Washable Keyboards

posted by Stal on 2010.01.13, under Stal

Do you grimace every time you sit down at a grimy public workstation? Have you ever fried a keyboard after spilling a can of Mountain Dew on it? Are you paralyzed with fear by the spectre of H1N1? Well, have we got a solution for you. Introducing Unobtron’s new line of SpillSeal Antimicrobial keyboards and other peripheral devices. These hermetically sealed keyboard casings can actually be submerged in hospital-grade sanitizing solutions. Better yet, the price ranges are within the reach of the average home user; keyboards start at $46 and mice at $50.

[ Unobtron Washable Keyboards / Gadgeteer ]

SawStop Demonstration

posted by Stal on 2009.11.02, under Stal

The SawStop uses a sensor that detects electrical conductivity, and stops a table saw in less than a thousandth of a second if something conductive, like a finger, is sensed. To absorb the 1000g force of the decelerating saw, the SawStop uses a module similar to the crumple zone in a car. To fully put his money where his mouth is, the inventor puts his finger through the saw to demonstrate how it works.

iPod vs Walkman

posted by Stal on 2009.07.03, under Stal

A 13-year-old trades in his iPod for a Walkman for a week:

It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette.

Another notable feature that the iPod has and the Walkman doesn’t is “shuffle”, where the player selects random tracks to play. Its a function that, on the face of it, the Walkman lacks. But I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down “rewind” and releasing it randomly – effective, if a little laboured.

Scott Campbell goes on to decry the Walkman’s storage capacity (12 tracks per cassette), coloring (”bland grey”), and weight (heavy enough to “haul down a low-slung pair of combats”). However, before you write off the Walkman completely, it does have some (small) edges on the iPod:

But it’s not all a one-way street when you line up a Walkman against an iPod. The Walkman actually has two headphone sockets, labelled A and B, meaning the little music that I have, I can share with friends. To plug two pairs of headphones in to an iPod, you have to buy a special adapter.

Another useful feature is the power socket on the side, so that you can plug the Walkman into the wall when you’re not on the move. But given the dreadful battery life, I guess this was an outright necessity rather than an extra function.

[ BBC Via GeekPress ]