Cool stuff: Your 2007 holiday gift guide

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

Yubz Talk Mobile and Yubz Talk Online

Remember those giant landline telephone handsets back when landline handsets were the only kind? No? A company called Yubz does. Yubz Talk Mobile (US$45) connects to your cell phone. When a call comes in, you press a button on the old-school handset to answer the call. It's just like a tiny Bluetooth earpiece, except it's not tiny, it isn't an earpiece, and it isn't Bluetooth. The handset comes in black, red, white, yellow, orange and pink.

For the same price, the company also sells a VoIP version for Skype or other Internet telephone services (including Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN, AIM Express and others). It's a retro handset with a cable that terminates in a USB connector. Just plug it in and use it as your VoIP handset. It comes in black, red, white and yellow and works with both PCs and Macs.

Price: US$44.95
Summary: The Yubz Talk Mobile and Yubz Talk Online retro handsets take you back to the days when everyone used giant landline telephone handsets.
Mike Elgan

Identiflyer Singing Alarm Clock

There are thousands of different alarm clocks out there, and most have one thing in common: They all wake you up to a hideous, unpleasant noise. But who wants to start each day with an electronic buzz, brassy clanging sound, or something that sounds like a busy signal?

The Identiflyer Singing Alarm Clock ($30) does the opposite: It wakes you up to the pleasant sound of birds singing. And you get to specify exactly which birds. The clock comes with a song card, which shows pictures of nine birds on it. You slide it into the clock's holder, select a bird, and go to sleep. You can even choose a rooster.

You can accessorize, too, with additional cards featuring songs from a variety of categories. Choose from "Birds of Prey," "Forest, Forest Edge, Field & Meadow," "Lakes, Rivers, Marsh & Wetlands, Seashore," "Eastern Yardbirds, Birds of the Night," or "Western Yardbirds, Birds of the Night." This is music to the ears of hardcore Audobon Society bird nerds and laypeople who just like the sound of birds singing.

If you choose, the alarm will also, play a short bird song on the hour, or on command.

Price: US$29.95
Summary: Wake up to the pleasant sound of birds singing with the Identiflyer Singing Alarm Clock.
Mike Elgan

USB Roll-Up Drum Kit

Everybody secretly wants to play the drums. Trouble is, drum sets are huge, loud and expensive. But now you can play the drums anywhere -- even at your desk at work. The USB Roll-Up Drum Kit ($42) is about the size and shape of a dinner table placemat. It plugs into your PC and gives you a complete, programmable electronic drum set with five playing pads, each representing a different drum or cymbal.

The kit comes with 50 percussion sounds, 20 preprogrammed percussion sets and 100 preprogrammed percussion beats. A three-level learning feature will teach you how to play. You can select the play-along option if you want to play to your MP3 files. You can even record your beats and annoy people with them by sending the sound file. The package comes with drum sticks and software.

Price: US$42 Summary: Play drums anywhere on a set the size of a placemat with the Roll-Up Drum Kit. Mike Elgan

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Computerworld Staff

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