Monday, November 28, 2005

Another Reason to Drink Champagne

Curses! Why didn't I think of that? It's re-usable parachute that attaches to the cork on your champagne bottle. Launch the cork, the chute deploys, and everyone wonders why it says "Let's Party!" instead of something that isn't stupid. Anyway, if you want one, they're £2.99 here.

[via BoingBoing]

Monday, November 14, 2005

iPod, I Command Thee -- Remotely!

I ride a motorcycle, see? And I like to listen to my iPod while I ride, see? But when I'm on a long ride and the shuffle picks out an audiobook or a 30-minute Grateful Dead tune, or if I stop and want to hear what someone's saying, I'm pretty much S.O.L. To hit pause or skip or whatever, I have to take off my gloves, dig into my jacket pocket -- you get the idea.

Well, if this product doesn't suck, problem solved. It's the lazily named RF all iPod Remote Control on Wrist, and it's probably overpriced at $60. But if you want to get one (and then get back to me about whether it's any good or not), it's available here.

UPDATE: Hey, the blog is paying dividends! My wonderful girlfriend got me one of these for my birthday. I've only had it out of its packaging for about an hour, but it seems to work as advertised. It'd be nice if the buttons were bigger (for operating with thick motorcycle gloves on), and they sometimes take a little more pressure or persistence than is ideal. But all in all, this gizmo has already made my life a little better. Thanks, Baby!

SECOND UPDATE: Caveat Emptor. My girlfriend is fantastic, but this product kind of sucks. It seems to work sporadically, at best, even when the remote is held within a few inches of your iPod and its receiver -- much less when it's further away, like on your wrist. If I hadn't already thrown away the packaging, I'd demand my girlfriend's money back.

[via Red Ferret]

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Best. Laptop. Backpack. Ever.

Over at PopGadget, there was a call for the perfect laptop backpack. Well, I have one. And since I recently found out that it's not only available online but that it also comes in colors that don't suck (hey, mine was a conference freebie, so I'm not complaining -- too much), I figured it was time to share.

It's the Timbuk2 Detour 2.0, and it's just perfect. Easy access to the roomy interior, well-designed throughout, and comfortable in either its backpack or its shoulder bag configurations, this is simply the most useful backpack I've ever had. And the integrated, padded laptop sleeve is the piece de resistance. $100, here. In black/silver, black/black, olive/silver, navy/silver, red/silver, or red/red.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I Can See Clearly Now, Part II

As Peter Griffin might say, Holy Freaking Crap! Ladies and gentlemen, don't you even try to tell me we're not living in the Future! I give to you Implantable Telescopes. Yeah, you heard me. Like, in the eyeball! Holy Freak...oh, I already said that.

It's for those with Advance Macular Degeneration, a kind of slow march to blindness that inflicts quite a few of our older and wiser citizens. It's still in clinical trials, but so far so good. Now, set your WayBack machine in reverse and imagine this technology 20 years from about 50 years...or 100? See what I mean?

From the company's website:

The prosthetic telescope, together with the cornea, acts as a telephoto system to enlarge images 3X or 2.2X, depending on the device model used. The telephoto effect allows images in the central visual field ('straight ahead vision') to not be focused directly on the damaged macula, but over other healthy areas of the central and peripheral retina. This generally helps reduce the 'blind spot' impairing vision in patients with AMD, hopefully improving their ability to recognize images that were either difficult or impossible to see.

The prosthetic telescope is implanted by an ophthalmic surgeon in an outpatient surgical procedure. The device is implanted in one eye, which provides central vision as described above, while the non-implanted eye provides peripheral vision for mobility and navigation. After the surgical procedure, the patient participates in a structured vision rehabilitation program to maximize their ability to perform daily activities. Situated in the eye, the device allows patients to use natural eye movements to scan the environment and reading materials.

A Phase II/III clinical trial, which has completed patient enrollment of over 200 patients, is on-going. Final clinical results are expected in the second half of 2005.

[via UberGizmo via MedGadget]