Technology can be a wonderful thing, especially when it involves massage, music, and us in a supine position. And now it's never been easier to combine all three in one experience, through a modern wonder known as the "SpaCapsule"--a relaxation cocoon that resembles spaceship capsules seen in countless sci-fi movies ranging from Alien to 2001: A Space Odyssey. But it includes one feature that neither Ripley nor HAL had ever heard of: iPod compatibility. In addition to enjoying the automated bodywork and aromatherapy, you don't have to leave your precious media player behind because the … Read more
New social networks are born each day, and at the Under the Radar conference (see all posts) a new batch is on display. Most are in early funding stages, and one is so new it's still in closed beta. The other three are ready for a try-out.
I'll give Frengo this--it's certainly different than most mobile chatting services. Case in point: Neither of Frengo's main competitors, Twitter and Jaiku, asks users to vote, compete in contests, or earn points. In that sense, a bit of the social-discovery element of social networks creeps in. Except, of course, the goal isn't necessarily to become friends with other users. Frengo is more interested in social collision--sort of a tamer, more innocent Hot or Not. Example? The Flirtable Facebook application launched last Thursday.… Read more
And no, it's not about their names.
A group called the Richmond County Young Republicans has issued an open letter to Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, asking them to check up on their geography.
Richmond County, after all, is the same entity as the New York borough of Staten Island, and if you're creating an event on Facebook, you apparently can't list the location of the shindig as "Staten Island." The closest location, reportedly, is "Staten Island Junction, N.J." (And there's nothing that a New Yorker hates more than being … Read more
These headphones can beat up your iPod earbuds.
The Skullcandy G.I. headphones are the first we've seen with built-in bullet holders in the headband, as well as a zip-up pouch that holds what looks like a bottle opener. (Update: According to Skullcandy, the tool included in the pouch is a screwdriver/skate tool/bottle-opener combo.)
Available in four styles--Rasta, Desert, Camo, and CCore (pictured here)--the CCore models look like the ones to buy if you want the fewest number of people getting all up in your face and/or messing with your biz.
The ear cans cost $… Read more
Five 15-year-olds have also been questioned by the police in connection to this incident. The six teens are suspected of moving the stolen furniture into their own Habbo rooms.
The lines between "virtual" and "reality" continue to blur. At first glance, the idea of stealing virtual furniture seems ludicrous. But, the furniture was paid for with real money. A Habbo Hotel spokesman told the BBC that "the accused lured victims into handing over their Habbo passwords by creating fake Habbo Web sites." So there is also a phishing fraud involved.… Read more
Now this is the kind of application that makes Bluetooth worthwhile.
We've observed the trend toward motorized skateboards with a combination of curiosity and dread, envisioning massive injuries caused by jet-fueled skater boys--especially those who get tangled in the wires connecting their remotes to the boards. But "GroundSurf" is a new three-wheeled model that's controlled by a "touchsreen Bluetooth mobile phone device" or, if you're really adventurous, by sensor pads embedded directly onto the board. ("You lean forward to accelerate, backward to slow down or brake," its Web page says.) The … Read more
We're somewhat dubious about any machine that serves cocktails but, the way things are going, we may be faced with a robot the next time we belly up to the bar. Still, a martini--now that's something sacred.
So we pray that Hammacher Schlemmer did its research before coming up with "The Perfect Temperature Martini Maker," a digital appliance that shakes or stirs its stainless steel tumbler "until it reaches the optimal drinking temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring perfect homemade martinis at the touch of a button."
The ritual of mixing the ingredients, … Read more
I want to go to Japan. However, my feet stink so bad that I'm reluctant to go anywhere where taking off your shoes is customary.
Step one in achieving my travel dreams might be picking up the Eco Shoes Dryer, which will conceivably blow the stank right out my shoes. You charge them up with the flip-out plugs, stick them in your shoes, and take a foot bath while the dryers work their silica-gel magic on your various shoe aromas.
One dryer costs $27, and according to a team of analysts at CNET Mathematics Labs, that comes out to $… Read more
Something just feels off about the new Facebook app from Embark.
Called College Planner, this widget lets prospective college students research schools and then apply to them without actually leaving their Facebook profiles. You can also see which people on your friends list are interested in the same schools.
Applying to college through Facebook. A little weird, isn't it?
I like to think that it wasn't all that long ago that I was applying to colleges.The world was "wired" enough so that most of my application forms were downloaded off the Internet, but I don'… Read more
WooMe is opening up its doors to everyone this morning after being in private beta for the last few months. They were one of the presenters at the TechCrunch 40 conference back in mid-October and opened up to a little more than 100 folks who wanted to be a part of the dating site. Since then they've been ramping up the site, and have made a few updates, including a change in focus from dating to simply finding other people to interact with.
The underlying idea is that you've got a minute to talk to someone one-on-one via Webcam, and after that minute you move on to someone else. If you connect with someone, you can befriend them on the service, and can opt in to get in touch outside the site for further communication via private message.
Instead of one massive pool of users to sort out, the site manages everything through themed sessions that are created by users. Each session has a certain number of spots, and to be a part of them you need to sign up and be there when it starts. If you're not, someone else can take your spot, and potentially your next ex-girlfriend. Session topics range from singles looking to mingle by geographical area, all the way to folks trying to find babysitters or carpool partners. You can also scope out who has signed up to be a part of the session before you throw yourself in the mix. Despite the site advertising a minute per person, the session creator can dial up the time up to 3 minutes.
To help schedule the sessions, users can set a time when they want it to start. In order to aid users in remembering they've signed up, WooMe is launching an alerts system that will give users a heads up when it's time to hop back on the site. Currently users can set up a 10-minute e-mail alert, but there are also plans to add SMS and IM reminders (via a bot) to help users get a ping before a session is about to begin.
In addition to video, users can also opt for voice chat that comes in tandem with whatever picture they've associated with their WooMe account. Interestingly enough, the majority of a profile on WooMe isn't populated by information the user puts in; instead, it comes from other users who can use tags to describe them. Users have their own tag cloud, which gives you a quick snapshot of what others think of them. You can see this on their profiles, as well as while chatting with them in one of the sessions. Besides the big "no thanks" button when you're chatting with someone, this is the only real use of user ratings. Users can also reveal their age, location, and real basic traits like body type and social archetypes.… Read more