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Thread: The 10 dumbest computer accessories ever?

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

    Default The 10 dumbest computer accessories ever?

    As far as computer ports go -- and technologies in general -- USB has got to be the friendliest. Not only does it lovingly accept almost any kind of gadget imaginable, it also generously parcels out power to those gadgets so that they don't need to be plugged into a wall. As a result, it's quickly become the de facto interface for our printers, scanners, digital cameras, iPods, thumb drives and every other techno-majig we've come to rely on. However, this ubiquity and good will has led to the misuse of the USB port, which is increasingly being used to juice products that have no business being connected to a computer. In the following pages, you'll find the 10 dumbest miscarriages of the USB port we could find. These doodads are either the hilarious joke gifts for the right person, or useless wastes of plastic and metal that will go right into your gift recipient's trash bin.

    Thanko USB Ashtray
    Do you smoke at your desk? Do you often mix up which Red Bull can you're drinking from and which one you're ashing into? Then, it's a lucky thing there's this $16.50 ashtray, which employs a USB-powered motor to suck up the smoke from your nicotine log. Once it hoovers in your smog, the ashtray passes the smoke through two built-in filters to keep your workspace from being damaged by the very same toxins and poisons you're brutalizing your insides with.

    Shenzhen Sunstars Alarm Clock and Letter Opener
    Finally, your crippling fears of paper-cuts, oversleeping and port shortages have been cured with one gadget. Hailing from Hong Kong, this bizarre product is 1) a four-port USB hub 2) an alarm clock and 3) a letter opener. Though thoughtful, it's obvious the USB extras are just thrown in there because there was room. It's the other two functions, however, that have us scratching our heads. Unless you work in a sweatshop opening Publishers Clearing House entries, why would you ever need an alarm clock on your desk that can open mail?

    USB Fragrance Oil Drive
    Need a little relaxation break during work? The employee lounge is for suckers. Simply dim your monitor brightness, spin up a Kenny G disc and insert this aromatherapy device into a free USB port. Using your computer's power to heat itself up, the $7 gizmo has a little X-shaped hole on it for you to drop fragrance oil into. You can choose between rose, peppermint, jasmine and lavendar -- three to five drops of which will take you through the day. Your coworkers will thank you with wedgies!

    Warmmi USB Heating Knee Pads

    An ingeniously simple solution for chilly Internet-surfing conditions, these $20 leg warmers toast your lower appendages through the magic of USB. They're perfect for flying, too. Why go through the trouble of fetching your laptop bag out of the overhead bin to power these babies instead of cuddling up to a free, easy to reach blanket? Lice, baby! Sadly, there's no included software for programming these warmers with your optimal leg-heat sweet spot. And, in case you didn't catch on to the sarcasm, let us spell it out for you: This is the stupidest product we've ever seen. Or is it? We've still got six more to go!

    Thermaltake DeskCool
    Though not yet available on the market, this knick-knack was recently unveiled by a company called Nuventix. Kind of like a cold version of the bathroom hand-dryer, the DeskCool is aimed at gamers who get sweaty palms from intense gaming sessions (and from being in the vicinity of the opposite sex). As we all know, a moist mouse hand is killer on you precision. What saddens us the most about the DeskCool is that it's a pretty dumb application of a potentially great technology. The unit apparently generates airflow from a vibrating membrane on the inside -- there's no fan. We'd rather see this system being used in computers, video-game consoles and everything else that requires a noisy internal fan.


    Screen Smasher
    Screen Smasher is like that Whac-a-Mole arcade game ... only instead of drubbing plastic pests, you get to throw your arm out by thrashing your computer and its never-ending barrage of program glitches and fatal errors. This supposed cure for computer rage is a $20 USB foam hammer that, when whacked against your computer screen, pops up an animation simulating shattered glass. Sounds great, but there's one problem: When your computer completely freezes up -- which is what usually incites violence out of us -- wouldn't a device and program running on that computer also freeze up? Clearly this one wasn't really thought out too much before it hit market.

    USB Finger Dance Mat
    If your chubby fingers make it hard to dial phone numbers, don't resort to buying one of those phones with over-sized buttons they make for the elderly. Instead, trim those sausages down with a little finger exercise! At first glance, this USB-powered mini 'Dance Dance' game appears to be some glorified, real-time version of Simon, with mini-lights and sounds that would only make old-school Mattel handhelds jealous. Of course, that's before you knuckle-up to the female cardboard cut-out and settle into a DDR-groove sure to burn tens of calories.

    USB Mouse on a Bike

    There's computer mice, and then there's computer mice. If you ever hope to claim carpal tunnel as a reason for staying home from work, then you're going to want to pick up this little USB-powered fitness fanatic, who pedals faster on his stationary bike the faster you type. The point? We'll have to get back to you on that ...

    USB Noodle Strainer

    Soumen is a Japanese noodle dish served cold and often topped with sauces, leeks, sesame and horseradish. If that sounds appealing to you, but you have no free outlets in the kitchen, grab your laptop and this USB-powered noodle strainer. Your laptop battery powers the flowing circulation of ice-cold water, which cools the pre-cooked soumen noodles to their desired frigid temperature. Add toppings and, voilą: You win an award for the stupidest waste of battery power ever.

    USB Absinthe Spoon
    Absinthe, the potent green liquor with a rich history in French artistic circles, isn't allowed to be imported into the U.S.; That's the law. The famously elaborate spoons used in its proper preparation, however, are plenty legal. They're fashioned the way they are so that you can put sugar cube on top to pour the absinthe over in order to make it more palatable. Now, someone's gone an put a USB dongle on the end. Why? No reason. Seriously. The spoon doesn't need to be heated, which a USB port might be good for. There's even a lengthy history of the project at, but it provides no reason at all for the USB connectivity. That's fine, but please tell us a USB spork is also in the works ...

    World's Dumbest USB Gadgets - Switched: Gadgets, Tech, Digital Stuff for the Rest of Us

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    hmmm don't think i need those right now

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    I'm such a tard! I'd get that little clock with the letter opener in it. Same thing for the little aroma-therapy stick. Of course I'm used to dorks who go for days on end without sleep, missing appointments and showers. This makes sense in my world.
    Snooky Wookums, prepare for the invasion!

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    What about the USB pole dancer? I'm surprised that one's not on the list!

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