Frog-to-Prince transformation kit thrills little girls

Most of us have heard of this joke before - a frog meets up with a fortune teller to find out what’s in store for the new year, only to have an extremely optimistic outlook of a beautiful lady who takes such an interest in the frog while overlooking other more suitable candidates around her as a life partner. Little did the frog realize that he was going to end up as a specimen in the biology lab! Well, this Frog-to-Prince transformation kit should be reserved only for little girls who have a fondness for the particular fairy tale that involved a tryst between a human and an amphibian. It takes around 72 hours for the frog to turn into a 4″ prince, and there is no word of any reversion. For $6, this is one of the more interesting items you can pick up online.

Product Page via Gizmodiva


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Ford Unveils Earth-friendly Dashboard

I believe it was Al Gore in his book Earth in the Balance who said that an ordinary car is one of the greatest threats to the environment. Clearly, all automotive companies need to be thinking about Mother Earth the next time they roll their next model off the assembly line.

I suppose this is why Ford has come up with a new dashboard that literally shows you how earth-safe your driving is. Part of it has to do with measuring your fuel efficiency, which is not gauged by a meter or a number, but a picture of a vine.

Apparently, if your driving is fuel-efficient, the vine will start budding and blooming until it is healthy. However, if you are wasting gas, you will be forced to watch that vine shrivel up and die. Yes, it is odd to have a visual cue instead of an exact scientific reading, but I guess we consumers have been trained to react to pictures instead of raw data.

Personally, I think this new type of dashboard is nice simply because it looks cool. I mean, look at it, it’s like selecting new tracks for iTunes, for crying out loud! Of course, that type of display can’t be cheap, so you’re probably looking at a few hundred dollars being tacked on to the Ford in your future.

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The iShelf takes design cues from Cover Flow

There really isn’t much to do with CD cases.  In reality, very few people even bother to buy CDs in the first place, but there are some that will buy the CD of a band or singer that they respect a great deal.  That way they can check out the cover art and have a physical CD to hang onto.  Well if that is your habit, here’s an interesting way of displaying the CD case.  After all, even if you respect the artist a great deal and wanted the CD, the case is still bulky and in the way.

CDs can at least go in a book along with the rest of your CDs.  Which is a far easier way to store them, as opposed to leaving it in the case and trying to stack them all together.  Well if you like the look of Coverflow, you’ll likely enjoy this shelf.  It gives you an attractive way to display a few of your favorite artists and show your love for Apple products.  This will only work with standard cases, no two disc sets will work.  It was designed by Li Jianye and sadly probably won’t be hitting stores anytime soon.

Source:  bbgadgets


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Inbi-Out lets you choose your trips with the flip of a coin

Every once in a while, some new concept device will come out that is so out there, it requires several technologies that we don’t really have in order to work. Case in point, the Inbi-Out, a GPS Coin.

Designed by Ju-Wei Chen, this is essentially a device the size and shape of a silver dollar, with a GPS display on each side. Why would someone want this? Let’s say you’re trying to decide where to take a family vacation: Disneyland or Yellowstone. Or you can’t figure out what restaurant to eat at, but you narrowed it down to two choices. Somehow you load the destinations into the Inbi-Out with an Inbi-Out coin reader, and then give it a flip.

Tech-blogs everywhere are making a lot of Harvey Dent jokes about the Inbi-Out, and justly so. I can only picture Two-Face having the dualistic mindset necessary for using this device. I mean, why have only two destinations? Wouldn’t it be better to make a list of many destinations, and then use some “random trip generator” software on the GPS device itself to figure out where to go?

This way, you don’t have to make a coin with two display screens, which might be ahead of its time as far as our present day technology is concerned.

Still, it is a nifty concept. What do you, the readers, think? If you could use the Inbi-Out GPS coin for free, would you even use it? Drop me a comment for your answer.

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Nikkai In-Car Journey Recorder for taping the Road Ahead

When I was on the road to Vegas for CES, I wished I had some sort of video recorder so I could just speak my mind and write about it later. It would have definitely saved me some time and would have made the trip a lot less boring. On a somewhat related note, Nikkai has created the In Car Journey Recorder, which is the inverse of my idea.

Yes, the In-Car Journey Recorder is designed to affix to the windshield to record the road ahead, not the driver. It uses a 1.3M CMOS image sensor, which can record video footage for your insurance or lawyer in case of an accident. Now you have proof that it really wasn’t your fault in a collision case, when it’s your word against someone else.

The In-Car Journey Recorder records to an SD card for up to 2GB capacity, which is good for up to 18 hours worth of video footage. It can capture intervals between 2-3 seconds and 3 minutes.

As for power, it is powered by two AAA batteries for four hours of continuous use. It is also capable of being powered by a DC 12V charger. You should be able to purchase the Nikkai In-Car SD Journey Recorder at the Maplin site for about £39.99.

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Mickey Mouse undergoes a transformation

How many ways are there that Mickey Mouse can be monetized? Apparently the boffins at Disney have yet to exhaust all avenues, as evident by this new Transformer toy from Japan that features Mickey Mouse in a robotic form factor. As usual, with Mickey being the de facto leader of the pack from Disney, he will take over the role of Optimus Prime, great leader of the Autobots in the classic Transformers cartoon. On display at the Tokyo Toy Forum 2009, the Transformers Mickey Mouse will definitely cause parents to scratch their heads, wondering why can’t toy companies leave their kids alone so that they won’t have to spend so much money to keep the little ones happy. I remember when I asked for some toys during my younger days, my parents either booted me out of the home to spend the day outdoors with my imagination or throw me a paper and some color pencils. If you’re adamant on getting your hands on this toy, look out for it this February as it retails for $38.57 a pop.

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DIY Scrabble Keyboard

If you have a great love for the game of Scrabble and want something unique to commemorate your hobby, why not check out this DIY Scrabble keyboard? It is a beauty no matter how you look at it, featuring both wood Scrabble tiles as well as brushed aluminum for that elegant look. The points on individual letters have been modified though in order to display the key’s secondary function. Having one of this clearly beats the rush of making a word out of your initial rack. Too bad this isn’t going to be mass produced, otherwise it would rake in a handsome amount for the manufacturer.

Source: Gizmodo


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Sylvania LED PalPODzzz Portable Ladybug Nightlight

It comes across as no surprise that kids are afraid of the dark, even more so when their minds have gone through the trauma of viewing one of those classic horror movies, where their imagination will get the better of them in no time. Well, we all know that monsters hiding under the bed are terrified of light, making the Sylvania LED PalPODzzz Portable Ladybug Nightlight a rather potent weapon in a kid’s arsenal. This rechargeable nightlight offers both security and safety to your little one, as it will light up automatically whenever lifted from the charger. The same happens if it is docked and a power outage occurs, or you can always manually turn it on. A full charge can give up to 5 hours of non-stop light, which is more than enough for ordinary, everyday use to search for fallen teddy bears or wayward Lego pieces under the bed. You can purchase this nifty techy “comfort blanket” for $19.99.


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Youkidoo Musical Kaleidoscope

Kids are supposed to be drawn to colors and noise, and that is the very reason why mobiles for babies are so popular, featuring movable parts as well as various textures for your little one to explore. It supposedly accelerates the learning process, but for parents who want something more digital to fit this day and age, why not try out the Youkidoo Musical Kaleidoscope? This device merges the functions of two toys in one, featuring mesmerizing music and light show to keep young infants entertained, and is a great activity center for those who are older. It boasts colorful musical disks that spin to create a magical, musical kaleidoscope, while its discovery base comes with mirrors, squeakers, spinners and clickers amongst others to keep baby engaged and stimulated. With toys these days not offering too much value by aging with him/her, the Youkidoo Musical Kaleidoscope offers surprisingly good odds for just $59.95 as it grows with your child from early infancy till the toddler stage.


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Blaupunkt and miRoamer create World’s First Internet Car Radio

I have been seeing more and more Internet radios on the market these days, and I suppose that it was only a matter of time before someone invented one for the car. At CES, miRoamer, a popular Internet radio site, and Blaupunkt, a leader in automotive multimedia, introduced the world’s first Internet radio for the car.

I know that I have said this before, but I always get suspicious when I hear the words “world’s first” applied to any technological product. Usually, those words mean that “someone else actually did it first, but we are the first to really market it”. However, most of the other Internet radio makers at CES seemed genuinely surprised at the release of miRoamer and Blaupunket’s product, and they all asked the same question: How is an automotive web-connection achieved?

Yes, the Internet Car Radio cannot work on its own, but requires a 3G or GSM phone to be connected via Bluetooth in order to access the Internet. From there, the user is able to access radio stations from miRoamer, which allows the user tens of thousands of music, entertainment, news, and talk stations.

The large screen display allows for easy interface with the many station options, and it includes other features including access to the phone, address book, Bluetooth, not to mention navigation.

So, is the beginning of a new age of Internet radio? I don’t see why not. I think we’ve done all we can with Sirius and XM, so the Internet is really the only other way to go with automotive radio.


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