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Gadgets, Gizmos, and Games for Geeks

Nintendo Wii Preorders Begin

Nintendo Wii Preorders Begin
Games importer Lik-Sang has started accepting preorders for the much anticipated Nintendo Wii game console. It’s an odd reservation system, since no pricing or release date have yet been officially announced. Lik-Sang is not requiring a deposit on preorders until pricing is confirmed, so there’s a pretty low risk for you if you decide to reserve one through them.

Fm3 Buddha Machine: the Anti-iPod

Fm3 Buddha Machine: the Anti-iPod
One of my favorite places for fun and unique items on the web is the $25 Giant Robot Store. I just came across a fun gizmo on their site called the “FM3 Buddha Machine.” The Buddha Machine is said to be the “anti-ipod.”

Nintendo NES Controller Alarm Clock

Nintendo NES Controller Alarm Clock
The folks over at ThinkGeek have just started carrying this fun little Japanese import. It’s a portable alarm clock that’s shaped like case from the classic Nintendo NES joypad. Looks like they went with the color scheme from the Japanese original Famicom system though.

Xbox 360 November Dashboard Update Details

Xbox 360 November Dashboard Update Details
The folks over at MaxConsole got their hands on these exclusive preview screenshots of the upcoming dashboard update for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console. Of note are a new, cleaner look for the Xbox Live Arcade, a better organized Live Marketplace and most importantly, a link to the “Launchpad,” where you’ll be able to play demos and XNA homebrew games if you’re signed up for the XNA Game Studio program.

Ambilight Knock-Off for Your Pc

Ambilight Knock-Off for Your Pc
Philips Ambilight technology is said to improve perceived contrast and reduce eyestrain. Well now you can try a similar technology on your PC’s monitor. Smartbytes’ Ambient Reality Effects is a compact device designed to mount to the back of your monitor and produce colored background light on your surrounding walls.

Sony Playstation 3 Delayed Til March 2007 in Europe

Sony Playstation 3 Delayed Til March 2007 in Europe
The headline says it all. According to Sony’s European website the PS3 has been delayed until March 2007 in the PAL territories of Europe, Russia, Middle East, Africa and Australasia. Launch date remains November 17, 2006 for North America and Japan, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that date slip given Sony’s recent track record.

Apple Releases New 24-Inch iMac

Apple Releases New 24-Inch iMac
With no advance hoopla, Apple has quietly announced the new 24-inch iMac today. The new model features a substantial widescreen display running at 1900×1200 resolution, a 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a 250 GB hard drive, and 1 GB of RAM for $1999.00.

Your Musical Selection Really Stinks.

Your Musical Selection Really Stinks.
What’s that smell? Could it be Fergie’s ‘Humps’ or Justin’s ‘Sexyback’? Well now you can have a myriad of musically derived fragrances in your home thanks to this wacky new device. TokyoFM’s new USB powered system mixes six perfumes to automatically change fragance based on the music and artist currently playing on their radio station.

40-Inch LED Backlit LCD Panel Shown by Samsung

40-Inch LED Backlit LCD Panel Shown by Samsung
Samsung showed of their new LE40M91 LCD flat panel at the IFA conference in Berlin this week. The new set features a high-powered LED backlight, said to boost color gamut to 146% and the LCD panel claims a 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, which is extremely good for an LCD panel.

Miniature Atari 2600 Games on Your Keychain

Miniature Atari 2600 Games on Your Keychain
These miniature Atari 2600 joystick and paddle controllers function as both a keychain and a functional video game console. Certainly they’re a bit cumbersome as keychains, but you cannot deny the cool factor here. I’ve seen differing information on which versions feature which games, but from what I can decipher, there are three versions, one with Asteroids and Millipede (joystick); and one with Yar’s Revenge and Centipede (joystick) and one with Breakout, Pong and Warlords (paddle).

Play Your Old Vinyl Albums on Your Pc

Play Your Old Vinyl Albums on Your Pc
The Ion iTTUSB Turntable from Ion Audio lets you digitize your vinyl LPs and listen to them on your PC. The turntable includes Audacity software for Mac/PC for recording as well as a trial install of Bias Soundsoap 2 for cleaning and restoring vinyl.

New Breakthrough Could Miniaturize Projectors

New Breakthrough Could Miniaturize Projectors
Researchers at Cornell University have developed a new system for rapidly scanning wide areas with a laser beam using a rapidly moving mirror. If the technology hits its potential, a dime-sized projector could cast an image about a meter wide from only half a meter away.

Philips Shows 100-Inch LCD With Ambilight

Philips Shows 100-Inch LCD With Ambilight
At this week’s IFA consumer electronics show, Philips showed off a prototype 100-inch LCD FlatTV complete with their Ambilight Full Surround technology. For those not already familiar with Ambilight, it provides an array of colored LEDs as a backlight source behind the set.

Strangest Media Player Name of the Day

Strangest Media Player Name of the Day
Commodore, the brand that brought us the Pet, the VIC-20 and the C64 are now bringing us another oddly named device, the Gravel in Pocket. The personal media player was announced today at the IFA 2006 consumer electronics show in Berlin.

Another Wacky USB Memory Stick – Made Out of Wood

Another Wacky USB Memory Stick – Made Out of Wood
Every few days, somebody tries to outdo the last goofy USB memory stick design and this one takes the cake for me today. The Oooms (I just like saying that!) Wooden USB Memory Stick is literally a real stick.

Creative Announces Widescreen Zen Vision W

Creative Announces Widescreen Zen Vision W
Creative Technology has just announced the release of their new ZEN Vision W. The new mobile media player features a 4.3 inch diagonal 16:9 widescreen TFT display (480 x 272 resolution) for video playback, and either 30GB or 60GB of hard drive storage.