When I first saw the pictures of this house on Make Magazine's blog, I thought they were straight off the sets of one of the Lord of the Rings movies. Seriously, doesn't it look like the kind of place where you could open the door and expect to see see Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan inside sporting prosthetic foot fur? But, no, it's actually a "low-impact woodland home" in Wales that was built at a total cost of 3,000 pounds (a little under $6,000) and 1,000-1,500 man-hours over a period of … Read more
About a month ago, we wrote about the HomeStar Pro Planetarium, which uses LEDs to project the night sky on your ceiling. Here's another one for the astronomy buffs: Laser Stars, a projector that beams star and cloud formations onto your wall or ceiling of choice with laser technology and holographics. For those of us who live in brightly lit cities where we can't really see any real stars at night, it's a cool idea.
The Laser Stars projector looks to be less for nuts-and-bolts astronomy buffs than for people who just like to look at a … Read more
Need to find info on anything radio related? Check out Radio-Locator. The site offers a searchable database of AM and FM radio stations around the U.S. (and the world, in fact). You can search by ZIP code (most useful) or state, or look up specific stations by their call letters. If you search by ZIP code, you'll get a list of all the stations that should be accessible in your area, along with distances and signal strengths and hyperdetailed information on the stations themselves (the owner's address and phone number, FCC license info, programming genre, transmitter location … Read more
First our prayers were answered--now our cup runneth over. Awhile back we began a campaign in favor of wireless home audio systems, thinking that it was kind of ridiculous that the industry was still tethered to cords at this stage of technology history. And even after manufacturers began meeting the demand, some purists remained skeptical about quality from relatively no-name brands.
Now, however, one of the most recognized brands in speaker-dom has joined the wireless fray. JBL has released the "On Air Control 2.4G," which it describes as "a pair of wall-mountable loudspeakers that incorporates a … Read more
Not to sound Seinfeldian or anything, but what is the deal with alarm clocks? It seems to be the product of choice when gadget makers run out of new ideas. The formula is obvious: Find some marginal feature-ette left on the cutting-room floor, apply it to a piece of hardware and add an alarm clock. Voila! Another factory quota filled.
Witness the "Fred-O-Vision" combo alarm clock and mood light. (Need we say more?) In addition to its dimestore design, this thing plays game show tunes, according to Red Ferret. Even with all this, it manages to tap yet … Read more
Developments in the Blu-ray/HD DVD format war kicked into high gear in the past couple of months. November and December saw the bulk of the long-delayed HD product lines finally hitting store shelves: Blu-ray players from Sony, Panasonic, and Philips; the PlayStation 3; the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on; and the second-generation Toshiba HD DVD players. In the new year, both camps came out swinging at CES 2007. With so much news to process, we've taken the opportunity to collect all the major developments into one easily digestible chunk.
We have a theory (yes, another one). We've often wondered why shopping malls continue to thrive, despite the convenience of online commerce, but then it dawned on us: massage chairs. So we suspect that there's a secret cartel among all retailers to develop them in new forms all the time.
The latest conspirator to surface is Sanyo, with its "Zero Gravity" model. Language from its press release sounds like it came straight from NASA's R&D labs: Using its "Stiffness Detection Sensor" technology, the chair "diagnoses stress areas by measuring changes … Read more
Apple may begin licensing its FairPlay digital rights management technology to third-party manufacturers in the near future--at least, that's the rumor. According to an unsubstantiated and unsourced item appearing at tech.co.uk, Apple plans to allow iPod-accessory makers to stream copy-protected iTunes content. To date, that feature has been restricted to Apple products, such as the AirPort Express wireless router and the forthcoming Apple TV. Other digital media products can stream only non-protected iTunes content--essentially, music and movies you've ripped to your PC.
If it pans out, the change could be a big deal and a positive … Read more
You know, I kind of like lava lamps. Unlike the whole ambient orb craze, lava lamps aren't just background decoration--they're fun to stare at. They also have legit retro appeal, which is pretty cool when it seems like just about every gadget is trying to look as futuristic as possible. Now, crazy-gadget hub ThinkGeek is selling a $10 lava lamp night light that Gizmodo alerted us to today. You can get 'em in red or yellow (though on the product page, the yellow looks more like neon green), and they plug right into any electric socket. Then it … Read more
Here at Crave, we tend to be skeptical about creative vacuuming solutions. There was that "Buster" prototype, which looked like more of a way for kids to terrorize pets than for a house to get cleaned. And then there are the "chic" vacuums that look like lawn gnomes. And now here's the latest, thanks to BornRich: a remote-controlled vacuum shaped like a NASCAR race car. It even comes with audio features to make it sound like it's straight out of Talladega Nights. I admit, I may be too much of a yuppie to understand … Read more