New Cart Design Really Makes Me Want to Take Up Golf

Despite the better efforts of one Happy Gilmore, and the ambitious sex life of Tiger Woods, golf remains in the eyes of many a proper sport, where tradition and pomp rule the day. Much like the Shire, change comes slow to golf, if it comes at all, and for the most part, the faithful of the sport prefer it that way.

In other words, it isn’t the type of place you would necessarily expect to see a hovercraft.

But if PGA golfer Bubba Watson has a say in it, that may become a reality in country clubs across the country. He is lending his name to a new golf cart prototype from Oakley called  Bubba’s Hover that functions just like a traditional hovercraft (if there is such a thing), meaning it can easily traverse over grass, through wooded areas, and, of course, over water.

While the golf cart that works on water aspect is the money shot of this vehicle, and could open up entirely new ways to navigate a course, you may be shocked to learn that this idea is actually somewhat practical. This is due in large part to it’s lesser impact on the condition of a course, thereby ensuring the integrity of the playing surface without being limited to the cart path to do so.

Of course at the end of the day practicality and function come in second to the sheer amount of fun this thing could be.. Faster, more mobile, and infinitely cooler than the regular golf cart, Bubba’s Hover has the potential to cause overwhelming joy to everyone who uses it, or views it in action.

Which is why we’ll probably never see these go into production on a larger scale. Besides probably being more expensive to make, and slightly more dangerous to use, it’s just hard to picture the average country club swarming with these. Plus this was mostly intended as a marketing ploy.

That’s a damn shame too as it deprives people yet another chance to whistle the James Bond theme in real world context.

In the Game of Phones, You Dock, or You Die

There can never be enough “Game of Thrones” in the world (or “Song of Ice and Fire” if you’re a purist), but with the HBO show on hiatus until its third season debut, and author George RR Martin taking his usual sweet time in finishing the 6th novel in the series, fans have had to look from the top of The Wall to the bottom of the Sea of Dorne (that’s high and low for you normal folk) to find ways to fill the widening void in their hearts for more of that wonderful world.

But even outside of that spirit of desperation, this “Game of Thrones” inspired phone dock would still be pretty cool.

It was created with a 3D printer by Instructables user mstyle183, who modeled it after the much sought after Iron Throne of Westeros that half the characters in the source material kill each other for the chance to sit on (as if you didn’t already know). The dock itself is sure to be equally sought after by iPhone 5 users, who rely on a third party docks since Apple doesn’t have an official one for the iPhone 5 available yet, and this one is slightly more bad ass than the rest. The dock also works for android phones, and the instructions for its creation can be found via the inventor’s Instructables page, or it can be pre-ordered commercially here for $69.99. It is compatible with most charging connections.

The world of geek inspired tech is a tricky one as something that looks cool at first can lose its novelty, and value, later on. Have no such fear with this dock though, as it is a genuine piece of inspired nerdery that given both the continuing excellence of the source material, and basic cool design of a throne shaped dock, isn’t likely to wear out its welcome anytime soon.

Unlike the Throne’s Current Occupant Of Course…

Worx’s New Power Screwdriver Won’t be Passing Through Security Anytime Soon

I’m not a handy person in the traditional sense. I mean, I can work a hammer or screwdriver but prefer to only do so in the event of a zombie invasion (and I don’t mean hanging up boards).

You know…like this

So usually when an incredible new power tool comes out, it tends to fly under my radar. However, by its basic design, the new SD Power Screwdriver by Worx is pretty hard to ignore.

First of all, yes it does look an awful lot like a really cool sci-fi gun. It’s certainly a design decision that makes the drill immediately visually appealing, but that’s only a skin deep observation of the hand cannon influences on this tool. The real pistol influenced feature of this semi-automatic screwdriver lies in the chamber function, which allows you to automatically swap and load six different drill bits without the hassle of having to change them out manually.

Outside of that, the drill boasts some other useful abilities such as its lightweight design and compact size allowing for ease of use in just about every situation, as well as a second cartridge so you can keep 12 different bits handy at any time. Plus you get a nice LED light right under the chamber for further ease of use in tight, dark areas (your probably not supposed to treat it as a laser sight but no one can stop you from doing so either).

As I mentioned, I’m not handy, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try to be. Little tasks of home improvement come up all the time, and many of the basic ones involve needing a good screwdriver. The new Worx looks to provide just that, and whether you’re looking to actually start filling up your own toolbox, or you know a handyman in the family who needs a gift come the holidays, the Worx is more than just a fun design, and looks to be one of the more versatile power screwdrivers on the market for its price.

Plus, there’s nothing technically stopping you from posing with it when no one is around and saying “Your move creep!”

You know…like this

Fuzz Wants to be Online Radio by the People, for the People

You know somewhere between Pandora’s steady, old reliable model, Spotify’s have it all, take it anywhere incredible features, and various other stations like SHOUTcast covering some of the most obscure music out there, I guess I once felt content saying that the world of internet radio is pretty well covered.

And yet it seems like there is at least one more site out there that thinks that there is still fresh ground to tread in that particular field by catering to this wild idea that instead of a computer algorithm generating music selection, perhaps it would be preferable for human beings to take a stab at it.

That site is called Fuzz and, if you let them, they’d very much like to rock/rap/alternative/classical your world.

How? Well the entire site is made up of user created stations. Members can upload their personal music and create a radio station set to a theme of the music selection, with the built in system mixing the music together for you. Examples include the standards like classic rock or 90’s hip hop, but a quick search reveals more specific stations like classical dinner music or trendy sushi bar.  A band search option is available to get you started, but the general idea is to start with music you are familiar with, and expand your interests, and favorite playlists, based on people who like those same bands or songs other available selections. It’s an idea that is automatically handled by computers on other sites, but Fuzz treats it much more like each user is the DJ to their own mix, complete with custom station names, backdrops, and comment and feedback features.

The creator of the site, Jeff Yasuda, has tooled around the internet radio scene for a while, and he and his team simply feel that it is more fun, and rewarding, for people to share music with people and not machines. It’s an idea that was encouraged by Yasuda’s other music app Blip.Fm, which allows people to play the music they’re listening to via Twitter and Facebook. The quiet success of that app has instilled Yasuda with the belief that a site that expands that idea into a full radio station could be a hit. Although, he is certainly aware of the long shot that any internet station is, as he reveals via a cryptic quote in an interview with Bloomberg.com when speaking of the internet radio industry:

“The space is crowded and the graveyard is long, deep and wide,”

So how is the site? While I’m personally still inclined to default to Spotify or Pandora for a kickback and let it play listening experience, Fuzz is infinitely more entertaining to just explore, whether it be for new music, or just to see what obscure and awesome stations people dream up. Though the battle for success, much less supremacy, is one that hasn’t even begun, to me it is indisputable that the basic idea behind Fuzz is a winner. Yasuda and co. are right in their idea that it is much more fun to put people in charge of a music selection, and the difference give Fuzz a personality in its beta stage that even the larger, and more established, stations don’t share.

In fact, even if Fuzz doesn’t take off, it’s that idea that I love, and which I hope ultimately influences other stations to implement something similar. Although, as so many other things in the tech business have proven, sometimes all it really does take is a good idea, and the proper amount of momentum to make it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I may have to make a station featuring the music of Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, and the soundtrack to the video game “Earthbound.

The CruxSKUNK Might Provide the Perfect iPad Keyboard

For a company all about upselling (just try to leave an Apple Store without being sold a case for your iPhone) Apple themselves haven’t done a great job of providing an accessory to fix the iPad keyboard dilemma.

See as beautiful a device as the iPad is, its on screen keyboard doesn’t exactly lend itself to any use more urgent than internet browsing. This severely hinders many of the features the wonder tablet can offer. Apple, along with several other companies, offer Bluetooth keyboard accessories, but the results of trying to use one are often awkward and make enjoying using your iPad more burdensome than need be. Some companies like Belkin, Zagg, and Kensington have tried to get around this problem with keyboard/case hybrids that turns your iPad into something that closer resembles a laptop. Reactions and results are mixed on those hybrids, with many of them still coming off as awkward, causing severe limitations in mobility, or worse just plain cheap.

Where others have failed in resolving this problem, though, an unlikely savior, with an unlikely name for a savior, may have emerged from the funding fields of Kickstarter.

It’s called the CruxSKUNK (what?) and it may succeed where other, similar products have failed by using some of the same product synergy Apple is so fond of themselves. That’s because, when you put your iPad into the case, the entire unit is made to resemble a Macbook Air in weight, looks, and feel. The metamorphosis is genuinely impressive, as is the keyboard itself which features nice large type-face, full keyboard set-up and range, and a nicely thin base (6mm). Aesthetically, it is the most immediately pleasing case of its kind on the market.

But the CruxSKUNK isn’t trying to get by on its looks. Instead the real beauty of this case is its hinge that lets the user place their iPad in a variety of positions to suit their needs. The idea is to provide the perfect set up for watching movies, working on documents, or playing games all without having to remove the case. After seeing the video of the CruxSKUNK in action, its hard to believe that they haven’t achieved just that. If you do need to remove your iPad, however, the Crux also allows you to do so without much in the way of hindrance.

Currently the CruxSKUNK has already well exceeded its revamped $90,000 goal, with over $191,000 dollars earned and 20 days still left to go for funding.  The only available backing options left range from $155 for a CruxSKUNK and nice leather carrying sleeve, to $1500 plus for 10 cases and 10 sleeves. Obviously, that’s not cheap when compared to some of the competitors on the market. However, since the main complaint of those competitors is how cheap their actual products are, you ultimately have to ask yourself if your need for an iPad keyboard case is truly great enough to warrant going for the top of the line. If it is, even in its pre-production phase, the CruxSKUNk appears to be just that.