Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a weekly column about the future of technology, multimedia, and digital entertainment:
Baby, on this Valentine's Day, I want you to remember that our love is as rare as an Xbox 360 on a retail shelf and as deep as Gizmondo Europe's debt. You know I'm someone who appreciates the best that life has to offer -- as long as it's offered at a reasonable price. When I rolled up in my Kia Amanti ("the Kimmer," as i like to call it), put that sweet chunk of cubic zirconia on your finger and read you the love poem I'd written on my Brother GeoBook personal digital notebook, I knew you'd be mine forever.
This year, I wanted to get you something romantic, something sophisticated and something substantially under $25. I thought candles might be nice but, as you and my parole officer know, I am not allowed within 30 feet of a blunt object since the incident regarding the $399 notebook at Wal-Mart last Black Friday. So I considered getting you a Philips Aurelle LED candle. The key to the LED candle is a light source that flickers to approximate its fiery counterpart. I bet the LED candle story is a lot like the one that led to the development of Post-It notes, you know, where the engineer developed a weak adhesive for which no one could find a use. "Hey, Klaas, I can't get this darn LED to stay lit!"
The Aurelle candles are available with a choice of three frosted glass candle holder cups -- in round, square and triangular shapes -- for about $20. The amber lighting units have rechargeable batteries and, in an interesting twist, several of them can be charged simultaneously from the same charger by daisy-chaining them together magnetically. Could anything symbolize our love more than multiple hook-ups? Unfortunately, though, it's relatively easy to see the metal contacts even in the cups, which compromises the effect. And, baby, I need the look to be right when I'm putting out my best Chinette for you.