Cooking, charging, carrying and, uh, cufflinking. Yes, this week’s Gadget Watch is all about the c-word. We even have a cubic camera, a keyboard with a nipple (which doesn’t start with "C" but it’s close -- and clicky).
Tiny kitchen? Hatred of unitaskers? Try the OXO Goodgrips Silicone Collapsible Colander, a fold-flat colander that can be used to wash and drain food, and also to cook it – heat-resistant to 600˚F, it can be dropped in boiling water to quickly boil veggies, then dish-washed, collapsed and filed back on your shelf. $30
Who needs a standing desk when you can just drop the LIFT on top of the desk you already own? Sure, it might look a little like a crappy TV stand flipped upside-down, but it is in fact a smart desk with cable routing, a drink holder, a mousemat (!), tablet and phone docking slots, and even a dry-erase whiteboard. Plus the height can be configured to suit you. It’s also a lot cheaper than a standing desk, although not cheaper than my repurposed €40 workbench with sawn-off legs. From $248
Waterfield is on a roll this summer, and the Vertigo is the latest bag I want to sling over my shoulder. It’s a vertical notebook bag that looks and works a lot like Waterfield’s Franklin Tote. Inside the main zip-open chamber are pockets set into a golden lining, with a magazine pocket on the outside for even more gear. Hand and shoulder straps are made from soft-an-strong seat belt webbing, and you can choose from black ballistic nylon or waxed canvas, in two colors and three sizes (from iPad Air to MacBook Pro). From $129.
These bike-chain cufflinks are frikkin awesome. They’re also probably a little too heavy for anything other than the most stiffly starched of double-folding shirt cuffs, but who really cares? They’re also pretty easy to make if you have access to an old chain and a chain splitter – and if you’re even reading this it’s pretty certain that you do. Thankfully they’re not too pricey, although the shipping from Australia might be. $50
It’s hard to express how much I love my clicky Filco Majestouch keyboard, but I’ll give it a go. “Nyyyyhhhhaaah!” That’s the sound of a man’s “exit push,” as it were. But I’m willing to forego my Cherry MX Blue key switches for a while in order to try out the awesome Endurapro, which uses buckling spring switches (like the old IBM Model M keyboard). Not only that, but it even has a red nipple and mouse buttons, so you don’t need to reach out like 5 feet to the right, over the cursor block and number pad, just to reach your mouse. £99
I’m skeptical of buying a bike lock off Kickstarter, but I appreciate clever new design, and the Vier is certainly clever. It’s like two U-locks combined, with twin locking bars and dual side shafts. This lets it collapse down into a small package, but it also means you have to fasten two separate locks, one on each cylinder. $80
The Biolite KettleCharge was invented when somebody put a TV remote on top of a giant pub ashtray and something clicked in their brain. The result is a kettle that boils water and simultaneously charges your USB device (the 10-watt output will even fast-charge iPads). The kettle has a thermoelectric generator in its base, which uses the difference in temperature between the hot fire/stove beneath and the cold water above to create a current. But all you need to know is that you can make you morning coffee and charge your iPhone at the same time. $150
This cute cubic camera is a lifelogger with a Polaroid label. The 1080p, 6MP camera shoots wide (124-degree) stills or video and has a built-in mounting magnet in the base. It can also connect to various mounts (tripod, bike) and even slide into an equally cute waterproof case. When I see a lifelogger camera I just quail at the responsibility of organizing all those hours of footage, but a stronger person might enjoy the fact that they can gather hours of boring video for just $100.
Grovemade’s beautiful tray not only holds your Apple aluminum wireless keyboard, it also converts the useless gap underneath into a handy storage space. Better still, that space is sculpted into compartments, with space for spare AA batteries (three of ‘em), paperclips (a piece of stationery that is now only used for ejecting SIM trays and resetting routers) and – LOL – business cards. Price? $59
Wedge Lock Bracket by Maclocks Category: Locks Works With: Retina MacBook Pro Price: $59.95
Older MacBook Pros — those that don’t have a Retina display — have a Kensington lock built-in, but in an effort to save space and make the new models really thin, Apple did away with that, as well as things like FireWire, traditional hard-disk drives, and the optical drive.
That poses a security risk. If you work in a public place, or you frequent to Starbucks to get stuff done while on a caffeine high, then you need a way to prevent your MacBook Pro from being stolen when you leave it unattended.
And I think the Wedge Lock Bracket, which screws into the bottom of your MacBook Pro and almost looks like it’s a part of it, is the best and most elegant solution.
In order to make the Retina MacBook Pro so thin, Apple had to make some sacrifices. One of those was doing away with its optical drive — which is no longer an issue for most in the digital age — and another was using flash storage rather than old-fashion hard-disk drives.
Lockable Cover by Maclocks Category: Locks Works With: Retina MacBook Pro Price: $24-$31
But Apple made another, slightly more subtle change that the average consumer may not have noticed. It did away with the Kensington lock, providing users with no way to secure their device to their workstation to prevent it from being stolen.
Fortunately, Maclocks has a number of solutions to solve this problem, and I’ve been testing two of them over the past few months. First up is the Lockable Cover, a protective case that covers the top and the bottom of your MacBook Pro, and adds a lock to its base that you can plug a universal security cable into.
The Lockable Cover costs $24.71 on its own, or $30.90 if you need the security cable as well. That’s a small price to pay to protect your beloved notebook when you can’t always keep an eye on it, but is the Lockable Cover worth it?
Apple made it super easy to upgrade the RAM in its latest 27-inch iMac — so easy that hotels, schools, and corporations are now trying to prevent guests from stealing the RAM from their machines. But thanks to the new iMac lock and security kit from Maclocks, it’s no longer an issue.
For just $50, iMac owners can add a protective plate to the back of their machine that prevents the power cord from being removed, which in turn prevents the RAM panel from being ejected from the machine.
A new device called August aims to do what Nest did for thermostats.
Designed by the makers of the Jawbone fitness band, August brings the concept of sharing a key into the 21st century.
A sleek, hi-tech deadbolt and companion iPhone app allow you to unlock and lock your door without the need of a physical key. Access codes for your lock can even be sent to friends and family using the August app.
QuickLock is a terrific little tool from ThinkDev that makes it quick and convenient to lock your Mac when you leave your desk. It sits in your menubar out of your way, and a click (or a keyboard shortcut) is all it takes to keep your Mac safe.
With the latest version of QuickLock, users can enjoy a brand new interface and a number of new features. Best of all, it’s completely free.
There are a number of tweaks for jailbroken iOS devices that add alternative security measures to your lock screen, but Piano Passcode is possibly one of the craziest. Rather than typing a code or drawing a pattern, you have to play it a tune on a set of virtual keys.
Lawsuit hopes to prevent iPhones from being locked to certain carriers.
Two iPhone users claim Apple has violated the Sherman Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by locking their handsets to the AT&T network without their permission. They’re now suing the Cupertino company in an effort to get their iPhones unlocked, and for monetary damages. They also want a restraining order that will prevent Apple from locking its smartphone to carriers completely.
Add a security lock to your new MacBook Pro to ensure it isn’t an easy target for coffee shop con men.
In an effort to create the thinnest, lightest MacBook Pro it has ever released, Apple did away with a number of features that MacBook Pro users have become accustomed to, including the Kensington security lock. That means, of course, that you can no longer secure your $2,800 notebook to a table in Starbucks, and that it could easily be stolen from right under your nose the second you get up to order another cappuccino.
But Maclocks has a solution: the world’s first MacBook Pro security case and lock.
Apple released iOS 4.2.1 for the iPad and true to their word converted the iPad switch from screen orientation lock to mute and un-mute. If you’ve had an iPad since it launched you’ll understand how convenient that switch can be when using your iPad. Of course, this change brings the iPad into alignment with the iPhone. The iPhone switch has always been used to mute and un-mute that device.
Both devices now use the switch in the same way and the screen orientation lock has been moved to the running tasks bar which is accessible by double-tapping the Home button and swiping to the left.
iPad task bar displaying the screen orientation lock on the left.