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Christmas Shopping For Your Nephew 199

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the provided-he-doesn't-want-fire dept.
colenski writes "My vote for the coolest toy of the decade so far has to lie with the EyeClops Bionic Eye. As one reviewer noted, simply, "Microscopes never worked this well or looked this good when I was a kid." An ingeniously simple and brilliantly designed product, the EyeClops plugs into your TV and magnifies anything you put it on 200 times. Brain dead simple to use, EyeClops is a cheap $40 US / $60 Cdn gift that your nephew or nerdy niece would probably freak over. Here's some cool and disturbing pictures I got after about 20 minutes playing with it. Check out the money shot." I always struggled to focus through a microscope as a kid, and this looks like a great inexpensive present for a little kid since every cool chemistry kit is totally nerfed now. Any other fun ideas?
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Christmas Shopping For Your Nephew

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  • Great present. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ta bu shi da yu (687699) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:05AM (#21397593) Homepage
    Pity kids can no longer get chemistry sets [slashdot.org]. How many genius chemists are we going to lose due to that again? Still, at least they can see the disease they might have cured. I suppose that is something.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by deniable (76198)
      It was all the sub-genius chemists that got rid of chemistry sets. It's a balance between some kids learning how stuff works and a larger number learning how stuff maims and kills. Can you imagine them trying to sell an old-school chemistry set now. The thing would come wrapped in warning labels.
    • by servognome (738846) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @12:37PM (#21398197)

      Pity kids can no longer get chemistry sets. How many genius chemists are we going to lose due to that again?
      How many genius aerospace engineers did we lose due to banning lawn darts?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Beerden (874601)
        A chemistry set likely doesn't inspire a kid to take up football as a career. Lawn darts might.
      • Neener! I scored a set of jarts at a garage sale last month!
      • by clickety6 (141178)
        How many genius aerospace engineers did we lose due to banning lawn darts?

        Ah, but how many little brothers of potential genius aerospace engineers did we save? ;-)

      • I guess the really smart ones were able to make their own anyway - which were probably considerably more dangerous than the mass produced ones.
  • by inviolet (797804) <slashdot@ideasmatt e r .org> on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:06AM (#21397599) Journal

    I always struggled to focus through a microscope as a kid, and this looks like a great inexpensive present for a little kid since every cool chemistry kit is totally nerfed now.

    The problem you had, and that my own son had last Christmas, is that cheap microscopes don't have "widefield" eyepieces.

    If you spend a little more (typically $100-$150 on Ebay) you can get a good-quality student-grade microscope with a widefield eyepiece. And nowadays, many come with 640x480 webcams, or at least webcam attachment points.

    The webcams are USB, so it's trivial to capture images and print them out for science projects. That's vastly more useful than a TV-out.

    • by Ford Prefect (8777) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:37AM (#21397803) Homepage
      Bah. For my thirteenth birthday, I got money towards a microscope. Not any old microscope, mind - but one sold by a local scientific supplies outlet. (The vast, thousand-page catalogue was also great - full of proper laboratory supplies of every possible description!)

      It was made in the Soviet Union. Unpacking it from its elastic bands, crinkly yellow-brown paper and unprocessed cotton wool was a fantastic experience.

      I've still got it, too - and only realised a month or two back that its LOMO manufacturer [lomoplc.com] is that LOMO [wikipedia.org] - all I can say is that its optics are way better than the cameras...

      Five or six years ago, I strapped a tiny composite video camera to it with an intriguing assembly created out of Lego. I got some half-decent results [hylobatidae.org], too. Having said that, I'd still love one of these modern toy efforts. Lugging around a huge box filled with cast-iron optics isn't so much fun nowadays... ;-)

    • If you spend a little more (typically $100-$150 on Ebay) you can get a good-quality student-grade microscope with a widefield eyepiece. And nowadays, many come with 640x480 webcams, or at least webcam attachment points.

      You can also buy a good camera and slap it onto the eyepiece with cardboard and duct tape. A $200 Canon provides surprisingly good results. If you can see it, cameras can capture it.

      While vastly better than the $40 device, it's also ten times as expensive. They toy also takes much less

  • Advertising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mulhollandj (807571) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:07AM (#21397607)
    Since when does Slashdot do ads?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by phasm42 (588479)
      Compared to other seemingly ad articles, this isn't bad. Most take the form "Product X is awesome, discuss". This is more like "Product X is awesome; what other products are awesome?", which can include direct competitors and replacements for X. Provided enough good comments get in, I think this is a useful question. To be fair, the EyeClops shouldn't have been in the summary, but it probably provides a good starting point for discussion.
    • Re:Advertising (Score:5, Informative)

      by rumith (983060) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:57AM (#21397939)
      You must be new here.
    • by 3seas (184403)
      Yeah I got the ad think to right away. Perhaps this really belongs to geek gadgets... where there are probably far more interesting things that use less batteries.
    • by mh1997 (1065630)

      Since when does Slashdot do ads?
      Slashdot does not do advertisements!

      This post brought to you by the creators of Ubuntu and Firefox.

    • Re:Advertising (Score:5, Interesting)

      by colenski (552404) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @01:49PM (#21398799) Homepage
      Jesus, why does everything have to be labeled an ad? My GF's daughter got one for her birthday, and I freaked and I wrote TFA. Now you know everything there is to know about it. It's Slashdot, remember? The site where we, i dunno, talk and stuff about nerdy things like cool toys. Are we *not* supposed to submit stories because it might contaminate the lofty standards imposed on it by the NPOV gestapo?
      • Didn't you know? Anybody who likes anything on the internet nowadays is paid to like it. You're not allowed to have good opinions of products any longer.
      • by zoney_ie (740061)
        The Internet is not disconnected from reality, nor are its users miraculously more enlightened than anyone else. Current Internet trends are, now more than ever, merely reflecting the direction different societies are going; whether Western paranoia and increasing authoritarianism or whatever trends there may be elsewhere.

        Wikipedia in particular really annoys me for the people who seem to think it can't have all the same problems as a "real-world" project, with a whole whack of new problems too. Really the
    • by NoMaster (142776)
      Since when are ads bad?

      Just think of the innumerable products, services, and opportunities that you'd be missing out on if it wasn't for advertising. Not to mention FTA television and websites like this very one which wouldn't exist if they couldn't afford to bring you news of such important and innovative products.

      Why, if you're not reading - and, more importantly, following - those ads, it's like your stealing !

      At least, that's the normal kind of reply I get here every time I suggest ads are mental &
  • Hey! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:08AM (#21397619)
    Another example of how Canadian customers get screwed: by charging 33% more for the same product (Our looney is at par with the greenback these days, or worth even more!)
    • Re:Hey! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Fred_A (10934) <fred.fredshome@org> on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:26AM (#21397721) Homepage

      Another example of how Canadian customers get screwed: by charging 33% more for the same product (Our looney is at par with the greenback these days, or worth even more!)
      Try crossing the Pond and buying stuff in euros or in UK pounds one of these days. You'll find that despite what the markets say, 1USD = 1GBP or 1EUR (at least, if not more).

      The markup for US stuff over here can be quite astounding (but then we're all so rich we can afford to pay double the prices).
      • Re:Hey! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Espectr0 (577637) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:39AM (#21397819) Journal
        Try crossing the Pond and buying stuff in euros or in UK pounds one of these days. You'll find that despite what the markets say, 1USD = 1GBP or 1EUR (at least, if not more).

        You people in first world countries have it easy. In my third world country, buying ms office legally is twice the minimum wage. The nintendo wii is 1000$.
        • by Kadin2048 (468275) *

          buying ms office legally is twice the minimum wage

          /me scratches head ...

          Is your minimum wage not expressed as an amount per unit time of some sort? I could understand if it cost two times a standard workweek at minimum wage.

          Although I wouldn't be that surprised: the minimum wage in the U.S. is only about $5.25 an hour, so that's $420 for two weeks; a retail copy of Office Standard is $400USD. (Office Professional will set you back another C-note.) Although I doubt many people who are in the target market for Office are really making the Federal minimum; j

          • by Espectr0 (577637)
            Oh, sorry, i remember your minimum wage is expressed in hours, here it is monthly. So you need two months' worth of salary at the current minimum wage (a little more than 200$) to buy office legally.

            Office professional 2007 is around 500$ here.

            Software is sold about 33% more than in the united states. Hardware is a lot more expensive, since the wii costs 4 times more here. Apple doesn't have presence in Venezuela, so ipods are extremelly expensive. Most people here end up buying cheap chinese mp4 imitations
            • Wow, that's interesting; it's the opposite of what I expected.

              I had guessed that if you converted the price back to USD, that software would cost less (in absolute terms) than in the U.S. and that the price disparity would be relative to earnings and the cost of living only (i.e. lower in absolute terms but relatively more expensive, based on hours of labor).

              If the minimum wage in Venezuela works out to about $200USD per month, given 160 hours of work (4x 40-hour workweeks), that's about $1.25USD an hour. S
      • by bfree (113420)
        A quick check of two sites for retail stores here in Ireland put the price at 52.50 (including 21% vat as people here always go on about sales taxes) which is about US$77, just about double the quoted US price.
    • by Quobobo (709437)
      Maybe if we had taxes and duties comparable to the USA's, we'd get similar prices for consumer goods. Can't see that happening anytime soon though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mauriceh (3721)
      Actually a case of Canadian **resellers** getting screwed mostly.

      Most people have figured out by now that one needs to web/phone order stuff from the US so as to get a proper price.

      When a Canadian seller has the "proper" price, they will be bypassed by customers, who assume the price will be "too high"
  • Flash home page (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:08AM (#21397621) Homepage Journal

    Guess I won't be seeing that anytime soon. Too bad so many home pages are a flash only portal

    These pictures don't look any better than the images I took with my old Intel digital scope, which has been gathering dust for about 5 years now.

    Probably same or similar guts.

    • my old Intel digital scope, which has been gathering dust for about 5 years now.

      Wow, Windoze only with all sorts of issues. Check out the QX3 support page. [intel.com] Of course, you can's use it with Vista [yahoo.com]. Too bad, because it's a nifty scope [microscopy-uk.org.uk].

      This newer scope is cheaper and can be used with an ordinary TV or bt878 capture card.

      Then again, you would be surprised by the quality of image you can get with a few simple lenses and an ordinary digital camera. Binocular lenses make for nice macro lenses. The front l

  • OLPC (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:18AM (#21397673)
    The ultimate gift of this season: OLPC [laptopgiving.org].

    Not only are you giving a great educational device, but you're also helping some child in the developing world. Perhaps a good time to introduce your nephew to philanthropy, too.
    • Re:OLPC (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170) * on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:25AM (#21397713) Homepage Journal

      The ultimate gift is to give time to your kids, neices, nephews. Take them somewhere they want to go, help them do something they want to do. Yeah, the OLPC is pretty good, too.

    • I'm curious. Has there been any educator who agrees that olpc is "a great educational device"? No, I don't mean has some third world country dumped a couple of hundred thousand on them, but any actual teacher used these for education at all?
    • by Lerc (71477)
      They won't be here for Christmas though will they? Nevertheless, there's one on order for my daughter. The magnifier looks good too, A portable USB version like that would be nice, could be used with the XO to wander around an look at things you find.

      And what's with this nephew business. Why not for your son, or heaven forbid your daughter or niece
  • by Seumas (6865) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:21AM (#21397691)
    Nothing really beats giving your nephew a hooker for Christmas.
  • Currency (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArchieBunker (132337) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @11:26AM (#21397729) Homepage
    Odd that its $60 CDN when the currency is equal now.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by slim (1652)

      Odd that its $60 CDN when the currency is equal now.

      Hint: consumer prices do not track currency fluctuations. Obviously each affects the other, but in complex ways. For one thing, the price of an item has more to do with what people are willing to pay, than how much it costs to produce, and for another, neither retailers nor customers would like it if a product changed price every week depending on the state of finance markets.

      (Of course there are exceptions, such as motor fuel, seasonal food, etc.)

    • Those were the days!
  • The kid's hand holding the EyeClops on the website somehow seems disturbingly older than the face.
  • The quality is ok, (Score:2, Informative)

    by philicorda (544449)
    but it looks the same as my web cam when I screw the lens out really far.
    I've done this and the close up pics I get are as high magnification and in focus as the ones taken with this microscope.
    I know this as many of the pictures linked to in the article are of the same things I looked at, like coins, hair on your arm etc.

    I kinda expected more if the optics were designed specifically for a microscope.
    • I kinda expected more [than a webcam] if the optics were designed specifically for a microscope.

      Did your webcam have built in ring illumination? Do you have your old computer? Does it work with your current version of Windows?

  • Money shot. (Score:5, Funny)

    by WK2 (1072560) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @12:11PM (#21398017) Homepage

    Check out the money shot.

    It's not that kind of money shot. When I read that, it made me think of what I would have been doing if I got one of these when I was a kid. I would have looked at my butt on TV.

  • The Canadian dollar hasn't had that kind of disparity for years and for the last month, the Canadian dollar has been at par with or higher than the American dollar!

    The American price should be the same as the Canadian price. I suppose the price should be a little higher than the $40, but $60 Canadian is equivalent to paying about $63 American. I wonder which site I will order from.
    • Canadian bookstores are thinking the same thing. Look at the back of any book. The disparity is there too.
  • by mblase (200735) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @12:43PM (#21398249)
    EyeClops is a cheap $40 US / $60 Cdn gift that your nephew or nerdy niece would probably freak over

    I couldn't help but notice that the submitter is working under the assumption that all Slashdot readers are unable to get girls*, let alone have children of their own.

    * The idea that Slashdot readers might be feminine themselves is practically a violation of dogma.
  • Price disparity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Beerden (874601) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @12:45PM (#21398263)
    I am boycotting stores like Toys-R-Us because they advertise openly that they cheat their customers. They have not adjusted their Canadian and US prices to reflect the current dollar values. How is it that a toy that sells for $40 US is also sold for $60 Canadian, when the Canadian dollar is currently worth $1.02 US? Corporate sociopathic greed, and this from a toystore!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dunbal (464142)
      Modded flamebait by a touchy american who refuses to accept that his currency is in a nosedive. Heh.
      • by Adambomb (118938)
        Actually, as a canadian i would have modded it flamebait as well as its inaccurate. Is it also a crime that the same toys in say, Uzbekistan would be selling for fractions of either? All this means is that currently the canadian market has a greater money supply versus cost of living than in the US currently. AND those dollars are currently valued higher when compared. I'd take pride in that rather than bitching.

        And if you think spending your cash in the US for the lower prices is the logical conclusion, re
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      I'm sure the kids in your life will enjoy your gift of... what... planking? A rock you found in your yard?
  • by throatmonster (147275) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @12:47PM (#21398281)
    Of course I was a nerdy geek and spent the time to learn how to use real microscopes. I examined a lot of things (including semen) and learned a lot of things (except, of course, the social skills needed to get the semen inside, or anywhere near, a female).
  • by Burning1 (204959) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @01:03PM (#21398419) Homepage

    EyeClops is a cheap $40 US / $60 Cdn gift that your nephew or nerdy niece
    By Christmas, the cost will be $60 US / $40 Cdn.

    ; )


  • I always struggled to focus through a microscope as a kid

    Uh, you turn the focusing knob until it's focused?

    I had a microscope for my entire childhood. Never seemed to have a problem in this department. It was my very own tiny insect battle arena. :)
  • by ceeam (39911)
    > $40 US / $60 Cdn gift

    Hilarious, ain't it?

    http://google.com/search?q=40usd+in+cad [google.com]
  • It's $40. US, $60 Canadian? Hey Toys R Us - the Canadian Dollar is worth MORE. It should be $38.00 Canadian, not $60. Just another rip-off!

  • gift that your nephew or nerdy niece
    OK, so boys who like cool science or tech toys = boys. Girls who like cool tech or science toys = nerds.

    As the uncle of multiple nieces, none of whom are nerdy (though two are definitely budding geeks) I find that a little annoyingly sexist. And as the gay-platonic-male-friend of several adult female geeks (who gets the unfiltered opinions,) I can assure you they pick up on that shit in a heartbeat.
  • 40 USD (Score:3, Funny)

    by drfrog (145882) on Sunday November 18, 2007 @04:52PM (#21400269) Homepage
    is actually around 35 cdn

  • I used the EyeClops Bionic Eye to get a close-up of the Linux kernel. It was amazing. I could clearly see the 235 Microsoft patents embedded in it.

Put no trust in cryptic comments.

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