*notcot - 09.01.07 , 22:42 - 9 Notes

Balmuda’s X-Base

balmuda1.jpgThis heatwave in California needs to stop. It’s seriously hot out ~ although gorgeous beach weather for sure… but one thing that is unnecessary is having my macbook pro function as a space heater in this weather while i work. Not sure about you, but nearly everyone i know and work with has a 15” macbook pro ~ and it is HOT, literally will burn your precious lap after an hour or so of serious working… which is where this overdue product review comes in.

So, i’ve had this Balmuda X-Base the last few weeks and we’ve all hovered around this gorgeous slab of aluminum with a giant heatsink, and really just weren’t sure what to say about it exactly. But tonight i just realized, it is PERFECT for moments like this. It is far too hot to let my laptop overheat my room right now, and that heatsink works its magic the moment you set the laptop down on it. “X-Base is composed of parts machined from blocks of aluminum and stainless steel (except for the heat sink) bolted together.” See more pictures and i’ll continue my review below.

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*notcot - 08.30.07 , 16:02 - 22 Notes

Camera Bag?

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Question of the day i’m posing to all readers: What camera bag do you use for your dSLR? The reason i ask? I got a new lens for my “much overdue for an upgrade to the 40d” digi-rebel, and it got me hunting again for camera bags. What IS the nicest, most elegantly designed camera bag? I couldn’t find any. I went through every camera store online, and then the brands official sites from there, and even trailed around through all the randomness on amazon. The nicest looking options really are going the messenger bag route which moves you away from screaming “there’s a camera in here” slightly. But the issue i’m having is, i want the protection for the body and lens, but i dont want to have to sacrifice needing to schlep yet another bulky thing around (usually i’ve just been sticking it in whatever purses i have that it barely fits in). So i’m curious what you use or recommend?

My solution of the moment is my Botkier Bryant “Camera bag” Satchel. just wide enough to fit it nicely (as well as all the other contents of my purse, which usually include my smaller digicam and huge wallet, etc)… and i’m thinking of making a light foam insert for the bottom and around the lens. So i’m just curious, am i the only one who doesn’t treat my dslr with the loving care i know it deserves and just sticks it in my purses? Isn’t it about time someone designs some bags for those of us who take our camera everywhere with us, but don’t want the hardcore photographer look? (I’m no photographer, but i do love taking the random snapshots at gallery openings and such for here) Ok i’m done griping… time for solutions!

Sponsors

*notcot - 08.29.07 , 18:54 - 0 Notes

Mainframe

mainframe.jpgThis might be exactly why i stick with a flat panel and laptops… Mainframe ~ the brain child of Dean Bradley seems like something fresh out of my nightmares… an axe and keyboard wielding COMPUTER coming to get you. Luckily there is also something kind of cute about these little guys. See him in action (if animated gifs count as action) and some of the paintings this awesome character started out as. Now available over at our favorite purveyors of peculiar ~ StrangeCo.

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*notcot - 08.26.07 , 21:00 - 1 Notes

Google Sky

googlesky.jpgGoogle SKY! It’s actually been difficult to get myself to stop browsing and just take a screenshot already to write this post… there are SO many places to keep exploring. The latest version of Google Earth lets you flip to Sky Mode and see the sky from the place you were centered on the earth. It’s an incredible way to explore and travel from your desktop… there’s something absolutely mesmerizing about how beautiful it is. This is in collaboration with NASA/Space Telescope Institute, Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and Digital Sky Survey Consortium. Check out the video below with Sally Ride. Also a nice touch are the constellation overlays, hubble showcase images, user’s guide to the galaxies, life cycles of stars, and viewing the timelapsed movements of planets.

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*notcot - 08.14.07 , 15:37 - 0 Notes

Porsche Design Edition 1 Accessories

porschecase.jpgSo, i was just gushing about the incredibly designed Porsche Design Edition 1 Cayman below, and as much as i love the car, i was incredibly curious what that accessories case is like… Just got this high res image from Porsche of the contents of that case. Close ups below. Although not as 007 as i’d imagined when you opened the case… those are some impressive black designer accessories in a zip leather briefcase… interesting how even your key comes in the case. Can’t you just imagine a man in a dark suit and those dark glasses walking up and handing you this case as he nods his head towards the car parked across the street as he strolls away? Ok maybe now i’m just dreaming about great ways to have your Porsche Design Edition delivered to you.

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Sponsors

*notcot - , 14:11 -

Porsche Design Edition 1

caymansmain.jpg“Stuttgart. Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany, is to expand its mid-engine coupé model range with the launch, in November 2007, of the Cayman S “Porsche Design Edition 1”, a limited-edition special series. Porsche has incorporated various design disciplines into this very special mid-engine coupé: the black exterior emphasizes the purist nature of the 295-bhp sports car and, at the same time, is a nod to Porsche Design and the famous Chronograph 1s designed by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche precisely 35 years previously.” Just announced today ~ the new Exclusive all-black special edition Limited-edition Cayman S as Porsche Design Edition 1. This is making me drool more than TasteSpotting.

Not just any Porsche… but Porsche utilizing the resources of their incredible industrial design studio… so they are also having designer accessories (unfortunately i haven’t found pics yet) - “The Cayman S “Porsche Design Edition 1” standard equipment thus includes an elegant briefcase containing the Flat Six Chronograph, a pocket knife, a pair of sunglasses, a pen, and a key ring – all in black, even the knife blade, in keeping with the vehicle’s styling. The number of Cayman S “Porsche Design Edition 1” units is to be as exclusive as this series-production luxury package: only 777 are being built, and each will be identifiable from a badge on the lid of the glove box.” Mmmmmm.

UPDATE: I have found the accessories!

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*notcot - 08.13.07 , 13:43 - 0 Notes

Periscope Tech

periscoping.jpgRemember building periscopes as a kid? Either to pretend you had a submarine… or to spy around the corner at neighbors and siblings… that excitement of tracking down empty paper towel rolls (or emptying paper towel rolls) and finding some mirrors… of chaining together complex structures of mirrors and cardboard tubes just to see how far you could push it? If not, go do it, you were deprived. If so, keep reading.

Well take that “technology” and apply it to these silly fixed direction webcams (particularly on the mac laptops) with with two mirrors and a mount…. *poof* you can now record whats on the *other* side of the laptop. This is precisely what ecamm has done with their Huckleberry… and they’ve smartly packaged it with their iGlasses software (the one that lets you tweak your ichat videos to your hearts content)… unfortunately neither the design (although simple), packaging, or their web page leave much to be desired.

Now to take that one step further - according to Gizmodo, “Ken and Greg Aspeslagh [the ecamm guys] claim that they created the application at the C-4 Developer Conference’s Iron Coder Live this weekend, winning first prize.” And thus video chat on iPhone is now possible… Read more about it on the ecamm-ers blog Mac Daddy World.

*notcot - 08.09.07 , 22:16 - 2 Notes

Lego Intermission

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This is a random LEGO intermission ~ it’s been a quiet design week… and it the majority of emails i send result in vacation auto-responders… so its just that quiet leisurely time of year! So here are some random lego pics from a today’s stop at the Lego store. So here’s my $1.50 duplo dragon… and below are the crazy angler and divers (complete with glow in the dark fangs, scuba masks & flippers, and spear guns!)… and the Star War’s Legos magnets and tetris magnets… (the secret of how they stick is a bit disappointing sadly - they just jammed magnets up their legs… and with any hair/helmets/backpacks, they have to lean off the fridge/white board a bit)… anyhow - go take a break! and play with some toys! I forgot how amusing/calming it can be to sit and build some legos… and then take it all apart and make something completely random with it.

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Sponsors

*notcot - , 12:04 - 0 Notes

Matryoshkus

terabyte.jpgArt Lebedev’s Matryoshkus showed up as NOTCOT.org #5562 from Fukudo, and this image struck me enough to feature it here as well. A playfully simple way to get kids (or adults) to catch up on a new way to visualize the sizes/naming of our digital forms of measurement which are difficult to visualize. It feels very much like a Montessori tool…

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*notcot - 08.06.07 , 19:49 - 0 Notes

NOTCOT.org Tech

NOTCOT.org #5509NOTCOT.org #5506NOTCOT.org #5504NOTCOT.org #5498NOTCOT.org #5497NOTCOT.org #5482NOTCOT.org #5460NOTCOT.org #5458NOTCOT.org #5456NOTCOT.org #5442Click the images to find out more! Ok just one more before i settle down to make real posts ~ there’s been a lot of great technology showing up on NOTCOT.org ~ so here’s a quick roundup of some of them. The iphone to xbox conversion is funny… the unboxing of the O2 Cocoon is really sweet… new wii straps are cute… the pleos wassupping is pretty funny… i would be in heaven on that hydroplaning sailboat… the idea of 3 liters of wine and a DVD changes my view of “dinner and a movie”… tinted contacts instead of sunglasses, anyone? Anyhow, feel free to explore.

*notcot - 08.04.07 , 16:46 - 2 Notes

Computer Monster

cookiemonster.jpgSo, i was just watching this old Sesame Street clip over at Crave ~ nothing quite as awesome on a saturday afternoon as watching Cookie Monster’s Green brother (?) “eat the hell out of a computer” as Tim so nicely put it. And this got me thinking… so about NotVideo, responses were all across the board (and hey, for a made in 3 hour pilot - it was pretty fun!) ~ but hardest thing that kept coming up was “who will be the face of NOTCOT?”… wouldn’t it be incredible to bring back something a little more sesame street and less rocketboom/webbalert meets ze frank/ask a ninja? Or something with a little of all of the above mixed in one? Well, let me know what you’re thinking, or if anyone wants to play around with making some videos that lean more towards the crazy fun artsy side of things… but for now: check out the Green Cookie Monster guy consuming a computer as it rambles on below!

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*notcot - 08.02.07 , 14:32 - 3 Notes

Symbaloo

symbaloo.jpgSymbaloo just popped up on NOTCOT.org thanks to John Hawkins, and it was kind of visually interesting, and worth a note for its user experience. First impression, overly web 2.0, and oh so bubbly… reminds me of a homepage version of that Optimus Keyboard… meets the periodic table? Another overly mashed pile of widgets, RSS feeds, searches, etc… but i like the icons (they remind me a lot of the PSP, PS3 navigation icons). And the way you can drag things to the trash in the middle. Also that you can customize the size of the grid you’d like, either based on standard browser sizes, or you can manually add/subtract them. Dan (my other half on all things UX) completely disagrees with my even posting this ~ but although i couldn’t imagine actually using this, i’m intrigued… particularly by what is in their Secrets/Work in Progress section (more after the jump)… like news images showing in the squares: “The latest headlines in a visual environment! It comes with text-rollover’s and deeplinks to the full story.” and also their tv guide integration and map searches with their icons on the maps. So nothing terribly new, but some interesting ways to visualize? I’m posting this one in the name of research on grid views and visual views of news/data… kind of like Yahoo’s OMG - i love how theirs have quick news pop up over the image, and leaves a check mark over ones you’ve read.

Funny how squares as image thumbnails are in isn’t it?

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*notcot - 08.01.07 , 16:18 - 2 Notes

Anymails

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Anymails - i can’t stop watching the videos of this incredible flash/processing project that visualizes your email boxes as its own little ecosystem of organisms - moving, and blobbing about… linking up in groups… changing in size, color, speed, hairiness - depending on read, unread, responded, type, newness. The program uses Apple Mail, and the code is available, although i have downloaded and been too chicken shit to run it yet, that “be careful if you have a large number of emails” thing has me a little weary.

The project was developed by Carolin Horn (Design & Concept) and Florian Jenett (Code) during the MFA thesis “Natural Metaphor For Information Visuzalization” at the Dynamic Media Intitute Boston in 2007. You can see more images, download the full thesis and code, and watch some incredible videos of it in action at their site. For the flash bits with the gorgeously pulsating creatures, see more below as well. (via Information Aesthetics)

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*notcot - 07.30.07 , 16:04 - 1 Notes

Raving Rabbids 2

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There is little that is more amusing than the official Raving Rabbids videos… the first round was amazing with Rabbid Facts… and this time there is the Around the World campaign… so far with Bunnies at Tour de France, and Sumo wrestling! Check out the videos below, as well as the main trailer. Can’t wait till Raving Rabbids 2 finally comes out.

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*notcot - 07.25.07 , 14:00 - 0 Notes

AudioCubes

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New Gallery Tags! Have you noticed the new tags? On the left and right of NOTCOT.com? AudioCubes is sponsoring them this month, and showcasing some of their many fun and hard to find headphones, toys, accessories, and gadgets you didn’t even realize you’d needed. In fact they even just got the Audrey Kawasaki Gelaskins in (couldn’t resist tossing that one in the pic, after just posting the great new Audrey pieces below) - Dan (yes, co-founder and genius behind our tech) is quite the audiophile, and he swears by AudioCubes having ordered some headphones from them. Personally their robot section was my favorite on the site, as well as those tiny speakers that are so cute, tempted to get one for my ipod. You’ll also probably noticed quite a few products we’ve featured, like that video bulb that you just plug into your RCA and it becomes your tv screensaver? Anyhow, i’m in a giddy shopping kind of mood today!

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