Tuesday, August 22, 2006

stuff 8-22-06

a nice site devoted to two muppets.

Now playing on the Net: War propaganda
Amid the home videos of dancing teens and sporting events on YouTube,
a well-crafted, nine-minute video makes a direct appeal to Americans
to oust the Bush administration.

"People of America, we wish to share with you our thoughts on the
events we experienced," says the narrator of "Iraq--the truth?" The
narrator claims to represent those opposing the U.S. in Iraq.
"Despite the madness we have endured we see no harm in presenting you
with the criminal nature of your newly elected emperor."


Automaker aims to bring clean cars to the masses

SANTA ROSA, Calif.--ZAP CEO Steven Schneider is right: People do
notice you more when you drive an unusual car.

During a 15-minute test drive of the company's all-electric Xebra
car, nearly every pedestrian downtown here stopped and turned as we
passed by. There was the elderly couple with their mouths slightly
open and the two guys in their 30s in the park who pretended not to
look. A group at the corner switched from staring at the cars and
scooters arrayed in the lobby of ZAP's headquarters to watch a Xebra
in action.

Granted, two guys in their 20s laughed at the pink, egg-shaped car
with three wheels. But the two 12-year-olds with a mom loved it.

"It's cool," said one of the kids, who asked for a tour of ZAP's
lobby. Unfortunately, because the company had so much tourist traffic
that it crimped productivity, the lobby is open only one afternoon a


Social Bookmark Style Shopping


Solution for Road Rage? The perfect gift for the passive-aggessive
driver in your household.

It's called the Drivemocion, which is a small electronic display that
can attach to the back window (replacing that moldy "Baby On Board")
and types out messages such as "Back OFF," "THANKS," and a few we
can't print. It even has smilie faces and frownie faces, for the
computer geek in you. If you program it to read-off one of the four-
letter words, you'll vent your anger but don't blame us if the guy
behind you rams your car. Available in versions with 2 messages, 3
messages, or 5 messages on the Drivemocion website (which shows all
three as being sold out at the moment). Via techeblog.




Ultraviolet bread box preserves bread, freaks out friends (causes
sunburnt hands) Contrary to appearances, this is not a device for
creating giant mutant bread, it's actually a bread box designed to
prevent mold from growing on your run of the mill unmodified loaf of
carbs. Based on the same groovy kind of UV light used in food and
medical sanitization, the breadbox should be relatively easy to build
for anyone with minimal DIY skills -- and even if it didn't work
exactly as intended, would be a stylish addition to any mad
scientist's (or fantasy lad's) kitchen. But according to the folks at
InventGeek, it actually does its job, increasing the shelf life of
bread by about 50%, and preventing any mold from growing on the
exterior of the bread (it may still grow inside, however). They
didn't say what the bread tasted like after being baked a second time
in UV, but you want to give it a shot yourself, the total cost of
parts should only run you about $65.


(BAH on the next one)

Company claims to have developed new technology that provides
unlimited free energy August 20, 2006 Steorn, an Irish company,
claims to have produced a groundbreaking (we do not use this word
lightly) technology which is based on the interaction of magnetic
fields and produces free, clean and constant energy. If the claims
are true, the new technology will enable a significant range of
benefits, from the convenience of never having to refuel your car or
recharge your mobile phone, to a genuine solution to the need for
zero emission energy production. It will also provide a secure supply
of energy, since the components of the technology are readily
available. Steorn’s technology appears to violate the ‘Principle
of the Conservation of Energy’, (energy can neither be created nor
destroyed, it can only change form) considered by many to be the most
fundamental principle in our current understanding of the universe.
Fully aware that its claims will be considered bunkum by anyone who
has graduated kindergarten, Steorn today issued a challenge to the
global scientific community to test its free energy technology.
Steorn has placed an advertisement in The Economist to attract the
attention of the world’s leading scientists working in the field of
experimental physics. From all the scientists who accept the
challenge, twelve will be invited to take part in a rigorous testing
exercise to prove that Steorn’s technology creates free energy. The
results will be published worldwide.


GigaView HDD Multimedia Player The GigaView is a 3.5-inch hard drive
enclosure that lets you display the digital media contents of your
hard drive on a TV. Once you've inserted a hard drive (or memory
card) into the GigaView, simply hook the box up to a TV using one of
the included cables and let the multimedia madness ensue. It's able
to play back all the formats that make trolling through Usenet and
IRC worth while, such as the myriad forms of Divx and MPEG, though
it's audio playback seems to be limited to only MP3.

The GigaView supports hard drives up to 400GB in size, certainly more
than enough to hold a couple of silver screen masterpieces (and photo
slideshows, and home movies...). Able to output a video signal
through standard RCA cables, S-Video and VGA, the GigaView is
compatible with both PAL and NTSC TV formats. Happy day!

The GigaView certainly isn't the only hard drive enclosure/media
player on the market, nor is it as feature-filled, but for only
around $75, it wouldn't make a bad addition to one of the bedrooms.
Besides, anybody's who's anybody is already running a home theater PC
in their den of multimedia marvels. – NICHOLAS DELEON

Product Page [Maplin Electronics via The Red Ferret Journal]



Pinhole Camera: Disguised as a Screwhead

This wireless pinhole video camera looks like a screw. Pervy, ain't
it? We don't know anything else about this cam, as the blog we're
linking to just shows some stats (300 lines of resolution.) If anyone
knows something, drop us a tip.– BRIAN LAM

Pinhole Camera [Darkcreek]


150 cool and free programs for Microsoft Windows XP The supreme list
of cool windows programs has been revealed by Blake Handler


Ferocious ants bite like a bullet Trap-jaw ants bite with a force of
over 300 times their own bodyweight, new high-speed digital images
have shown. Their jaws spring shut at more than 100 km/h (66mph)- the
fastest recorded speed at which an animal can move its body parts.
The pictures also reveal these tiny creatures, native to Central and
South America, do more with their vicious jaws than simply giving a
nasty nip. By biting the ground, the ants hurl themselves upwards
when danger looms.


Adventure Medical Kits
Full medical station in a pouch

During an emergency, instilling order, confidence, and calm is the
major assignment of the first aider. Over the years of running a
large household I've found that keeping medical supplies together in
one handy place helps me provide that stability in those early
moments of panic. My highly-evolved first aid kit has become
extremely refined, but also slightly less portable. I could no longer
get all that I needed quickly out to the yard, or in the car, or
packed into a backpack.

After some experimentation, I found what works best is a pre-packaged
medical kit. They appear to be expensive, but are really not when you
tally up the costs of the components -- most of which have a pretty
long shelf life.
The kits from Adventure Medical Kits are highly praised in search and
rescue fields. Expeditions carry larger versions. The case is hardy,
lightweight and quick to navigate through. An amazing amount of stuff
is squirreled away inside, all easy to reach.

The kit I prefer, the AMK Fundamentals, contains a full spectrum of
basic first aids, burn materials, CPR mouth barrier, scissors,
tweezers, syringe, plenty variety of bandages, a SAMS splint (which I
wish I had earlier when my wife broke her wrist), a decent small
emergency medical book (Wilderness and Travel Medicine), and extra
containers for personalized pill transport. With this kit you'd be
prepared to handle most injuries a non-doctor could manage. It is
rated for 1-8 people and is one of the more complete versions available.

AMK offers all manner of kits customized to particular outdoor sports
like kayaking or biking. This one is perfect for a family on the go.
I'll pack it along when we go on vacation. (I also carry one of AMK's
ultralight kits in my briefcase bag.)

-- KK

Fundamentals Medical Kit
(in their Mountain series)
Manufactured by Adventure Medical Kits

Available from Chinook Medical


Learn a second language from the Foreign Service Institute

Web site FSI Language courses scans and rips the foreign language
courses created by the Foreign Services Institute (the main training
facility for American Foreign Service Officers and personnel), making
them available for free in electronic format.

I've looked at a lot of different free language resources (and we've
discussed a few here), but the courses available from the FSI are
some of the best and most comprehensive free options I've seen. The
MP3 audio and supplementary text PDFs look like a great way to learn
anything from Cantonese to Turkish, and they appear to be actively
adding new content. Thanks Mike! — ADAM PASH

FSI Language Courses [via Bunch of Nerds]

Airfare prediction site Farecast adds a city near you

Airfare prediction web site Farecast gets a lot more useful today, as
they up their destination cities from 2 to over 55.

When I posted about Farecast back in June, I was dying to give it a
try for a trip of my own, but Seattle and Boston were the only cities
available. With over 55 U.S. airports and an RSS feed for tracking
fares and predictions, I'm looking forward to trying Farecast on an
upcoming trip.

If any of you have had a chance to kick Farecast's tires (that is, if
any of you fly from Boston to Seattle often), let us know how the
predictions worked out for you in the comments or at tips at
lifehacker.com. Thanks Stephen! — ADAM PASH


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