Can You Print Me Out a Copy of Last Night’s “Lost?”

If you read my TiVo book, you may remember a story I told about a discussion I had with a TV exec at NATPE a few years back about the future of advertising in a DVR world. He said that future TVs might have printers built into them that would spit out ad coupons if you skipped over the commercials. Silly Suits.

But that doesn’t mean that somebody hasn’t done it (at least the built-in printer part)! Epson has just entered the already overcrowded HDTV market, and their rear-projection 57″ monstrosity, called the LivingStation, has a color printer built into it. It doesn’t crap out ad coupons (yet) and no, you can’t print out a hard copy of the last episode of “Lost.” So far, the printer’s only designed to make prints of your photo libraries that can be displayed on the set. ExtremeTech offers a fairly in-depth review of the “LivingStation” (catheter and feeding tube not included) here.

Rethinking Snail Mail

Think “snail mail” is slower, MUCH slower, than DSL? Think again. A group of IT geeks in Israel pitted an actual snail, pulling a wee chariot with wheels made out off two DVDs carrying 4.7GB of data each, against an ADSL connection. The snail won (at 37,000 Kbps vs. 1500 Kbps). And for those of you alpha geeks in the audience who remember the earlier experiment with pigeons carrying memory cards (so-called “Wi-Fly Networking”), SNAP (SNAil Protocol) beat it as well (with Wi-Fly managing only 2270 Kbps).

Fun with Photoshop: iPod Mini Camera

Photoshopping conceptual images of desired gadgets seems to be a full-time job for some folks these days. Wonder if corporate R&D departments take any notice? Here’s some schmo’s mock-up for an iPod Photo Mini with a camera add-on.

[Via Gear Live]

Sweet Atari 2600 Portable

Benjamin Heckendorn (a.k.a. Ben Heck), author of Hacking Video Game Consoles, is now selling his custom-built Atari 2600 portable, dubbed the Phoenix 2600. You send him your 4-switch 2600 and he cuts it down and crams it into the portable case he’s designed. Check out that faux woodgrain! Retro chic don’t come cheap. This bloated baby’ll cost you US$310 and your precious Atari antique.


And you thought spontaneous human combustion was funny. Okay not ha-ha funny, just bizarre, quizzacal. Now there’s the odd fate of the exploding toad to ponder. According to an AFP story, hundreds of toads in Hamburg, Germany have met a grizzly end by puffing up to three and a half times their normal size and then going kablooey. Biologists have no idea what’s going on. Theories range from a virus, to an unknown fungi that may have infected their pond, to crow attacks that literally scare them to death.

Finding the Cheapest Gas

You may remember “Gas Buddy” as your friend in college who used to ignite his undershorts after too many tacos and beer, but here in the fuelish 21st century, GasBuddy is a website where you can find the cheapest prices for gasoline in your area. With prices as high as they are these days, and small margins making a difference, it’s worth knowing which stations in your area offer the best prices.

Taking a Shot at Bluetooth Security

Maybe it’s just because I live, almost literally, in the shadow of what’s come to be known as the Sniper Home Depot here in Arlington, but I don’t find anything that looks (and is used) like a sniper rifle to be very funny. And, I wouldn’t want to be the guy standing on a rooftop around the Metro area aiming this thing into anybody’s window. That said, the “BlueSniper” project found on Tom’s Networking does say a lot about the venerabilities of Bluetooth wireless security, and how, with a few hundred bucks, you can build a device that sniffs out other people’s insecure Bluetooth hardware. Just don’t make it look like a freakin’ gun!