March 15, 2006

frying_pan.jpg Between messing with your GPS, your iPod, your in-dash video player, and your cellphone, you probably have a ton of free time on the road. Why not spend some of that time frying up a nice egg or two? Thanks to RoadPro's 12-volt frying pan, you can have a nicely cooked egg anytime, even while you're barreling down the highway at 80 mph. RoadPro offers other appliances for your car as well, so prepare to haphazardly take your eyes of the road for minutes at a time. Now that these devices have arrived, I'm left wondering how previous generations lived without roasting up a nice pizza on the way to work.

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Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) allows transfer of data such as passport, transportation card, and (eventually) credit card information without actually touching the passport or card to a reader. While RFIDs have the ability to ease cheeseburger purchases and other important transactions, anyone nearby with a reader can simply pluck your information from the air. In order to combat this, DIFRWear is now selling a wallet and a passport case with layers of RF shielding that block the ability to read any RFID tags contained within. Until DIFRWear starts selling a neon orange wallet with velcro, I'll just just keep warding off evil "RF" spirits with prayer and sacrifices.

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ri-man.jpg Japanese research institute Riken has developed a robot that will save you the trouble involved in carrying your elderly relatives off to the woods to abandon them. Japan is expecting a major increase in demand for elderly care as a declining birth rate and strict immigration control are leaving Japan's elderly with less young people to listen to their stories. Enter RI-MAN, a 220 pound robot with soft silicone skin that can sense the position and weight of a person in its arms. RI-MAN also has the ability to see, hear, and smell, allowing it to relentlessly track down the elderly no matter where they hide. RI-MAN can currently only carry around 26 pounds, so you will have to convince your grandmother to diet before you can hire a terrible mechanical man as her caretaker.

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dph-540.jpg The D-Link DPH-540 is WiFi Voice Over IP phone that is scheduled for release this summer. The phone features 802.11b/g support; 16MB for storage of contacts; VoIP through Session Initiation Protocol (SIP); basic security through WEP, WPA, or WPA2; Li-ion 900 mAh battery; and email access. With VoIP and email access on the phone itself, you really shouldn't have any trouble realizing that your ex-girlfriend isn't somehow trying to get in touch with you. As VoIP rises in popularity, I'm sure that we will see a lot more of these WiFi VoIP phones in the next few months. Add some horrendous ringtone mascots and equally terrifying faceplate covers, and VoIP phones might one day challenge the cell phone crown.

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lazer_scissors.jpg As a definitive signal that we have finally reached the future, Get Organized is selling a pair of laser-guided scissors. The cleverly-named Lazer Scissors (note the z!) project a laser beam in a line extending from the handle of the scissors. You simply cut along the laser's line to guarantee that your grandmother's collection of articles about dogs dressed as clowns will be as immaculate as ever. For only $19.99, you too can remove unsightly body hair and humorous Ziggy cartoons with the ease and accuracy of the future's welcoming embrace.

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typhoon.jpg Tyan is preparing to release their Typhoon PSC, a personal supercomputer that is targeted at researchers, developers, and people who want to play Minesweeper at amazing speeds. The PSC offers support of up to 8 AMD Opteron HE processors or 4 Intel Xeon processors, with up to 64GB or 32GB of RAM respectively. At a size of 26.7 x 12.6 x 14 inches, the PCS is dwarfed by many of the supercomputers out there today. The PSC also runs far quieter, assuring that your cat will still be far more afraid of your vacuum than your computer. Sure, this computer is super powerful, but can it use its super powers steal Mt. Rushmore or hurl Manhattan into outer space? The product page doesn't say, so I can only assume that it can and will.

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