Aug 31, 2012

TDK Introduces new Wireless Boombox and two new Weatherproof Speakers

First up is the Boombox Wireless, which is a similar, but updated, design from the original and features not only streaming sans cables via Bluetooth, a rechargeable battery, too. If you don't want to cut the cord completely, there's a 3.5mm aux input, USB slot for charging plus an FM radio and headphone output. Next up is the Wireless Weatherproof Speaker, which despite being described as "rugged" and boasting an IP 64 weather compliant design, looks like any regular device. It, too, has Bluetooth streaming and built-in battery, along with 3.5mm input and built-in microphone.

If these two were all looking a little bit oblong, then the curious Wireless Charging Cube might be for you. Yep, it's Bluetooth streaming again, but also plonk your Qi induction compatible device on top, and it'll juice that while you jam (there's a non wireless charging / charger version also.) How much do these slabs of sound cost? The Boombox is $399, the Wireless Weatherproof is $250 while the Wireless Charging Cube is $399. More here.

Aug 30, 2012

Apple Will Buy Your Old iPhone for Good Money So You Can Buy a New iPhone 5

A new iPhone is coming and if you want to smartly get rid of your old iPhone before it gets even older, you would want to sell it off for as much as you can get. If that's too much work, go for perhaps the easiest route: sell your old iPhone back to Apple. They're taking old iPhones with open arms.

Apple is accepting old iPhones as part of its Reuse and Recycle Program and the value you get from Cupertino actually isn't too terrible: an excellent condition iPhone 4S 64GB can fetch $345 while a used and slightly scuffed iPhone 4 16GB will still score you $160. All you have to do is send the iPhone with the power cable and Apple will give you a gift certificate which you can promptly use to buy your next iPhone. It's like swapping car leases but for phones. More here.

Did Scientists Just Find a Cure for Malaria?

Researchers at the University of Cape Town in South Africa have developed a pill that can wipe out malaria with a single dose. It's a development that could save millions of lives in Africa alone, not to mention the rest of the world. But there's a teensy weensy little hurdle that must first be overcome: human testing.

Yes, that it hasn't been tested on humans leaves a big question mark, but according to National Geographic, early tests have proven extremely effective.
Unlike conventional multidrug malaria treatments that the malaria parasite has become resistant to, Professor Kelly Chibale and his colleagues now believe that they have discovered a drug that over 18 months of trials "killed these resistant parasites instantly". Animal tests also showed that it was not only safe and effective, but there were no adverse reported side effects. Clinical tests are scheduled for the end of 2013. If this tablet is approved in coming years, this achievement will surely usher in a new age for science in Africa. It will save millions upon millions of lives on the continent, helping avoid at least 24 percent of child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
Most medical testing begins with animals, so it's not like there isn't a reason to be optimistic about this pill's effectiveness. And solving the malaria issue in Africa would allow doctors and health care providers to focus on bigger issues facing the continent, such as HIV. More here. Halloween

I Want This Gorgeous Mega-Widescreen Monitor Right Now

So far, Sony and Samsung have dominated IFA with a torrent of magical TVs and new phones. But quietly, LG is showing off one of the coolest monitors we've ever seen.

The Verge reports the 2560 x 1080 29-inch EA93 monitor boasts a highly unconventional 21:9 aspect ratio—most wide screens are 16:9. This means more screen real estate for windows aplenty—possibly sparing your desk from an additional monitor. It'd also make for a pretty fantastic Windows 8 display, giving the horizontal-heavy Metro Start Menu plenty of room to luxuriate. A little extra resolution would be nice, though—but maybe we're just spoiled by the Retina MacBook Pro. No word on pricing or availability, but expect it to be a lot of money. More here.  $4 OFF $40 on Baby & Kids

Aug 29, 2012

This Keyboard’s Thin Display Keeps Your Eyes Focused on Typing For Better Concentration

The Smartype seems better suited for hunt and peck typists who spend more time staring at their keyboard than their displays. But its creators claim its tiny display will actually make even touch typists more productive by allowing them to concentrate on the keys at hand.

The Smartype display's primary raison is to mirror your computer's screen, but only what you're typing so you don't have to keep looking up while you pound away at the keys. It seems a bit redundant for touch typists who rarely needs to glance at their keys, but if you haven't the mastered the QWERTY keyboard it could theoretically improve your typing speed. More here.

Thermometer Spatula Monitors Food Temps While You Stir

Designed for recipes that are finicky about the temperature of the ingredients—like fudge, candies, and jams—this silicone spatula has an internal temperature probe that helps prevent whatever you're stirring from overheating and burning.

Not surprisingly the Thermospatula is heat-resistant up to 428 degrees fahrenheit and is capable of displaying temperatures in celsius or fahrenheit from -4 to 464 degrees. And so you're not dropping $24 on a one-trick pony, the spatula's temperature probe is removable and can be used by itself as a meat thermometer ensuring your entire meal turns out perfect-not just dessert. More here. Halloween

Aug 28, 2012

This Kettle Heats Water to the Exact Temperature You Want

If you'd rather enjoy a cup of coffee or a mug of tea as soon as you make it—instead of painstakingly sipping at the scalding beverage until you can tolerate the heat—your plight has officially been resolved. Bonavita's variable temperature kettles let you specify exactly how hot you want your water.

Six preset settings should suffice for most users needing hot water for instant coffee or a recipe. But if you're precisely brewing coffee or steeping tea and require the water temperature to be exact, above 140 degrees fahrenheit you can program a specific temperature that the kettle will target with two degrees of accuracy. And it will automatically hold that exact temperature—which is constantly displayed on an LED screen—for up to an hour. In September the kettles will be available in two flavors: a one liter gooseneck model perfect for fancy tea parties (or preparing pourover coffee), and a more traditional 1.7 liter design which wil both sell for $100, much to the delight of budget-conscious coffee connoisseurs. More here.

3D-Printed Table Lamps Bloom Like Flowers Filled with Light

Designer Patrick Jouin uses 3D-printing digital technology—rapid prototyping and 3D printing—to create his Bloom Table Lamp.

The award-winning lamp design transforms from initial bud-like position—its petal/shade drawn in—into a full bloom that releases maximum light. The single-piece print can be expanded or contracted by hand, depending on the amount of light desired. More here.

Aug 27, 2012

Paper-Thin, Distortion-Free Lenses Could Make Pint-Sized Pro Cameras Possible

Using an ultrathin wafer of silicon and gold to focus lightwaves, researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have created a revolutionary new kind of camera lens that completely eliminates the image distortion created by traditional glass lenses. It could not only pave the way for lighter cameras that are still as capable as today's swappable lens models, but even cameraphones that snap images as impressive as a DSLR.

The lens measures in at a mere 60 nanometers thick, so for all intents and purposes it's almost just a 2D object. (But not quite.) It's made by plating a thin wafer of silicon with a layer of gold that's then etched away to create a series of V-shaped structures across its surface. When light hits these structures it's slowed ever so slightly which changes its direction—like the glass in a traditional lens does. And by carefully tuning the angle, size, and spacing of these V-shaped structures across the surface of the lens, it can capture wide-angle or telephoto images without the distortion that's seen from something like a traditional fish-eye lens.

Mirrorless swappable lens cameras have already taken a bite out of the DSLR's market share, but if and when this technology hits the market it could serve as a death blow to the heavy bulky cameras preferred by professional photographers. More here. Bargain Countdown 468x60

LG Announces 27-inch Personal Smart TV

No room in your apartment for LG's upcoming 84-inch monster? Don't worry, the Korean outfit has something in your size, as well. The company's TM2792 promises the same Cinema 3D passive glasses technology as its big brother in a more compact 27-inch frame. 

The tube also promises to play nice with your other devices, featuring a MHL and WiDi for screen and content sharing. No word on pricing yet, but LG says the Personal Smart TV should land in European markets this September. More here. - Always FREE Shipping!

Aug 26, 2012

NASA to Launch Mini lab, Test for Disease in Space

It's hard to find a good specialist on earth, let alone when you're floating 240 miles above it. That's whyNASA will test the Microflow, a breadbox-sized device that instantly detects cancer and infectious diseases, and can even sense the presence of rotten food. The Canadian-made device is a "flow cytometer," which works by analyzing microparticles in blood or other fluids and replaces hospital versions weighing hundreds of pounds.

Here on Earth, the device could let people in remote communities be tested more quickly for disease, or permit on-site testing of food quality, for instance. It will be particularly advantageous in space, however, where Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will test it during his six-month ISS mission, allowing crew to monitor, diagnose and treat themselves without outside help. More here.
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iPad Mini to get its own Event in October After new iPhone Reveal

After refreshing its computer range, Apple's gearing up for two events for its new phone and tablet hardware, according to sources at AllThingsD. Given the excitement welling up behind its next iPhone, many have noted (including Daring Fireball's John Gruber) that it would make a whole lot of sense to furnish both the phone and the heavily rumored smaller tablet with individual events -- and that is, apparently, what's going to happen. 

Unfortunately, the anonymous sources weren't revealing anything further -- Apple's yet to confirm that posited September 12th event date, let alone any secondary event. More here.
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Aug 25, 2012

RIP Neil Armstrong, First Man on the Moon

Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11 and the first man to ever set foot on the moon, died to today at age 82 due to complications from his heart surgery three weeks prior.

From NASA:
Neil A. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930. He began his NASA career in Ohio.
After serving as a naval aviator from 1949 to 1952, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1955. His first assignment was with the NACA Lewis Research Center (now NASA Glenn) in Cleveland. Over the next 17 years, he was an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator for NACA and its successor agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
As a research pilot at NASA's Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., he was a project pilot on many pioneering high speed aircraft, including the well known, 4000-mph X-15. He has flown over 200 different models of aircraft, including jets, rockets, helicopters and gliders.
Armstrong transferred to astronaut status in 1962. He was assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission. Gemini 8 was launched on March 16, 1966, and Armstrong performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space.
As spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, Armstrong gained the distinction of being the first man to land a craft on the moon and first to step on its surface.
As always, it is a terrible tragedy to lose a national hero, especially one whose accomplishments were as legendary and far-reaching as those of Neil Armstrong. With but a one historic step, he showed the world what kind of feats humanity is capable of achieving.

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Evernote Introduces Evernote Business, Updates iOS Application to Version 4.4

Having already conquered the general consumer market on multiple platforms, Evernote's now taking its handy software tools to a more biz-oriented audience. Earlier today, the company proudly introduced Evernote Business, which, according to CEO Phil Libin, is "the same Evernote that's great for individuals, except now it's optimized so that you can use it in your small and medium-sized business environment." The newfangled Evernote Business will be launching later this December, with the note-taking outfit accepting early applicants on its website as we speak.

That's not all the news, however, since Evernote'salso updated its iOS application for the second time during August; bringing page and multi-shot camera features to the mix, while faster download times and improved PDF support on iPads can also be found inside the fresh 4.4 version. More here.

Aug 24, 2012

Kodak Is Selling Off Its Legendary Film Business

Kodak is really closing out its era as a photographic monolith, opting to sell off its film business entirely. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Kodak will not only sell its print film production, but also its digital imaging kiosks, and the printers and scanners that go with them.

Following its bankruptcy claim, Kodak had initially hoped to pay back the banks it owed by selling off part of its patent portfolio. But amid delays, Kodak realized they weren't going to make enough to cover the costs. The company hopes that by selling off it's personal imaging division and moving towards becoming a printer business, it can regain some of its mojo. More here.

Yes It’s Still Summer, but This Burton Jacket Will Make You Wish For Snow

Summer has been great, but as the weather is starting to change, you've got something to look forward too—snow. When you hit the slopes later this year, you have to look good and stay warm. It's no surprise that Burton's 2012-2013 collection fulfills both of those requirements, and this space-age Embark Snowboard jacket ($475) is whimsical and cool.

Fortunately, it has a Gore-Tex shell, so it's not the kind of cool that's going to have you hitting the jacuzzi after two runs. The coat is also equipped with plenty of pockets for all the things you inevitably need on the mountain, as well as layers you can shed and layers you can open, depending how cold the day is. While your mind might still be on the beach, it's fun to take a break and think about what you've got to look forward to once the seasons change. More here. Great Deals @!

Aug 23, 2012

Scientists Clear Path to the Fountain of Eternal Youth

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered an efficient and totally safe method to turn adult blood cells "all the way back to the way [they were] when that person was a 6-day-old embryo." The discovery could be the key to cure the incurable—from heart attacks to severed spinal cord to cancer—and open the door, some day, to eternal youth.

Scientists believe that stem cell therapy could change medicine forever. However, these therapies are impossible to implement on a large scale because you can't acquire embryonic stem cells without having to use actual human embryos—an extremely controversial undertaking. The alternative has always been to use the stem cells found in umbilical cords—which is why rich people use umbilical cord storage facilities to guarantee future treatments for their kids—or use viruses to reprogram adult cells. These viruses can successfully return adult cells to their stem cell state, but the procedure opens the door to numerous complications as a result of potential DNA mutations. And those mutations could lead to cancer.

But this new method changes everything. To start with, it uses normal adult blood cells from the patient, so there's not need to keep umbilical cords in storage. It also doesn't use any virus reprogramming, so it's completely safe. It's also very efficient: researchers successfully transformed about 50 to 60 percent of adult blood cells into embryonic stem cells that can then be turn into any type of cell—a heart muscle cell, a bone cell, a nerve cell, anything. More here.

Compact Folding Scale For Compact Kitchens

Not all recipes call for precise measurements, or require you to painstakingly weigh out every single ingredient. So Joseph Joseph's new TriScale is the perfect tool for measuring ingredients without gobbling up a big chunk of countertop real estate when it's not in use.

A set of swivelling support arms fold away and protect a simple LCD display when the scale is buried in a drawer. But its minimal design doesn't mean the TriScale has limited functionality. Touch-sensitive controls ensure that physical buttons won't get clogged with spilled ingredients, and an "add and weigh" function allows you to do just that—weigh multiple ingredients as they're all being added to the same bowl. And when it hits stores this fall, you'll be able to grab one for an equally minimal $30. More here. Electronics

Aug 22, 2012

A Washable Keyboard That’s Worth Keeping Clean

Because even germaphobes deserve nice things, today Logitech unveiled its new K310 washable keyboard with a snazzy waterproof design that can be scrubbed and submerged in up to 11 inches of water. So it's perfect for the next time a sneezy co-worker uses your computer.

A set of drainage holes in the back helps the keyboard dry quickly after a bath, and the keys are laser printed with a UV coating so it's nigh impossible to accidentally scrub off the letters. The $40 keyboard even comes with various function key shortcuts for launching email, browsers, a calculator, or your media player of choice. And it will be available for sometime this month for just $40, a reasonable investment for any office if it helps prevent the spread of colds. More here.

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A Heavy-Duty iPhone Case That Isn’t a Complete Eyesore

It's almost inevitable you'll drop your iPhone, and if it's caseless, it'll break both your device and your heart. But with Systm's cases, you might ensure that your phone will have a soft, safe landing.

Now if there's any chance you might upgrade when the new iPhone comes out (which is probably soon!), you maybe shouldn't buy a case now. But if you're sticking with the 4S, these rugged sleeves ($25-$50) will protect your Apple gadget with reinforced bumpers, cushy, corners, and Poron XRD foam in the pricier versions. But better to spend a little money on a case than a lot of money on a new phone, more here.

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Aug 21, 2012

Lenovo's Seven-Inch Android 4.0 Tablet Passes Federal Testing, on Course for September Release

While pricing hasn't revealed whether it'll spar with the Nexus 7 for the hearts of bargain tablet shoppers, Lenovo's smaller Android 4.0 slab, the A2107, has called in at the FCC. Again, there's not all that much to glean from a tablet that's prone and turned off, but it does give the product another nudge towards launching next month.  More here. Halloween

Aug 20, 2012

Quick Release Handlebar Camera Mount

Most camera mounts seem targeted at extreme athletes wanting to record their over-the-top exploits with a GoPro strapped to their bike's handlebars. But Minoura's new quick release mount looks like it would appeal to the hipster community instead, letting them strap their plastic Lomos to their retro fixie bikes.

Its quarter-inch threaded bolt attaches to a camera's standard tripod mount, while a quick release spring lock makes it easy to then temporarily secure everything to a bike's handlebars. A cork ring at the base of the bolt prevents a camera from coming loose while the bike is jostling about, and the whole setup pops off in mere seconds for quickly snagging a candid shot. And for $18 it's a relatively cheap way to shoot bicycle POV shots without emptying an entire roll of duct tape. More here.

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Secret Drawer Bookshelf Hides Your Most Embarrassing Collectibles

This brilliant shelf is perfect for anyone who loves to show off the tchotchkes they've amassed, but also keep the more embarrassing items out of sight. On top you can proudly display your collection of antique tea cups, while the secret drawer will easily hide all of your Pokemon trading cards

When closed, the 1.3-inch thick shelf won't draw any attention to itself thanks to a wraparound wood veneer that hides the drawer's seams. And in lieu of handles that would be a dead giveaway of its alter-ego, the shelf is opened using a set of magnetic 'keys' that easily detach when it's closed. Besides hiding the trashy tomes you enjoy curling up with at night, the shelf also makes for a great place to stash valuables—at least it would if Torafu Architects were to actually put it into production. More here.

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Sony’s New HDR Video Capable Sensors Could Make Your Next iPhone Picture Perfect

Sony just announced its new line of next-gen Exmor RS, stacked CMOS image censors, and they look good.There are three different units in the new line, two of which are eight megapixels, along with a top-of-the-line one that packs 13 megapixels. Sony's also bringing out new f/2.2 lenses and revamped auto-focus modules. To top it all off, each one of these puppies is capable of HDR video recording.

These upcoming sensors are expected to come out sometime in October, so we probably won't actually see these start showing up in mobile devices for a little while. Still, it bodes well for the future of mobile photography and video, after all, Sony's Xperia cameras were already pretty good before this. These new modules should help spread the high-quality love around. More here.

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Aug 19, 2012

The Full Resolution Video of Curiosity Touching Down on Mars

One of the biggest bummers about Mars Rover Curiosity's epic landing is that there was no news crew on the surface to catch footage of the descent. This full resolution video of Curiosity touching down from its own point of view is the next best thing.

This isn't the first video of touchdown, but it's the best. It's the result of stringing together all the high resolution shots the rover took on its way to the surface, high resolution shots that took a lot longer to get back to Earth than the initial thumbnails. If it seems a bit choppy, that's because Curiosity only took about four pictures per second. It might not be movie quality, but this is the best video out there of what it's like to land on Mars.

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