Usually reliable Google centric blog 9to5 Google broke the news, saying their sources claim the web giant will be expanding past their occasional Best Buy and special event pop up Chrome stores, and will be looking at a nationwide retail store model similar to that of competitor Apple. The stores would also be used in much of the same fashion as Apple stores, as Google would use them to show off their latest and greatest gadgets, and also offer technical support.
While a reasonable, even sane, argument can be made that Google looking to get into a dying industry late is a costly business failure waiting to happen, the truth is that Apple still does very well at their retail locations, and Google is consistently cited as being at least as popular, if not more so, than Apple is. The real reason this could work though is Project Glass, as Google is set to launch what could potentially be the next great invention, and a physical retail store that lets people practically try it, could be a big draw.
We’ll know more as the rumored holiday 2013 US openings of these stores draws closer, but the one thing we know for sure is that if Google has as much fun designing the stores as they did their offices, we’re all in for a treat.
In “2001: A Space Odyssey” director Stanley Kubrick opens his film with a group of apes discovering the monolith, which was a towering structure of great significance, that would serve as a beacon to change of global proportions, and shape the events of everything that was to come.
In 2013, we now know this was not a creative plot device and instead a herald of the real future, as the monolith was recently discovered, and it has taken the form of an arcade machine called The Last Barfighter.
The machine runs off of motion sensors that recognize cups and not quarters, and it only appears at special events, most around the brewery’s home state of North Carolina. With any conceivable amount of luck though, they will start getting these to venues everywhere as it is not only one of the more significant milestones in all of human endeavors, but the best combination of beer and games ever.
With the biggest blizzard of the winter set to pound sections of northeast with potential snowfalls of 3 feet, most are preparing by buying canned goods, bottled waters, and similar items to ready themselves for the worst.
Let’s not forget though that if everything works out okay, you’ll be left with a large winter battleground for perhaps the last snowball fight of the winter. Take no chances then of living with humiliating defeat all through the Spring, Summer, and Fall, and arm yourself with gadgets designed to make you a snowball fight king.
Before the first wave of attacks, you’re going to need to arm yourself up with a primary arsenal of snowballs, and there is no quicker way to do that then with the Sno-Baller.
It’s a simple clamp that makes a perfectly formed snowball every time without muss, fuss, or freezing wet hands. It may not make as large of snowballs as you could the old fashioned way, but with an estimated output capacity of 60 snowballs a minute, it’s an essential tool for preparing your assault and defense on the snow fields of battles.
Icebox Igloo Maker
Whether it is your primary attack position or an area of retreat, every snowball fight soldier needs a good fort.
Waste no time then in building your base and employ the Igloo Maker from Icebox. It’s basically a scoop that allows you to perfectly pack in a hunk of snow and build a snow brick from. With 8 adjustment sizes, you have the option to create the perfect layering for your fort, meaning even under the heaviest of onslaughts, you need not worry about the integrity of your base, or break your back constructing it.
The best medieval forts and castles knew the advantages of having a good series of archers in place when fortifying your position and generally crippling your enemies’ chances of victory.
And what better substitute for a company of archers then the snowball crossbow? Composed of high quality plastic and elastic, the crossbow uses a band and pulley type system that lets the user load a snowball in the muzzle and, through a varying degree of force, absolutely launch a snowball up to nearly 60 feet. It’s built to last, and is one of the best first wave weapons you could ask for in a snowball fight.
The Snowball Blaster
As great as the snowball crossbow is, when you need a more primary attack device, you can accept no substitutes and must turn to the 50 foot snowball blaster.
As you may have gathered, it gets its name from its ability to launch a snowball up to 50 feet, and can hold up to four snowballs at once (three in reserve, and one in the chamber). Function wise, it works in a similar capacity to the crossbow, and while it may have a slightly shorter range, it does have a greater ammo capacity and handier design, making it a must have go-to in any snowball fight, and prevents you from resorting to your hands as a primary attack like some sort of animal.
Of course if things turn sour in the battle, and you find yourself needing to escape, or at least temporary retreat to a better position, then there is no better alternative than the Slegoon,
It resembles those chute pods used to enter contestants into “The Running Man” game, and it’s aerodynamic design allows for maximum speed capabilities for a non-motored power unit, plus the roll cage bars not only add some much needed safety, but double as a shield from incoming snowball attacks. Not that you will have to worry about that, as unless you’re facing opposition armed with some of the other tools on this list, you shouldn’t have be concerned about anyone reaching you in this.
The only disadvantage? They’re not exactly easy to find through retail, if available through that avenue at all.
With necessity being the mother of invention and all that, how the hell has a sink that also dries your hands not been introduced before?
Thankfully the good folks at Dyson are a step ahead of the game and have introduced an all in one bathroom sink called the Dyson Airblade tap that allows for you to wash and dry your hands via one convenient fixture. It’s not exactly rocket science either, as the setup simply includes the traditional motion sensing faucet, only equipped with wing jettisons that also respond to movement, and dry your hands when you’re ready with little more than a simple flick of the wrist in either direction.
More than just a handy case of common sense inspired design though, the hand dryers themselves are much improved over the classic models as they blow cool air which actually disposes of the water naturally instead of evaporating it. Not only that but the air is more purified for less chance of potential germs, and the Dyson powered motor shoots out air at 430 mph, ensuring a drying time of around 12 seconds.
There’s not much more to the new Dyson design, and that is, of course, a big part of its brilliance. Not only does its simple ingenuity help to eliminate the mostly hated paper towel use, but also does away with the incredibly inefficient traditional blow dryer and cuts down on the amount of awkward bathroom lines you’ll have to face in your lifetime.
Truly, for us public bathroom aficionados, this is a case of heroic design.
Between the chilly weather, my fondness of sleeping, and preference to not work as opposed to going to work, It’s been harder and harder to get going in the morning.
Is the problem a lack of motivation and general laziness? No, I’m sure not. Instead it must be my simple alarm clock, which just isn’t capable of besting my urge to stay in bed. If you share that same problem, then allow me to present you some more intense alarm alternatives, all of which have ways beyond an annoying beep to force you to get up in the morning.
Electrifying Alarm clock
Taken in aesthetically, the singNshock alarm is just a well designed and good looking alarm clock, with a soothing music playing wake-up feature, and multicolor LED display. On first glance, it’s actually very welcoming.
But once it’s time to get up, the singNshock immediately ceases all notions of friendliness, and straight up shocks you into waking up. The moment you try to turn your alarm off, the alarm sends a small millivolt (1 thousandth of a volt) electrical charge through your body. It’s not enough to make your hair stand on end, and can actually be turned off, but it will get your attention when it’s most needed, which is kind of a theme on this list.
Gun Alarm Clock
Most of us have aggressive tendencies towards our alarm clocks and, in moments of sleep deprived frustration, you may have even fantasied about shooting it.
Don’t suppress those darker urges though, but rather encourage them with the Gun O’ Clock. Whenever the alarm goes off in the morning, a target pops up from it and requires you to use the light gun accessory to shoot it down via either quick shot mode (5 perfect shots in 3 minutes), a quick draw speed shot, or a random mode. It’s not a beat you over the head school of alarm clock design, but it does require a little hand eye coordination, and provides a bit of entertainment to get you started with the day.
Carpet Alarm Clock
We now get more into the idea of motion based alarm clocks, as the toughest part of any morning is getting out of bed.
The carpet alarm directly addresses that issue, as you are required to stand up and step on the carpet in order to turn it off. There’s even a nice LED pressure sensitive clock built into the otherwise normal rug, bringing it closer to the traditional alarm clock look. While there are quite a number of cheats for this such as placing it right by, or even on your bed, and then going back to sleep, purists will put this on the other side of room and force themselves out of bed every morning.
Rolling Alarm Clock
Like the carpet alarm clock, this one is based on the idea of you moving to wake up in the morning. Unlike the carpet alarm, this one presents few cheats to counter it.
One of the oldest and most effective of the tough alarm designs, Clocky is equipped with wheels so that when your alarm goes off, so does the clock. As it rolls around, you’re forced to chase it down in an effort to turn it off. The clock moves with good speed, and in random patterns, making it an effort to pursue it, and providing you with the necessary amount of motion, and a healthy bit of early exercise, needed to get you going.
Weight Alarm Clock
Then again, if a little exercise isn’t enough to get your day started, you should probably consider an alarm that demands a full amount of reps.
Modeled like a dumbbell, the shape up alarm has no problem turning off in the morning, so long as you are willing to do a few curls. Specifically it requires 30 curls done in succession for the alarm to deactivate, which is a healthy amount designed to make sure that you are using more than a quick motion, or hazy chase down, to try to get moving. Instead it takes a concentrated physical effort to overcome this hardcore alarm.
IQ Alarm Clock
Of course, there are more important parts of your body to work out in order to have a productive morning than your biceps, one of which would be your brain.
In fact, more than your limbs, it’s usually your brain that’s the last thing to start working in the morning, and the IQ alarm knows that. That’s why it ditches the snooze button, and comes equipped with an extremely difficult battery compartment, ensuring that to stop the alarm you will have to answer 1-3 (the required number is changeable) IQ test level questions. It’s a clever design, as it requires you to be equally clever to best it.
Sonic Boom Alarm Clock
When you don’t want to trust to gimmicks and novelties to wake you up, you need an alarm clock that has no interest in, or ability to, play games.
The Sonic Boom is a standard alarm clock in that it displays time, makes a beeping sound, and even has a snooze button. The difference is the main alarm on its top setting can achieve a level of 113 decibels (the equivalency of a jackhammer or rock concert). Not only that, but it is equipped with bright flashing red lights, and a disk that fits under your mattress and shakes your bed with extreme authority until you turn the alarm off. There may be no additional features to assure you won’t roll back to sleep, but the ruthless aggressiveness of the Sonic Boom may just put you into fear of disobeying it by even suggesting you rest your eyes. Such is its authority.