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FastMac U-Socket now shipping

Posted in USB by Conner Flynn on January 18th, 2011

FastMac’s wall socket that offers a pair of standard 110V power outlets along with two USB ports is finally shipping. If you ordered early enough, chances are you’ve already gotten a confirmation email and it is on it’s way.

You still have to be patient, as the site promises a three to four week delivery time for orders placed today, but at least things are moving nicely. It won’t be long before you are using standard plugs and USB side by side.

FastMac U-Socket delayed again, should ship in January

Posted in Home by Conner Flynn on December 31st, 2010

You might remember that $10 FastMac U-Socket that we showed you back in December of 2009. Sadly it was the victim of a number of delays. There was an October ship date and a raised $20 price last we heard. But it never shipped in October either.

The company is now telling customers that it’s getting ready to ship the USB power socket next month. Finally. Still, it’s better late than never. My walls need some USB power.

Wall outlet concept gets USB ports

Posted in Concepts by Shane McGlaun on August 25th, 2010

Sometimes I see design concepts that are so simple I wonder why they aren’t on the market already. This concept wall outlet with a couple USB ports built-in is one of those things.

Just about all the gadgets around my house can charge from USB. Things like the iPhone, iPad, digital cameras, and all manner of other devices get juice from the ubiquitous USB port. The problem is that USB ports on our computers get filled fast just as AC outlets in many homes do.

Energy Lock concept is part surge protector and part kitchen timer

Posted in Concepts by Shane McGlaun on March 31st, 2010

An astounding amount of energy is wasted each year by folks who leave their computers running all the time. The problem for many of us is that we simply forget to turn the devices off. A new concept plug over at Yanko Design will do the remembering for you.

The Energy Lock is a power outlet that you plug your cords into. Once connected you can rotate the plug like a kitchen timer to set how long the power will last in case you forget to turn the device off.

WallDock iPhone charger

Posted in iPhone Accessories by Conner Flynn on December 6th, 2009

WallDock iPhone chargerThe WallDock iPhone charger is exactly what it sounds like, an iPhone charger that plugs into your wall. Sounds pretty handy until you realize that all of your electrical outlets are low. The dock allows for access to the touchscreen, but it doesn’t really do you any good unless you’ve taught your baby to use your iPhone and don’t care about him or her sticking a finger in the socket.

Yeah, a desk charger is probably better. Of course you could always use your feet. It’s only $25 if you want to play footsie. Me, I’ll stick to a desktop charger.

Convert your AC outlet into a USB outlet

Posted in DIY by Conner Flynn on December 3rd, 2009

Convert your AC outlet into a USB outletWant to update the outlets in your home to accommodate your USB gadgets and do some wall charging? All you need is about 30 minutes and a $10 budget according to this instructable. The project involves just taking two cheap USB chargers, stripping them of their casing and then putting them behind a normal outlet plate.

Cut some USB slots in a regular blanking plate, then do some light electrical work to hook the whole thing up to your power. If you charge a ton of gadgets, this could be pretty handy.

Rotating Outlet solves the International Outlet problem

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on November 12th, 2009

Rotating Outlet solves the International Outlet problemAs travelers know, different countries have different outlets. It can be a real pain and it can be costly too if you have to buy special adapters. These countries are not just going to come up with a standard anytime soon either. That’s why this spinning outlet is such a great solution to the problem.

The info is scant on this thing, but it looks like it offers several major plug types which are accessed by spinning the three segments around. Great for hotels, where travelers are always having problems because they can’t charge up their gadgets.


Art Lebedev’s 3D socket concept is five plugs in one

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on November 9th, 2009

Art Lebedev's 3D socket concept is five plugs in oneOne day soon we might have wireless power, but until that day we will still have the necessary outlets all over our home. Art Lebedev’s Rozetkus 3D socket looks like a fairly normal socket, but when you push the button on top it pops out to provide five plugs.

This is definitely something we can all use with our many wired devices. There’s no info on possible release, but our guess is that we will see this one in homes soon.

Belkin unveils Conserve Surge

Posted in Power Strips by Conner Flynn on September 30th, 2009

Belkin unveils Conserve Surge We love our gadgets, but they are like vampires, sucking energy even when “off”. That’s why the Belkin Conserve Surge puts their energy sucking on a timer. Otherwise it’s a pretty normal surge protector. The device automatically cuts the power to connected devices after 11 hours of use.

Don’t worry, you won’t end up losing work before you can save, because the Conserve Surge features two always-on outlets alongside the six timed outlets. And there’s also an LED warning light when the electricity is about to turn off. Still, some other timing options would be nice.

The Power Shelf holds your gadgets while they charge

Posted in Chargers by Conner Flynn on June 30th, 2009

The Power Shelf holds your gadgets while they chargeI can’t decide if this is pointless or actually useful, but if you are looking for a way to organize your gadgets while they charge, you may want to check out the Power Shelf. It plugs directly into your power outlet, you can then plug your gadget into the power outlet and store it on the shelf.

The Power Shelf comes in several sizes so you can store and charge a wide variety of gadgets from your iPhone to your digital camera to your laptop. I guess it’s a great idea for those with limited space. The Power Shelf will cost you $14.99 to $49.99 from Think Geek.

Movable power strip, or puzzle game?

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on March 12th, 2009

Movable power strip, or puzzle game?As geeks, we have a certain fascination with power strips. Probably because we never have enough outlets. This particular power strip could double as a geek puzzle game. It’s called Movable Power and it allows you to adjust the entire strip according to your needs at any given time.

With this concept power strip, you won’t need to adjust your space just to accommodate a bulky strip. And as a bonus, you have a cool game to play with when you get bored. Until you electrocute yourself anyway.


The Inlet-Outlet: Harnessing energy from your daily life

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on March 9th, 2009

The Inlet-Outlet: Harnessing energy from your daily lifeThis may come as shock to you, but you are wasting energy. Everyday. How about giving back, simply by plugging into your wall? It may come sooner than you think. Nearly every room in our home has an electrical outlet. What if each one had a matching electrical “inlet” so you could give some back?

The idea is that adapter kits would be made available to convert common household products into energy-generating devices. Things like exercise equipment, for instance. Maybe even the wheel in your hamster’s cage.

Belkin travel powerstrip: surge protection, USB charging

Posted in Belkin by Conner Flynn on March 10th, 2008

Belkin travel powerstrip
Turns out that the power strip isn’t all played out after all, and can still surprise us. Take this Belkin Mini Surge Protector for instance. It has three grounded three-prong power outlets and two USB ports, and plugs directly into the wall socket, so there’s no dangling cord. A green LED lets you know that the connected devices are safe from surges. Belkin even backs it up with a $75,000 warranty.

Belkin even throws in a mini-USB cable, which will work with many brands of cellphones. It is supposed to be priced under $25, so this is truly a worthwhile purchase when it becomes available at the end of April.