Cool Stuff: Your 2008 Christmas Gift Guide

18 economical, expensive, and just plain weird tech gifts for your friends and family

More? The chassis actually lowers for easier entry and then raises back up as you drive. A GPS navigation system with Bluetooth voice activation provides real-time traffic monitoring to help you avoid traffic jams and road closures. Bluetooth-equipped mobile phones can also be used to operate the GPS system and place hands-free calls using the stereo system. A Lexus Link option includes its own dedicated phone to place personal calls or communicate with advisers to summon help or get driving directions or concierge services.

Bored during a long drive? A 30GB hard drive stores up to 2,000 songs for the requisite mind-blowing stereo system (19 speakers), which has an auxiliary iPod/MP3/WMA port, along with CD, DVD audio and DVD video playback. A DVD rear-seat entertainment system sports a 9-inch screen and two wireless headphones.

The manufacturer's suggested retail price for all this road-ready tech is US$75,705 -- for the basic vehicle. Adding all available options bumps the price up to about US$89,000, and that doesn't include more than a dozen extra options that are priced individually by different dealers.

-- David Ramel

Off the Wall: Wi-Fi Detector Shirt

Do you really want to have to open up your laptop to search for a Wi-Fi hot spot? Of course not. For those of us who want to know where that hot spot is without any trouble whatsoever, ThinkGeek thoughtfully sells the US$29.99 Wi-Fi Detector T-shirt.

It sports a decal with the ubiquitous symbol for Wi-Fi on the front; the bars glow to dynamically indicate the strength of any nearby 802.11b or 802.11g Wi-Fi signals.

ThinkGeek is proud of its invention. Straight from the Web site: "Finally you can get the attention you deserve as others bow to you as their reverential Wi-Fi god, while geeky chicks swoon at your presence. You can thank us later."

Uh huh, sure. I wouldn't advise canceling your or eHarmony account just yet.

The three AAA batteries are not included. The animated decal, along with the batteries, can and should be removed for laundering -- if someone who would wear one of these things would actually wash clothes.

-- David Ramel

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Computerworld Staff

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