Top Tech of the week – 10.27.2006


    It has been another great week for interesting technology. A bunch of items and news stories have been worth checking out, and we’ve carried most of them. As we do every week, we have compiled our choices of the five top gadgets of the week:

    With so many docking stations coming out these days, one has to be quite unique to catch our attention. This one caught our eye by going old school. The vacuum tubes aren’t real, but they are funky looking, and the red lights will wow whoever you invite back to your place to try to wow. It even has a microphone, so you can amplify your announcements so everyone in your apartment can hear them. The dock comes with several adapters so most iPods will be able to go classic.

    You can file this one under ‘Odd pairings’. Hasbro, everyone’s favorite toy company, has taken a toothbrush and given it the ability to play an MP3 tune. Each song lasts three minutes, which is how long you are supposed to brush your teeth for, so you just keep brushing until the tunes end. There are a wide range of musical choices – everything from Queen and The Village People to Destiny’s Child and Hilary Duff. You can go old and rockin’ with KISS, or new and funky with The Black Eyed Peas. There are 18 songs in all to choose from.

    This is great, because another way to let everyone know how geeky you are is exactly what most Star Trek geeks need. Some guy with way too much time on his hands has turned his Nokia 770 into a replica of a device used in Star Trek. The buttons look the same, the sounds are all the same and it has everything you need to pretend that you are communicating with whatever intergalactic being you want to talk to.

    There are few things cooler to play with than a Zippo lighter. US Modular knows that, so they have made their latest newest USB drive look just like a shiny fire starter. Interestingly, the drive goes for a micro-HDD instead of flash, letting it have a nifty 12 GB capacity and keeping the price at a fairly reasonable $129. The only thing you can’t do with it is light your cigarette, but you shouldn’t be smoking, anyway.

    Axxen Korea wants to change the way that we buy music. The problem with buying music online is that you can’t store it on a shelf and sort through it trying to figure out what you want to hear like you can with CDs and their cases. The Playdisc is an album that you buy and can stick on your shelf, and it has its own player built right in. You just slip in a AAA battery, connect your headphones and listen to the album. It’s like a CD with a built-in CD player. I doubt it will catch on, but it’s definitely interesting.