Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Last minute tech gifts

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Last minute tech gifts
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The clock is ticking. Actually, just about done ticking on your Christmas shopping time. So if you still haven't fulfilled all your shopping requirements, here you go, a two minute, speed round of tech and science gifts ideas to help you out.

On the science side, this is "aquaponics" at work, the $60 Back to the Roots AquaFarm. Get a fish for the bottom, plant some seeds on the top and from there, everything takes care of itself. That tube in the middle brings nitrates from fish waste that are bad for the fish up to the plants, which helps them grow. The plants eat the nitrates and therefore clean the water for the fish. All you have to do is trim the plants and feed the fish.

If a child in your home might want to document Mother Nature doing her work before your eyes, this is the $50 Playskool Showcam. It's a digital camera for kids that allows them to easily add effects to photos then show off what they've done on any wall. I doubles as a projector.

Here now are two that are for the kids with added benefits for mom and dad. First up, Crayola's $45 Melt 'N Mold Factory. This allows you to take old, beat up, nubbed down crayon pieces and melt them down into entirely new crayons. And while Crayola has allows you to do that for a few years now, this time, you can also melt old crayons down into waxy jewelry.

And parents may recognize this one, but the $50 Twilight Turtle Tunes has a new twist. Like the old one, it plays soothing sounds and songs while projecting actually star constellations on the ceiling but this one is bluetooth enabled. What does that mean? Well if the timer runs out or baby wakes in the middle of the night when it's off, mom or dad don't have to enter the room to reset it. All they do is stand outside with a smartphone or tablet and remotely start it up again, even have it run their own custom musical playlist.

And finally, for a more adult-like music listening experience IK Multimedia, which creates high end portable devices for musicians is out now with its bluetooth iLoud Speaker. At $300 it has a 40 Watt output which developers say allows it to act as a quick and easy extra studio monitor or just plug a mic or guitar directly in for a nice clear sound directly out.

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