November 28, 2007

[THE GET IT]
Here’s a chance to get a great entry-level turn-by-turn GPS device for a fantastic price. The TomTom ONE 3rd edition features a 3.5″ touchscreen, comes preloaded with detailed maps of the United States and Canada, 1GB internal memory, measures only 3.8 x 3.2 x 1 inches and weighs a mere 6.5 ounces. Radioshack is offering this great little GPS for $149! That’s $100 off the regular price. That’s well below Amazon’s price of $253 and REI’s at $249. Here is a review from LaptopMag and one from PC Magazine.
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=…
[THE GIZMO]
Who knew anything like this was even being developed. Sarcos, a leader in research and development of robotic systems, has developed a prototype of an exoskeleton that is capable of astounding things. The video illustrates how the exoskeleton is able to assist us feeble humans with increased strength and stamina. It accomplishes this by mimicking your movements while adding in a little power assist. Sort of like the power steering in your car. You know, like when the car stalls and your atrophied little muscles can barely turn the wheel. The beauty is when you need to do something without the assistance of the machine. You simply let go of the robotic arm and it casually floats there, waiting until it is needed again. The video is well worth the watch. I have to admit, the whole time I was watching it, I was waiting for the exoskeleton to go haywire and begin tearing the reporter limb from limb, ala Doc Oc from Spiderman.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=109_1195663753
[THE GORGEOUS]
It’s not often that we get to throw around terms like beautiful or innovative when it comes to computer mice. In fact, I don’t think I have ever heard the word beautiful. However, I have heard some described as ‘innovative’, but that usually means some over complicated contraption reserved for gaming nerds. On the other hand, the new SlimBlade Media Mouse from Kensington seems to over achieve in both categories while doing triple duty. For its first trick, it is a fully functional laser mouse that allows precise navigation. Second, at the push of a button, it can function as a travel mouse when real estate is tight by the use of the unique trackball. In this mode you can navigate with 360-degree scrolling while the mouse remains stationary. Lastly, you can flip it over and use the iPod-like navigation scroll wheel for controlling your computer’s media player (volume control, track control, play and pause). More importantly, all these modes operate wirelessly! Here are some gratuitous shots of the beauty. Click here for a review from Geek.com. Amazon is retailing the SlimBlade for $54.26 with free shipping.
http://www.uncrate.com/men/gear/computer-peripherals…
[THE GREEN]
So, you love the idea of those CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) with all their greeny goodness but can’t ignore the fact that they are just plain butt-ugly? I would agree. Well, finally someone is doing something about it. Hulger, the London based design house, has taken the familiar pig’s tail curlicue design and stretched it out just enough to bring it some beauty. Right now it is just in the prototype phase with visitors getting a first look at a working model at this year’s Designersblock exhibition at the London Design Festival. With all the buzz surrounding CFLs, I bet it won’t be too long before we see these, or something similar, in production.
http://www.core77.com/blog/object_culture/hulgers…
[THE GOSSIP]
I must admit, I love anything to do with monkeys, but this is pushing the envelope a bit too much for even me. In fact, it’s down right creepy. According to New Scientist Tech, a research team from Duke University in Durham successfully controlled a pair of robot legs by implanting electrodes in the brains of two rhesus monkeys. Wait… that’s not the half of it. The amazing thing is that the monkeys were in Durham, North Carolina and the robot legs were at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International in Kyoto, Japan! Gadzooks! They did it by mapping signals to specific leg movements over the internet. The teams hope to build on this technique to someday help paralyzed people control prosthetic legs via brain implants.
http://technology.newscientist.com/channel/tech/robots…