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12.31.2008

New film and website asks: what matters to YOU?

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12.31.2008

Ever wanted a TV on the side of your bag?

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No, me neither... I mean, with the impressive MP4 capacity provided by manufacturers like Apple and Archos, I'm happy to keep my TV/video/music player in my bag and keep what I'm watching to myself. But perhaps not everyone is like me and bags with inbuilt TV screens will soon be a huge trend. A company called Bag TVcertainly hopes so, as they're selling bags with inbuilt TV screens in black, white, red, pink and tan (all in matte or patent leather) for around... take a deep breath... $440.

If you're tempted, you'll get a 7-inch flat screen tablet with a DVD and MPEG player, USB port and SD card slot.

The Bag Lady points out you could have a nice photostream going as you walk along (which would certainly be better than some logo-strewn designer bags I've seen, but feels a little too private to be displayed for all the world to see, if you ask me).

What do you think?

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12.31.2008

Stay connected while you travel: finding power sources & wifi in the airport

outlet.jpgIf you're like me and bring your laptop with you when you travel, you've probably spent a lot of time hunting through the terminals for power sources and wi-fi service.

Here are a couple of sites to visit before - or during- your next trip. Hint: with airline delays at ridiculous levels, and with holiday and weather delays an almost certainty, you should check them out even if you think your layovers will be short short. You may spend more time in the airport than your ticket indicates.

The first site, atlarge.com, offers ratings and discussion of the essentials at airports around the world: internet and cell service and power points. It allows users to rate the location based on comfort (how comfy it is, but also how safe you feel in the area and what other services are nearby) and value per cost of the services offered. It looks like most people offer information about the various wifi services, the connection reliability, and cost. For example, atlarge users have pointed out one of my favorite things - free wifi in the JetBlue terminal at New York's JFK airport.

As of this writing, there isn't a lot of discussion about where to plug in, but that's where the second site comes in: a wiki site called the airpower wiki. This site works like any other wiki, so you can read, add, or update the information about a given airport's power sources, or add a new airport to the list. This site is a little easier to navigate quickly - which is important if you're on a smartphone or need to find the power source before your laptop battery runs out - and I like that you can scratch out incorrect information.

Finally, check out flyertalk.com for every type of info you might need about travel in general. You won't find what you're looking for when on the run, but it's a great resource to check out before you hit the road...er, terminal.

I'm still looking for a really good wiki site on places to sleep in various airports (I've been stranded more times than I care to count), but in the meantime, at least I'll know where to park myself and surf the hours away while I wait for my next flight.

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12.31.2008

Here comes the sun

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At last the days are beginning to get longer in the Northern Hemisphere. The winter solstice took place at 12:04UT on Sunday, December 21. And not a moment too soon.

Cue: George Harrison. This strikes me as a bit mournful. It's from a Brit concert about 20 years ago, with trombones and assorted luminaries: Richard Starkey, and is that Elton on piano? See if you can identify the others.

No ID necessary for the incomparable Nina Simone's smoky-but-welcoming version.

I will leave it to Ann-Marie Imbornoni of Infoplease to explain the winter solstice a bit. Here's a somewhat more technical version from Eric Weisstein's World of Astronomy.

The US's National Aeronautics & Space Agency is collaborating with the European Space Agency to study the sun. The project is called SOHO, the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory. The photo (above) was shot October 10. It's striking all right, but I picked it largely for the title: Unfurling Prominence Eruption.

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12.30.2008

Take spy-style photos for $50

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Uncrate has kindly alerted its readers to the Super Spy lens, which uses the magic of mirrors to allow photographers to point their camera one way but shoot a picture the other. It's ideal for candid shots - or for stalking, I guess - but I only hope people use it ethically. (Translation: no posting pictures of me on the Internet without my permission, people!)

Buy it here, I'm assuming for any SLR.

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12.30.2008

Holiday hangover? Here's a cheap cure, but it's DIY

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If you don't know the Instructables site, you should. Here you can find directions for making a near-unbelievable array of stuff. And if you aren't up for actually making something, Instructables is perfect for your fantasy life: you can dream dream dream about how organized you'd be, how productive, how domestically thrifty, if you only had the time.....

And, speaking of time, just in time for holiday overindulgence Instructables brings you DIY imitation Alka-Seltzer. I gotta say I'd probably be willing to pay the 50 cents per dose for the Real Thing--or look for a sale--rather than launch a domestic chem lab. But perhaps you didn't have an, um, explosively messy experience in high-school chemistry. I did, and it cured me of any impulse toward amateur alchemy.

If you decide to tackle making this literal home remedy, it's probably not a good idea to wait until you're actually hungover.

Posted by Tam    Category: on the web
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12.26.2008

Get off the treadmill--and get on to the treadmill desk

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You can walk and chew gum at the same time, but can you walk and work at the same time? I don't think I could except maybe for mostly mindless tasks like going through email.

But Steelcase, the long-time US office furniture manufacturer, is betting that we sluggards can walk and work simultaneously. The company wants us to switch from workstation to its Walkstation, which combines a desk with a treadmill that operates at low speed and more quietly than your average treadmill. Steelcase charges $5000 or more for the Walkstation. In this economy? Well, maybe. Given the list price of most office furniture, perhaps that's not out of line.

Sal Cangeloso has posted his hands-on (feet-on?) review of the Walkstation at Geek.com. He reports that companies are saving money by buying Walkstations for a workgroup. Members of the group then sign up to use it at specific times.

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12.25.2008

Surprise your loved ones with these unique gift-wrapping ideas

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Want to buy your friends and family some fabulous gifts this year but simply don't have the moolah, the Benjamins, the readies - are you cash-poor, in other words?

Why not splash out what little money you do have on some of these gift boxes from The Onion's store which make it look like you've got them something expensive and electrical, when you haven't got them anything at all?

You'll just have to make sure you're standing near a doorway when the realisation that it's all a big joke dawns on the recipients. (Your excuse? It's the thought that counts, of course).

Alternatively, get them something great, and wrap it to make it look terrible. Or pay Firebox to do it for you (I don't know why, but it's apparently been very popular this year).

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12.24.2008

TV on your iPhone or iPod Touch

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An inexpensive new piece of software exploits the iPhone and iPod Touch's new ability to download over-the-air podcasts. It's now a way to watch TV on Apple's lovely mobile screen. The program is called--wait for it--Television.

Joel Evans of Geek.com took Television for a test drive and liked it a lot; check out his first look here. The $2.99 program, available at the App Store, is said to make it possible to see 50 shows from 30 different channels in the United States, the UK, France and Germany. Find the list here. At least some of what you can download looks like snippets and highlights rather than complete programs.

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12.24.2008

Embloggery - crazy or clever?

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I've written before about the recent resurgence in crafts. I'm also somewhat addicted to blogging. But I'm not entirely convinced that the two can mesh. After all, the point of blogging and Tweeting is the immediacy. Take that away, by embroidering your thoughts and you're just... sewing, aren't you?

Not according to "embloggers" like Nicole Wolfersberger, who think that if something's worth saying, it's worth stitching. She certainly does a great job but those of us who write for a living find it hard enough to find time to blog: if I had to sew what I wanted to say I'd certainly be more succint but I'd probably only update about twice a year! (Hmm, some might say that's not such a bad thing...)

What phrase or memorable blog post would you most like to immortalize in this way?

Via Crafty Crafty

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