Eric Hartwell's InfoDabble

   Saturday, May 07, 2005   
[ 5/6/2005] These products, ranging from $10 to hundreds of dollars, can help you add broad- or full-spectrum or natural lighting to your home or office. Recent studies show strong evidence that exposure to artificial broad-spectrum light is an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in which people become more depressed in the darker days of winter. They're good for your general health, too.

   Saturday, March 26, 2005   
SLEEPTRACKER Alarm Watch[via Street Tech 3/26/2005; 2:52:09 PM] Here's a review of a watch that wakes you right at the moment you should get up (based on your actual sleep cycle), in order to avoid feeling sluggish. The manufacturer doesn’t tell you exactly how it "continuously monitors signals from your body that indicate whether you are asleep or awake" or almost awake, but it evidently does a good job of it. One can make an educated guess and infer that it monitors your temperature, or pulse, or even the electrical differential of your skin, or all three, or something else. At any rate, it supposedly tracks your sleep. According to the reviewer, it actually works and left him feeling refreshed on a lot less sleep. The review's comments are worth reading too.

   Friday, March 25, 2005   
siemens_badge.jpgSiemens Develops Com-Badge Home Communicator [Gizmodo 3/18/2005] Siemens has developed a sweet little wearable, Bluetooth-based badge that lets you speak commands to control your house, talk to others in your house and accept and conduct phone calls. For all intents and purposes, lest any of you be confused, this is life imitating art in the finest sense. The system can recognize 30,000 words once you press the button on the badge to activate it. I'd give it no more than 10 years before this sort of technology trickles down into the middle class, but I hope to see it sooner than that. Now, if only the system would give feedback in Majel Roddenberry's voice...
Wearable hub for communications in the home [WMMNA]
Com-Badge [Siemens]

   Sunday, March 13, 2005   
Xbox: GameConsoleSkins - Design your own
Lik-Sang: Xbox-to-USB gamepad adapters: SmartJoy X cable; Super Joybox 11 (4 gamepads)
XBConnect lets you play Microsoft Xbox system link games over the internet

   Friday, September 24, 2004   
laser cutting3-Axis cnc millingSheet Metal FabricationBuild Your Robot Online: Ever needed a custom part for a robot, case mod or hardware hack but lacked the tools or a machineshop to make one for you? Ever needed a custom circuit board? Well, PC Magazine's Bill Machrone writes about a few websites, Emachineshop and Pad2Pad, where you use their free software to design, price, and order anything you can design with the software. This is more useful to slashdotters than 3D 'printing' technologies like rapid prototyping since you get real working parts. It looks like they support a number of machines and fabrication techniques beyond traditional machining, like plastic injection molding and waterjet. As Machrone says, this is empowering stuff. This is something that should ignite a creative spark to all you hardware tinkerers out there in Slashdot land."  [Slashdot 7/16/2004]

   Wednesday, September 22, 2004   
Killer noise-cancelling headset designed for NYSE trading-floor.  The Boom is a noise-reducing headset designed for use on the NYSE trading floor that is said to be capable of delivering comprehensible speech even in the noisiest of environments. I'm ditching my landline this month in favour of a VoIP soft-phone on my PowerBook, so it's serendipity that I came across this headset today. Link (via Cool Tools) [Boing Boing 4/28/2004]

   Friday, April 09, 2004   
Black, magnetic silly putty. Puttyworld sells a $9 magnetic silly putty substance -- and it's goth black to boot. Black Thinking Putty noticably responds to a magnet. Try pulling out a thin strand with your fingers and holding the magnet nearby. Or roll it into a ball and watch it roll right to the magnet, even uphill. The stronger the magnet the better the result, Neodymium Iron Boron works best. You can purchase some from our accessories category.

   Friday, March 26, 2004   
Earth Balloons. "Big Boys Balloons...a service to fellow balloon fetishists and balloon lovers as a source for big, unusual, and hard to find balloons" such as the 36", $4.00 Earth Balloon as illustrated, and the smaller, cheaper, and less-round $.75 16" earth print glob [Funlog]

   Thursday, October 16, 2003   
    Personal publishing:
  • Staples Canada will do printing from a PDF document for 3 cents a page on printing quantities of over 1000 pages, plus a $6.00/file processing fee. They also do duplex printing.
  • Cafepress has print-on-demand books. Cafepress now lets you sell print on demand books with no upfront fee.
  • Turn your photos into a coffee-table book It's easy to turn your photos into a high-quality book with acid-free paper, linen hardcover, and more at


   Sunday, September 07, 2003   
If you're like most Road Warriors, you find it challenging to use your laptop in the car. These products, along with your AutoExec mobile desk, will provide the solution for much of what you need to stay productive while on the road.

   Monday, March 10, 2003 If you're fed up with all those flyers cluttering up your house, take a look at! It's a great site listing weekly flyers for about 45 stores. Much easier to comparision shop than searching through endless masses of junk mail! Thanks to alkapone and The Game for the note! []

   Saturday, January 11, 2003   
Pyro paradise: online store for fireworks-makers. Black snakes, booby traps, pistol poppers, and punk: buy 'em all here, along with "books, videos, chemicals, pyro tools, fireworks tubes, fireworks shells, end plugs, end disks, end caps, and other paper and plastic supplies for pyrotechnics."

   Friday, December 13, 2002   
Wickedly cool looking self-powered heat fan. This fan sits on top of wood burning stoves and operates on temperature difference. Now all I need is a wood burning stove. Link Discuss [Boing Boing Blog]

   Wednesday, December 04, 2002   
Link Bakka's writers celebrate its 30th anniversary. Toronto's Bakka Books is one of the oldest science fiction bookstores in the world, open since 1972. More than just a traditional center for sf readers, Bakka has also been home to many writers who worked behind the counter over the years. To celebrate Bakka's 30th anniversary, all we writers who worked there have written original short stories for the BAKKANTHOLOGY, a limited-edition anthology signed by all of its contributors. The launch party is on December 19th, and you can buy your copy at the store or by mail-order.  Forward by Spider Robinson; Introduction by Mark Askwith; Bakka history by Kristen Pederson Chew; Afterword by John Rose And BRAND-NEW STORIES by: Robert J. Sawyer; Tanya Huff; Fiona Patton; Michelle Sagara West; Tara Tallan; Cory Doctorow; Nalo Hopkinson; Chris Szego; Ed Greenwood

   Thursday, November 28, 2002   
It's a Retro-Futurific Christmas [Street Tech I was wondering when someone was going to get around to doing this. Telestar Electronics, owners of the Predicta trademark, has started re-releasing all of those amazingly Jetsonian Predicta televisions from the 1940s and '50s. They look like the originals on the outside, but inside, they have state-of-the-art electronics, color screens (natch), and they can tune in 181+ channels. Unfortunately, they come at a price that only Mr. Cogsley could afford (between US$1100-$3300, depending on model).

   Thursday, November 28, 2002   
Readymade Pringles antenna for Don't-DIYers I'm going to get one of these readymade Pringle can antennas for $20. They look coo,l too! What a great idea.

   Tuesday, November 05, 2002   
The Children's Technology Workshop now hosts birthday parties in Animation, Droidbuiler, Botball and Gamemaking.  Droidbuilder is available at your home ($250 for 12 or fewer children).

   Wednesday, October 30, 2002   
Computer help for music students. Music students¸ frustrated at practising alone¸ get help from a new computer-aided training system being launched in the UK. [BBC News | TECHNOLOGY]

   Wednesday, October 30, 2002   
Computer help for music students. Music students¸ frustrated at practising alone¸ get help from a new computer-aided training system being launched in the UK. [BBC News | TECHNOLOGY]