IWOOT Blog

Someone's Written a Vuvuzela Concerto

More Vuvuzela news now, and it seems that some bright spark has come up with a Vuvuzela Concerto. Unsurprisingly, it’s one long note.

Of course, that’s a very funny joke (I laughed for approximately 34 seconds), but has the anonymous composer not realised that the blueprint for such pieces had been formed many years ago? The righteous minimalism of Steve Reich, the looping cell compositions of Terry Riley, even the repetitive drone masterclass of avant-garde noise-mongers Sunn 0)))? No? Oh well. Here’s the concerto anyway:

NNNNNNRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH...

Good, innit?

I, for one, am hoping that the inevitable performance of this maverick work at this afternoon’s England/Slovenia match will drown out the shockingly inane brass parps of the England supporter’s band. Why do they think playing the theme from The Great Escape is remotely related to winning a football match? Anyway, good on The Guardian for spotting it, and let’s hope it goes our way this afternoon…

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IWOOT on Something For The Weekend

If you were up early on Sunday morning, you would’ve seen our very own EllaWoot showing off the very latest gadgets with that slightly sarcastic host who ignores guests unless they talk about football. Of course, they only feature the very best in new gadgets, so it’s no surprise that a couple of our own products, namely the Paper Jamz Guitars and the Pebble Charger.

If you’re quick you can see the whole lot on the iPlayer (it begins at about 1:13:40, if you want to skip all the clips of Porridge and interviews with choirmasters), but if you’re at work and unable to enjoy it on your screen, here are a couple of screengrabs:

Rockin' out...

Mind out, Ella. He's lost it.

The Veho Pebble Charger

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New Arrivals 21/6/10

It’s that time again chaps, time for me to guide you ably through the week’s best new products at IWOOT. As always, it’s a heady mix of odd, colourful and fun products guaranteed to put a bigger smile on your face than the England game did on Friday. Which wouldn’t be terribly difficult, to be honest.

Anyway, we’ll kick off (ho ho) with the latest and best way to light up your garden:

Firewinders (pitured on the left)

These spinning lights for your garden are 100% powered by the wind, and look pretty amazing to boot. They’re a doddle to install (just find an appropriate fence post or tree), and once the wind picks up the LED lights on the outside will light up, producing some lovely patterns. And when you’re done with it, just unclip it from the bracket. Simple.

DIY Straws

DIY Straws

If, like me, you fancy a drink every now and again, then this is an excellent way to make it a little more interesting. With a network of Marioland-style straws and connectors, you’ll have to do some seriously competitive sucking to make sure you get your fair share of the good stuff.

Ballz Cubed

Ballz Cubed

You might not think you have an addictive personality, or that you might not be swayed by a load of teeny-weeny magnetic balls, but you’re almost certainly wrong. We’ve pretty much had to ban these from peoples’ desks in the office because they’re so distracting. Form these magnetic balls into any old pattern you can muster and, if you’re really ambitious, try to get them into a cube again.

Undercover Mini Sleeve

Undercover Mini Sleeve

Much like our extremely popular Undecover Laptop Sleeve, this dinky version pulls the proverbial wool over the eyes and allows you to hide your smaller appliances inside a battered envelope. So that means your iPhone, your iPod, camera, external hard drive, or anything you can fit in there.

Hungry Hounds

Hungry Hounds Doggy Bank

Definitely the silliest products of the week, but boy are they hilarious. Just look at the lolling face, the gormless expression, all of it! All you have to do to get these money box dogs gobbling is put a coin in the bowl in front of them – once you’ve seen it once, you’ll run out of shrapnel pretty quickly. Barking mad, if you’ll excuse the pun (and you should, it’s excellent).

That’s about it for this week, so make sure you make a date for next Monday when I’ll walk you through even more good stuff. ‘Til then…

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JennaWoot's iPhone Replacement

Our JennaWoot is a Geordie lass of much distinction, but when it comes to iPhone security, she’s come a little unstuck. Due to various reasons (none of them involving alcohol) she has now managed to lose three iPhones. The insurance people have been a little slow in sending a new one out, so in the meantime Jenna has been forced to make a new style of multimedia phone:

Ingenious.

A quick swap, and it's got MP3s as well!

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Want to get rid of those Vuvuzelas from the World Cup coverage?

If, like hundreds of people who complained to the BBC, you’re finding the constant drone of the Vuvuzela to be a bit of a distraction during the World Cup coverage, then some bright spark in Germany has the answer. By simply running the audio through some bog-standard software, you can make the games no longer sound like they’re being invaded by a swarm of hornets.

According to the chaps at Gizmodo, the German boffin behind it “runs the audio from his TV through a Mac Mini running Logic Express. A series of bandpass EQ filters in the software neatly excise the offensive frequencies, leaving the game blissfully vuvuzela-free.”

So there you have it! Don’t say we never give you anything. Maybe Rob Green could do with the silence in the next game so he doesn’t get put off (too soon?).

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Father's Day Competition Winners

After a couple of weeks of severely embarrassing dad stories, we’ve selected the ones we believe are the best. Or worst, depending on your point of view. Either way, the winners will have one of our Gyro Flyer RC Helicopters sent to them so they can give it to their dads for Father’s Day (don’t forget it folks, it’s this Sunday!) and feel extremely good about themselves.

Without further ado, here are the winning stories:

Sam Bruce: “For some reason when my dad takes me and my mates to certain places, he suddenly becomes Lewis Hamilton in the F1 car, making engine noises really loudly and screeching as he goes round the corners. As if it couldn’t get any worse he then pretends he’s James Bond and his car now has rocket launchers. By this point, I’m attempting to stop my dad, who then just makes a bigger deal about saving the world. Understandably when you’re 8 it’s actually ok, you’ve still got a young imagination and you enjoy these things. But when you’re 17 with two guys and a girl the same age, you just want to shoot yourself.”

Alex Perea: “My dad’s a walking embarrassment, but I think the best/most cringe-worthy thing I remember him doing was while we were on holiday in France. We were on the top floor of a double-decker metro train (those things are awesome) and it was pretty crowded. We had seats, but more people were getting on, including an attractive young woman. My dad, being the master of good manners, made to offer her his seat. Without knowledge of the language, he decided to use good old ‘sign language’ instead which, in this case, meant gesturing repeatedly at his crotch for about thirty seconds to indicate the seat. Despite our cries for him to stop, he didn’t seem to see the problem with gesturing between his legs at a young woman, who gave him the most dirty look before leaving the carriage. Guess who won’t be playing Charades at the next Christmas party?”

Roland Martin: “Years ago my dad went to the shops and while he was out he decided to weigh himself at the chemist, as they had public scales in those days. He got on and was absolutely mortified to find he had put on 2 stone in days. As he stood there confused, the kind lady behind the counter came over to him and took his bags of shopping off him!”

Rachel Mse Medhurst: “My Dad used to pick me up from places in his car and whenever I would go to reach for the door handle, he would pull away slightly so I couldn’t quite get it. I would then walk up to the door and try again and he’d keep doing it, all the while my friends would be watching and laughing. One time he did it so I lunged for the handle, hoping I could get it in time… I fell flat on my face. We could all hear my dad laughing hysterically in the car!”

Bella Smyth: “Well it would have to be when we went to see Tina Turner in London. Me and him were dancing along and the next thing we knew this blonde lass grabbed dad and started kissing him. Thought that was bad enough, only to look up and see it plastered on the screens all around Wembley. Oh, the embarrassment…”

Well, you know what Tina Turner fans are like. Very well done everyone, and thanks for your entries! you can still have a read of all the embarrassing stories if you pop across to our Facebook wall.

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Underwater IWOOT

The vast oceans are, and always will be, a domain of mystery for mankind. All those miles of barely-charted territory that house nature’s darkest secrets, stretching below the surface as deep as man’s desire to conquer it and claim it as his own. Putney Swimming Pool, however, is probably a little more manageable.

So, when we needed to shoot some new aquatic products, we decided to leave Cousteau-esque Oceanography to the big boys and dress JimboWoot up in a suit instead. And then chuck him in, obviously. If you want to show him some appreciation, then pop over to the main site and have a look at the Waterproof Notebook. In the meantime, though, have a look at our Putney underwater adventure…

Limbering up...

"Take a deep breath..."

"Pub?"

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New Arrivals 14/6/10

This week, you lovely lot of gadget-gobblers, we’ve got a typically super range of new products for you to sink your teeth into. Although sinking your teeth into them will probably void the manufacturer’s warranty, so watch out.

Right – first up, we have the delightful Rainbow Lanterns:

(Pictured left…)

These colourful Rainbow Lanterns are the perfect thing for your garden party this summer. If you’re posh enough to be having a garden party, that is. If you’re not, then just set these flame-powered beauties off into the sky and give your night something a little more magical than a stiff burger and a can of Fosters.

Tea Sub

Tea Sub

The Tea Sub has come very close to convincing us in the office that traditional tea bags are totally yesterday. Speaking of ‘Yesterday’, the Beatles-y styling of the Tea Sub has also gotten us trying to think of Beatles/Tea-related puns, so if you have any, do send them our way… In essence, though, the Tea Sub is the perfect introduction to loose-leaf tea.

Pool Jet

Pool Jet

The Pool Jet is probably the most fun you can have in a swimming pool this side of a floating bar. However, floating bars apparently aren’t especially kid-friendly, so the Pool Jet will have to do for the little ones. It’s basically the world’s best buoyancy aid, and will pull your kid happily around the pool and encourage a better, faster swimming technique too.

Big Bang Rocket

Big Bang Rocket

Another one for the kids, this Big Bang Rocket is an infinitely re-usable thrill, provided you’ve got a lot of old newspaper lying about. All you need to make a colossal bang is pop a small square of newspaper in the end of the rocket and chuck it in the air. Don’t ask me how (physics, apparently), but when it lands there will be an almighty bang loud enough to unsettle a whole office-full of IWOOTers.

Waterproof Notebook

Waterproof Notebook

Poor old JimboWoot had to jump in the drink to get the amazing photos for this product – but doesn’t he look fabulous?! The Waterproof Notebook he’s using is a genius idea, allowing you to write down anything you like in the shower, in the bath, in the rain or, if you’re like JimboWoot, in Putney swimming pool.

Mood Cushion

Mood Cushion

Ah, truly a cushion to suit every mood… as long as your mood is extreme lethargy and a need for relaxation, that is. Just give this fuzzy little thing a tap to turn it on and watch it cycle through some pretty cosmic colours. Great for the bedroom, the sofa or your keyboard on a Friday afternoon.

Things We Didn’t Know Loo Roll

TWDK Loo Roll

We love this one. It’s an IWOOT Exclusive (and boy are we pleased to trumpet that about), and all you need to educate yourself when you’re in the smallest room. It’s a loo roll stuffed with facts and not-facts, all of them terribly amusing. If you find one you don’t like particularly, then just tear off the sheet and, err… use it. Delightful!

See you next week chums!

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New Arrivals – 6/7/10

In the first of a regular column for the IWOOT Blog, I’ll be talking you through our very latest bits and bobs – all of them new, all of them awesome! This week is fairly typical, in that there are a veritable heap of brand new products for you to get your mitts on, so let’s stop yakking and get cracking!

First up, the T3 Solar Robot Kit:

(Pictured left…)

Robots of this size are usually supposed to be quite cute, but a quick look at the T3 shows you that it doesn’t always have to be that way. After you’ve assembled it, this sun-powered robot beauty can be turned into either a tank, a scorpion or, err, a robot again. It’s great if you’ve got an interest in robotics and how things work in general, or if you want something on your desk to distract you from getting on with something more productive.

England No.1 Footie Fan

England No.1 Footie Fan

The World Cup starts on Friday, as you’re no-doubt aware (the IWOOT Office is positively sweating with anticipation), so if you’re desperate to show your support for England, then you can’t do better than this chubby little singing England Fan. He is, quite simply, England’s biggest fan – press his button and he’ll shake his hips, wave his scarf and sing one of his England chants to whoever’s listening. It’s a bit silly and guaranteed to annoy colleagues, but we’re going to need all the laughs we can get when England crash out in the group stages…

Chill Pill Ice Tray

Chill Pill Ice Tray

Sometimes, a normal ice cube just isn’t quite enough. Particularly if you’ve had a big night out and are feeling the strain a little more than usual, these Chill Pills are just what you need to cool down and literally chill out.

Video Sunglasses

Looking good, Sagar...

As modelled by the delightful Sagar, these Video Sunglasses are the perfect beach accompaniment this summer. With an in-built MP3 Player and pinhole video camera, you can video your antics and listen to your Beach Boys records without cluttering up your bag too much. More room for sandwiches, you see.

Anyway, that about wraps it up for this week, be sure to check the blog next Monday (and every Monday, for that matter) so that you’re up to date with all our New Arrivals.

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Toto Toilets – Does Anyone Else Find This Weird?

You might not be au fait with current trends in the rapidly advancing world of toilet innovation, but it seems that a minor revolution is taking place. This week, the first Toto Toilets are going on sale in the UK. Previously available (and monstrously successful) in Asia and the US, they’re basically the Rolls Royce of, err, going to the loo. As this video ably explains, the technology is pretty impressive:

But come on – it’s just a toilet, right? I mean (and I don’t want to go into too much detail here), going to the toilet is a pretty straight-forward process. Cleanliness is certainly an issue, but this is just nuts. Is it really worth paying over £2000 for a bog that gets the bowl a little bit cleaner than squirting some bleach around the rim? And who needs to be able to immediately flush the toilet again after you’ve flushed it once? Actually, don’t answer that… Also, what a self-important video! It’s a toilet, not a time machine. Although that’s an avenue worth exploring.

There are advantages to a nice toilet, yes, but as soon as you put another novelty item in the bathroom the wow-factor immediately disappears. We’re thinking, of course, of the Glow In The Dark Loo Roll here. Click here to learn more about the bogs anyway.

So – would you pay over £2000 for one of these bathroom behemoths?

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