The Cinema One is a Pricey, but Incredibly Interesting, Alternative to Video Streaming


I love Netflix and Hulu. Hell, I think most of us do.

If I had to make a complaint about those services, though, it’s that they both have an incredible tendency to not have the exact movie I want to watch at that time. This isn’t so much a fault of their massive libraries, as it is the result of the impossible task that is acquiring every film and TV shows that have ever been made, along with being able to anticipate the exact whim of every user.

The Cinema One from Kaleidescape proposes an interesting solution to this dilemma. It allows you to store up to 600 DVD quality titles or 100 Blu-Ray quality titles within the player to be accessed at your leisure. The movies themselves can either be downloaded from the Kaleidescape store, or ripped straight from the DVD and Blu-Ray source.

Think of it then as your own personal steaming service then that is catered entirely to your tastes. Even better, it offers services that Netflix and Hulu can not such as custom DVD like scene skips for every title, and video and sound quality that is simply not possible with the traditional streaming methods.

As absolutely incredible as the concept and actual product is, the price is a real buzz kill. Coming in just shy of $4000, this is already a big ticket item before you even consider the additional costs of purchasing movies to add to it (though it does come with 50 free movies upon purchase). While the whole “no subscription fee” thing helps somewhat, even then that’s a price tag that limits the market considerably.

Based on concept and design alone, though, this is one of the most notable devices released this year, and will certainly serve well as the centerpiece of any true film buffs entertainment center.


This World Noise Cancelling Prototype Is Well Worth Your Attention


Perhaps I’m just odd (I’ve been accused of it before), but I really enjoy the sounds of the city in my apartment. Much like staying inside and listening to the rain, there is a certain joy that comes from absorbing yourself in the world outside while also enjoying the comforts of your home.

However there are times when the hustle and bustle of the city is not the optimal soundtrack for your relaxation. Sure you can play some music or ambient noises to drown them out, but the effect can be quite harsh and serve as a poor substitute or combatant to the ambience of the outside world.

Designer Rudolph Stefanich apparently felt the same, which may explain what led him to design a world noise canceller prototype of sorts called the Dial it Down.

Featuring a touch controlled dial and affixing to the inside of your window, the Dial it Down acts much like a pair of noise cancelling headphones and can either tone down, or completely block the noise of the outside based on your settings. More impressive, though, may be its ability to filter and replace the exterior noise and turn it into something more docile like the sounds of nature or even just isolate certain noises until you’re hearing exactly what you want to in your home.

While still in the prototype stage, it’s clear that the complex design of the Dial it Down is more than just a whimsical notion and is realized enough to actually come to fruition. Let’s hope that is the case too, as its ability to allow the user to control the noise of their home in a more organic and natural way not reliant on blasting as many decibels as possible is a very desirable luxury.


A Technologically Superior Fib That Just May Get You Out Of Work Early


As Bevis, Buthead, and Blink-182 informed me before I was able to make the conclusion based on my own experience, work sucks. Sure it might not suck for those people that have those “jobs they actually like,” but for the rest of us normal people, it most certainly does.

Sometimes though, it can suck worse than other times. Especially when its right before the end of the day, and some menial task appears preventing you from leaving at the prearranged time. Or, alternatively, when nothing is keeping you from leaving at the prearranged time, except for your desire to be literally anywhere but where you are right now, preferably with a beer in hand that will mute the knowledge that you’ll be right back to the grind soon.

While many of us have developed our own methods for getting out of the whole work thing a little early, one developer came up with a unique approach to the issue and has been kind enough to share it with the rest of us.

It’s called the Happy Hour Virus, and it “breaks” your computer so you can feign dismay and duck out early owing to the sudden lack of functional computer. The virus comes in three flavors (blue screen of death, broken monitor, and kernel panic) all of which are purely cosmetic and can be removed by hitting the escape button. Use couldn’t be simpler as you just head over to the happy hour virus website, choose your favorite poison, and get your best acting chops ready for the rest.

It’s a ballsy maneuver to be sure, and likely to backfire against the user in the worst way, but when it’s 1:00 on a Monday when you know damn well it should be at least 4:00, consider taking the risk* and utilizing the Happy Hour Virus to get home, or the bar, right when you want to.

*WARNING: Risk not advisable


Learn To Not Act Your Own Age and Make Some Hot Wheels


How old are you really?

No, don’t worry I didn’t find your secret stash of headshots and have questions regarding your listed birthday, I’m just wondering how old you are in your heart, where age really matters. If the answer is somewhere between the ages of 8-10, then I’ve got just the gadget for you.

It’s a Hot Wheels car maker that not only lets you relive the glory days of owning several garages worth of the sweetest micro machines known to man, but allows you to craft unique models as well. All you have to do is create a mold for the car (there are several different mold types available sold seperately through kits) and use the press to form it into an actual Hot Wheel. Add some decals to it, and you’ve got a bad-ass toy car nearly all your own.

Sure its limited and incredibly childish, but sometimes you’ve got to screw it and treat yourself to the toy you’ve always wanted as a child. So whether you’re buying this for your kid, buying this for yourself, or buying it for your kid in the hopes they eventually get tired of it and you have it all to yourself, for $40 it’s a pretty great way to act your inner child age for a while.

Plus it guarantees fun on the Amazon listing, which I’m pretty sure counts as a binding contract.


Generate a Touch Screen Almost Anywhere With This New Software by Ubi

Touch screens have become so commonplace that it’s difficult to remember the thrill the mere idea of them once generated, or recreate that rush you got from actually using one the first time.

They are still incredible pieces of technology despite their prominence, and to help remind you of that comes a system called Ubi interactive that turns any hard surface into a touch screen.

Developed over several years by Ubi, and sponsored by Microsoft, the program uses a special projector, the always impressive (except when it comes to gaming) Kinect sensor, and a compatible PC. The projector displays the PC image onto the surface of your choice, and the Kinect lets you interact with it using many of the same gestures you do to interact with the touch screen of your favorite device.

The demo video shows off several uses for this tech (from museum guides, to boardroom presentations and retail displays) but from the looks of the technology’s accessibility and functionality, there are few public venues or businesses that don’t have some use for this technology, even if it is largely to make a cosmetic improvement over an existing function. Even in the home, where the Ubi loses some practicality, I’m sure it’s not hard to imagine an entertaining use or two.

Considering that the basic package of this software runs $499, you probably won’t be seeing as many companies that can potentially use this tech actually implement it, but this looks to be a finely honed piece of technology that will be popping up in offices, classrooms, and more very soon, and reminding everyone who encounters it just how incredible touchscreen technology is.