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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Toasted SElfies

We can’t help but scrutinize our own features. Ever since we’ve had access to a mirror and an understanding that our face and hair combination looks better on some days rather than others, we’ve been looking at ourselves in any reflective surface we can find. That could be why there’s been such a rise in selfies as of late.

If you just love your face so much that you wish you could include it in more aspects of your day, then why not burn your face onto some toast? The Toasted Selfies is a surefire way to make your family think you’re full of yourself. If you have a picture of your face that you’re really fond of, then you can pay $75 to get a custom toaster that will burn that same picture into every piece of bread that goes into it. It even comes with a full color water peel decal of your chosen photo on the side.

You can pick an accent color for the primarily white toaster to be blue, red, yellow, green, or powder (white?). You’ll need to make sure your image is nothing under 150k, and will have to wait a week for your custom toaster to be created. Seeing that you’ll be spending a lot of money on this toaster, make sure it’s either a really great picture of you, or of your enemy so that you can never forget to seek out revenge upon them for all eternity. This could be a really great and weird gag gift, but it’s a tad too expensive for a couple of laughs.

Available for purchase on burntimpressions

[ Toasted Selfies brings vanity to a whole new level copyright by Coolest Gadgets ]

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retron5_bluetooth_wireless_controller

A video game console in particular might arrive with the best hardware underneath the hood, not to mention accompanied by all of the accomplished game publishers in the industry, but if it so happens to lack a good controller, then your experience would be ruined. After all, having a comfortable controller that does not result in blisters or aches and pains in your fingers and joints after hours of intense gaming is crucial, and the folks over at Hyperkin know that, hence rolling out the $39.99 Hyperkin Retron 5 Bluetooth Wireless Controller.

This is another Bluetooth wireless controller that will play nice – nay, was specially made just for your RetroN 5 console, and you will be able to select from either black or grey colors in order to have it match your existing system. A single full charge would be able to deliver up to 8 hours of non-stop playing time, which should be more than enough in a day since you would spend the other one third of it sleeping, and another one third performing the various miscellaneous tasks that everyone has to grapple with – bathing, mowing the lawn, doing some housework, etc. The Hyperkin Retron 5 Bluetooth Wireless Controller has a playable distance of 15 feet, boasting a Microswitch Directional Pad instead of a traditional directional pad, alongside half a dozen face buttons, a pair of shoulder buttons, a start and select button, a quartet of LED light indicators, a Home button, and two programmable Macro buttons.
[ Hyperkin Retron 5 Bluetooth Wireless Controller is a worthy Retron 5 companion copyright by Coolest Gadgets ]

divya-dhar

We get it: there’s a silly number of mobile messaging apps out there, and a great many of them are meant for you to share your banalities more easily. But a Philadelphia-based startup called Seratis is different.

Before Divya Dhar founded Seratis earlier this year, she was a practicing physician who had to use a work-issued pager to try to keep tabs on her patients and colleagues. That didn’t stop her fellow doctors from using smartphones to do the same thing – it’s the 21st century for heaven’s sake – but it turns out sharing that kind of information over insecure protocols isn’t exactly lawful.

Enter Seratis, a secure, HIPAA-compliant messaging app that may finally kill medical pagers dead.

Frankly, it’s sort of a surprise to hear that pagers are still widely used since they’ve all but disappeared from the public vernacular, but Dhar told me at Dreamit Ventures’ Philadelphia Health Demo Day that “90 percent of hospital communications still flows through pagers.” Turns out they’re pretty expensive, too.

“Everyone knows pagers need to go, and everyone is moving towards that,” she added.

Here’s how Seratis works: you log into the service as you would any other mobile messaging app, but the app organizes messages based on the patient they pertain to, so the entire team can see exactly what’s been going on with a particular person before they even check in for their shift. Even better, the app gives physicians direct access to colleagues they may rarely see, which makes for a much more fluid transfer of patient information.

After all, if you need clarification about a patient’s condition from a fellow doctor you haven’t run into before, imagine how long it would take to track down their contact info, reach out to them (assuming they’re not knee-deep in other work), and respond accordingly? That’s time that could be much better spent, and Dhar is frankly pretty sick of wasting it. Throw in support for read receipts and a quick, at-a-glance view of a patient’s entire medical team, and you’ve got a solid little smartphone app.

Turns out, the app is only part of the solution (data nerds may like where this is going). Hospitals and wards inside them will have access to important analytics from those conversations – some of the metrics like messaging volume and response time are pretty straightforward, but Seratis can also track specific words as they’re thrown around. Think of it as a lexicological early-warning system. If a slew of doctors working with multiple patients all repeatedly use the word “infection” on the same floor, something bad may be brewing. Seratis will be able to flag this so staffers and administrators can prepare and respond accordingly.

Of course, Seratis’ model isn’t exactly without its drawbacks. If you’re going to implement a crucial smartphone-centric messaging system in a hospital, you need to make sure every doctor who needs to use it actually has a smartphone. Considering smartphone penetration rates, there’s a solid chance that most physicians already have one, but Dhar conceded that some hospitals may need to offer incentives like data plan reimbursement to coax doctors into joining the BYOD bandwagon.

The team is also still trying to figure out the sweet spot, but Seratis plans to charge users per month so it can fit into small hospitals, as well as sprawling ones. Right now an alpha version of the iOS app (an Android version is in the pipeline, too) is being tested by Penn Medicine, but here’s hoping my doctors can more easily communicate about all my terrible miscellaneous ailments sooner rather than later.

IMG_9682

If you want a rangefinder-style camera with classic styling and relative affordability, Fujifilm’s X100, and its successor, the X100S are some of the very few options out there. But the X100 had quirks around autofocus that made a niche camera even more specialized. The X100S zaps some of those issues, resulting in a camera that, while still quirky, is much more lovably so, for amateurs and enthusiasts alike.

  • 16.3 megapixels, APS-C sensor
  • Fixed, F2 maximum aperture 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens
  • ISO 200 -6400 (100 to 25600 extended)
  • 6.0 FPS burst mode shooting
  • 1080p video recording
  • Hybrid electronic view finder
  • MSRP: $1,299.95
  • Product info page

The X100S retains almost exactly the same classic styling as its predecessor, which features a leatherette body with metal accents, and it looks excellent. This is a camera that you’re actually proud to wear around your neck, even if it does make you look slightly like a tourist, and one that resembles the Leicas that cost oodles more money.

The X100S might be a little bulky for a camera with a fixed lens that isn’t a DSLR, but it’s actually a good size. It won’t quite fit in a pocket as a result, but it gives photographers plenty to hold onto, and offers up lots of space for its ample buttons and physical controls without resulting in a cramped feeling. Plus the thing oozes quality; it’s a $1,300 camera, but it feels even more solid and well-designed than its tidy price tag would let on, and it’s durable to boot – I’ve carted it literally around the world with minimal protection and it’s as good as new.

Functionally, the control layout is the real star of the X100S. A physical dial for exposure compensation and for shutter speed, as well as an aperture ring on the lens and quick access to ISO settings programmable via the Fn button on the top of the camera make this a manual photographer’s dream – and possible an automatic photographer’s overburdened mess. But that’s part of the quirk, and the real appeal of this unique camera.

The X100S offers a lot in the way of features, including the excellent hybrid viewfinder that can switch instantly between optical and electronic modes thanks to a lever on the front of the camera within easy reach from shooting position. It’s the best of old and new, giving you a chance to frame with true fidelity optical quality and also with a preview akin to the one you’d see on the back of the camera via the LCD screen. You can preview exposure that way, and white balance as well as depth of field. The EVF also offers 100 percent coverage of the image, meaning what you see is what you get in the resulting photo.

Manual focusing also gets a big improvement with the X100S, which is great because focus-by-wire is traditionally a big weakness on non DSLR advanced cameras. It uses a new Digital Split Image method that works with phase detection to adjust focus with a high degree of accuracy, and it works remarkably well. To my eye, which is generally very bad at achieving consistently reliable level of focus accuracy on full manual lenses with my DSLR, the split image trick (along with the inclusion of existing focus peaking tech) works amazingly well.

The X100S is a much better camera in all respects than its predecessor, the X100, and that was a very good camera. Its “Intelligent Hybrid Auto Focus” that switches between phase and contract AF automatically to lock as quickly as possible works very well, though it does struggle somewhat in darker settings and at closer ranges still. It’s heaps and bounds better than the original, however, and makes this camera a great one for street shooting; a task which, to my mind, it seems almost perfectly designed for.

Combining a camera that looks suitably touristy, with a short, compact lens and a 35mm equivalent focal lens, with great low-light shooting capabilities and fast autofocus makes for a great street camera, so if that’s what you’re after I can’t recommend this enough. It performed less well as an indoor candid shooter, owing to some leftover weakness at achieving focus lock close up, but it’s still good at that job too. In general, the X100S is a great camera for shooting human subjects, in my opinion, thanks to its signature visual style that seems to compliment skin especially well.

The X100S is a photographer’s everyday camera. It might frustrate newcomers, unless they’re patient and willing to learn, but it’s a joy to use if you have any kind of familiarity with manual settings, and the fixed focal length is a creative constraint that produces some amazing results. This isn’t the camera for everybody, but it’s a more broadly appealing shooter than the X100 ever was, and it’s also even a steal at $1,300 – if, that is, you have that kind of disposable income to spend on photography tools. Know that if you do spend the cash, this is definitely a camera that will stay in your bag and/or around your neck for a long time to come, and a worthy upgrade for X100 fans, too.

Polar Loop Activity Tracker

  • Worn on your wrist, tracks your activity 24/7 and provides guidance and motivation to reach your activity goals
  • Shows daily activity, calories burned, steps taken, time of day and activity feedback on 85 LED display; Plus monitors sleep patterns
  • Automatically syncs to free Polar Flow app and training community via Bluetooth Smart. For best results use updated Flow app version 1.0.1. Refer the user manual for product help and support.
  • Custom fit bracelet is waterproof for swimming and has rechargeable battery; Battery life 5 days in continuous use
  • Provides accurate heart rate with Polar H6 or H7 Bluetooth Smart heart rate sensor accessory (not included, sold separately)

Polar Loop Activity Tracker Polar Loop is the smarter 24/7 activity tracker. It provides guidance and motivational feedback to help you increase your daily activity. All you have to do is wear the smart bracelet on your wrist and all of your activity- including cycling and swimming- is captured. At the tap of a button, Polar Loop shows the time, your total steps, calories burned, daily activity goal and tips to reach it – all on a displa

Nokia Lumia 822 GSM Unlocked + Verizon CDMA 4G LTE Windows Phone – Black

  • 2G: CDMA 800 / 190 + GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G: CDMA2000 1xEV-DO + HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
  • 4G LTE: LTE 700 MHz Class 13
  • Microsoft Windows Phone 8 OS (upgradeable to WP8 Amber)
  • 4.3 AMOLED capacitive touchscreen w/ Protective Corning Gorilla Glass 2 and Nokia ClearBlack Display
  • 16 GB, 1 GB RAM + microSD slot expandable up to 64GB

Ready for a phone that’s easy and smart? Meet the Nokia Lumia 822. Powered by the Windows Phone 8 operating system, it’s exclusive to Verizon and the lightning-fast 4G LTE network. You’ll get outstanding Verizon features such as NFL Mobile, plus all the Windows Phone exclusives, including Data Sense, which helps manage your data usage.

The Windows Phone OS is familiar, simple to learn and keeps you connected to what matters most. Create a dynamic Start screen where you can quickly find what you