Sometimes it's hard to say "no." You get an e-mail from a friend who wants you to read, critique, and edit his 500,000-word epic sci-fi fantasy novel. Your boss wants you to forfeit the next 12 weekends to help out with a pet project. This is when you need to have the Semi-Automatic Gmail Assistant (SAGA).
SAGA looks deceptively simple. It's a colorful rectangular box with a chrome button, a place for a key, and a USB hook-up for your computer. Your computer sees it as a standard keyboard.… Read more
Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch has a big hand in shaping the sales of books, both physical and digital. He also has a confession to make.
"I don't really read physical books that much anymore," Lynch told Bloomberg's Nicole Lapin. Lynch was dishing on what he's reading on his Nook right now, including Food & Wine and Field & Stream magazines. Fortunately for physical books, Lynch's wife is still a big fan of paper.
The migration away from physical media isn't new, but it still feels a bit strange to hear the CEO of a massive physical bookstore chain fess up about his preference for e-books. He also admitted to not being able to finish "Fifty Shades of Grey," for what that's worth.… Read more
Some of my fondest childhood toy memories revolve around Legos. About the time my brother showed up with a Dungeons & Dragons book, we left the Legos behind. Thanks to the thriving world of role-playing miniatures, that sense of building and creation doesn't have to be consigned to the depths of childhood.
It's always been easy to get your hands on miniature monsters and knights, but creating landscapes for them to play in is another matter. The Castle! Kickstarter from Castle Foundry is looking to provide RPGers with a setting that is just as engaging as their carefully painted minis. … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Did RIM just stage this BlackBerry 10 "leak"?
- Do we need this? Kohler shower head doubles as a wireless speaker.
- Dude builds OSX into old Macintosh Portable, let's talk about RETRO OBSESSION.
- Bionic mannequins spy on shoppers to boost sales.
Bathroom break video: One of the best couples Halloween costumes ever recorded.Episode 1,169
Some eternal questions vex us through history. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? How do cats purr? How many balloons would it take to lift my house into the air like in the "Up" movie? That last question is no longer a mystery.
An online calculator from real estate blog Movoto will tell you how many helium balloons you'll have to order from Party City to get your house off the ground. You tell it how big your house is and it gives you the number. For the record, my 1,100-square-foot house will require a mere 28,470,200 balloons to battle gravity.… Read more
Every morning and every night I wade through a gauntlet of screaming kitties, demanding their meals. This is the dark side of living with LOLcats. It would be nice sometimes to kick back in a coffee shop somewhere, tap on my smartphone, and let a machine do all the work.
The Pintofeed is an intelligent, Wi-Fi-connected pet feeder that's dialed in to smartphones and social media. It serves up food in half-cup portion increments and is controlled by Android or iOS devices. The standard capacity is 5 pounds of food, but an optional 10-pound holder is available.
There are plenty of safeguards built into the machine to insure it keeps working while you're away. It has a battery backup in case the AC power goes out. There are two motors so the secondary motor will kick in if the first one goes out. The owner receives an alert if something goes wrong.… Read more
NEW YORK --Sphero rolled, danced, and lit up like a Christmas tree.
In Union Square here on Saturday night, marketers from Orbotix, makers of the ball that owners can control remotely with their iPhones and Android devices, dazzled crowds by showing off how their product can be programmed to move in a sort of synchronized ballet (video at bottom).
Every Sunday morning, my squire helps me put on a full suit of chain mail before I head into the kitchen to do battle with cranberry muffins and eggs over easy. Now all I need is some Combat Kitchenware to truly force my hash browns into submission.
Combat Kitchenware is the melding of a sword with a pan. It swaps out the pan handle with a pommel, grip, and guard from a sword that could have been plucked off the set of "Game of Thrones." These pans would add a new dimension to Iron Chef battles, especially if the combatants were allowed to fight to the death. … Read more