iStrategy Labs' Dorothy is a mobile app and Bluetooth-based switch (called the Ruby) that slips into your shoe. Click your heels together three times and it triggers an action on your smartphone like calling an Uber. Read the rest
Read the rest
Brunton saw me coming when they came up with their Power Knife Multi Charger integrating a standard USB to Apple Lightning, 30-Pin, and Micro-USB. Sharp, but spendy at $25.
I have no idea how the OM/ONE bluetooth speaker sounds, but it kinda doesn't matter because it levitates. Ah, magical magnetism.
I watch for cheap prices on Lens Pens, as I keep them on hand for cleaning eye glasses and cameras on the run. Anything in the sub $5 range catches my eye.
The lens pen sports a retractable brush at one end and a cap-covered, lint-free soft wiping element at the other. It is compact and protected enough to live in a pocket or glove box without collecting ruinous amounts of dust. Number of useful cleanings per pen varies on the size of and what I'm cleaning, but I tend to get quite a lot of careful use out of them. Grease and oil that gets picked up by the wiper don't get cleaned off, so over time you'll need to replace the pen.
I clean big lenses at home with a blower, lens paper and cleaning solution if needed. It'd be a waste to use one of these. In the field, however, this little guy shines.
After eight years of development and a successful Kickstarter, BB pal Mitch Altman's Neurodreamer sleep mask is ready for shipping! You might recall that Mitch is the inspiring maker behind the TV-B-Gone, Trip Glasses, and a bunch of other delightful gadgets. The Neurodreamer is an open source light/sound machine integrated into a memory foam mask. Mitch says:
The NeuroDreamer sleep mask is an advancement over prior entrainment* devices which attempt to entrain the brain with only a single brainwave frequency at a time. The NeuroDreamer sleep mask uses up to four brainwave frequencies simultaneously (mixed at different amplitudes), to more closely replicate the full spectrum of frequencies present in a person who is falling asleep.
* "Entrainment" is the the process of externally presenting brainwave frequencies to the brain, allowing it to synchronize to those frequencies.
It's available for $69.95 in three different versions designed for Sleep, Lucid Dreaming, or Meditation. Mitch is having a sale right now: Entering the coupon code THANKS gets you 10% off everything in Mitch's Cornfield Electronics shop, including the Neurodreamer. I want one!
I have used this for 2 years. It is very effective in narrow spaces such as IDF (Intermediate Distribution Frame) closets, where I have to add switches or UPS units to rack units. The wand shape makes using this screw driver very effective since it gives me the additional length from the chuck to the screw that a normal electric drill configuration fails to achieve.
I wish it also had a LED illumination adjacent to the chuck, which Dewalt is adding to its newer electric product line. -- Stephen S. Wizowski
Cuppow is a a reusable lid that turns a glass canning jar into a travel mug. They have versions for regular and wide mouth glass jars. It's made in the USA from BPA-free, Phthalate-free plastic. What a great idea! Amazon has the regular mouth size for $8; you supply the jar. Cuppow Regular and Cuppow Wide Mouth
Latvian designer Kaspars Jursons designed the Stand, a combination sink/urinal, to address water shortages. The water flowing from the tap as you wash your hands also flushes the toilet. ""It is more suitable for hygiene than just a urinal and then guys who don't wash [their] hands," Jursons told NPR. The look reminds me of the Penal-Ware Comby, a stainless steel, suicide resistant toilet/sink combination designed for prisons. Unfortunately, that device doesn't use the sink faucet's water to flush.
Want to build a DIY version of the Hubble Space Telescope? I posted last year that the Vehicle Power Interface Console used at the Goddard Flight Center during pre-launch testing of the HST was for sale on eBay for $75,000. Well, now the seller has significantly sweetened the deal by throwing in this stately and elegant two-person HST control console presumably also used during pre-launch testing. "NASA ARTIFACT VPI Vehicle Power Interface Rack & Console Hubble Space Telescope"
From the @boingboing Instagram feed, my snap of a Silver Star ORP-1803 organ, radio, phonograph (c.1976) at Groove Merchant, SF.
BoomCase transforms classic old luggage (and lunch boxes) into one-of-a-kind, er, artisanal amps/speakers that run on batteries and accept any audio input. The BoomCase (Thanks, Patrick!)
Many of you were intrigued by the $50 Ion IT34 portable USB turntable/cassette deck that I posted about a couple weeks ago. If you don't care about USB and have $700 or so to spend on your mobile vinyl needs, might I suggest you seek out the legendary Sharp VZ-2000 boombox from 1982. It features a linear tracking vertical turntable that plays both sides of a record without having to flip it.
Griffin Technology, makers of a slew of iPhone accessories and other gear, just announced the Mouthstick, a capacitive touchscreen stylus for people who can't use their hands. It's $29.99.
I can't vouch for the sound quality of the Ion IT34 Duo Deck USB turntable/cassette deck but I sure dig the design. It runs on four AA batteries, fits in a backpack,
and plays 78s -- perfect for a real old timey picnic. Would also be fun to build it into your auto's dash, like this fine car audio system of yesteryear! $50 from Amazon. "Ion IT34 Duo Deck Ultra-Portable USB Turntable with Cassette Deck"
I've carried a Fisher Space Pen Bullet on and off since I was a kid. ("Write underwater and upside down!") I usually lose them in a matter of weeks, but while I can manage to hold on to one I do appreciate its minimalist design, small size, and great "fiddleability." Of course, the Space Pen is surrounded by some epic marketing and myth. Did NASA really invest millions to develop a perfect pen for astronauts? No, apparently, Fisher had developed the pen technology and later brought it to NASA. Following two years of testing, the space agency bought 400 of the pens at a 40 percent discount. And on October 11, 1968, Apollo 7 astronauts carried Fisher Space Pens, model AG7, into orbit.
Fisher Space Pen AG7 (Amazon)
On Monday, I posted about FM3's latest Buddha Machine, their wonderful music loop player. The FM3 Buddha Machine was inspired by the cheap electronic Buddhist chant boxes sold in China and India that play infinite prayer loops. The video above is an ambient "jam session" between three of those chant boxes and a Raagini Electronic Digital Tanpura laying down the drone. The result is a kind of "generative art," unique work created by computers from fixed parameters defined by a human artist -- a concept I wrote about in Wired back in 1998.
FM3 has released the fourth (ahem) incarnation of its wonderful Buddha Machine, the classic ambient music generator loaded with loops by Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian. Above, listen to the lovely "hao" loop from Buddha Machine 4. I've gifted many previous models of Buddha Machines and they are always happily received. You can get the device in green, red (pink?), yellow, or orange from Forced Exposure.
In other Buddha Machine news, Virant's "Fistful of Buddha" album is now available too! Here's a taste:
- Free Buddha Machine iPad app - Boing Boing
- Buddha Machine 2: revenge of the ambient music transistor radio ...
- Buddha Machine: spiritual, generative transistor radio - Boing Boing
- GRISTLEISM: Throbbing Gristle's unusual new "box set" - Boing Boing
- If You Meet the Buddha Machine on the Road, Hack It - Boing Boing
- Musician releases songs in a $23 electronic gizmo - Boing Boing
The MirrorCase for the iPhone lets you take photos while holding the phone flat, like an old-timey camera. It seems like a good way to shoot video of yourself, too - just set it on a table and do your thing. At $50, it's a bit pricey. I wonder if there's a DIY version? (I think this is the gizmo used to secretly tape Mitt Romney declaring that 47% of Americans suck.)
1. No buttons - knobs only.
2. Two knobs preferred. A maximum of three.
4. Easy to use.
I immediately thought of the Tivoli Audio Model One, but the $150 price tag kept me from getting it. Then I saw the wood-cased Sangean WR-11 for $85. Not quite as good looking as the Tivoli, but almost. Certainly attractive enough to be called pretty. No buttons: check. Three knobs: check (the third knob turns it on and selects AM or FM). Easy to use: It sure seemed like it would be. I bought it.
It arrived yesterday. The sound is rich and deep, even when the volume is turned up, and the tuning and volume knobs are pleasantly viscous when you turn them. Not much more to say about it -- my wife likes it, and so do I.