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oobject: 'daily user-ranked gadget lists'
What a tech bubble needs is bubble cars like these classics from the 40s to the present. Perhaps they should replace the Google bus with a 1958 Goggomobil?

Bubble Cars

The Olympics is to the World Cup as the Eurovision Song Contest is to Saturday Night at the Apollo. An event created by top down bureaucracy rather than grass roots passion. This is sometimes reflected in its architecture, which has a far worse track record in terms of long term use. Many Olympic sites fail to live up to their aims at sustainability or regeneration and instead lie in ruin or have since been demolished.After the recent scandal about the horrendous state of the recent Athens Olympics’ facilities we decided to look for more examples. Here is what we found. Some are the products of politics and war rather than over-ambitious folly, but it seems that about half of the Olympic sites are gone or wrecked.

12 examples of decayed Olympic sites

The trend for dull or matt black motorcycles originated in 'Rat Bikes' as a reaction against stock vehicles with bright colors and overblown fairings. For the purist a rat bike is never washed and ridden till it falls apart, a purely practical and functional idea that ends up creating a particular look. Painting bikes matt black was originally part of this utilitarian idea but was appropriated by people who create 'Survival bikes'. These have a deliberately designed post-apocalyptic look that traces back to things like the Max Max movie series. The line between rat bikes and survival bikes is sometimes blurred as people who consciously create the menacing, industrial look of survival bikes borrow from distressed and naturally aged rat bikes.What made this list particularly interesting from a design curation perspective was how a simple thing such as the type of paint has come full circle through various subcultures and into the mainstream.The 2007 Triumph Speed Triple, shown here, is a production motorcycle that is available in matt black, with a look and feel inspired by rat bikes. It completes the design cycle where a reaction of something mainstream becomes a mainstream fashion.

black rat bikes

What the list says - a collection of pod shaped enclosures from a health monitoring system, to a tree house, escape module, house, bed and office.

15 odd pods

Top500.org have just released their updated list of the worlds most powerful supercomputers. In June all of the top 5 were in the US, now only 2 are, with India, Sweden and Germany appearing.Here's an interesting thing, you can make it into this list for less than the cost of a family house in Manhattan.The fact that a Swedish Military computer is at number 5 indicates that either the Swedish military require the world's most powerful computers, or they are just unusually unsecretive, and that there are many machines we don't know about.Here are the top 15, with pictures of the actual machines, where they have been built. Although the IBM Blue Gene has a simple and striking case, only the Barcelona Computer Center and Leibniz Rechenzentrum are contained in rooms that are at all impressive. Vote for which ones you think are worthy of note.

15 top supercomputers

By the end of the decade, not one of New York's skyscrapers will be in the top 10 tallest, compared to those in Saudi Arabia or the Arab Emirates. The Burj Dubai, which is nearly completed will be the size of two Empire State buildings on top of each other and it would be completely dwarfed by proposals on either side of the Arabian peninsula for mile high towers. The Emirates contain some of the most surreal, monumental and ironic recent architectural projects, including a mammoth ferris wheel hotel, a twin tower Wold Trade Center and an enormous convention center intentionally modeled on the Death Star from Star Wars. Vote for the most surreal.

20 Arabian mega skyscrapers

At first glance you think, wow a tie camera, a camera in a case, mirror, plant, cigarette packet, cell phone. How cool would that have been when I was a kid? Then you think, hmm …cell phone. Cell phones already have cameras, its a pretty dumb place to put a spy cam.The progress of technology has overtaken the mystique of the hidden camera such that we have been invaded by a million spy cams embedded in wholesale crap.Vote for the silliest. Oh, and do check out the rather great antique watch camera which is from the days when spy cams were actually impressive.

16 odd spy cams

The design history of snowmobiles starts with propeller driven sleds, including the amazing Russian combat version and migrates to half track vehicles with rear engines. Today's front engine vehicles were pioneered by Polaris, and are represented here by the Arctic Cat F6 600, which is driven by Sarah Palin's husband. This list of personal snowmobiles also contains two state of the art concept single track motorcycle style vehicles by Keller and Schlootz.

snowmobiles through history

In order to create musical mashups, its good to have some mashup instruments.We love the names of some of these, like the the chairello, however our favorites are the amazing musical instruments made by Iner Souster, out of chicken cookers, golf carts, refrigerators, and a violin that is made out of a violin case.

12 musical instrument mashups

The launching of a ship after smashing a bottle of champagne against its bow is an iconic ritual. It is also one of the few things in life which is still impressive despite being relatively slow. Shown here are videos which are interesting because of the ships fame, sheer size or quirkiness of the launch, including those where huge waves drench onlookers. Our favorite is the time lapse submarine launch in a floating dock.

12 videos of ships being launched

We tend to think of submarines as being a particularly 20th century object when we imagine the nuclear powered, nuclear missile carrying versions. Obviously however, they feature in the Jules Verne classic, ‘20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' and are, as such a definitive Victorian piece of technology, or to use the term currently in vogue, 'steampunk'.Although the idea of a submarine began as early as the 16th century, it was in the Victorian era that the modern cigar with periscope form was developed with France's Gymnote in 1889.Included here is a picture of the model of the Plongeur which was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in 1867. This was the actual item that Jules Verne saw and inspired the Nautilus in his seminal science fiction work, making it an historic item in the cultural history of technology.

victorian submarines

There is nothing more creepy than the charred remains of a moth eaten victorian doll with rolling eyes and moving limbs. That is the premise for the Oobject's Halloween list, videos of the most creepy automata in action.

top 12 videos of creepy automata

For sheer baroque complexity of appearance, planetarium projectors are among the most amazing gizmos ever built. They range from enormous machines more than 20 ft. high to a soccer ball sized $300 home version.Their purpose is a bizarre reversal of a large optical telescope, taking an internal view of the the universe and projecting it on a dome, rather than creating a view from peering outside of one, but the aesthetic is somewhat similar. Another curious similarity is how much they look like some early satellites.Our personal favorites are the original Zeiss, Mark I and the truly amazing machine built by the Korkosz brothers for the, appropriately named, Seymour Planetarium.

16 incredible planetarium projectors

Mechanical horse are interesting because they straddle the gap between the era of the internal combustion engine (we still notionally benchmark our cars relative to horses through horse power) and that of bone & gristle.

mechanical horses

Architect of the Lego House built for Top Gear presenter James May, Barnaby Gunning, has sent us pictures of the construction progress so far. We'll post more as we get them.

pictures of the lego house construction progress

Dieter Rams' 40 year stint at Braun until 1995 redefined the world of product design, taking pure modernism to the world of gadgets. He is the direct inspiration for much of Apple's product design after Steve Jobs returned and in many aspects his work is more rigorous and more coherent than Apple's. I've picked 15 of my favorite items, but if I had to choose just one, it would be the LE 1 electrostatic speakers from 1959. They were built around Quad technology and influenced Apple's large screen displays.

15 dieter rams classics

Flea circuses share one thing in common with combine harvesters. They are something that you hear about lot as a kid but rarely see. Popular since the 1600s till the late 19th Century, there is something fantastically creepy and Victorian about them, since they were cheap entertainment for the poor and the best performers were human fleas. Despite the mythology, flea circuses are real, and some still exist. Here are some pictures and videos to prove it.

10 flea circus contraptions

A nostalgic look at the prime or earliest examples of truly revolutionary gadgets. Keep sending us tips, and vote for the ones that impacted you most.

18 world changing gadgets

Before rendering, 3d computer models are displayed as wireframes, which have a particular aesthetic. Several artists have tried to capture this in real life, with surreal models of things that aren't really there. I also threw in Gaudi's classic upside down catenary arch model of Sagrada Familia, for its sheer prowess.

9 real wireframe models

Aside from the POV Parkour here, non of these videos involve super human skills, Spidey Senses or Red Bull addiction. I actually prefer the seemingly bland but interesting ones such as strapping a GoPro to a dog, hula hoop, time lapse of the view out of a commercial flight or RC car in Walmart to endless surfing videos

12 Creative Uses of a GoPro

When you see something familiar that looks unfamiliar it creates an impression. Armor is so iconic that everyone has an image of what it looks like, from Roman to Samurai. Here are some examples that are a little bit different. Vote for your faves.

extraordinary armor

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Category: 'news'

Sciphone N12 Android Phone

June 22nd, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Sciphone N12, an Android powered smartphone is ready to hit the market this month.The Sciphone N12 support both quadband GSM and WCDMA (3G) networks. Sport a 3.2 inch topuchscreen, N12 boast CMMB TV support while for connectivity, beside its 3G support, a Wifi module is packed too.

Nevada Lightning Laboratory Experiments

June 21st, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
The Nevada Lightning Laboratory were recently trying many experiments, such as what would happen if you flew a small radio controlled helicopter between two Tesla coils, could a small vehicle big enough for one person be powered using a Tesla coil. Watch the videos below for the cool answers.

Vintage Tech archives in Bay Area seek moving volunteers today.

June 21st, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Phil Lapsley, vintage computing history buff, writes: VintageTech, the organizers of the Vintage Computer Festival, are moving their warehouse of historical computers, equipment, software, and documentation from Livermore, CA to Stockton, CA.

Novatel Wireless MiFi 2352 HSPA review

June 21st, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Novatel Wireless’ MiFi intelligent personal hotspot was one of our top 5 gadgets from ShowStoppers back in April, and had floored us a few months earlier in Barcelona.

Feel freedom with the Montague Paratrooper tactical folding mountain bike

June 21st, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
If you feel like adrenaline rush cycling, this model of super bicycle appears to have been designed exactly for you. Called the Montague Paratrooper Tactical Bike, this mountain bike is a unique bike with its unsurpassable feature to withstand 1000 foot parachute jump.

Far-reaching Cykle Dual System Bike concept

June 20th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
This whimsically looking bicycle christened Cykle is a project constructed on the Bike Share system to become a well recognizable in Europe. The Cykle offers an operation based on a combination of both electric power and your muscle power.

Hands-On With the Smart, Retro Olympus E-P1

June 20th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
This first look at the Olympus E-P1, aka the ‘Digital Pen,’ is by Wired UK editor Holden Frith. The Olympus E-P1 is a handsome camera, and it takes handsome pictures.

FH001 Transparent Eco Friendly Speakers

June 20th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
The FH001 is a new design from Ferguson Hill that produces 3 to 50 watts. It was made of clear acrylic and have a ultra high efficiency design. The spherical subwoofer retails a hefty $26,000.

CATS.i: The tracking device that’s the size of a cellphone battery

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
This is the CATS.i. It’s a tracking device that its creator says is so small it’s “almost undetectable when being worn.” I could see paranoid parents putting it in their kid’s pocket to make sure he doesn’t wander off.

SBG Labs shows off prototypes of full-color heads-up wearable displays

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
You know we love reporting on technologies that still seem futuristic, but are either here today or very close. Sunnyvale CA company, SBG Labs, has a working prototype of a wrap-around heads-up display that provides for a clear, full-color display via a lightweight pair of eyeglasses.

IPhone Camera Remote Gets Improved UI, Nikon Support

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Are you a Nikon shooter? And an iPhone owner? Are you jealous that those pesky Canon fanboys get to remote control their DSLRs directly from the phone itself? Are ya? Then calm down. We have good news.

Minifit XL: moveable Laptop Fan

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Most under-notebook cooling panels have a fixed-position fan. You may move this one around, to better hit the hot spots on your particular model.'

The iPhone 3G S splayed out on the operating table

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Happy iPhone 3G S Day! We’ve got the tear down of the latest iPhone here so you don’t have to spend all day sitting and staring at your new phone, wondering how it ticks. Oh, and there is a small, and geeky, surprise hidden within the iPhone 3G S that might reveal upcoming features.

AT&T tethering to cost $55?

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Gruber found some information that the AT&T tethering plan would cost $55 a month and suggests - but cannot confirm - that this will be in addition to the unlimited data plan already in place, potentially hitting the $85 per month for data.

Samsung AMOLED RFID e-passport video demo

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Samsung have been demonstrating their latest AMOLED concept, an e-passport that embeds a 2-inch QVGA resolution flexible display into an identity card.

Node power outlet: how come nobody thought of this before?

June 18th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Probably because there are a few design issues with it. Although the Node outlet is very stylish-looking and certainly an elegant solution to the too-many-plugs problem, a moment’s reflection brings up a few serious issues.

3D Conferencing System

June 18th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
If your Wii boxing buddy or Star Wars light saber duel partner moved to a different town, technology can help bring you together for just one more game.

Bluedot BSP-S20K 19mm thin flat speaker

June 18th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Bluedot presenting its BSP-S20K, a 19mm thin flat speaker. Come in a 125×155x19mm dimension, Bluedot BSP-S20K offer a 2Wx2ch output. This battery powered speakerhas 5 hours operating time before the battery runs out.

Verizon Launches USB1000 Global Modem

June 18th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Verizon Wireless today launched their first truly global USB modem, the USB1000. Designed by Novatel Wireless, the USB1000 combines - get this - CDMA EVDO Rev A on 850/1900 MHz, HSDPA/HSUPA on 850/1900/2100 MHz, and GSM/EDGE on 850/900/1800/1900 MHz.

You can buy gold from a vending machine in Germany

June 18th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
You’d usually find the best vending machines in Japan… until now! There are plans to introduce vending machines in Germany that sell gold. That’s right: 100 percent pure gold. There’s already a prototype machine at the Frankfurt airport.

i-Aroma: Japan wants to add fragrances to the web experience

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Releasing odors in movie theaters to enhance the viewing experience is an idea that’s been around for decades now.

iPhone OS 3.0 walkthrough

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Filed under: Software, iPhone, iPod touch It's official: The iPhone 3.0 firmware is now available. As you wait for your copy to download and install, you'll need something to read -- and we've got a complete walkthrough of the new software.

Panasonic’s iPod merge: In-flight entertainment for Very Important People

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Now, the smart thing to do when faced with the prospect of a long aeroplane flight is to load up on Benadryl (or Ambien, if you have money and a cooperative doctor) right before boarding. That way you sleep for the duration of the flight—no having to worry about crying babies for you!

Phosphor E-Ink Watch

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Phosphor E-Ink Watch Phosphor have created a nice looking watch that doesn’t use the traditional LED or LCD screen that we find in most digital watches. Instead they have used E-Ink to display the time on the face of the watch.

Cute Old-Style Radio Looks Like Crushed Cigarette Butt

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Radio Valerie is an almost impossibly cute little radio, a squat curved cylinder with a speaker squashed into the end which is tuned by an inventive combination of aerial and dial.

The Evolution of Cellphones, Russian-Doll Style

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
From Motorola Dynatac to Apple iPhone, Karl Bean’s amazing matrioshka models detail the history of cellphone design from 1983 to what looks like 2007 (that’s a first-generation iPhone if we’re not mistaken).

Garmin announces new Foretrex wrist GPS units

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Garmin announced a new wrist wearable GPS today, which I think looks remarkably like military tech seeping into the civilian sector. Considering that GPS technology itself was originally military, this doesn’t come as a great shock.

Ultrasn0w iPhone 3.0 OS Jailbreak

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
The iPhone Dev Team has released more details about the latest jailbreak for the new iPhone 3.0 OS, the new jailbreak will now be called ulstrasn0w.

Analog to Digital Converters – Round Up

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Here we have a furious round up of some of the many analog to digital converters we’ve featured over the years to persuade you to digitize your precious analog collections of audio cassettes, vinyl records, photographs, slides/negatives and VHS tapes. Let’s go!

Stealth Computers WPC-500F Waterproof Mini Desktop

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
The WPC-500F waterproof desktop from Stealth Computers is waterproof and completely fanless, so I can be sure this computer is silent. The mini-desktop comes equipped with special cables for power, networking and peripherals which are also completely waterproof.

Samsung SyncMaster 50 Series Elegant LCD Monitor

June 8th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
After release SyncMaster 43 Series, now Samsung announce the new Elegant SyncMaster 50 Series. It’s P2050G (20-inch) and P2350G (23-inch) which has Samsung ToC Crystal Rose black bezel. The dynamic contrast ratio is 50,000:1 with 2ms response time with Full HD resolution.

High-altitude floating wind harvesters may replace your local windmills

June 8th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
There have been some rumblings, so to speak, of the so-called low-frequency noises that windmills are said to produce. I’m don’t buy into them, but a bunch of spinning machines in your backyard isn’t desirable whether they cause nightmares or not.

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