With the help of a Belkin Rockstar multi headphone splitter, one intrepid DJ has created a tapestry of digital sounds using a Nintendo DS Lite running Electroplankon, a DSi running Korg DS-10, an iPhone, an iPod Touch and a Kaossilator. The result is, well, meh. But think of the possibilities. I’d love to see what a talented chiptune artist like Nullsleep could do with an elaborate setup of Game Boys, and even an average listener might have fun mixing in and out of different iPods at a party. At $20 for the splitter, it certainly beats splurging on an expensive mixer. [via YouTube]
It may not look pretty, but hell– this thing ain’t meant to look pretty. Its meant to rip through ice cubes, mint leaves, liquor and sugar to make the ultimate gas-powered man mohito. This Gas Powered Party Blender uses a 43cc 2-stroke engine, motorcycle handlebars and a solid metal frame to run an 85 oz. stainless steel blender. With just the twist of a wrist, you’re churning up cocktails with the power of a minibike, the growl of a chain saw. Just for fun, you can take your better half’s cutesy little blender and toss that sucker into this one. Will it blend?
Posted by Jared Newman
We’re now one month into the new year. When it comes to computing, this year’s CES was largely uneventful and uninspiring. We feel that, in spite of its slow start, the coming year can be a big year for the evolution of the personal computer. In the last few months, subtle changes have been happening that when paired together make for an exciting moment in the world of computing. Just how good can this year be for the PC? Here’s our list of the 10 big developments that could go from early adoption to market domination in the year ahead. I, for one, welcome our new 4G, SSD, dual-screen, 3D touch-screen overlords…
Number Ten: Dual Screens for Laptops
Lenovo’s introduction of the ThinkPad W700 is hopefully the beginning of a trend. Its secondary screen is great for artists, CAD designers or anyone else who just can’t get enough desktop real estate. See also: Voodoo’s Firefly concept, whose 4.3-inch screen is great for checking e-mail while waiting to respawn in Counter-Strike.
Number Nine: 3G to 4G
As the third generation of wireless communications becomes ubiquitous this year, it’s time to think about moving on. In Baltimore, where Sprint is rolling out a 3G/4G modem for mobile broadband, average download rates range from 2 Mbps to 4 Mbps, compared to 3G speeds of 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps. Hopefully we’ll see more cell phone companies offer similar dual solutions while the next generation takes over.
Number Eight: Designer Netbooks
We thought we’d seen everything with the crystal-studded Nintendo DS, but then HP introduced the “China Chic” HP Mini 100, a sultry red number designed by Vivienne Tam. And why not? These little laptops fit into pocketbooks anyway. Look for more designers to cash in as the netbook becomes a fad.
Number Seven: USB 3.0
The new “SuperSpeed” USB technology won’t hit until 2010, but its effects should be felt early in the form of Firewire’s ultimate demise. The latest MacBooks have already taken the bold step of removing Firewire in favor of USB 2.0, perhaps an indication that other computer makers will follow. If that’s what must be done to make room for 5 Gbps of data transfer, so be it.
Number Six: Touch Screens
As touchable displays take over cell phones, the door is open for greater interest in tablet PCs as well. Asus introduced the T91 at CES this year. HP and Fujitsu released touch screen laptops towards the end of last year. With Windows 7 offering more touch screen features than ever, this could finally be the tablet’s time to go mainstream.
Number Five: Cloud Computing
It’s hard to pin down how Cloud computing will change in 2009 — especially because its core principal says you can’t tell what’s going on behind the scenes — but there’s at least a proliferation of online apps like Google’s ever-expanding suite, and the corporate world is apparently keen on the idea as well. Look for more news on this during the International Cloud Computing Conference and Expo in late March.
Number Four: 3D Visual Interfaces
An Apple patent for a three-dimensional desktop was revealed in December, but BumpTop and Project Looking Glass have similar ideas in the works. With new advances in 3D imaging this year, perhaps a true virtual office space is in reach at last.
Number Three: Smaller, Slimmer All-in-Ones
All-in-One PCs positively blew up at CES this year, with Dell, Sony, Gateway and Lenovo all vying to be America’s next top model. Really, they’re all coming out winners for having so many options to choose from. Our favorite, though, didn’t come from any of these PC-making heavyweights. We liked Shuttle’s X50 because it comes with a handle.
Number Two: Intel Core i7
With Alienware, Dell and Gateway getting in on Intel’s latest processor, it’s clear this is the must-have for PC gamers. Gizmodo does an admirable job of explaining the nitty gritty of the i7’s might, but the processor reduces bottlenecks, enables the use of more RAM and divides up tasks more efficiently — just what you need when getting your frag on.
Number One: Solid State Drives
Later this year, Asus and Toshiba will both offer laptops with solid state drives. These read faster, are more reliable and use less power than hard disc drives, so it’s obviously something that should be implemented in more portable PCs over time. Solid state’s higher cost will prevent it from becoming the majority by year-end, but this is only their first year of availability. Once it’s accessible for all, HDD will be officially on notice.
Thanks for reading, GearCravers, Stumblers, Redditers and otherwise. What do you think about these young technologies and their impact on computing as we know it? Are there any other technologies you wish had greater focus by developers today? Do you disagree with any of our listings here? Let us know in the comments. If you enjoy the article, take a moment to share it with your friends or vote it up on your favorite social media website. We appreciate your help!
[special thanks to Benjamin Franz, one of the world’s top modders and the designer of the CM3 PC case, selected as the main image for this article. Check out Franz’s books and more of his casemods at PlexMod.de]
Twitter’s the new tech hype machine, and if you keep your ears to the wire, you’ll get tidbits of news in unlikely places. The latest comes from Microsoft’s Office ’10 Twitter page, which has oddly dedicated 40 percent of its posts so far to Zune-related issues. First, we’re told that June 2009 will be “an important month for Zune lovers,” followed by confirmation of a new product launch. “Hold off from buying an iPhone/Pre,” the feed sayeth. There are other dots to connect here. We’ve heard that Microsoft is working on an iPhone rival, codenamed Pink, plus the possibility of a Zune HD. Then, there’s the fact that E3 falls on the first week of June, raising the possibility of some Xbox connection. Also, Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hyrb is tweeting about “the coolest opportunity I’ve had in a long time.” So the takeaway is this: Microsoft is working on something, and they think it’s going to be awesome. [Twitter via Engadget]
A couple of Web sites are buzzing about the new iamakey flash drive from LaCie, and why shouldn’t they? The key-shaped dongle is a long-overdue idea, and a way better solution than the ring holes stamped into your typical bulky flash drives. Available in 4GB or 8GB models, the iamakey is made of stamped metal and survived CrunchGear’s road tests with no problems. It’s a little slower than an average drive, but not enough to outweigh the appeal of a simple, small drive that fits nicely on a keychain. If you’re worried about the thin construction, LaCie also makes itsakey, which sports a slighty thicker build and a covered USB connector. The iamakey costs $10 and should be available soon. [via CrunchGear and the Gadgeteer]
Vacuum Tube Chess Set Makes Tesla Proud
By Jared Newman
Vacuum Tubes may have been a cornerstone in developing electronics, but for our purposes here, they make a sweet chess board. The “Chess Set For Tesla,” by Paul Fryer, uses 32 vacuum tubes and 64 plugs to ensure that those pieces don’t tip over during play. And of course, they light up, sohwing the type of piece on top. As some Dvice commenters noted, this is probably an impractical board, as the tubes would likely get too hot to handle unless you’re playing in the northern reaches of Russia. That doesn’t make it any less awesome from afar. [Make Blog via Dvice]
The Nintendo DSi launched over the weekend with some new technologies, such as a built-in camera for face-detection games and a long-awaited online store. We love handheld consoles, so we thought we’d take some time to reflect on their rich past. Here is a visual reflection on 11 of our favorite handheld consoles of yesteryear, from the Milton Bradley Microvision to the Nintendo DSi.
Microvision by Milton Bradley (1979)
For every great technological leap, there’s got to be one product that bites the dust ahead of its time. The Microvision, which played games such as Phaser Strike and Friday the 13th, only lasted two years.
Game Boy by Nintendo (1989)
And then, there’s always one product that defines the revolution. Despite the console’s technical deficiencies, the Game Boy and its successors were the envy of the console market for years to come.
Lynx by Atari (1989)
Props to Atari for creating the world’s first color handheld, but good luck trying to name any games for it off-hand. The next item on this list was the nail in Lynx’s coffin.
Game Gear by Sega (1991)
The luxury of color and built-in backlighting meant instant schoolyard fame in a sea of pea green screens with clip-on accessories. Six hours of battery life be damned, the Game Gear was awesome.
Nomad by Sega (1995)
If Sega had created its portable Genesis/Mega Drive player during those consoles’ heyday, the Nomad might’ve had a chance. It’s still a cool idea, though.
Neo Geo Pocket (1998)
SNK’s foray into handhelds was cursed at every turn. The original Pocket never made it out of Japan and Hong Kong before being replaced by the Pocket Color, which had to endure the sale of SNK to a Japanses pachinko company. Got to love those Neo Geo games, such as Samurai Shodown, though.
Game Boy Advance (2001)
The leap to 32-bit was another fruitful move for Nintendo. Console enjoys great success. Yawn.
N-Gage by Nokia (2003)
This console/phone/media player/Swiss Army knife was so overhyped, despite its egregious $300 price tag, it deserved to sell only 5,000 units on launch week. With poor games and poor controls, the N-Gage did nothing right. Good riddance.
Playstation Portable by Sony (2004)
While Sony is lagging behind Nintendo in the handheld game, the PSP respects traditional handheld design and offers some solid features such as Internet and multimedia support. Plus, it gives the fanboys something else to debate over.
Nintendo DS (2004)
The reason we’re here today. Doubted at first for its unconventional touch screen and regular screen combo, the DS breathed new life into Nintendo, going on to sell over 100 million units.
Nintendo DSi (2009)
Finally falling into the hands of the public this weekend, the Nintendo DSi is an evolutionary step forward for gaming giant Nintendo. It includes a built-in digital camera, wi-fi connectivity and social elements that make it not just a competitor to the PSP and other handheld games, but the iPhone and iPod Touch as well thanks to a focus on downloadable apps.
Could this be the world’s most expensive pc? Sure, the “701 Jewelry” from Moneual is the world’s most expensive “jewelry computer,” but how well can it run Crysis? The Intel Core 2 Due processor and ATI Radeon HD 4000 GPU can probably handle the task, but good luck seeing anything on that 7-inch screen. Chances are you’ll be distracted anyway by the 3,554 Swarovski Signature crystals that stud the buttons, border and screen frame. The gold plating and cylindrical shape lend to its other-worldliness, which begs the question: Where would you put it? At 77 pounds, it’s probably best to make that decision early on, if you can afford it. The 701 Jewelry is expected to cost around $30,000. No word on a matching crystal-studded keyboard and mouse. [via Aving USA]
When uploading to Flickr, users set tags, locations and other data– upon which an enterprising group of MIT researchers have built a project called “The World’s Eyes”. Now exhibited in the Design Museum in Barcelona, “Los Ojos Del Mundo” tracks photographers both local and tourist throughout their photographic adventures in Spain. As described by MIT’s SENSEable City Lab:
When posting photos online, users of the photo sharing platform Flickr transmit to the world their perspective of a place or event through the lens of a digital camera. Each digital photo file codes both the time when that photo was taken and the location it captures. Analyzing this information allows us to follow the trail that each Flickr photographer travels through Spain. (Un)photographed Spain maps thousands of these public, digital footprints over one year. As photos overlap in certain locations, they expose the places that attract the photographer’s gaze . In contrast, the absence of images in other locations reveal the unphotographed spaces of a more introverted Spain.
The result is a visually stunning display of the collective photographers’ view of Spain. Where and when do these photographs take place? What objects and locations are the most photogenic? We salute the work of MIT’s SENSEable CITY, as the art captured by Flickr photographers has been visualized into collective art from 30,000 feet. [MIT via datavisualization.ch]
According to designer Ivo Vos, the catapulting toaster is one of several products “that address the desire for skill, struggle, rituals, perfection, preparation and anticipation – qualities lost when we indulge in the comforts of prozac technology.” It’s also just really awesome to launch a piece of toast onto your plate. Angle and force are both adjustable, but there’s no word on the toaster’s ability to brown evenly. The greater “Brunch” collection includes a teapot that records your best pouring height and a set of cutlery that looks invisible against an accompanying placemat, but the catapult is the most fun. [Ivo Vos via SlipperyBrick]