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Xtensor

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When I first saw the Xtensor, I thought it was some kind of gaming interface, like a Wii accessory on steroids, or a high-tech concept that would enable remote surgery or the playing of virtual musical instruments. No. It's an exercise gadget for your fingers! The Xtensor Gamer Hand Exerciser flexes and trains muscles and tendons in your hands to keep them in tip-top shape for gaming. Elastic bands extend to each finger and thumb to oppose the normal gripping stress that we do too much of. From the product page at Think Geek:
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Repetitive gripping and squeezing of your game-controller or mouse forces extended isometric contractions of the flexor muscles of the hands and fingers producing an unnatural imbalance over time as the hands operate in a mostly closed position. For this reason, patients with hand, wrist and elbow disorders experience unnecessarily long healing times and high reoccurrence rates. Everybody got that?

Flexing with the Xtensor between gaming sessions will make your reaction-times much quicker, and will mean no cramping hands after all-night fragging sessions.

I'm no gamer; I had to go look up "fragging". It means virtual killing in video games in which that is the goal. It's a term that could easily be misconstrued, especially when an all-night session could over-stress your hand.

200_xtensor2.jpgOK, when you're going to ski, you want to get your thighs in shape. When you're going to swim, you want your lungs at full capacity. So why not get your digital flexors in shape? But the Xtensor isn't just for gaming fitness. It won a Medical Design Excellence Award in 2007 as a therapy device for "improving range of joint motion and reducing hand stiffness due to arthritis."
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The Xtensor has a thumb cuff on both sides, so can be used on either hand. Just $39.99.

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Spéciale
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Improve Your Chopping Skills With This Knife-Cutting Board Hybrid
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Spéciale

Chopping ingredients properly is an impressive skill, and for those who haven’t mastered it yet, this part of the cooking process can be a pain. Luckily, it is possible to do your slicing and dicing without the awkward hand positions and frequent slip-ups. All you need is a knife that stays attached to the board where you’re doing the cutting.

Spotted over at Mashable, spéciale is a high-quality walnut cutting board that comes with a 17-inch Damascus steel knife built in. Whether you’re breaking down fruits, vegetables, cheese, or charcuterie, the blade can rotate across the board as you cut while the tip stays fixed in place. This leaves one hand free, so you don’t have to pause to put down your glass of wine before the chopping starts.

The designers focused on aesthetics along with functionality, so when the board is not being used in the kitchen it doubles as a serving platter. And after you’ve had a chance to enjoy the fruit of your labors, you can pop the knife off the board for easy clean-up.

Spéciale recently wrapped up a campaign on Kickstarter where it raised more than $150,500, and prior to that it debuted on Indiegogo, where it raised nearly $170,000. The product is still available to order through the Indiegogo page for $195.

[h/t Mashable]

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Retro Games Limited
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The Commodore 64 Will Return as a Mini Console With Dozens of Games
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Retro Games Limited

Today’s video games may be more innovative than ever, but that doesn’t stop many from returning to the old-school games that remind them of their childhood. Following Nintendo’s massive success with the NES Classic in 2016 and the SNES Classic in September, the Commodore 64 is set to be the next vintage gaming device to get a miniature makeover. As Nerdist reports, Retro Games Limited will release a plug-and-play version of the 1982 bestseller in 2018.

The C64 Mini will be half the size of the original Commodore 64 computer and will feature 64 retro 8-bit titles, including Impossible Mission, Armalyte, Paradroid, and California Games. The kit will include a joystick, an HDMI cable for hooking up the console to your TV, and a USB power cable for charging it.

The console will have two USB ports that can be used to connect an extra joystick or plug in a full-sized keyboard to use the C64 Mini for simple coding. This could be especially useful when you get bored of the pre-loaded games and want to program a new one of your own from scratch.

The C64 Mini is set to retail for around $70 when it hits shelves in 2018, making it $10 cheaper than the newly-released SNES classic. Retro Games also plans to revive a full-sized version of the original Commodore 64 to sell in 2018. For an idea of what that might look like, check out this classic Commodore 64 how-to video from 1982.

[h/t Nerdist]

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