Earlier this month when Amazon announced that they were releasing a new addition to the Kindle lineup current owners were worried rather than excited. Never before have I seen a group of owners so rapidly insisting that their devices were perfect the way they were.Read More
In August of last year a group of former Holga camera employees from Hong Kong decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to launch a digital version of the beloved asian toy camera. The original Holga debuted in 1982, and has since become a favorite of many artists due to the lack of complexity and flexibility. Their goal was to get the $50,000 dollars needed to begin production, but demand was so great that they exceeded that goal in just 4 days. Ultimately the project exceeded $300,000 and more than 2500 backers during the 60 days it was active on Kickstarter and they continue to get orders via Indiegogo here.
The camera is as low tech as a digital camera can get, owing very much to its roots as a toy camera. With a manual shutter lever, exposure time is as flexible as possible and hard to gauge. In addition, the only selections possible are a switch on the bottom to toggle between BW and Color modes, and the power dial on top allowing you to select between simulating 135 or 120 film. You additionally have the option of attaching the flash or not via the hot shoe on top. Everything else is done by feel and experience alone. As you can see from the sample images below even with very little automatic control the camera provides decent quality and good dynamic range.
The second camera I received is the Lytro Illum, an extremely advanced camera using what is called Light Field imaging to capture all of the available light in each pixel. This not only provides superior dynamic range, but allows for what Lytro calls "living pictures" because by capturing all of the light in the lenses field of view you have the ability to change the depth of field and point of focus after acquiring the image data. In addition, the technology allows the camera to export 3D images. With manual focus, 8x optical zoom, and dynamic range equivalent to 80-3200ISO it is perhaps the most advanced still camera ever built with a single lens.
As you can see from the linked pictures below, you can share images that the viewer can choose a point of focus in on demand, a feature unique to Light Field technology. At an MSRP of $1300 this is an amazingly expensive camera, but incredibly fun to use. If it could shoot video as well it could be the perfect all around camera. Fortunately, Lytro has moved on to trying to change cinematography and as result the camera can be found on Amazon for $387 dollars from some vendors.
Last year when music gear giant Marshall announced their first line of headphones music lovers took notice in a big way, and weren't disappointed by the quality of either the construction or the sound. This year they announced that they were going to release a Bluetooth wireless version of the same Major design and I knew I had to give them a try.Read More
The one accessory we wear to make a statement is a wristwatch. Sometimes flashy if dressed up, sometimes monolithic and durable if worn daily for work. We wear different types of bands to match clothing or environment. So I guess it isn't surprising that one of the biggest categories of new Kickstarter projects is companies trying to reinvent something that was invented in the 1800s.Read More
I received a box that I wasn't expecting from Amazon this morning, and opened it to find three new Bluetooth headsets inside. One of them, the Mini from Rowkin I have been wanting to check out since it was announced, but the other two I had never heard of before.Read More
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so these are worth a few days worth of writing I guess. Some great stuff this month, and some things that will be going to the kids too. Have a look, and make sure to subscribe to these great services if you like what you see.
Sometimes a kickstarter project comes along and just makes you say "How the hell do people think of these things?". The SharkTooth was initially one of them for me, but now that I have it in hand it makes total sense. A simple laser cut pendant at first glance, upon closer inspection it is easy to see how useful this tiny tool could be. Besides the ten wrenches cut into the center it is easy to see the saw blade on one edge and knife edge opposite. Harder to see until you hold it is the shape of the point besides being able to sharpen into a spear or arrow point also has a diamond shape which makes it usable as a Phillips head screw driver.
Designed by the minds at Archwing LLC. in Madison, WI as part of what they are calling their Tactical Apparel venture, it really is a marvelous design. They will soon be available for order from this website.
I was sent the Cooks Essentials Microwave Pressure Cooker last week to review, and I need to tell you I was skeptical. I remember my grandma using her pressure cooker for two things, canning and cooking beans. It being brought out included dire warnings about coming near it.Read More
Elliot Havok has taken design to a new level again, this time with a line of watches. What started as a lunchtime conversation with some friends who were looking for good looking watches that wouldn't bankrupt them.Read More
I realized as I was sitting in the dentists office waiting for my son and daughter to finish that it had been a while since I had posted anything about the random unsolicited boxes of products I have received.
Some of these boxes I expect every month from subscription services hoping for publicity like the great folks at GeekBox and Wet Shave Club. Others show up out of the blue, like the tshirt and sweatshirt that arrived with the "Last Star Fighter" logo shortly after I reposted an article about a sequel to that amazing movie being in the works. Sometimes the contents are worth keeping, sometimes they are worth passing on to Jimmie and other friends, or handing to the wife and kids. Once in a while they are barely worth the room they take up in the trash can.
Here come the pictures and descriptions, I'll come back through when I get time and add links where I can tomorrow. Enjoy!
Well, that was most of the assorted stuff that came in May. I have some other reviews to get caught up on, and some great recipes to post for you guys. Stay tuned.
It isn't the first time it's been done apparently, but it's the first time I've seen it. Chevy Truck's ad agency worked with a company called Americhip to put a video player inside the page of my magazine. It powers on when the plastic tab you see at the left side in the fold pulls out and allows the battery to complete the circuit. You select which video file to play with one of three buttons on the right hand side. On the back of the page is a perforation that reveals a micro-USB connector. I tried plugging it into my computer but it didn't show up as a drive, so it appears to only serve as a charging port with video files hard set in the memory chip.
I'll play around with maybe tearing it down and seeing if the parts are hackable over the weekend.
For a couple of weeks I've been using the new Echo from Amazon, training it in different rooms of the house and finally settling on the kitchen as its home in our house.
While it looks like just another Bluetooth speaker the technology behind this little cylinder is Amazon's next bid to change our lives, and unlike the Fire Phone this one has the potential to shake things up.
Once you plug the Echo in you go through a process with either your Kindle Fire or iPhone to configure it to connect via your wifi network. Once it is on the Internet it is really just ready to work.
You can fine tune its ability to recognize your voice commands by going through training sessions, but it worked amazingly well right out of the box. As the software improves more features will be added, including the ability to interact with more content services and the ability to change the keyword used to wake it for commands.
For now you are limited to iHeartRadio, Prime Music, and Tune In Radio for audio. I would think the Amazon owned Audible will be next to be supported (and I hope so, as audio books are what I listen to most while doing chores around the house).
When they are available to everyone I would encourage anyone who has bought into the Amazon ecosystem to snatch one up. Echo is going to be the center of the home soon.
On July 15th, 2014 NudeAudio launched a Kickstarter project with a radical new design for a bluetooth wireless speaker. What set this new design apart was not only it's remarkable size, but the fact that this small form factor featured four 3" drivers, providing 360° sound instead of directing audio in only one direction.
hat no one knew then was whether the design would yield a speaker worthy of the price tag ($99) or really any different in quality from the thousands of other bluetooth speakers on the market. I've spent a couple of weeks with my Super M, follow the link to see the rest of the story...Read More
This month LootCrate celebrates classic arcade gaming with its theme, "Rewind". From 8-Bit sunglasses and Voltron t-shirt to a skinny tie featuring Space Invaders from BlackTieGeek and special limited edition cover of issue 1 of the new Star Wars comic re-launch. There is nothing here that I don't want to hold on to. As always we'll let the pictures do the talking as we unpack the box this month.
Boulder Creek has been making clothes for big men for a long time, and they are thankfully consistent with their sizing. One of the biggest problems I have had with ordering clothing online is that a 6XL can mean wildly different things depending on what country and brand is producing it.
King Size sent me this Camo print hooded shirt jacket, and just from the brand I knew I wasn't going to need to worry about the fit. As far as the shirt itself, it is warm without being too heavy, and the sleeves button securely but are thin enough to be able to roll them up if you need to.
If you are looking for something to keep you warm but not too hot while working outside that will wear well and fit the way you expect, this shirt will do the trick and keep you comfortable in Fat Boy Heaven.
A few months ago I was contacted by a new Kickstarter project with a simple concept: to be a better and geekier box-a-month service than LootCrate. The project was successful, reaching their funding goal in less than a week, and GEEKFUEL was born.
I just received their first ever box, along with a Kickstarter exclusive bonus box, and so far their method seems to be at least partially focused on enlisting popular artists from the DeviantArt community to add exclusive artwork to the mix. Add exclusive comic books, limited edition Pop vinyl figures, caffeinated beverages and access codes for games and downloadable content on Steam and I think they have a chance to give the veterans a run for their money.
Instead of listing the contents I figured the best way to describe this product would be to take pictures as I was unpacking the box. So here we go. I give you GEEKFUEL:
All told a pretty impressive showing for a first issue. Subscriptions are available monthly, quarterly, every 6 months, or annually with price breaks and bonuses at each increased level. I've been a big fan of LootCrate for a long time but GEEKFUEL is definitely making a name for themselves in Fat Boy Heaven.
One of the great things about a global economy and internet commerce is the ability to find bargains from unknown companies sometimes. This is the case with this latest product I found on Amazon, a pair of bluetooth headphones from Beyution that look a lot like the famous brand recently bought by Apple, but selling for just $26.11 instead of hundreds. The question was how close does the sound quality come, and how well built are they?Read More
The Lomographic Society is a global organization that is trying to keep interest alive in film photography, and their latest effort is to revive the tradition of instamatic photography with their newest product, the Lomo Instant.
Dead simple to use, and very easy to get decent pictures while still flexible enough to allow for some wide ranges of creativity in settings of aperture and shutter speed that you wouldn't expect to find in an instant camera.
The Lomo Instant they sent me is a limited edition called the Sanremo, and the kit includes the camera and the "Lomo Instant Lens Kit". This lens kit contains a fisheye lens, portrait lens, and close up lens. These lenses give you even more flexibility than you ever had with that old Polaroid.
The Lomo Instant uses FujiFilm instax mini instant film, an instant film that is easily found online. It develops fast with strong clear images and is fairly inexpensive.
The last thing they include in keeping with the societies goal of reviving the lost art of manual photography is a set of cards with photos and tips on how to get similar results with your camera. They range from the very simple to some very advanced techniques in the 18 card set and are a very nice group of tips.
As with their last major project, the Impossible Instant Lab, this became a reality after a successful run on Kickstarter. This is why Kickstarter is such a great idea. It launches great projects like this into the world on a regular basis. Here at Fat Boy Heaven we love Kickstarter, and we will keep bringing new and successful projects to your attention.
There have been a ton of changes to the way men shave over the years, and there have been hundreds of patents filed trying to make a better and more expensive razor blade. In the last year a couple of companies have tried to fight the tide of rising prices by introducing shave clubs, most notably dollarshaveclub.com. I came across Wet Shave Club and was intrigued by their idea. Instead of reinventing the razor blade, their idea is to bring shaving back to its roots.
In 1880 the first safety razor was patented, for the first time putting a safety comb over the top of the blade to prevent accidental cuts. Wet Shave Club said "Double edged razor blades are just pennies a piece and available world wide, why not start a shave club that uses that instead of fighting it?" and they are onto something.
Here's how it works. For $29.95 a month you get a starter kit (pictured above) which includes a safety razor, blades, shaving brush, shaving soap, and astringent sticks. The starter kit also includes shaving instructions for those who have never shaved with a brush and safety razor before. After that you get a box delivered every month with an assortment of shaving soaps, blades, after shave, and other shaving products.
If you are tired of spending way too much on razors and looking to get back to an easier and better shaving experience, give Wet Shave Club a try.