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Optimus announces another dope keyboard that doesn’t really exist

Optimus announces another dope keyboard that doesn’t really exist:

optitact-video.jpg

Hot on the heels of this year’s never-released Optimus Maximus superkeyboard, Optimus has taken the concept one step further with the Tactus keyboard. The idea is similar, but instead of customizable keycaps, the keys themselves are virtual.

Cool idea, but as anyone who’s tried to play Mario on an iPhone can attest, there’s a definite advantage to the tactile feedback real buttons (or, indeed, keys) give a user.

Optimus Tactus concept keyboard [Slippery Brick]

(Via CrunchGear.)

December 28, 2007 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

8 tech tools every Ghost Hunter needs

8 tech tools every Ghost Hunter needs: 8-tech-tools-every-Ghost-Hunter-needs-2.jpg

So, you want to be a Ghost Hunter? There’s never been a better time: a lot of the tech tools hunters use in the field are available to everyone, letting you start your search for the paranormal as soon as you get home from Best Buy. From infrared cameras to night goggles, high-tech gear comes in real handy when dealing with the ethereal backlog of human history, not to mention otherworldly spooks.

Starring on the SCI FI Channel’s Ghost Hunters is The Atlantic Paranormal Society (or T.A.P.S. for short), a team of paranormal researchers captained by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, and they aren’t afraid of no ghosts. Click Continue for a list of eight essential devices the real Ghost Hunters utilize in the field, and learn what separates the hunters from the haunted.

35mmc.jpg

1. 35mm Camera


The trusty workhorse of many a professional photographer, a good ol’ fashioned film camera takes a little more skill to wield than its digital brethren. Learn to use it, however, and it’ll pay off in spades. Film is easier to enlarge when processing an image (to spot all of these teeny tiny ghostly details), less erratic with its light sensitivity, and, maybe most importantly, it’s harder to fake a film image. After all, as a ghost hunter, you’re going to have a hard enough time convincing people of your evidence as it is.

Digital Audio Recorder.jpg

2. Digital Audio Recorder


When a ghost starts moaning or knocking on things, you want to make sure you get a nice, clean copy — not a tape full of muddy noises and audio flaws. That’s why many ghost hunters choose a digital recorder over using analog tapes. With digital, you can also be sure you’re picking up everything within and beyond the range of human hearing, which is very important when most of the human noises you hear in your line of work are screams.

GH Digital Infrared Camera.jpg

3. Digital Infrared Camera


See-through apparitions aren’t necessarily the most photogenic models around. For haunting visages invisible to the human eye, you’ll want to pack an infrared-ready camera to keep tabs on sneakier phantoms. As you more or less have to keep an infrared sensor scanning continuously to make sure you don’t miss anything, it’s a good idea to send its feed to a hard drive where the footage can be stored and studied later.

GH Digital Video Camera.jpg

4. Digital Video Camera


Whether you’re confronted with Casper the Friendly Ghost or something that looks like it stepped off the set of the X-Files, you’re going to want to make sure you get all of it down. Digital video cameras offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to storing and capturing moving images. For instance, you can get one with plenty of internal space like a large hard drive built-in, or a model that records on several different formats, such as DVDs and MiniDV, so you can swap on the fly and never run out.

GH Digital Thermometer.jpg

5. Digital Thermometer

Ghost sightings often happen fast and in a major way. If you don’t want to miss anything, you’ll need more than just visual and audio equipment to record all relevant data. Setting up a digital thermometer is usually a good idea. Temperature changes frequently accompany the presence of the paranormal, and a digital thermometer can stream continuously updating measurements to your equipment.

GH Electromagnetic Field Recorder.jpg

6. Electromagnetic Field Recorder


Similar to the digital thermometer, the EMF recorder will keep you abreast of whatever electromagnetic fluctuations occur during a sighting. EMF recorders aren’t employed by all ghost hunters — many discount them because all kinds of things (televisions and other appliances, for example) emit electromagnetic fields, but the thorough ghost hunter is the one with the most evidence.

GH Night-Vision Goggles.jpg

7. Night-Vision Goggles

Unfortunately, given the creepy nature of hauntings, many ghosts won’t want to come out until it’s good and dark. You don’t want to stumble around when candlesticks are flying across the hallway, so you should probably take a pair of night-vision goggles for low-light situations. In absolute darkness you’ll need infrared, but for most situations the light amplification night-vision specs provide should be more than enough.

GH Thermal-Imaging Digital Camera.jpg

8. Thermal-Imaging Digital Camera

Where the digital thermometer gives you a rock-solid record of your bone-chilling experience, a thermal-imaging sensor on a digital camera will give you visual proof. Thermal imaging is enormously useful as you’ll be able to see how big hot and cold spots are and how they affected the environment around them during a haunting. You’ll also get to make fun of the guy who has the big warm spot down the front of his pants when the ghosts first appear.

(Via DVICE.)

December 28, 2007 Posted by | Technology | 1 Comment

Biometric Fingerprint Safe is NRA Endorsed, Futuristic [Gadgets]

For my my readers who are Biometric locking fans!

Biometric Fingerprint Safe is NRA Endorsed, Futuristic [Gadgets]:

biosafe.jpgThis Sequiam Biometrics BioVault 2.0 is officially endorsed by the NRA as a biometric gun-safety device, meaning it’s safe enough that an organization that specializes in guns believes it can prevent your kids from getting at your guns. And not only is it safe, it’s convenient too. How many times have you heard an intruder outside, run over to your security vault and forgot your password? Too many times! We can’t remember the last time we couldn’t locate our finger (most of the time it’s up our nose or in our ear). We’d totally spend the $399 for this if only we had something to put in it besides our emergency stash of ‘Snatch, the Magazine’ for power outages. [SharperImage via Random Good Stuff]


(Via Gizmodo.)

December 26, 2007 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

Pac-Man Maze Hoodie – Wear The 80’s With Pride

Pac-Man Maze Hoodie – Wear The 80’s With Pride:

Pac-Man Maze Hoodie (Images courtesy Hot Topic)
By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t usually endorse shopping at Hot Topic unless you’re completely devoid of the ability to make decisions on your own. But I have to admit this Pac-Man Maze Hoodie is kind of cool. And not just because it has a Pac-Man maze pattern on it, but because the Pac-Man maze pattern goes all the way around the sweater.

It’s made from 80% cotton and 20% polyester, zips up in the front and includes a couple of pouch pockets. The only other thing it needs is a disclaimer over the product shots saying ‘You will in no way end up looking like this tool if you wear this hoodie.

Hot Topic’s online store has it for $45, but I assume you can find it at their B&M shops as well.

[ Pac-Man Maze Hoodie ] VIA [ bits bytes pixels & sprites ]

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Master Lock SmartTOUCH Biometric Garage Door Opener [Locks]

Master Lock SmartTOUCH Biometric Garage Door Opener [Locks]:

smartTOUCH-GDO.jpegThe Skinny: Opens your garage via fingerprint of up to 20 others. Survives in extreme temps from -30 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit and wet weather. Costs $130 bucks.
The Catch: The preferred way to open a garage is still the good old janky wireless remote from inside your car. [Smarttouch via Gearlog]


(Via Gizmodo.)

December 26, 2007 Posted by | Technology | 2 Comments

Last minute Christmas gifts: gadgets that should not (and do not) exist

Last minute Christmas gifts: gadgets that should not (and do not) exist: onionsk3.jpg

Yes, we know that Christmas is tomorrow, but these are gifts that will certainly work as late holiday presents or as birthday gifts all year round. Show your friend just what you think of his bad-combination gadget habit with The Onion’s Gotcha Gift Boxes. This years models include the Visorganizer, a baseball hat attachment that can carry ‘up to 7lbs with 4 handy storage areas,’ the Peaceful Progression Smoke Alarm that wakes you up with rainforest chirpings because ‘fire doesn’t have to be a disaster,’ and the Auto Power Strip, a surge protector that mounts to your car’s rearview mirror.

None of these $8 boxes actually has anything in it: The Onion has developed boxes for gadgets that it believes are too stupid for anyone ever to make. We think that the paper underestimates gadget makers’ stupidity, after all, we’re living in a world where the exploding piggy-bank and evil dog lamp are real Christmas gift possibilities.

(Via DVICE.)

December 25, 2007 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

The Essential Blake Robinson Holiday Gift Guide

Not only is this a pretty good gift list but Blake Robinson is dreamy and I love this picture of him! The Essential Blake Robinson Holiday Gift Guide:holiday.jpgCertified thumbs up.It’s been a fast year for me, but a year of learning. A move across the country, major life upheavals and all sorts of things in-between. What have I learned? Well, I’m just as jaded as ever. It takes more to impress me than should be reasonable and yet, once in awhile, products cross my path that make me do a comical double-take and sometimes find their way into that bin of stuff that I couldn’t possibly live without.Listed below in no sane order are the things that dotted my radar this year.Griffin Evolve Wireless Sound System griffin-evolve.jpgPrice: $299Yea, yea, big deal. An iPod dock with crappy wireless speakers, right? Wrong. So wrong. Griffin has here the coolest iPod dock to ever grace the face of this green planet. What makes this product so cool is the total badassery of the soundcube speakers. You can walk around the house with one cube on a shoulder blasting sound anywhere in your house. The distance is impressive. I’ve walked all over my apartment building with a speaker, much to the disdain of my neighbors, and sound maintains punchy in all but the most remote and desolate corners of the building (seriously someone should clean that area, it’s nasty).It’s totally novel, but who the hell cares? It’s awesome. What’s more, is that it’s not limited to just your iPod. Griffin wisely included audio-in on the dock, so you can stream virtually anything to these wireless wonders. This morning, for instance, I had CNN babbling away while I made eggs in the kitchen and get this: my TV is on the other side of the apartment. Wireless, kids. It’s the future. Hopefully it doesn’t make us all sterile in some tragic ‘Children of Men’ scenario.The main problem here is that it costs $299. Coolness aside, that’s a nice chunk of money, but if you’re swimming in coins like Scrooge McDuck and happen to be in need of an iPod dock, then Evolve is your ticket.The North Facenorth_face_logo.jpgSo this isn’t so much one direct recommendation as a testimonial to greatness. Hailing from the bowels of the South, New Orleans to be precise, I’m well acquainted with hot and wet. What I wasn’t familiar with was the cold, wet New York (why does anyone live here?) weather.Enter The North Face. They saves lives. Particularly those of southerners transplanted into the north. The North Face is one of the last great American companies. In the spirit of old Sears, North Face jackets come with unconditional, lifetime warranties. If you decide to don’t like your jacket in three years, return it for a full-refund. Sure jackets cost upwards of $500, but while it rains, snows and sleets all around you, you’ll walk in the warm and dry embrace of your $500 jacket.I opted for the Full Circle and I couldn’t be happier.Sonicare Flexcareflexcare.jpgPrice: $180Delivering an enamel rattling 40,000 SPM (that’s strokes per minute for the anti-dentites), the Flexcare is the manliest toothbrush alive (it’s not really alive). I’m a fan of electric toothbrushes for two very simple facts. I’m a tech nerd and thus believe everything should have a battery in it and because electric toothbrushes clean better.The Flexcare is a major overhaul for Sonicare. All of the mechanics are now contained within the body and such the bursh heads no longer contain any moving parts. Like all current Sonicare brushes, it features several intensity settings, but the Flexcare expands on previous models by offering settings like massage, which actually feels more like a jack hammer, and various other operations.The other major addition is a major one for those of us with misophobic tendencies. The Flexcare includes on its base station UV sterilization unit. After brushing, place your brush heads inside the container and turn the light on to kill all the baddies that might have spawned in your mouth. Sounds stupid I know, but consider this. When I was in college I once had Strep throat for about three weeks. It would get better and then come right back. I was dying.Penicillin was great, but the infection always re-surged. And then we discovered a small oversight: I was using the same toothbrush. The doctor posited that I was reinfecting myself. Whatever I said, but followed his advice and trashed my toothbrush and used cheap ass $1 toothbrushes for the next week. The infection died and all was right in the world. UV sterilization would have (theoretically) zapped the bacteria and that prolonged infection would have been reduced to a more natural time frame.Jack Spade Warren Street Bagwarren2.jpgPrice: $350I’m a fan of backpacks, but NYC is a messenger bag city. It’s practical. They’re more compressible for functioning on subways, tight elevators, etc. My search was long. Not any bag would do, as I’m almost womanly in my appreciation of a good bag.Jack Spade is a staple of the city. When I walked into their office showroom, shared with parent company Kate Spade, I was confronted by models doing, well I’m not really sure what they were doing, maybe just hanging out, but that’s not really relevant. The point is, it’s a world distant from our dweeby one.I was placed in-front of a collection of baggage. Indecision. I get paralyzed in moments like these. On the spot. How does one decide? Will it be the right decision? Will I regret this the moment I walk out the door? And then one bag from the collection leaped out at me (not literally leaped, that’s not possible. Yes. I mean figuratively).The Warren Street is a combination of old school style and new school functionality. Built from waxed canvas it’s impermeable to the elements, a necessity in the finicky NYC weather. It also features the versatility of a removable laptop sleeve. This thing goes with me everywhere and it has the distinction of being able to mesh with pretty much any situation. Casual or dressy, you can get away with this bag on your shoulder.Xbox 360360.jpgPrice: $350It made my list last year, and this year it remains. It’s still the best console and it has the best games. Particularly a recent onslaught of titles like Bioshock, Halo 3, Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty 4 have made the 360, once again, the system to buy for your gamer this holiday season. And the new units even support HDMI.A slight warning though, if you hope to spend time with the person you’re buying this for, you should probably rethink the purchase. They’ll likely forget about your existence while smoking terrorists in CoD4. It happens (I’m sorry).Nvidia GeForce 8800GTgeforce_8800_gt.jpgProbably one of the most cost effective video cards ever made. Available now in various models for under $300 at New Egg (go EVGA), the 8800GT features 16x PCI-E and 512MB of DDR3 memory and is capable of chewing up any game you feed it.If you’ve been sniffing around for a new video card, this is the way to go. There are some better ones out (like the 8800 GTS 512), but none of them are priced so accordingly.Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX100fx100k-slant.jpgPrice: $400The most amazing camera to ever find its way into my pocket. It has become an indispensible part of my life. Kind of like a third arm, but not creepy. This 12.2-megapixel beast features a 28mm wide-angle Leica lens making it capable of beautiful 16:9 shots. It’s picture quality is so good, that my Canon EOS-30D with EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS is starting to collect dust.It also features a handy function alien to any other pocket camera I’ve used: Auto ISO. Low light is the bane of many digital cameras. Their poor little CMOSes simply can’t handle that variation. Not a problem here. The FX100 adjusts on the fly and takes consistently good pictures in low light situations WITHOUT ruining the ambience with an infurating flash.All the other major features are here as well. The 3.6x zoom is OK, kind of lackluster for such a trendsetter, but one negative won’t hold this back. Image stabilization and yadda yadda. You get the point. Highly recommended for anyone in the market for a new camera but not looking for a prosumer solution.Black & Decker VPX Productsvpx1212x_f1.jpgPrice: $30 – $100Ole’ B&D decided to get into the new(ish) business of li-on powered devices. The result is its VPX line, and as a whole they equate to something that has made my life easier more times than I can count. The entire product line uses lithium ion cartridges and a standardized charger.Products include the standard drills, including one high powered monster that uses two cartridges at a time, to flash lights and even a hand vac (also powered by two batteries). There are two sorts of value packs for $100. One comes with the drill and the screwdriver while the other includes the screwdriver, a flashlight and a cutsaw. I’d go with the first set as the cutsaw is kind of spastic (seriously, just get a handsaw). The rest of the line is aces though.Logitech CORDED Wave Keyboardwave-01.jpgPrice: $50I hold to the fact that cordless keyboards are stupid for desktop computers and if you’re using an HTPC you don’t want the Wave, you want something fancy looking. If you’re on a desktop, your keyboard search has come to an end.Incorporating an innovative—wait for it—WAVE design, the Logitech Wave can save your puny and atrophied wrists from total annihilation. Available now from Amazon for about $50. Don’t try to get it at Best Buy, they only carry wireless desktops now. (Why do I HAVE to buy a mouse with my keyboard?!)Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 or QuickCam Pro for Notebooksquickcam.jpgPrice: $100First off, these are exactly the same camera, just one is for desktop and one is for notebook. That said, they’re awesome. Each incorporate a 2-megapixel sensor with an industry leading Carl Zeiss lens.Having moved across the country from my family, I’ve been awkwardly video Skyping with my parents in the new high definition communicator. The system also includes a very intuitive autofocus and the RightLight 2, a setting that works some magic to make your workspace look healthy and not washed out.Other Things of Note:LASIKlasikflap2.jpgThis looks a lot worse than it is. You won’t actually feel anything.You’re blind. LASIK prices are dropping. Get it done. Soon you’ll be seeing like a normal human being rather than squinting from behind your giant glasses. You might even get laid, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.The Road by Cormac McCarthyroad.jpgPrice: $10It won the effing Pulitzer. The Coen brothers just made his previous novel, No Country for Old Men into one of the year’s best films. And he’s one of our greatest living authors. Read it and then move onto the rest of his stuff. It’s literary gold.Leatherman Skeletoolskeletool.jpgPrice: About $80 if it’s ever made availableOne of my biggest disappointments of the year. Not because the product sucked (I have no idea), but because it never showed up. Originally slated for a holiday release, this seemingly bad ass Leatherman is now scheduled for a late January release. I want one now.The L Trainlline.gifPrice: $2Thanks for making my life easier by delivering me to to Manhattan in a timely manner. I know you get a lot of crap, but that’s only because people don’t understand you, but I do, and I want you to know that I love you. You’re my number one (train) and always will be. At least until I move somewhere else with, hopefully, better trains. Then I’ll forget about you faster than all those girls I dated in college (just kidding, I didn’t get any in college).Snapple Asian Pear Green Teaasian-pear.jpgPrice: $2.00I’m completely and totally in the grips of this stuff. I can’t live without it. My local deli recently ran out for an entire week and I suffered major DTs. Sitting in my apartment with the shades down and talking to myself.Here’s a fast fact: Snapple Fast Facts are the highest point of my day. Every day I open my Asian Pear and read the cap hungrily for some new useless bit of knowledge that I can drop learnedly during some late night drunken schmoozing. Conversely, when I get a repeat fast fact, I fly into a rage tantrum that is destructive to all things around me societies’ perception of me.Johnnie Walker Blackjohnnie-black.jpgPrice: About $30</strongAnd finally it all comes full circle, this has all been made possible by Jonnie Walker Black. Not that red label crap, that’s for suckers. Real bloggers drink Johnnie Black.End of story.

(Via CrunchGear.)

December 15, 2007 Posted by | Technology | 1 Comment

First take: Cowon A3

First take: Cowon A3:

Photo of Cowon A3 portable video player

Cowon’s A3 portable video dynamo. Click for more photos.

(Credit: CNET Networks/Corinne Schulze)

After spending the last 24 hours abusing Cowon’s latest A3 portable video player, I have to say I’m pretty impressed…mostly. As a high-capacity portable video player, the A3 offers spectacular video resolution (800×480) and supports just about every file format under the sun. Along with its built-in video recording capability and a high-quality video output, the Cowon A3 is an undeniable force to be reckoned with in the PVP marketplace.

It’s not all gumdrops and unicorns, however. …

(Via Crave.)

December 15, 2007 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

The wallet-destroying 1UP scarf

The wallet-destroying 1UP scarf: Filed under: The life-giving properties of the 1UP mushroom should never be underestimated, so as winter begins to tighten its chilly grasp around our exposed necks, what could be better than a whole chain of the little green buggers to keep you toasty warm?Etsy user UrbanPrincess crocheted this one-of-a-kind scarf, but we fear that its $150 price tag means that she’s targeting a rather limited demographic — namely, rich Nintendo fans. Seriously, has she seen what we get paid the amount of stuff we want this Christmas?[Thanks, Sakura!](Via DS Fanboy.)

December 15, 2007 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment

Peer Review: the Pleo has landed

Peer Review: the Pleo has landed: pleopr.jpg

This week, members of the press finally started getting test versions of Pleo, the long-awaited, much-delayed robotic dinosaur. Here at DVICE, we had our own unique take on Pleo’s arrival. Others weren’t so cruel. They found Pleo to be incredibly lifelike and cute, if not exactly cuddly. Pleo costs $350, which is a lot for a toy dinosaur, but not pricey compared to other robots with similar levels of intelligence.

A round-up of views from around the Web after the jump.

It’s not for kids; mine is a girl
‘This is a very odd beast. On the one hand, it’s impossible to forget that Pleo is a machine, since every time she moves, you can hear the motors whirring. But then you sort of forget that she’s not an animal… The company insists Pleo is not a toy, but let’s be honest. Pleo is a toy, albeit an expensive one, and one that is probably not appropriate for little children.’ , CNet

He’s not fuzzy or soft
‘I want to pet him, but my fingers and hands drag on the skin. It’s also a bit disconcerting to be able to feel through to his ‘skeleton’ underneath.’ , GearLog

Don’t torture robots (unless you’re us)
‘The press materials that came with the Pleo suggested I hold it by its tail to see what happens. It screams and thrashes. My 4-year-old started crying. I had to promise my wife never to do that again in front of her.’ , Boing Boing

You probably can’t get Pleo to perform sexual favors…
‘But can you hack it? Pleo runs something called ‘Life OS’ and has a scripting language ‘loosely based on C’. They say, ‘you will be able to modify Pleo’s behavior using scripting, but not the underlying Life OS.’ So, basically, no soccer-playing Pleos anytime soon…. But all in all, for $350 bucks, the Pleo is a fine coffee table robot.’, CrunchGear

Shortest battery life ever
‘Everything’s powered by a NiMH battery — which, unfortunately, gets only an hour on a charge.’ , PC World

Pleo noises are disconcerting without diminishing his cuteness
‘The motors on this thing are loud. Like, kind of distractingly loud. Yet somehow it remains ineffably adorable. You just want to take care of the little bugger… Jury’s still out on the Tim Allen-esque grunting noises.’ , Engadget

The ultimate betrayal
‘With my luck my Pleo will fall in love with the Roomba and elope. I can’t think of anything more embarrassing than getting a ‘Dear John’ letter from your own pet!’, commenter on Pleoworld Forum

We know that not all of you approve of robot torture. The real question is will you replace your goldfish with a plastic dinosaur this winter?

(Via DVICE.)

December 9, 2007 Posted by | Technology | Leave a comment