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Archive for May 2008

Robot Beggars – That’S All We Need Now.

Robot Beggars – That’S All We Need Now.
Now I’m sympathetic to those who have fallen on hard times, many of us still find people who beg for money to be irritating. So why someone would go through the trouble of building a robot that begs for spare change is anyone’s guess. Alexander Gurko’s “Bettelbot” (that’s “BeggingBot” in English) has just one mission in mind – to get your money.

Modder Crams G4 Cube Mac Into Mac Plus

Modder Crams G4 Cube Mac Into Mac Plus
Got an old Macintosh or Mac Plus lying around? There’s got to be something better to do with it than turn it into an aquarium, right? That’s what this enterprising modder did when he managed to cram the guts of a Mac G4 Cube into his trusty old Mac Plus, replacing the old B&W CRT with a modern color LCD monitor, as well as the ability to run Mac OS X. Mac modder Charles Mangin really did an amazing job seamlessly integrating Macs from both the 20th and 21st centuries.
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Egg Speaker Wobbles but Won’T Fall Down

Egg Speaker Wobbles but Won’T Fall Down
These tipsy egg-shaped speakers let you wobble them like a Weeble while you listen to your tunes. Unlike real eggs (and those colorful Weebles), these only come in black and red, and they don’t crack open to produce omelets.

Cisco Unveils Star Wars-Esque Hologram Communication

Cisco Unveils Star Wars-Esque Hologram Communication
Cisco has unveiled and demonstrated their new On-Stage TelePresence Holographic Video Conferencing. In layman’s terms, it means that now you can actually do that thing they do in Star Wars when they talk to a Princess Leia hologram, and I have to say, it looks quite convincing. The video is pretty boring except for the fact that it’s a guy on stage talking to two holograms of people who are in other countries.

Egyptian Pc Casemod: Funky Tut’S Computer

Egyptian Pc Casemod: Funky Tut’S Computer
If King Tutankhamen could have been buried with his computer, this would have been the one – without a doubt. Conceived and constructed by Chris Kramer (a.k.a “Jadragon”), his EgyptMod PC is detailed with intricate hieroglyphics and encrusted with jewels.

8-Bit Nintendo Does Music Videos

8-Bit Nintendo Does Music Videos
While these brief musical interludes won’t win any prizes for their sweeping cinematography, they do win a place in my heart for being put together using some good old fashioned 8-bit gaming technology. Created using a combination of retro console art (inspired by, but probably not actually created on an NES) and blips and beeps courtesy of the 8-bit Nintendo-powered FamiTracker, these mini videos do a great job embodying the spirit of these musicians, even if they are just represented as chunky blocks of pixels.

Ipong: Multi-Player Pong on the iPhone

Ipong: Multi-Player Pong on the iPhone
This nifty proof-of-concept demo shows off just one of the many gameplay possibilities for multi-player video games on Apple’s wonderphone. iPong is a variant of Atari’s classic paddle ball game, with a multi-device, multi-player twist. Using some clever trickery, players can actually bounce their ball off of their iPhone’s screen onto the display of another phone.

Star Wars Belt: the Force is With You. and Around You.

Star Wars Belt: the Force is With You. and Around You.
If you’re the kind of person who rolls out his Chewbacca impression at parties, this “Empire Strikes Back”-themed belt might be the piece de resistance to round out your existing collection of Boba Fett bobbleheads and ceramic Stormtrooper figurines. The belts are made by Refinding, a wee company out of Kansas City that makes accessories out of all kinds of trash, er, reclaimed materials, like tire treads, tennis balls, typewriter letters, and, in this case, used trading cards.

Wooden Nixie Clock: Where Nature Meets Technology

Wooden Nixie Clock: Where Nature Meets Technology
I don’t know what it is, but I’m a real sucker for Nixie tube clocks. There’s something about the soothing orange glow tubes that offer a simple, yet elegant way to display any numeric information. I hadn’t seen a design that really caught my eye in a while, when I stumbled onto this wooden beauty. The clock features a set of dramatic surface-mounted Nixie tubes which peek through the front of the warm reddish African Sapele wood case. The only thing keeping me from putting one of these clocks on my mantle is the fact that it’s only sold as a kit.

Giant Keyboard Requires Massive Fingers (or Toes)

Giant Keyboard Requires Massive Fingers (or Toes)
If you’ve ever complained that the keys on your computer are too small for your fingers, have I got a keyboard for you. This ginormous keyboard is so big – How big is it, Bob? – It’s so big that in order to type on it, you need to walk almost 20 feet to get from one end of the keyboard to the other. Built by electronics hacker Maurin Donneaud, the huge keyboard rug rolls out onto the floor, and lets your type with your socks on.

Show Your Bulletin Board Who’S Boss With Ninja Tacks

Show Your Bulletin Board Who’S Boss With Ninja Tacks
Since the average work day affords so few opportunities to assert one’s ninja prowess, you can make up for that with these ninja tacks by Chromoly. They’re designed to look like you’ve just gone through a fit of rage and thrown ninja stars at your bulletin board from across the room.

Water Resistant Laptop on the Cheap

Water Resistant Laptop on the Cheap
Ever find the need to use your computer while standing out in the rain? Me neither. While the handful of folks who really need to could drop a few thousand bucks on a military-grade waterproof laptop, here’s a much simpler, brute-force solution for keeping your laptop safe and dry on a rainy day. Just slip your laptop into one of these oversize plastic sleeves, press the zip seal closed, and it protects your precious portable from the elements.

Know When to Flee With This Desktop Seismic Updater

Know When to Flee With This Desktop Seismic Updater
Not that I think this will really save you in an earthquake, but in case you’re the type of person who likes to be as prepared as humanly possible- I present the S Band EJ, a desktop seismic updater from Sankosha.

Swashbot 3 is a Crabby Homemade Robot

Swashbot 3 is a Crabby Homemade Robot
SwashBot 3 is one crabby lookin’ robot- but most impressively he is 100% homemade. For a scrappy little fellow, he’s got some impressive moves. SwashBot 3 is the latest RC robot in the SwashBot series, following the cute and crabby SwashBot 1 and the more impersonal, wooden SwashBot 2. Creator Crabfu, who is also an artist and animator, created SwashBot 3 to be a robotically delicious blend of cuddly, clever, and crabtastic.

Pitfall on Your Laptop (Kinda).

Pitfall on Your Laptop (Kinda).
Sure, you could go install a copy of Stella if you want to play Pitfall on your computer (or any other Atari 2600 game for that matter), but this handy carrying case lets you get up and running without installing any of that pesky software. Philly textile artist NovellaMarie’s Pitfall laptop case is covered with an intricate needlepoint scene of Activision’s classic platformer. Oddly enough, the featured scene comes from the Apple IIC version of the game, not the Atari 2600, but I won’t tell if you won’t. Each handmade bag comes with a sturdy adjustable red shoulder strap, and offers a padded polka-dotted lining to protect your precious laptop (13-inch or smaller models only).

Wallpaper Speakers Could Become a Reality

Wallpaper Speakers Could Become a Reality
Ever heard the saying “If these walls could talk”? If this invention ever makes it into production, your walls soon could get a voice of their own. This new technology has the potential to turn just about any surface, including your walls, into a speaker. Johns Hopkins materials scientist Michaely Yu and his team claim to have invented a material which could allow for piezoelectic sound devices to be placed in areas previously thought to be too challenging.
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