mini usb monitors

i saw an article on boingboing about mini usb monitors, and am now wanting one very much! the mimo 740 (above) has built in microphone and webcam, and is also touchscreen. the mimo range all come with adjustable stands, and can flp to be either portrait or landscape.

the main uses for a gadget like this would probably be for widgets, instant messaging or video messaging (skype maybe?), email, video (while you're doing other things), and photoshop or illustrator tools, which is probably what i would use it for most. this would give you the whole of your main monitor to concentrate on what you are working on, a problem when the screen is cluttered with lots of different tool boxes.

the screens range from $99 to $199, the price going up for the extras that the 740 includes (mic, webcam and touch). but the basic model (the 710, below) could still be very useful!

link to boingboing article

link to mimo product page

the difference a good picture makes...

http://www.raydobbins.com/photosetup/update4.jpg a while back a saw a post about a guy who takes amazing photos of custom bikes using a very basic set up. from boingboing:

'Using consumer cameras, Ray gets tremendous results in his modest garage photography studio. Ray's process has been perfected with considerable trial and error, but surprisingly little money. With a $30 tripod, $35 halogen Sears work lights and a $55 roll of seamless, Ray has proven that I can no longer blame my camera for my poor quality photos.'

http://www.raydobbins.com/photosetup/update2.jpg

http://www.raydobbins.com/photosetup/photo7.jpg

it just shows the difference a good photo makes, and how simple it can be! check out his site to see what kind of lights, backdrop, and tripod set up he uses. through lots of trial and error he seems to have come up with just the right setup, which can easily be copied without having to go through that trial and error yourself.

when looking at peoples (product) design work on a website or portfolio, a picture can really make or break a product. a simple white backdrop like the one above is often the best thing to use to show the product, as it doesn't over-complicate things. i will definitely use some of his tips when photographing my own things this year...

link to boingboing post

link to ray dobbins photo setup

more clever design tips

this time, eliminating the need for trains to slow down! from boingboing gadgets:

'Taiwanese inventor Peng Yu-Lun believes that trains are more energy inefficient than they have to be, hobbled ecologically by the totally unnecessary task of having to stop to pick up passengers. To counter the problem, he has invented a concept for a constantly moving train, or a "non-stop MRT system." '

the video below shows it pretty well. it's another idea (like this one) that's pretty clever thinking.

link to original boingboing gadgets post