If Fred Flintstone were somehow transported forward from the stone age, he probably wouldn't know what to make of our internal combustion engines, direct injection, variable-valve timing, fuel-cells, and plug-in electric hybrids. He might however, feel at home in the Imagine Neighborhood Electric Vehicle. Designed by the aptly-named HumanCar. The Imagine is described by its creators as a "human-electric hybrid," meaning that it can be powered either by its two onboard electric motors or by "variable human power input" (i.e. pedaling). The four-passenger Imagine has an exoskeletal safety cage chassis and comes with a … Read more
I was working on this when I read this CNET News.com post. Apparently, Bill Gates believes that a strong technology sector will help keep America's economy healthy. I couldn't agree more. But I have a somewhat different take on the role tech has played in the U.S. economy.
Over the past few decades, the U.S. technology industry has had a number of "the sky is falling" moments, and every time we've managed to work through it and come out stronger than before.
For example, when I entered the job market in 1980, … Read more
A San Francisco nightclub installed on Monday what it's promoting as the city's first vertical garden. Several plant-filled boxes turned on their sides and bolted outside near the entrance are the first step in the Zen Compound's plans to cover the facade of the building in greenery.
"The hope is to have a living building," said Mike Zuckerman, director of sustainability at the 40,000 square foot complex. He spotted a butterfly hovering near native licorice ferns on Tuesday.
On Monday President Bush awarded the presidential Medal of Freedom to Harper Lee, author of the (American) classic To Kill a Mockingbird. If you've never read it, you should. If you have, read it again.
My eldest daughter, Scout, is named for the heroine of the book, Scout Finch. I had read the book several times through high school and university, but when my wife told me that she had always planned to name her first daughter "Scout" I chafed at the idea. It seemed too weird.… Read more
Advertising space is scarce. No wonder advertisers are innovative when it comes to taking advantage of underutilized real estate--such as the human skin.
Handvertising USA is an Orange County-based company that connects advertisers with customers willing to display ads on their hands.
"Almost everyone has been to a county fair, swap meet, bar or club and had had their hand stamped for proof of entry. We have found a better use for this space that could make everyone happy," says CEO Mike Brown. "We find venues also use the stamps to increase business. For example, venues are … Read more
The graphic on this page, taken from a Wikipedia entry, shows the current ISO standard for something called equal loudness contours.
If you've studied audio production or audio equipment, you might have seen this or similar charts. (The earliest version, created in 1933, was known as the Fletcher-Munson curve, and recent studies have proven it was quite accurate.) But what does it mean?
The horizontal x-axis represents pitch, measured in Hertz (Hz), or vibrations per second. The lowest threshold of human hearing is around 20 Hz--that would be a very low bass note on a church organ. Human voices … Read more
According to a McKinsey & Company study of US economic activity, "Raising the productivity of employees whose jobs can't be automated is the next big performance challenge." The study argues that "as more companies come to specialize in core activities and outsource the rest, they have greater need for workers who can interact with co-workers, partners, and vendors," supported by highly personalized organizing and communication tools. 40 percent of labor activity, says McKinsey, comes not from making things or from traditional transactions but from what the consultancy calls the "Interaction Economy," which it … Read more
Mahalo launched a new Firefox extension last week at Gnomedex. It's called "Follow," and once installed, it does just that. It's a mix of a toolbar and sidebar that pulls up related search results from whatever page you're on. It's got a built-in Mahalo search box in an attempt to ween you off your Google and Yahoo search tendencies. It's also got a StumbleUpon-like function to recommend whatever page you're looking at to others with yes, no, and maybe buttons, along with a button to take you to a random Mahalo … Read more
Internet commerce is becoming the new pastime for many in my generation. Generation Yers like to buy interesting T-shirts online, and there's no shortage of sites out there that are putting out an absurd amount of user-generated designs. Here's a list of more than 20 quality sites that put cotton, and inspiration, on your back.Readymade: These services sell shirts that are designed by users and professionals. Threadless is one of the most popular shirtmakers out there. It started out with user votes to pick out which shirts would go on sale, and have since moved on to independent designers. When shirts sell out, they're typically not for sale again unless the demand becomes great. They're also set to open a retail store in Chicago next month. Glarkware, a small Canadian shirt company, is based out of Toronto, Ontario, and has a fairly eccentric line of humor-related shirts. They've also got a line of T-shirts on the way for toddlers. Shirt.Woot. From the same bunch that does good ol' Woot.com and Wine.Woot.com, is Shirt.Woot.com--a one-shirt-per-day service that rolls out a new design every night at midnight Central time. Every shirt is always $10 with free shipping, along with the option to get it delivered in two days for another five bucks. While a good deal of the shirts are designed by professionals, the service also runs a weekly "derby" with user-generated designs. The most popular design goes on sale, and the designer gets a cut of the profits. Bountee is a hybrid service that offers both professionally designed T-shirts and a build-it-yourself solution. Bountee features a variety of "Web 2.0" features like tagging, user ratings, and commenting. It's also got a really slick, easy-to-use design. Split The Atom is a U.K.-based T-shirt company that's pretty much exactly like Threadless, but with a smaller selection. It also takes user designs in return for a one-time cash prize. Design by Humans has a very small collection of shirts, but offers some pretty decent prize money for winning designers with a daily, weekly, and monthly design contest. Each designer also gets their own profile page for listing any background information and to showcase some of their other works. BustedTees and Defunker are two very different Net T-shirt services from the same company. Bustedtees is more about humor, while Defunker offers more designer solutions akin to Threadless. Both sites are really slick, but between the two, Defunker feels a bit snappier. There's also a pretty large price gap, with most Bustedtees topping out at around $16, and Defunker averaging in the high-$20s and mid-$30s. T-ShirtHell. There's a reason this site has a warning page and a hellish name. These shirts are the kind that will get you stares in public, and usually not for a good reason. Definitely not for the faint of heart, or workplace. The Cotton Factory doesn't actually make cotton, but they have a very solid selection of designer, and humor T-shirts. There's even a section of T-shirts less than 10 bucks. There's some real gems in this place, especially if you like "ninja" apparel.
As the Tamagotchi enters its teens, manufacturer Bandai seems to have finally realized that it needs to figure out the next step in its virtual life strategy. And it's decided to takes its concept to the people--literally.
Enter the "Human Player." Rather than focus on the creation and sustenance of make-believe pets, the Human Player's goal is to create an "on-screen mini-you" by administering a 50-question test that yields 22 personality traits, according to Gearfuse.
You can then interact with other virtual souls, going so far as to venture into other people's digital … Read more