Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Week That Was #13

~ Welcome to my weekly collection of the Odd, the Useful, and the often Bizarre – although the first item (see image) could safely fit into all three categories.

The Odd: Complete Swiss Army Knife: If you’re in the market for a multifunction tool that just can’t be beat, have a look at this Guinness World Record holding collection of tools.

Called the Only Complete Swiss Army Knife, it features 87 precision-engineered tools which span 112 different functions - including (takes a deep breath) seven blades, three types of pliers, three golf tools, 25 Phillips and Flat headed screwdrivers, plus saws, wrenches, a signal whistle, combination fish scaler, hook disgorger, line gauge tool, chain rivet setter, shotgun choke tube tool, cigar-cutting scissors, tire-tread gauge, tweezers, toothpick and for a modern twist, a laser pointer.

This Swiss Army Knife to beat all knives is available now from Hammacher Schlemmer for just $1,400. Did I say, Odd? It could just be the most Useful gadget you’ve ever owned – if you can get your fingers around it!

The Useful: Cheap International Calls. Matt Gross, who writes the Frugal Traveler column for the New York Times, recently wrote about various ways to stay in touch with family and friends via cheap international phone carriers such as Skype. It turns out however, there are many other players on the market providing similar services to Skype, and he examines some of these in his article Calling Home for Even Less, which was a follow-up to a previous article, Staying in Touch Internationally on The Cheap. Both articles are worth reading (which is why I mention them here). Make sure you read through the many comments added to Matt’s articles, since these are a good source of additional information about other companies providing cheap international phone services.

The Bizarre: Wi-Fi Detector T-Shirt. This is another one of those items that could be deemed useful or bizarre, depending on your current state of mind. Seriously, those weird and wacky folks over at ThinkGeek are selling a T-Shirt with an attachment which lights up as you walk past wireless hotspots. Now you don’t have to open your laptop just to see if there is any Wi-Fi internet access about – since the glowing bars on the front of the shirt dynamically change as the surrounding Wi-Fi signal strength fluctuates.

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