking, you can stop looking: the Juul is fantastic. It’s a game changer. It is, without a doubt, the closest experience to a real cigarette we’ve ever come across, and we suspect it’ll be explosively popular. Here are our thoughts.

The Hardware
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The Juul is a sleek, elegant device that measures about 3.5 inches in length. Its angular design is modern, and the fit and finish speaks of quality craftsmanship. The first thing you’ll notice upon taking it in your hand is just how light it is. It’s ridiculously light, in fact. However, its brushed aluminum construction feels solid despite its lack of heft.

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The device uses interchangeable liquid pods that contain all the necessary hardware to vaporize. They come in four flavours: Fruut, Miint, Tabaac, Bruule. The coil, the wick, the mouthpiece pipe, the draw sensors… everything is contained in these tiny pods about 1″ X 0.5″. Changing them is super easy; just pull it out and insert the new one in. There are no buttons to press; to draw you simply pull and a sensor will fire up the coil and vaporize the liquid. Internal temperature controls ensure a consistent puff. One pod is the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes.

The USB charger is magnetic, which is cool because you can plug Juul in even if its sideways. A full charge takes about an hour, but will last almost through an entire pod. An LED indicates battery levels, which you activate by tapping the device twice.

The Performance
The main feature of the Juul is how it delivers its nicotine to your bloodstream. Unlike traditional e-liquids, the company “used nicotine salts found in leaf-based tobacco as the core ingredient. By extracting and using those salts, Pax as able to create an experience that is more like smoking than other e-cigarettes on the market. That includes offering up two times the nicotine strength and three times the vapor quality of competing products.” In other words, when you puff on Juul, the feeling you get is extremely similar to a real cigarette. It spikes up and comes down slowly, whereas traditional e-cigs slowly build up and don’t give you that lightheadedness and alertness that smokers crave. The company even commissioned a study on this, with the results below.

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Performance is stellar. Puff after puff is consistent, never getting too hot. The only negative point is that on some pods, when you first start pulling, you may experience a little sprinkling of liquid onto your tongue. This is unpleasant, since there’s nicotine in there and it creates a burning sensation on the tongue. The company assures us that the issue has been resolved and the pods that ship now don’t do that. Even if that wasn’t the case, it was a minor issue to start with, that presented itself only when first firing up a new pod.

Conclusion
I’ve been vaping for a couple of years and I’ve come across a LOT of products. In this world, there’s a niche for everything and there’s even a cultural aspect to vaping, which this caters to perfectly. You see, Juul is not for the big plume aficionados, nor is it for the flavour enthusiasts, although the pod pack flavours are just fine. This is not a recreational device, although it can be used that way (as it is with me). It’s for current smokers wanting to quit. It’s an elegant tool, a device with a function, not strictly a toy. This is the closest experience to smoking a cigarette that I’ve ever come across on an electronic product. It’s light as a feather, vaporizes on a draw rather than on a button press, has convenient self-contained liquid pods, and more importantly, hits your bloodstream in exactly the right way as to recreate the buzz felt by and craved so much by smokers. I mean this from the bottom of my heart, so believe me when I tell you that for the very first time since picking up vaporizers of any kind, I feel like I’m smoking a real cigarette, without nearly as much of the guilt that comes with the real thing. That’s nothing short of amazing.

A starter pack is $49.99, which includes 4 pods, a charger and the device itself. Additional pods are $15.99 for 4. It’s cheap, considering the quality and sophistication of what you’ll be getting.

PROS
+ Elegant, modern design
+ Simple to use
+ Consistent pulls with precise internal temperature controls
+ Excellent nicotine delivery very similar to real cigarettes

CONS
– Occasional e-liquid spittle on new pods

[ Juul Vapor ]

BullseyeBore Helps You Drill In A Straight Line

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You’re a DIY kind of guy, doing stuff around the house with the power tools you had so much fun buying in Home Depot, right? Well, chances are you know just how hard it is to drill a hole that’s perfectly perpendicular to your surface. With the BullseyeBore drill attachment though, your problems might be solved. It uses a laser to project three circles onto your surface. As long as the three circles are perfectly equidistant, you’re drilling straight; deviate from that and you’ll immediately notice.

There are three patterns generated by BullseyeBore: a single dynamic position pattern, and two fixed circular measurement patterns. This is demonstrated in the video (left) and images (below) with the single dynamic position pattern as the outermost pattern, and the fixed circular measurement patterns on the inside.

The single dynamic position pattern changes shape dramatically when the drill is misaligned with the work surface, while the two fixed measurement patterns maintain consistent and evenly spaced concentric circles regardless of alignment.

A drill is properly aligned with the work surface when the single position pattern becomes circular and is concentric with the two fixed measurement patterns.

The BullseyeBore attachment also helps you know exactly how deep you’ve drilled, since the circles will change size as you go deeper, letting you keep track of your progress.

It’s not available for purchase yet, but there are two versions planned: one that attaches to the chuck of any drill and accepts bits on the other end, and one that’s actually integrated into a chuck directly. The company is looking for partners to bring it to market.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ DudeIWantThat ]

Kevlar Playing Cards

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From the folks who brought you Carbon Fiber Playing Cards come a new set, this time made of Kevlar. Kevlar Playing Cards are made of the same material found in bulletproof vests, and high end sports cars. It’s durable, incredibly strong, and lightweight. More importantly, they’ll give your deck a distinctive look that can add a little bit of flair to your poker nights. Also, unlike regular paper cards, these can be washed with water; anyone who’s played with the same deck for a long time will know that fingerprints and smudges tend to appear and give your set a worn out look. There are three colors to choose from, and they come in a metal carrying case. Of course, Kevlar is not cheap, so the deck will set you back a cool $155.

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[ Product Page ]

Deal Of The Day: 60% Off On Sound Step Lightning 2 Bluetooth Speaker

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There are all kinds of Bluetooth speakers on the market, and some are obviously of better quality than others. The Sound Step Lightning 2 Bluetooth Speaker is one of the nicer ones, featuring a booming sound and “Soundfreaq’s proprietary UQ3™ spatial sound enhancement.”

Soundfreaq’s Sound Step Lightning 2 is truly a next-generation Bluetooth speaker. With a dedicated sub-woofer and Soundfreaq’s proprietary UQ3™ spatial sound enhancement, this hi-fi speaker delivers crystal-clear quality unheard of for a speaker of its size. In our multi-device, multi-tasking world, Lightning lets you control the music right from the palm of your hand, helping you discover, share, and enjoy new sounds daily.

“If you’re looking for a nice combination of sonic performance, features, and style on a budget, you’ll find it to be one of the top Lightning options on the market.” iLounge

– Fully portable & rechargeable
– Includes four playback options: Bluetooth, Lightning dock for iPhones, line-in jack & an internal FM tuner controlled through the dedicated Soundfreaq app
– Plays for 8 hours straight per charge
– Features a 2.1 speaker configuration w/ a dedicated sub-woofer & proprietary UQ3™ spatial sound enhancement
– Delivers natural bass & stereo separation
– Charges any USB-capable devices via a handy charging port
– Allows complete playback control directly from the speaker or included IR remote

That’s a pretty full featured speaker, which you would normally have to pay $150 for. With today’s deal, it’s only $59!

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[ Get The Sound Step Lightning 2 Bluetooth Speaker ]

Deal Of The Day: 84% Off On LED Helicopter Shooters: 5-Pack

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This is a fun toy. It’s called the LED Helicopter Shooter and comes in a 5-pack. You simply shoot it up in the air with a rubber band and when it starts coming back down the wings deploy and it starts to spin like a helicopter. The fun part is that there are LEDs, so it’ll look cool on the way down. Also, it’s cheap!

Easy to launch and fun to watch, these LED Helicopter Shooters are a surefire crowd pleaser. Simply flip on each helicopter’s light and slingshot your aircraft into the clouds using a rubber band launcher. Upon reaching maximum height, the helicopter’s blades will open up, allowing the aircraft to descend in a mesmerizing swirl of light and color.

– Easily launch into the air
– Operate w/ simple slingshot design
– Decorate the night sky w/ colorful lights
– Entertain yourself & others

So how cheap is cheap? How about $8? Yup, instead of the $50 this would normally cost, it’s only $8.

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[ Get The LED Helicopter Shooter 5-Pack ]

Bacon Scarf Looks Delicious, Isn’t For Eating

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We want to buy this. It’s a silk scarf made by Natalie Luder, a designer from Switzerland, and is called “Fou Lard Bacon Scarf” (“foulard” is the French word for scarf). It’s digitally printed, along with a black rolled hem, and measures 70.8 inches long x 13.7 inches wide. It looks so delicious, we could eat it. But we won’t.

We won’t even buy it.

Why? Well, because the darn thing is $170. Who on earth would ever pay $170 for a novelty silk scarf? Anyway… it’s nice to know it exists, we suppose.

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Pink Bulletproof Backpack Exists

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Do you have a terrible fear that your child might one day get shot in the back? It’s an awful thought, but it’s apparently one that occurred to a backpack manufacturer, who then decided to make a pink bulletproof backpack. It’s actually called Guard Dog Security ProShield Bulletproof Backpack and comes in both black and pink. It’s been tested against 9mm and .44 Magnum caliber rounds, and features a high-quality, lightweight Aramid construction. Weighing in at just 20 ounces, it’s not much heavier than a regular backpack, but will provide your child with protection in the section of their body containing their vital organs. At $152, it’s not exorbitantly priced.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]