Richard Garsthagen made this ingenious gift box for his 15-year-old niece for Saint Nicholas’ Eve.
On Saint Nicholas’ Eve many grown ups and teenagers in the Netherlands give each other gifts. To keep things affordable a spending limit is determined and the name of each recipient is drawn from a hat. The gift is hidden somewhere in the house or wrapped in a difficult to unwrap package called the ‘surprise’, and the person giving it writes a poem on behalf of Saint Nicholas in which the good saint mockingly reviews the recipients’ past year.
Garsthagen’s niece did not seem to understand the concept of a spending limit and asked for gifts that were much more expensive than that, so he hid her gift in a The Price is Right game. In the video he explains how it works, and at Instructables he explains how you can create a game like this yourself.
(Photo: crop from a screenshot of the video by Richard Garsthagen)
A company called 3DSVP will start offering 3D printing services on the premises of the Meneer Paprika store in Haarlem next January, Hyped.nl reports.
The store expects to sell products mainly made of polyamide, but also jewellery made of silver and stainless steel. 3DSVP has been running a web shop since September, showcasing the type of products that you can have them print.
A similar service will be offered by Office Centre in the first quarter of 2013, the difference being that the Easy 3D printing service will use paper as its base material. Office Centre is a Dutch company (founded in 1993 as a merger) that is now owned by American office supplies company Staples. According to Engadget the service “will handle architectural designs, maps, medical models, replica weapons and anything else that can be made with fragments of paper arranged in 0.1mm layers up to a maximum height of six inches”.
Why would you want to ask a court whether an Apple iPad is a phone or a general computer? Well, if computers given as a Christmas bonus are considered income and phones are not, you might have an incentive, especially if the back taxes amount to 323,687 euro.
Broadcaster RTL Nederland gave 664 of its employees an iPad in 2010, including a Vodaphone 3G subscription. The law says that something supplied by one’s employer does not count as income if this something is intended “to prevent costs, expenses or depreciations needed for a correct execution of one’s employment”, Arnoud Engelfriet reports.
The law also prescribes categories of devices that are applicable, including “phones, Internet and such communication devices, but not computers, nor similar devices or peripherals”.
RTL Nederland sued the Dutch tax office and the question before the court became whether these iPads were mainly computers or mainly communication devices. The court ruled on 30 November that “considering the format of the iPad (the version the claimants provided has a 9.7 inch screen diagonal) verbal communication should not be seen as the central function of the iPad.”
RTL Nederland will appeal the decision. “We are a media company,” a spokesperson told Webwereld. “We work with those iPads, they are part of our daily business.”
Dutch prototype travel bag Phorce will not only help you carry your smartphones, tablets, laptops and many more devices, but it can also charge them up while you commute, travel or just leave them in your bag. The Phorce can charge an iPhone 5 more than eight times and provide a MacBook Air with seven more battery hours. And you can charge several devices at the same time, surely not all of them bought from Apple.
Marijn Berk and James Jeffrey are trying to get their project crowdfunded on Kickstarter, and with just 22 days to go, they’ve almost collected their USD 150,000 they need. It’s the first time that a Dutch project has collected so much money on Kickstarter, which apparently doesn’t accept Dutch bank accounts for the funds.
The cost of a Phorce will start at USD 199 dollar (152 euro). If you drop them some cash, you can even vote on the fourth colour they will bring the bag out in besides red, black and dark green. Phorce can be used as a messenger bag, backpack and briefcase. As a consumer, to me this the 2.0 level of a Timbuk2 or Crumpler bag.
(Play spot the filming locations: Waterlooplein metro stop, EYE Film Institute and Brug 34 Utrechtsestraat)
Pulmonologist Rob Janssen of Nijmegen’s Canisius-Wilhelmina hospital has developed an iPhone app called Snore Trainer available for 2.39 euro that helps train people to stop snoring.
Janssen explains that loud snoring is usually produced by people who sleep on their backs. The app works by securing an iPhone to one’s chest and it will vibrate when the snorer turns to sleep on their back. He also says it trains people to stop turning and eventually, they won’t need to use the smartphone anymore.
Unfortunately, it is not available for Android.
It’s easy to imagine why snoring causes problems for anyone within earshot, but I wonder if the vibrating phone doesn’t wake anybody up if the snorer doesn’t sleep alone or sleeps very lightly. Then again, if someone snores that loud, they are probably sleeping along regardless. And I am still wondering how one would fasten their iPhone to their chest without getting weird images in my head.
The man on the bike, Chriet Titulaer, who people made fun of because he looked like a Mormon — I just think he looks way out there, him being an astronomer and all, explains to us that some people needed phones on their bikes back in the 1980s.
“People who want to cycle for sports or health reasons to their work, but are managers (men, right?) would need to be available.” Dude, what about people in their cars, in the train or on the bus at the time? You couldn’t reach any of them, either, managers or burger flippers.
It could be comedy. Is this comedy? I think it is.
Titulaer can’t even bike and answer the phone without toppling over. I can’t even imagine someone hanging up properly while cycling. It makes me almost want to try it.
“The phone can be charged with the alternator when the battery is running low.” How much dial time does that get me is all my 2012 brain can think about. You’d almost have to cycle to charge up your phone, hoping nobody calls you in the mean time. Hilarious.
He continues, as if he were talking sense:
“It’s not sure this will be come onto the market, but if it does, we’ll need 200 volunteers for six months who can use it for free”. And he asks people to send a letter if they’re interested – not call.
Lucky us, we get to see the prototype on this show De Wonder Wereld (The Wonder World).
The Plugbook contains two outlets and two USB ports and is available in three colours. Dave is still looking for backers over at Kickstarter. He needs 45,000 USD in pledges before he can start manufacturing Plugbooks. Backers get to co-decide on a fourth colour. When the power-strip-meets-book hits the streets, it should retail at 30 USD.
Arif Yilmaz and Ersin Cumsit from Zaandam—the ingenuity of its townspeople already impressed Tsar Peter The Great of Russia in the 1700s—are aiming for traditional financing through banks, and will sell a closet with three safes and connectors for all current mobile phones for “a couple of hundred euro”. While the Plugbook is aimed at consumers, the ChargeCase seems to be a product for businesses.
Yilmaz explains: “I have worked in restaurants for years when I was a student. Customers asked every day if we had chargers for their phones, but we didn’t have them. I suggested that my boss would get some, but he didn’t know which type to get because there are many different phones and at that time every phone had its own unique charger.”
“We experimented with speed charging, but that turned out to be very bad for the phones. The ChargeCase does not charge the phone completely, but will let you get by for a couple of hours.”
Production of the ChargeCase in Turkey has commenced, albeit slowly (“it is a very bureaucratic country”), and the first shipment should arrive this week by truck.
If those inventions aren’t enough to get you through the day, check out the multiple bun slicer by YouTube user Idea Ed. The Internet is making fun of him and his inventions, calling them Dutch chindōgu, but I say that it’s better to have invented and built, than to have perfected and never built at all.
Three guys who met at the Fab Lab in Utrecht two years ago decided to go into business together as manufacturers of a 3D printer. The resulting Ultimaker costs only 1200 euro, and is apparently very fast.
According to Make magazine last Monday, “more than 120 printers have been sold and close to 70 have been shipped so far. It takes between four and six weeks between order and delivery. Half of the new printers have been sold in the Netherlands, thanks to exposure on a national TV program. Customers include a disabled Dutch woman whose Ultimaker has printed gripper hands for robotic arms that she uses to grasp small candies, something her previous gripper could not do.”
The printer arrives as a kit, and comes bundled with open source controller software for Mac OS, Windows and Linux. According to the manual, “assembling the unit—though requiring some dedication and love—does not require special skills”.
Hot on the heels of the announcement of Apple’s latest toy comes this wooden cover for the iPad 2 by Dutch manufacturer Miniot. It works like Apple’s own Smart Cover, as it uses magnets that attach to the tablet, and the cover can be rolled up to function as a stand.
The Schagen, Noord Holland based company sells them or 50 euro or more. There’s a video that shows you how it works.
This football table by GRO, a collective of British designers in Eindhoven, takes 12 weeks to build and 48,500 euro to purchase. It’s called 11 The Game (or just ’11′), and you can see it in action at Vimeo.