Geek Gifts to Avoid: iDuck
There are many geek gifts out there that could fool the muggles amongst us into thinking we'd like it or find it useful. Here are some gifts I think are not worth getting because they will lose their luster after a few minutes or one use. If you disagree with one of my choices or have another item to suggest, share it with us in the comments section. (You can also view these items in list format.)
The iDuck is a floating receiver to which the egg transmits the music from your MP3 player wirelessly. While, at least, your MP3 player connects to the egg part that is safely away from the water, I still don't like the idea of electronics in the tub.
Image courtesy ThinkGeek.
There are so many things that could go on this list and I feel sometimes that I've brought half of them. Among the worst though has to be the cheaper end of remote control thingies - cars, tanks, robots, and yes particularly helicopters. Because I was into helicopters a few years ago I brought some of the first indoor flying toy models. - For a few moments they're great but my place is cursed with drafts and very soon after a few crashes they don't fly so well. Very often they don't die by crashing but because the electronics burn out, a third set fail because their signals interfere with other IR controlled electronics. I can't think of a toy with a shorter average lifespan - and I know that I'm far from the only one with this experience. Fortunately for me I have a few uses for the old broken ones but I bet most end up straight in the bin (trash). : )
I had posted first to this article a day or so back, now I see my post and a reply to it have been deleted. This 'new' forum software STINKS. Why bother posting if you risk randomly being wiped off the map?
I have to disagree regarding the duct tape wallets. I got my 13 year old son 2 of them for his birthday last March (at his request) and he loves them --- one designed after Perry the Platypus, the other after Bizzarro (anti-Superman). They are novel, functional and are a popular fad at his school. They are also surprisingly durable.
USB specification gives you 500mA max @ 5V. That makes 2.5W. But at the same time, you loose multiple times of that to ambient. Without a proper insulation of the coffee cup, you can only slow down the cooling of your coffee a little bit.
I have a friend with one of these - he has hearing aids in both ears that prevent him from using most BT headsets, and he can't hear his iPhone well without this.
I WANT ONE!!!!! I still have 2 60's vintage wall phones in my house. Why? First, they work when the power goes out. Second, I can actually hold the thing on my shoulder and work with both hands free. (Sorry, telcos will be stuck with 8x8000 sampling until I'm dead...lol) I have at least one, if not two non-geek friends who could use one of these, too.
The Retro Phone Handset is perfect for the hardcore retro geek! How else can I use my 300 baud acoustic coupler modem with my cell phone?!?! :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_coupler
We used the annoyatron on a work colleague and kept the gag running for months. You just need to know how to execute the prank. It was worth every cent spent.
MANY YEARS ago, we built something like this - on top, it said "I.P.D. - Directions on bottom." We left it sitting on the table. It contained something like the annoyatron and a tilt switch. On the bottom, it said: "Idiot Proximity Detector. Congratulations. You have been detected."
Actually, it wasn't me, it was a friend who used the Annoyatron on her office-mate. She pretended not to hear it and got the rest of the office in on the joke. Made the guy think he was losing his mind. Lasted nearly a week.
You either did very little research, or this is a poorly-disguised attempt to put ThinkGeek out of business. Seriously, everything they sell is useless crap-that's the point of the site! Their stuff is for people with a very specific sense of humor, which it's probably not good that I have because I end up wasting money on crap like this stuff you listed... :D
Items such as this one - http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/bags/bfc0/ - are extremely useful. There aren't many of them, but there are enough to more than justify ThinkGeek's existence as geek support. Besides, nobody else has such a great collection of t-shirts. If only I could wear them at work...
About the bag on the link - pass the drool towel. Mine does not have nearly enough small pockets. I'm with you on the t-shirts...but every once in a while I do wear one to work!
When corporate replaced my full-size laptop with a netbook, I no longer needed the full-size bag. All my cables, external drives, media (optical AND magnetic), and docs fit into this thing, and it takes up less than half the space. The only time I get a chance to wear a t-shirt to work is on a weekend call-out. M-F it's geek formal: khakis and polo shirts.
I know several geeks, and at least before many of them became fellow customers, ThinkGeek used to be a great source for birthday and Christmas gifts. But too often, the idea is way better than the product, or the joke just doesn't last (as pointed out by the article), or the stuff that's worth buying is too expensive to justify. So now, in early December, I browse, chuckle, then try to find something that won't fall apart out of the packaging, and will still be used in 3 months, and didn't cost >$200. T-shirts are cool though.
All holiday commercialization. Just say no to consumption! It is the thought that counts. None of us needs more useless crap. Happy Holidays to all.
You don't like the idea of having something in the bath that's powered by 2 AAA batteries? I'm not sure they're the latent household danger you think... You sound like my mother. :-)
Agreed with most items on the list. But I think the USB cup warmer is great and could be an exception. I have a problem every single day when my coffee goes cold as I am working. I'd love to avoid a trip back to the microwave. And don't fall into the trap of suggesting alternatives to human behavior. I love my cup and that's what I want my coffee in :-)
Get one that plugs into the wall. Lo-tech. It works great. It makes the coffee TOO hot if you leave it too long.
Heating and cooling take a lot of energy. Far more than 5v @ 500mA, I'm afraid. If anyone has had any success with one of these, I'd love to hear about it. But I'm not holding my room-temperature breath.
Stupidly did not consider the physics. I bought a bunch of the combo warmer/usb hub, with resale in mind. I find it only works with a cup that has a completely flat bottom (which is rare), and then not very well. It may hold onto a few more calories if a metal cup is used. It did slow down the cooling, but did not keep the coffee piping hot.
Most of these gifts appear to be more toys than useful tools. The Swiss Army Knife could be workable if you could pull it apart in sections. Thus making several smaller knives which can be used for their prospective tools. Until they invent a holographic or laser projected keyboard that responds flawlessly (like in the movies...lol) I'm not going that direction. iDuck...lol. I think the iDog, iCat and iPenguin are all much cuter and keep interest longer.
I'ld love to see the expression on the face of the TSA agent as this passes through the X-ray screening machine.