up or down? an USB plug that works both ways

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how many times have we curse silently when we get the direction of the USB plug wrongly? i have met with countless of such incidents and i wonder why the USB interface has to be directional-sensitive? the frustration adds up when the USB ports are located behind like on a standard CPU and iMac. lucky for us, designer Ma Yi Xuan has a concept called the Double USB which could solve our misery of plugging in the wrong side. need i say more? i hope manufacturers will take heed, start making the Double USB and saves us a few seconds of our life each time we plug it in.

via Yanko Design

make your favorite blend of CBTL coffee at home

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(image credit: CBTL) CBTL Single Serve Coffee Machine | from US$129.95 | www.cbtl.com

if you are a fan of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf‘s coffee and always find yourself too lethargic to make it to the nearest store for a shot of the caffeinated beverage, well, you can always make yourself one right at home with the new CBTL single serve coffee machines. three models are available, with the entry model ‘contata’ costing $129.95.

general features across the three models are automatic proportioning, electronic temperature control, easy capsule insertion and automatic ejection, and diagnostic lights. all three models has a removable 40.6 oz (1.2-liter) water tank. among the three models, ‘nautilus’ is on the higher end of the scale with a droid looking design (apparently, it resembles a nautilus) and has a integrated froth/steam wand. another difference is the ‘nautilus’ used capsule drawer is capable of holding 15 used capsule instead of the standard 10.

two of the three Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf single serve coffee machine are available now from CBTL official website and prices start from $129.95. the ‘nautilus’ retails for $199.95 and will be available from Fall 2011. these machines aren’t ridiculously priced as compared to the current offerings in the market and provides coffee-drinker (specifically, CBTL’s fans) a quick fix of caffeine before the ‘withdrawal syndrome’ takes a better of them.

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Ferrari’s first 4-seater and four-wheel drive supercar (update)

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(image credit: Ferrari) Ferrari V12 FF | US$tbc | www.ferrari.com

having four-seats and a four-wheel drive system doesn’t sound much like what Ferrari will do. on the contrary, that’s what the new Ferrari FF is: a four-seater, four-wheel drive supercar. don’t be deceived by the ‘FF’, which has absolutely nothing to do with ‘front-engine-front-wheel-drive’ but rather, it’s an acronym for Ferrari Four i.e. four seats and four-wheel drive. Continue reading “Ferrari’s first 4-seater and four-wheel drive supercar (update)”

VW XL1 prototype touted to consumes 1-liter/100-km

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Volkswagen XL1 | US$tba (prototype) | www.volkswagen.com

instead of going all out electric, Volkswagen is banging on a more practical and efficient hybrid system which touted to squeeze out an impressive 0.9-liter per 100-km. this latest prototype, dubbed the VW XL1, is the third generation ultra-fuel efficient car with a CO2 emissions of just 24 grams per km. Volkswagen attribute this impressive achievement to the lightweight monocoque construction, carbon fiber parts and an excellent aerodynamic form which results in a drag coefficient of 0.186. the choice of materials resulted in an extremely lightweight vehicle, weighing in at just 795-kg. Continue reading “VW XL1 prototype touted to consumes 1-liter/100-km”

ARKCANARY has an iPhone dock built into its shelf

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(image credit: ARK) ARKCANARY iPhone/iPod Dock Shelf | US$tbc | arkwhat.com

we have seen iPhone/iPod dock integrated into table, so now, how do you like your iOS devices to dock to your book shelf? well, from the guys who brought to you the chunky iPhone 4 case, comes the ARKCANARY, an iPhone/IPod dock integrated into shelf. what looks like an ordinary shelf has a dock for your iPhone/iPod complete with flushed digital LED clock at the front of the shelf, a pair of stereo speakers and subwoofer.

if non-mobility and integration are the key aspects for your home deco, the ARKCANARY could be the furniture dock of choice. however, no further info on the actual specs of the speaker system or the actual dimensions of the shelf are available at this point. unfortunately, it is still a ‘coming soon’ product and there are no words on its final pricing to date.

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SwitchEasy Odyssey is the first 3-piece iPhone case

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(image credit: SwitchEasy) SwitchEassy Odyssey | US$29.99 | switcheasy.com

new from SwitchEasy is this 3-piece hybrid iPhone 4 case, dubbed the Odyssey. yea, it’s a hybrid alright. hybrid in the sense that a few materials were used to form up this 3-piece case. aesthetically, the Odyssey has a very retro feel to it and it kind of reminds me of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: a space odyssey (MGM, 1968). the Odyssey uses materials like the ADSP (adaptive Dynamic Soft Polymer) for the inner casing, super tough polycarbonate for the frame and a scratch-resistant hydro polymer for the back panel. looks like SwitchEasy really takes the iPhone case design very seriously and took great effort to ensure the Odyssey is not only aesthetically beautiful but also provides serious protection for your iPhone 4.

it came as a surprise that the Odyssey iPhone 4 case’s retail price remains affordable, at $29.99, despite the 3-piece construction and the choice of materials used. with this price, it comes packaged with a full suite of accessories which include two interchangeable back panels (choice of two color options), two anti-static screen protectors, one micro-fiber wipe, one squeegee screen protector applicator, two universal dock adapters (in pearl white and piano black), one video dock stand, two power jack connector protectors and two 3.5mm headphones jack protectors. wow. that sounds like a lot of ‘freebies’ that comes with a modest $29.99 retail price tag.

the Odyssey comes in a choice of seven colors combo for you to choose from. no dimensions were given, but judging from the photos, it is safe to say it might just add a little bulk to the slim iPhone 4. well, the bulking up is the price to pay (beside paying for price of the case) for that extra protections.

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going hiking? get MONOWALKER to tow your backpack

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avid hikers will understand the weight of the package one has to carry during a hiking trip. this weight we talked about is not reserved just for hikers. scientists, photographers, hunters and climbers alike, have similar load burden issue when they are out and about carrying out their duties. understanding this load issue, German firm, MONOWALKER has a novel solution in the form of the Hikingtrailer, to take the weight of the shoulders – literally. Continue reading “going hiking? get MONOWALKER to tow your backpack”

TikTikTik is a desk lamp that turns off automatically

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(image credit: bitPlay) bitPlay TikTikTik | US$NA (concept) | bitplayinc.com

you know those time when you read yourself to sleep and forgot to switch off the desk lamp? or maybe, you are just plain forgetful and keeps forgetting to switch off the desk lamp before you goes into the dream land? well, bitPlay‘s concept lamp, dubbed the TikTikTik, is here to solve those ‘forgetting’ problem.

by pulling down the measuring tape-like device (bitPlay termed it as the ‘pull chain’), sets the time for the light to be on. thus, the further the chain is being pulled down, the lamp stays on for a longer period of time. simple. as time passes, the pull chain retracts as the countdown to switching off the lamp progresses. a few minutes before the timer runs out, the lamp dims and eventually switches off as it ends its countdown. sounds like fun and with practical application too. i want one but wait, i don’t actually has a bedside table. duh!

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check out this awesome transparent iPhone 4 case mod

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(image credit: wkmarken)

if you think the ‘tear down’ look decal for iPhone 4 is way too lame, perhaps you would like to go one step further like this person, known only as wkmarken, did: replacing both the front and back covers with true transparent versions. once installed, you will get to see the full glory of its innards, well, actually not a lot to be seen. really. perhaps, more of a novelty than anything else.

apparently, the cover wasn’t transparent originally but the owner managed to remove the paint from the replacement cover, turning them into a transparent item. i find it hard to believe. how did he managed to remove the paint of the covers while keeping the Apple logo, iPhone text and those almost unreadable tiny text perfectly intact? if he actually did, he’d be one hell of a craftsman. or perhaps, the logo and text are on the inside while the paint on outside?

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via CRAVE and Uwants.com

Skizee is a track vehicle that pushes skier around

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(image credit: Skizee) Skizee | US$2,500.00 | skizee.ca

if you are an avid skier and don’t have the luxury of snowy mountains to make a downhill run, there’s this little single track machine called Skizee that can push you around the snow with its 10.5-hp, 4-stroke engine. at glance, it look almost like the British Mark I tank but of course, it isn’t. the Skizee is part snow mobile, part human skier and it has a foldable control bar that let skier controls it. constructed out of light aluminum, the Skivee comes complete with electric start and braking control. Continue reading “Skizee is a track vehicle that pushes skier around”