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Never have to 'hold on' for too long again - the Bumper Dumper

When taking a long scenic drive or getting away camping for the weekend, one guarantee aside from the picturesque views and camp side tranquility is that you, or one of your fellow adventurers are going to need to answer a call of nature at a most inappropriate time – i.e. in the car in the middle of nowhere or halfway through a forest hike. Well gone are the days of the “phantom squat” or ducking behind a tree and hoping not to be stumbled on by a family of tourists. This nifty invention known rather fittingly as the Bumper Dumper, is literally a toilet seat attached to a steel frame that requires only a trailer hitch receiver to turn the back of your vehicle into a veritable port-a-potty making the whole “roughing it” experience far more palatable.  Read More

Dexim's DVA004 Power Case for Apple's iPod 5G

China's consumer electronics manufacturer Dexim has announced the release of a multi-functional power case to complement the new iPod Nano 5G. Coming with a powerful flashlight to help shoot video in low light conditions, a built-in speaker for desktop listening and an antenna for improved FM radio reception, the DVA004 will also gives extended play courtesy of its lithium battery pack.  Read More

The world's first motorcycle comes up for auction

An unrestored example (top left) of the very first vehicle to which the name ‘motorcycle’ (motorrad in German) was ever applied is to come up for auction in April. The 1895 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller motorcycle sounds like a modern motorcycle in its specification – twin-cylinder, four-valve, water-cooled, 1488cc engine – but it is indeed as unconventional as it is rare. Check out the diagram and you’ll see the rear wheel doubled as a pseudo flywheel and indeed, the piston connecting rods and the pushrods that actuate the valve gear are also attached to the rear wheel, there’s no clutch, no brakes and there’s a lot of work to be done on a machine that’ll cost you GBP40,000 to 60,000 before you start. At the end of it all though, you’ll have a bonafide centrepeice for any transport museum.  Read More

Smaller than a BIC lighter, and just about as cheap: the MD80 mini video camera/helmet cam...

There's not a lot that's particularly remarkable about the MD80 mini spy camera - it's pretty tiny, it records reasonable 640x480 video in AVI format at 25 frames per second, and it can be set to standby for up to 250 hours until it's activated by a sound, making it a good little spy cam unit. It's pretty similar to any number of helmet cam/mini video cam units but for one fact - it costs less than US$25 on eBay, delivered to your door. For the price it's an outstanding product and the sort of thing you could habitually carry around in your car, recording driving conditions for an instant evidence stockpile in case of an accident or incident. And more broadly it's an example of how Chinese design and manufacturing can get a competitive, quality product to market at a price point that absolutely annihilates the competition, to the point where if you're still concerned about quality, you might just as well buy five of the things in case four break. Which they're not doing nearly so much these days.  Read More

Cornucopia: Digital Gastronomy - a 3D printer to create unimaginable new foods.

Wouldn't it be great to have a digital food machine sitting in your kitchen that could create any dish, real or imagined, from scratch at the touch of a button? Cornucopia: Digital Gastronomy is a concept design that uses the well-established principles of 3D printing - plus precisely timed and temperature-controlled mixing and cooking - to open the door to a virtually limitless realm of replicable, creative cuisine in shapes and combinations that are simply impossible using our current, centuries-old cooking techniques. It's a wonderful look into the future of cooking, from the creative food lover's perspective.  Read More

This guy is laying down a rockin' rhythm guitar track.

The iPhone's application capabilities continue to astound us. We've seen on-the-fly multitrack recording already in our a cappella review of Sonoma's 4Track app, but this one takes it to a whole new level. Voice band is a multitrack recording app that lets you build up the sound of a full band, including guitars, bass, drums, sax, synths and vocals, using only your voice as an input. The demo video after the jump shows just how simple this process is, and how astoundingly good the results are. Amazing stuff.  Read More

It's not a road car - nothing you don't need

Porsche unveiled its 2010 911 GT3 R race car today at the Autosport International show at the Birmingham NEC in the UK. Porsche can claim more than 28,000 race victories in almost every motor sports series worldwide, and while many of these successes have been achieved with immensely powerful specialist race cars like the evocative 917 and 956, the iconic 911 sports coupe is the bedrock on which the racing reputation of the Stuttgart marque has been built. The new GT3 R is the purpose-built racetrack version of the 911 road car, weighs just 1,200 kg, develops 480 bhp, is technologically orgiastic, and costs EUR 279,000 (US$400,000).  Read More

FIAT shows electric version of its iconic 500

Fiat used the 2010 Detroit International Motor Show to reveal an all-electric version of its award-winning Fiat 500. Already one of the most economical and low emission vehicles on the road, the Fiat 500 BEV goes one step further, but one that with its four seats and clever controls is as practical as it is easy to use. Fiat says that the 500 BEV is a technology test bed for future models and is keeping as quiet as an electric car about what exactly that advanced technology is.  Read More

The Future Vehicle Technologies Ale', look-alike forerunner to the under-wraps eVaro

As the electric/hybrid auto revolution gathers speed, it’s becoming more and more apparent that green vehicles don’t need to be slow. First, of course, came the Tesla Roadster. Then, just this month, Revenge Design Inc unveiled their Verde. Now, or at least not long from now, you can add another green dream to your list: The Future Vehicle Technologies eVaro. The Canadian-made hybrid gets up to 275mpg, has a top speed of 135mph, and can go from 0 to 60 in a butt-clenching five seconds.  Read More

The Robo Cafe's waiter-bots

Back in the 70s, the robots were coming for our crappy manufacturing jobs. Now, it seems, they're coming for our crappy table service jobs. Korean company ITM Technology has developed a restaurant concept around a cute little robot that fulfills the role of a waiter - it takes orders from customers, either verbally or through a touch screen, then relays them to the kitchen, and brings the food out when it's ready. Robo Cafe eliminates ordering errors, reduces staffing costs dramatically for restaurant owners, and even brings the boss all the tips. It's probably not going to be nearly as interesting to Tiger Woods, though.  Read More

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