Have you ever been sitting around and suddenly thought of the cure for cancer, or figured out how to build the world’s largest hamburger, but you didn’t have any way to get your idea down? Sure, you could write it on a piece of paper, but what if that paper got ripped, or blown away by a strong gust of wind? Well luckily, EPOS Technologies thought about all of this and came up with a solution: a digital pen which records your movements on a piece of paper, and then saves them to a USB flash drive for later use. The two-part combo utilizes the company’s proprietary system of transmission which employs ultrasonic acoustic waves to help measure the distance and position of the pen, so apparently all you have to do is clip the flash drive to a notepad or related writing surface, and off you go. The whole wacky set-up is available for the bargain-basement price of $79, and should be available by the end of the year.

Have you been looking for that special something to whip out at the big meeting to show everyone that you’ve got style, class, and money to burn? Well perhaps you should take a peek at the latest set of Mimobot Core Series 2 USB flash drives, which come fashioned in a wide variety of cute-as-all-get-out cartoon monsters, designed by illustrator Dino Alberto. While we can’t say that we prefer these to the company’s previous Star Wars-themed line, there is something intriguing about this new set, like the fact that these adorable little guys all have an elaborate back-story that’s loaded onto the drives for your viewing pleasure — although you may just want to scrap that to make more room for your "business documents." The drives come in 512MB, 1GB, 2GB or 4GB capacity, and range in price from $39.95 to $109.95.

We’ve seen teddy bear, canine, pig, and even spider-influenced speakers in the past, and it’s with open arms that we welcome in yet another pet to the animal audio farm. Brighton’s BI-SPCAT/WH 2.1 system consists of two pointy-eared NXT flat panel speakers and a feline-ish subwoofer with a 35-watt amplifier built right in. Additionally, these cats include five preset equalizer settings, a paw print remote control, and a 3.5-millimeter auxiliary input. Sure to make the cat lover in your family pleased as punch for a stiff ¬•19,800 ($166).

It turns out that cleaner air and healthier people aren’t the only side effects of a "No Smoking" sign. A wide-reaching ban on smoking in enclosed places just went into effect on July 1st in the UK, and in the two weeks following, carrier Orange reported that 7.5 million more messages were sent on its network than in the two-week period the month prior. Analysts (who apparently are responsible for researching these sorts of trends) suggest a couple explanations: first, smokers freshly ousted outdoors to get their smoke on need something to do to pass the time — out comes the phone, and, well, you know the rest. Secondly, smokers that are working on quitting as a result of the ban are turning to texting to give their fidgety, nerve-wracked fingers something to do and to seek support from friends. The behavior, which arguably didn’t need a name, is being called "smexting." Looks like the money saved on cancer sticks is going straight to the carriers — but hey, at least it’s a little safer (or not).

(Source: Wired Blog) Virgin America launched its U.S. air service yesterday, and immediately staked a claim as the most geek-friendly airline yet invented. It’s also one of the most comfortable and pleasant to fly in — and it’s reasonably priced.

I flew in the inaugural flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Almost every aspect of the trip was pleasant, and the planes have clearly been designed by people with a keen sense of design and an appreciation of technology’s ability to make people feel comfortable and happy.

In the iPhone Google Maps application, it’s pretty obvious how to zoom into maps. You double tap the screen. The map readjusts, zooming further in. So how do you zoom out? Sure you can pinch your way back but there’s a far easier way. Use a single multi-touch tap instead. That is, tap with two finger at once.

Separate your fingers so it’s clear that you’re making two contact points and…tap. Google Maps obediently zooms back out, one zoom stage for each multi-touch tap. Give it a try. It’s a great tool to bring into your Google Maps vocabulary.

Apple has posted two new iPhone ads to their site. Both ads bring a new perspective to the iPod’s appeal, focusing on how much it allows you to carry – or stop carrying – in your pocket. The first, titled Instead, informs viewers that they can simply carry an iPod in their phone, instead of an iPod and their phone. The second ad, titled Amazing, expands on the idea of how much you can carry: your favorite music, all your email, today’s newspaper and – of course – a phone. The ads are both well done and, I think, speak a bit more clearly to the potential of owning an iPhone. Having all that stuff in one sexy little device that effortlessly syncs with one app is indeed a wonderful thing, and I bet these new ads might strike a stronger chord with consumers still on the fence about buying one to replace their other gadgets.

After the NES emulator, you knew it was just a matter of time, and now Doom is running (though not playable yet) on the iPhone.

Unfortunately, they haven’t implemented a controller system yet (all you can do right now is watch the demo scenes), but that’s the beauty of open source– no doubt some intrepid programmer out there has an idea on how to do it. Also, you gotta turn that thing sideways, man! This isn’t the iPod; let’s use the whole screen space.

So what happens when someone releases a functional but extremely slow NES emulator? Two of the finest iPhone hackers spend all night re-writing the thing to make it blazing fast and include multi-touch support. Behold the optimized NES App created by NerveGas with help from NightWatch/Patrick Walton. You can download and run the app today and the source will shortly be rolled into the official SVN. iPhone NES: the game for big hearts and small thumbs.

When was the last time you were at a concert and you wanted to pull out your lighter when they started doing an encore of ‘Free Bird’, but you don’t smoke anymore? Fear not. Just pull out your iPhone and go to RockLighter.

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