June 28, 2006

the get it
You’ve heard me say it before; these external hard drives are getting bigger and cheaper by the minute. In addition, this hard drive has a great pedigree with features that are top notch. This Western Digital USB 2.0 hard drive has a capacity of 400GB with a 16MB buffer size and spins at 7200 RPM. If these specs are all Greek to you, that’s ok, trust me, these numbers are good. Western Digital is also one of the top manufacturers of quality hard drives. Buy.com currently has it on sale for $199.99 with free shipping.
the gizmo
Wireless broadband on the go! This week Dell announced their new 5700 Mobile Broadband ExpressCard for laptop owners. This high speed wireless card operates on Verizon’s high-speed EV-DO network. For $180 it can be yours along with one free month of Verizon’s EV-DO service. After that the rate is $60 with a voice plan and $80 without. This product is basically a rebranding of Novatel’s XV620 which has received rave reviews. This card is capable of speeds of up to 2.4Mbps; however, speeds may vary depending on signal and other circumstances. Still this little unit should deliver speeds between 500Kbps and 1Mbps… sweet. That’s very good considering basic DSL speeds hover somewhere in that neighborhood. And don’t think you Mac folks will be left hangin’ because this is from Dell. It was just announced that the new update (10.4.7) to OS X includes the drivers for this puppy. This unit will be available for sale at the end of this week on Dell’s web site.
the gorgeous
Attention to all of you that sport that black-thumb, you know who you are. Orchids? Ha, you could kill silk flowers. Well, help is on its way. From Michael Kritzer comes the beautifully designed Herbi. Herbi is a hydroponic countertop herb pot system designed to provide you with fresh herbs all year round. The system supports up to six herb ‘silos’ that are coupled together with the Herbi control unit. This control unit monitors ph, nutrient feed and water and then conveys this information via a light blue LED behind the corresponding icon. No word yet on when it will be available for sale.
the green

I know I know more biodegradable products. Well, I can’t help it. It is the bbq/picnic season and we need to think more about what we are discarding. This week I bring you SPUDWARE from across the pond. Vegware, a UK based supplier, is currently working with the US company Excellent Packaging and Supply to bring their products to the US. As you can probably guess from the name, SPUDWARE is made from 80% potato starch and 20% vegetable oil. Vegware claims that these compostable utensils will break down in about 90 days and even quicker if they are snapped first!

the gossip
Just last week in this section I talked about the philanthropy of Bill Gates. Well, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, it does. This week Warren Buffet announced that he is bestowing a $31 billion dollar gift to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These two have kept a fairly close relationship since the early nineties with Mr. Gates crediting Mr. Buffet for his interest in philanthropy. Mr. Buffet plans to give away 85 per cent of his fortune, or about $37.4 billion in total. The Gates Foundation made $1.36 billion in grant payments in 2005. This number could potentially double with this gift. Just to put this in perspective, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization had a budget of $610 million for 2004-05.