Alien Plushies

There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else, there’s MasterCard — for things like Geiger Alien plushy face huggers!

Watch your Internet date run screaming from your bedroom when she finds one of these babies nestled between the bed pillows. Ah…good times, good times.

And while you’re at it, you may want to toss a chest burster into your virtual shopping cart too. I smell baby shower present!

iGumby, Dammit!

All right, now this is just WRONG. The iGuy is a Gumby-esque anthro-suit for your iPod. And WHY, might you ask? Apparently just ’cause you can. But you shouldn’t — you really, really shouldn’t.

(And is it just me, or does this image give you the creeps, in a priest and altar boy sorta way?)

[Via LifeHacker]

Pummer, Dude

While doing research for another article on robots (top secret, very hush, hush), I’ve been looking at the BEAM robotics taxonomy. Taking cues from biology as it does (putting the “B” in BEAM), one fascinating area of this approach to robotics is the robotic plant-form. One of these types of devices, part bio-mech, part objet d’art, is the Pummer. This BEAM “plant” uses a “solarengine” circuit, found on many BEAMbots, to soak up rays all day and then throb (or “pum”) a light beacon at night. A nifty DIY object to have decorating your “geekosphere,” and a good way to freak out the night cleaning and security crews.

The Pummer seen here is from Brett Hemes’s site, The Breadboard. His Pummer page details the construction of two Pummers. Solarbotics offers plans for a simple Pummer using their awesome BEAM Experimenter PCB, but you can also easily freeform the circuit.

AbFab for Geeks

“3D printing,” “digital fabrication,” “person fabrication,” “Napster fabing:” Call it what you want, but the idea of creating a cheap and easy-to-use system for the “desktop” manufacturing of three dimensional objects, has been a hot R&D area in the last few years. This technology has taken another step forward with the recent announcement of the “Self-Replicating Rapid Prototyper,” or “RepRap,” a 3D fabricator that not only prints in plastics, but can also print electrical circuits into the structural material.

The brainchild of Dr. Adrian Bowyer, a senior lecturer in mechanical engineering at the University of Bath in the UK, the continued development of RepRap will be made open source, with the design details available online. Bowyer sees a world in the near future where such desktop fabs could sell for a few hundred bucks and could even have a recycling feature so that when something broke, you would just feed it back into the machine and fab a new one. Cool!

[Thanks, Alberto!]

Sniper Chic

C’mon, let’s take bets. How long do you think it’ll be before Isaac Mizrahi, Gaultier, or some other over-the-top designer works this fetching sniper bush look into a fall clothing line?

Yummy Shuffle Casemod

It was inedidable (“It’s what?”) Ine – ine – inedidable. (“One more time…” ) I SAID, it was INEDIBLE!! …that someone would put an iPod Shuffle in a Juicy Fruit pack.

I love it, I just wonder how easily it could end up in the trash, or whether Johnson, that nibbly schlub from IT, will try to eat it. It’s cool how the USB cap fits right at the red score lines on the pack.

[Via Protein Feed]

How to Write Tech Reviews

Gizmodo has a funny rag on a tech review writing seminar. They tell you to save your money, and spill all of our precious tech writer trade secrets in the posting, riffing on the seminar’s teaser text. Some of our favorites:

• Tricks to make your review a compelling read
Insider’s Tip: Start with a fond anecdote from your childhood, contrasted with an insulting or adulatory mention of the iPod. See: T; See Also: A.

• How to involve real people in a review story
Insider’s Tip: Invent likely-sounding names with likely-sounding color quotes, unless pitching to MIT Technology Review or Wired News. In those cases, make the color quotes from celebrities, whose quotes the media are legally not obligated to fact-check, especially if they are hilarious.

Xbox 360 Peripheral Pics

TeamXbox has a series of hi-res photos of Xbox 360 peripherals, including the rather clunky-looking Xbox Live camera. This is the device that VelocityGirl is going to use to talk to her school chums while brother Striker is fraggin’ freaks in “Gears of War. There’s also a pic of the Headset, which can plug into the 360 wireless controller for semi-untethered gaming. The rather TiVo-esque remote has DVD, TV, and Windows Media Center functions built into it.

[Via I4U]

Junk CD Lamp

The two questions we get asked the most here at Street Tech Labs (besides: “Gareth, how do you keep your skin so soft and supple?”) are: “What the hell do I do with my cast-off PC?” and “What the F*** am I s’posed to do with all these junk CD-ROMs that keep coming in the mail!?” We tried to answer that second question in my robot book, using two AOL CDs to build a small robot development platform. Here’s another idea: Make a mod-looking desklamp.

Here’s a link to a similar lamp project, with more in-depth how-to instruction.