Relish the look on their loaf-of-bread faces when you summon all 44 pounds of the "Halluc II" beast-roach. Developed by Japanese scientists, this 32-inch, eight-legged robotic bug runs on Linux software and an 800MHz AMD processor, technology that Engadget says allows it to "walk or roll via a simple rotation of its jointed appendages." What's unclear to us is why … Read more
Some years ago, after a particularly bad outbreak of bug bites, we purchased a $500 propane-powered mosquito-repellant system that was supposedly effective enough to be used by the military. (Is that an official gadget cliche yet?) We never got it to work, naturally, and it sits in a corner of the garage mocking us daily.
So we're somewhat dubious about any device that claims to eradicate the winged leeches unless it involves mass quantities of highly toxic industrial-strength pesticides. But this mosquito repeller claims to do just that with ultra-sonic sound in adjustable frequencies.
Please forgive our skepticism, but … Read more
I'd like to think of myself as a patient type. The iPhone's numerous crashes, bugs and quirks have been noted here and there. Applehound does a good job of compiling them, some of which I've yet to experience. What I have experienced, though, is an increasing amount of lag and, well, my iPhone is "cracking out" a lot more recently than it did a couple of weeks ago. Performance is down.
This begs the question, is it time to drop the "r-bomb"? That is, to restore or not to restore? My friend Zach … Read more
Being a PC person, I've encountered the dreaded "blue screen of death."
I've never seen a comparable thing on Apple products. (I have heard of the sad Mac face, or the sick iPod face.) So, much to my surprise, starting a couple days ago I noticed what appeared to be a "black screen of death." Everything stops working. The time bar at top is there, but the rest of the screen is black. No touching. No prodding of the home key. No pressing of the upper right key will get the thing working again.… Read more
OK, so maybe you did have something to do with your uncle's coronary while navigating an RC tarantula his way at the dinner table. You'd be willing to downsize to a robot roach for future pranks, but you don't want to be in the vicinity because you'll get the blame (again).
Don't despair--a solution may be at hand. The "Solar Cricket" will take care of your mischief-making needs all by itself, energized by sunlight so that it can "waggle his feelers and do a little dance " when you're nowhere to … Read more
The Web is filled with folks coming up with makeshift solutions from paper clips to cutting plastic away from headphones for some of the issues I've written about here.
For example, my friend Patrick, otherwise known as "he who waited hours in the iPhone line with me," agreed with my observations about previous generation iPod accessories that, on first glance, don't work with the iPhone. (He also had to wait three days in limbo for his iPhone to activate after being ported from Nextel while his wife's phone worked instantly, but that's another story … Read more
Adobe added some significant features this week with Photoshop Lightroom 1.1, but some people are having trouble upgrading from version 1.0.
Adobe is trying to figure out the causes for problems some have had moving their database of photos and editing changes from 1.0 to 1.1. "We're very concerned about database upgrade issues," said Adobe's Mark Hamburg on the company's Lightroom forum.
Hamburg's advice includes running Lightroom database integrity checks often; if your computer crashes, don't delete the "journal" file that records database changes; and don't … Read more
There's nothing we hate more on the face of the planet than cockroaches--the mere thought of them can send us into a skin-crawling fit. So we think that the geniuses at Bandai Japan who invented the "Hex Bug" should be shot or, better yet, ordered to serve a life sentence in a gigantic Roach Motel.
Just reading Technabob's description of the $16 bug-bots makes us twitch: "The Hex Bug series of miniature insect robots scurry along on six legs, just like real bugs," and will "change direction when you clap in their vicinity.&… Read more
This orange abomination might look like a really ugly iPod speaker, but it's actually a device that promises to keep mosquitoes away and restore your summer evenings to a more sanguine state by emitting a "natural, chemical-free" odor. (But it doesn't say how bad it smells.) You can clip the Mosquito Shield onto your belt (um, dorky) or put it on a nearby table or porch in an attempt to declare hegemony over your exposed skin when the bugs might be biting.
Here's the problem: I doubt it actually works.
You see, mosquitoes are vehement … Read more
Let's say you fancy yourself an international person of intrigue and are ready for your first attempt at true espionage: planting a bug. But where? As much as we like the design of the "GSM Table Lamp," it might arouse a smidgeon of suspicion if presented as a hostess gift at a dinner party.
Still, we're not so sure about the "Pot Pourri Basket with built-in GSM Transmitter" either. True, it's not as obstrusive as a piece of furniture, but we've never been comfortable with the concept of pot pourri. (What is … Read more