The PopSci Staff Boom/Bust Holiday Gift Guide

Whether you're living it up this holiday season (we're looking at you, repo man), or hoarding your pennies, there's a gift for you in our guide

Ah winter, when a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of Christmakwanza. This holiday season, we hit up the entire staff of PopSci to see what they're dreaming of, what they're expecting, and what they'd recommend to you and yours. Come for the robot butlers, Teslas and aura-capturing cameras; stay for the eminently affordable headphones, DIY kits and more. Check it out here.

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Flushing Away Fears

How far we'll go for our Crackberry fix

Or, in some cases, how deep we'll go.

Also in today's links: eating fish (or not), eating shark (or not), and more.

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For those who believe telling the time isn't challenging enough

Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's backwards writing, this gadget plays with the idea of what the Renaissance Man's watch may have looked like, if watches existed back then. The numbers on the faceplate are not just written—and listed—backwards, but the hour and minute hands move counter-clockwise as well. For $US36, this watch simply tells time backwards, and will not, in fact, act as a time machine and take you back to the future.

Story from Gizmodo Australia

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Canon A1000 IS Review

Sam's quickie look at an affordable new 10-megapixel snapper

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Grade-A Gadgets

Expand your tech arsenal, not your credit-card debt

Tuitions may be rising, but the prices of digital tools and toys keep dropping. From ultralight laptops to Net-connected digicams, we pick innovative, feature-rich devices that won't impoverish you.

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3M Launches first Pocket Projector

The holy grail of gadgets springs at last (from an unlikely source)

That’s projector, not protector. But geeks will rejoice nonetheless. The pocketsize projector has been the Holy Grail of gadgets for many years, and now we’ve got it. 3M sent us one of their first samples of their MPro110 mini projector a few weeks ago (but asked us to keep it on the down-low for a while). I immediately plugged it into a DVD player and watched Blackhawk Down on my desk—literally, on it, as I aimed it at my white Ikea desktop.

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Wacky Hybrid Appliances

A tanning shower? A washing machine toilet? Check out this round-up of the most brilliant (fine, inept) gadget combinations around

Because a cramped apartment clearly shouldn't interfere with your love of a freshly-tapped keg, or a tan, or clean clothes. From the useful (a toilet which shoulders a washing machine) to the inane (showers sporting tanning lamps!), these gadgets all tap into a deep-seated desire: "It's a thing! That does another thing!"

Folks, this is human ingenuity at its apex. Enjoy.

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The Early Adoption Paradox

Companies need the spendthrift, line-waiting, early adopters. So why are they so willing to screw them over?

I suffer from a near-debilitating fear of tech commitment. Early adopter, I am not. With pre-orders of the first Google Android phone rumored to be kicking off any day now, early adoption is a topic I’ve been burning a lot of brain cells on lately. I mean, should I or shouldn’t I? That’s the eternal question of this transistor-dependent existence I lead. Unfortunately for my own technological evolution, I find early adoption to be a lot like playing Russian Roulette with a bullet lodged in all six chambers: I can’t possibly win.

I often wonder what goes on inside the mind of an early-adopter.

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Digital Underwater Camera Mask

Shoot video underwater, with no hands

Thirty-five millimeter film is dead. Everyone over the age of nine now owns a three-megapixel digital camera with a 10X optical zoom. Parents upgrading to telescopic lenses are passing down their relics to kids who can’t aim and have never loaded a roll of film. In the digital revolution, the disposable camera was merely an innocent bystander (along with Polaroid). But at dive shops and drug stores, the single-use underwater film camera has survived as the practical option for honeymoon photography and pool party documentation. With the recent launch of the 5.0-megapixel Digital Underwater Camera Mask from Liquid Image ($99; a 3.1-megapixel version costs $79), the end is near. To see how potent the gadget could be, I spent an afternoon underwater attempting to document a most difficult subject matter: two kids under the age of seven.

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Wherefore Art Thou, Tech Support?

The Grouse discovers just how hard it is to find good help these days

Being a tech consumer is a treacherous endeavor these days. Installing software, upgrading a piece of hardware or even just plugging in a new peripheral is a pursuit wrought with danger. That’s because, as a man named Murphy has us conditioned to believe, something will inevitably go wrong. And when things do go haywire—when Part A won’t play nice with Part B—you’re left trying to figure out just what’s to blame. Is it your operating system? Is it the USB port on your computer? Is it your thingamajig’s firmware?

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Doctor Delicious

When the world's best chefs want something that defies the laws of physics, they come to one man: Dave Arnold, the DIY guru of high-tech cooking

See Ted Allen and your favorite Popular Science editors on "Food Detectives" every Tuesday night.

Dave Arnold would like to fix you a gin and tonic. Sound good? It will be. It will be very, very good. It will be like no gin and tonic you have ever seen or tasted in your life. It will also be considerably more involved, shall we say, than cracking open the Tanqueray and Schweppes.

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The (Ultimate) Ultimate Remote

Forgot Father's Day? It's gonna take a heck of a gesture to win him back

For 18 years you fought a nightly crusade for control of the television. Like a samurai with his sword, your father protected his remote during dinner, while seated on his porcelain pedestal and while snoring loud enough to wake the dead. An air horn wouldn't rouse him, but a mere footstep towards the volume setting was perceived as a sign of aggression. Yep, Dad's a pretty special guy. Yet you, like so many other sons across this great land, forgot about Father’s Day. And forgiveness comes at a cost. So what better sign of devotion than to purchase your pop that which you so brilliantly battled for throughout your childhood—a remote.

Not just any remote, mind you. No, your father deserves more: the ultimate remote branded with four letters that mean so much to men and their television rituals: E – S – P – N. Yes, for a mere $299 you can purchase you father the ESPN Ultimate Remote (currently only available on

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Frugal Mogul

This Hollywood-grade camera is priced for the backyard, not the back lot

Although high-def camcorders shoot incredible detail, they are a far cry from Hollywood gear. But the Red Scarlet, due out later this year, will capture five-megapixel video frames, picking up more than twice the detail of high-def camcorders and rivaling the eight-megapixel flicks that A-list directors are starting to shoot.

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PopSci 5-Minute Project: Gadget Charging Station

Clear the clutter without losing power

World of wires got you down? Clear the clutter with your very own fire-proof gadget charging station. Editor Mike Haney shows how a power drill and some tape can transform a bread box into a pint-size panic room just for chargers.

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The Goods: June 2008

From the smallest pro camera to a static-free music phone speaker our editors round up the summer's must-have products

In each issue, PopSci rounds up the must-have products for the month. This June, check out dozens of the hottest new products: from the smallest pro camera to a eco-friendly mower to a frame that prints out its shots.

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