Supermodel prom dates, cronuts and gluttony gadgets in this week’s Staff Picks

Staff Pics 06_01_2013 header

amir iliafarAmir Iliaiafar: DIY car repair just got easier

Cars are pretty complex beasts to the uninitiated. Pop the hood and it’s a maze of hoses, wires, and big metallic-looking things that I think are called engines. However, a nifty new AR app from Inglobe Technologies could make a car’s rusty innards a little less scary. (Side note: Am I the only one who thinks that names sounds like some evil corporation from a 80s action flick?)

Through the magic of AR, balloons pop up in real time to show names for various vehicle components straight on an iPad. It even gives demonstrations of routine engine maintenance such as topping off washer fluid, or checking engine oil.

While I doubt Inglobe’s not-so-evil-after-all app will turn us into hardened grease monkeys, the idea of using AR to help make vehicle maintenance a little more palatable for the average driver is a pretty clever one. Especially if that means being able to go along your merry way in the event you get stuck on the side of the freeway.

Down the road, we might even be able to forgo trips to the mechanic’s altogether, which is fine by me. My old 1988 Nissan Pulsar gobbled up plenty of dollars and forced me to shake enough greased-up hands to last a life time.

caleb-denisonCaleb Denison: Kids have it so easy these days

Jake Davidson is one seriously lucky bastard. If you aren’t a routine connoisseur of Teen Spirit Mag online or you don’t hang out in the “Annoying Youth Videos” section on YouTube all day, you may have missed Davidson’s prom proposal to superhot supermodel Kate Upton. It was a cute video, I suppose, but I’m pretty sure it was Davidson’s massive cojones that got him noticed, because it certainly wasn’t his acting skills. Awww, what am I saying? He’s so cute!

Apparently Upton thought so, too (that or maybe her publicist knows a potential landmine when they see it), because even though she wasn’t able to attend Davidson’s prom as his date, Upton phoned in her fellow supermodel, Nina Agdal, as a pinch prommer. Below, you can watch the highlights of the date, from the awkward corsage-boutineer exchange all the way through the official declaration that Davidson resides firmly in the friends zone (no kiss for you, buddy!). It’s all so congenial and sweet, it makes me want to puke. Where was YouTube when I was in high school, dammit?

molly mchughMolly McHugh: Gadgets for gluttony

I’m a normal human being (right? RIGHT?!) who eats food, sleeps between five to eight hours a night, and exercises an appropriate amount. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a trip into some serious glutton territory every once in awhile – and thankfully, Burger King is making my next trip down inner-fat-kid-avenue that much better! Introducing, the hands-free Whopper. Yes, no more awkward limbs getting between you and your burger! Have you ever wanted to play Portal and eat a Whopper at the same time? No? Who are you? Why are we friends? I don’t even …whatever.

OK so I don’t actually know if this thing is real or some cruel marketing-move-meets-joke. I seriously hope not, because that would break the heart of the overweight forever-alone kid living inside of me.

I’m already brainstorming all of the things I would do once I got my hands (or, neck, really) on this thing: I would eat a Whopper hands-free while making a healthy second dinner; I would knit; I would work; I would … well I’d probably just wear it and eat as if it were one of those things horses wear around their necks with hay in them. (For the record, I tried to find out what this thing is called for about 30 seconds and then realized how little I cared.)

Anyway, I take care of myself 99 percent of the time, and I want that one percent to be disgustingly sloth-like. Also, I would for sure use it with other, non-BK burgers, from you know … real restaurants. What am I, an animal!? (…says the girl who just compared herself to a horse).

bill-robersonBill Roberson: Making your Prius look spacious

With more enviro-worshipping hybrids, EVs and super-mini-sub-sub-compact cars (looking at you, Smart) coming to market, its important to remember these micro people movers got their start somewhere, and if you’d like to own one of those “starts,” now’s your chance. One prime example of the search for ultimate mobility just came to auction: a faithful replica of the infamous Peel P50 microscopic motorcar from the 1960s.

How small is the petite Peel P50 three-wheeler? Small enough to be pegged by those Guiness World Record folks as the “World’s Smallest Production Car.” It makes a MINI look positively spacious, and as safe as an armored car.

So what’s it like to drive one? The irascible Jeremy Clarkson (all 6 feet 5 of him) from the BBC’s TopGear car comedy show took the P50 for a terrifying spin on London’s busy city streets – and then literally drove it into work. It’s a video that must be seen to be believed and is 9 minutes well-spent. And how does he not get fired for saying the things he says?

natt garunNatt Garun: Cronuts craze plagues New York City

New York City is a pretty trendy place, especially in the culinary field. We’ve got chefs here doing crazy things like coffee ramen, spicy ginger or Arnold Palmer slush, and now… the cronut. Cronuts are a cross between a croissant and a donut, and it’s driving everyone in the city insane. Pastry chef Dominique Ansel only makes 200 of these babies a day, and even at $5 a pop, people are lining up as early as 6 a.m. to get their hands on the sugary goodness. Despite the six-cronut-per-person limit, Ansel sells out of the product by 9:30 every morning. “It is not okay to flip off our baristas because we are out of cronuts,” Ansel tweets.

The cronut is in such high demand that, unsurprisingly, it quickly spawned a Craigslist black market. We’re seeing people attempting to sell and deliver these cronuts at $20 a piece! You don’t need to know math to understand how impossibly ridiculous that markup value is. “I am willing to pick up and deliver them to your door,” one Craigslister writes. “Of course the max you can have me deliver is 5 Cronuts as I will be eating one myself.”

We’d be lying if we said we didn’t want to try some ourselves, but we’ll just wait a few weeks for the craze to trickle down to imitators and mall franchise versions. That’s what happened with cupcakes and frozen yogurt – is the cronut any different?

jeff-van-campJeff Van Camp: I’m still catching up with the rest of the Internet

Okay. Yes, it’s a cat video. So sue me.

Yes, I’m posting a cat video for my Staff Pick this week. And not only is it a cat video (not even a GIF), it’s a cat video that was posted more than a year ago. But hey, back off, man. I just saw it today, so … throw me a bone here (or a laser pointer or whatever the hell cats like to catch). I don’t have to defend myself. You’re not my mom. Lay off.

I know you all want tech news or something really cool, but sometimes, somedays, there’s nothing quite like a cat moving to the beat of Sail by Awolnation. I’ve been watching it on repeat, and I can’t stop laughing. Get a sense of humor, join me, and may God have mercy on our souls.

Emerging Tech

Meet the 4K selfie drone that folds like a book, follows you like a paparrazzo

Having a drone that could follow you everywhere while taking high-quality images without crashing has been a flight of fantasy. With ZeroZero's Hover 2, not only can you have a fully autonomous 4K selfie drone, you can have it for $400.

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.
Smart Home

Drinkworks and Keurig have created a pod-based cocktail machine

HomeBar, a collaboration between Drinkworks and Keurig, creates cocktails the easy way. The machine creates mixed drinks of all kinds. All you have to do is insert in the pod for the drink you want.

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.

Google honors Veterans Day by highlighting military service stories

For Veterans Day, Google is honoring the heroes that served the country with a new Google Doodle that highlights the stories of five veterans from the five different branches of the military.

Edit, sign, append, and save with 12 of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.

Zoom in on famous works through the Art Institute of Chicago’s new website

Art lovers, listen up. The Art Institute of Chicago has given its website a serious makeover with new features that let you get up close and personal with more than 50,000 artworks by famous (and not so famous) artists.

Over a million veterans now eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program

Comcast's low-cost Internet Essentials program, which provides internet access for just $10 per month, has expanded to include U.S. veterans. One million veterans now qualify for the service.