At today’s Apple event, Steve Jobs unveiled a new leather iPod case. The case is hand-crafted from Italian leather, and features a black ribbon that pulls your iPod from within. Nice to see the company finally providing something more than a thin piece of felt to store your iPod in, but couldn’t they have taken the hint from just about every other case manufacturer and given us the option of seeing the screen? Apple’s own case hides the iPod display, and doesn’t even give access to the controls of the device. This one doesn’t get our vote. Still, if you want it, you can get one for $99 USD for either the 5G iPod, or the iPod nano (which requires less material to construct, but costs just as much.)
Read More | Apple Leather Case for iPod
There are those that like to show off their home theater gear, and others who prefer a more discrete approach. For the latter group comes a plasma television cabinet that also happens to be a fireplace. Similar to other motorized display cabinets, the plasma screen is situated on a lift that raises and lowers it on command. Sadly, the included fireplace isn’t really a fireplace by the true definition of the word. Actually, its called a flame effect fire that has no real flame, but does contain an electric convection heater that churns out 2kW (approx. 6800 BTUs) of heat. (So much for roasting chestnuts over an open fire.)
A variety of styles are offered and prices range from approximately $3,700 to $9,100 USD. Ouch.
We have come to accept that fact that over in the Land of the Rising Sun, gadgets are available in more colors than they know what to do with. The Toshiba Gigabeat P5 is already available in a bunch of colors, but Japan is getting two more to add to their P5 lineup. One is a luxurious gold (officially called “Gorgeous”), and the other is cotton candy pink (officially called “Sweet”). The pleasure of owning one of these special edition colors comes at a price. With no feature upgrades from the “normal” Gigabeat P5, the color change alone costs an extra 520 Yen. That would be equal to about $120 USD. Here in the US, that would be akin to paying an extra $120 for a black iPod because the white wasn’t good enough for you. Wow.
This aint your momma’s RC Airplane, folks. This here is our US Army’s latest in high-tech surveillance, which is helping our troops lay the smackdown on those evil-doers. This Raven unmanned aerial vehicle is guided by GPS and is so wicked cool, that when you twitch from drinking too much Jolt cola on those late night missions and crash your bird, it pops apart on impact and makes fixing it a whole lot easier than grabbin some balsa wood, Elmer’s and an Xacto knife. Heck, these RC pilots dont even have to fetch the bird, they just call a local ground-pounder unit to fish that puppy out and bring it home.
“I get paid by the Army to fly remote-controlled planes,” says Sgt. Nathan Wyatt from 3-29 Field Artillery. From his post at LSA Anaconda, he operates the three foot-long Raven unmanned aerial vehicle. Almost every day, he hand-launches one of his three Kevlar and Styrofoam birds into the skies over north-central Iraq. Wyatt controls the Raven with a handheld console while, ideally, an assistant monitors flight parameters on a separate console. Each operator has a screen showing what the Raven sees. With a range of up to 15 miles and both day and night sensors, that amounts to quite a lot. The imagery is beamed straight to a display in the tactical operations center.
All things being what they are, this bird isn’t without it’s faults, but flying it sure is a cool way to earn a paycheck from Uncle Sam. Why the hell didn’t my recruiter tell me about this job? Rock on my RC Drone flying troops…Gear Live and America thank you and all of our troops for putting it on the line every day.
Read More | SoldierTech
Holy gizmos Batman, Logitech has gone loopy. Check out this new designers tool:
Logitech (SWX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) and Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ: ADBE) today announced the results of a collaboration to provide creative professionals and design enthusiasts new levels of control when using Adobe® Creative Suite 2 (CS2) and standalone CS2 applications: the NuLOOQ™ Professional Series. The new Logitech product line comprises the NuLOOQ navigator™, an innovative device used in conjunction with a mouse and a keyboard to manipulate images and documents, and the NuLOOQ tooldial™, customizable on-demand interface software that provides quick access to design tools. Both are designed for use with the Mac® versions of Adobe Creative Suite 2, Adobe Illustrator® CS2, Adobe InDesign® CS2, and Adobe Photoshop® CS2.
So here’s the breakdown. Think of this as the Adobe super-gizmo. I’m not really sure what the heck Logitech is thinking here, but they have some good intentions. Most of us that are designers already use a mouse/trackball, keyboard and a tablet. So to add yet another tool to the arsenal seems like a bit of overkill, but I can see what they are trying to accomplish. Similar to how there are devices for video editors, this would be akin to a Countour Shuttle Pro (used by video peeps), but for designers. This is essentially a 2-part device. You have the actual hardware piece which can be used on it’s own, but it also works with software that is specifically designed for use with the Adobe CS2 Suite of apps. NuLOOQ tooldial software is completely customizable and configuration is pretty straight-forward. My only concern is that it will be a bit overwhelming for most people. If you have been used to doing things by using the toolbars and menus and keyboard shortcut’s, this device may actually slow you down, which defeats it’s purpose. Hard to really say without testing one out in a production environment for a while.
The NuLOOQ Professional Series (which is the harware and software package) has a suggested retail price in the U.S. of $149.99 and will be sold beginning in March. The NuLOOQ tooldial can be purchased separately online for a suggested retail price of $49.99. A 30-day free trial is also available for download at the NuLOOQ Web site.
Read More | Logitech
You’ve seen it before. A bike rack with a cut chaincable laying on the ground, or a locked up wheel being the only portion of the bike left behind. To combat this, people resort to different approaches. Some use the latest in super-duper, titanium-impregnated, hardened-steel locks, and others remove a seat or a wheel (or two). Whatever your method, if somebody wants your bicycle badly enough, they’re going to get it. Unless of course, they can’t reach it. The Bike Tree is a Swiss invention that lifts your bicycle overhead and stores it under a protective canopy. Not only is your bike now protected from theft and vandalism, but from Mother Nature as well. A non-contact smart card allows an authorized user to retrieve their bicycle and go about their merry way. The Bike Tree can also be utilized as a bike rental facility, and since it can be solar powered, is easy to implement no matter the location.
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are literally everywhere today. In fact, if you were to turn off the lights in just about any room in your home, odds are that a little glowing LED would be emanating from some object. With the theory that a little excess never hurt anyone, BLOOM! introduces their lineup of LED flower pots that are designed to light up your boring old plants with a splash of color. Although you can get their smallest pot with low-voltage halogen lighting (why even bother?), their two larger pots (26-inches and 41-inches in diameter) are both fitted with LEDs. There are four, 1-watt, white LEDs (Luxeons maybe?) utilized in the 26-inch pot, whereas the larger pot has twelve colored LED’s installed in a rotating ring. Should the need arise, the LEDs are even replaceable, but with a listed lifespan of 50,000 hours, their demise won’t be anytime soon.
A steep $199 is the price to pay for the privilege of owning the 26-inch pot, and we can only wonder what the 41-incher will set you back.
No, that’s not a periscope sticking up out of the cooktop above, it’s the pop-up ventilator for Gaggenau’s Modular Cooktop System. A short time ago we brought you the Kuppersbusch Cooktop which was smooth and sleek, but as some of you pointed out, lacked the one thing professional and aspiring chefs prefer - gas burners. Well, the Gaggenau system isn’t nearly as svelte, but it does have the versatility factor covered. You can assemble your own cooktop design with everything from gas burners to glass-ceramic cook surfaces, steamers, deep fryers, dedicated wok burners, griddles, and even a conventional downdraft system should the pop-up ventilator prove too strange looking.
Prices aren’t listed, but if it’s anything like the Kuppersbusch system, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
Flying cars aren’t exactly science fiction, but they certainly aren’t something you see every day either. While there have been many attempts, and many failures, some concepts have had rudimentary success at least in function if not in sales (Moller SkyCar as an example). A start-up company called Terrafugia is determined to create a flying car that is street legal, flyable as a light sport craft, has practical value, and is marketable to a wide audience. Known as the Transition, the car currently only exists on paper and in the minds of it’s designers, but is slated to be available in prototype form by 2008. With heavy backing from MIT, Terrafugia appears to be aware of the pitfalls associated with the concept of flying cars, and plans on marketing the Transition by telling prospective buyers both the pros and cons.
With the need for a sport pilot license and an estimated street price of $148,000 the Transition won’t be for everyone, but may open the doors to future concepts that are.
When you absolutely, positively have to take the laboratory with you, then the Nissan Terranaut is the way to go. Okay, it’s the way to go, if you want to go in style. Nissan recently unveiled the SUV and aimed it squarely at scientists, explorers, and the true geeks at heart. Despite it’s size, the Terranaut only seats three people because of the center seat which swivels 360 degrees into a lab/communications center which can only be described as something out of Star Trek. Only a concept vehicle for now, and given it’s limited target market, not likely to ever reach production. Still - we can dream.
Read More | Transport Trends
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