The Weekly Goods - Week of August 14, 2006

The Weekly Goods - Week of August 14, 2006

Pocket Ace
Joining the crowded field of low-cost digital audio players, the Evergreen DN-2000 is smaller than a keychain and able to play most standard non-protected file types (MP3, WMA, etc). It relies on SD cards for storage (not included) and has no screen, much like an iPod Shuffle. Where this dainty player distinguishes itself however is that at a cool $19, it´s virtually disposable. Lose one, and for the cost of a round of beers (or two albums on iTunes Music Store) you can buy another. Evergreen DN-2000 audiocubes.com; $19
Submersible Snapshots
Underwater camera and camcorder housings tend to cost a mint and are usually hard-shell, which makes them tough to pack for travel. Ewa-marine makes dive-ready flexible bags that accommodate a wide range of digital and film cameras and camcorders and can be submerged to about 30 feet (some versions can go down to 150 feet, depending on the model of camera). Unlike pro housings, use of manual controls is limited, however some bags allow space for lights or flash units as well as long zoom lenses. Ewa-marine Housings rtsphoto.com; $100-$500
Totally Tubular
With this ingenious musical "toy," you're but a shaved head and tub of paint from joining the Blue Man Group. This lower-fi version of the group's legendary PVC pipe organ/percussion rig can produce five different instrument sounds and is controlled via proximity sensors using your hands or the included drum sticks--and a built-in MP3 player dock lets you play along with your tunes. Blue Man Group Percussion Tubes bluemangroupinstruments.com; $80
From the Death Wish Dept.
Gear up for winter by picking up a skateboard and replacing its wheels with this set of metal-edged skis. The suspension system lets you turn, carve, and ollie on the slopes just like you would on the street. Railz Snowskate Conversion Kit flowlab.com; $50
Audophile on a Budget
Known for high-quality headphones, Grado is now generously sharing their sonic wealth with the low-budg MP3-player crowd. The wraparound-style iGrado sports the same speaker drivers as the company's renowned SR60 model, putting them head and shoulders above most earbud competition. iGrado Headphones gradolabs.com; $49
No Wires Attached
Tapeless mini-DV camcorders are much more compact than standard units, and save video to memory cards as PC-ready mpeg files. The Samsung SC-X210WL also has 1 gig of memory built-in, and is especially useful for active (or sneaky) types with a secondary wireless lens that can be clipped on helmet-cam-style to send high-quality video back to the main unit from up to 15 feet away. Samsung SC-X210WL samsung.com; $679.99
Opposites Attract Fun
Remember the Magna Doodle? The first color version uses two-toned micro-magnets suspended in gel. Each end of the magnetic stylus brings a different color to the surface. Magna Doodle Color Plus world-of-toys.com; $18
Smart Starter
Not content to just turn your car on, this remote-start system's key fob receives messages from your vehicle that tell you whether it´s running, locked or unlocked-even the temperature inside. Prestige APS998 audiovox.com; $500
Apple Candy
The final installment in Apple's transition to Intel-based computers, the Mac Pro is a desktop system on steroids, tricked out for power-hungry pros. Its two Dual Core Xeon processors are typically found in high-end servers--and thus make it up to two times faster than top-shelf G5 models. Apple also finally included two optical drives (16X CD/DVD burners) and left a host of slots open under the hood for DIY upgrades. Getting one still requires a few pretty pennies, however Apple insists a similarly equipped Dell is about a grand pricier. Apple Mac Pro apple.com; $2,499
Knots Ending
This low-tech but reliable device sorts out the web of twisted headphone and charger cables in your backpack. Pop it open, insert a cord of your choosing, close the top and then spin the crank with your thumb to reel in both ends. It has a belt clip on the back and can handle up to 6 feet of cable. Cordgo Cord Retractor cordgo.com; $9.95