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Vulture Bytes: Spend Your Christmas Cash on R2-D2 Headphones and Musical Lightbulbs

Courtesy of Stem Innovation/Coloud

The gift-giving is over, which means you likely got a lump sum from a long-lost aunt you haven’t spoken to since last Christmas. Vulture Bytes, per usual, is here to help you spend it on the gizmos needed to help you be tech and pop-culture savvy.

And, as always, your press releases, tips, and spam welcome at

Next time you’re going out to buy a new bulb for your ceiling lights, buy these LightSpeakers instead. Yes, the ones at the hardware store are several hundred dollars cheaper. But do they play music? Because these do. Realizing that plenty of people want speakers in their ceiling, but don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for someone to come in and wire them, Klipsch created these little gizmos that put speakers inside a lightbulb. The set comes with two bulb/speakers, a remote, and a hub to plug your music into. They’re not for audiophiles, certainly, but they are for people who want to make Edison’s ghost jealous. PRICE: $600 for the set.
For those who don’t have ceiling lights to replace, there’s this iDevice dock. At first, it appears to be a normal dock doing normal things — alarm, stereo, etc. But plug a lamp into the thing (it comes with an extra power socket) and your iWhatever becomes a dimmer switch. Download the companion app and you can control your bedside lamp from your phone in the other room. Useful? Not really. Gee-wow cool? Yes. Also, it lets you use your lamp as a way to help wake you up when your alarm goes off. You’ll still be pissed you have to wake up, but at least you’ll be living in the future. PRICE: $100
This is a filthy-smart hack from Erica Sadun, the kind of woman who makes filthy-smart hacks. It takes advantage of the new operating system for iPhones and iPads, namely a feature that lets you broadcast video and audio from your iDevice to an Apple TV and other compatible devices. But Sadun has engineered an app that lets you send video to your Mac, too. Download her program on your Mac, boot it up, and stream media from your phone to your computer. It’s still in early development, so there are some bugs. But it’s the kind of thing that’s at least worth showing off to Luddite house guests. PRICE: Free.
Last year, Vulture Bytes was at Comic Con trying to summon the courage to ask the hot Hutt across the room to a drink at the cantina. But by the time we sidled up, the Hutt was too impressed with her neighbor’s lightsaber walking cane to notice. Next year, we’re going to let these headphones make the first move. They’re more or less what you expect — a pair of premium headphones with a remote and microphone, and they play anything you want, not just John Williams or the Mos Eisley Cantina Band. PRICE: $50.
Vulture Bytes has trouble rectifying our technophilia with our masculinity. So, like the people cherry-picked in this bogus New York Times trend story, we’ve been struggling with how to carry around our iPad. Can’t holster it in a fanny pack. Won’t consider a murse. And a messenger bag is too blocky. So maybe the best place for it is clutched tight to our chest, near the heart that loves it so. Designer Spencer Nikosey has designed the ultimate thinking man’s iPad case. There are compartments custom-designed for an iPhone, business cards, and, of course, a Moleskine notebook. And it’s made out of military-grade twill — what could be manlier than that? PRICE: $150
Vulture Bytes: Spend Your Christmas Cash on R2-D2 Headphones and Musical Lightbulbs