Is it really possible to build an iPod recharger with a couple of standard AA batteries and an Altoids gum tin? This post gives step-by-step instructions to assemble what it says is a "very powerful USB charger for your MP3 player, camera, cell phone, and any other gadget you can plug into a USB port to charge." And if you have more spare tins lying around, you can try your hand at some other homemade gadgets.
As the specter of a robotic society looms, it's about time that someone start thinking about some rules to keep things from getting out of control. The Japanese government has apparently been thinking along these lines, according to this LiveScience.com article, which reports that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is drafting "safety guidelines for next-generation robots."
A word of caution to the stars of "CSI": Your jobs may be taken over by robots. A machine created by a Chilean inventor called the Geo-Radar has been used to recover everything from dead bodies to buried treasure.
At the Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital Conference in Carlsbad, Calif., Nicholas Negroponte showed off the latest prototypes of the fabled $100 PC for developing nations. It's no longer a $100 PC, however.
The ruggedized, 2-pound Linux desktop (Fedora) system with mesh networking will sell for about $130 to $140 (sans shipping) to governments starting in April 2007. As he has previously stated, Negroponte expects to reach the $100 price point by the end of 2008. The colorful system can turn into a tablet, and Negroponte said it "will run like a bat out of … Read more
Here's a must-buy should you decide to take a "Back to the Future"-type trip the 1950s and want to bring your iPod along: Speck Products, maker of the iGuy, has announced its new SpeckTone Retro tabletop iPod speaker system. It comes in a high-gloss lacquered wood cabinet that makes you want to put on your saddle shoes and hit a sock hop.
SpeckTone Retro ships June 15, costs $149.95 and comes in green, white or black. It has analog circuitry "for rich, deep tone," a 4-inch subwoofer and 28-watt output. It also comes … Read more
In one of the oddest public-relations efforts to emerge in recent memory, Panasonic is rallying behind the cause of bunny neutering--yes, bunny neutering--to promote its Oxyride Extreme Power batteries.
"When you think bunnies and batteries, you picture a bunny with a drum," reads the Panasonic e-mail pitch for the company's new "Neuter your Bunny" campaign. "Those days are over. Panasonic's Oxyride Extreme Power batteries significantly outperform Energizer Max and its alkaline companions in digital cameras."
In celebration of this performance milestone (stick with us for a moment here), Panasonic is kicking off … Read more
Cooking a roast or smoking food on your outdoor barbeque grill can be a challenge: You have to keep an eye on the temperature to make sure it's oven-like but doesn't get too hot to dry out the goods. That can mean sticking close by to check the heat and doneness with a thermometer. No fun if there's more work to do inside.
Maverick Industries in Edison, N.J., is out with a line of battery-operated remote thermometers that help fix that problem. Plug the probes into whatever you're cooking, set the desired temperature and doneness (… Read more
TechEBlog has come up with a list of the "top 10 strangest gadgets of the future." Strangest of all, in our opinion, is the transparent toaster. The reason: It doesn't get hot enough to toast the bread. (By the way, we already knew about the self-cooling beer can.)
Video devices that attach to eyeglasses have been developed for years, but they generally have been either too clunky or too expensive--or both--for mass consumption. Mirage Innovations claims to have changed all that, touting an "affordable" lightweight pair of glasses embedded with tiny screens that it says provides an experience equivalent to watching a high-quality 42-inch screen from 7 feet.