Crave Ep. 115: First look at the feature-packed iKazoo

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On this week's Crave, we take a first look a gadget that truly blows, an optical game controller that looks like a kazoo. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield gives us some more cooking tips from space. And Hotello is a hotel room in a box. Sounds uncomfortable, no? All that and more on this week's episode. … Read more

Designers cram entire hotel room into a suitcase

Hotels can be a hassle. You have to read reviews, check booking sites, arrange transportation, and sometimes deal with noisy neighbors. If you got a Hotello instead, you could just pop open your hotel room wherever you felt like it and settle in for some quality work or nap time.

Hotello is a concept portable hotel room and working space created by architect Antonio Scarponi and artist Robert de Luca for Swiss design group Das Konzept. The whole thing packs down into a red trunk with wheels on the bottom, so you could conceivably carry it with you, though it would have to go into checked baggage on a plane, and you'd probably have to cough up a lot of extra luggage fees.… Read more

Protect yourself from social-network malware (video)

First there was e-mail spam clogging up your in-box. Now there's social malware making its way into your Facebook newsfeed.

If you've ever seen a spammy message from a friend promising a "Free iPad" or "Free" airline tickets, chances are it's socware (pronounced "sock ware") -- a phrase coined by engineering professors and graduate students at the University of California, Riverside, in a new study.

Their study analyzed 12,000 users of MyPageKeeper, a free app they developed to identify suspicious posts and help protect Facebook users from them. Of that … Read more

How tech is changing the road to the White House (video)

We've come a long way since the iconic 1964 "Daisy Girl" political ad. These days, candidates are turning to complex data sets to help pinpoint potential supporters.

So exactly what kind of information are political parties getting about you? According to a New York Times article, callers will know if you have homes in foreclosure, what kind of beer you drink, or the type of vacations you enjoy.

But technology works both ways.

Keep the facts straight with apps like Super PAC and Ad Hawk. These free apps "listen" to political advertisements on television and … Read more

With FBI snooping on social media, how to protect privacy

To say that the FBI had its work cut out for it after 9/11 is an understatement. As part of its anti-terrorism efforts, the agency cozied up to telecom companies, like Verizon and AT&T. The relationship was so tight that some telecom employees actually had offices at the FBI.

This convenient arrangement paved the way for FBI agents to ultimately hand post-it notes with phone numbers to their telecom pals to find out if those accounts were worth investigating. It's the sort of stuff that makes privacy advocates shudder. And it's what Jennifer Lynch, staff … Read more

Tips for Facebook millionaires

It's estimated that the Facebook IPO will create 1,000 new millionaires -- granted that's a small, ok, miniscule percentage in the scheme of things -- but still, we thought it prudent to give some words of wisdom to those burgeoning fat cats.

We know that some Facebook employees had grand visions of rocketing into space on Virgin Galactic or excavating Mayan ruins with their new-found fortunes, but Bill Harris of PersonalCapital.com says that cooler heads must prevail.

"The biggest thing is to resist it becoming an emotional decision as opposed to analytical decision," he … Read more

Deck 82 keyboard review: Compact luminescence for mechanical typists

The Deck 82 is Deck Keyboards' answer to the high demand for the short-lived compact version of the IBM Model M, also known as the IBM Space Saving keyboard for its 10-key-less layout. The Deck 82 likewise eliminates the number pad found on the right side of traditional keyboards to save room on your desktop, and the whole chassis measures just 12 inches wide by 6 inches deep by 1.8 inches tall.

You'll also notice a keycap labeled "Fn" to the right of the space bar; that key toggles the secondary functions that you can assign … Read more

Storage area networks need not apply

Last week I attended the GigaOM Structure Big Data conference in New York City. Although my resume says I'm a storage analyst of long standing, this was not a storage conference. However, my e-mail inbox reminds me daily that storage vendors think "big data" spells big opportunity so I went to see how and how much they can really contribute to the advancement of big-data analytics.

This conference only confirmed a suspicion that's been building for that last few months as I've been following the big-data wave: Big-data practitioners are generally hostile to shared storage. … Read more

CES: Datamancer ushers you into world of Steampunk keyboard fetishism

Clicky mechanical keyboards, with their Cherry MX switches and robust base units, can be considered a form of keyboard fetishism, but Datamancer's Richard Nagy takes "paraphrenalic technofetishism" to new heights with his custom Victorian computer mods with a steampunk twist.

Check out this Von Slatt revisionist wonder on display at CES 2011. It's a one-off design made specifically for a customer who requested the classic Das Keyboard mechanical peripheral as its core and is built entirely by Nagy's hands. According to the receiver, "the steampunk theme recalls an age when technology was as much 'love and wonder' as 'labor.'"

The artist would not disclose the pricing since each piece is made to order, but Nagy will gladly sell you a DI(mostly)Y keyboard kit to build your own Steampunk/Victorian device!

Click through for more photos of Richard Nagy's Von Slatt keyboard.… Read more

Click clack: Mechanical keyboards compared

The first IBM Model M keyboard was made in the 1980s and quickly rose to a cult product with typing purists who prefer its buckling spring keys as opposed to the thin laptop keys we use today.

As a result, manufacturers like Das Keyboard, Matias, and Rosewill are rolling out updated versions of the Model M that bring back the same key switches and the click-clack sound--hence the term "mechanical keyboard."

This guide offers more about mechanical keyboards than even the average geek cares to know, but unfortunately you can't try them out before you buy, so … Read more