Waterproof Speakers and Price-Finding Big Apple Buddy Are Hot Tech
Check out the UE Roll, a colorful little Bluetooth speaker from Ultimate Ears. I recently took one on holiday with me to Phuket. It just about fits into the palm of your hand, and it pumps out some pretty high-fidelity tunes: The high notes are clear and strong, and somehow it’s able to pull together a respectable amount of bass. Also, this product is built to be rugged: The whole speaker is rated IPX7, which is a technical way of saying “pretty waterproof.” You can fling this thing around, drop it into the ocean and drag it through the sand without it throwing a fit and giving up on you. But what’s really cool is the bungee cord strap attached to the back of the speaker, which allows you to affix it to pretty much anything. I spent a lazy day on the beach with the speaker hanging from a beach umbrella above my head, pumping out tunes mingled with the sound of the waves. Man, I want to go back. $899 from Fortress. More stockists at ultimateears.com/en-hk/ueroll.
It’s Christmas shopping time, which means it’s time to go buy new stuff—just not for you, for once. And unless you’ve been living for the past month underneath a soundproof rock, then you’ll doubtless be aware of Drake’s hit song “Hotline Bling,” which has overtaken every single facet of pop culture with its hooky beats and super-weird video, in which Drake dances like nobody’s watching (although 116 million YouTube views might be proving the lie there). Now your lucky giftee can have a little more festive Drake in their life thanks to this Christmas Bling sweatshirt. Why is this listed in tech, you ask? Let me answer with a question: Who else but a geek would buy one?
Wanting to get a Christmas gift but it’s not out in Hong Kong yet? There might be a solution: Big Apple Buddy, a service started by two Aussies who were fed up of paying a hefty “Aussie Tax” for all their goods, six months late. How does it work? First, you decide what you want to order from a U.S.-based store: everything from Amazon to Best Buy to Apple. You tell Big Apple Buddy, which shops around to make sure you’re getting the best price. Then it orders the product on your behalf, repacks it to save on shipping fees and sends it straight to your door. It’s not just tech, either: Almost any kind of product can be forwarded on to you. Of course, you’re paying for the privilege: A service fee of about US$40 ($310) per order means that you won’t want to splash out just for a pair of $10 earbuds. But for pricier, more exclusive items, this could be a pretty great way of getting your hands on the goods before anyone else.
Psst… I complained the other day about newly launched map app Citymapper, because it detailed every kind of public transport except for red minibuses. They’ve now added red minibus support, and I’m going to assume it’s all because of me. If this is what power feels like, I don’t ever want to give it back…