The chaos of the morning can be a time-crunching affair. We fall out of bed, slam the alarm clock off, and proceed to get ready for the day. Most people enjoy a set routine and stumble through it on autopilot. Anything that shaves a moment or two off the routine gets us out the door that much sooner. (In theory, at least; in reality it just translates to extra time in bed.) Instead of waiting for the coffee to be ready, you can save a couple of minutes by taking it with you and have it when you're ready.… Read more
Mornings are made on routines. From the moment the alarm clock wakes us up we're off and running on autopilot. Breakfast is made and devoured with barely a glimmer of recognition, and then we are off and out the door, coffee in hand. Cold coffee, of course, because we are always running late.
This performance may play out day after day, but that doesn't mean a break in the routine would necessarily mess it up. A little change could go a long way. At least in the case of having your coffee at a drinkable temperature.
A simple … Read more
Twitter's usefulness can most often be measured during times of disaster, when the quick spread of important information can really make a difference. And guess what--that works for traffic jams too. CommuTweet is proof of that, with a new service that lets those who are unfortunate enough to get stuck in traffic, or a long-delayed bus or train line to share that information with others.
The service revolves around the use of a specially formatted tweet that can be localized to whatever state you're in, and what kind of transportation you plan on riding. To get things narrowed … Read more
It's been widely debated since Amazon's Kindle began redefining the e-book space: when will e-books become more compelling than the physical books they were meant to replace?
For me, it happened. Today, at 2 p.m. Eastern, I went to Borders and returned a book I bought just a week ago. The reason was this: I found the book had popped up on the Amazon Kindle store for less. So I pulled the trigger.
The funny thing is I don't even have a Kindle. I have an iPhone 3G running the Kindle app. Yet, for me, in a crowded New York ecosystem where I barely have time or room to pull a book out of my backpack while crammed onto a subway, quick-fix reading does the trick better than anything else.
The book in question was "Hylozoic" by Rudy Rucker, an excellent and weird science fiction writer whose works I've become addicted to. I had tracked the release of his latest, a sequel to his equally odd "Postsingular," for months. I should have ordered on Amazon in the first place, where it was far cheaper than Borders' full retail, but I wanted instant satisfaction and got trigger-happy. Hylozoic wasn't available on the Kindle store when the book first hit the streets.
I submitted a "this should be a Kindle book" request to Amazon and went back to my life, when yesterday I discovered that "Hylozoic" had in fact been added...for $14.95. … Read more
Chrome started with a couple of guys in Boulder, Colo., who set out to built a bag that could stand a lifetime of daily abuse. Eight years later, the operation is now based out to San Francisco, where Chrome bags have become the staple of bike messengers, students, and packrats alike. Today, Chrome also announced its sojourn into the techie commuter market with the release of two stripped-down, laptop-friendly bags: the Vega and Corsair.
The Vega draws inspiration from the classic "musette" bags used to feed cyclists in the middle of a big race. Since weight is everything to these pros, the bags have to be minimalist and utilitarian, and the Vega is no different. It's light, tough, and can easily fit up to a 15-inch laptop.
It's important to stress the tough material used in the build: 1,000 denier Cordura material, a heavyweight nylon with a urethane coating to protect from water, abrasian, and grime. Make no mistake about it: these are some of the toughest bags you can get.… Read more
Cycling commuters are forced to deal with a million obstacles on the ride to and from work. In urban areas, cars remain our biggest foe, largely because people don't make the effort to look out for our blinking lights. Plenty of companies offer cycling-specific clothing, but they're terribly unflattering in all the wrong places.
But check this out: Cordarounds has developed these Bike to Work Pants. The inside of the pockets and pant cuffs are actually made from a material that reflects lights, thus increasing a cyclist's visibility and safety.
In "daytime mode," the pants … Read more
If you've walked down the street in an urban area, you've likely witnessed at least one near-accident between a car and a cyclist or pedestrian wearing earbuds.
How welcome, then, are these groovy concept headphones by Seohyun Baek? The semicircle shape is designed to fit in your ear without blocking out background noise, so you can have your tunes but still be in tune with what's going on around you. The designer also claims the small shape will produce less fatigue during long stretches of music-listening.
The headphones themselves are connected via wire to a Bluetooth receiver, … Read more
Don't have a missing iPhone, but want another Twitter-aided tool that can save you from life's annoyances? Check out Commuter Feed, a network of Twitter users tying to help each other avoid traffic backups and accidents faster than some official city transportations systems are able to update.
The system works by having users follow a Twitter bot that in turn follows their direct messages and sorts through the ones including an IATA airport code and incident information. This code designates which city they're posting for and the rest of your message can simply describe what's wrong. … Read more
OK, so this isn't a gadget per se. But we're willing to bet that more than a few caffeinated Cravers out there are interested in a commuter cup that's supposedly guaranteed not to spill even when tipped over, so you can concentrate on more important things. "When the lid is closed, analysts were able to turn the commuter cup upside down and shake it vigorously without a single drop escaping," according to its product description.
There's a lot of room for novel aircraft design between the gargantuan (the Airbus A380) and the flimsy (that balsa wood toy that never flew the way you wanted it to).
One such design that's getting some attention these days--from no less than the likes of NASA--is the "personal aircraft vehicle." The notion here is that small propeller-driven planes could someday become the Camrys and Escorts of the skies, whisking commuters to the office or on short business trips while also undoing the gridlock that defines the automotive life for so many of us working stiffs.… Read more