News

Windows Mobile 6.5 is Officially Released

Last week Wayne and I had the opportunity to sit in on an NDA workshop discussing the new and updated features of Windows Mobile 6.5. Wayne got hung up and couldn’t attend (pesky day job getting in the way, again!), but I was able to sit in an hear a bit about 6.5 and Marketplace, Microsoft’s new software store for Windows Phones. Those of you who read our GearChat back in February will recognize many of the new 6.5 screens, and yes – the Zune-like interface is still present.


Car Cam Voyager with LCD, because ‘stuff’ happens

New York-based BrickHouse Security is not only dedicated to assisting the public and government with their security, safety, protection, covert surveillance and counter-surveillance needs, but they also want to offer peace of mind for our mobile environments as well.


R-Rated Calculators…Only in the App Store.

What would you rate a calculator on the age-rating system in the iPhone/iPod Touch App Store? Does a calculator even NEED an age warning? Apparently, according to Apple it does…read on for details, and the absurd way this has been resolved… PCalc, by TLA Systems, was given a 17+ rating by Apple. Why? Because when you type 5318008 and flip the calculator upside down, it spells (WARNING: NSFW, do not read on if you are easily offended)


Table Saw cake knife

Are you one of those people who has trouble cutting that first (or second) piece of cake without it crumbling to pieces. This Table Saw cake cutter may help you to disguise your lack of cake cutting skills. Disguised as a saw, this 12 inch plastic knife does double duty to help scoop the cake after you’ve cut it. There’s no indication whether it will saw through rock hard ice cream cakes that seem to ship at a temperature of absolute zero or whether you’d have to purchase a chain saw cake knife for those. Table Saw Cake Knife –…


Make Memories Last with Picaboo Photo Books

Do you have summer photos just hanging around on your hard drive, abandoned now that fall is here?  (Well, or almost here if you live in Texas!)  Don’t let them get forgotten–upload them to Picaboo! Picaboo is a service that allows you to create photo books and cards from your digital photos, starting at just $9.99 for a softcover book. They offer easy-to-use software that guides you through the creation process with tons of  layouts, backgrounds, fonts, and sample albums to help spark ideas.  Possibly the coolest feature of the software is the ability to auto-create a photo book in…


The 100 greatest hits of YouTube – in 4 minutes

There’s this new Internet sensation called YouTube. People take videos of themselves and upload them to the service. Some videos are quite stupid and silly. The stupidest and silliest are passed around over and over and over. Now the inevitable has happened – a compilation of what are claimed to be the top 100 viral YouTube videos – conveniently packaged into a 4 minute video which itself is likely to be shared aver and over and over. https://www.youtube.com/


Delete your cell phone’s information before you sell

In case you missed this story, Yahoo posted a funny little PSA on how to go about what not to do when it comes to dispose of your old cell phone. Clearly the folks at Missouri University didn’t read Carly’s recent reminder about how to go about deleting information off your cell phone before you get rid of it. It seems the athletic department at Missouri University had some old cell phones to get rid of.  The phones were sold at a University surplus sale and when the buyer, Bellman, purchased 25 of them for $190 he discovered that none…


Tux Droid: a Nabaztag for Linux Geeks

Kysoh.com has released the new Tux Droid 2.0.  Tux Droid is essentially a Open Source Nabaztag that looks like Tux the Penguin (Tux was originally designed as the Linux mascot by Larry Ewing).  The Tux Droid is wirelessly connected to your computer via its cute fish shaped dongle, which  has a striking resemblance to Tux himself.  What does Tux do?  He’ll do a little dance whenever you get an E-mail, Twitter message or a Facebook messag; he also has a text-to-speech engine, and by interacting with Tux Droid, you can also complete certain tasks on your computer.  If you aren’t…


Universal Accessibility Becomes Mainstream (and Profitable!)

Loving that new shuffle with VoiceOver? Dictating all your emails instead of typing them? You may not think about it, but many of those improvements and technological bounds come from a specific area of research; accessibility for people with disabilities. Businessweek has a great article about how voiceover, Apple’s love it or hate it system in the new Shuffles, comes from accessibility designs in Mac OS X. Further, there is an argument that many businesses can learn from the innovations needed to create “universal access” for specific disabilities, and turn it into features that can make the experience better for…


Firefighter’s Self Contained Breathing Appratus (SCBA): How it’s changed over the years

Welcome to another edition of “How it’s changed over the years.” The firefighter’s SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) is as important a piece of equipment as his/her helmet.  The device, which consists today of a high pressure tank, face mask and pressure regulator allows firefighters to breath air in the hostile environments they face. So how has the SCBA changed over the years?


Crime scene toilet paper is a perfect gift for that Uncle you see once a year during holidays

This roll of crime scene labeled toilet paper is perfect for that hard to shop for person or even a grab bag for the office holiday party. Imagine their glee when they open this in front of their peers only to be greeted with a suggestion that their use of the bathroom could be considered a crime scene. Given the current economic climate it’s best not to gift this to the boss but it’s probably ok as a gift to relatives you see infrequently. Crime Scene Toilet Paper


White collar grime – disposable shirt protectors for those who hate washing their neck

Are you someone who wears collared shirts? Do you hate to wash your neck (or your shirts). Here’s the product for you. The White Collar Grime protector is applied inside your shirt to stave off those stubborn rings around the collar. You try scrubbing and scrubbing yet those dirty rings still stay on your collar. Why bother with pesky personal hygiene chores like washing your neck when instead you can buy these collar grime protectors. At the end of the day, peel off the tape, dispose, and your white, blue, pink or any color collar won’t look criminal. It’s perfect…


Jedi bathrobe keeps you warm while you use the force to make breakfast

The creators of this Jedi bathrobe may have latched onto a hot new clothing market. Did you know that according to Wikipedia over half a million people throughout the world declared themselves as Jedi on their census forms? While I think that might be considered to be a practical joke and probably doesn’t reflect the real number of Jedi in the countries concerned – there’s still got to be a fair number that would buy this bathrobe. The Jedi Dressing Gown has a Jedi logo embroidered on the front, is made of 100% cotton velour and is machine washable. It…


Pseudoscience at its best: the Uxsight 1.3M Pixels Portable Digital USB Iriscope

You’ve got to hand it to pseudoscience. Why? Because how else could someone like me – a person without an MD – have a chance to speak with absolute authority about things of which I know absolutely nothing. And there are even cool gadgets that you can use while practicing pseudoscience, things that can help make you seem professional and knowledgeable, things like the Uxsight 1.3M Pixels Portable Digital USB Iriscope. Allow me to digress for a moment… Back in the fall of ’86,  I went home from college with one of my sorority sisters for the weekend. Before we…


Goldfish trash bags pretty up the neighborhood and drive cats nuts

Here’s a quirky way to take out the trash. Instead of boring black or white bags how about these decorative goldfish trash bags. Fill the trash up and put the bags curbside for your neighborhood stray cats to admire . This kit includes 12 bags of 13 gallons each for $15.99. At this price these are definitely novelty items. Goldfish Trash Bags – $15.99


Tent stake with built-in LED light makes late night tent setups a snap

This orange stake looks like any other tent peg. Look closer and you’ll find that there’s a white LED lamp built into the side. Powered by 4 LR41 batteries (included) this peg will help you survive those hurried late night tent setups by illuminating the ground. The manufacturer claims the light will run for up to 5 hours on one set of batteries. Lighted Tent Peg – $3.72


Transit cover provides a barrier between seat and you – does nothing to stop germs from that hacking fat guy seated next to you

Travel slipcovers seem like a great idea. They slip over most transit seats and provide a barrier between you and the presumably germ laden seat. The cover includes a headrest pillow pocket to hold your own travel sized pillow. Unfortunately it won’t stop the coughing guy next to you from spreading the flu. If the germs don’t get you the 100 people waiting in the aisle while you unfold and spread this seat cover just might do you in. Transit Cover – $14.99


$472 emergency pet evacuation vest is perfect for the crazy cat lady in your life

I’ve had a few cats and none of them seemed terribly fond of playing dress up. I can only imagine the fun you’d have trying to fit kitty into an emergency evacuation vest in the midst of fire, flood or other natural hazard. Seems like a portable pet carrier might do just as well. This emergency pet vest offers: * Japan Firefighting Association-certified flame-retardant jacket * Materials: polyester (base cloth), polyurethane (outer shell), fireproof acrylic (lining) * Heavy-duty carry handle, and double-duty strap/leash * Pet supplies: food bowl, muzzle, hermetically sealed odor control bag (for any items distressing the pet),…


The Dead Arise: Nashville Zombie Walk

After a solid week of rain in Middle Tennessee, the graves must have opened, as the undead arose to walk the streets of downtown Nashville. Tourists and natives called it the Nashville Zombie Walk of 2009. The flesh-eating mutants zombies staggered in from all directions, via train, plane and automobile.


Flatworld Knowledge offers open source textbooks you can listen to or print

Flat World Knowledge is combating the insane price of college textbooks by making open source textbooks an easier solution for colleges. The catalog for now is limited to a few titles per school but eventually they’d like to have more colleges adopt open source online distribution of textbooks. The company sells affordable alternative formats such as print-on-demand full color and black and white print versions, PDF versions, podcast and .mp3 versions, as well as Flat World Knowledge and user-generated study aides such as mobile flash cards and web quizzes to support the books. Naturally social media is in the cards…