Cool stuff: Your 2007 holiday gift guide

More than 50 amazing gifts for the technology lovers in your life

iPhone/iPod 8-in-1 FM Transmitter with Remote

This handy US$40 gadget 8-in-1 FM Transmitter with Remote connects an iPod to a car. It has a dashboard cradle for just about any iPod or iPhone. It charges the iPod via the cigarette-lighter plug and lets you play music through car speakers.

You can connect to your car sound system with the included 3.5mm line-in plug. If you don't have one of those, connect via FM, and the frequency is displayed on a small screen on the cradle.

It comes with a remote control unit. You can have it in any color you like, as long as you like white or black.

iPhone/iPod 8-in-1 FM Transmitter with Remote from USB

Price: US$39.99
Summary: This handy device connects an iPod to a car sound system.
Mike Elgan

USB Doomsday Device Hub

The USB Doomsday Device Hub (US$50) looks and works like a nuclear missile launcher. You need to flip the first, then the second switch -- and then only authorized personnel with the key can open the safety cover to press the Big Red Button. (The device makes a "boom" noise.) Co-workers will naturally assume the user of this Armagaddon hub is some kind of evil arch villain bent on world domination, which is nice.

Oh, and it also turns one USB hub into four, so you have more places to plug in all those gadgets.

Price: US$49.99 | Phone: (703) 293-6299 Summary: The Doomsday Device Hub is a four-port USB hub that looks like a nuclear missile launcher. Mike Elgan

Ultimate gifts

These are the gifts we'd buy if money truly were no object. Until then, we can always dream...

GPS-enabled electronic telescope: Meade 12" LX200R

Looking at stars, planets and nebulae across the vastness of the universe through the eyepiece of telescope is a romantic idea, but if you've ever tried using a simple home device in your backyard at night, the romance can dim quickly. That's because a traditional manual telescope can be difficult and discouraging for novices to use. It can be quite a trick to find those tiny objects in the viewfinder and see them clearly.

That's where a new generation of high-tech, electronically controlled, GPS-enabled home telescopes come in. At US$4,699, the Meade LX200R tripod-mounted telescope brings together GPS control, high-quality optics and a large 12-in. aperture for excellent light-gathering that provides higher-resolution images.

There's also a built-in electronic database of about 145,000 celestial objects that you can view almost automatically by entering the desired object into a keypad. Once the data is entered, the telescope automatically turns to the proper spot in the night sky for easy viewing. As an ultimate gift for your family, deep space observation just got very special.

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Computerworld Staff

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