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May 23, 2012

Monsanto, Portugal — Village of the giant stones

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From Daily Cool:

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"Monsanto is a village in the Portuguese countryside."

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"Featuring narrow streets carved from rock and granite houses squeezed between giant boulders,

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it looks like a real life Bedrock."

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 "At the top of a 400-foot-high hill stands a very old square-built fortress/castle."

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"The castle played an important role in previous centuries when it withstood several battles,

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including the Napoleonic invasions."

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[via Fancy]

May 23, 2012 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Harmonica Man

[via Jerry Young]

May 23, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Ben & Jerry's Euphori-Lock — "I'm terribly sorry, but there is no 'u' in 'my pint.'"

Ben-%26-Jerry%27s-Euphori-Pint-Lock

I know several people who'd love this.

$6.64 (ice cream not included).

[via CSYCB]

May 23, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Experts' Expert: How to improve Skype call quality

Skype

New York Times tech maven J.D. Biersdorfer weighed in on the subject in a May 17 "Gadgetwise" blog post:

Q. Are there any ways to improve the audio quality of computer-to-computer Skype calls?

A. Skype — a service that uses Internet connections instead of traditional telephone wiring and networks to link people together for voice and video calls — is subject to a number of factors that can affect transmission quality. For one, using the computer's external speakers and microphone to conduct the conversation on both ends can lead to a lot of echoing and background noise on calls. A headset with a microphone for both parties can help eliminate a lot of call echo.

The Skype software includes a noise-cancellation component that can help filter out background noise and make your voice clearer through the microphone. If you are using a headset and the call quality is still subpar, check your Skype settings to make sure the program is actually using the headset's microphone — and not the one built into the computer. To check this, open Skype, go to the Tools menu to Options, choose Audio Settings and make sure the proper microphone is selected in the drop-down menu.

But because Skype is communicating over the Internet, it is also affected by Internet traffic and congestion — which can also hamper call quality. Before you start a call, make sure no one else on the network is doing bandwidth-intensive tasks like online gaming or streaming a movie. Wireless connections are often slower than wired ones, so if you have the chance to plug the computer into the network with an Ethernet cable instead, you may hear some improvement.

The Skype program itself monitors audio quality and tries to adapt to the connection to slower speeds in an effort to make the call sound as best as possible. The software can suggest issues that may be interfering with the call quality, though some situations may be out of your control.

If calls still sound bad even though there seems to be nothing interfering, downloading the latest version of the program (if you do not have it already) may help enhance the sound of things for all parties involved.

May 23, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kami Wood Mug

KamimugA

From the website:

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Designed by Oji Masanori and handcrafted at the Takahashi Kougei wood workshop in Hokkaido.

The Kami mug is made of castor aralia wood from Hokkaido, shaped down to a thickness of 2 mm, which allows light to glow through but remains thick enough for durable insulation.

Finished with a thin polyurethane coating that is meant to keep the mug nonporous and resistant to staining.

9 ounce capacity.

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Kamimug2

$78.

May 23, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WhatWasThere iPhone app

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"WhatWasThere ties historical photos to Google Maps, allowing you to tour familiar streets to see how they appeared in the past."

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Free, the way we like it.

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[via Joe Peach]

May 23, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Table with built-in digital design file — "When bits met atoms"

Window_full

Way cool.

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From Ponoko:

The Rev–>Table from Supermechanical comes with the digital file for the design of the table built in. A QR code containing the DXF files for the table is laser-etched into an aluminum plate embedded in the tabletop.

If you want to modify or repair the table, you can get the original files by scanning the code with a smartphone. The code does not access a website, it contains the digital file itself. This way the file is a permanent part of the table.

In the days before everything was considered disposable, products came with repair manuals. This table takes this idea a step further by making it easy to produce replacement parts with digital fabrication.

[via @madebydan (Dan Emery) and a reader whose email included a link to this nifty table. Due to yet another in a series of FAILs by my Crack eMail Sorting Team®™©, I don't have your name so I can't credit you. Mea culpa.]

May 23, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bungee Bands with Hooks

P63239a-6

From the website:

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With these bungee-like cords, you can easily organize cable bundles, secure loads, bunch tools together, attach things to things, and hang stuff from stuff.

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Attach the reinforced polypropylene hook to the nylon-covered stretchy cord and you've got a firm looping restrainer that holds tight and stays secure.

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Pack of 10 includes 3 small, 3 medium, and 4 large hook/bands.

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Details:
     
• Nylon-sheathed rubber elastic bungee bands

• Durable glass-reinforced polypropylene hooks

• S: 1.5" Ø (4cm) when slack; 5" (13cm) maximum extension

• M: 2.5" Ø (6cm) when slack; 9" (23cm) maximum extension

• L: 3.5" Ø (9cm) when slack; 12" (30cm) maximum extension

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$9.99.

May 23, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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