In the end-of-'06 wrap-up madness, there are a whole lot of people talking about Web 2.0, YouTube, social media, connected-home technology, the Wii and its corresponding Wiinjuries...the list goes on. But there's been almost no mention of the rash of completely useless USB-powered devices that infested the gadget market in 2006 with a viciousness that can only be compared to bubonic plague in a medieval village or head lice in a kindergarten classroom. I mean, they were everywhere. They're so ubiquitous, in fact, that I've decided I'm not going to touch 'em in '… Read more
As depressing as it is, Crave has developed a love-hate relationship with Hello Kitty. (It's depressing because we have any relationship at all with Hello Kitty.)
No matter what the direction of our bipolar moods, the day just doesn't seem complete without posting something regarding said feline. So we pass along this item from Chip Chick on a Hello Kitty clock radio and iPod charger combo, which can play MP3 tunes and link to your TV set, as well as control your sleep patterns. That means you can have the evil cat with you at all times, which … Read more
Lest there be any doubt, the science of robotics isn't being used only to produce novelty toys or to populate Japan's service industry. This robotic skeleton, by contrast, has been developed by Japanese researchers with a decidedly humanitarian goal: to help the partially paralyzed regain movement.
Using the synthetic blue muscles of the exoskeleton pictured here, patients can theoretically help their limbs relearn their intended motions. A paralyzed left arm, for example, can mimic the movement of a healthy right one to help patients remember "the feeling of moving the arm themselves," according to Ubergizmo. The … Read more
Next to digital photo frames, one of the most common products in gadget catalogs is the weather forecaster. But this trumps them all: an umbrella that tells you if it's going to rain.
The "Ambient Forecasting Umbrella" has an LED light built into the handle that pulses when it detects chances of showers according to an automatic AccuWeather feed. As Gearlog says, "If the chances of rain are 60 percent then the umbrella handle will pulse once every second. But if you see it pulsing a hundred times a minute then that means there's a … Read more
--ROBOTS: Baseball Hitting Robot (Break.com)
--GAMING: Joichi Ito on World of Warcraft (We Make Money Not Art)
--THE INDUSTRY: Apple filing likely to tell all on options (NYT via CNET News.com)
--LUXURY: Ultimate Apple Fanatic's Residence: Dubai's iPad (Cult of Mac)
--END-OF-YEARNESS: Worst Vlogs of 2006 (10 Zen Monkeys)
--ARTS AND CRAFTS: Shake control your music: Wii remote + Linux (MAKE Magazine)
Trying to keep up with new cell phone releases is like counting raindrops in a thunderstorm. And for some people, the constant flood of new handsets is just too tempting to resist.
So if you're one of those junkies who must get a new phone or five every few months (you know who you are), then the "USB Phonebook Flash Drive" from Brando might be just what you need--or not, depending on whether you're seeking help with your addiction. This key stores your address book information and, with the adapters that are included, transfers it to … Read more
Whenever we'd stuck around long enough to see a movie's credits in the past, we always wondered what a "gaffer" was. Finally, thanks to research for Crave (and Wikipedia), we know now that the term refers to the lighting guru on the set.
The "Gaffer's Bounce Lamp," according to Hammacher Schlemmer, was designed by gaffer extraordinaire Edward Cohen, whose works include Spider-Man 2 and A Beautiful Mind. It apparently owes its name to the process of bouncing a 20-watt floodlight onto a "flexible, sanded polycarbonate reflector that directs a soft, diffuse light.&… Read more
Even if the world is crumbling around you in a massive earthquake, there's no reason to lose your fashion sense in the rubble. You can still be the best-accessorized refugee in the bunker or tent city with one of these quake detectors from Japan's Ubukata Industries.
I4U News says these devices, which also double as smoke detectors, are equipped with sensors that will warn of temblors with magnitudes of 5 or more. (For those of you outside earthquake country, anything beyond 6.5 or so will likely give you religion in a hurry.) At $124 it's not … Read more
We'd been staring at this photo for awhile, trying to figure out what it looked like. Then it dawned on us: an ice cream maker. (We could have said a toilet, but that might be rude.)
Having solved that burning mystery, we then turned our attention to a more useful question: Does anyone really need an iPod FM transmitter specifically designed to fit in a car cup holder? The answer then came in a post by Newlaunches, which reported that the "Trinity" is made by the same company that gave us the "Lumi Flasher." Need … Read more
Already bored with playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on your new Wii? You might try using using the console's already legendary remote to control a household robot.
One person who did just that is a young man named Chris Hughes, who hacked the Roomba vacuum cleaner so that he could make the rugbot do his bidding. And he's posted the modified source code online so that you can do the same.
Hughes, who bears a strong resemblance to Matt Damon, offers a quick intro to the Wii-Roomba hack in a YouTube video that can be found … Read more