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05.31.2008

Green tech: Roses old and new at the New York Botanical Garden

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Posted by Tam    Category: eco
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05.31.2008

Griffin WindowSeat - windshield mount for iPhone & iPod

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What good is your iPhone or iPod touch if you can't get to it? WindowSeat gives your device the best seat in the car by mounting handily at eye level on your car's windshield or dashboard, putting all of your street maps, directions etc. safely in view and easily within reach. Attaches with silicone suction pads and allows easy access to dock connector and headphone jack. When you leave the vehicle, there's a convenient corner-release which lets you easily detach your device to take it with you, while leaving the mount safely in place. A nice touch is the swiveling ball-and-socket joint which makes it easy to adjust the angle.

Conveniently, it can be used in conjunction with Griffin Technologys PowerJolt charger for iPhone and iPods.

Just out, you can pick it up for $29.99 at Griffin. Also available at Amazon.
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See more of our picks from Amazon in the Popgadget Shop.

Posted by Evan    Category: accessories | cars | portable media
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05.30.2008

Wordlock combination locks - easy to set, never forget.

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Two things immediately sprang to mind when I saw this new invention: "Why didn't I think of that?" and "Where was this when I was in high school?"

From what I know, these Wordlocks are the first combination locks that allow you to set your combination using words rather than numbers. If you're like me, and can't remember a number sequence, these are for you. With a variety of products from padlocks (great for lockers, toolboxes, etc.), bike locks and TSA recognized luggage locks, you'll never need to remember a number combination again.

Continue reading "Wordlock combination locks - easy to set, never forget."

Posted by Evan    Category: accessories | devices | misc gadgets
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05.30.2008

Charge your iPhone and iPod together with PowerDock 2

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I would imagine that most people who own iPhones aready had one or two iPods, and that most people don't use their iPhones as their only or, even primary, music player. That's why this new charging station from Griffin Technology, PowerDock 2, makes a lot of sense. Priced around $50, It holds any combination of iPhones and iPods (as it comes with 6 universal dock adapters), and is now available at Apple (in stores and online), and will soon be available at Griffin's online store.

And in July, iPod/iPhone hogs and Apple-loving families, will be able to park and charge their multitudes in the PowerDock 4, which will retail for around $70.

Posted by lydia    Category: accessories | cell phones | portable media
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05.30.2008

Green tech: Recycling empty toilet paper rolls

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Maybe because it's spring, season of green, here in the Northern Hemisphere. Or maybe because of climate change or the parlous state of the world's finances -- unless you're a citizen of, say, Saudi Arabia. But the sudden interest in ecoproducts and other greenmatter is pretty astonishing.

Here's an entry that could hardly be more homely. Blogger DLTK lists 101 things to do with an empty cardboard toilet paper roll.

Most of these are kid items, like making bowling pins for a birthday party game. But a few are suitable for a kid-free household that's nonetheless undergoing both greenmindedness and frugality.

For example, pencil cups. Wreaths (using 14-16 rolls per each, which is a lot of TP for a kid-free household. My condolences.)

Or what about holiday-themed napkin rings? Although that raises a perhaps insoluble issue in parts of the world overrun with applicances. Which is more ecologically sound: paper napkins? Or cloth napkins that must be laundered in hot water (and possibly, horrors, dried in a fuel-slurping dryer)?

Posted by Tam    Category: eco | home
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05.29.2008

Polaroid Pogo pocket printer

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For the last several years, the still pretty crappy cameras on my cell phones have been my main camera. Knowing that I have the cam on the phone in case of impromptu photo opps (generally involving my dogs) makes me less likely to want to drag around yet another device. So now I have hundreds of great pictures, or pictures that would be great if they weren't so low-res and crappy. They're not suitable for framing or generally even for printing because they'd look like blurs.

Unless... you're printing with a Polaroid Pogo pocket printer, which prints small, 2" x 3" prints with sticker backs that are small enough to look good even with the resolution provided by most phone cameras. Not only that, the Pogo is wireless and inkless, and weighs only 8 oz. Using Bluetooth, you can print directly from your cell phone. The Pogo prints in full color in about 60 seconds. The printer is inkless because it uses Zink photo paper which is covered in heat-activated crystals. Unlike the Polaroid photos of old, which were prone to smearing, Zink photos are waterproof, tear-proof, and smear-proof. The printer works both with a battery or with the charging cable.

The Pogo will retail for $149, and will be available in July at Target and Best Buy.

Posted by Mia    Category: cameras | devices
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05.29.2008

iTrip AutoPilot - Finally for iPhone

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I have the iTrip for my trusty iPod, but have been waiting impatiently for Griffin to develop one for my iPhone, which is constantly running down the battery. Like its sibling, the new iTrip product allows users to play AND control iPhone or iPod while charging its battery. iTrip sends the music wirelessly to a car's FM radio so the user can listen through the car's stereo speakers. Ta da!

SmartScan technology makes it easy to find the best three radio frequencies, then saves them automatically as presets for easy recall. If you're lucky enough to have a newer model car, RDS technology shows song information on RDS-enabled car radio displays.

With AutoPilot playback control, the set of controls are right up front on the power adapter that you plug into your cigarette lighter, and as the adapter features illuminated symbols for Play/Pause and Track Forward/Backward button controls, it's a snap to use. After a little practice you won't even have to look down since you hear a satisfying little "click" when you've switched controls.

$99 at Griffin, and worth every cent.

Posted by Evan    Category: accessories | cell phones | portable media
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05.29.2008

Green tech: Skip the supermarket?

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About to pay $4 for a gallon of gas, as I am? Or maybe you're already beyond that particular sticker shock? If you're in Europe, of course, you're chortling merrily at the thought that gas-hogging Americans are getting their comeuppance at last.

Anyway, you and I want to cut back on driving. Here's one way. Cut back on trips to the grocery store. Blogger Garlic Breath tells you how.

My first question: what about the food shopping not carried out at a grocery store? What about all those lovely local vegetables, like the fat purple asparagus that got us through much of May? And the strawberries. And the peas? Peas, please, even though they must be shelled. And the tiny summer squash and blackberries and sweet corn that will arrive in July?

All of which must be purchased afresh every few days from farmers that are local, but not quite local enough. Decidedly not within walking distance.

Garlic's answer to that is Grow Your Own. Easy for her to say, I whine, my yard gets no sun. Knowing full well there are ways around the sun problem, like community gardens, if I only wanted to Grow My Own. But, sorry to say, I don't.

So I'll compromise. I'll try to plan ahead and stock up so I can skip the supermarket more often. I will keep driving to farmer's markets, but will tell myself I'm saving fuel because at least my lettuce isn't shipped across the country from California.

Posted by Tam    Category: eat/drink | eco
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05.28.2008

SheZoom - first video website for women

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The first video sharing website for women launched in beta a little over a month ago, with the mission to build an online community around the creation and sharing of intelligent video content. SheZoom offers professional videos featuring experts on topics such as technology, food, money and fashion, as well as member contributed content. Once you join as a member, you can share your own videos, and comment on and rate other videos on the site. The site also links to popular videos on YouTube and other video sharing sites; SheZoom, editors curate this outside content for those of us who are too busy to comb through it all ourselves on a daily basis.

Experts you'll find on SheZoom include Greg Harper (technology consultant), Jeff Morgan and Jodie Morgan (food and wine experts), Dr. Lou Aronne, (obesity expert), and Julie Ross (parenting expert). The site's primary focus, according to founder and CEO, Stacey Artandi, is the community aspect of video sharing: "All of our contributors can relate to one another and have a wealth of knowledge based on their experiences as executives, mothres, runners, sisters, chefs - the list goes on and on. SheZoom enables women to tape into and share this collective knowledge."

Continue reading "SheZoom - first video website for women"

Posted by Hoyun    Category: entertainment | on the web
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05.28.2008

Green tech: Plant yourself in London and walk in the treetops

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The garden gnomes at London's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, have built a walkway through the trees nearly 60 feet off the ground. Dang. The exchange rate is probably going to prevent me from treetop walking this summer at least, but it's got to be an extraordinary experience.

The walkway is also structurally extraordinary. The walkway design, carried out in steel, is said to be based on the Fibonacci number sequence. (Starting with 1, each new number in the sequence is the sum of the two before it: 2, 3, 5,8,13..... No prize if you can figure out the next one.)

Here's what the Kew says about it:

The ratio provides a perfectly proportioned growth pattern. This sequence is used for the spacing of the connection points for the diagonals of the walkway trusses. The 12m long trusses are connected to circular nodes which are in turn supported by pylons. It provides a seemingly random, natural appearance that in fact comes from a clear underlying geometry.

A slightly spooky aspect of the Fibonacci number sequence is that it's not uncommon in nature, for example in plant branching patterns and number of petals on some flowers.

Posted by Tam    Category: eco
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