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Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards: 10 Most Brilliant Gadgets Of 2008

4. Livescribe Pulse Smartpen




The Livescribe Smartpen lets you combine voice recording with note-taking, and if you've ever been a student or an interviewer, you know you need both. With PC software (only works with PC right now), a special notepad, and of course the Smartpen, you can take notes with the internal recorder picking up the sound at the same time. When transferring your notes to the PC, you can tap the Smartpen on your notes to get the audio pertinent to those specific notes! Want to read more about it? Visit Livescribe or Amazon.com .


5. Craftsman Nextec Multi-Saw

 

This 12-volt saw is a "new breed of saw," according to Popular Mechanics gadget pickers. It's both a jigsaw and a reciprocating saw that "gets into tight spots, powers through touch jobs and can operate at 2000 strokes per minute. Learn more about the Craftsman Nextec Multi-Saw at Craftsman.

 

6. Potenco PCG1 Power Generator


The PCG1 is a power generator for small gadgets like cell phones, GPS devices, and MP3 players. It is powered by human energy, making zero toes on a carbon footprint. Pull the cord for a minute, store the power on the PVG1 NiMh battery and convert your energy into 20 minutes of cell phone talk time. Read more at Potenco, Powering Endless Possibilities.

 

 

 
Comments
Oct 17, 2008
by Anonymous

Carbon Fistprint

Regarding number six:

Guess what? That warm, moist, smelly gas that comes out of your slack mouth when you're trying to think or, like, charge your iPhone is predominantly ...wait for it... CARBON dioxide.

The amount of CO2 you produce would increase in proportion to the amount of energy you expend in charging your goddamn phone. That would make for a non-zero count of, like, carbon toes.

Would the coal burning power plant that generates electricity for your home output more CO2 to generate the same amount of energy? Probably not, since it doesn't have to needlessly heave your beefy arm back and forth and contract all those facial muscles to form a self-satisfied smirk.

Why should I be so worked up over something like this? Here's why: Lack of real critical thinking, not that half-assed Al Gore-felating, the-debate-is-over stuff, but real critical thinking has somehow led your hand into my wallet in order to fund Superman and the Halls of Justice Al Gore and the US federal government in their predictably blunt, clumsy, inefficient, bureaucracy-choked, freedom-killing efforts at "curbing greenhouse emissions". (Tip of the hat to the UK, BTW. We colonists yokels are only just now learning how to surrender liberty to our benevolent leaders.)

Oh yeah, and: Japan has had the fecal faucets (#10) for decades.

Thank you for reading. You may now go back to saving the earth or "leading your community" or whatever.

Oct 28, 2008
by Anonymous

reply to carbon fistprint

anonymous said:

"Would the coal burning power plant that generates electricity for your home output more CO2 to generate the same amount of energy? Probably not, since it doesn't have to needlessly heave your beefy arm back and forth and contract all those facial muscles to form a self-satisfied smirk."

Have you researched this? I dunno, concerning the efficiency of converting coal into kinetic energy versus any biological organism converting food and air into the same amount of kinetic energy, I'd say that animals are far more efficient.

Carbon in gaseous form (particularly carbon dioxide and monoxide) is the stuff that most people are concerned about. I have a suspicion that the carbon that animals expel is mostly in the form of compounds excreted in liquid and solid waste. I'm no scientist, but I have a strong suspicion that if we were to compare all the aspects of a coal burning plant charging a cell phone battery and a human being doing the same through a device, the human would produce a far smaller carbon footprint.

Nov 5, 2008
by Anonymous

The toilet

I lived in Japan from 1983 to 1986, and this type of toilet was everywhere. They are hardly a "new" design or gadget.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

Carbon Footprint

If you think about it the human powered device will save on energy. Imagine that the person has to lug the coal out the ground, then take it to the power station to burn it, then the electricity generated goes down power lines, which lose some energy as heat to its surroundings before it even gets to the device to be charged.

Compare that to that to heaving "your beefy arm back and forth" and it's fairly obvious which needs fewer resources. Also heaving your arm back and forth may help you shift a few pounds too.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

what?

Spore? Are you completely shut in from the outside world? Spore was the most disappointing game of 2008. Just put aside all the licensing problems, (3 class action lawsuits? hello?) and take a look at the dumbed down gameplay. And when did a game qualify as a gadget?

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

Spore is a POS

Having spore on this list ruins your credibility. Instead of just reading the pre-launch hype and paid reviews maybe you should have talked to the people who played it.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

Another thing about that toilet...

Not only have they been in Japan but if they are anything like the Japanese toilets then the sink probably sucks. They are always too shallow and the water comes out too fast so if you use it the water sprays all over the place. Its also ice cold in the winter soooo yea not worth it.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

lol

the greatest invention of 2008 is a CAN. Thank you, pop mech. Thank you.

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

It Happened at Nextfest

This book is good mimic of gadgets of the future. It takes place somewhere around 2048. You should check it out. www.lulu.com/content/1570109

Nov 13, 2008
by Anonymous

Please hire editors

When articles like this are full of typos, spelling and grammar errors, the qualifications of the writer come into question.
Anyone proof-read this blathering?

Nov 14, 2008
by Anonymous

Moron

So now breathing is considered pollution. I know, help the planet and stop doing it.

Nov 14, 2008
by Anonymous

yeah

Breathing may expell CO2, but you were probably going to be doing it ANYWAY, so its probably alright.

Nov 14, 2008
by Anonymous

Toilet sink? Eww!

Just what I want: a sink above the toilet. It's bad enough that toothbrushes in the bathroom get microscopic bits of fecal matter on them, now the levels will increase. No thanks.

Nov 14, 2008
by Anonymous

Spore? Wow, your list is

Spore? Wow, your list is ruined.

Nov 14, 2008
by Anonymous

Too bad...

Too bad Popular Mechanics is partly to blame for the conspiracy against cannabis.

Dec 21, 2008
by Anonymous

the toilet

they already have that kind of toilet in japan for a long time ago

Feb 24, 2009
by Anonymous

SPORE

i cant belive spore made top 2, it really is really boring