Movie-accurate HAL 9000 bosses you around the house

ThinkGeek boasts that the HAL 9000 life-size replica is the "most movie-accurate HAL 9000 replica ever created." Let's hope it's only movie-accurate enough to be entertaining and not deadly.

If you're a fan of HAL 9000 and want to bring a little bit of that relentless robotic terror into your home, you can plunk down $500 for a sentient computer of your own (minus the actual sentience.) This HAL 9000 is better-behaved than the real thing. You still get the menacing red LED eye, but he won't try to kill you.… Read more

Seven ways to punk noobs on April Fools' Day

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One of my favorite pastimes has to be pulling pranks around the office. The pranks may leave a sour taste in the mouth of the recipient for a few days, but in the end they often lead to some good laughs and classic memories.

April Fools' Day naturally lends itself to a flurry of random jokes and pranks, so I took the liberty of rounding up some tech-inspired pranks. I hope you find a way to put one, if not all of them, to use--heck, it doesn't even have to be on April 1!

Here, let me Google that for you Do you have a co-worker who refuses to look anything up on the Internet for himself? Do you often feel like your name should be "Google"? On April 1, send the lazy Web searcher a link to LMGTFY; perhaps he'll learn a thing or two.

To use LMGTFY, visit the site, type in a search query, and click on either search button. You will then be presented with a link to copy and send off to the unsuspecting recipient. The link you send will then open a Web page with an animation teaching the recipient how to use Google. After the site automatically fills in the search bar with the query and clicks on the search button, he will be redirected to the actual Google search results. … Read more

Which mini-speaker annoys the neighbors most?

The mission is simple: gather three brands of popular mini-speakers and see which is powerful enough to annoy a grumpy building superintendent.

The briefing: I reside in a quiet, courtyard complex in Studio City, Calif. On most Sundays, the residents gather around the pool for a casual barbecue. Such an event recently presented the perfect opportunity to test three mini-speakers: an X-mini Capsule Speaker from ThinkGeek, a Soundmatters foxL Bluetooth Soundbar, and a Cyber Snipa Sonar Portable Mini Speaker to see which could produce enough quality sound to prod our cranky 60-plus-year-old supe to leave his recliner and tell us to knock off the hubbub. Join us, won't you?

To expedite the outstandingly unscientific experiment, I chose Dubstep, which is electronica in the extreme. In fairness, some wouldn't call it music as much as well-organized static. When the uninitiated listen to Dubstep, they're often uncertain if the CD might be skipping. As a bleeding goat will draw the hungry, Dubstep pouring from my iPhone will attract the crotchety handyman if we can get the racket loud enough. … Read more

Twitter T-shirt says, 'You don't know me, man'

Twitter is great, but there usually comes a time when phenomena like it jump the proverbial shark. The fact that these T-shirts from ThinkGeek exist could mean Twitter is approaching that point, but I do kind of want one anyway.

The brown and blue shirt essentially turns you into the Twitter "anonymous" icon, or the default Twitter profile image for people who haven't uploaded their own pic (I use my CNET headshot, natch!).

The icon's pictured to the left, but for those who don't know it, it's o_O. Just like that. It's an … Read more

How sweet it is

If you frequent farmers' markets in the summer, then you know the stark contrast between produce you can find in the heat of July and that found in winter. Fruits that are normally sweet take on a sour, bitter, or dull flavor that doesn't improve until the weather does.

Some of us are trained, at this point, to eat with the seasons for the freshest flavors. That being said, there's nothing worse than biting into a piece of fruit and being rewarded with a sour taste that feels something like getting punched in the taste buds. Apparently, the … Read more

Slashdot parent company experiences overnight outage

UPDATE (6:04 a.m. PT): SourceForge's sites are back up. UPDATE (1:27 p.m. PT): Comment from SourceForge was added.

On Wednesday morning, there appeared to be some sort of outage at SourceForge Inc., parent company of iconic geek news forum Slashdot and retailer ThinkGeek (among others). Neither SourceForge nor the sites it operates were accessible at 5:30 a.m. PT. According to SourceForge, it was an emergency maintenance window that "caused an unanticipated network outage."

As they might have said at Slashdot rival Fark, "Everybody panic!"

Performance monitoring firm Pingdom reported that Slashdot was downRead more

All hail the 'Optimus Maximus' from--ThinkGeek?

So it finally happened. The "Optimus Maximus"--the most-hyped keyboard of all time--is now for sale to the consuming public as promised. To which we have only one response: ThinkGeek?

We don't have anything against the gadget peddler, mind you--it was just a little surprising to see a $1,589.99 product being sold by a retailer that's better known for such products as USB rocket launchers. On its "What's New" page, for instance, the vaunted Maximus is sandwiched between a "Dueling Space Marines Copter Set" and a pair of "… Read more

In search of: The perfect laptop bag

Women of the world, we share a common goal--if we're toting laptops anywhere, that is. Our goal? Find a decent freakin' laptop bag that doesn't look like an awful faux-leather dudecase but still has some semblance of professionalism attached. I myself am still on the hunt, but wanted to dish out a few sites I've stumbled across lately that might offer some good choices.

Uptown Bella

Recently described (by me) in an instant message to a friend as "omg, the cutest laptop bag site ever." The only reason I haven't ordered the Ashley bag … Read more

Wear this t-shirt, look even geekier

This isn't a gadget, but I felt obliged to post it here on Crave for two reasons: 1) we all love corny blog humor, as much as we hate to admit it; and 2) I suffered through four years of high school Latin, right through that excruciating Aeneid-based AP exam. But in retrospect (i.e. once you're no longer getting graded on it), Latin really is kind of cool, especially since it gives you fun insider details as to what the stuff in that HBO series Rome is really about. Plus, the mashup of an ancient language with … Read more, a less geeky ThinkGeek

When I think about holiday shopping for my gadget-obsessed friends, I normally point my mouse right to ThinkGeek, the perennial mainstay of online nerd retail. Problem is, sometimes ThinkGeek's selection of lightsabers and binary blankets is a little too geeky. That's why I'm pumped about Firebox, a U.K. site that just launched a stateside version. It's got plenty of ThinkGeek-ish toys, but the slant is a little less "World of Warcraft" and a little more "Old School." If you take a look at their product selection--high-speed coffee makers, pumpkin-carving drills, … Read more