Archive for December, 2009

Le Toaster Vision: World’s First Transparent Toaster from Magimix

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

It was 15 years in the making, but engineers have finally perfected the first transparent toaster. The Magimix Vision Toaster promises to put an end to the age-old problem of burnt toast. The challenge to engineers was providing heating elements to toast bread slices without obscuring the windows. It took several prototypes to come up with the current design, which uses hidden quartz elements to evenly distribute heat across the surface of the bread.

See Le Toaster Vision in action in this YouTube video.

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Smart Car Art

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Most Smart car owners have an eye for design, in addition to being conscientious about their carbon footprint. Now talented Smart car fans can show their stuff and possibly win some cash.  Daimler is hosting an online design contest for surface decoration on its Smart ForTwo auto. The “Style Your Smart” website provides design tools or allows designers to upload their own completed design. The contest runs until Feb. 23, when an independent jury panel will select a winner. The prize is 1500 euro.

The inspiration for the contest was Daimler’s exhibition of decorated ForTwos at a pop-up space in Sao Paulo, Brazil last summer. Visit the Style Your Smart website to view and vote on designs or enter your own designs. The site also has a community area for sharing ideas.

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National Geographic on a Dedicated Drive

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009


For some time, all the back issues of National Geographic have been available on DVD. Now there’s a better way to browse the back catalog or search for a specific topic – a 160GB USB hard drive with 60GB dedicated to a high-resolution digital reproduction of each page of every back issue (going back 120 years). For $200, you can use a sleek user interface to search or browse to your heart’s content. If you would like to give the National Geographic hard drive as a gift, you can have the recipient’s name printed on the cover. The disk also provides 100GB for personal use.

For more information, visit the National Geographic Store.

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High Tech version of a Better Mousetrap

Monday, December 07th, 2009


The phrase “building a better mousetrap” is often used to describe an invention that provides a better way to perform a simple operation. This YouTube video shows what may be the ultimate “better mousetrap,” designed and built by a tinkerer named Jake Easton:

The mousetrap’s polished aluminum case contains both mechanical and electronic systems, including controllers, circuit boards and a pneumatic actuator. You can read more about this electronic mousetrap in Wired’s Gadget Lab.

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