Last week BBG described us as insouciant. Not to be bettered, this week we once more celebrate the debonair, er... very nice, um... okay, we're bettered. Here's some links to some of the best bits to have appeared on the excellent Boing Boing Gadgets in the last week.
Umbrella 2.0. BBG says: "It's being described by its creator — who claims he's invested $400,000 into the Nubrella's creation — as the perfect umbrella for the on-the-go cell phone jockey who must always be charging down the street, thumbs a T9 blur as he texts, no matter what the weather." John says: Good! Anything to replace those nine-pointed death-stars that are inexplicably available without a weapons license or months of intensive training for the morons who wield them. All power to the Nubrella!
Microsoft loves the little children. BBG says: "In a refreshingly non-evil move from a company that seems to make a point of not being quite as evil as I think they secretly must be, Microsoft has announced that they are teaming up with the Companions in Courage Foundation to install special Xbox 360 kiosks in children's hospitals around the [US]." John says: I imagine they're putting in some dangerous mind control device to prey on the vulnerable kids, in order to raise new, sickly army. OR it's an excellent act, which can be supported by giving to these people.
The placebo button. BBG says: "I began wondering what other non-functioning buttons I might be in the habit of maniacally thumbing in fruitless pursuit of a social myth... Canada.com has an interesting article exposing the truth about another widely suspected placebo button: the pedestrian crossing button." John says: I've long been convinced that these things are fake. Obviously those lame single-road crossing things are for real - half the ones in the UK seem to be a hotline to the red light, with all the accompanying lethal entertainment that offers. But the moment I'm on a proper junction, am I really re-phasing the entire sequence of lights? How could I be? Well, according to Canadian officials, there ones at least do possess some power.
Prettying the PC. BBG says: "A wooden cased PC containing a quad-core Intel processor, a 1 TB drive and 4GB of memory and which looks absolutely nothing like a PC. You can't buy it, only commission it, so it doubtlessly costs gobs. That's fine: if it was more attainable, it might become popular, and if it became popular, it would be emulated, and then it'd lose its real appeal (at least to me): it'd start looking like a PC again." John says: It's probably not a good sign that my reaction to this story is to realise my new-last-year PC is now horribly out of date, and not a pleasing design of angles and curves.
Foos-to-ball. BBG says: "If the reproductive therapy worked a little better than expected, keep the litter entertained with Amstel's gargantuan foosball table, created for a Champions' League promo event. Big enough for 22 players—a full soccer team—it has 24 legs, dozens of little plastic men, and requires 6 flight cases to be shipped." John says: Foosball is definitely the more acceptable face of foot-to-ball nonsense, but only if there's no whiny idiot shouting, "NO SPINNING!" like that's a reasonable rule.