Jul 15, 2012

Camping Cutlery Adapters Make Your Marshmallow Stick Far More Useful

Most campers don't have the outdoor skills necessary to build a shelter, set a trap, or even start a fire. But there's one thing even the most amateur outdoorsman can make—a marshmallow stick. And with these cutlery adapters, that primitive tool can then be used to consumer more than just s'mores.

Designed by Sharon Myoung, the S&S cutlery simply requires a camper to find a stick, shorten it to a usable length, and then sharpen the point so it can be twisted into a threaded bolt. Assembly really only requires minimal skill levels, but the final product can vastly improve your outdoor dining experience. More here.

Jul 14, 2012

This Outdoor Table’s Recessed Grooves Stop the Wind From Blowing Away Your Meal

When the weather is beautiful you want to spend as much time as you can outdoors. And that includes enjoying meals on the patio, which designers Marco Marotto and Paola Oliva make even more enjoyable with their conceptual dining set that stops the wind from blowing everything away.

The Bye Bye Wind set of table and chairs look like your typical plastic patio furniture, but the table's surface features recessed areas for plates, cups, and serving trays that prevents them from being swept away by even the strongest of backyard winds. And for each guest's sitting comfort, the back of the chairs feature small pockets for stashing a phone, keys, or anything else that's uncomfortable to keep in your pockets during a meal. 

The center of the table even has a plastic bottle crusher so you can keep empty beverage containers safely stowed, and from the looks of the design the Bye Bye Wind set should be fairly easy to produce using the same techniques as other plastic furniture. More here.

Jul 13, 2012

A Quad-Core Computer for $130

When Raspberry Pi released their diminutive, ARM-based PC for $35, people were rightfully chomping at the bit to get their hands on something so cheap and small and hackable. But the 700 MHz, single-core ARM 11 processor it wasn't exactly a powerhouse. Enter Hardkernel'sODROID-X, which packs a quad-core Samsung Exynos chipset on a 3.5 inch motherboard.

With each Cortex-A9 core clocked at 1.4 GHz, the ODROID-X also has 1 gigabyte of RAM, a Mali 400 GPU, six USB ports, ethernet, audio in/out, Micro HDMI and an SDHC reader. Plus it's capable of running Android or Ubuntu, giving you computing flexibility. Sure, it's no Ivy Bridge, but the Exynos processor is pretty amazing for its size. And for $130, this little chipset could become the heart of your next DIY project. More here.

New 2012 iPhone Body Reportedly Leaks, Gives the Glass Front its Time to Shine

KitGuru has unearthed what it claims is a "test sample" with the glass front panel roughly intact. Sitting next to an iPhone 4S, it's suggested that the new model would stuff in that bigger screen more through a better use of the available area -- there's much less blank space than on the iPhones we've known since 2007.
My Kids are Safe using my Mac, right?

Jul 12, 2012

These Rugged Headphones Should Brighten Up Your Workout

Essentially a toughened-up version of the excellent Klipsch S4i earbuds, these little fellas come in red, yellow, orange and blue, and are, happily, water-resistant. They pack the same 8.5mm dual magnet drivers as their non-rugged cousins and come with an Apple-compatible inline remote/mic to boot. What's more, they look really quite nice. Well, if you like primary colors.

They're due to hit the shelves next month for $99. More here.

Jul 11, 2012

A Privacy Chair That Draws All the Attention to You

The Booth lounger is a good way to say "I don't want to talk to you but I kindly invite you to stare at me." With a removable hood, you can send the memo that although you don't want to be bothered, you still welcome attention and intrigue.

At first glance you might guess this chair was designed by Lady Gaga. But it actually comes by way of ADDI, a Swedish design house. Sweden, maybe you were. More here.

The World’s Most Aerodynamic Triathlon Bike

Often in athletic competitions an athletes biggest advantage comes from their gear. So if you're a cyclist after a first place finish, Cervélo's P5 triathlon/time trial bike has been designed and engineered to be the most aerodynamic ride on two wheels.

To ensure the bike slips through the air with as minimal resistance as possible, Cervélo has gone to great lengths to minimize drag. Including hiding every single wire and cable inside the P5's curvaceous frame, and using unique surface finishes on different parts of the bike to optimize airflow. And since the P5 is designed for longer competition rides, there's even streamlined spots for stashing water bottles and snacks.

Cervélo claims the engineering improvements made to this version of the bike could result in shaving up to 30 seconds off of a 25-mile ride, which could easily mean the difference between a medal and just finishing the race. And while at $6,000 it's definitely far more expensive than a Schwinn, as far as professional racing bikes go it's a downright bargain. More here.

Bits Stored on a Single Molecule Could Lead to Petabyte SSDs

If there's one fact of computing life, it's that there's never enough storage, and if you think it's bad now, just wait 'til you're downloading 4K movies. Still, research is at least keeping up, and now scientists can store bits of information on single molecules—which could pave the way for petabyte SSDs.

The project, undertaken at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, saw researchers embed a magnetized iron atom into an organic molecule made up of 51 atoms. The idea is that the organic shell protects the information stored in the central atom, while its magnetization allows data to be stored.

In fact, by applying current to the molecule, it's possible to flip the lone atom's magnetic charge, altering the resistance of the molecule. Subsequently measuring its resistance allows the researchers to read the state of the atom, and then change it again and again. That process means the molecule is capable of storing a bit of data. The result is published in Nature Communications.

Typical magnetic drives currently need 3 million atoms per bit so, in theory, a device made using these new molecule bits could pack in 50 thousand times as much data in the same size. That's the same as having a standard SSD capable of storing petabytes of data.

Except, it's not quite that easy. You'd have to find some way of addressing each and every molecule in the drive, which is an insane idea. In reality, a device would include so much circuitry that—even using nanowires—it wouldn't offer quite the capacity boost that reasoning promises.

The concept, however, could well inspire similar techniques that could be used to shrink current SSD technology by orders of magnitude. So the petabyte SSD might not be quite as ridiculous as you first thought. More here.

Jul 10, 2012

Tiny Charging Cable Keyring Juices Androids and iPhones Alike

Carrying around a charging cable is a fact of life if you use your smartphone for more than just the occasional call. But instead of packing the bulky cables that came with your iPhone or Android handset, just slip this tiny USB adapter onto your keychain for emergency battery top-offs.

In addition to a 30-pin dock connector for the iPhone, the iBattz also includes a microUSB adapter for charging most Android handsets from a laptop or a PC. It's also got a microSD slot turning it into a miniature card reader or external storage device. And last but not least, a pop-out pin for removing the iPhone's SIM card tray. More than enough functionality to justify its$30 price tag, particularly the first time it saves you from a deceased battery. More here.

This Bowl Will Always Be Exactly the Size You Need it to Be

The Stretchy Bowl is the easy-to-store fruit basin that never wants to disappoint. Composed of a white metal base (which requires minimal assembly) and a matching metal hoop wrapped in a layer of breathable, elastic fabric, this bowl is always the right size to accomodate your haul of produce.

As you add more fruit to stretchy fabric disk, the bowl deepens. Without anything in it at all,HooknLoop's Stretchy Bowl ($59, with your choice of red, blue, or gray fabric) can be stored flat. So convenient! More here.

Jul 9, 2012

Foxconn Fanless Nano PCs get Priced, Dated and Tweaked

The giant manufacturer recently made them official, detailing a few unexpected tweaks in a Russian language press release. Now decked out in a sleek black finish, the nettops will sport the same I/O, but one image courtesy of FanlessTech hints that DVI might be thrown into the mix despite lacking a mention in the official press release. The AT-5250 model won't be walking the Cedar Trail with an Atom D2700 as originally planned -- instead, its sights are set on a 1.86 GHz D2550. On the other hand, the AT-5600 will pack a Radeon HD 6320 alongside the anticipated AMD E450 APU. Surpassing their presumed sub-$200 price tag, they're set to ring up at $260 and $280, respectively, when they launch this September. More here.

Scientists Find Molecule That Will Make Your Teeth Cavityproof

Scientists have discovered a new molecule that will make your teeth cavityproof and may change dental care forever. They have appropriately named it Keep 32—for your 32 teeth—and it can kill the bacteria that produces cavities in 60 seconds flat.

José Córdoba—a researcher at Yale University—and Erich Astudillo—from the Universidad de Santiago, Chile—claim that this molecule can be added to any dental care product, from toothpaste to mouthwash. In fact, they say it can be added to anything, even candies and chewing gum.

As long as the product stays in your mouth for 60 seconds, it will eliminate the dreadfulStreptococcus Mutans, making your tooth cavity proof for a number of hours.

They started the research in 2005 and now they are aiming to have this product in the market in 14 to 18 months. Once they go through human safety trials in the United States, they want to license the patent to dental care manufacturers like Colgate or Procter & Gamble, as well as companies like Hershey's or Cadbury.

If the Evil League of Dentists don't kill them first, that is. More here.

Jul 8, 2012

Dracula, The Mummy and six Other Horror Classics Coming in a Blu-ray set October 2nd

Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection will arrive on shelves October 2nd, and pack eight classic horror movies, all restored so they can be seen in the highest quality possible. Among the releases is Creature from the Black Lagoon restored for Blu-ray 3D (yes, like Dial M for Murder it was originally shot and released in 3D back in 1954), as well as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man,Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and Phantom of the Opera. 

This is all a part of the ongoing Universal centennial celebration that's seeing its vaults unleash many of our favorites for the first time in high definition. Of course, the downside of a pack like this is that it's pricey -- the MSRP is $160, but it's available for preorder on Amazon currently priced at $112. More here.

This Skateboard Ceiling Fan Does 900s All Day Long

Over at Notcot's experimental studio they wanted to find a novel way to liven up the boring ceiling fan that hung over their heads. And since they were fans of gleaming the cube, they decided to replace its wooden blades with skateboard decks.

The mod was surprisingly easy, simply requiring the decks to be drilled so they could be bolted to the ceiling fan's angled metal brackets. And even though the decks have a lip at the front and back, the final mounted results were still properly angled to provide a refreshing downdraft. A word of advice if you're thinking of tackling the same DIY mod on your own fan, though. If you're recycling a used deck make sure to remove the skateboard's trucks and wheels first since the added weight would probably burn out the fan's motor well before this heatwave passes. More here.

Jul 7, 2012

Wireless Power Transferred Through Thick Concrete Could Mean Electric Cars That Charge While You Drive

One of the biggest issues preventing the electric car from taking over the roads is their incredibly limited battery life. But researchers at the Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan have demonstrated a new system that could let electric cars constantly recharge while they're being driven.

Their research has resulted in a system that's able to transfer somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 to 60 watts of electricity through almost 4 inches of concrete, allowing the power source to be safely buried beneath a roadway. And specially adapted tires which are wired into a vehicle's power system could then harness that electricity and use it to top off the battery.

At the moment the system exists as a low-power proof-of-concept of the technology, and would require about 100 times more power to actually charge an electric car's battery while it was running. But they claim the components needed to ramp it up are cheaply available, and the system could even work with concrete layers almost eight inches thick if needed. More here.

Ice Cream Sandwich Consumed by One in Ten Android Devices

The latest Dashboard numbers for Google's Android operating system have been released. The verdict? One in ten devices is leveraging Ice Cream Sandwich as their mobile OS of choice. 

The numbers, which are current as of July, put Gingerbread (Android 2.3) in first place with a 64-percent install base; followed by Froyo (Android 2.2) with 17.3-percent and ICS with 10.6-percent. Jelly Bean (Android 4.1), announced just last week at Google's IO Developer Conference, was not included in this instance of the report (as it is not officially available yet). More here.

Jul 6, 2012

Are You Comfortable With Airlines Researching You on Google?

According to the London Evening Standard, British Airways is beginning a program in which employees google the faces of passengers for upcoming flights so that they may immediately greet them upon entry to the airport gate/airplane. Some feel this is an invasion of privacy. But is it really that big of a deal? More here.

How to Make Your iPhone Charge Wirelessly

Wirelessly charging your iPhone would be pretty great, but not with the dumb cases that inductive charging requires. That's why this mod from Tanveer is so great. A regular iPhone that charges when you set it down. The future!

Here's what you'll need, according to Tanveer, in addition to some serious soldering skills:
a steady hand
soldering tools
a spare charger port assembly
very thing gauge wire
a spare back cover
a wireless charger circuit (probably homemade from parts)
It's a pretty involved hack that will obviously void your warranty. You not only have to solder tiny wire to tiny pins, but you've got to add 1mm of give to an iPhone back panel. It takes some serious work, but for a 1mm-thicker iPhone that you don't have to plug in to charge? Kind of worth it. More here.

Jul 5, 2012

Samsung Announces 75-inch ES9000 Smart TV for Korea, With Similarly Gigantic Price Tag

Anyone looking to fill half of their lounge with Samsung LCD just got a new size to choose. In short, if you loved the LED-backlit display of the 55-inch model, you're going to adore the ES9000, which features the same smart TV brains alongside a retractable webcam unit housed on the top edge. The bezel is a mere 7.9mm and Samsung has decided to coat the frame in a gentle Rose Gold coating which.

That premium finish is matched by a premium price tag, however, and will hit checkbooks for 19.8 million won (around $17,450). Despite the UK appearance, retailer John Lewis (which hosted the event) couldn't confirm whether retail models would be coming to its stores in the future. But if you can afford 75 inches of TV, you can also afford a quick flight to Seoul to pick one up. More here.

Olympus’s Google Glasses Competitor Is Really Nothing Like Google Glasses

If you thought Google Glasses looked bad, Olympus's augmented reality specs will make you want to drop dead. The company today announced an awkward, wearable display prototype called Meg 4.0, although it's nothing like Google's version.

Weighing in at 30g, the Olympus model has a 320 x 240 floating screen on the lenses that connects to the wearer's smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth. Google's, meanwhile, are meant to be largely self-contained, not dependent on a tether to an existing device.

The Meg 4.0 supposedly boasts eight hours of battery life, though that's kind of a technicality—Olympus actually expects people to use the glasses in 15 second spurts about every three minutes, which according to someone's math, amounts to eight hours total. It also looks kind of like a Praying Mantis Olympus wants you to wear on your face. The glasses also have an accelerometer, so they can tell which way the person sporting them is facing. But they don't have a camera, which has been one of the main features Google thus far has used to advertise its nerd shades. More here.