Category Archives: LIFESTYLE

Anything that constitutes to lifestyle including hobbies, collectibles, fashion, travel and more.

a table of speakers: La Boite Concept Laptop Dock

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La Boite Concept LD 120 | US$1,300.00 |
(image credit: La Boite Concept)

we are probably familiar with sound dock for iPhone and iPod. how about your laptop? sure you can get any of those puny speakers that probably don’t do much good to your ears, or you get the La Boite Concept Laptop Dock LD 120. basically, the LD 120 is an elegant looking table stuffed with speakers and a bunch circuitry that promise to turn your laptop in to a high-fidelity music player.

if you are those that demand more from your laptop musically, then this 120 watts RMS, 7 drivers equipped table might be your weapon of choice. the LD 120 has a built-in Burr Brown Digital-to-Analogue converter (DAC) (USB sound card) and requires only one wire to get you going. you must be wondering where are the 7 drivers? well, a pair of two-way drivers are located upfront, another two are designed to face the wall and a down firing subwoofer goes underneath the desk.

all these awesome goodness of hi-fi quality audio are beautifully clad in piano lacquer finish and natural leather for the desk pad (which is insulated agains the vibration from the sub-woofer). the LD 120 also lets you charge other devices via its two auxiliary inputs and outlet within the storage compartment. time to give yourself a perfect excuse such as “i have ran out of desktop space to put my laptop” and get this hi-fi quality table. how i wish. except that i don’t even have space for another table…

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(image credit: La Boite Concept)

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(image credit: La Boite Concept)

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(image credit: La Boite Concept)

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(image credit: La Boite Concept)

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(image credit: La Boite Concept)

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(image credit: La Boite Concept)

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(image credit: La Boite Concept)


want some Kinetic Art of your own? Space Warp 10000 does that

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(image credit: Japan Gadgets Shop) Space Warp 10000 | US$155.00 |

if you are impressed with the kinetic art by Chris Burden’s Metropolis II and inspired to do the same but don’t know where to begin with, then check out the Space Warp 10000 from the Japanese toy maker, Bandai. well, maybe Space Warp don’t have 1200 die-cast cars and is puny compared to Chris’s art piece but it’s a start, right? based on the original toy in the 80s, the Space Warp 10000 uses kinetic energy to get the marbles going down a roller coaster ride. yes, it’s marbles not cars. Continue reading want some Kinetic Art of your own? Space Warp 10000 does that

China largest hand-built electric remote control aircraft maiden flight (video)

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(screenshot by Mike taken from YouKu)

a group of radio controlled model airplane enthusiasts in China hand-built this huge radio controlled model which took them half a year from design to its maiden test flight. the airplane was based on the retired China Air Force “Yi Er” (or Ilyushin) IL-18 Chairman Mao’s exclusive aircraft. this 3.8 meters radio controlled airplane has a wingspan of 4 meters and weighs in at 25 kg.

i say it is looking good and cannot help but to marvel at the work put into it. if you don’t know, the real IL-18 was a Soviet Union built passenger aircraft powdered by four Ivchenko AI-20M engines. introduced in 1959, it was thought to be the most elegant airliner ever built by the former Soviet Union.

check the video of this huge radio controlled airplane maiden test flight below.

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(screenshot by Mike taken from YouKu)

China largest electric radio control aircraft - final preparation 544px
(screenshot by Mike taken from YouKu)

China largest electric radio control aircraft - rolling out 544px
(screenshot by Mike taken from YouKu)

China largest electric radio control aircraft - on the runway 544px
(screenshot by Mike taken from YouKu)

via YouKu & M.I.C Gadget

6-inch e-ink-based ebook: iRiver WiFi Cover Story

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iRiver Wi-Fi Cover Story | £149.00 |

2010 has been a amazing year for gadgets. among the gadgets that are steadily gaining popularity are tablets and ebook readers. sure, both tablets and ebook readers was introduced well before 2010 but this year, we saw more advancements and also more manufacturers getting into the tablets and ebook readers market. iRiver has announced earlier this month its second generation ebook, dubbed WiFi Cover Story – a successor to the original ‘Story’.

the Cover Story features a 6-inch e-ink display with a 600 x 800 pixel touch screen. unlike the ‘Story’ it does not have a physical keyboard. the only obvious physical button next to the display is a long button that houses its Home Button on one end, a Previous Button on the other and a Page Button in the middle. in the aesthetic department, the cover of the Cover Story is changeable to other colors – a reminiscent of the old Nokia 8210 when customizing to the color of your liking was a rage.

another highlight is the built-in Oxford English Dictionary. users can look up any words when reading an ebook by holding the word down and the definitions will pop-out at the bottom of the display. touching the ‘X’ button at the top right hand corner of the pop-out closes the dictionary. with the WiFi model, user can check or send email via the Cover Story, as long as there is WiFi coverage. however, at this moment only POP3 account and GMAIL are supported.

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the Cover Story also let users scribble notes, doodle on their ebook and listens to music while reading their ebook. as for battery performance, the built-in 1800mAh Lithium Polymer boost a battery life of up to 11,000 pages, 30 hours of music and 5 hours of recorded voice on a single 5 hours charge. the Cover Story has built-in auto-rotation thus allowing either portrait or landscape mode reading.

other specifications include 2GB of storage, SD/SDHC slot supporting up to 32GB and the WiFi model features the WiFi 802.11b/g standard. connection to PC is via the built-in USB 2.0. the Cover Story supports a variety of ebook formats: PDF, EPUB, TXT, FB2, DJVU. aside from ebook publication formats, it support a host of office and comic formats including PPT, PPTx, XLS, XLSx, Doc, DOCx, HWP, JPG, BMP, PNG and GIF.

no doubt this ebook has a wide variety of formats covered but are you prepared to view your comic and office document without colors? until color e-ink comes into the market, i guess an e-ink based ebook will always be for books (& probably e-newpaper) and nothing else. in fact, using email on this device reminds me of my Palm Pilot days, only that the resolution is much better on this device.

at £149.00 (approximately US$232.00), it is way more expensive even compared to the higher range Kindle 3G + WiFi model. frankly, i am not sure if the specs and Open Content justify the price premium.

cute buttonless Internet Radio: Q2 Internet Radio

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(image credit: Q2 Radio) Q2 Internet Radio | £90.00 |

there are many Internet Radio out there in the market but nothing is as close to this cute Q2 Internet Radio. most Internet Radio are of either contemporary or classic design (a little too ‘up there’ to my liking), but Q2 goes the opposite way by being cheerful, ease of setup, fun to use, compact in size and completely void of buttons and knobs (which make the Q2 stands out even more).

with tens of thousands of Internet Radio today, you can imagine the mammoth task in trying to tune in to a particular station that you desire. here’s where the ease of setup comes in. to set, all you have to do is hook up to a PC or Mac, add the desired station to each sides of the Q2 using the free Q2 Internet Radio software (up to four stations can be set). once done, unplug it and you are good to go.

operations of the Q2 is straight forward: turning the Q2 from side to side changes the preset stations and tilting back or forward changes the volume. no screen, no buttons, no knobs. i hear you asking about muting? well, that’s easy too. just put the Q2 on its face – muted. easy. obviously the Q2 uses WiFi to connect to the preset stations and is supplied with rechargeable battery and a main power adapter.

Q2 comes in five different colors: pink, white, blue, green and black.

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(image credit: Q2 Radio)

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(image credit: Q2 Radio)

via Gizmag

can you wear a bag instead of carrying it?

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(image credit: Yanko Design)
there are times when you feel like going empty handed to the malls and do some window shopping. but of course with some cash and credit or bank cards. as you go along, you (pretend to) unexpectedly starts to amass a whole lot of merchandise, resulting in lots of shopping bags to carry. no hands? not to worry, just take out your vest and with some structured fiddling and you will have a tote bag at hand to stuff in all your newly acquired merchandise.

sounds impossible? definitely not impossible to designer Rotem Lewinsohn. Rotem Lewinsohn concept, aptly called Wear Me Bag, is a vest, errr… bag… can do just that. starting off as a fashionable vest (in grey, a color usually associated with space-age or sci-fi), a lady wears on her and when extra storage is required, simply remove the vest and systematically converts the vest into a tote bag (see photo below). it looks pretty cool in tote bag form too. wow. can we have a version for man too?

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(image credit: Yanko Design)

via Yanko Design

its a shopping bag. its a hanger. so what is it?

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(image credit: DEDE Dextrous Design) Get the Hang of It | US$tbc(concept) |

this one is definitely going to get the stares and disapproval from tree-huggers out there. wondering why? isn’t it just a simple shopping bag with a graphic of an upside down hanger on? in fact, it is more than just a shopping bag.

the upside down hanger is not a graphic, but instead it is a functional hanger. the hanger can be detached from the shopping and guess what? you can hang your newly purchased clothes with it and any clothes that your fancy.

conceptualized and designed by DEDE Dextrous Design, this project, dubbed Get the Hang of It, is 100% in cool factor but 0% for environmental friendliness. unless the bag has some hidden features that let it be reused. nevertheless, still (novelty) cool.

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(image credit: DEDE Dextrous Design)

via Yanko Design

awesome Portal Gun replica up for grab at Child’s Play auction

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(image credit: Volpin Props) Portal Gun replica |

i have a penchant for beautiful and sci-fi stuff. even i have not played the game Portal, i was totally captured by the Portal Gun replica by graphic designer and replica props hobbyist, Harrison Krix. i spend many hours admiring this work of art and wishing that i could be at the Child’s Play charity auction to have my bid on it. alas, it was just a dream which could not be realized.

the Portal Gun, if you’re not aware, is a gun which you use to port from Orange to Blue Portal and vice versa. well, porting is still not a reality yet and hence, the replica Portal Gun won’t allow you to be ported to anywhere but as a consolation, it can “fire” both Blue and Orange lights (portal’s existence is via your own imagination). this is as close as you can get to a Portal Gun.

it will be auction off in the coming Child’s Play Annual Charity Dinner Auction, to be held in Seattle on December 7th. if you’re looking at chance of getting this, i say – tough luck as the tickets for the fundraising dinner has already been sold out. now that’s not such a good news isn’t it?

check out more pics of this awesome replica below and a video of the Portal Gun replica in action.

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(image credit: Volpin Props)

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(image credit: Volpin Props)

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(image credit: Volpin Props)

via Volpin Props and DVICE

advance textile that hardens on impact: Dow Corning DEFLEXION textiles

Dow Corning DEFLEXION textiles
DEFLEXION by Dow Corning | US$POA |
(screenshots by Mike taken from Dow Corning)

traditional body protections made of polycarbonate can be stiff and impedes movement. now there’s an advanced textiles from Dow Corning, dubbed the DEFLEXION, will harden instantly upon impact and returns to its flexible state after the impact. the fabric absorb and disperse the shock of impact, protecting the wearer from damage and injury. sounds like materials that a superhero suit would be made of.

the material uses silicone technology and provides protection without the bulk and stiffness of the traditional padding and body armor. its shock protection properties aside, these fabrics behaves like any ordinary textile which makes it ideal for use in apparels. the DEFLEXION offers better comfort and is washable, breathable, can be cut to size and sew-able. protection is not restricted to human, the materials can also use in protective sleeves to keep gadgets and other devices safe without adding bulk like hard cases do.

Dow Corning DEFLEXION textiles - application for gadgets and other devices
(screenshots by Mike taken from Dow Corning)

DEFLEXION is available in a variety of thickness, weight, flexibilities, breathability and levels of protections to suit different purposes and designs. i must admit i am totally sold. i almost wanted to acquire some to create my own stuff (shsss… what i am making is a secret). this is probably just the beginning, we could be seeing military-grade applications in near future. who knows? this technology could be developed further and perhaps someday we would see a bullet-proof jacket someday.

Dow Corning DEFLEXION textiles - application in apparels
(screenshots by Mike taken from Dow Corning)

via Core77

serving up music to audiophile: Olive O6HD Music Server

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(image credit: Olive HiFi) Olive O6HD Music Server | US$4999.90 |

hot on the heel after the release of the first budget HD Music Server in September, Olive announces the Olive O6HD Music Server this month. dubbed as the HD Audiophile Server, it is no easy task in making such claims especially when we talked home-ripped music. the O6HD spots a 10.1 inch widescreen color touchscreen for ease of browsing your music collection and it comes with a ultra quiet 2TB AV hard drive which is capable of storing up to 6,000 CDs in their original quality or 20,000 HD tracks.

as with all Olive music server, the OH6HD has front slot loading Teach-mechansim CDRW drive and one-touch recording function to turn your CD into a digital copy. to offer the most audiophile experience from the ripped music, the O6HD features a fully-balanced differential Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) with goodies such as two 24-bit/192 kHz DAC modules (Ti Burr-Brown PCM1792) and the TI SRC4194 Asynchronous Sample Rate Converter capable of up-sampling to 24-bit/384 kHz.

aside from ripping CDs, the CDRW is also capable of burning audio, MP3 and Data CDs. supported audio formats are the usual WAV, FLAC, MP3 (128 & 320 kbit/s) as well as AAC (128 kbit/s). for those who loves to immerse themselves with the music without other ambience disturbance, you will be delighted by the high-end headphone output powered by a dedicated TI 192khz/24-bit Burr-Brown PCM1792 and a TI TPA61620A2 high performance audio amplifier.

there are a bunch of connectivity associated with this high-end music server, both analog and digital. analog audio connectivity includes gold-plated RCA, 6.4mm headphone jack, XLR connector – which are usually found on professional A/V equipment. digital audio output is the form of AES/EBU connector, S/PDIF optical TOSLINK and gold-plated S/PDIF coaxial cinch. other connectivity include wireless 802.11n, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and USB 1.1/2.0 port.

all these goodies are housed in a passive cooled anodized fine-grade aluminum shell, thus making it not only aesthetically pleasing but extremely quiet. which is an important aspect if you demand the most out of your lossless music. the O6HD is available in Silver or Black. its pretty hard to list down all the features from a almost $5000 machine, so we suggest you checking out Olive HIFI website for more details.

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(image credit: Olive HiFi)

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(image credit: Olive HiFi)

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(image credit: Olive HiFi)