A new effort from the Palo Alto, Calif., design consultancy Ideo and Santa Cruz, Calif., bike builder Rock Lobster Custom Cycles may have pushed the industry a step closer to achieving the goal. The team created a bike for the Oregon Manifest 2011 Constructor's Design Challenge, a bike building competition pitting three teams of designers and handcrafted bike builders. Their goal: create the best utility bike for urban living.
Could TerraCycle and Guerillapps have hit upon the next FarmVille?
The Trash Tycoon Facebook game that launched yesterday challenges players to find and recycle trash that can be used to make eco-friendly products that translate into game money and points. Its sponsors include TreeHugger and the CarbonFund.org, as well as TerraCycle.
The game, developed by Guerillapps, was a finalist at VentureBeat's GamesBeat 2011 startup contest, and you can see why. The game provides a clever introduction to the lucrative possibilities of upcycling, the use of recyclable elements to make new products. (One nit: the horrible music. I had to mute it.)
Trash Tycoon has players collecting glass, organic, plastic, architectural elements, paper, and jewelry. By using other tools like worms for composting, players are shown the kinds of useful products that can be made from recyclable goods.
The game mimics TerraCycle's real-world business model.
The New Jersey-based company is known for its recycling "brigades" in which anyone can mail in recyclable items needed by TerraCycle in exchange for two cents per item being sent to their charity of choice. Shipping for the items is paid for by TerraCycle. Using any box, participants simply print out a label for it, and mail in their items.
Using this method, TerraCycle has made the Garbage Garbage can, a garbage can made from old chip bags and the rubber elastic left over from the production of baby diapers. Other products includes bicycle chain picture frames, Capri Sun drink bag totes, pencil cases from cookie wrappers, circuit board coasters, Clif Bar duffel bags, and Kashi place mats, to name a few from its hundreds of quirky-looking products.
The game has a real-world component as well.
People who contribute recyclable waste to TerraCycle's real-life brigades and facilities will earn game points.
Just like TerraCycle's real-world product placement advertising in which it utilizes wrapper logos to contribute to product design as with its Skittles Eco Kite and Target ReTote, the Facebook game will also feature sponsorship by showing trash wrappers with various brand logos, according to Guerillapps. … Read more
Porsche just revealed the Panamera S Hybrid, the company's second production hybrid. The new model, which will be shown at the 2011 Geneva auto show, promises to be elegant, sporty, but not hold back on power.
According to the specs Porsche released, the Panamera S Hybrid produces 380 horsepower with fuel consumption of only 6.8 L/100 km on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
The Panamera S Hybrid uses same gasoline engine/electric motor combination as in the Cayenne S Hybrid. A 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine delivering 333 horsepower is supported by a 47-horsepower (34 kW) … Read more
LAS VEGAS--For all the bicycle enthusiasts, especially those interested in longer-distance touring, China-based Jooyn Power Shenzen is introducing a rear-wheel mini generator that can power the company's bike lights, sound system, and controller up to 18 volts/1 amp. Each light includes a USB port for powering other devices at around 5V/1A, and the generator doubles as a rear light that flashes during rotation.
Solar-based systems are cool, but when reliable lighting is most important (say, for riding at night), they're just not optimal. If Jooyn's new generator (pricing and release dates to be announced) adds … Read more
You got heat? General Electric wants to make power out of it.
GE on Friday said it has acquired Calnetix Power Solutions, a privately held company which makes systems for converting heat from industrial equipment into electricity. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
The company will be integrated with GE's current Austria-based Jenbacher gas engine business, which makes engines that run on different gases, including natural gas and biogas.
Calnetix's system is designed specifically for small-scale power generation at places, such as factories which give off a lot of unused heat. It can also be used to make electricity … Read more
There are two kinds of cyclists.
The good cyclists obey the basic rules of the road and don't take up half of it as they chat to their accountant friend from the cycling club. The bad ones ignore stop signs, ride straight through red lights, and delight in banging on the roof of your car with one hand while giving you the finger with the other, as if their blind arrogance was somehow all your fault.
The company that turned Cheetos bags into MP3 speakers is now transforming Chester Cheetah into 32-gallon garbage cans.
The cans are 80 percent post-consumer--most of the material is from chip bags collected by TerraCycle's Chip Bag Brigade program. About 20 percent is from scraps of rubber elastic trimming that are leftover in the production of disposable diapers.
The old Cheetos and other chip bags are first shredded, and then run through a densifying … Read more
LightBike 2 is a fast-paced, Snake-style arcade game in which you compete in vehicles similar to the light cycles in the classic movie "Tron."
You turn at 90-degree angles by tapping touch-screen buttons on your right and left, as you build walls to try to box in your competitor bikes--AIs or fellow humans, via Bluetooth or Internet--and you can also tap buttons to jump and temporarily boost your speed. You have both a first-person view and an inset top-view radar, and you can choose between standard and death match modes on two different maps.
The rounds go very … Read more
As we headed to a Disney preview of toys and gear for the upcoming "Tron" movie sequel, "Tron Legacy," we were reminded of what Yogurt said in "Spaceballs": "Merchandising, merchandising!"
While we're as excited about Disney's upcoming "Tron" sequel as anybody, it's clear the merchandising push will be fierce and all-encompassing. But if our preview of a few of the upcoming items is any indication, some of them are actually kind of cool, too.
Among the very many pieces of Tron gear available for your shopping pleasure … Read more
Daredevil Dave is a funny, quirky, stunt-based arcade game that offers limited gameplay but lots of heart.
The game's personality and humor--surely inspired by premillennial celebrity weirdo Super Dave Osborne--is evident from the main menu and the tutorial, as you play a self-absorbed and proudly reckless (but still somehow lovable) motorcycle daredevil, portrayed with pop-up cartoons and hyperbolic voice-over.
The game has 18 levels in all, ranging from more-conventional stunts involving trucks and flaming hoops to utterly ridiculous situations with lava, sharks, helicopters, and bombs. In each stunt, your goal is to hit the landing ramp as precisely as … Read more