Last week I was at a trade show for electrical wholesalers and I came across these single and double power sockets with a USB charging point built-in.
As soon as I saw them, I thought, “Those would be handy…” and then I saw the price…£62.74 for the single and £76.60 for the double socket and they’re trade prices too (ex VAT). In US money that’s $99 and $120 respectively. As Todd would say, “Are these guys smoking crack!?” Who in their right mind would pay that kind of money for a built-in USB socket and a single USB socket at that? I can only hope that it’s a pricing error or a multi-pack.
With a bit of searching, I subsequently found another company that charges a far more reasonable £15 for a single socket and there are doubles going on ebay for £30 which is still pricey enough.
From the specs, it would appear that 1A is the rated current which will be fine for most phones and mp3 players, but tablets will take their time to charge.
For those who despise wall warts and power bricks, it’s a neat way to go, but make sure you aren’t paying over the odds.
OWC are more usually known for their line of Mac-compatible SSDs but unsurprisingly, they do have other products. Andy finds out more from Grant.
The unsightly profusion of mobile phone, tablet and other gadget chargers is a bane of modern life. OWC have a tidy and green solution in the shape of a standard power socket fitted with smart USB charging points which don’t draw power when not in use. It’s approved by UL, too, so it’s home safe. The Power2U is available now for $27.99. OWC – please do a UK version too.
Moving on, iPads are an easy target for thieves and corporate devices doubly so. OWC’s iPad GripStand Station securely stores, recharges and syncs up to 8 iPads at once, even when the iPads are fitted with a GripStand. The security bar and padlock make petty theft much more difficult. Available now from $379, which I gather is a somewhat of a bargain.
The nest thermostat has received more than its fair share of press coverage recently, but that’s because it’s both smart, cool and well-designed. Todd chats with Kate from nest about this great new product.
The nest thermostat is a smart thermostat that learns from your habits and behaviours and adjusts itself to match them, turning the heat up when you want it and down when you are out of the home. It’s exceptionally easy to use – you turn it up, you turn it down, that’s it. The nest has several learning modes, including schedule learning and activity detection, which help it keep you comfortable but the energy costs down.
The nest thermostat costs $249 but it’s on back order because it’s been so popular. The thermostat comes with everything you need to install the devices yourself, including a screwdriver!
Looking for a cool and geeky DIY project? Then this 555 Timer IC footstool might be just the thing for you. Imagine a small little chip scaled up thousands of times and you’ve got a something that would make a perfect footstool. Here it is and that’s the actual chip in the foreground.
Posted by KL Tech Muse at 5:28 PM on February 11, 2011
Todd Cochrane spoke to Jeff Cody and Matt Miller from Vidtonics a company that is just launching and will be providing a kit to build your own TV. Everything you need is included in the kit, the LCD panel(22-42 inches), the board and anything else you will need. They made it clear that there is no soldering involved, if you can build a computer you can use this kit. It is made for hardcore coders and those who like to tinker.
Both the hardware and software are open source. Because it is an open development platform it allows for and in fact they encourage customizations and mod-ding, They are hoping for a lot of community participation and contribution. It will have a Texas Instrument processors and will allow up to 1080P resolution. It also includes an expansion port for testing purposes and special uses. It should be available this summer on-line at Vidtonics, pricing is unknown at this time. If you like to build computers or tinker with things this maybe the product for you
Over at How It Works there’s a short story about a father and his two children sending up a weather balloon to 19 miles with a video camera on-board. The camera records all of the ascent and all but 2 minutes of the descent – the battery runs out!
It takes the Geissbuhler family eight months of planning and it’s a great testimony to what can be achieved by enthusiasts. It certainly helps that the miniaturisation of technology has allowed GPS and hi-res video cameras to be encapsulated in tiny devices such as mobile phones. However, this shouldn’t take away from their achievements. Here’s the video.
Austin Texas meet-up this coming Saturday.. RSVP today firstname.lastname@example.org Well folks home long enough to get some clean clothes then I am headed to Texas. Will be looking for around 100 listeners to participate in some new media panels, will advise when I am ready to have those panels.
Your host is back and healthy and feeling good. If you watch the video sporting a Bono look and ready to head to the East Coast next week should be a great trip with a series of Podcaster Meetups all across the country.
Posted by geeknews at 6:52 AM on February 13, 2008
Buglabs is one of the most innovative products of the 2008 CES and was one of our Picks of the day. Buglabs BUG makes it fun and easy to build any gadget you can imagine. Build familiar things like digital cameras and GPS locators or create new devices that you have been dreaming about.