Your Gadgets Don’t Break As Soon As Your Warranty’s Expired – Your Brain Is Just Wrong

via Gizmodo by Jason Chen on 5/15/09

Wired takes a look at the “phenomenon” of your gadgets breaking just after the warranty on them expire. A conspiracy? No.

There are two components to this. One, manufacturers calculate with extreme thoroughness how long to make their warranties so they don’t have to repair a bunch of products for free. Two, it’s your brain that makes you remember that one time that something broke outside warranty.

“It’s really connected to two things: regret and memory,” says Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational. A gadget that dies a day out of warranty will piss you off a lot more than one that soldiers on until after you’ve lost the certificate. And years later, you’ll probably remember it more acutely, too.


Brass Knuckle Soap Allows You To Punch Up a Good Lather

via Gizmodo by Sean Fallon on 5/15/09

Molded like brass knuckles, this soap is perfect for punching away the memories of the night before, purifying your body and spirit with a mixture of soap and pain.

[SPYE via Likecool]

Wolfram Alpha Fail Is Appropriately Nerdy

via Gizmodo by Dan Nosowitz on 5/16/09

Wolfram Alpha, the dorktastic computational search engine, got off to a bit of a rocky start when it launched last night. At least its first fail message had the foresight to include a HAL reference.

As it’s an alpha, we’re not too bothered that it’s run into some overload problems. Hey, at least people are using it, right? But be warned, Wolfie: A pithy error message can only charm us for so long.

[via Twitter]

Here’s That iPhone Pre Theme You Wanted

via Gizmodo by Jason Chen on 5/14/09

Good news! Thanks to some readers, we were able to get ahold of the Pre Theme we showed you yesterday. Download it here, and install it just like you would any other iPhone theme. [Thanks tipsters!]

Update: Sorry, must have uploaded the wrong theme. It’s in there now, under Pre-tend.

Update 2: Here’s a better link to the creator’s website. Download it there. James Meister.

Our Favorite Lifehacker Posts of the Week

via Gizmodo by Jason Chen on 5/14/09

This week Lifehacker makes ICE CREAM, gets cheap with laptop stands and decorates their desktops like a popular television show.

Remainders – Things We Didn’t Post

via Gizmodo by Jason Chen on 5/14/09

Here’s the stuff that we didn’t post today. (Until now, obviously.)

• The Pentagon’s planning to research telepathic communications for soldiers on the battlefield by way of allotting $4 million to the cause. Not that we don’t think it’ll work eventually, but this seems quite far out. As in decades. [Wired]

• Here are some iPhone concept photos that are “unibody”. Isn’t the iPhone close enough to unibody already? Or is it unibody? In either case, we don’t care. [Business Insider]

• Here are some budget, environmentally friendly displays for Hong Kong. Why do we not care? It’s for Hong Kong. It’s budget. And it’s environmentally friendly. [Engadget]

• Someone made a recycled cardboard cover for a Sony laptop. Really. SOMEONE DID THIS. [Unpluggd]

• Best Buy put up a landing page for the Pre. Wowiewowwowwow. Is this going to make the Pre launch any sooner? [Treonauts]

• Swarovski encrusted Xbox 360 microphones. We post some ridiculous stuff for rich people, but we have to draw the line somewhere. Nobody should buy this.

[Born Rich]

Pfizer Offers Free Medication To Unemployed Or Uninsured Patients

via Consumerist by Laura Northrup on 5/14/09

It’s hard for journalists (and bloggers) to resist a story that they can entitle “Free Viagra,” and pharmaceutical company Pfizer knows it. This recent publicity stunt is still newsworthy even without that headline, because of its purpose, and the problem for drug companies that it illustrates.

Pfizer, like most of the big drug companies, already has a variety of assistance programs for people who have trouble affording Pfizer drugs. For more information about such programs, visit the Prescription Assistance Program site.

So why start a new program for the newly unemployed? Most people don’t now about assistance programs, and those who never expected to find themselves without insurance may be grateful for the new publicity. Also, makers of pricey brand-name drugs are suffering in the current economic climate.

The Chicago Tribune notes:

Pfizer’s program comes at a time when many drugmakers, including Pfizer, have been raising prices on their drugs, partly to offset declines in revenue as the global recession reduces the number of prescriptions people can afford to fill.

The 70-plus drugs covered in the program include several diabetes drugs and some of Pfizer’s top money makers, from cholesterol fighter Lipitor and painkiller Celebrex to fibromyalgia treatment Lyrica and Viagra for impotence. Drugs from several other popular classes such as antibiotics, antidepressants, antifungal treatments, heart medications, contraceptives and smoking cessation products also are included. Cheaper generic versions are available for quite a few of the drugs.

It’s worth pointing out again that yes, many of these drugs are available as generics, or there are similar generic medications that treat the same issue.

Prescription Assistance Program
Pfizer offers free Viagra, Lipitor and other drugs to uninsured, jobless Americans [Chicago Tribune] (Thanks, HiPwr!)
(Photo: mundolaura)

CVS Beverage Prices: Only Off By $997 Or So

via Consumerist by Laura Northrup on 5/14/09

A few weeks apart, in different stores, readers Spencer and Sean spotted the same error on CVS shelf tags. Printing error? Zoned-out employees? Maybe our assumptions are all wrong, and it’s an innovative new pricing strategy.

The same error showed up on bottles of bottled Starbucks Frappucinos and Diet Orange Crush.



HP Recalling 70,000 Laptop Batteries Over Fire Hazard Concerns

via Gizmodo by Sean Fallon on 5/14/09

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of 70,000 lithium-ion batteries used in Hewlett-Packard and Compaq laptops. Apparently, there have been at two reported cases where the batteries caught on fire.

The battery packs were sold separately and in laptops between August 2007 through March 2008. Naturally, if you think you might be affected, it might be a good idea to check and see if your battery matches the ones pictured in the gallery before using it again. Hit up the following link for more details.

[HP and CPSC via Ubergizmo]