Category Archives: Toys

Open a Tattoo Parlor For $15

Damn, why didn’t they have these toys when I was a kid?

Open up your very own pretend play tattoo parlor. This easy-to-use tattoo maker kit includes an electronic tattoo pen and funky stencils. Using soft, safe pulsating action, the tattoo pen creates realistic, washable designs with dramatic effects. Requires two AA batteries (not included).

Update

Oops, forgot to post the link…

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000HVRNKM/

Xbox 360

Oh, I forgot to mention that 2 weeks ago when it was scorching hot, it was too hot to go outside, so I was stuck in my place and was really, REALLY bored. So I went out and bought an Xbox 360. Unfortunately there’s still no games that I was terribly interested in (I like sports and racing games since you can get in and out without too much time commitment).

I ended up getting 4 games (Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Perfect Dark Zero and Tomb Raider: Legend). The first 3 I got just because they were the highest rated games for Xbox 360 and Tomb Raider I got just because Laura Croft is hot. :) The only games I’ve actually gotten around to playing so far is Elder Scrolls… Kind of fun to be able to go in and sword fight and all that, but I’ll probably use the Xbox 360 more when Madden 2007 or some other more interesting games come out (Grand Theft Auto 4, Splinter Cell 4, Gears Of War, Forza 2, Burnout 4, etc.).

Lame Friends Update

Man, I guess I don’t have many friends that play video games. Only 2 people I know have an Xbox 360 (I realized this when trying to figure out people to add to my Xbox Live friends list).

Google Is My Friend

Yesterday, if someone asked me if I was friends with Google, I would have said, “Nah, we are just acquaintances… you know, “hi”, “bye” if we see each other at lunch or something.”

But today that all changed. Not only did Google send me a Christmas present (cool stuff too… 128MB USB drive, USB hub, wireless mouse, headphones with a mic, USB torch, and some other stuff), but it came in a package that clearly says, From your friends at Google.

Now that’s saying something… not only do I have *a* friend at Google, I have more than one. Damn I’m popular!

My Computer Is Here!

Yay! My new computer is here (finally) after about a month of waiting. I’ve had the 30″ monitor that goes with it for more than two weeks, so now I can actually USE it for the first time.

Thankfully Apple has a migration utility built in that will just move all my stuff (users, applications, home folder, etc.) to the new machine, so that’s a one-click task. :)

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee………..

Update

Man, there is really something to be said about having a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600. You sure can fit a lot of stuff on the screen (my old monitor was a 22″ LCD).

My Dream Cell Phone

Motorola announced two new cell phones today based on the RAZR V3.

The RAZR V3i is basically the same phone, with the addition of iTunes (big deal… I don’t care) and a microSD card slot (which I *do* care about). More memory is always good.

The other one is the RAZR v3c, which will give Verizon a RAZR phone offering for the first time. I don’t personally care all that much since I use Cingular, but one thing I *did* notice is it supports Verizon’s EV-DO high speed network. So uhm, why not put out a GSM based RAZR that supports HSDPA since Cingular is now rolling it out?

So my dream phone would be someone taking the new V3i (because of the microSD slot, not because of iTunes), add HSDPA (3G) support and throw in a GPS. I never thought a GPS on a cell phone was all that useful until yesterday when Google released a new Google Mobile app (which is really cool, and 10x cooler if you have a GPS in your phone).

1kW Computer?

Rumors have been floating around that the quad processor PowerMac I ordered comes with a 1,000 watt power supply. I sure hope it doesn’t actually *use* 1kW while it’s on, because if it does, I might cause some California brownouts again. :)

Speaking of which, I hope the operating system has the ability to turn off CPUs (or just lower the frequency for them) on demand.

Google Maps On Cell Phone

Mologogo is a free GPS friend-tracking service that works on Nextel phones with Java and GPS. Over at the MAKE: Blog, Phil Torronne took Mologogo for a walk. It’s a really cool use of the Google Maps API. This one lets two (or more) people you use GPS enabled phone to show on a map where they are in relationship to each other.

Cool little friend finder application there. But now they just need to make a GPS enabled Motorola RAZR so I can use it.

Video iPod

After rumors have been swirling the last few weeks about Apple releasing an iPod that can do video, it’s official now. They have a 30GB and 60GB iPod with a slightly larger screen that is capable of doing video (realtime decoding of MPEG4 and H.264 with 260,000 colors). Pricing doesn’t change ($299 and $399). It’s also 31% thinner than the previous model it’s replacing.

It also comes in black like the Nano. I’m tempted to throw away my existing 60GB iPod Photo and get one of the black 60GB Video iPods…

iPod Nano

If nothing else, Apple really does come up with cool ideas. They came up with the iPod, and seem to come with with something completely new as far as iPods go just about the time the competitors are getting around to copying their previous idea.


Anyway, today Apple did away with the iPod Mini model, and replaced it with the iPod Nano. This thing is so cool and tiny I keep thinking it’s an April Fool’s joke or something. :) Compared to the Mini, it got a smaller (but higher resolution) color screen, support for photos, dropped the internal hard drive and went with 100% flash memory, the whole thing is barely bigger than the iPod Shuffle (which is cool too).

Computer For Your Car Dashboard

Okay dude, this thing is pretty cool. It’s a full blown computer packed into a double-DIN sized chassis. the thing is made by Infill (a Korean company). I still have a hard time believing they fit it all into the chassis without a hide-away unit, but it seems like they did. It’s basically a tiny PC and includes 40GB hard drive, DVD drive, TV tuner, GPS, voice control, USB ports and even an mPCI slot. Rumor has it you could even install Windows on it if you wanted.

The site is in Korean, but you can find it over here:

http://www.infill.co.kr/product/main.asp

Not only that, but the default GUI on it looks like it’s pretty awesome, and it’s cheap (compared to other car stereos with GPS/navigation)… around $2,300 USD.

Since the thing has a GPS and Internet connectivity built into it, and the $20 version of Google Earth has support for GPS, you could install Google Earth on it and have that be your navigation system.

Damn I want one of these!

RAZRberry Coming Soon

It looks like the Motorola RAZRberry is getting close to being released (the latest ETA is within the next 3 months). It’s a pretty slick phone. It’s about 1/4″ wider, .5″ taller and slightly thinner (if you can believe that) than the Motorola RAZR V3.

It’s codename is Franklin, has all the stuff the RAZR V3 has, and adds a full QWERTY keyboard, 192MB memory, a bigger/higher resolution screen and it also runs Windows Mobile 5.0.

Bondage Action Figures

Apparently a Japanese toy company is coming out with a line of highly detailed bondage action figures. They look like good stocking stuffers for all kids. :)

I didn’t scale the picture down intentionally just so you can see the fine craftsmanship and detail that went into these toys. heh

RAZRberry

Not new news, but something I just read… Motorola is working on a new version of their RAZR (which BTW is a really cool phone).

Basically it’s going to be as thin as the existing model, but wide enough for a QWERTY keyboard. It should also run some flavor of Windows Mobile as the operating system.

Gimme Bluetooth God Dammit!

I have a cool bluetooth enabled phone now, and it’s handy for being a wireless Internet gateway for my laptop when I’m traveling, but I also want to be able to use it handsfree in my vehicle. Can someone tell me why there are no good after-market options for this?

I heard through the grapevine that Alpine is coming out with integrated bluetooth support in some of their after-market stereos this fall, so I guess I’ll have to wait. Just really annoys me. Maybe they will actually come out with a double-din sized touch-screen deck too, but that’s probably too much to ask.

iPods Take Over Microsoft

A high-level manager at Microsoft anonymously disclosed that 80% of Microsoft employees that have portable music players have iPods (which works out to about 20,000 iPods at Microsoft’s headquarters). Microsoft executives have gone as far as to issue memos “frowning” on the usage by Microsoft employees.

Dave Fester, general manager of Microsoft’s Windows Digial Media division sent the following:

“I sure hope Microsoft employees are not buying iPods. We have great alternatives. Check out http://experiencemore.”

Now Microsoft employees have started to swap the white headphones with after-market black ones to try and “hide” their iPod usage.

The anonymous source at Microsoft had the following to add:

“These guys are really quite scared. It shows how their backs are against the wall… Even though it’s Microsoft, no one is interested in what we have to offer, even our own employees.”

Kind of funny if you ask me. :) If you can’t win, beg your employees to use your products… Microsoft has enough employees that maybe if they all bought what Microsoft had to offer, it could yield twice their current sales. heh

Islamist Terrorist Group Threatening To Behead An Action Figure

Say it isn’t so! Special Ops Cody (a $40 action figure toy) has been captured by terrorists in Iraq and they are threatening to behead him if Iraqi prisoners are not released by the US.

One thing that really bothered me though is that the US military apparently is forcing action figures to serve in Iraq. They are helpless little pieces of plastic, and I just don’t think it’s fair for them.

This is the picture that was posted on a website by a group calling itself the Al Mujahedeen Brigade:

I thought it was a nice touch (and very clever) that they also used the plastic military assault rifle that came with the toy in the picture.

It seems that terrorists in Iraq must be on a shoestring budget these days. Unable to carry out kidnappings on personnel, they are now kidnapping their toys. Maybe if they go find Osama Bin Laden, they could collect the reward money to fund their little terrorist posse.

I just don’t know what else to say about it. It’s horrible and God will have his vengeance if they carry through with the beheading. Maybe they will make a video of it and post it on their website. hehe

Motorola RAZR V3 + Bluetooth + Powerbook = Bad Ass

I picked up a new cell phone that I had a little blurb about over here. It’s a pretty awesome phone from a design standpoint, in fact my only complaint with anything about it is the address book, which requires a new entry for each phone number they have.

The day after I got it, I was traveling to San Francisco (which is where I’m writing this from). And just for fun, I decided to see if I could get it to act as an Internet gateway for my Macintosh Powerbook wirelessly via Bluetooth. Low and behold, it works! And without even needing to install anything. It just works like magic. :)

For those of you that also have a RAZR V3 (or are thinking about getting one), this is the info you need to make it work with Cingular as a Internet gateway for your Mac via Bluetooth:

  • Download these modem scripts, unzip them and drop them into “/Library/Modem Scripts”.
  • Detect the phone with the Bluetooth Setup Assistant
  • When it asks you for the Internet settings, this is what you want:
APN/Telephone Number: WAP.CINGULAR
Account Name: [email protected]
Password: CINGULAR1
Modem: Motorola GPRS CID1 +CGQREQ
  • In the network control panel, go to the Bluetooth setup. Under the PPP Options tab, turn off Send PPP echo packets, Use TCP header compression. Under the Bluetooth Modem tab, turn off Enable error correction and compression in modem and Wait for dial tone before dialing.

Now you should be able to connect to the Internet via your Bluetooth port. Weeeeee… :)

Xbox Media Center

Had a little longer to play with the Xbox Media Center from my previous post, and this thing just gets cooler and cooler the more I dive into it.

  • It has Mplayer built into it so it basically can play any audio/video format without problems including streaming content
  • Audio visualization (like WinAMP)
  • Organizes music, pictures, video, programs, etc.
  • Shows the weather from cities you predefine (pulls from weather.com)
  • Plays Internet radio
  • Supports numerous network shares for media (Windows/SMB, iTunes, etc.)
  • Plays movie trailers (picks them up from Apple’s movie trailer website)
  • Supports Python scripting language, so anything it DOESN’T do, you can make it do

Did I mention that this thing is bad ass? Oh yeah, I did.

Motorola RAZR V3

This is one cool cell phone. It’s a flip phone that when closed is less than 1/2″ thick.

As far as I can tell, it’s only going to work with Cingular service though, and I don’t like Cingular, so I won’t be getting one. But either way, it’s amazing what they can pack into such a small design (quad-band [whatever that means], USB port, MP3 ring tones, camera [with zoom], MPEG-4 support, bluetooth, etc.)

They should make one for Verizon, and then I would switch to Verizon.

Oh, and it’s going to be $700 when it comes out next month. I’ve seen some “unlocked” ones on eBay for a little more as well.

60GB iPod With Photo Functionality and Video

Rumors are running rampant these days about a new 60GB iPod that Apple will be releasing in the next 30-60 days (it’s claimed to already be in production).

New things it has/can do:

  • 60GB hard drive (40GB was the previous largest)
  • Higher resolution color LCD screen
  • iPhoto synchronization for storing photos (I wonder if this means there is a Windows version of iPhoto coming soon like iTunes)?
  • Audio/video out (display your pictures on a TV for example)
  • $100 more than the previous high-end iPod

If this turns out to be true, I’m getting one, I have the original 1st generation 5GB iPod that could use an upgrade.

Xbox Mod Chip

I have an Xbox that I bought 3 years ago (pretty much when they first came out), that I use about once every 6 months. While at a friends house, he showed me his Xbox that was modded so he could copy games and stuff.

While I wasn’t really interested in the copying of games, some of the other things you can do looked interesting enough that I decided to see if I could do something like that without ruining my Xbox.

First up… for $59, I got an Xecuter 3 mod chip which comes with everything you need (except a soldering iron and solder).

I got mine from Mod Chip Man.

Much to my amazement, I soldered everything in correctly to the Xbox motherboard on my first try without ruining the board (it’s been 13 years since I’ve soldered anything).

Then I installed a replacement dashboard… For this I went with EvolutionX (also free).

I haven’t installed much stuff on the Xbox yet, but I did install Xbox Media Center… and all I can say is this one program alone is going to make me actually use my Xbox. It lets you manage your CDs and MP3s, etc. from your Xbox. It has network/Internet connectivity so it can also give you the latest news via RSS feeds, the weather for whatever cities you want and my favorite part… It can mount network volumes from other machines or access iTunes play lists via the network. All I can say is WOW. I would have done this years ago if I knew about it.