Tag: GadgetsView All Tags
Bears / Wild Animal Travel / Camping / Gadgets / → All Tags
The bears of California are never going to hear the end of this one. The New York Times is reporting that a group of bears in the Adirondack Mountains has figured out how to open the BearVault 500, a high-tech, supposedly bear-proof container that campers use to safeguard their food in the wilderness. The double-tabbed lid of the BearVault functions like a child-proof top to a medicine bottle, requiring a certain amount of dexterity and intelligence to figure out. It's the latest thinking in bear country food protection, as the old "hang your food high in a tree using a rope" trick is no match for a crafty bear. But New York bears, being mentally superior to other bears, have cracked the BearVault code, which has stymied bears elsewhere in the country.
When you’re waiting in a movie theater line for the new Star Trek movie, you’re going to need to stay in touch with your Xindi and Vulcan buddies who maybe haven't yet finished their margaritas at TGI Fridays. Of course you can just send them a text message or a tweet; however, you should really only use the latest and most appropriate technology available in this case, and it just so happens to be the Star Trek USB Communicator.
Not only is it a pretty good replica of the original device from the show, but it’s also a VoIP telephone. The built-in microphone and speaker connect to your computer via USB—they apparently haven’t heard of WiFi—and you’ll be able access Skype, AIM, and iChat. Just plug in the retrodork dohicky, flip it open, and you are living your dream of mimicking Captain Kirk. Too bad you'll have to be tethered to your laptop to use it.
Best of all, the device features three buttons that release sound effects straight from the original television series, which are sure to make you most popular in that movie line. We’d also highly recommend whipping this sucker out on your next intergalactic mission from Des Moines to Milwaukee, if security screeners don't arrest you first. Face it: it’s got more sci-fi cred than the iPhone and you'll totally get some chicks with this thing; we just don’t know what type exactly.
Related Stories: [Photo: Star Trek USB Official Site]
· Star Trek USB Communicator [Official Site]
· Hailing Frequencies Open: VoIP Star Trek Communicator Engages Nerd Cred [Crave, CNET]
· Good News For Geeks: Star Trek, The Experience Will Reopen in May [Jaunted]
[Photo: Star Trek USB Official Site]
Don't you hate it when you're camping and you get mauled by a bear? I do, and apparently, so does Eiko Ishizawa. That's why the eclectic designer invented "The Great Sleeping Bear," a sleeping bag made to resemble a big brown bear. The idea is simple: if you're sleeping in one of these and a bear comes across your campsite looking for a meal, it will think you're a fellow bear and opt to eat your friends and family instead. (Apparently, bears are pretty dim.) Of course, there could be a downside as well. What if you make a particularly attractive bear?
If this thing is for real, it's one of the craziest innovations to hit water sports in years. A German businessman named Lars Ramke recently unveiled the JetLev-Flyer, an aqua jet pack that enables people to levitate ten meters above the water's surface and travel horizontally as fast as 65 kph for up to two hours. The contraption, which was shown for the first time last month at Boot Düsseldorf 2009, has a gas-powered pump that sucks water up through a 40-meter hose and blasts it downward at a pressure high enough to allow an adult human to fly. It doesn't look like the safest thing in the world - collisions with boats and docks seem likely - but that will just provide some good fodder for failblog and its ilk. Anyway, it's got to be safer than a regular jet pack, if only for its limited altitude and water landings.
Travel Gear / Travel Tech / Design / Gadgets / → All Tags
For digital nomads in a perpetual state of travel, getting the most out of your gear is essential. Less is more is the motto when trying to cram all your necessities into one or two not so big bags.
So the Freecom Mobile Drive xxs should be a blessing for travelers who need to lug around large amounts of data, but don't have much extra space in their carry-on. Designed by Sylvain Willenz, the xxs is billed as the world's smallest external hard drive. At 2.5" wide, it's about the size of a deck of cards, but somehow manages to fit up to 320 gigabytes of data.
All components have been stripped down to the basics and miniaturized to keep the gadget footprint to a minimum. The xxs looks like a great piece of gear--and your bulging laptop bag will thank you.
Italy Travel / Gadgets / Toilets / Bathrooms / → All Tags
There isn't much to be said for the public bathrooms in Italy. Some don't even have toilets, but rather a hole with two spots for your feet. Trust us, this contraption takes squatting to a newly unpleasant level. It's pretty much pee at your own risk.
And it's not just dive bars and gas stations with squat-a-rific bathrooms. We've seen discotheques and restaurants with the same, er, technology.
All potty talk aside, Italy does have one fantastic bathroom invention, which we came across at a Treviso nightclub, Amami. It's a pay-per-use hair dryer and straightener! Finally, someone is thinking clearly.
The gizmo costs 2 per use and we assume you get just enough minutes of power to sexy up your mane--or dry your pant legs.
Airports / WiFi / Technology / Gadgets / Travel Tips / Airport WiFi / → All Tags
Oh, General Mitchell International Airport! You told us we could log on to your WiFi with nary a hitch. Just connect to the network "pcswifi," your PA announcement said. It's offered throughout the terminal, you promised. So we whipped out the computer--and the 'net access didn't work. We tried again from a different part of Terminal D, and got stopped in our tracks by some sort of sign-in screen. MKE, you should know we think WiFi should be free as a bird. Fortunately, when Jaunted goes on the road, we roll geeked out.
We had our Mac set up to pow-wow with our BlackBerry Pearl via Bluetooth. Combined with the Cingular's data service, we could stream data over the air, through the 'tooth and to our laptop. Pretty sweet, no? Before you praise us as some sort of IT wizards, know that we got the idea from Fibble.
And, before you think it's the end all, be all, we did actually have some trouble staying connected. We were able to snag some emails and check a little bit of news before giving up. Even though we're web dorks, some of this stuff is complicated!
· Use Your BlackBerry Pearl as a Bluetooth Modem under OS X [Fibble]
· General Mitchell International Airport [Official Site]
We want these to be installed in every hotel room in the US, fast. We doubt it will happen, as outlets themselves are getting more and more scare as it is, but we'll continue to dream the impossible dream.
What's the big deal, you say? Hardly. They're outlets that can rotate 360 degrees in the socket, so you can plug in extra stuff and blow the fuses in your house more efficiently. Fine, but we think the technology works better in a place where the plugs are hard to get to, and unless you're traveling with your own power bar, outlets are limited in a hotel.
Now if we can only solve the foreign voltage problem...
· Plug Outlets [Cool Hunting]
OK, so we're not saying this would make the sexiest of Valentine's Day gifts, but at $4 it's a lot cheaper and more useful than flowers and chocolates. Whether your sweetie is a hiker or just someone with dogs who like to run through the brush, the Tick Twister removal device seems like a really good thing to have. It looks like it's worlds' easier to use than Crisco, a lit ciggie, hairspray, a flame-thrower, or all the other dodgy tick-be-gone methods out there.
· Tick Twister [Cool Tools, via Boing-Boing]
Next time you're on the road and want to go for a run, no need to carry a sweaty map with you to find your way back to the hotel. Check out the Forerunner 301. It continually monitors your pace, heartrate, calories burned, speed and distance and has a GPS built in to tell you where you are and how to get back.
Happy road workouts!
Sure, we've all heard of the obligatory travel first aid kit that's got everything crammed in and packs easily in your trunk. But this is something a little different. It's a 'travel kit' that fits entirely in an old Altoids box. Pretty amazing. Inside you'll find item for "McGyver-like" solutions should the need arise, such as a mini-lock picking set, an LED light, sandpaper, floss, even a small Swiss Army knife.
The author outlines potential use situations:
I want this kit to work for any situation I find myself in at home or abroad; opening locked doors, boring parties, arts and crafts, sailing, equipment failure, unexpected dust, unexpected anything
And while you can't order one per se, at least you can make your own by example. A world of traveling McGyvers sounds pretty cool to us...
· Travel Tinker Trouble Kit [EscapeMyHead.com]
iPods / Gadgets / Maps / → All Tags
We have found our new navigational savior. This magic site will help the directionally impaired and musically inclined for years to come.
You have to check out iPodiWay pronto. A combination of iPod and Yahoo Directions maps, it allows you to type in driving directions from Point A to Point B (yes, just like on Yahoo maps) and then download them in a handy little ZIP file to your IPod photo folder and be on your way.
The best part of it all? Free, free, free people.