By now i’m sure you’ve heard about and seen the flashy Virgin America website and all the sweet goodies they’ve packed on to their flights - from the plugs at every seat, the neon purple/blue mood lighting, ordering drinks, movies, and tvshows with the swipe of a credit card, seat to seat chat (yes. imagine the possibilities… close quarters stalker possibilities on a long flight?!?!), google maps to track where you are, and even the cutest animated saftey video (youtube below). Anyhow, i got a chance to fly Virgin America for the super quick flight up to SFO from LAX for the Oakley event… and since my hour long flight was delayed another hour (sf fog!) i took some pics of the plane, my empty row, and the RED Entertainment UI while i was sitting in there. (I also found a nice little video of the UI in action on Youtube).
Wow thanksgiving was a bit different this year. Apparently technology = bonding? Was this true for you too? Did your wii, xbox 360, and cell phones change the social dynamic of the feasting?
I haven’t done a big family one (or been in the states for it) much the last decade… so it was funny to see everyone all grown up and out of college at my aunts, and we had a new set of young ones (twins 7 and 4) and all of us 20 somethings to entertain them. Just thinking back on what we did as kids at thanksgiving… we probably ran around outside - pool/basketball/tennis/etc, built forts, board games? movies? played lots of mortal kombat, sonic, etc? Well it certainly feels like times have changed… i brought down a plate of cookies and a basket of wii games as my contribution… the cousins had the wii projected on the wall ~ and hours were spent introducing newbies (who quickly got competitive!) to wii golf, tennis, and guitar hero… (fascinating watching how quickly even the 4 year olds would pick up mii making and game playing - not to mention how impressive the 7 year olds were at guitar hero)… the older generation was singing along… and when the little ones got bored early at dinner ~ their instant amusement? Borrowing camera phones and running around taking pictures and asking to keep them (i was slightly surprised they weren’t emailing them to themselves)…
Anyhow, i wasn’t the only one… Dan flew out to see family in Virginia and brought the wii and everything to go with it… and over at Joystiq, Ross has a great post on bringing Rock Band to his family feast (love checking out the images and the full family review of the new game)… and my old boss was even going to throw a Rock Band Party for Black Friday (momentarily postponed!)… Anyhow, just a quick post to reminisce… and ponder what we did back in the day?!?! So i guess i should have really added Rock Band and Guitar Hero to the Thanksgiving survival gift guide, but at least i had the wii!
Oh and on guitar hero ~ quite possibly the best Will It Blend to date is the one below of the GUITAR being blended. Must watch.
Gift Guide 27 is a page of designer tech accessories to explore ~ from hulger’s bluetooth phones and toyo ito’s usb hub to the ultimate shell to hide your video game controllers in plain site and the lelo elise pleasure object…
Remember the Keyport? Well the kit for the limited edition just showed up today - basically make copies of keys you want in the device, put them on the ring, stick the stickers on then, give a description, pop them back in the padded envelope, and fedex it away! The “I use this key for” section makes me pretty nervous (as if sending keys doesn’t already - even valet parking makes me nervous… we all watch our share of spy/con flicks, it’s so easy to get in where you want to… between lock picks and social hacking… especially if people will send you the keys AND a description of which are for what?)… i wonder if all they are really asking is what type of car if its a car key… the rest should be self explanatory to a locksmith right? But i am super curious about what the final product will look like… Well, at least they aren’t asking for pictures of the corresponding locks and lock locations with video proving the keys work… Anyhow, thought you’d be interested to see the next step of the Keyport, Happy almost turkey day.
Freshly back in LA, and slightly scared to wear my Tom Fords… as i told you earlier, i just spent two nights up in Half Moon Bay with the Oakley crew at their golf tournament, where i got to check out the Rolling O Lab. Now, i already showed you the *fun* side of the O Lab, here’s the fascinating rolling research lab in a trailer… it will really bring out the hands on science geek in anyone. I tried to get pics of all the fun bits to share with you… but here’s the cliff notes version before we get into the show and tell: if something blasts you in the face, most glasses will stab you in the eye - Oakley lenses just scratch slightly… if you lay down and drop a nearly 2 pound pointed weight on your glasses, you will have something sharp sticking out of your eye - Oakley lenses just get a dent… if you point lasers through the lenses to emulate your vision, the Oakleys actually meet at a point as they should - the others (and we put our random glasses on) were all over the place meaning your eyes are overcompensating (so THAT’s why some glasses give you headaches quickly)… ok ok there’s more, and it was all rather fascinating to me, so please don’t mind the ranting… see pics below - of inside the lab, and also the GIANT corona bottle that was at the first hole.
Uki International has some playfully modern hair styling tools ~ most noteworthy is this tiny “go on” 500 watt hair dryer that is a mere 9cm in length! and weighs in at only 110 grams. (see different angles of how adorable it is below) Also interesting is their Ionic 6000 that has apparently the “max ergonomics, allowed by double handle possibility” and is a powerful 1800/2000 watts and 21 cms in length. I also couldn’t resist sharing this technical coloration trolley, Moana, designed by Massimo Pizzoleo ~ which although it looks quite like a frog it is ready to go with two tinting brushes and a tin foil roll (see how it opens below).
On bizarre ways to kick off Thanksgiving week ~ i’m trying that whole “live blogging” thing from the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay today where Oakley is holding their Oakley Norcal Shootout, and there are some serious golfers out here! But i’m hiding out in the library/high tea room at the moment… the parts you’ll probably most interested in are their road crew of two large trailers that roam the states from event to event - fondly known as the Rolling O Lab… consider it a mini of the intense testing and research lab in their Foothill Ranch HQ! Anyhow, more on the research one soon… but first things first, take a look at this HUGE slick black Oakley’d out Freightliner they have hauling the lounge around? And take a look at the interior of the lounge ~ huge flat screens inside and out, comfy couches, surfboard, skateboard, kitchen, and even Oakley Tap for the kegerator. Not a bad way to travel around the states? (These guys are on the road 300+ days a year.) Anyhow, more pics below to give you a feel… check their schedule to see where you can run into them next (next stop Tahoe tomorrow, then salt lake, then the UCLA/USC game!)… Oh, and being a golf tournament… naturally Caddy Shack is playing.
Latest in toothbrush technology? Ultrasound. No, seriously… the Ultreo uses sonic vibrations plus ultrasound. And as much as initially i thought this might just be another crazy gimmick and I initially wanted to check it out b/c the packaging was interesting, and the new technology intriguing… I didn’t expect to actually be hooked on my teeth feeling this noticeably clean relative to the sonicare elite (i haven’t had a chance to compare this to that new sonicare flexcare, but its the same technology really, only less vibrations coming through and smaller?). Founded by Dr. Pierre Mourad (who has made his living finding novel applications for ultrasound and its ability to transform bubbles into miniature sources of mechanical energy) and Jack Gallagher (Ultreo’s CEO/President who was present of Phillips Oral Healthcare for a few years) and they brought on Dr. Christopher McInnes (Ultreo’s Principal Scientist who spent 12 years with Sonicare, and provided the fundamental science behind the Sonicare technology)… they have quite a team behind the Ultreo, which has just launched its first ultrasound toothbrush . Other than the incredible clean feeling (yes, i am running my tongue over my teeth in amazement still) ~ it’s impressive that it’s far less aggressive/harsh on your mouth, less vibrations, quieter and i was told the ultrasound technology creates tiny bubbles that blast away the plaque (see the comparison study images, more below)… and how does it work? It’s all about that orange transducer in the middle of the brush head. Really its hard to explain, and definitely worth trying to understand/feel for yourself…. images below of box scans, close ups of the charger, travel case, etc.
Nabzatag ~ the crazy wifi bunnies we’ve been seeing for a while… apparently in the goodies section of their site they are anti-naked bunnies! Anyhow, a little random, but cute that they have pdfs for everything from paper clothes (i guess you could make them with cloth too) to stickers to decorate them (from eyebrows to mustaches to logo shirts ~ give them some character!).
I just got back from the most amazing event that i have a pile of posts to share with you…BUT, i just checked my email and Billy Chasen blew my mind… literally… with his “hey guys, i love your site. one of my daily stops. I just created an exploded ipod — it’s encased in resin and still works. tell me what you think :) -billy” email. Well… Billy? I think the proper response is - where can i buy one? Or at least play with one? Does it work with remote control?
It is quite possibly my favorite new view of the overexposed ever evolving design *classic*(?)… the ipod has become the kleenex of the mp3 players… its refreshing to see it so exposed - and encased in resin! See below for more images and read more on Billy’s site.
Oakley’s line of wearable tech has evolved once again… and its certainly improving! If you recall, i reviewed their O ROKR and Thump 2 almost exactly a year ago, and i was pleasantly surprised when a white boxed beta of the Split Thump showed up today. They’ve really cleaned up the design quite a bit, and it is now possible to be far more 007 like with these… removable t-rex arm ear buds (with an adorable little classic oakley pouch for them, even with a divider in the middle to keep them from destroying each other) and the external buttons have been incorporated into the logo (which has been enlarged and aesthetically looks far better on the glasses)… and they are sounding better as well. Bottom line? These glasses can actually look like normal sporty sunglasses when you aren’t listening to music, giving you the flexibility the others lacked. Anyhow, take a look below for the unboxing, close ups, and a some photo comparisons between the Thump 2 and the and the Split Thump.
Oh, and if any of you are thinking ~ but wait some of the big tech blogs hated it… i just reread all those posts, and they have been following their predecessors who all hated the concept to start with - and its so sad that some of those sounded like whiny poor techy ipod lovers who probably aren’t huge fans of outdoor sports. But anyhow, i might be in a ranty mood… these are definitely making my potential gift list… although it says “coming soon”, i’ve heard that these will definitely be shipping in time for xmas.
Remember those days when our site would flicker up and down or get super slow? Somewhere between our overloads of traffic, unstable servers, and some pretty shoddy tech support? It even got bad to the point that i ended up posting to see if anyone had any better solutions… to be completely honest it feels like years ago (post was dated April 07)… but thanks to the advice, horror stories, and hosts that everyone submitted ~ we decided to go with WiredTree which Jonah shared with us.
So, as promised, now that we’ve found a new host, and tried them out for a few months, and i’ve actually been sleeping better (it’s nice not having the 4am sms “OMG your sites are down! Again.”)
The first things that come to mind ~ incredible uptime that its only beat by their great customer service. I have never had service where we have a problem regardless of size (server crash, out of HD space, or just a silly email question) answered in about 5 minutes when it is 2am (which would be 4am for them in Chicago)… and even if they did just wake up, they manage to respond with friendly, professional, intelligent, patient, efficient responses. From a technical perspective, it is refreshing that they give you full access to your box, yet guarantee complete management: software + hardware + network, and they deliver on it, which is no easy feat considering what some of us may try to do with our servers (other than NOTCOT.com being on movable type all the other sites are built by us from scratch).
Anyhow, if you’re still looking for a host ~ check out what WiredTree has to offer, the pricing and server options were extremely competitive when we shopped around, even before realizing how smart the team supporting it is. And feel free to mention you found them through NOTCOT!
For those who noticed i’ve been really slow on posts and editing the other sites today, i guess i’ve kind of found myself with the one problem that i can “call in sick” about… my right fingers have been doing crazy cramping up, and my hand has been killing me a bit. I guess those 10+ years of not so ergo laptop-in-bed-and-on-lap are catching up to me as i near 25. Figures that it is right now that i decide to have all these ideas for redesigns i’m dying to sit and code… Anyhow, whining aside, this carpal tunnel scare convinced me to finally look a little more closely at the ergonomic options out there and i just ran out and grabbed this crazy split Gold Touch keyboard by KeyOvation that Dan recommended… and i’m considering forcing my mouse usage lefty and trying one of their crazy Evoluent vertical mice as well (not to mention trying to work at a desk properly).
Anyhow, i just wanted to tell you all to BE CAREFUL! And i was also wondering if you’d had any experience, advice, ideas on the subject… and why oh why are these things all so ugly?!?!?! One of these days we will have to get some designers and engineers together and help clean some of these designs up. Oh, and i might be a little extra quiet/slow for the next few days with this physically induced “break”… sorry.
We’ve all seen and loved the Sun Jar by Tobias Wong for Suck UK ~ in fact its won quite a few gift of the year awards even! But somehow i failed to notice it is also available in BLUE, until i saw it over at ThinkGeek labeled a MOON JAR! So i’m quite excited and craving one of these tonight ~ more images below for anyone who wants to catch up on how the Sun Jar works…
More excitingly… i found this because i just shopping, designing, coding, and hunting through archives to get ready for the holiday season gift guide! I’ve never really done one before, but since i need to do it anyhow to figure out holiday and birthday gifts (SO many december babies! Myself included), figured this year no harm rounding it all up. In fact we’ve got some great sponsors lined up to help make it possible as well! (And if you’d like to join in and sponsor the gift guide as well please drop our advertising manager, Jared, a line - jared at notcot.com) Also, if you have any ideas for great products that shouldn’t be left out, or think you know what will be THE “it” product of the season, leave me a note!
OH ~ and for those who are starting pre-thanksgiving and need some help ~ in my hunting today i’ve added more stores to last years post filled with stores for great gifts.